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Comment Re:Isn't it obvious ? (Score 5, Interesting) 210

I have a bachelor's degree in math, and I graduated with a 4.0 GPA. Though I realize that's not all that impressive among the Slashdot crowd, I have done math that would make most normal men weep, and I excelled at it. However, if you were to come up to me and ask me what 7*13 is, I would turn white as a sheet, stammer a bit, and, after several minutes, give you an answer that is likely incorrect. There's just something about being put on the spot like that that shifts my brain into panic mode.

Comment Re:To be used in court cases how? (Score 3, Insightful) 438

The brain is a physical thing, and the brain is what makes us do stuff, like think or act. I'm relatively certain that if we stick around long enough, we'll figure out what parts of the brain cause anyone to do anything, and thus every action, from eating cereal to stabbing puppies, will be subject to a "I couldn't help myself" kind of defense. That's fine with me, but we still need to figure out what to do with the people who "choose" to skip breakfast in order to stab more puppies.

Certainly, we can sympathize with them if they truly could not help themselves, but the fact remains that we'd like to have as few puppy stabbers running around as possible. "3 hots and cot" seems like the best option to me; isolate them from the society that they can't fit into for that society's benefit, but don't go out of your way to make life hell for them either. It'll be a long time before that view is accepted though. We really want to believe that the puppy stabber is a bad person who must be punished, and that we would have chosen differently given the exact same brain.

Or, I'm full of crap and scientists will soon discover FreeWillnium, a substance not subject to the laws of physics, found in the brains of all humans and sufficiently cute puppies.

Learning Joomla! 1.5 Extension Development 73

Michael J. Ross writes "Every major content management system (CMS) offers considerable functionality for building Web sites out of the box. But to get the most out of any CMS, its functionality must be extended through the addition of modules, most of which are created by third-party developers. For instance, a given CMS may need to be supplemented by an e-commerce module in order to use that CMS for building an online store. Joomla, one of the most widely used CMSs, is no exception. Web developers interested in creating their own Joomla extensions can read Learning Joomla! 1.5 Extension Development, authored by Joseph LeBlanc." Read below for the rest of Michael's review.

Comment Re:Contracts are premature (Score 3, Insightful) 438

You've got a lot of good information in this post, and I enjoyed reading it, but is it overkill for someone who is just looking for a few jobs "in the meantime" to get him through to his next full-time employment?

I've not been in this situation (yet (knocks on wood)), but I've known a few guys who have, and they never got anywhere near this serious about things. They acted professionally, sure, but they didn't attack it in the manner you suggest. They got a couple of odd jobs here and there from contacts from previous jobs, worked real hard so as to leave a good impression, and then started their next full-time, "real" job.

C# Memory Leak Torpedoed Princeton's DARPA Chances 560

nil0lab writes "In a case of 20/20 hindsight, Princeton DARPA Grand Challenge team member Bryan Cattle reflects on how their code failed to forget obstacles it had passed. It was written in Microsoft's C#, which isn't supposed to let you have memory leaks. 'We kept noticing that the computer would begin to bog down after extended periods of driving. This problem was pernicious because it only showed up after 40 minutes to an hour of driving around and collecting obstacles. The computer performance would just gradually slow down until the car just simply stopped responding, usually with the gas pedal down, and would just drive off into the bush until we pulled the plug. We looked through the code on paper, literally line by line, and just couldn't for the life of us imagine what the problem was.'"

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