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Submission + - What is employers obsession with programming languages? 1

An anonymous reader writes: Just got off the phone with a recruiter for a company and the lady asked if I had 3-4 years C++ and 3-4 years Java experience. Okay, so first off, C++ and Java are two different programming languages used for two completely different purposes.

C++ being used mainly for low-level platform specific programming and Java being platform independent. My response was I programmed in C++ throughout college, but haven't worked any jobs specifically writing C++ and I've had Java experience in past jobs, but mostly used C# which was similar.

She said, "Oh well we are only looking for those two languages so thanks anyways". Is it just me or is this absolutely insane? It's like wanting to hire a mechanic who has 3-4 years experience working with just 1978 ford trucks. I mean really? How did we get to this point as engineers?

As any developer worth their weight in salt can attest, the languages are so similar it's kind of difficult to distinguish between them looking at syntax alone and if you've got a computer science background or equiv what's it really matter if the underlying OOP concepts are the same.

Is this just a result of incompetent managers and ignorant recruiters or as engineers have we set ourselves up by succumbing to a label such as Java Engineer or C# Programmer.

Should I just say yes, and move forward with the interview? I mean, I could probably answer most C++/Java programming questions unless they are truly looking for people who spend all their time memorizing specific libraries or API's which in my opinion is insane. I equate that to trying to memorize a phone book. You can but why would you want to?

Not only is it frustrating as a job candidate, but it seems to really be limiting your hiring pool to a small few who by chance happen to work in a couple different programming languages over the course of their career. How do most of you handle this sort of thing?

Submission + - Globalization Considered Harmful

theodp writes: In the wake of Brexit, the NY Times reported earlier this month that President Obama will need his oratory powers to sell globalization. Asked to explain his strategy to reverse growing sentiment over globalization, President Obama responded, "The question is not whether or not there's going to be an international global economy. There is one." Still, the President acknowledged, "Ordinary people who have concerns about trade have a legitimate gripe about globalization, because the fact is that as the global economy is integrated, what we've seen are trend lines across the advanced economies of growing inequality and stagnant wages, and a smaller and smaller share of overall productivity and growth going to workers, and a larger portion going to the top 1 percent. And that's a real problem. Because if that continues, the social cohesion and political consensus needed for liberal market economies starts breaking down." The disconnect between theory and reality is at the heart of Ross Hartshorn's Globalization Considered Harmful. "There is a word for people who are opposed to the globalized economy, and it isn't 'xenophobe' or 'racist'," he writes. "It's 'protectionist'. For some time now, it's been thrown around as an insult, as if there were something wrong with protecting people. There was a similar trick played in the U.S. with the word 'liberal', where conservatives used it as an insult long enough that candidates on the left started to avoid describing themselves as liberal. But there is nothing wrong with protecting people, and there is everything wrong with globalization. Globalization isn't about respecting other people's culture, or treating everyone fairly regardless of their race. Globalization is about each country specializing in just one part of a normal, healthy, diverse economy, and then treating anyone whose talents aren't suited to that part of the economy, as if they were defective and in need a handout rather than a job. I think it is time for people who don't like what globalization has done, to start using the word 'protectionist' to describe themselves. I am a protectionist; I think there is nothing wrong with protecting people. The backlash against globalization isn't the problem. Globalization is the problem."

Submission + - SpaceX's Elon Musk says he will launch the first human to Mars in 2024 (

MarkWhittington writes: Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, attended the Recode Conference where he opened his mind about his vision for Mars exploration. He had previously announced his intention to send a robotic probe to the Martian surface called Red Dragon in 2018. But that mission is just the start of an ambitious program that will see the first human being launched to the Red Planet in 2024 “if all goes well.” If the announcement becomes reality, Musk will see the first astronaut landing on Mars by 2025, about ten years before NASA plans for boots on the Martian ground.

Submission + - Burning all fossil fuels would scorch Earth (

mspohr writes: A new study published in the Journal Nature Climate Change (Nature Climate Change, Nature Climate Change, DOI: 10.1038/nclimate3036) (and reported in shows our precarious climate condition:
"Using up all known fossil fuel reserves would render Earth even more unliveable than scientists had previously projected, researchers said on Monday.
Average temperatures would climb by up to 9.5 degrees Celsius (17 degrees Fahrenheit)—five times the cap on global warming set at climate talks in Paris in December, they reported.
In the Arctic region—already heating at more than double the global average—the thermometer would rise an unimaginable 15 C to 20 C."

