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Comment An old quote (Score 1) 347

Back when I was in second year comp sci (mid/late 90s) we had a course which was roughly titled "Programming in C". The basics of C were covered in a single week; after that it was all about algorithms etc... One of the students asked the professor why we had gone over learning the language so quickly to which he gave an answer which has stuck with me to the current day:

"We are not here to teach you C. C is only a tool. We are here to teach you how to solve problems."

That's what your degree is about. Gaining the knowledge and background to solve problems.

User Journal

Journal Journal: .Tornados hit Springfield again 4

Lucky for me, it wasn't my Springfield, but the Springfield in Massachusetts. Unlike when the tornados hit Springfield, IL, the ones in Massachusetts killed four people. The AP article's description sounds exactly like what I went through:


Estimating Game Piracy More Accurately 459

An anonymous reader tips a post up at the Wolfire blog that attempts to pin down a reasonable figure for the amount of sales a game company loses due to piracy. We've commonly heard claims of piracy rates as high as 80-90%, but that clearly doesn't translate directly into lost sales. The article explains a better metric: going on a per-pirate basis rather than a per-download basis. Quoting: "iPhone game developers have also found that around 80% of their users are running pirated copies of their game (using jailbroken phones). This immediately struck me as odd — I suspected that most iPhone users had never even heard of 'jailbreaking.' I did a bit more research and found that my intuition was correct — only 5% of iPhones in the US are jailbroken. World-wide, the jailbreak statistics are highest in poor countries — but, unsurprisingly, iPhones are also much less common there. The highest estimate I've seen is that 10% of worldwide iPhones are jailbroken. Given that there are so few jailbroken phones, how can we explain that 80% of game copies are pirated? The answer is simple — the average pirate downloads a lot more games than the average customer buys. This means that even though games see that 80% of their copies are pirated, only 10% of their potential customers are pirates, which means they are losing at most 10% of their sales."
The Courts

Submission + - RIAA steers clear of colleges that resist 4

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that 22 institutions have been targeted in the RIAA's new round of attacks. I notice that the RIAA continues to steer clear of Harvard. Could it be because of this or this? And I notice it isn't serving any more subpoenas on the University of Oregon... could it be because of this or this? And I don't see any more subpoenas to College of William & Mary or George Washington University or University of South Florida of University of New Mexico. Could that have to do with this or this or this or this? There seems to be a pattern here. The RIAA is staying away from places where it might have a fight on their hands."
The Internet

Submission + - 'Ocean's Eleven' Heist Hits London Data Center (

miller60 writes: "Thieves impersonating policemen stole more than $4 million in IT equipment from a Verizon data center in London Thursday night in an incident UK papers are labeling an "Ocean's Eleven" heist. A team of five bandits dressed as cops said they were investigating a report of people on the roof of the building. Once they talked their way in, they tied up the security guards and stole equipment, knocking parts of the facility offline. This follows an incident last month in which robbers cut through the wall of a Chicago data center and stole gear. The two robberies illustrate the range of security challenges faced by data centers, which must guard against social engineering as well as physical security and access control."

Submission + - Computerworld's 2007 IT Salary Report (

jcatcw writes: "Computerworld's 21 Annual Salary Survey has some good news and some bad. The good news is that salaries are going up at a more rapid pace than they have been in the past few years. The bad news is that not everyone in IT is getting those benefits. Use the Smart Salary Tool 2007 for easy comparisons across regions, industries and job titles. According to the survey, application development skills are in greatest demand by hiring managers. Survey respondents said writing and public speaking are two of the most important soft skills they look for when hiring new employees."

Submission + - Demonoid down again (

Dianoga writes: Once again, the popular private bittorrent site is unavailable. Their regular site has been replaced by the message: "The CRIA threatened the company renting the servers to us, and because of this it is not possible to keep the site online. Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for your understanding."

Submission + - How Microsoft Knifed its CIO 1

theodp writes: "As the COO of the newly CIO-less Microsoft whoops it up in Dubai at the Microsoft Gulf 2007 CIO Summit, Valleywag hears rumors that Microsoft leaked news of CIO Stuart Scott's dismissal for an unspecified 'violation of company policies' as his family was grieving over his sister's death. An obituary notice seems to confirm that on the same day Scott's family attended a memorial service for his sister, Microsoft set an unusually public media blitz in motion in lieu of flowers. Could just be an unfortunate coincidence, although sympathy may not be a Microsoft core competency."
The Media

Submission + - Canadian RCMP's abandon the Music piracy fight ! ( 1

Laindraug writes: "The 'Le Devoir' French canadian Montreal Newspaper had a front page title today ( november 8) that said (once traduced) : 'Pirates can sleep well' : RCMP'S is abandoning the fight against music piracy because 'its just too big to fight against' ` The newspaper also shows the difference between Canada and USA, stating that in october, Jammie Thomas in USA was condemned to a 220 000$ dollar fine for having downloaded 24 mp3's..and in Canada, there will just be no more police to look at this kind of piracy. 'Today, its so simple to copy, everybody is clueless on how to fight this' , as stated by Canadian RCMP's. Canadian Pirates, rejoice."

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Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Mother Nature cannot be fooled. -- R.P. Feynman