Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Issue Is... (Score 1) 473

The problem with many government development jobs is that you are surrounded by a sea of ignorance and indifference. I've done work for a few agencies, and my guess is that most tech geeks would find it terribly boring. If you can get in, it can be quite stable and generally stress-free from a workload perspective, but the stress of sitting around an office all day almost not even allowed to work started to drive me crazy.

IT in the DC area has an incredibly low bar set. I remember more than a few interviews, I was not asked a single technical question. I actually asked them to ask me some tech questions because it seemed so bizarre. Once you work there, you understand why no one asks.

Granted, I was not making $200k, so a higher salary probably would have made my tolerance better, but it's not the best environment if you are somewhat ambitious.

Since people with security clearances are somewhat rare, it becomes more of the limiting factor rather than skill.

My $.02, others are welcome to disagree.

Comment Isn't Nintendo Generally Considered an Innovator? (Score 1) 146

I haven't played a Mario or Nintendo game in a few years, but I found the opening statement kind of surprising:

"To be fair, no one buys a new Mario game looking for a completely new experience."

Is this really the case? Is Nintendo considered more a re-hasher these days? I think part of my surprise is that the first thing that popped into my head when I read that was Super Mario 64.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 187

I spent some time working with the FAA. The person I replaced had been fired for viewing porn at work. The case was still in litigation up to two years after he was fired, due to the union. I'm not really sure what was being argued, but my manager had to go to hearings every once a while.

I kind of assumed these would be military positions, but the summary mentions employees and contractors, so perhaps that is where the union is getting involved (In the case of employees. Contractors are used in a lot of cases because they are supposed to be easy to replace, at least from what I was told)

Comment International Students Pay More (Score 2) 147

I've read that part of the motivation for admitting more international students is purely financial... universities can charge more, so they have an incentive to have more international students. For the foreign students, there's a certain level of prestige associated with attending an American university, especially for Asian countries which place some additional importance on English language skills.

So... when does higher education bubble burst? Everyone is expecting it to. It makes no sense that while the economy is tanking, colleges can just continue to charge more money at rates considerably higher than cost of living adjustments...

Comment Twitter Feed/Fan Comments (Score 1) 106

My wife watches Korean dramas on the internet. One of the sites had some type of feature where they embedded fan comments, possibly from Twitter, into a subtitle-like track. I only caught a glimpse, but this seemed like one of the worst ideas ever. It really caught my attention because suddenly, the word "BITCH" was scrolling across the screen.

While I could see some benefit to "sharing" like this with other viewers, the content would need so much moderation to filter out all of the garbage, trolls, and "me too"-like comments to make it worthwhile, but maybe this is a generational thing.

Comment Accuracy Wars? (Score 1) 88

I used to work with a graphic designer, who eventually got his MBA and was given the chance to do some project management while he was attending evening classes. We lost touch over the years, but I was looking at his profile recently. Apparently, rather than doing graphic design and getting a chance to dabble in project management, he was the head of the IT Development Department. This position was almost 10 years ago, but he probably used this lie to as he was making his switch-over.

I know LinkedIn has tools to recommend people, but do they have tools to call people out for lying? And then do you engage in a lie-war? i.e., My online profile is accurate, but if I were to call him out, what is to prevent him from starting to try to protect his image and claim stuff on my profile is inaccurate as retaliation?

In the grand scheme of things, it's so old now that no one would care any more, but still kind of bugs me.

Comment Re:Why does this happen? (Score 1) 261

I was always under the assumption it was for a few reasons:

  • - The former-CEO doesn't share the company's secrets with competitors (not sure if there would be some kind of non-compete clause) or create a competing company.
  • - It allows them to try to attract someone else. While you would think it would be a high risk/high reward situation ("save this troubled company, and you will be richly rewarded, if you don't you get nothing"), perhaps they are scared of scaring people off if they have a reputation for not paying out, which kind of makes sense from the perspective of someone who would consider coming in.
  • - The people that sit on these boards are all friendly with each other, share similar work/social circles. So, they are just rewarding their circle, and it will eventually come back to them. They're kind of paying it forward with other people's money. I remember reading an article several years ago that discussed diversity on boards. This article claimed that there were instances where an individual might be on multiple boards (not sure if this is possible), but a single woman or African American might be on several boards, and this gives a greater perception of diversity from the outside, but the truth is there are fewer people on these boards and those that are on the boards probably think along similar lines.