This would make most of Earth uninhabitable to humans (although the dinosaurs seemed to do fine with it 65 million years ago).

Submission + - EPA concludes that insecticides are killing the bees (

gbcox writes: This has been going on for years, and now the EPA has concluded that insecticides are killing the bees — duh! In any event, if the bees go (and the situation has become dire) we starve. This really is serious... so instead of worrying about who marries who or the birth certificate of Obama, people should stop and think about their food supply — and the media should be covering this 24/7 — #savethebees

Submission + - There are probably tiny pieces of plastic waste in your table salt (

Taco Cowboy writes: A research carried out in China found traces of waste plastics in table salt. While the salt they use in the report came from China (and the surrounding seas) it does not mean that salt from other places are not contaminated

According to the picture ( @ https://qzprod.files.wordpress... ) even salt mined from rock mines were found to be contaminated with traceable amount of plastics

As TFA puts it —

" Although the oceans close to China appear to be a “hotspot” for microplastic pollutants, it is unlikely Chinese table salt is the only salt that is contaminated with plastics "

An American researcher also chimed in —

" Plastics have become such a ubiquitous contaminant, I doubt it matters whether you look for plastic in sea salt on Chinese or American supermarket shelves," Sherri Mason, an environmental science researcher at the State University of New York Fredonia told Scientific American. "I'd like to see some 'me-too' studies,” she added "

Submission + - Telsa Motors Unveils Model D Sedan ( 1

SchrodingerZ writes: Nine days after Elon Musk hinted about a new project, the P85D Sedan has been unveiled by Tesla Motors. The Model D is Tesla's latest car design, capable of feats not yet seen in electric vehicles. The four door luxury car is able to go from zero to 60 miles per hour in a mere 3.2 seconds, an acceleration similar to the McLaren F1 super car. While the exterior remains the same build as the Model S, the interior will have a second motor in the front of the car, to complement the rear motor. The D models will also have a slightly larger range of 275 miles on a single charge, 10 miles more than the 85 and P85 cars. The safety features have also been enhanced, adding "adaptive cruise control and the ability to read speed limit signs, stop itself if a crash is imminent, stay in its lane, and even park itself in a street spot or in your garage." Musk explains at the inaugural event, "this car is nuts. It’s like taking off from a carrier deck. It’s just bananas." The Model D is available for the 60kWh, 80kWh, and P85 cars, and are expected to start shipping in December of this year.

Submission + - Earth in the midst of sixth mass extinction - the "anthropocene defaunation" (

mspohr writes: A special issue of Science magazine devoted to Vanishing Fauna publishes a series of articles about the man-caused extinction of species and the implications for ecosystems and the climate.
"During the Pleistocene epoch, only tens of thousands of years ago, our planet supported large, spectacular animals. Mammoths, terror birds, giant tortoises, and saber-toothed cats, as well as many less familiar species such as giant ground sloths (some of which reached 7 meters in height) and glyptodonts (which resembled car-sized armadillos), roamed freely. Since then, however, the number and diversity of animal species on Earth have consistently and steadily declined. Today we are left with a relatively depauperate fauna, and we continue to lose animal species to extinction rapidly. Although some debate persists, most of the evidence suggests that humans were responsible for extinction of this Pleistocene fauna, and we continue to drive animal extinctions today through the destruction of wild lands, consumption of animals as a resource or a luxury, and persecution of species we see as threats or competitors. "
Unfortunately, most of the detail is behind a paywall but the summary should be enough for Slashdot readers.

Submission + - Too cheap to meter: new lies about artificial markets (

mdsolar writes: Nuclear power plants are becoming uneconomical and closing. They can't compete in deregulated wholesale markets. In the Midwest, low natural gas prices are keeping wholesale prices low and aging nuclear plants can't catch up with deferred maintenance and still make a profit. In the Northeast, a history of dishonesty on the part of Entergy, an owner of used nuclear power plants, has made it difficult for them to get long term contracts and has turned eyes towards hydro power from Quebec. Markets should punish incompetence and dishonesty. But Forbes is claiming that these deregulated markets are artificial, and we need to look to the Southeast for real markets: markets where regulators choose forms of generation and guarantee profits for large utilities while working to keep competition out through lobbying against renewable energy standards. Those markets don't seem to lack artificiality. According to detailed analysis, dumping nuclear power makes achieving climate goals less costly as well. Forbes, living in backwards world, claims that keeping uneconomical nuclear plants helps rather than hurts these goals. Nuclear power started life with lies about low costs, claiming it would be too cheap to meter. Many people lost their investments in the 1970's and 80's as this was revealed as a lie. They just can't seem to help themselves. They are too compulsive to come clean. Lots of other deceptions in this piece, See how many you find.

