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Comment rewards first, luchre later (Score 1) 844

If you want programming to be a lucrative career, you have to think of it as a rewarding career first. A lowish starting salary in a company where you can learn the trade is going to serve you better in the long than a high starting salary with an outfit with no ability or interest for assisting your technical development. To para-borrow, if you're smart and get things done you can get yourself a good salary.

Comment Re:Visual Studio replacement on Linux (Score 1) 310

I work in Visual Studio every day during the week, and use Eclipse to pursue non-MS interests when I can. Without having investigated many other open source IDE's, I will say that I think Eclipse is fantastic. (that being why I didn't really investigate further) VS might be more polished and focused in many ways, but Eclipse has amazing breadth and functionality. Sure some of the quirks are irritating, but that is true of any complicated tool.


Submission + - T-rays used to see through opaque material. ( 2

dumuzi writes: T-rays may make X-rays obsolete as a means of detecting bombs on terrorists or illegal drugs on traffickers, among other uses, contends a Texas A&M physicist who is helping lay the theoretical groundwork to make the concept a reality. In addition to being more revealing than X-rays in some situations, T-rays do not have the cumulative possible harmful effects." Alexey Belyanin focuses his research on terahertz, otherwise known as THz or T-rays, which he says is the most under-developed and under-used part of the electromagnetic spectrum. It lies between microwave radiation and infrared (heat) radiation.

"THz radiation can penetrate through opaque dry materials. It is harmless and can be used to scan humans," Belyanin says. "Unfortunately, until recently the progress in THz technology has been hampered by a lack of suitable sources and detectors.""The highlight of our results is observations of interference of magnetoplasmons. By tiny changes in the applied magnetic field or temperature, we can make plasma waves amplify or cancel each other. This makes the whole sample either completely opaque or transparent to the incident THz radiation.


Submission + - Geek Squad Wouldn't Honor Netbook's Warranty (

supersloshy writes: The Consumerist reports an incident where an anonymous reader's netbook's protection plan was apparently voided when he installed Linux on it. "The manager of the Geek Squad informed me that installing Ubuntu Linux on my machine voided my warranty, and that I could only have it serviced if the original Windows installation was restored.", says the anonymous reader. However, his problem was because his "touchpad and power adapter had been broken", which is clearly a hardware issue. He re-installed Windows so he could have them repair his netbook, but they insisted that Linux caused the problem and kicked him out of the store.

Submission + - Web-controlled snow machine (

An anonymous reader writes: We've mashed up a lot of technologies we normally use (AJAX, Django, SSH, and Python) with a few that we don't (special effects equipment and DMX controllers). The result is a snow machine controlled by the internet — we'll be blogging about our full setup once we've finished being buried under all the snow.

Oh, and don't worry it's not real snow. It's shredded paper that we'll be composting once we shut down for Christmas.

We'll certainly be enjoying a white Christmas, we hope you do too!

Comment Judgment -- Overturned -- Settlement (Score 2, Informative) 647

"one of which (the '906) was successfully used in litigation against Microsoft Corp for a $565 million judgement." (sic)

This isn't clear from the article, but other sources indicate that the judgment in question was overturned on appeal, and the case then settled out of court, presumably, for a lesser, but still staggering amount of money.

Comment Re:gone (Score 1) 1093

I don't disagree with any of the arguments you have made, but I think you underestimate the importance of both "idiots" and sound-bites. Policy comes from politicians, not scientists. In a representative democracy, politicians are (loosely) accountable to the electorate, consisting largely of "idiots", who, particularly on complex issues, tend to base their views on sound-bites. If the scientific community, and those who support it, neglect to generate compelling sound-bites and to dispel un-scientific ones, then policies for a given issue will tend to be driven by the rhetorical value of the sound-bites surrounding the issue.

Comment Testability (Score 1) 477

While coding style is certainly important, the most clearly written, nicely commented, richly documented source possible can't tell you if the code does what it's intended to. Formal coding standards may help mitigate the difficulty of debugging and modifying a program, but I think can you get a lot more bang for your buck by implementing a solid testing framework. If I had to pick between coding behind someone with great style, or someone with great unit tests, I'd take the latter.

Comment Re:Silly (Score 1) 482

Purpose is an abstraction of the need to survive. If you want something smart,

1. Start with something simple, mutable, and capable of self reproduction (like a virus or p2p software)
2. Threaten it constantly and ruthlessly
3. Lather, rinse, repeat (billions of times)
4. Hide

Comment Re-interpretation of findings (Score 1) 386

Stanford scientists have again proven, that anomalous results can, in fact, be generated by choosing unrepresentative models for a behavior or phenomena under study. A particular key for reaching such results in this study was to replace the simultaneous performance of multiple tasks with performing a single task involving multiple inputs and success criteria.

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