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Comment Re:Normally... (Score 5, Informative) 228

Good question!.

As a nerd I am extremely interested in Burning Man because it is one of the largest non commercial technical and logistical collaborations on the planet. If slashdot's collective boner Re: Makerdom, hacking, 3d-printing is an genuine, then there is no fucking way you shouldn't care about Burning Man unless you are coming from a standpoint of ignorance.

Mechanical, civil, software, and probably a dozen other fields of engineering are exercised though the creation of art installations, mutant vehicles, A/V LED displays, pyrotechnics, welding/sclupting etc. Things get made PURLEY FOR THE SAKE OF MAKING SOMETHING THAT SOMEONE MIGHT LIKE TO LOOK AT instead of the tedious bullshit someone pays you to make at the 9 to 5. Makers are out in force at Burning Man and related events, and if you think that this is just some hippy bullshit you are parroting the collective "wisdom" of a handful of internet know it alls, or (and I'm sorry if this is the case) you seriously ran with the wrong crowd. I've gained more meaningful and applied technical experience preparing for events like these than many of my formal technical classes have ever offered. Hell, I got to play with Arduinos, Kinects, and picked up some basic EE for free thanks to art grants.

Yes, there are hippie types. Yes, there are douchebags. Maybe that is true of all events with a population of >40k participants? I am really disappointed at Slashdot's attitude towards events like these because we are using our supposedly vast technical intellect to be dismissive and small towards something that is right up our goddamned alley. We are giving bad advice, plain and simple.

Comment Vocation and Theory are not mutually exclusive. (Score 1) 612

Can anyone answer how this setup prevents a computer science education? They take someone who's not going to college, gives them an incredibly valuable skill and the discipline required of a big person job. They are taught how to work. It puts money in their pocket. They code for 3-5 years, and if they hit a ceiling in the career, they PAY FOR THE CS PROGRAM with the money they saved.

In addition to having grown as a programmer (and finding out firsthand if they have a passion for programming), they are taught the academic theory behind the craft right about the time where they could not advance further without the degree. Not all programs require revolutionary search algorithms. Sometimes a business just needs a website.

To me, this setup makes much more sense than being taught the theory while accumulating debt, then shelving it for 5 years before anyone trusts you to code something outside a framework or a tech lead's supervision. It also makes a lot more sense then teaching someone the ideals of computer science only to slam them into the reality of the working world and burn them out. And hey, the work ethic of a competent programmer makes studying seem like leisure.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 1186

Of all the arguments against tattoos, I feel like the "what about when you're 80, 90, etc." argument is COMPLETELY invalid. Allow me to offer the following thought exercise:

Think of your sweet old grandma. Perhaps someone else's sweet old grandma if need be. Image how awesome she is, sitting there knitting a sweater or baking cookies. Maybe she's going to garage sales or agreeing with Fox News, as grandparents often do. Now imagine your stoic ancient matron with an equally ancient, ferocious tattoo. WHAT?! HOW AWESOME IS THAT?

Seriously, the more ridiculous or dated the tattoo, the better it makes this scenario. A prohibition themed ink would be amazing. "We like Ike" would also be pretty great. Are you going to tell nana that her flamin' buy war bonds skull makes her look unprofessional? I DARE YOU.

At the very least, grandpa's 311 tribal takes a lot of steam out of his "what's wrong with kids these days" rant.


3rd-Grader Busted For Jolly Rancher Possession 804

theodp writes "A third-grader in a small Texas school district received a week's detention for merely possessing a Jolly Rancher. Leighann Adair, 10, was eating lunch Monday when a teacher confiscated the candy. Her parents said she was in tears when she arrived home later that afternoon and handed them the detention notice. But school officials are defending the sentence, saying the school was abiding by a state guideline that banned 'minimal nutrition' foods. 'Whether or not I agree with the guidelines, we have to follow the rules,' said school superintendent Jack Ellis."

Comment The Meta-CAPTCHA (Score 1) 408

Let's make an assumption that the internet will eventually solve any problem you throw at it given enough time...

What if rather than working on the next best CAPTCHA system, sites were to work from a rotating CAPTCHA repository?

Each page load presents a new human interface problem, something simple like a jigsaw puzzle or an image of a tic-tac-toe board with instructions to place an X and an O in a winning/defending position. In addition to each visual directive, there could also be a random text directive inserted to compound the problem (i.e, saying something like "after selecting the item, wait at least X seconds before clicking X button.)"

If your thinking in pseudo-code, the parsing of the text input isn't particularly challenging, and something like the tic-tac-toe is a solvable image problem, given time. However, if the captcha is being drawn from a growing database of imaging problems/verbal directives, then the captcha becomes not only solving the captcha, but identifying what kind of captcha is being presented.

As the captcha count increases a spammer/coder would have less and less time to hit the moving target and distribute their script before the next problem appears. This doesn't solve the problem of 3rd world captcha farming, but at least people might eat as a result of that economy.

This seems to me like a viable solution for the time being, though I'd like to refer to my first assumption for the long-haul.

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