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Comment Re:Passion (Score 2) 375

Which one is preferable? You pay for that literature degree, or they pay for something "useful" and then join Lehman Brothers? Its a bit like how it would of been better for everybody if Hitler had of gone to arts school, even if someone had to pay for his education.

On the other hand, if we let people study what they are passionate about, we get passionate engineers, teachers, etc. who will cause a much greater benefit for society than those who only study to get the Beamer.

Comment I was a freelancer (Score 4, Informative) 332

I haven't done any online projects recently, but for some years I used to work pretty much exclusively on projects from rentacoder.com (now vworker.com).

The way I got into it was by starting bidding low on small jobs, getting good feedback, and progressively moving onto larger jobs. You'll find that the people willing to pay a decent amount on these websites also want experience and good reviews.

Once you have the reputation to even be considered, you need to make sure you bid on the right projects. That means finding projects that don't have a huge number of bids, and projects which match your previous experience. You need a portfolio. If you have spare time, spend it working on something which you can show off to prospective bidders. I'm pretty sure a little javascript asteroids clone I wrote 5 years back got me more work than any other reasons I gave people to hire me.

It also helps to concentrate on projects which are the latest big craze - when I was working, this was javascript. Not many people knew how to use it properly, so there were fewer bidders and you could charge higher prices. Of course, everybody "knows" javascript now days - I imagine phone apps is where it is at.

However you approach it, don't be discouraged when you don't win projects. It takes a while to get into the game. And regardless of how well you do, remember that you'd still make more money by working for locals (which is why I quit). Unless you enjoy it, theres probably better ways of making money.

Good luck!

Comment Re:Common mistake (Score 1) 692

As someone who has been forced to use speech recognition in the past due to RSI, I'd much rather say "Wake me up in eight hours" than "Alarm. 8am"

It is easier to say things which flow than to stop and start. And thats not to mention that "Alarm, 8am" is rather unspecific - do you want to be woken up by the alarm? Do you want to ask if you have an alarm at 8am? Are you going to say something after that referring to the alarm? Either the computer will get confused, or it will be limited to a certain pre-defined set of commands, which poses it's own problems (like memorizing the list of which natural-sounding commands actually work).

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How do I start actually getting thin 1

zaydana writes: I always have 10 or 20 projects that I want to work on, and never manage to finish any of them because another more interesting problem comes along. I'm sure this is a problem that is rather frequent amongst the Slashdot crowd, so I'd love to hear from similar people what steps they've taken to help themselves get things done?

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Alternatives to Uni

An anonymous reader writes: University seems to me to have four major aspects: learning, helping to get jobs, networking, and as a platform to get into research. Obviously, there are a lot of existing alternatives for networking and learning. Getting jobs also seems to have a few promising alternatives. I'm wondering however, is it possible to get paid to research without a degree? What alternatives do people have for the other aspects of uni?

Comment Re:3000BC called... (Score 2, Insightful) 195

This post is remarkably narrow minded. Not all written languages in the world are made of symbols representing consonants and vowels, you know. In Japanese, for example, you use either Kanji (where a character has an associated meaning as well as multiple pronunciations), or kana (where each symbol is composed of a consonant as well as vowel, with a few exceptions). Or take Chinese, where each symbol has a single pronunciation, but also has a meaning attached. I'm not a linguist either by any means (I'm sure any of them reading this are getting rather agitated), but the way these sorts of languages work is beautiful - you can usually guess the meaning of a word you hear because you know the symbols associated with it and thus the meaning. You can't do that in scripts which are just composed of single consonants and vowels, especially when the pronunciation of them changes in every word (think English).

Comment Re:Talk to people who have done it before (Score 1) 148

Warzone 2100 is different because it was the people who owned the copyright who released the code first for other people to work on, not other people asking the owners to release the copyright.

You're right about the remake being good though. It was one of my favourite games back in the day, and I was incredibly surprised to find I could download it and now play it on my mac without any hitches, probably smoother than the original ran in windows.

Comment Re:I wonder how that is compared to the loss from (Score 4, Insightful) 233

Moreover, it makes you wonder who much of a problem Y2K may have actually been if we hadn't of looked for all the problems and fixed them.

Chances are things like this would have only been the beginning if Y2K hadn't have been anticipated and planned for, even if we over-reacted. Maybe we should be giving some people more credit than we do...

Comment Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (Score 3, Informative) 144

Japan is a similarly isolated island country, and yet affordable 1 gbps connections are proliferating in urban areas.

Population density of Japan: 337.6/km2
Population density of Australia: 2.833/km2

Theres a reason that 1gbps connections are available in Japan, but not Australia. For how isolated we are as a country here, its remarkable that we have the internet as good as we do.

Comment Re:So it's a fnacy nmae (Score 1) 1345

Mod Parent Up. I myself am a uni student who has found myself in pretty much the same situation. Its taken me until being about 21 to actually learn how to work, despite years of schooling. Why? Because school was easy enough that I never learned how to work in the first place, and when I encountered something I couldn't immediately figure out, I'd pretend it didn't exist. Its only since I recently started learning a language for personal interest that I've realized what work is, and learned how to do it. I think that if kids (not just smart kids) were extended to a decent level throughout school, and never learned to just coast through it, they'd be a lot better off in the long run.

Comment Its a game. (Score 5, Interesting) 315

No its not. Its a game where you need to try and get the right answer.

To get the right answer, you need to assume :

  • most people don't want to go with the majority
  • a lot of people like answering truthfully
  • most people do like being ironic
  • some people are idiots

Thus, the only remaining option is "The least popular answer".

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Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming