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Google Loves The Internship; Critics Not So Much

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the i-blame-jj-abrams dept.

Movies 103

theodp writes "It was the best of movies; it was the worst of movies. GeekWire reports that The Internship — the new comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as two 40-something guys who get internships at Google — is getting high praise from Googlers but low marks from movie critics. Google CEO Larry Page called the movie 'a lot of fun' in his Google+ post, while fellow Google exec Vic Gundotra gushed, 'I laughed a lot while watching this movie!' After screening a sneak preview with Google companions, Wired's Steven Levy wrote, 'From Google's point of view, the movie could not possibly be better.' USA Today's take, on the other hand, is that 'Google has never looked lamer thanks to The Internship.' And the NY Daily News calls the movie 'an unfunny valentine to Google.' But perhaps the unkindest cut of all comes from the NY Post, who suggests that 'maybe The Internship was secretly funded by Bing.' Ouch." Update: 06/07 20:02 GMT by T : Peter Wayner saw the movie (a "harmless bit of summer fluff"), and his full-length take below takes on some of the tech-company misconceptions that the film-makers gleefully adopted as script material.While there have been a handful of movies about hacking (“War Games”, “Hackers”) and every heist movie seems to stick at least one programmer on the team, there are few films devoted to craft of building software. Who would want to spend two hours staring at beautiful actors stuck in cubicles staring at lines of code? “The Internship”, thankfully, isn’t that movie, although it is set at Google’s mothership where the average day is filled with days staring at lines of code. It’s a harmless bit of summer fluff that sails blithely along in its own carefully edited version of reality pretending that building software is anything but staring at screens. It’s a nice journey to a happy ending with only a few veiled hints of darker trends and deeper issues buried underneath the fun.

The movie is a buddy comedy pairing Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, the dynamic duo who were last seen together in “The Wedding Crashers” as fast-talking scammers sneaking into receptions. This time, they’re washed up watch salesmen fast-talking their way into a job at Google. Someone finally noticed that mobile phones took over the job of telling time. The Hollywood executives who develop movies with lambda expressions probably called it “The Google Crashers.”

The two actors are likeable rogues that are playing the same game. They may be older but they understand people, unlike the nerds at the Googleplex. They’ve got an answer for everything and that answer is usually something that will keep them afloat in the rapidly changing economy. It’s sort of “Glengarry Glen Ross” or “Death of a Salesman” without the adultery or the kind of lefty talk that attracts the attention of the House Un-American Activities Committee.

For them, Google is the promised land, the Emerald City, the Big Rock Candy Mountain, a role that the company plays happily, almost too happily. The company reportedly traded access to the Googleplex for some control of the script and they reportedly wielded this knife to slice away a scene showing a crash of their now famous self-driving cars. Claire Cain Miller at the NY Times reported that the company even created the credits and packed them full of ads for Google’s famous and not-so-famous products. There’s only a bit of irony in the way that the company that once made its name by creating tasteful, small and very focused ads could put its name on such an endless, loud and extravagant act of branding.

Naturally, the list of which Google features makes the closing credits is highly selective. There’s no mention of the direct link that the US Government claims to have to Google’s huge files on all of us or any discussion of the ongoing morass of the lawsuit from the book authors. There is also no questioning of Google’s vision of the social compact where you and I do the work of creating the content and they enjoy the fruits of the advertising that pays for most of the luxuries seen in the movie. It’s not “Enemy of the State” and certainly not “Office Space.” The pro-business crowd that is always asking Hollywood for some good corporate characters has finally gotten its wish.

But Slashdot readers will be a bit disappointed because the Google shown in the movie is just another company from central casting. There are occasional references to HTML5, CSS3 and “building an app” but most of the audience will walk away thinking that answer to creating software is eating pizza, going to a strip club, or drinking alcohol. Just as Hollywood injected scenes of drunken programming into “The Social Network”, Hollywood can’t seem to believe that software is made with logic, precision and concentration. The secret of success, at least according to the movie, is the same as the secret to diabetes: plenty of carbs and plenty of alcohol.

It may be too much to expect Hollywood to confront some of the deeper issues about Google’s work place because the movie is a comedy, not a remake of “Norma Rae”. The characters make a brief reference the downside and the brutal, winner-take-all game that they’re playing. 95% of the interns won’t get a paying job and most people who get paying jobs won’t get stock options worth very much. It’s like “The Hunger Games” but played for laughs.

Sitting around moaning about the way that Google (and the Internet) is destroying so many jobs wouldn’t make for a fun movie. Instead the characters revel in the free food and the non-stop buffet without recognizing that the benefits are a bit of a clever trap. Feeding someone $20 in food is a good deal if it keeps them working for three to six more hours.

The script writers apparently didn’t get the memo that the company has slowly been cutting back on the fancy extras. In 2008, the IPO millionaires boosted the cost of day care so high that there was open sobbing from the post-IPO engineers who couldn’t afford it. While many outsiders think movies like this are accurate, insiders complain that they can’t afford the day care which costs thousands of dollars per kid per month. It’s a not-so-subtle message that kids are a high cost that get in the way of software development.

And then in 2009 Google started clamping down on the free food, especially the clever employees who would take home big containers of food on Friday to make it through the weekend without a trip to the office. Larry Page told reporters at a news conference then, “I think it’s important to reset the culture from time to time. we decided to, for example, we significantly cut down all the snacks that had been available.” This new version made the film because Vaughn learns, to his chagrin, that he can’t take home the seven bagels he got for free. Once again, the food is just a carrot to keep people in front of the screens.

The movie certainly suggests that Google, like “Logan’s Run”, is filled with 20-somethings on an extended summer camp sleepover with fat salaries to make it even more fun. One of the managers is said to be 23 and already seasoned because he’s spent 4 years with the company.

