Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Self-taught is great. The language is the glossary (Score 2) 80

> I taught myself PHP

That's awesome. I respect anyone who has the desire to learn, the puts in the work, and has the discipline to see it through.

PHP is of course a language, a set of vocabulary. At the back of any textbook, you'll find a glossary, the language or vocabulary used in the book. You've already learned the language, the glossary, of PHP programming. If you look, you may find there's a lot of cool stuff in the other parts of the book, systems architecture stuff, software engineering, analysis of algorithms, etc.

You need to learn a programming language or two before you learn analysis of algorithms or software engineering, because the languages are the vocabulary words of the field.

To give a concrete example, when I started my current job, the company had a software system that worked - mostly. A team programmers had worked several years on it, and all knew the language they were working in. Customers just wanted it to be faster. It was definitely too slow. Although it was my first month on the job, when I heard the complaints of slowness I said in a meeting "I'd like to take a look at that; I can probably make it 20%-30% faster easily enough for now, then do more after I understand how it all works." The team was rather skeptical, in fact they chuckled out loud at my claim, saying "I rather doubt you can do that". "How long do you think that'll take?", they asked. "Give me a week", I said, though I hadn't yet seen the code. They laughed again, hundreds of thousands of lines of code and this new guy was going to make it 20%-40% faster in a WEEK? Doubtful, they said. To put me in my place, they said "sure, go ahead and try that [wiseguy]."

As I left the meeting I realized I had just taken a big risk. When I went home I told my wife that I had just bet my reputation at the new job on a claim I only hoped I could fulfill. If I failed, it would establish that I'm an arrogant prick. If I succeeded, I'd be known as possibly the best programmer in the building.

Well a week later I had it running 30% faster. Why could I, in a week, make drastic improvements to code they'd been trying to speed up for months and years, code I'd never even seen before? They all knew the language almost as good as I did. But I had been taught to study much more than the language. They knew C, Perl, and Erlang; I knew algorithms and cache theory. So in a week I did in fact make major improvements to their years of work.

Now, I'm going to go upstairs and check the progress of my benchmark. Now six months into the job, a major customer again complained about slowness, so I've been looking at that for a few days. I hope to see that my three day's work has made the system another 20% faster. I'm a tad nervous because I need to impress the new boss, I think that by learning more than just the language (glossary terms) I'll be able to do that.

Comment Can still ask permission, or fair use (Score 1) 139

It is perhaps worth noting that the guidelines are an additional grant of license by Paramount / CBS. People who want to do something outside of those guidelines can still ask permission, and I suspect it would be granted if it were in the same spirit as what the guidelines envision.

Of course, people can also still make Fair Use works, and "not for profit" gets you halfway to fair use.

> Star Trek Continues also violates the guidelines, but I have a hard time seeing how their copyright infringement is harmful to CBS/Paramount in any significant way.

It appears CBS and Paramount may agree with you - they haven't taken any enforcement action against Star Trek Continues, as far as I know.

I don't think CBS and Paramount could announce a policy of allowing "non-profit" use with professional cast and crew. They can be forced to honor whatever policy they publish, and a producer could pay himself a salary of $1 million. No "profit", that's his salary as professional producer.

Comment Re:Good idea, bad name (Score 1) 112

The name "autopilot" isn't confusing at all if you think of it as an analogue of the autopilot in a commercial airplane

Yeah, it's not confusing, all I have to do is think about it for a bit, then read the article you linked to, and everything will be clarified.

As a software developer, I can tell you that all my users are totally willing to put that kind of effort into understanding. They really try to understand I'm not being sarcastic here at all.

Comment Re:Good idea, bad name (Score 1) 112

Because if they come up with a better name, all problems are solved. They don't have to go around with complicated explanations telling people about their misconceptions. Or maybe you think it's easy to go around telling people they have misconceptions about what words mean?

Rename it, it's just easier.

Comment They compete in many projects, share community (Score 1) 70

The hardware is vastly different between the Arduino and the Pi, but in neither instance is the hardware the point. The point is all the community and everything which makes them easy to use, even for hobbyists.

At work we had a "show and tell" type event for a while. One guy brought his RPi, which he had hooked up to some triacs (think relays) to allow it to turn 120V devices on and off. I shared that I had built almost exactly the same thing with an Arduino. (I had also done the same with an old Pentium I got from the scrap pile). So same project, he used an RPi, I used an Arduino.

I'm not the only person who owns both RPi and Arduino - they attract some of the same buyers and community members. Sometimes when thinking about a project, I'm not sure at first if I want to do it with the Arduino or with the Pi. The Arduino probably *could* handle it, but there wouldn't be room left to add features later. So this Arduino I have right here and this Pi I have in this red case directly compete for my projects, even though the hardware is vastly different.

Comment Re:Squirrels spread their attacks conveniently (Score 1) 128

I feel like you have a reasonable assessment of the security problems the country faces, but I think you underestimate the resources required to exploit them. It's probably takes more than five malware assisted spies to take down the infrastructure (say, the power grid). It takes a lot of training, expertise, and if you want to target SCADA systems, a lot of expensive equipment, and if you want to attack hardware that is properly air-gapped, then even more effort and a bit of luck, too. It's not a cheap operation to take down a big system (which is why no hacker has done it yet for the lulz although maybe they are trying?)

Comment Re: How much is PUTIN getting? (Score 1) 284

I'm sure your impactful work benefits mankind no end.

His work helps get (and keeps) people employed. Putting food on the table for an unknown number of people and their families.

So, at least in the short term, their work is more important than some jackass screaming "Global Warming! Global Warming!" while jumping up and down with their hair on fire and hoping someone will give them a grant so THEY can put food on the table.

Comment Re:Hopefully It's The UI Design and Privacy Teams (Score 1) 153

I would fire the guy who made the registry to begin with. It was always a bad idea.

The registry as originally created was actually a great idea. Every program still used ini files for it's own settings, but you had the registry, very small at the time, as a sort of "global ini file" for things like file associations that needed to be centralized. A lightweight DB-style approach was safer for third parties to edit than a tree of text files - it actually limited the damage of an installer bug.

Then some asshole got the idea to move all program settings into the registry, and a ton of OS settings that could have stayed in ini files, and the downhill slide began. By the era of Win95 it had gone to a very bad place, and never really recovered.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Regardless of the legal speed limit, your Buick must be operated at speeds faster than 85 MPH (140kph)." -- 1987 Buick Grand National owners manual.

Working...