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Comment Re:Fatal flaw (Score 1) 405

I wholeheartedly agree. The study is actually quite flawed and the article aludes to as much. If I am working in an area I am unfamiliar with, music may hinder me. But if I am working in a realm where I fully understand all the pieces and I just need to tie it together in a useful way (e.g. software design), music absolutely helps. I get into my own head and feel almost inspired by the music to work faster. Sometimes even knowing the lyrics helps. It really depends.

Then there is this:

"A problem with the music is the assumption that the familiar music is familiar."

Apparently the testees were not allowed to pick their music, but music "assumed to be familiar" was chosen for them (I think I am safe in inferring as much). This would be pure rubbish for an introvert. If I have to listen to music I am familiar with (enough that I can even tell you what key it's written in and play the melody) but absolutely detest. I will be so unhappy and distracted by my misery that I will, absolutely, peform worse than with silence.

In other words, this study is pure shit. The hypothesis is far too generic and the execution is fatally flawed.

Comment Re:Of course (Score 2) 648

Amazon does... sort of, but not really. That's actually my complaint. It depends on the network. Many series are incomplete (see the Simpsons, unless you really like the last ten years of it) or are only available for streaming after they have been released on DVD (anything by HBO). That's asinine.

Comment Re:Of course (Score 5, Insightful) 648

I know. I'd even be okay with buying episodes of shows as they air, not to coincide with some poorly done DVD release (hello, HBO) if they exist at all. In lieu of sane options, piracy is all that's left.

The cabal of advertisers, cable companies, and television networks are all so worried about losing viewers that they've decided to strap their sinking ships together. Because that's a grand idea. It worked very well for the music industry. Who wants to rock out to my Nickelback CDs? After that we can watch a movie on my DIVX (not DivX player!

Comment Re:Total binspam - why was this even posted? (Score 1) 324

This is some John C Dvorak level useless information. I'd advise anyone looking at buying a tv to do anything but watch this. It's rambling and about the level of discussion you'll get from a Best Buy salesman. His blog is also full of misinformation. This is binspam.

Comment Re:Community resistance (Score 3, Insightful) 589

You touch on something, but I think there are deeper issues at work here.

(FWIW, I welcome their involvement in OSS. There is quite a bit of historical social machinery that stands in the way and someone needs to do something about it.)

Every few months (YMMV), it seems that there is a story on /. about a lack of women in science and engineering. Some posters on this particular topic have also suggested that very few women pursue "geeky" endeavors in their free time. From a very arm-chair/anecdotal position, I think these both have some of the main root cause: from a young age women are not encouraged to pursue technology or science in the same way boys are.

There are many factors for this, it's not as simple as saying that "the parents are doing a bad job" or "it's the schools". Like most things, it's not that black and white. As a boy, for a variety of reasons, I spent many hours reading books, tinkering, and generally "being by myself" that led to how I solve problems and spurred me on my way in my interests. My sisters, under the auspices of a very liberal, slightly disconnected intellectual, were given the same sort of options, but followed their peers more: socializing, etc. But I cannot rightly claim that this is what happens to everyone. What I can say is that it does seem like even children are encouraged in different paths by the whole of society and that this is hard to fight, but should start somewhere. Did my teachers encourage males to "be nerdy" and females to be social? Are there different pressures exerted on young girls, not just by their families, but by media?

If we take that disparity between male and female at an academic level (that is, the difference in enrollment/matriculation under science and technology by the sexes) and then envision those graduates as working professionals, the numbers make more sense. If (these are purely made up numbers to illustrate a point) 75% of graduates in, say, Computer Science are males and only 20% of graduates go on to contribute to OSS, there is a good chance that the make up of the OSS contributing graduates will be predominately male (there is no guarantee, of course... it could well be that that 20% is part of the 25% of female graduates in my made up scenario, but ceteris paribus you'd not expect that).

I don't think this has as much to do with salary as it does these other social rules and the existing social frameworks that exist. That is why groups like the Ada Initiative may seem backwards to some, but are needed. Someone needs to encourage the young (and old) women on the fence that they can contribute to OSS, that it's okay to be geeky. Someone needs to set these examples for girls so that they don't fall into the age old traps of misogyny.

Additional food for thought: I do many technical interviews and I see very few females who contribute to OSS in them, but a sad majority of the men are often quite bigoted and not as liberal as they would like to believe. That is to say, anecdotally, there is sometimes a correlation with OSS work and poor empathy skills which result in these types of problems (groping, etc). Sometimes this social outsider "dive into books" sort of thing that may contribute to the division to begin with, also makes some men who's social skills are undeveloped (to put it nicely) and pathetic (to put it bluntly).

Comment Re:CS 101 (Score 1) 405

To write re-usable, well-designed Objective-C on iOS takes a deft hand and you're right, there are a great deal of poorly written applications in Apple's App Store (Objective-C on iOS has no garbage collection and is much closer to, duh, C crossed with Smalltalk than anything else... there's nothing as raw as malloc, so it will allocate an appropriate amount of bits off the heap when the alloc message is sent, but you do have to worry about reference counting and telling the runtime that an object is safe for reclaiming. Very different from a mark and sweep type scheme where you can get away with not worrying about it, though that is bad too. Hell all the foundation classes still have a NextStep prefix!).

That, however (as is being pointed out by seebs et al) not the point.

At all.

This is not "App Store" code, this is code that is part of the OS... this would be like complaining about how unstable KDE is because KCalc crashes on you. Or, perhaps more appropriately, about poorly written VB apps (wink) in .NET when you have issues with Windows Media Player (a better, though still piss poor analogy).

I agree that it is far too easy for any joe (educated formally or not) to write rather shit apps, but that's just the way of things (to throw my hat into the fallacy of "appeal to authority" I've been "pro coding" since I was twenty and have the CS credentials trailing up to a Master's, but that doesn't make me right... or a good developer).

This is really a red herring, but to be fair, a good CS education isn't really an education in programming: it requires programming and touches on SE aspects of good design, but it is also an education in problem solving. Cyclomatic complexity, time complexity, good design, exposure to alternate paradigms (not just OO, but Functional and perhaps Aspect Oriented, etc), and a thorough awareness of important issues (tail recursion, memory management, etc) are things that one usually understands after having been through a decent program and, to be fair, I've met very few "self taught" or non-CS folks who understand all of those issues... but I have met some CS folks who don't know about any of them either. All that to say, that you could be a damn fine developer without a formal education, though that is much more rare.

As an aside, you will see a great deal of "I know JavaScript and Perl so I thought I had a good programming foundation" complaints in comments/reviews/discussions on iOS development. So there clearly are some chaps who are very confused about what, say, an O'Reilly book jacket means about "designed for experience programmers" and all that.

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"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982