Just a few thoughts. /shrug.

Comment Consider Long-Term (Score 1) 520

I think taking an IT administration job could potentially hurt you, if you really want to be doing development. While it's possible you'd learn some skills that would be useful, you wouldn't be gaining experience in the core area you're interested in, and more importantly, skills that potential employers are interested in. So, you are delaying skills you could be learning to help you down what you are thinking is your preferred career path.

There are also some times that development and administration kind of butt heads. This really depends on your environment, as I've had really great working relationships with some admins, and others who think your code is ruining their systems. So, that could potentially cause some issues if you ever decide you want to transition.

Another concern is salary. If you do well in your IT/Admin position, it's possible you'd get raises and promotions. This will make it harder for you to give up the money and take an entry-level development job, if the money difference is large. That's the classic story I've heard for COBOL developers. They want to transition to Java, but an entry level Java position pays a lot less that their 20+ years of COBOL experience, so they stick with COBOL.

There's nothing wrong with being selective if you can afford to be right now. And it's also possible you could go into IT administration and find that you really enjoy it.

Comment Re:Wow! (Score 1) 580

We need a system like sports teams have. The coach might be a fat slob and not necessarily the best player in his career. The star players get rewarded commensurate with their skills. The coach is rewarded for the ability to hold the whole thing together. But those are separate skill sets and often its the bad coach that gets sacked more often than the players.

Be careful what you wish for...

I've often joked with people that the normal workplace would be a lot more interesting if it were run like a professional sports team. Some examples:

- Everyone's salary is public knowledge. This will do wonders for productivity and cooperation. Have you ever seen players hold out? Or start under-performing because they're upset that someone else is getting paid more?
- What if your superstar doesn't like you because you didn't write some how he thought it should be written, since he's such a genius? Well, he'll just stop performing until management decides to fire/trade you.
- "We traded 3 Java developers and a System Administrator for an Oracle DBA, 3 interns, and a graphic designer to be named later."

Also, how will you evaluate who your stars are? In some cases, it's pretty obvious. But in others, it might just be a matter of who the manager likes best. There are plenty of cases in pro sports where a good player is buried on the bench, only for everyone to realize how good they are later after they're on a new team or the coach was fired. Or what about the case of someone who has very good stats on a horrible team? This guy writes *tons* of code, but the projects never finish.

Comment Re:THIS is why people torrent (Score 1) 314

Just to play Devil's Advocate, there are a lot of services now that let you rent and then stream/download the movie. I know Amazon does this, and there's some service on the PS3, too. The biggest catch is "reasonable price." Unfortunately, what you personally want to pay and what studios want to charge are obviously not in synch right now, and it's possible they never will be.

Comment Re:DVD plan (Score 1) 314

The Roku 2 supports subtitles for Netflix. Of course, the titles have to have subtitles in the first place, but that seems to be constantly improving.

I own an original Roku, and I was debating buying a Roku 2 for the subtitles. I'm going to wait to see how their streaming library changes down the road. I also own a PS3, which supports subtitles, so if you've got that or an XBox360, maybe that'll work for you.

Comment Re:They love to beat on Apple, don't they? (Score 1) 346

Let's face the facts. Only *China* can take care of pollution in China.

I have some in-laws in South Korea. They've said that there is a yellow dust (smog? Something else?) that blows from China into South Korea. So, their pollution issues has an impact not only on themselves, but their neighbors as well. China isn't the only one guilty of this, but they're probably considered one of the worst offenders of this /anecdotal.

Comment Some plans actually dropped in price (Score 1) 722

So, I'll preface this by saying I'm probably a bit of an outlier since I'm on a more expensive plan. I was on the 6 DVD a month plan (with free unlimited). I switched to this plan a few months ago when my wife and I started watching more TV shows. We just wanted to make sure we had the next disc ready to go as we were tearing through multiple seasons of a TV series (Supernatural, in case you were curious).

Anyway, the price for us actually dropped. It dropped by less than a dollar, but I was still pretty surprised. I was expecting a big price gouge. Perhaps they've been presenting this process incorrectly. I seem to recall they started adding "free" streaming to accounts a while back. Maybe they should have done a better job of explaining that streaming would be free for a while, and then give people the option of paying for it once it was no longer free.

Slashdot Top Deals

CCI Power 6/40: one board, a megabyte of cache, and an attitude...