The Moderately Enthusiastic Programmer
It goes way eventually. Then you join senior senior management and you will have the airport dream and the moving to a new house dream.
Welcome to eternal nightmares.
Office Space: TV Documentary Looks At the Dreadful Open Office
>And for what it's worth, in the last few places I've worked, the multimillionaire bosses have always sat right in the middle of the open plan with everybody else
I bet they didn't write much code.
You'd lose that bet at my workplace. The MMBs are in the middle of the open plan and are the top 1% coders: that is why they are there.
Office Space: TV Documentary Looks At the Dreadful Open Office
That's a really good analysis. I'd add one idea: you can have more than one work location! I have my open plan desk (a massive 24 sq ft) of space where I try to spend most of my day: my direct reports are all within 20 feet, and 64 people are within "stand up and talk" distance. I also have an office for the confidential/chat stuff: we walk to it if needed. Almost all business gets done in the open: it's more transparent, we talk tech in the open, we talk strategy in the open, every direct and second level report can at least listen to what is going on and figure out if they can help.
Ask Slashdot: How Reproducible Is Arithmetic In the Cloud?
Exact and reproducible are very different things though., even if the former implies the latter. Also, when do you need 53 bits of precision for a standard deviation? At worst, simple scaling can keep things within the precision of a double precision floating point number.
"Exact and reproducible" are somewhat sad proxies for "accurate and precise." I once had a mathematician working for me who produced very precise standard deviations, the only problem was that the numbers were sometimes negative.
Ask Slashdot: Easy, Open Source Desktop-Sharing Software?
Really. Used well, it can kill a room full of anodyne PR words. Can only be cast by level 5+ geeks.
Ask Slashdot: Easy, Open Source Desktop-Sharing Software?
+1. This is the obvious answer.
The optics are great (veterans, help, non-profit.)
First, fix your website so that it is obvious what you are offering and how you deliver it ("we are off-line now" does not cut it.)
Second, send a mail to TeamViewer's CEO or PR explaining what you do, what you need, and how you can help them in the PR space (you put thanks on your site, they can point to you as a good deed, you are available for journalists.)
Better than a shot, it should be a slam-dunk if you do it right.
Ask Slashdot: Legal Advice Or Loopholes Needed For Manned Space Program
You don't need a passport to enter.
There is no "appropriate State Party" controlling the continent.
Just be sure to take your garbage with you when you leave, not to spill anything, and not to disturb any animals.
It's not that easy. "appropriate State Party to the Treaty" refers to the non-governmental entity doing the launch, not the location of the launch. So you don't get lob stuff into space on a whim because you are outside of territorial waters on a ship, on a private island, etc.
This was hashed out at length on the various rocketry boards when the CATS prize and XPrize were announced.
Arrest Made In Webcam Highjacking Extortion Case
Even if as a result of that illness he really and truly had no idea of what was actually happening?
What's the point of punishing someone for something they had no control over?
"I have a nude pic of you; show me more or I'll release it" That's blackmail: he understood the mental state of his victim. There is no "no idea what was happening" defense.
Utility Sets IT Department On Path To Self-destruction
This is what has always frustrated me about IT people, developers in particular. They are CLUELESS as to the need for professional associations, similar to what doctors and lawyers have.
Doctors and lawyers are unique in that they have a pass/fail exam for you to become a member of the club. Usually with required schooling to boot. And they effectively set the total count of people allowed to work.
You really propose that for IT? A legally required license to work for senior people (and a host of nurse/para-legal type vocational roles for most developers, sysadmins, and web masters?)
Its about time our industry matured a bit and formed some well-supported professional associations that can advocate for our best interests.
Writing Documentation: Teach, Don't Tell
Wow. That was the most common sense thing I've read in a while. Want a job in NYC?
How Gen Y Should Talk To Old People At Work
They don't just say "LOL WTF ;-P" in emails. They say it out loud.
No, seriously, instead of laughing out loud (hence the abbreviation LOL) they will say "ell oh ell". As in, they speak the letters. They'll also say "smiley face" or "winky face" instead of smiling or winking. I wish I was joking but I am not.
Oh noes! To think my boomer generation said "mumbles" instead of actually mumbling.
And my born-in-1935 engineer father said stuff like "there were N people already in line."
Ask Slashdot: Is Tech Talent More Important Than Skill?
I don't understand the difference. Who cares? If someone can get the job done, that's what counts.
Ah, grasshopper, as you gain respect and seniority, you will find the success of your project becomes more and more dependent on other people.
If you want to continue to succeed, you need to understand these peoples' strengths.
1. No skill, no talent: avoid these people, have them write doc or something.
2. Skill, no talent: give them designs or procedures. They will execute well if they understand what you want.
3. No skill, talent. Mentor them and watch them closely. You will get a Scala engine running 20 lines of code in the middle of your Java app if you don't pay attention.
4. Skill & Talent. Just chat will them about what you need. You'll get what you need in no time.
Study Finds Fracking Chemicals Didn't Pollute Water
No, it was a totally solid study. From the article:
paragraph 1: "A landmark federal study"
paragraph 2: "After a year of monitoring"
paragraph 3: "Although the results are preliminary"
paragraph 4: "Drilling fluids tagged with unique markers were injected more than 8,000 feet below the surface"
paragraph 8: "The study marked the first time that a drilling company let government scientists inject special tracers into the fracking fluid"
See, fracking is totally safe. A single "landmark" study proves it. When the fracking was 1.5 miles deep, after one year, no bad effects were observed. Also, this was the one study allowed by any drilling company.
