Slashdot: News for Nerds


Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!



Thorium: The Wonder Fuel That Wasn't

Izaak Numerous Factual Errors (204 comments)

That article comes of as an attack piece from someone who feels threatened (maybe someone with serious investment in traditional reactor tech?). He makes ridiculous claims about the US spending decades trying to get thorium reactors working (we did not), and about many companies trying to create thorium reactors in past decades (they did not), and makes scary claims about a small amount of thorium 233 and its potential to make bombs (far more refined plutonium and uranium exists and is more easily weaponized). The truth is, the US made only one test thorium reactor decades ago, and it proved the potential for a sustained thorium cycle. The current research challenge is only around extracting waste products from the molten salt fuel mixture, and that is well within our technical capabilities. The only thing stopping the development of working LFTR reactors is the will and funding to do it.

I would pick apart the article in more detail, but I suspect other people have already beat me to it.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Computer Science Freshman, Too Soon To Job Hunt?

Izaak A Degree Will Open Doors (309 comments)

You can certainly find IT work without a degree, but an actual CS degree will open up far more opportunities, and the coursework will expose you to a broader range of concepts and skills. When I started college, I was already hacking assembly language on simple personal computers... but college exposed me to low level operating system concepts and taught me how to write a compiler from scratch. I probably could have taught myself those things if I made he effort... but I am not sure I would have thought to without the going to college. My CS degree set me on the path to become an embedded Linux and Android developer.

about 2 months ago

Self-Published Zombie Titles Have Doubled Since 2012

Izaak I published The Bolachek Journals just recently (74 comments)

I've been getting great feedback. Rather than the usual shotgun toting road warrior style hero, I decided to explore how a tech geek might approach the zombie apocalypse. Its been described as McGuyver meets the Walking Dead. Part 1 is available on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, or download it for free directly from my blog. So far I've been getting 5 star reviews and very positive comments, but I would love to hear some feedback from the more technology savvy Slashdot demographic.

about 9 months ago

Taking Telecommuting To the Next Level - the RV

Izaak Already doing it (365 comments)

I've been doing mostly telecommuting embedded linux and android work for years now, and for the last two have been doing much of it from my RV. I have a Verizon MiFi hotspot, and it works really well.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Recommendations For Linux Telecommuting Tools?

Izaak Embedded Linux Kernel Hacker Here.... (212 comments)

I've been doing the telecommuting thing for nearly a decade now, focusing mainly on emebedded linux kernel and driver developent as well as Android work more recently. I not only get my job done from home, I sometimes work on the road in an RV. I mostly use an Ubuntu laptop, Verizon MyFi, and a cell phone. I also have a Tektronix oscilloscope and a BDI3000 hardware debugger... but that is more specific to my kind of work than most people will need I suppose. On the software end, I mostly use gmail for email (though I have used Thunderbird in the past). LibreOffice does everything I need in document department. I trade Word and Excell docs with Microsoft users all the time with no complaints. Gmail also seems to handle the calender thing pretty well, including interoperting with Microsoft calendar messages. I've occasionaly had to work with clients with a very Microsoft centric infratructure, and that has meant using the web interface to their Outlook server and other such hastle... but I've always manage to get by.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What Are Your Tips For Working From Home?

Izaak Been doing this for years (480 comments)

I've been an independent computer consultant for more than 15 years now, and spent many of those years working from home on my own schedule. I find it helps to set aside a specific work area and specific hours of work (assuming those aren't set for you). It helps if you have a spare bedroom you can turn into an office. Keep non-work visual clutter to a minimum to avoid distractions, but don't be afraid to schedule breaks for yourself. I do most of my work in Linux, so on the computer end I keep all my work related stuff in a different account or at least a different virtual desktop.

more than 2 years ago

Amazon Blocks Video Streaming On BlackBerry Tablet, Blames Apple

Izaak Re:Awful "journalism", the story is almost certain (128 comments)

Since their latest Amazon Instant Video upgrade, I've been unable to watch any Amazon videos either on my 32 or 64 bit system. I've made sure I have the latest Adobe flash plug-in and have HAL installed. Their tech support was useless. I've cancelled my Amazon Prime membership over it.

And they wonder why some people resort to bit-torrent.

more than 2 years ago

What's Keeping You On Windows?

Izaak Absolutely nothing... I switched years ago. (1880 comments)

I run my business, surf the web, stream video, and even play games using Linux... have for years now. I don't miss Windows at all. I certainly don't miss all the hassle with anti-virus software etc.

more than 2 years ago

Verizon To Drop Unlimited Data Plans In Two Weeks

Izaak A grim irony... (302 comments)

I am actually an Android developer that uses a Verizon MiFi as my primary Internet. With my frequent repo syncs and source code downloads, I could easily blast past a data cap. If they take away my $70/month unlimited account, I'll probably just cancel and look for alternatives.

more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Would You Take a Pay Cut To Telecommute?