Is this really accurate or just another bit of Hollywood frosting on the free cookie? Alas, Google has endured at least one high-profile age discrimination lawsuit from a manager who lost millions in stock options after being fired. The ex-employee’s lawyers dug up incriminating emails saying, among other things, that the guy was an “old man”, an “old guy” and an “old fuddy-duddy”. That attitude is heard again and again here although with less precision.

When I’ve spoken with people who’ve worked there, they have cautiously suggested that age discrimination is a real issue, especially to anyone who grows up, has kids, and starts working shorter hours. Somehow, the older folks seem to get replaced by someone who is young. Then, when their contract ends, they’re given a “severance deal” that effectively buys their silence. They’ll only mention the issue of age discrimination in bars far away from any Glassholes wearing Google Glass recording everything.

Still, this view doesn’t jibe with my experiences. Many of the people I’ve met at Google are older and some even sport grey beards. The engineering teams and some of the development teams are run by seasoned veterans with years of experience in the valley. For every 22 year old twerp in the movie, I’ve met some 40-somethings who know a thing or two and work at Google.

Indeed, the founders of Google are now about as old as Vaughn and Wilson. Larry Page turned 40 on March 26th and Sergey Brin joins him on August 21st. Long ago, the founders joked that their first corporate jet was going to be a “party plane” with king-sized beds, but today they are married and live in the suburbs. One equally old Googler told me about how touched he was to have one of the founders roll up to a party in a Honda Odyssey driven by the founder, not a robot. In other words, they were very normal, they just happened to have plenty of money.

This fiction that Silicon Valley is powered by youth is an old game played by Silicon Valley. Almost every startup run by a teenage sensation has a greyhaired venture capitalist pulling the puppet strings. Arthur Rock, Mike Markkula and Andy Grove put up plenty of money to fund Apple Computer but somehow the story was always about Jobs and Wozniak. In most cases, the youth are run ragged on the hamster wheels with stock options dangled in front of them.

It’s a nice story that sells so well that Google and Vince Vaughn decided to repackage it as a movie. The kids do okay. They get fancy meals and decent salaries. But the movie doesn’t want to spend too much time dwelling upon the accuracy of this fiction. Just as Alfred Hitchcock said, “For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake.” This movie takes that aphorism and improves it by making the cake free. If only life were that simple.

Bio: Peter Wayner is the author of more than dozen books and his latest are a history of "Death of a Salesman" and a forward-looking exploration of the impact of the self-driving car.

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103 comments

Pretty Sure The Onion Got It Right (Again) (2, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year ago | (#43940129)

I'm pretty sure The Onion hit the nail on the head [youtube.com] (as well as their actual review of it [avclub.com] ).

But this is coming from someone who's probably going to see Frances Ha tonight and is still trying to get his hands on a copy of Incendies so if you want to laugh and don't want to have to think ... watch it make millions.

Re:Pretty Sure The Onion Got It Right (Again) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43940261)

I wonder if it includes the bungling duo of NSA agents using Google's backdoor [thetimes.co.uk] to see the nude self-shots in the hot blonde down the street's Gmail account?
 
  -- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Pretty Sure The Onion Got It Right (Again) (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#43940321)

Just watching the previews there is product placement and then there is a movie length commercial, that Resident Evil where they had the simulated cities (so they can have an assload of billboards for Alice to be seen in front of) was a good example of product placement taking over the show but from the commercials...damn. I just hope Google paid to have this movie made because in the 3 previews i saw the thing looks like a giant loveletter to all things Google.

And what happened to Vince Vaughn anyway? Once upon a time he looked like he was gonna take over the early Bill Murray snarky smartass role in films and then he just went into a giant flaming nosedive, does his agent suck or something? Did he have a nasty divorce and have to take a lot of work to pay it off? Because the guy does seem to be at least of average intelligence and I can't see how he read some of the scripts he's done in the past 5 years and went "Yeah, that would be good for my career, I should make that".

Re:Pretty Sure The Onion Got It Right (Again) (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#43940665)

Bill Murray is a naturally hilarious guy. Vince Vaughn has been working the same schtick since Swingers. I saw the ads and thought, Isn't he a little old to be doing these kinds of flicks?.

Re:Pretty Sure The Onion Got It Right (Again) (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#43944123)

Well be fair, when he first started out Vince Vaughn looked like he was gonna fit into that "insensitive smartass that is basically a nice guy" role that Murray was great at early in his career and to be fair Murray did do a few stinkers in his career...but Jesus fucking Christ, Vaughn just did this M. Night style flameout that would almost be worthy of study if the movies weren't just so fucking BAD with a capital B!

So I just want to know what is up with that, because in interviews he seems like he isn't a stupid man...WTF is he doing? Its not like Sizemore where his need for drugs means he'll take any paycheck, or like M. Night where there was all this pressure and he fell apart, as far as I know Vaughn didn't have any real problems, so why does he keep taking this dreck? I mean surely nobody that reads these scripts can think they are in any way good, so WTF?

I just want to know what is driving him to take these truly shitty roles, is he in major debt, like Cage? Divorce? What? The only other major actor I've seen just put out bomb after bomb like that lately is Taylor Kitsch, but at least he has the excuse of being young and pretty so the studio keeps trying to put him in roles he's just not good at, but what is Vaughn's excuse?

Re:Pretty Sure The Onion Got It Right (Again) (1)

Rakarra (112805) | about 10 months ago | (#43966115)

I always wondered about actors like Rob Schneider and Nicholas Cage -- actors who seem to have a moderate amount of acting/humor talent... who then choose the absolutely worst projects to star in. Vaughn could be an actor with talent but no vision who reads a script and imagines it'll be better than it is after filming. Or passes on a project because he doesn't see the potential.

Roger Ebert had a theory about Nicholas Cage, that his acting career was a great experiment where he decided to only sign up for the best and worst projects, with nothing in between. He always praised the way Cage just threw himself entirely into every role with no fear or shame.