Sheesh, what are you people concerned about?
Seeking Fifth Amendment Defenders
Now, obviously, I am not saying that the police ought to be able to beat information out of you. (The right not to be tortured by the police exists separately from the right to remain silent -- more on that later.) But the "right against self-incrimination" says two things that never made sense to me. The first is that you can refuse to answer a point-blank question asking whether you committed a crime, even if the question elicits no other information that ought to remain private. The second is that if you refuse to answer, a court cannot even consider that as a factor in determining the likelihood of guilt. The first seems dubious as a moral principle; the second actually departs from reality, for no good reason that I can see.
Here's my scenario:
Bennett, did you ever steal anything?
Bennett, are you still beating your wife?
Bennett, did you write "I was masturbating to the sound of my own superbly polished writing skills and I just came all over the keyboard." in a forum readable by 9 year old girls? That is a felony in my jurisdiction.
No need to consult a lawyer, just cough up a binding series of Yes/No answers and bask in the brilliance of your impeccable logic.
Too Many Smart People Chasing Too Many Dumb Ideas?
To be fair, one can look at it as a balance issue. The most capable people tend to shift their focus to the things society values the most, and right now we place a high social value on getting rich quick through finding some narcissistic niche and building something that appeals to it.
As you note, capable people focus on things that society values most. "Getting rich quick" is the result of producing what society values most, *not* the thing that society values most. So you make Facebook and get rich because society wants Facebook, not because it wants you to be rich.
So I don't see what Nnaemeka wants to happen: society to invest more money in the underclass, or people to altruistically forgo riches to serve the underclass. Either one may be a noble goal, but he should at least articulate what he wants: he complains about us being to urban-focused, but over 80% of people in America live in an urban environment! And tech apps work better in a dense environment: seamless.com, etc, isn't a business model for a farm community; the big stuff has already been done (amazon.com, youporn.com.)
What Professors Can Learn From "Hard Core" MOOC Students
It's not a bug, it's a feature!
Once a course goes online, you can't get feedback from the online tests and fix the teacher's exposition where stuff went wrong. You wind up with two or three great online courses, perhaps with a guest teacher giving a talk on a point where the main teacher can't explain well.
Ideally, you separate the course from the final tests: students watch the lectures, do the homework for the course, but take a final competency test that is designed by a certification body, not the teacher of the class. It's a much better model for all involved: I waste a ton of my time and interview candidates' time seeing if they have basic skills I need: I'd love an off-the-shelf test for that combined with teachers trying to teach the skills required to pass that test. I'd pay real money to put a screening test online and have college professors respond by teaching to that test.
Data Center Managers Weary of Whittling Cooling Costs
Why don't they just site their centers up north? Here in Duluth, most of the year the outside air is cooled for free by mother nature. Heck, they could sell their waste heat to nearby homes and businesses and get a negative PUE.
Don't need to be green to worry about this, it's $$, something ever company wants.
At my last co, we did just that at a Canadian compute farm - used cold river water as the main coolant, pumped the low-grade waste heat to a local town for residential heating.
Ask Slashdot: How Do You Sell an Algorithm To Venture Capitalists?
Hell, just whip up a website that lets users upload a video and get a link back to the improved version of video (use cloud compute for the first few months if needed.)
Get some word of mouth (look at Youtube videos that could benefit - mail the uploaders.) If people actually use it, you can and will get buzz fast on the tech sites.
If you have growing users/day, the VC pitch will be much easier.
Scientists Are Cracking the Primordial Soup Mystery
Eh I guess. I don't think current science really compares, but you're right, there's nothing that says we couldn't find something through science that is just as powerful and useful as a "back door" in a "matrix" style system if not more. I mean, we figured out how to use fire and electricity to our advantage and they're really game changing techs when you think about it.
Fire and electricity seem to be game mechanics. They happen all the time even if humans aren't around, think about a lightning storm. Game changing, yes, but what the game designer expects you to find and use.
Quantum mechanics, on the other hand, seems more like an artifact of the implementation of reality: everything seems to behave like a classical, Newtonian, clockwork universe, until you look really closely and see we actually have delayed evaluation (or "compute when needed.") That seems like an efficiency hack we weren't supposed to be aware of, and actually makes me think we are probably in a simulation.
How Mobile Devices Kill Your Creativity
Is inspiration more or less likely to strike if your mind is occupied?
The creative people I speak to (musicians, mostly) say that going for a walk outside is the best source of inspiration, closely followed by listening to songs by other people and I tend to agree with this.
If cooped up indoors, disengaging the mind is helpful but it takes some practice. Meditation works really well, but it can also be done by playing a simple game on a handheld device or mindlessly scrolling through the Facebook timeline.
I've not sure you understand what the creative people are trying to say. Inspiration is not some Greek God blessing bestowed randomly on creative people because they are walking in the sun. Every good "inspiration" is the result of hundreds of hours of thinking about something from lots of angles and exploring the various ramifications of the ideas you are generating. You can get this from lots of walks outside with your mind free to play with ideas, you don't get it from playing simple games that occupy your brain.
Talk to a musician or scientist: every "inspiration" is the end result of lots of precursor work. As the pieces start falling into place in your mind, you know you are going to get that breakthrough in a week, or a day, or a minute. It becomes so obvious you hardly need to think about it: "it's so beautiful it must be true" is common to music and physics and math.
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