Izaak How about a pay raise instead? (615 comments)

Since I've been doing embedded Linux and Android work, I mostly work from home AND my pay is higher. Its a simple supply and demand thing. Go where the demand is, and you'll get better pay and a better work environment.

more than 3 years ago

IRS Nails CPA For Copying Steve Jobs, Google Execs

Izaak Re:This is Why (509 comments)

You can have an S-Corp with only one shareholder (at least here in WI and most other states I know of). That's how I do my consulting. It involves more paperwork that being a sole proprietor, but their are liability and tax advantages to having a real corp over going sole proprietor. An LLC is also a good option; it lacks some of the advantages of an S-Corp but involves less paperwork.

more than 3 years ago

IRS Nails CPA For Copying Steve Jobs, Google Execs

Izaak Re:The Joys of employeehood.... (509 comments)

As I read it, he had an S-Corp, not an LLC, but paid himself a salary just as you suggest. The problem is that the IRS claims he paid himself too little (which he could have also done with an LLC). The reason he did this was to reduce his payroll tax contributions. This can also reduce your eventual social security benefits, but as a CPA he probably figured he could do better investing the money. As an independent consultant this is the same situation I am in. I take a fixed, modest salary and take any additional income as just profits from the corporation. In year where I book a lot of hours, my income from profit can be more than my salary... which it looks like according to this article could put me in the cross-hairs of the IRS. I guess its time to give myself a raise. :-/

more than 3 years ago

Netflix Touts Open Source, Ignores Linux

Izaak Re:Send the wah-mbulance. (481 comments)

Dude, if they had actually released the source code to their client, someone would have already ported it to Linux (heck, I would do it nobody else stepped up). Netflix uses open source tools in the course of doing business. That is very different than actually releasing their product as open source.

more than 3 years ago

Humble Bundle 2 Is Live

Izaak Re:Humble Bundle 1 (217 comments)

If you are into puzzle games at all, the bundle is worth it for Machinarium alone. Heck, even if you are not into puzzle games, Machinarium is worth it for the fantastic artwork. Me and the GF have been playing it non-stop since we downloaded it.

more than 3 years ago

Paid Developers Power the Linux Kernel

Izaak Re:Not the way forward. (191 comments)

As one of those 'sell outs', I'm curious why you think that? At the heart of the open source ethos is the license under which the software is distributed. As long as the code that is developed is submitted back to the open source community, that ethos is satisfied. How or even if the developer is paid is not really relevant. Indeed, a world in which most commercial software is open source and the developers are paid for their efforts is very much in keeping with our dreams of an open source utopia.

more than 3 years ago

Paid Developers Power the Linux Kernel

Izaak I'm one of those paid kernel developers (191 comments)

I've been working as an embedded Linux developer for almost a decade now, and yes, most of us kernel hackers are paid for our work. For example, right now I'm working for a major microchip manufacturer that wants to make sure their products are fully supported by Linux. Consequently, they fund teams of open source developers (often hired through big name consulting firms) to port the kernel to their latest CPU's, develop drivers for integrated peripherals, etc. Just look at the email addresses in the submit logs for major open source projects. You will see,,,, ..., and many, many more big commercial technology companies. Its been this way for a while, which is why I would always laugh whenever some MS fanboy would try to denigrate Linux programmers as a bunch of basement dwellers. I make a better than average living from Linux coding, with multiple job offers right now, even in this horrid economy.

This is also why I have no worries about Microsoft ever killing off Linux. There are far too many companies making far too much money from Linux based products in market niches that MS has no traction in. The embedded and mobile markets are pretty much owned by Linux, and those are pretty much the only tech sectors seeing strong growth right now. If you haven't yet added Linux skills to your resume, do it.

If anyone wants to ask me about the Linux / embedded / open source consulting world, go ahead and post your questions. I'll check back and answer if I can.

more than 3 years ago

Open Source-Friendly Smartphones For the Small Office?

Izaak Re:Android is what you want (222 comments)

Correct. I jut bought a new LG Android phone and had no trouble upgrading the custom 2.1 Android OS that it came with to stock google 2.2. If that had not worked, I would have immediately returned the phone as 'defective'.

more than 3 years ago

Open Source-Friendly Smartphones For the Small Office?

Izaak Re:Android is what you want (222 comments)

It won't do it out of the box, but as an open platform it should be possible to make it happen. Might require an a custom OS patch though... As an Android developer myself, I might look into this and release something if someone else doesn't beat me to it.

more than 3 years ago

Arizona "Papers, Please" Law May Hit Tech Workers

Izaak You miss the point (1590 comments)

There is no way to enforce this law without harassing American citizens and legal residents. If a cop thinks you might be Mexican (or Canadian, or German, etc) you will be asked to produce your proof of citizenship, green card, etc. And, no, your driver's license is not proof of citizenship. If YOU (an American citizen) go out for smoothie and forget to take your notarized birth certificate and social security card, you can be locked up while they process your status.

Don't believe that can happen? It happens already... the only difference is now this new law REQUIRES the police to do it and encourages citizens to sue the police if they don't. It is going to be a godawful mess and will probably bankrupt some rural municipalities. If they try to uphold the law they will be sued by improperly detained citizens. If they fail to uphold it they will be sued by other citizens who still see too many durn Mexicans walking around. Its a no-win situation for the police (and any too tan citizen).

This is a big deal, and if you think it is not, I'll leave you with this final point: A major consulting client based in Texas just told me they are canceling their expansion into Arizona. The owner of the company is 3rd generation Hispanic American and about a third of his work force are either Hispanic, Indian, or Asian. Whether or not enforcement of this law becomes the debacle many of us suspect, the expectation of harassment is enough to cause major economic damage to the state.

There is a much better way to handle the problem of illegal immigration: Crack down on the business that hire undocumented workers. Have real enforcement with real financial penalties for the businesses that don't follow the rules (not the token effort and paltry wrist slap fines we have now). Without job opportunities, you remove the incentive for illegals to even enter in the first place.

more than 4 years ago



Can A Video Game Teache Computer Programming?

Izaak Izaak writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Izaak (31329) writes "My partner and I are dipping our toe into the indie game developer pool with a game intended to teach programming skills while providing the fun of a first-person puzzle solver (our inspiration is games like Myst or Portal). We even plan to make it available for free to schools, teachers, and parents homeschooling their children. We would welcome input of the Slashdot community as the project moves ahead."
Link to Original Source


Izaak has no journal entries.

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account