Re:Pretty Sure The Onion Got It Right (Again) (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 10 months ago | (#43967677)

Nic Cage got his ass ripped off by one of one of those stock brokers, may have been old Bernie, all i know is he got his accounts pretty much cleaned out and now will take just about anything that has a decent paycheck.

Oh and if you want a good chuckle? Turns out Will Smith turned down Django to start in After Earth, just like how he turned down the Matrix to star in Wild Wild West, so pretty much anybody can pick a clunker. But there are just some actors, Sandler, Schneider, Vaughn, that just seem to have the worst taste in projects or are simply taking everything with a paycheck. They are a part of a handful of actors that you can see at least have a decent amount of talent that just choose bomb after bomb after bomb, frankly I don't know how they keep getting work, especially Sandler. I mean Jack & Jill and That's My Boy (which one reviewer said "The whole joke is "ha ha ha pedophilia funny" which of course the answer is no it isn't and you are a sick man for thinking it is) should have completely torpedoed any chance of doing another movie, yet last I heard he had like 3 movies coming up.

All I can figure is that they are doing comedies and the studios are all run by rich old white guys that know they "Don't get what them hep cats kids think is funny" so they just greenlight it without even bothering to look at the script. Again that is the only way I can see how something like That's My Boy could even get made, I mean who would think having a kid that looks 12 molested by a 30 year old teacher would be comedy gold? BTW if you haven't seen it you should look up some YouTube clips just to see how unfunny that shit is, I'd rank it up there with "Heil Honey I'm Home" for worst premise to make a comedy out of. Give Vaughn at least that much credit, he has been making dumb movies but at least they aren't offensive, just moronic.

Re:Pretty Sure The Onion Got It Right (Again) (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 10 months ago | (#43956897)

And what happened to Vince Vaughn anyway?

When was Vince Vaughn ever funny.

He was always fake and annoying, it's just taken most people this long to realise it. You can dump Will Ferrell and Ben Stiller into the same annoying category.

I saw the preview for The Intern whilst watching Star Trek... I could tell how badly it was going to suck in the first 30 seconds.

Re:Pretty Sure The Onion Got It Right (Again) (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 10 months ago | (#43963069)

Even if you don't like his style if given a decent role frankly any halfway decent actor can put in a decent performance, look at Ferrell in the remake of The Producers, frankly he was the only good thing in that POS and I don't like Ferrell, but like Kenneth Mars he took the role of a Nazi and made him a fun character.

And I do find it ironic that you are complaining about hacks..when you were watching a movie made by the co-king of hacks, JJ Abrams. His movies are nothing but action set pieces and he even rips off the ending to Start Trek II, if you are watching anything by Abrams or Bay you really can't complain about hacks since you are supporting the "meh put lots of splosions, the sheep will buy it" cynical Hollywood crap that breeds the likes of Stiller, Vaughn and Ferrell.

Re:Pretty Sure The Onion Got It Right (Again) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43940601)

Hah! I actually thought that was a fake Onion movie trailer. Silly me.

Re:Pretty Sure The Onion Got It Right (Again) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43941225)

Richard Roeper (an actual reviewer rather than a newspaper) thought [suntimes.com] it an enjoyable bit of fluff with no surprises.

i are a shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43940213)

The critics do not like low brow humor with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. I has a shock. If I had to change jobs and move to a new industry I would love, LOVE!, to get a job as a person who writes about movies.

Re:i are a shocked (2)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year ago | (#43940331)

I don’t think that is true. I can think of a lot of critics that love low brow humor.

What they don’t like is reheated, stale second servings that pander to the audience.

Then add that humor tends to be a bit more subjective. I have gone into films that came highly recommended from critics and friends and I did not laugh – while there were cases that were just the opposite.

As for getting a job – why not? Start a blog and go from there. It is a relatively straight forward process and I know people who have done it, like James Berardinelli. (Now, there is a big difference between straight forward and easy – but it is more about skill then luck.)

IMHO: The movie IS a product placement (2)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about a year ago | (#43940235)

Anybody else sees it this way?

Re:IMHO: The movie IS a product placement (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#43940489)

I've never heard of this movie, but it sounds completely miserable.

What's next? How about a movie about a PEPSI delivery driver? Or maybe a movie about one of those guys in third world nations who makes pennies buying soda from their local Coke bottler and stacking it onto the back of their bicycle and delivering it to the shoeless people in mid-huts many miles away, because we can't have two square inches of planet Earth that isn't addicted to corporate sugar-water? Or maybe Marissa can get Yahoo! a movie of their own, because they so desperately yearn to be "hip".

What next? (3, Funny)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about a year ago | (#43944563)

Or one about a dedicated FedEx executive who is the only survivor of a plane crash and must survive on a desert island for five years using only the things he finds in the FedEx shipment. Now that motherfucker is Oscar material.

Also, FedEx.

Re:IMHO: The movie IS a product placement (1)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | about 10 months ago | (#43948493)

No, but there was one about Adam Sandler as an ad exec that spent time focusing on his real-world-product clients.

Re:IMHO: The movie IS a product placement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43940513)

You aren't the only one. The whole thing stinks of a PR stunt.

Re:IMHO: The movie IS a product placement (1)

Steve_Ussler (2941703) | about a year ago | (#43940575)

Good point! But Google doesn't need it...they are Google!

Re:IMHO: The movie IS a product placement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43947175)

I actually disagree. No company in its right mind would ever set out to make a movie like this, or place their product in a movie in this broad a fashion. This movie exactly what its creators say it is: something Vaughan and Wilson decided to make, and when they approached Google, Google agreed to play along. People are fooling themselves if they think Google would pay Vaughan and Wilson to make a movie about them as an ad.