Submission + - Ask SlashDot: What if they give you a broken project? 1

X10 writes: Suppose you're assigned to a project that someone else has created. It's an app, you'll work on it alone. You think "how hard can it be", you don't check out the source code before you accept the assignment. But then, it turns out the code is not robust. You create a small new feature, and the app breaks down in unexpected ways. You fix a bug, and new bugs pop up all over the place. The person who worked on the project before you is well respected in the company, and you are "just a contractor", hired a few months ago.

The easy way out is to just quit, as there's plenty of jobs you can take. But that doesn't feel right. But, what else can you do?

Submission + - Why violent crime is so rare in Iceland

mrspoonsi writes: Following the recent police homicide in Iceland, the BBC examines why violent crime is so rare in Iceland. Gun ownership in Iceland is 1/3rd the level of the USA, yet gun homicides are 11000 times more in the USA. Andrew Clark Suffolk University Law School student spent 6 months studying the differences, a week in Iceland changed my perspective. I was pleasantly flummoxed by what I saw. Violent crime was virtually non-existent. People seemed relaxed about their safety and that of their children to the point where parents left their babies outside and unattended. First — and arguably foremost — there is virtually no difference among upper, middle and lower classes in Iceland. And with that, tension between economic classes is non-existent, a rare occurrence for any country, equality was the biggest reason for the nation's relative lack of crime. "Here you can have the tycoon's children go to school with everyone else," Sigurdsson says, adding that the country's social welfare and education systems promoted an egalitarian culture. In addition, there are, comparatively speaking, few hard drugs in Iceland.

Submission + - Plastic Waste Threatens Marine Diversity (

Rambo Tribble writes: An article in Current Biology (abstract) details the finding that minute particles of plastic waste are affecting marine worms, potentially having grave impacts on marine biodiversity and leading to the accumulation of toxins in marine animals. Unfortunately, policymakers have routinely treated such wastes as benign. The BBC provides more approachable coverage of the findings.

Submission + - What the Insurance Industry Thinks About Climate Change

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Joseph Stromberg reports at the Smithsonian that if there's one group has an obvious and immediate financial stake in climate change, it's the insurance industry and in recent years, insurance industry researchers who attempt to determine the annual odds of catastrophic weather-related disasters say they’re seeing something new. “Our business depends on us being neutral. We simply try to make the best possible assessment of risk today, with no vested interest,” says Robert Muir-Wood, the chief scientist of Risk Management Solutions (RMS), a company that creates software models to allow insurance companies to calculate risk. Most insurers, including the reinsurance companies that bear much of the ultimate risk in the industry, have little time for the arguments heard in some right-wing circles that climate change isn’t happening, and are quite comfortable with the scientific consensus that burning fossil fuels is the main culprit of global warming. “Insurance is heavily dependent on scientific thought,” says Frank Nutter, president of the Reinsurance Association of America. “It is not as amenable to politicized scientific thought.” A pronounced shift can be seen in extreme rainfall events, heat waves and wind storms and the underlying reason is climate change, says Muir-Wood, driven by rising greenhouse gas emissions. "The first model in which we changed our perspective is on U.S. Atlantic hurricanes. Basically, after the 2004 and 2005 seasons, we determined that it was unsafe to simply assume that historical averages still applied,” he says. “We’ve since seen that today’s activity has changed in other particular areas as well—with extreme rainfall events, such as the recent flooding in Boulder, Colorado, and with heat waves in certain parts of the world.” Muir-Wood puts his money where his mouth is. “I personally wouldn’t invest in beachfront property anymore,” he says, noting the steady increase in sea level we’re expecting to see worldwide in the coming century, on top of more extreme storms. “And if you’re thinking about it, I’d calculate quite carefully how far back you’d have to be in the event of a hurricane.”

Submission + - NASA and ESA to communicate with lunar orbiter using lasers (

cylonlover writes: Space communications have relied on radio since the first Sputnik in 1957. It’s a mature, reliable technology, but it’s reaching its limits. The amount of data sent has increased exponentially for decades and NASA expects the trend to continue. The current communications systems are reaching their limits, so NASA and ESA are going beyond radio as a solution. As part of this effort, ESA has finished tests of part of a new communications system, in preparations for a demonstration in October in which it will receive a laser data download from a NASA lunar orbiter.

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