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Bachelor's Degree: An Unnecessary Path To a Tech Job

Kimomaru Old news . . . (280 comments)

Kids were dropping out of high school to work in IT during the tech boom. Whether this is the right path depends on the person's abilities - some kids are total tech heads and a four year degree is excessive. They're still doing fine even today. It becomes a problem if they ever want to go into management, I think, but if they don't care for management, if four year degree may be optional. I, personally, would always recommend completing a bachelors program. If the argument is, "why should I bother since I'll graduate with this college debt that isn't necessary", believe it or not there are ways to complete a degree that don't involve taking on any debt at all. Live at home for four years until you finish your degree.

2 days ago
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Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

Kimomaru Interesting . . . (224 comments)

Ironically, I couldn't finish this post. I think this is what tl:dr was created for.

about a week ago
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Intel Releases $99 'MinnowBoard Max,' an Open-Source Single-Board Computer

Kimomaru What it competes with . . . (97 comments)

I will be following this with great interest. The closest device that compete with this, I think, is the ARM-based cubieboard/cubietruck. I have a cubieboard 2 with Debian for development that runs Apache, MySQL, DNS, DHCP, and a Mumble server from a SATA laptop hardrive - costs about 80 dollars without the hard drive and runs on 5V. For the Linux enthusiast, this class of device is about as good as it gets.

about two weeks ago
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Why No One Trusts Facebook To Power the Future

Kimomaru Going to disagree slightly . . . (218 comments)

Facebook does allow users to "delete" their accounts. I'm sure ithey're not deleted out of backups and archives. However, the issue of a former user having a "ghost" of themselves on their systems isn't as valuable as you might think just because a snapshot of yourself obviously isn't a reflection of your current self (since we all change over time). The information is valuable if it's accurate/up-to-date. I can imagine a situation where a college user with Democratic leanings deletes their account and becomes Republican after graduation (common). That ghost profile is not worth much. If you don't like them, don't use anything Facebook owns. Very likely they're on the wrong side of history and we'll look back at a bizarre time when Americans were jumping up and down screaming about privacy while updating their Facebook profiles. Quitting Facebook is very easy, most people you know will just send you SMS messages or Apple iChat messages. It's more convenient anyhow. Personally, I don't get why anyone would still use Facebook, it's so noisy and gaudy - I find nothing intellectual about the experience.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: the State of Open CS, IT, and DBA Courseware in 2014?

Kimomaru Common . . . (84 comments)

I'm trying to be polite, but it sounds like you're really into educational programs. Way too into them. In this age we live in, I'm pretty sure that you were aware at the time you enrolled that studying philosophy doesn't translate into a job, it's not like you were attending Cambridge with Wittgenstein just before WWII. I think you've done enough programs, seriously you want to do an Associates than a Bachelors after working through a philosphy degree?

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do Any Development Shops Build-Test-Deploy On A Cloud Service?

Kimomaru My two cents . . . (119 comments)

Data center operations are expensive when you factor in power, gear and staff. But I don't think cloud solves those problems particularly well and it actually adds some more. Cloud data sits on someone else's secondary storage, and if you don't understand the implications of this you are not thinking hard enough. I think the decision to use cloud varies on a case-by-case basis and that you just have to measure it for yourself. It might make sense for development, but maybe you don't want your code on someone else's systems, for whatever reason. I like to write code on my cubieboard, an SoC platform that runs on 5 volt - runs Debian, can mount a laptop hard drive on it, has a dual core proc on it. Runs great for its purpose. If I try to do the same thing on a cloud system (and I have), the cost rises dramatically. But you can't run a high traffic web site off of a cubieboard. There's a line where cloud begins to make more sense. Depends on what you're looking for. But it won't replace the data center.

about two weeks ago
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What Apple's iWatch Can Learn From Pebble

Kimomaru Hilaaaarious . . . (97 comments)

iWatch, right? Seriously, tell me with a straight face that "iWatch" isn't the funniest thing ever? We're going to start wearing things on our wrists that track us all day from geolocation to personal preferences? Can we cut to the chase and get to to the iCollar already or is that too soon?

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?

Kimomaru You can't. (423 comments)

It's foolish to try and secure XP after its support ends. So much logic is thrown out the window with this idea. Try to remember that Windows XP was designed and released around the the time of the Tech Boom/Bust. A pretty different technical environment. That it's still being used is, in a way, a testament to Microsoft's dedication to it, but after twelve years - I mean, geeze, who runs the same OS for twelve years? Do you still play games on a Sega Dreamcast? Ok, that's a bad example, even I still play games on a Sega Dreamcast. But that's an entirely different era by tech standards. The larger problem you may be dealing with is that Microsoft can basically pull support when it likes and if your shop doesn't like it, you should focus on alternatives. If you're going to be a Microsoft Shop, you should adjust your upgrade budget and IT Shop's priorities appropriately, not try to keep using XP and O/S2 Warp and Windows Me because the change is too (understandably) painful.

about three weeks ago
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Facebook Buying Oculus VR For $2 Billion

Kimomaru Hats off to Markus 'Notch' Persson (535 comments)

Markus Persson stopped further progress on a Rift version of Minecraft because of Facebook's involvement. Much respect to Notch for choosing to keep his hands clean of anything FB. There's been quite a bit of bewilderment over his position. If you don't understand where he's coming from after this whole time, I'd stop trying to understand.