I don't plan to see it. (4, Insightful)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | about a year ago | (#43940243)

The media's portrayal of anything related to computers or computer users is at best unfunny. At worst, it's personally insulting. Computers have become a large enough part of our lives that I think the media needs to get past the whole "nerdy awkward computer geek" stereotype that exists in almost every single show or movie that has someone who know's computers.

Re:I don't plan to see it. (2)

Anarchduke (1551707) | about a year ago | (#43941973)

That is absolutely true! I and I am going to complain all about this unfair stereotyping in IRC later on today!

Re:I don't plan to see it. (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about a year ago | (#43944655)

The NCIS stuff is largely because that's how it looks to non-technical people. And because it endears techs to the old people who actually watch those shows if they are weird and awkward.

The rest (such as the alcohol fuelled app creation) comes from screen-writers projecting their own experience onto the software development. "I have deadlines, they have deadlines. I'm creative, they're... apparently... creative, I guess. So we're like the same. I totally know this stuff."

(Hell, how much alcohol (or "alcohol") was consumed in the last weekend before this script was due?)

Of course Google Loves it,... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43940259)

Because this is a depiction of how google sees people over 40!

Well of course (3, Insightful)

Zouden (232738) | about a year ago | (#43940279)

Is the CEO of Google going to say "it's a bad film"? Even if he knows it's terrible, it doesn't look good to publicly trash something as trivial as a movie.

Re:Well of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43947219)

Google is just doing what any decent company with a sense of humor would do under these circumstances. When the film creators approached the company, the company decided to play along. You're totally right: it's still playing along. Nobody from the company is going to trash talk the movie even if they dislike it.

A lot of people, both commenters and professional critics, seem to be looking at this movie as a massive product placement, as if Google (or any company) would would be insane enough to approach actors like Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn and ask them to make a movie about them. Or, to look at it in reverse, as if Vauhgn and Wilson would be pathetic enough to try to sell a movie with Google branding. This way of thinking deeply misunderstands how companies think, or how comedy filmmakers think, or both. The stated origins of the film, that Vaughn wanted to make it and the company played along in exchange for a small amount of creative veto power, is really the only story that makes any sense.

faint reassurance (3, Funny)

tverbeek (457094) | about a year ago | (#43940299)

"For every 22 year old twerp in the movie, I’ve met some 40-somethings who know a thing or two and work at Google."

<sarcasm>As someone who is nearly 50 – and still at least 20 years from retirement – I find this oh so very reassuring.</sarcasm>

Re:faint reassurance (-1, Troll)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#43940769)

Well, as someone who is nearly 28, and has just gotten a 3.14% raise up to $65k, and owns a house that will be paid off in 3 years, and has savings, and a $2000 bicycle, and can retire around 45 at this rate ... too bad you suck at money.

I want to jump ship from this and get a better paying job. Oh the pay's fine; the work sucks. I've realized I like project management and hate actual tech--I like solving problems and hate wrenching the solutions. Now, what kind of job involves getting information out of a billion people who collectively couldn't find their asses if they were naked in prison with a bar of soap because none of them can understand each other (seriously, finance talking to IT?), and figuring out how to make them all achieve useful work that requires them to cross-communicate and examine problems?

Re:faint reassurance (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43940867)

Yet you can't score any fucking pussy. Big deal faggot.

Re:faint reassurance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43940969)

65K and financially secure. Well its easy when you do not have kids.

Re:faint reassurance (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43941027)

And you live in eastern Kentucky

Re:faint reassurance (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43941327)

and have the emotional development of an aspergic 8-year-old

Re:faint reassurance (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43941253)

I'd rather suck at money than suck at basic social skills, like you. How about doing the world a favor and stop sucking on your own cock long enough to stick a shotgun in your mouth instead?

Re:faint reassurance (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43941613)

so you're under 30, have plenty of money yet count raises to two decimal points and found a phb living inside you.

'grats! good people skills! I recommend an internship in project management at Google! remember, friday is the official "we can laugh at ourselves!" day!

Re:faint reassurance (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 10 months ago | (#43964771)

I count raises to amusement. Also when I did the division I did it in my head as an exercise to see if I could pull it off quickly--I can't. Need to memorize my division tables.

As for mentioning it, 3.14 is pi. I thought it'd be appreciated to 2 decimal places, given the crowd. Instead I got hostility from a bunch of people who are bad at money and think "Social Skills" means "blowing $400/week on beer."

Re:faint reassurance (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43941707)

I...wouldn't try to get a job in communications if I were you. You're the only one who mentioned money. Sounds like he's more interested in have a good job as long as he's capable; being given 40 as an example of a successful "older" Google is barely reassuring if he'd like to avoid ageism into his late 60s.

But, seriously, what's with the pointless run-on sentence digression at the end, there?

Re:faint reassurance (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 10 months ago | (#43964839)

Jump ship for other reasons than money. I'm pretty well-off, but my job is not to my liking. The guy was complaining about retiring--I know people who will NEVER retire, and people who are retired on a comfortable nest egg and still work 40 hours because they can't stand being idle and want to accomplish something.

$65k is a decent middle-class salary. He was complaining about being 50 and 20 years from retirement. I'm on a middle-class salary in a big city with high taxes and making it easy. How can you be so far from retirement? I keep seeing "you can't save money on $60,000-$80,000 anymore" claims, but hell I'm doing it... stop buying huge ass houses for "what I can afford for 30 years". Oh, you make $3000 take-home a month and your mortgage is $1800/mo for 30 years? You have three cars, but no kids? Yeah I can see how that's hard.

I've been aggressively attacking my expenses. It's a thing. I want out of debt; getting out of debt is a bigger imperative than anything else. That's been my way out.

Re:faint reassurance (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43941937)

Nice, that's the pay-scale I was offered for one of my Internship offers this summer ($32.97 per hour)... And that ain't money, I know of others who got more. If you making that few years out of college, you did the school thing wrong.

