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Comment Re:what about TN visas? (Score 1) 442

TN Visas actually don't allow for Software Developers. There are Computer Systems Analysts, but any talk of programming will cause the visa to be rejected. I'm a dual Canadian/Australian citizen who works in the USA on an E-3 visa even though it's more expensive to process the paperwork.

Comment Focus on requirements and design (Score 1) 430

Take a very simple application that keeps a list of what money you get, and what you spend it on. A simple display screen of Amount Reason Then explain you need to add two buttons - add money and spend money. Each button opens up a screen where you enter the information, explain how you need fields to enter the data, and buttons to go OK. Then you can go, what if you hit the button by mistake? You need a cancel button. Around this time you need to talk about how dumb computers are, and how you have to tell them every single little detail of what needs to happen. Then assuming the OK button is hit, you need to update the screen to add the new Amount and Reason. After you explain the above (use a blackboard to draw simple versions of what the screen should look like), you will have spent probably 15 minutes explaining what you had to go through at least. Then, if you have the resources, open up something like excel. Explain that each and every little menu and option and button requires just as much if not more analysis like what you just described - and that keeping track of all that information with such detail gets very difficult. And voila, you've largely explained what software development is all about, without touching code.

Comment Re:False opening statement (Score 1) 554

That was taken into consideration. From the viewpoint of developers and users, distribution costs are free. Yes, someone pays for it, but the cost is so low that it is provided for free to the participants. Even if we are talking p2p distribution, the distribution costs are at least fixed, which has a similar effect (sorry, it's been a while since I've taken economics).

There's always a fine line when to keep your post simple, and when to write an essay :)

Comment False opening statement (Score 4, Insightful) 554

"Most people in the West, including myself, were indoctrinated with the notion that extending the power of individuals necessarily diminishes the power of the state, and vice versa"

What? Western culture has been about empowering the individual, about heroes. Conversely, communist nations such as Russia and China are less about individuals, and more about "the good of many outweighs the good of the few".

Additionally, the "free" software you see isn't an affront to free market principles, in fact it is an application of "when a product has an infinitely increasing returns to scale, cost tends towards distribution costs", and since distribution costs are free, well, hello open source.

Open source is very much a product of western, capitalist countries that PROMOTE the power of the individual.


Submission + - Has Science Become Corrupted?

An anonymous reader writes: Has Science Become Corrupted?

An award winning science author, Gary Taubes has written a book that pans the medical community's treatment of the obesity epidemic. By itself, that isn't particularly worth our time. Diet books are a dime a dozen and we don't cover them on Slashdot anyway.

What is interesting is that it looks like the medical community is behaving in a very unscientific manner. Taubes points out that the current medical orthodoxy has no basis in research. In fact, all the available research points in quite another (more traditional) direction. Here is BoingBoing's take on the story. You can follow the link from there to an excellent podcast of an interview with Taubes on CBC's 'Quirks and Quarks'.

The medical community seems to defer unthinkingly to authority. For instance, when Britain's most respected paediatrician Sir Roy Meadow came up with a crackpot theory (which I thought we have covered on Slashdot but can't find) that sent innocent people to jail, the courts and the medical community bought it hook line and sinker. Of course, he isn't the only one in that boat. Pathologists all over the world have sent innocent people to jail. There's a case in Ontario, Canada right now of a pathologist who screwed up more than twenty cases and sent several people to jail.

People who study expert behavior have found that people need feedback to maintain their expertise. If they don't get the feedback by the nature of the system or because others are too intimidated/lazy to disagree with them, their behavior becomes non-expert. Ericsson points out that surgeons get better as they get older but mammographers don't. Surgeons get feedback immediately. The patient lives or dies. Mammographers may never find out if they are right or wrong.

So, has medicine become a non-science? Is it mostly a non-science? Somewhat? Can physicists feel smug with their repeatable experiments or do they have some 'splainin to do about string theory?

Submission + - 'Opt Out' soon or Verizon will sell your CPNI 1

Rothfuss writes: "I actually opened and read one of the 'Updates to my Customer Agreement Terms and Conditions' that I received from Verizon today. I have no idea why. This one explains that they will be upgrading my service by assuming (unless I tell them otherwise) that I am willing to let them sell my Customer Proprietary Network Information or give it to anyone they choose. Apparently that will help me. However, the FCC won't let them do this without your permission — like, for example *not* calling them and opting out. If you are a Verizon customer and would like to opt out, you can do so by calling 1-800-333-9956. Ask to speak to Mr. Prosser."

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