Notch's move restores some of my faith in common sense. Well done, Notch. I don't even play Minecraft, maybe I should take a look at it.

about three weeks ago
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Turkish Finance Minister Defends Twitter Ban

Kimomaru Hilaaaaarious . . . (94 comments)

How comical - "Twitter, obey us! We have this court order we scribbled on a sandwich napkin! And while you're at it, shut your doors and grovel at our feet!"

about three weeks ago
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NSA Hacked Huawei, Stole Source Code

Kimomaru Not really ironic . . . (287 comments)

What's tally ironic is that iPhones are manufactured in China. That's the kind of irony that makes my ears fall off. I think, at some point we're going to have to make these devices in the US.

about three weeks ago
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Gmail Goes HTTPS Only For All Connections

Kimomaru Re:Yeah, maybe ignore everything in this post . . (141 comments)

Exactly. So I have to chuckle when the news reports that an irate Mark Zuckerberg calls the President to voice his displeasure over spying (http://money.cnn.com/2014/03/13/technology/security/mark-zuckerberg-nsa/) . I don't know what he's pretending to be mad about.

about a month ago
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Gmail Goes HTTPS Only For All Connections

Kimomaru Yeah, maybe ignore everything in this post . . . (141 comments)

. . . because the NSA stated yesterday that tech companies were fully aware of snooping the who time (http://yro.slashdot.org/story/14/03/20/1745254/nsa-general-counsel-insists-us-companies-assisted-in-data-collection). If they're encrypting, it's either for show (porbable) or to prevent eavesdropping by anyone else but the NSA (unlikely, if this mattered to them they would have done it a long time ago.) So, yeah, this feels like it's for show so that people can continue to have confidence in Google's platforms.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Will Older Programmers Always Have a Harder Time Getting a Job?

Kimomaru Sounds cyclical (379 comments)

I think we're at the point in the cycle, especially in Silicon Valley, where youth equates to connectedness with modern trends in technology. It may be a somewhat correct assumption, especially in my case where I find social media and chronic smart phone use to be odious. But I don't think most older programmers feel this way. As people get older and this the social media hype begins to peter out, I think companies will become realistic again. I know quite a few dotnet programmers that are over 40, and when it comes to PHP and MySQL I think companies in general are kind of indifferent about age.

about a month ago
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Why Buy Microsoft Milk When the Google Cow Is Free?

Kimomaru Disagree (409 comments)

"Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis said she'd rather see companies pay more in taxes and fund schools that way, rather than relying on their charity or free software."

No, I think free, industry standard software will do more for these kids than putting more money into the school system. I don't think more money to the schools is going to fix the problems these students have, empowering them with relevant skills will.

about a month ago
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Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences

Kimomaru Or . . . (914 comments)

Maybe she can focus on why people do these things to start with and work on technology that can prevent these occurences? Our beef is with the crime itself and the damage it do? I think Roache missed the larger point.

about a month ago
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The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

Kimomaru Re:Truer words were never spoken . . . (529 comments)

Can you back up anything you mentioned in your post? So, a couple of problems;

"America has 320+ million people. It's talent pool is plenty big. Limited IQ is not a problem in the U.S."

Help me understand how you came to this conclusion exactly? Tech companies all have shortages of talent and have been screaming for immigration reform. They wouldn't take that route if they could hire local people (and, no, I'm sorry but the argument that companies want to pay immigrants pennies on the dollar doesn't wash. In the long run, the wages still go up for intelligent immigrants just like wages have been going up in general in China. People only get paid less for a short while in the begining). Also, what does having 320 million people have to do with its population of intelligent individuals? Your reasoning is, "There are lots of people in a given population, so there must people lots of intelligent people in that population?" Sorry, it doesn't quite work out that way.

This kind of rationale doesn't work in, for instance, professional sports (which seems to be taken more seriously than growing a population of bright people, for some bizarre reason). If a team wants the best players, it looks everywhere in the world and pursuades them to play for their team. It doesn't say, "Let's hire from the local college, they have plenty of players so they must all be qualified." They don't say that because they're not all qualified.

