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Comment Language Learning (Score 1) 537

So here is the skinny on companies for developers:
1) The guys who use you like a tool:
- Want you to know a specific language already and expect you to be able to churn out code like a bored Amish wife making butter.
- Don't care about how much "programming" or "conceptual programming" knowledge you know, rather just want the job done.
- Usually pays pretty low.
2) The guys at say... IBM:
- Expect you to know your conceptual programming knowledge
- Expect you to know at least one language pretty solid so that learning other languages (such as their legacy languages like PLMI) comes easy
- Expect you to ESPECIALLY know how to make your code run 100% efficiently (I.E. knowing performance statistics compared to other languages, and how they run native on some machines, etc.)
- Pay scale is usually pretty baller for a developer in this kind of field

So it's pretty much either one of those. It's useful when you know a lot of languages because its like having more tools on your work bench. If you don't know how each tool works or how it can be used outside of it's "functional" schema, then there's a problem. School can't teach you what you need to know necessarily, it can only provide the foundation for experience to be constructed upon. In other words, think about the job you want in the future (somewhere in the realms listed above), and then study accordingly.
PC Games (Games)

Experimental Video Game Evolves Its Own Content 167

Ken Stanley writes "Just as interest in user-generated content in video games is heating up, a team of researchers at the University of Central Florida has released an experimental multiplayer game in which content items compete with each other in an evolutionary arms race to satisfy the players. As a result, particle system-based weapons, which are the evolving class of content, continually invent their own new behaviors based on what users liked in the past. Does the resulting experience in this game, called Galactic Arms Race, suggest that evolutionary algorithms may be the key to automated content generation in future multiplayer gaming and MMOs?"

Railway Workers Get Daily Smile Scans 385

More than 500 workers at Japan's, Keihin Electric Express Railway, must have their faces scanned each morning to determine their optimum smile. The "smile scan" analyzes a smile based on facial characteristics, from lip curves and eye movements to wrinkles. After the program scans you, it produces a smile rating that ranges from zero to 100 depending on the estimated potential of your biggest smile. If your number is sufficient, you can go about your day grinning like a maniac. If your smile number is too low the computer will give you a message such as, "lift up your mouth corners" or "you still look too serious." Every morning employees receive a printout of their daily smile which they are expected to keep with them throughout the day.

Comment The Odd Developer (Score 1) 601

Usually when I run into blocks (like when I was writing a very light weight yet powerful, spelling-tolerant javascript search engine) I would go on a walk for about 15-20 minutes. If that still didn't work (which most of the time it did), I consulted my boss and/or google. If he had no idea how to put my ideas to paper (or google for that matter), I would sit upside-down in my office chair for about 5-10 minutes (that never helped, but it sure did pass 5-10 minutes and made my methodology for programming appear very foreign/entertaining for my co-workers). Then the weekend would come, and I would spend 2 days away from a computer and relaxing. This always put my head back in the game.

Iran Tries To Pacify Protesters With Lord of The Rings Marathon 419

Iranian state television's Channel Two is playing a Lord of the Rings marathon in an attempt to keep people inside watching hobbits and not protesting in the streets. Normally, people in Tehran are treated to one or two Hollywood movies a week, but with recent events the government hopes that sitting through a nine-hour trilogy will take the fight out of most of the protesters. Perhaps this was not the best choice in films if you want your people not to believe that "even the smallest person can change the course of the future."

Comment Dependent on what we interpret as important? (Score 1) 288

Makes you wonder if that also has anything to do with the content of the conversation. Seems like when I call someone I know, or receive a call from someone I know I use my left ear. Every time I make calls at my job (Hitachi Engineering) I always use my right ear... maybe because I know I'm relaying/receiving important information? Now that would be an interesting side study...

Reporters Find US Gov't Data In Ghana Market 154

narramissic writes "'Hundreds and hundreds of documents about government contracts,' were found on a hard drive purchased at a market in Ghana for the bargain basement price of $40, said Peter Klein, an associate professor with the University of British Columbia, who led an investigation into the global electronic waste business for the PBS show Frontline. The hard drive had belonged to US government contractor Northrop Grumman and in a made-for-TV ironic twist, 'some of the documents talked about how to recruit airport screeners and several of them even covered data security practices,' Klein said. 'Here were these contracts being awarded based on their ability to keep the data safe.'"

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