Re:faint reassurance (2)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year ago | (#43942753)

and can retire around 45 at this rate ... too bad you suck at money

It's fine that you've decided not to have kids, but that's not for everybody. While some days they drive me bananas, on most days having kids is pretty awesome.

Re:faint reassurance (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 10 months ago | (#43964965)

I've run the expense schedules for if I'd gotten a wife and kids. Be mindful my expenses are roughly $500/mo and my paycheck is over $3500/mo. Also, with a non-working spouse, I'd drop from the 30% tax bracket to the 15% tax bracket, returning $6000/year; with a child, I'd be returned $3500/year in direct tax credit. That's $9500/year; in current tax rate salary dollars, a $13500 raise. I would have to exchange for better healthcare before having a child, of course, costing me some $200/mo additional--$2400/year, including upgrading to Family plan to cover the little woman. Baby healthcare is expensive and I'd rather control the risk than take it.

The expenses for having a woman include more food (I eat at $150/mo, $250/mo if I'm irresponsible; and I throw quite a bit of food away because it's hard to cook portion for one. Consider $400/mo, so ... $200/mo, $2500/year), medical expenses ($2400/year upgrade to high-end health plan), and some additional water and power. The rest is effectively elective--yes, I understand that the woman will WANT those shoes and clothes and other gifts; I myself have some level of discretionary spending. Yes, I understand both the need for some concessions in courtship and the need for possessions and activities that may cost money to support individual health--people need things and need to be able to do things. Part of keeping a woman healthy--not just on your arm, but HEALTHY--is giving her a new dress or taking her out once in a while. But this is flexible, not a fixed expense; that more means that I'll boost it when it suits me. If you've got a woman, and you don't enjoy taking her out sometimes, get rid of her.

Overall it's a wash.

Re:faint reassurance (1)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about 10 months ago | (#43948141)

You suck at math if you think you'll be able to retire at 45 given your current income level. In fact you're not even close. Of course that presumes you a lifespan of about 80 years and you not wanting to eat Alpo into your senior years.

Re:faint reassurance (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 10 months ago | (#43964973)

My fixed expenses are 1/7 of my income, plus debt repayment, plus discretionary. That's why I'm aiming to pay off my debt in a few years--by the time I'm 30, owning a house, no rent, no car payment.

Y'Know, The Movie World Used to be the Coolest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43940319)

The Movie World used to be the coolest, until Computer World moved in. Hollywood was California, until Google and Yahoo! set up shop and started wrecking everything, even television. They even set up their Silicon Valley up there where the sweetest of California's grapes were grown. Can you believe that? Nothing but sour grapes! Is it any wonder the critics are hot and the globe is warming?

Jumped the shark? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43940371)

Could this be a "jumped the shark" moment for Google? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_the_shark [wikipedia.org]

Re:Jumped the shark? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43940393)

Yes, because movies affect business profit margins.

Jump in while that water's wet!

Re:Jumped the shark? (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | about a year ago | (#43940505)

the phrase 'jumped the shark' jumped the shark some time ago.

Re:Jumped the shark? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43940607)

I'm over 40 what do you expect?

Re:Jumped the shark? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43940727)

To learn new sayings and things. Basically don't be that old dog who cant learn new tricks.

Re:Jumped the shark? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43941271)

Um, you realize that "old dog new tricks" thing is even older than the "shark jumping" thing... right?

Re:Jumped the shark? (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year ago | (#43945087)

Um, you realize that "old dog new tricks" thing is even older than the "shark jumping" thing... right?

Yes, but it doesn't refer to a single moment in pop culture when so many people had already stopped watching the bloody show that no-one actually remembers the episode in question!!!

Re:Jumped the shark? (1)

Servaas (1050156) | about a year ago | (#43940891)

"Ill have you know there was an episode of Happy Days that had Fonzie jump a shark and it was the best one!" - Community

95% of the interns won’t get a paying job (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43940383)

95% of the interns won’t get a paying job

Google interns are paid well. Like 6000 to 9000 per month.

Re:95% of the interns won’t get a paying job (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43941627)

100k/year for internship? source? does not compute. that's paying interns more money than contractors.

Re:95% of the interns won’t get a paying job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43942081)

100k/year for internship? source? does not compute. that's paying interns more money than contractors.

Engineering grad school interns at Google get paid at a rate of 100k/year

Re:95% of the interns won’t get a paying job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43944259)

If true, that's absolutely disgusting. And foolish. I'd take an engineer from a "lesser" school who has 10 years experience under his/her belt than a wet-behind-the-ears fetus from Stanford.

Coworker Approved (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | about a year ago | (#43940407)

On the way to lunch today, a coworker mentioned this movie to me and said he thought it was pretty funny. An ad for Google? Perhaps, he says, but still worth watching anyways.

I've never taken up the guy on any movie recommendations before, so I can vouch for his credibility. Yet, anyways.

Re:Coworker Approved (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#43940463)

it is not an ad for google. the viewers of this movie, google's users, are product not market

Google is not ideal (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43940451)

I always considered working at Google to be something that would be amazing, but could never happen to me. In the end, I interned there, and got a full time offer, which I declined. I know others who did so as well. Why? Well, whats google do? They maintain a collection of increasingly messy front ends with huge piles of Java and C++ behind them, with the goal of targeting ads effectively. Its almost all maintenance and basic feature work on ad targeting/serving stuff. Theres a few cool projects, but really, unless you are a PHD, or just really lucky, you will be targeting ads, or working on database tech to target ads. You will be on call, and work on high risk live ad related services.

You get paid a lot (~ $105k), and get great food, and amazing bonuses. If I was planning to have kids now (or already had), Google's extra money, and paternity leave, as well as stability of a big company might have won me over.

Us CSE graduates here are lucky to have tons of companies begging for us, and thus lots of good choices. I really wish job opportunities were less horribly skewed, but I'll take my undeserved opportunity while it lasts.

