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Comment Levitates like a beach ball? (Score 1) 159

Now I can understand that the BBC felt the need to fill the article with stupid comparisons, but why can't the summary here just replace them with ellipses for the sake of the presumably more technical readership here? One would think that the typical slashdot reader would understand 600 Mrpm just fine and wouldn't need such twaddle as "This spin speed is half a million times faster than a domestic washing machine and more than a thousand times faster than a dental drill" for edification.

Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm just old and bitter. Now get off of my lawn.

Comment Can't follow simple instructions? (Score 1) 430

If you can't follow a simple style guideline, what does that say about the rest of your code? When reviewing code, if I start to see a pattern of not adhering to the coding standards, I'll kick it back immediately. Why? Well, if you can't figure that out, then I don't expect you can figure out whatever algorithm you're working on either.

Coding standards are in place to enforce consistency throughout a code base and to save developer time. When reading code, you shouldn't have to be scanning for how things are indented or whether or not a bug is caused by a dangling else, you should be able to focus on the code. Looking through inconsistently formatted code takes additional time and effort - not much, but scale to a few thousand developers over a period of years, and that's a serious amount of wasted effort.

As others have said, if you want to write code your way, do it on your own time.


Thousands of Blackbirds Fall From Sky Dead 577

Dan East writes "In a fashion worthy of a King or Hitchcock novel, blackbirds began to fall from the sky dead in Arkansas yesterday. Somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 birds rained down on the small town of Beeb, Arkansas, with no visible trauma. Officials are making wild guesses as to what happened — lightning strike, high-altitude hail, or perhaps trauma from the sound of New Year's fireworks killed them."

Comment Flash cards (Score 1) 237

The low-tech kind. When learning Russian I was able to memorize a new wordlist (40-50 words) in 10-20 minutes after having written them all out on flash cards. The writing itself was a major part of the learning process. As for retention once learned, a lot of practice is really the only way. Reading out loud is actually fairly helpful, and conversation is the very best.

Comment A tent in Afghanistan... (Score 1) 1127

...in the middle of summer with a broken air conditioner and a RAID whose power supply kept beeping loudly because it was sensitive to the fluctuations in voltage provided by our loud diesel generator parked just outside. I was coding up an interface to an Access '97 database on stripped down Win2k running on a very dirty laptop (mud made from the very fine dust I was breathing combined with the sweat dripping off my fingers would occasionally cause a key to stop working) in Perl using OLE, with *no* internet access and little documentation. Funny thing was, I actually was having a pretty good time.

Comment Re:more nonsense from the same people (Score 1) 242

That's one of the cool things about virtual machines: physical addresses in a VM are, in fact, virtual addresses. And anyways, I'm not sure about Xen and friends, but vmware has its own BIOS and own SMM code, and taking control of one VM's SMM (which none of these exploits can do, so it's a moot point) wouldn't affect the rest of of the host system at all.

Comment No degree worked for me (Score 2, Interesting) 1123

I've dropped out of college six or so times (depends on how you count) and still don't have a degree. Nevertheless I'm holding a very technical and highly challenging and enjoyable programming position and absolutely no one I work with cares in the least about my interrupted education. What they do care about is my technical ability and I wouldn't have been hired if I hadn't been able to impress the engineers I interviewed with.

That said, the company I work for isn't too large, and I was referred by a friend, so I was able to clear the first hurdle of just getting noticed. It's unfortunate, but with larger companies especially, a decidedly non-technical person (or an equivalent SQL query) will be reviewing your resume and will only be looking for certain magic keywords. My advice is to make sure you're solid technically (which you should be anyways), then either try at smaller companies where you're more likely to be noticed, or impress someone and have them bring your resume in. There are, I'm sure, other ways to go about this, but that's my experience. Good luck.

GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - RMS Talks about Binary Drivers & Free Software

Mitchell Bogues writes: Richard Stallman recently gave talk titled "The Free Software Movement and GNU/Linux Operating System". RMS fielded a number of interesting questions relevant to the future of the free software movement including, "Do you support the Creative Commons license?" and "Can I use ATI and NVIDIA drivers because Mesa isn't nearly as complete?". Can we expect Linux ever to see main stream adoption with these persistent driver and licensing issues still hanging around?
User Journal

Journal Journal: Been a while...

Well, it's been a while since my last entry. I do work for Advent now (which has since been purchased by Titan). The job is a very good match for my skills and interests. In fact, if it weren't for the commute (Santa Cruz to Mountain View - about an hour each way), this job would be ideal. I've also started school again. I looked at all the college credit I have, and I seem to have more than most grad students, just not in the right places. Oh well, I've decided to go for a B.A. in Mathematic

User Journal

Journal Journal: Back home

Well, I'm out of the Army and in Santa Cruz. Advent did hire me and I start work in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I'm just getting myself established here in SC. The only hitch so far is getting my car registered. I might have to go to Humboldt to do it (only have to smog it once as opposed to every two years here). We'll see.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Musings

Being in kind of a transitional period in my life, I figured that now would be the ideal time to start writing in my /. journal. I've been meaning to for a while, but haven't ever got around to it. Next Friday will be my last day in the Army. I've been in for the last five years as a signals intelligence analyst and Russian linguist. What's next? Well, I've been talking to Advent Systems, and so far, things are looking goo

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