There's an old saw that goes, "You can learn a lot about a people by the heroes it keeps". It's true. Our heroes are the Kardashians and Desperate Housewives. We tap away on our smart phones and follow each other on Facebook. That's who we became. Opening up immigration would be painless; everyone gets an IQ test and have to pass a background check - if you score as a genius, you get instant papers. Done deal, no more hassles. It would cost 5 dollars to administer, no lawyers needed. People who are against immigration are terrified of the competition, so they dress up the argument with nonsense.

about a month ago
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Gates Warns of Software Replacing People; Greenspan Says H-1Bs Fix Inequity

Kimomaru Gates is right, Greenspan said what?! (516 comments)

Let's face it, everyone has a list of things in the world that they'd like to see made better with automation. Coffee Barista not getting your drink fast enough? Briggo has you covered (http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2013/10/briggo_coffee_robot_should_starbucks_replace_baristas_with_machines.html) . Are troop deployments in the middle east exacting a heavy human toll on your Armed Forces? Withdraw troops and send in the drones (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/apr/25/uk-controlling-drones-afghanistan-britain). Haven't we always done this? Didn't we replace horses and buggies with the Model T? It's standard operating procedure. Gates is totally right; at this point in our societal evolution, it's almost inevitable that people are going to be left behind because programming and tinkering is just not engaging for them (much as I wish this were not the case at all). Some folks are just not intellectually curious about technology and what it can do - it's not easy to convince everyone to become engineers or programmers and even most of the ones we have today aren't really all that great at what they do.

Why is anyone still listening to Alan Greenspan? Didn't his anti-regulation, hands-off policies almost steer the American Economy off a cliff just a few years ago? For heaven's sakes, he went before the House Oversight Committee in 2008 and did a mea culpa of all things (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB122476545437862295). I'm desperate to know who honestly wants to hear him give advice on economics.

about a month ago
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The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

Kimomaru Truer words were never spoken . . . (529 comments)

What else can be said except that he's completely right and that, frankly, I don't think we're smart enough to do it here in the US. The immigration situation here is totally rediculous, there was a time when we would actively seek out genious in the same way as a football team looks everywhere for new players. These immigrants (like Einstein) changed the world and today, for whatever baffling reason, we make the process as difficult and as confusing as possible. If you think about it, immigration by itself is the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to beef up the IQ of the American gene pool.

If we can't get that right, I don't think we're going to shift our focus away from America's Got Talent long enough to institute programs to cultivate genius. It's one of the most heartbreaking issues of our time.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Woman assaulted for wearing Google Glass in San Francisco bar

Kimomaru Kimomaru writes  |  about 1 month ago

Kimomaru (2579489) writes "Social media consultant and Tech Writer Sarah Slocum was assaulted at a Haiight Street bar in San Francisco on Friday night. Apparently, her Google Glass device was stolen first and she was subsequently robbed of her purse and cell phone when she gave chase. Undaunted, Ms. Slocum then took to Facebook to describe the harrowing experience. Apparently, the patrons of the bar were not pleased that they were being recorded. Gogole Glass did its job, though, as Ms. Slocum did manage to record the scuffle itself (see link)."
Link to Original Source
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Angela Merkel's New Sercure Mobile Phone

Kimomaru Kimomaru writes  |  about 3 months ago

Kimomaru (2579489) writes "Who didn't see it coming? The Snowden case has set off a technology race to create a new secure mobile phone for Germany's Chacellor Angela Merkel and her ministers. Two companies, Trust2Core and SecuSmart, are providing security solutions for the Android and Blackberry respectively. Trust2Core's solution, apparently, runs a virtual instance of Android that is supposed to be secure and separate from the regular Android environment. Interestingly, so far it seems that Apple's iPhone is not in the picture at all so far. In any case, it'll be interesting to see if this technology becomes available to the average consumer and whether or not the average consumer will even care enough to even buy it."
Link to Original Source
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Facebook Being Sued Over Mining of Private Messages

Kimomaru Kimomaru writes  |  about 3 months ago

Kimomaru (2579489) writes "Two Facebook users are trying to start a class action lawsuit against Facebook for allegedly mining information from private messages with the intention of selling is to advertisers. It's not the first time a social medial player has been in the press over privacy or security issues. But when the services are provided free of charge, does the user have a realistic expectation of privacy or security, especially when it's understood that the user's data is being mined for advertising? If not, should social media networks be allowed to use words like "private" (as in private messaging) or "security"."
Link to Original Source
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Do non-technical managers add value?

Kimomaru Kimomaru writes  |  about 3 months ago

Kimomaru (2579489) writes "ARS Technica asks, "How does a non-technical manager add value to a team of self-motivated software developers?" IT Managers have come some way in the past decade (for some). Often derided as being, at best, unnecessary and, at worst, a complete waste of budgetary resources, managers in technology today can add significant value by shielding developers and systems engineers from political nonsense and red tape. From the article;

"Don't underestimate the amount of interaction your manager does with other departments. They handle budgets, training plans, HR paperwork. They protect the developers from getting sucked into meetings with other departments and provide a unified front for your group.""

Link to Original Source

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