Re:Google is not ideal (1, Informative)

Shados (741919) | about a year ago | (#43940815)

Most big companies are like that. I know a fair amount of people who work there (I live across the street from their Cambridge, MA office). Some love it, the ones that work on the cool stuff, some ran away from it, the ones that worked on the crap project and didnt get an opportunity for internal move.

Same at the company I work for now. My department is pretty amazing and everyone loves it, but with a few thousand engineers in various cities, not everyone gets to work on the cool shit, under the awesome manager who truly gets it. People in some of the other department post the shitty reviews on glassdoor (and I don't blame them, those department suck).

So is life!

Re: Google is not ideal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43943601)

Long time Googler here. You must have worked only in ads side and have not seen the larger part of us. Too bad. Some of us on the other side of the fence would never work on the ad side, just because it's not as rewarding as working on search or gmail or android or chrome or any other parts of Google where what you create, run and fix literally affect billions of people.

Re:Google is not ideal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43943641)

Long time Googler here. It sounds like you mostly worked on ads side of us. Too bad you didn't get to see the other, more exciting (at least to me) side of us. The most rewarding part of working for search/gmail/android/chrome/docs/drive/cloud/etc/etc, is that what you create, run and fix is useful for billions of people. Not necessarily life-changing big impact kind of way (like firefighters saving lives), but there aren't many tech jobs where I can claim what I do improves (in small ways) billion people's lives.

Re:Google is not ideal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43944321)

Search is a content targeting system for search ads (search ads arn't very bad through really). Thats where Google's money comes from. The android market place is filled with ad laden apps, and ads for apps. Gmail is a data collection for ad targeting and ad display system.

I'd pay for client side decrypted gmail, but nope, only choice is ad funded.

Google chrome's default settings are creepy, and its kinda buggy with the separate encryption key on. Despite that, Chrome is quite awesome. The guy I know who worked there was pretty happy with it.

Maps is like search, all about and funded by ads.

I love reader, and sketchup. Killed and sold respectively.

Sure, on the technical side, there is a lot of non-ad based stuff, but they couldn't promise what I'd work on. I was promised algorithms work for my internship and I got a totally unrelated team in ads (I wrote a total of 1 loop. I just read docs and pushed around java and waited for review). Full-time, not even a promise for what I would work on.

I also found out I don't really like working on web services. My entire project was version compatibility, incremental deployment and testing so I don't break live services (and I was not in test, that was dev). 14 weeks of what would have been a 1 day project for a traditional software deployment if no third party money was involved. Just call it beta and ship. No one on call. Easy.

That said, their offer was fantastic, and very tempting. I didn't mean to say Google wasn't an awesome place to work, simple that it is "not ideal". Lucky me, I managed to find a better fit for my personal interests where I think I'll learn more short term.

I find horrible issues with just about everything, and Google is no exception. Working there tarnished their formerly almost flawless (in terms of an employer) image for me. They managed to slip all the way down to my second choice, and it was a very hard decision.

Re:Google is not ideal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43963475)

You get paid a lot (~ $105k)

If that's at Google HQ (and considering all the taxes etc), then no, you're not getting paid a lot for that kind of job.

A well timed propaganda piece. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43940457)

With all the news being batted about about the NSA and their spying capabilites, particularly when service providers like Google are implicated, they need a movie like this to portray them as a "friendly giant" company with a barrier to entry that allows for any American to live out the dream with them. It's a lot more warm and fuzzy an image than the news is currently portraying them, which is far closer to the truth -- Google as a paid informant to the US presidency, possibly to leaders of other countries as well. If they're willing to take the NSA's money, why not everyone else's?

Re:A well timed propaganda piece. (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year ago | (#43945119)

I don't see the flamebait in this — isn't this a fairly accurate portrayal of the current situation?

O HAI (-1, Flamebait)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about a year ago | (#43940473)

Im gona use movie revue to bitch about Google. Bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch.... [8K text later] .... btitch. Thank u 4 ur time.

Phone tech support? (2)

Collin (41088) | about a year ago | (#43940499)

Of all the glaring tech and business inaccuracies, this one stands out the most: one of the team challenges the interns must face is going on the Google tech support phone lines to give good customer service. I wonder if anybody ever told Vaughn during a script review that THERE IS NO PHONE SUPPORT AT GOOGLE. Or EVEN DIRECT EMAIL SUPPORT. Or maybe the idea of such a huge, profitable, reputable and non-evil company not having personalized tech support was so unthinkable that nobody ever bothered to check.

I understand why they don't have it, because of the high-costs of humans versus help pages and forums, but sometimes you really do need direct help.

Example: when I first got my Google Voice account, friends would complain that calls to the number would not go through. A bit later, I got some calls from wrong numbers. I started talking to the wrong number callers and found out they were dialing their intended number correctly, and that number was my Google Voice number. Finally, at one point I got a call and it was the daughter of the 90 year-old lady who has had my Google Voice number for 50 years or more. I have no idea how Google issued me a duplicate number. Since GV didn't have phone or email support and obviously there is no self-help page for "My Google Voice number is a duplicate for an old lady's," I had to settle for making a forum post and hope a Googler would see it and respond. None ever did, but the problems went away and I'm left wondering if I'm screwing over an old lady's incoming phone calls (and wondering if she's getting some of my calls) by keeping this GV account. If somebody can prove me wrong by pointing out Google Voice direct support contacts, please do so.

Anyhow, I saw the Internship movie on a preview and found it mildly amusing and pretty much like all the reviews said: standard, run-of-the-mill buddies out of water comedy filled with standard archetypes and a non-techies perception of techie companies. I also did wonder if Google sponsored the film because it was so sanitized.

