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Comment Re:An Insider's View (Score 1) 43

First of all, never call your product a "competitive product". You know what this means? Essentially what you're saying is "the others are just as shitty, so why try harder?" Another thing is that the message is not what you say but what your audience hears. It's nice that you feel like your customer has a seat at your table, but this does not arrive at your customers. They do not feel that way. And if you care about how your customers think about you, this is what matters.

One thing is certain: Goodwill goes a long way, and it takes a long, long time to rebuild from ruins. And let's be honest here, Comcast's goodwill is in the gutter. You have a long uphill battle in front of you if you really care.

Comment Re:Gut flora and artificial sweeteners (Score 1) 5

This is probably the most recent, well-cited article on the topic. The authors looked at the effects of saccharin in mice, and were able to determine that there was a significant elevation in blood-glucose level for the mice that were fed saccharin instead of actual glucose over the course of nine weeks. This suggests a mechanism for previous findings that suggest artificial sweeteners cause insulin insensitivity, weight gain, type II diabetes, et cetera. The difference between the two diets went away when both groups were raised with antibiotics, strongly suggesting the underlying cause was gut microbiota. They also found evidence that the saccharin diet led to changes in gut microbiome composition:

In agreement with the experiments with antibiotics, next generation sequencing of the microbiome indicated that mice drinking saccharin had distinct compositions from controls. This distinct microbiome was characterized by enrichment of taxa belonging to the Bacteroides genus or the Clostridiales order, with under-representation of Lactobacilli and other members of the Clostridiales. Several of the bacterial taxa that changed following saccharin consumption were previously associated with type 2 diabetes in humans.

Keep in mind that everyone has different gut flora, so in general these impacts will vary from person to person, which is why the effect is inconsistent, as with obesity and type II diabetes in general. I can't say for certain that these results would directly transfer into humans, but since the bacteria are the same, it's unreasonable to assume they wouldn't. Less clear is whether this effect transfers to other sweeteners; the paper includes a table showing a number of studies pertaining to a diversity of chemicals, some of which found an effect, and some of which didn't.

Non-professionally, my advice would be to avoid artificial sweeteners, and ideally all liquid candy. Some people find that drinking normal, sugary soda produces a state of lethargy, and I'm pretty sure this is a result of the long-term exposure to sucralose. It's sort of a trap!

Comment Re:Fortran (Score 1) 443

My father showed me basic when I wanted to use the computer as a calculator (basic arithmetic). I discovered programming.

He then saw talent in me and bought me a Turbo Pascal book (in my mother tongue... English would not have worked at that age) and a copy of Turbo Pascal (I presume from work, but... I don't know where exactly he got it from).

... and that's how he awoke my interest in computers and ultimately the profession I would choose.

Thanks dad...

Education

Slashdot Asks: What Was Your First Programming Language? (stanforddaily.com) 443

This question was inspired by news that Stanford's computer science professor Eric Roberts will try JavaScript instead of Java in a new version of the college's introductory computer programming course. The Stanford Daily reports: When Roberts came to Stanford in 1990, CS106A was still taught in Pascal, a programming language he described as not "clean." The department adopted the C language in 1992. When Java came out in 1995, the computer science faculty was excited to transition to the new language. Roberts wrote the textbooks, worked with other faculty members to restructure the course and assignments and introduced Java at Stanford in 2002... "Java had stabilized," Roberts said. "It was clear that many universities were going in that direction. It's 2017 now, and Java is showing its age." According to Roberts, Java was intended early on as "the language of the Internet". But now, more than a decade after the transition to Java, Javascript has taken its place as a web language.
In 2014 Python and Java were the two most commonly-taught languages at America's top universities, according to an analysis published by the Communications of the ACM. And Java still remains the most-commonly taught language in a university setting, according to a poll by the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education. In a spreadsheet compiling the results, "Python appears 60 times, C++ 54 times, Java 84 times, and JavaScript 28 times," writes a computing professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, adding "if Java is dying (or "showing its age"...) it's going out as the reigning champ."

I'm guessing Slashdot's readers have their own opinions about this, so share your educational experiences in the comments. What was your first programming language?

Comment Re:Libreoffice is a thing (Score 2, Insightful) 174

This is about Microsoft's non-subscription version of Office being able to access the corporate version of OneDrive, so LibreOffice won't help here.

It'd be interesting to see the FOSS community come up with an equivalent to OneDrive (if we could somehow do it without needing a central server, that'd be a major step forward) but a FOSS office suite isn't going to help.

Comment Re:Time to switch (Score 1) 174

Those will still work with the business version of OneDrive after 2020? Or did you misunderstand the summary and think Microsoft is deactivating Office 2016 in 2020 completely?

What Microsoft is announcing is relatively obscure and probably won't affect many people at all. Home users will be completely unaffected. Businesses are largely moving over to Office 365 anyway, the combination of "Corporate OneDrive + non-subscription Office" is pretty unusual.

Switching over to the Mac (or, more easily, to LibreOffice/OpenOffice) won't help in the slightest.

Comment Re:IMAP & SMTP (Score 2) 68

That is because you assume that "Apps" are the same as "Applications" or "Programs". That isn't really the case: "Apps" come from the mobile space and are usually touch optimized dumbed down versions. Often they are just fronts for web applications, instead of full native applications. Applications or programs like Thunderbird are not "Apps", they stand on their own and talk SMTP and IMAP and are compatible with all servers that speak these open protocols. That is inherently superior than proprietary "Apps" that do not talk open protocols.

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