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Comment Re:I'm on the edge of my seat... (Score 2) 544

If this turns out to be some organic matter that accidentally made the trip to mars with the rover itself, I'll be very disappointed.

Also, whoever tagged the article with the misspelled "curiousity"... great job.

Now honestly, even if it's organic matter that made it over with the rover, if it's reproducing and surviving on the planet, that's plenty interesting news.

Comment Re:Find another job (Score 2) 391

I would say that if you're not prepared to support your company's product in any reasonable way, you should look for another job anyway.

Well, for any large company, it's possible, indeed likely, that I may be immensely proud of the project I am working on, while simultaneously either being unaware or even actively disliking the product of another department of a company.

Comment Re:Logically Logical Logic (Score 5, Insightful) 510

Ahh -- yes, I see, so I should write my Apps in Python, except where they need to be rewritten in C/C++ because that will run faster than when written in Python, but Python is not slow when you rewrite portions -- so don't rewrite in a faster language because Pyton is fast enough.

Alrighty then.

Essentially yes, that's it exactly. It's a lot simpler to write a 5000 lines of python and 300 lines of C than it is to write 20,000+ lines of C. Plus Python manages most of the memory management for you so you have less chance of memory leaks. I would argue that the reduction in bugs memory bugs and more maintainable code would justify saying that one should use two languages in this case. It's not a matter of which is better overall, it's that python is easier to read, whereas C is faster. Use both where their benefits are most powerful.

Submission + - Campground WIFI design follow up 3

MahlonS writes: "In November I asked Slashdot to offer suggestions on the best technology to upgrade WIFI service in a campground. I received several valuable nuggets of info. After the IT guy for the company failed to provide a complete solution, the campers revolted. I used your info to propose a solution, and I was hired to design, oversee installation and configure a better network. Things are now running smoothly.
The IT guy installed 2 Ubiquity Bullets, one on the ISPs router, one 200' away, served by a pair of bridged Engenius 2611P. This covered about 25% of the park quite well. I added an Amped repeater at my site, about 800' away, which provided some service to my part of the park, but everything was still routed through one AP.
After reviewing all the sites Slashdotters referred me to, I proposed a mesh network built on Open-Mesh. I added 2 more 2611P bridges for backhaul and installed 2 more Bullets at those locations (IT had those on hand) to cover most of the park while we evaluated the mesh. I built a 4 node mesh net, evaluated, and found it very workable. I added 8 more mesh nodes, replacing the Bullets with mesh gateways.This is now stabilized with over 100 users per day passing about 8 GB up and down.
Part of my proposal included management tools which can be operated by non-technical campground staff. Since the Cloudtrax dashboard charts usage and provides the ability to block individual machines, staff can now control the network instead of just rebooting everything.
Thanks to Slashdot for pointing me toward this solution!"

Comment Re:Since when is JavaScript an unorthodox choice? (Score 3, Informative) 355

You not having a clue how to code JavaScript doesn't mean JavaScript is a bad language, merely that you are out of your depth with it and simply don't understand how it works.

I agree that javascript is too often spoken poorly of as a programming language, but having the addition operator not be commutative is just twitch inducing. See the Wat video, or try
[] + {}
{} + []
in you're JS console.

Comment Re:grocery list on the fridge (Score 1) 241

Sometimes I sketch out an idea. For everything else, no paper.

Dry-erase whiteboards are amazing for this. In an average day at the office, I do far more doodling and scrawling on my giant whiteboard next to my desk than on the notepads lying around me. ...Easier to color-code, too.

I prefer a graph paper notebook. Easier to draw on (for me at least), guide lines for sketching, and I've got a log of every great idea all in one place, no worries of someone coming along and erasing it.

Comment Re:That is seven kinds of awesome (Score 1) 137

OTOH, Valve typically has been very amenable to fan material before. If Valve was approached as a production partner, with limited oversight over production, one might even be able to encourage them to chip in as a publicity event. Keep the same director, writing and special effects designer as the production leads, let some valve employees chip in additional writing and or settings/special effects.

the bigger question in my mind is "Is there enough plot to Portal to tell a full length movie?" for all that the game was amazing, the plot basically is, wake up, get tested, break free, kill GLaDOS, escape. Not a lot of room there for dialogue, plot twists, or character development. This clip worked on the basis of capturing the ambiance of the portal universe, the dystopia and the feel of relentless monotony. not sure that would work for a feature length film.
United States

American Grant Writing: Race Matters 464

PHPNerd writes "You might expect that science, particularly American science, would be color-blind. Though fewer people from some of the country's ethnic minorities are scientists than the proportions of those minorities in the population suggest should be the case, once someone has got bench space in a laboratory, he might reasonably expect to be treated on merit and nothing else. Unfortunately, a study just published in Science suggests that is not true. The study looked at the pattern of research grants awarded by the NIH and found that race matters a lot. Moreover, Asian and Hispanic scientists do just as well as white ones. Black scientists, however, fare badly."

Submission + - Law School Amplifies Critics Through SLAPP Suit (

An anonymous reader writes: Michigan's Thomas M. Cooley Law School recently filed a lawsuit that appears to be boomeranging in the worst possible way. A little-noticed pseudonymous blogger respectfully disagreed with Cooley's self-awarded number-2 ranking, nationwide (well, perhaps no so respectfully), and had a few other choice things to say. So, Cooley went ahead and hired some lawyers who had graduated from Georgetown and the University of Michigan, to file a lawsuit to unmask the blogger. And EFF cooperating attorney John Hermann got involved. Tech Dirt's Mike Masnick once coined the term "The Streisand Effect" to describe the phenomenon of SLAPP lawsuits that boomerang badly. Is "The Cooley Effect" an even better illustrative term?

Comment Re:Sadly, it was destroyed (Score 1) 139

Sadly, it was destroyed during an accidental "mooning" maneuver the Earth was trying to direct at Venus over some perceived sleight from the previous drunken weekend at the Solar System Club*.

*Membership required.

Note: This was unrelated to the events preceding Pluto's expulsion, which was the result of his fraudulent claims to be an only child.

Comment Re:What utter nonsense (Score 1) 159

Almost no one does just one thing anymore. The screens won't let us.

The screens won't let us?

Yes they will. Seriously! Just close all the windows you have open to things that distract you. The screens won't open them back up! I promise!

You obviously haven't run into rotating popup adds. Close one and two more open. ;-)


Submission + - Murdoch's Drone at The Daily Might Be Illegal (

nonprofiteer writes: The News Corp iPad newspaper has a drone they've been using for news gathering — mainly flying it over disaster zones in N. Dakota and Alabama. However, FAA regulations on drones are mighty restrictive at the moment, and they're not to be used for commercial purposes (tho law enforcement is free to let them fly). FAA now examining Daily's use of its drone. Could set a precedent for how private businesses can use them.

Comment Re:The Economist? (Score 2) 202

The point of the Economist's article is not that Patents are inherently completely useless. It is that patents, as they currently work, slow innovation. They point out that innovating individuals are no longer able to proceed with their inventions because they are being attacked with patent infringement lawsuits as soon as they prove they have a viable product.

One of the interesting points they bring up is the inherent fallacy in the "defensive patent". Since patents are by definition supposed to be given only for things which take unique insight to develop, if your opponent is infringing on your patent by accident, it did not take unique insight to develop it.

I guess my point is, the Economist is advocating Patent Reform, not abolishment of patents. While I am not associated with them, I believe they would likely advocate Copyright Reform, but not copyright abolishment.

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Real Programmers don't write in PL/I. PL/I is for programmers who can't decide whether to write in COBOL or FORTRAN.