I work at Google... (4, Funny)

CTachyon (412849) | about a year ago | (#43940523)

... and, uh, "praise" is not the word to describe what my co-workers are saying about the movie.

Re:I work at Google... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43941025)

They actually say something? I thought they are just prying their palms from their foreheads after seeing the movie.

Re:I work at Google... (1, Funny)

swillden (191260) | about a year ago | (#43942795)

They actually say something? I thought they are just prying their palms from their foreheads after seeing the movie.

Nah... we're mining it for ideas.

My team has some interns showing up in the next couple of weeks and we're already thinking about putting them in teams and giving them ridiculous challenges to compete, then having them do a stack ranking of each other and whoever comes out on the bottom will get sent home.

Well, either that or we'll give them some code to write. Probably that.

Re:I work at Google... (1)

jmactacular (1755734) | about a year ago | (#43944343)

haha :)

Maybe Google X should mine more movies for ideas. Nixon asked his science advisers what to do after putting a man on the moon, and they all pointed to the film 2001 and said we want to do that... speaking to the shuttle program and space station. He said pick one.

Seriously, self driving cars will be a revolution, keep that going. Just from a guys perspective alone, and especially an introvert, that 20-30 minutes of decompress time relaxing in your car, taking a nap, or reading Slashdot while your car takes you home, before you get home to the family with the todo list... More than just safety... you'll be saving marriages! lol

But really, how are we not doing the stuff in Minority Report yet? Not only the cars. Remember those FOLED like newspapers on the subway? Why the h are we still fiddling with these thick form factors? Why are we fiddling with screens and devices at all?

I think you guys should do more than have people write code. Maybe you should also ask them to dream up the future. So we can build it! That would be a fun interview. Certainly more fun than running and stuff.

Meh.... (1)

Brawlking (2590947) | about a year ago | (#43940609)

It looked pretty funny to me, and I'm a developer. I know what's not right, but that doesn't make the stuff any less funny. And so far I've pretty much never agreed with any critic, so I think I'll make up my own mind. Prime example, most of the critics said the new Star Trek movie sucked. As a hard cord Trek fan for almost 20 years, I'm only 30, I loved it. TL;DR: Critics are stupid, make up your own mind.

Re:Meh.... (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year ago | (#43945141)

TL;DR: Critics are stupid, make up your own mind.

Please tell me how many minutes of audio-visual entertainment are produced each year. If it helps, you can restrict yourself to English-language film and TV. No one person can "make up [their] own mind" on all of it. There are films out that are better than this, but you haven't heard of them because they weren't made by some big soulless by-the-numbers Hollywood production house. Once you've "made up your own mind" about every DVD on sale from Amazon, then you can come back and tell everyone else to do the same....

Re:Meh.... (1)

Xest (935314) | about 10 months ago | (#43961729)

I think you're over-analysing his point.

It's really quite simple, if a film sounds like it's of a subject matter that interests you and you have the opportunity to watch it (time, and ability to acquire it) then watch it regardless of what some critic says.

I agree with him tbh, I tend to find critics are dull, soulless people given the stuff they slate and rate. According to critics some of the most cliched, dull, uninteresting films are the greatest things ever made. Life of Pi for example was highly rated by critics but was, to me, probably one of the shittest movies I've seen in over a decade. The point is that even if there is many thousands of hours of film created each year you're not going to be any better off listening to critics than not listening to them because you're still just as like to end up watching shit you hate, and just as likely to miss something you might love than if you just watched whatever you first came across when you decided "I feel like watching a film". If like the GP and myself you find the critics to be wrong for your tastes nearly every time then listening to critics might end up leaving you worse off than if you'd just closed your eyes and picked some random films up off the shelf at the store without even bothering to check what they were.

Wait, this is true (1)

hsmith (818216) | about a year ago | (#43940639)

most of the audience will walk away thinking that answer to creating software is eating pizza, going to a strip club, or drinking alcohol

Well, I mean if you are looking to burn VC cash.

David Barksdale movie instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43940719)

From what I've seen of the movie--and what I've seen of Vince "leave me alone" Vaughn--The Internship isn't very funny IMHO.
A very funny "Google" movie would be one based instead on the events that led to the firing of Google engineer David Barksdale.
(Everybody knows Google doesn't actually read your e-mail, right? Hah!)

Just saw it... (1)

kenh (9056) | about a year ago | (#43940773)

I just saw the movie, it was funny, my 16 year-old son really enjoyed it.

This isn't high art, it's a summer comedy. That it is set on Google's campus doesn't mean it is (or should even be considered) an accurate depiction of what goes on at Google w/r/t internships.

Personally, I found the movie entertaining, but a bit too much like "Dodgeball" for my taste - the plot line is very similar, including a near dodgeball-like Quidich match where contestants throw red rubber balls at opposing team mates to "take them out" of the game...

And the misfit band of outsiders that...

Well, if you've seen Dodgeball, this movie will seem familiar. It's worth seeing, I enjoyed it.

Re:Just saw it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43940861)

imdb stats suggest the movie is loved by teenagers and adults generally think it sux.
Droop Nose Wilson and Vince Vaughn are like that. In real life.

WTF kind of a review is THAT? (5, Insightful)

sirwired (27582) | about a year ago | (#43940825)

What the hell kind of a "review" was that? It seemed like most of the review was spent moaning about how evil Google is. Whether it is or isn't is kind of beside the point; it's a Google ad not-so-cleverly disguised as a lame comedy, not a documentary or expose on corporate America. Movie reviews are supposed to be about the movie, not about the particular bones the review author would like to pick.

Re:WTF kind of a review is THAT? (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year ago | (#43945147)

What the hell kind of a "review" was that?

It was a review aimed at Slashdotters. It picked up on points directly relevant to Slashdotters. And it was posted on Slashdot.

There are plenty of non-specialist reviews available elsewhere &mdash I fail to see the problem.

CS - Hollywood style. (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year ago | (#43941051)

Just as Hollywood injected scenes of drunken programming into “The Social Network”, Hollywood can’t seem to believe that software is made with logic, precision and concentration.

Duh. This is the same Hollywood that gave us the (horrible) scene in The Net where Angela Bennett (Sandra Bullock) does a "whois" query that results in a picture of a guy's driver's license. Sure, I get it. Day-to-day CS work is not very exciting or photogenic, but it (often) involves real work.

Re:CS - Hollywood style. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43942087)

Sure, I get it. Day-to-day CS work is not very exciting or photogenic, but it (often) involves real work.

Maybe if you are of Google's PhD janitors censoring search results for a third world country or something, which is what this movie is portraying.
Lots of money, meaningless job, no personal responsibility, little free(as in personal) time. No wonder they spend their days drunk at work.
If you replaced my team so it had its share of beautiful women and two ambiguously gay men, you could pretty much show a few well cut minutes of what we do at work.
Of course the actual plot would still be about infecting alien motherships with computer viruses. But still.

Re:CS - Hollywood style. (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year ago | (#43945181)

Duh. This is the same Hollywood that gave us the (horrible) scene in The Net where Angela Bennett (Sandra Bullock) does a "whois" query that results in a picture of a guy's driver's license. Sure, I get it. Day-to-day CS work is not very exciting or photogenic, but it (often) involves real work.

Have a little look back at early cinema, and you'll see lots of symbolic devices to indicate time passing, emotions and other such things that can't be easily shown literally. In many ways, modern cinema is weaker for this, as it's all too easy for time to get rather disjointed. Computers are pretty abstract, and cannot be portrayed literally in a film. It's only sensible that some artistic license be applied.

The Net was pretty crap, so I don't really recall it that well, but I only remember one proper conceptual fail in it -- the fact that killing the software magically restored all the data that had been rewritten, which makes as much sense as shooting a corrupt filing clerk in the Wild West and finding all his forged records instantly restored to their original form....

I'm not sure I believe it either. (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about a year ago | (#43941775)

Hollywood can’t seem to believe that software is made with logic, precision and concentration

Most software leaves users with the feeling it was slapped together by a rowdy group of inebriated teenagers, so it's not surprising hollywood feels that way. Of course, the problem is usually poor management practices and not alcohol, so truth is more boring than fiction in this case.

Not having a beer with your boss (1)

tyrione (134248) | about a year ago | (#43942865)

tells me as a NeXT/Apple alum how glad I am I never worked at Google. Beer bash fridays, volleyball and social interactions espousing creative ideas were the best times.

For someone who works in Hollywood--in summary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43943269)

Target your audience. Make the film exciting, play on the myths and old tales, the stereotypes. That's all the OP wanted to say in his review, Hollywood did what it usually does for a quick money grab (vs. a Art-house type risk).

Movies make WAY more money that what "the valley" generates, Really. Aside from long tail stuff, it's cash that is not completely recorded in 10Ks like all tech companies... there's a lot of free cash floating around 'the wood'. Do you really know how much it cost to make this movie? No... hidden numbers. B

Silicon Valley wants to invest in movies. BUT they hate the hollywood execs and their tight control of IP, DRM, direction, and distribution... basically everything. This movie is a nice carrot to the valley in staying invested.

I didn't think less interest was possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43943689)

I didn't think it was possible for me to have less interest in this; but after watching that Onion clip and skimming some posts, that's where I stand.

sounds great (1)

hraponssi (1939850) | about a year ago | (#43943699)

the movie that is. as someone in the software industry closing on 40, i find myself pondering just these topics. if/when i choose to look for other job opportunities in the field (some change is nice sometimes), where will i go and what will it be with all the 20 something geniuses (who are that or think they are) and how to fit in all that.. or how to find anything and to believe it will last etc..

so i just find it great someone made a movie where i can relate to something. of course it might not relate to everyone else.. and i have not seen it yet so maybe it sucks but still hope to see it (if i find the time with the kids and all, age...) :)

Andy Grove (1)

quarrel (194077) | about a year ago | (#43943821)

> Arthur Rock, Mike Markkula and Andy Grove put up plenty of money to fund Apple Computer

I'd never heard that Andy Grove had funded Apple. Markkula sure.

Is this true? I can't find it mentioned elsewhere. Interesting tidbit if true.

--Q

The real Google is more like Mad Men (1)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#43943975)

It would have been a better movie if the guys ended up in the ad sales side of Google. Most Google employees are ad sales reps. That side of the company is more like Mad Men.

Read "Drugstore Cowboy" [wired.com] , which has more of the story about how an FBI sting operation caught Google accepting ads from drug dealers. Google paid $500 million (yes, half a billion dollars) to avoid criminal prosecution for that. It wasn't about Canadian pharmacies. It was about a Mexican drug dealer selling steroids (sometimes fake steroids) using Google ads. The FBI caught the dealer. Then they put him to work as an informant, getting Google ad sales reps to accept more and more outrageously illegal ads. An IRS agent designed a site intended to look as sketchy as possible. "Whitaker recorded a phone conversation with his California Google rep, walking them through the website in real time while explaining how the scam worked. He deliberately showed how PVD was a conduit for the rogue online pharmacies, confirming that his rep was following him every step of the way. At one point, the rep asked if the rogue sites had been approved by PharmacyChecker. Of course Whitaker admitted that they hadnâ(TM)t been, but it didnâ(TM)t matter; PVD never lost its approval, and the illegal sites were allowed to continue to operate."

Now that would be a cool movie.

You've Got Mail II (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43945347)

Oh thank god somebody finally made a sequel to "You've Got Mail". This will be huge in Cannes.

Hope this has the same sort of nuanced, deep cultural relevance as "Computer Beach" (look on Archive.org).

I liked it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43945779)

It was a good entertaining movie.

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