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Ask Slashdot: Are Timed Coding Tests Valuable?

Korbeau Depends on medium and content of the test (776 comments)

I would be nice to have more insights as to the content of the test and the medium used.

If it is a complex algorithm (for instance I don't know, writing a compression method, an digital filter etc.) these kind of questions are better suited for pen&paper where the candidate will mostly spill out pseudo code, ideas and comments. As others said, in such a test I would not expect the candidate to write flawless code, but it will give me an idea as to whether he knows basic concepts of programming, possibly of a particular language, and most importantly if he knows how to think.

On the other hand, if you are given 45 minutes in front of a computer, I would expect it to be a very very simple task. This could be for instance writing a form where the user inputs some values that get serialized on disk. I would more be interested to know if the candidate is as fluent as he says with the tools provided. I would expect him to finish on time and evaluate the real quality of the code. Or if he had problems this would be a base of discussion as to what happened. Of course, in such a context I don't see why this test would not be "open books" with access to the Internet and any reference documentation needed.

Both tests are valid enough I think. But mixing them (doing a pen&paper test for code that is meant to compile flawlessly or doing a seated test with a complex algorithm) is just malicious! Maybe that is what your friend encountered.

about a year ago
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Star Wars: 1313, a 'Darker, Grittier' Star Wars Game

Korbeau 1313 ... PG-13? (133 comments)

Please show me some hardcore 18+ Star Wars with Nathalie Por ... heu, Chewbacca kinky X-mas explosions and stuff.

about 2 years ago
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German Kindergartens Ordered To Pay Copyright For Songs

Korbeau Well, as I imagine it (291 comments)

German children probably listen to Kraftwerk to learn all about radioactivity, vitamins, telephones, computers, autobahn, neon lights and such. In fact, in the summary's picture I believe they are dancing to The Robots. Seems fair for the band to receive some kind of royalties.

more than 3 years ago
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What 2D GUI Foundation Do You Use?

Korbeau A canvas to paint custom objects? (331 comments)

I was about to reply some pros&cons and that in the end all frameworks have their limits and how if you try something else than asking for a birthdate in a textbox and outputing the age in another when the user hits a button you'll spend hours and hours tweaking little details (why won't it let me put an icon here! Why won't it align correctly!)

But I re-read you question and you talk about re-writing all the GUI yourself, so I don't really understand why you need a UI toolkit to start with. But you probably have not phrased your needs completely.

Anyway, the obvious answer is to try WPF for Windows if your app is for Windows.

more than 3 years ago
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ISPs Lie About Broadband "Up To" Speeds

Korbeau ISP Welcome Kits (547 comments)

Up to 7Mbps! Improved flavor, now without trans fat!

more than 2 years ago
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R In a Nutshell

Korbeau Not much left! (91 comments)

Based on Wikipedia, only G, H, N, O, P, U, V, W one-letter programming language names are left! Time to invent a new language :)

more than 3 years ago
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What To Do With Old 802.11b Equipment?

Korbeau What to do with a hammer? (249 comments)

I've come across a hammer in my toolbox. Any idea what I could do with it? Is it worth any time putting it to use, or should I just leave it in my toolbox?

(PS: aside from being cynical, this post also answers the OP question - using 802.11b equipment along with a hammer can be a whole-lotta fun ;)

more than 3 years ago
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Subscription-Based 'Hulu Plus' Is Now Official

Korbeau Re:Wait... (434 comments)

Do you prefer paying 29.99$ without ads?

more than 3 years ago
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China Restricts Minors From Using Virtual Currency

Korbeau Hmm ... (142 comments)

I also think that it is a good thing to prevent minors to do online transactions, particularly of "virtual currency" stuff, without some kind of monitoring or parental consent etc. This sounds perfectly reasonable.

And to put the "unwholesome" comment into context which seems to annoy everyone, imagine a US politician saying vague words like "it is morally irresponsible to do X" or "it is to protect the rights our fathers gave us" etc. I mean, it's a speech.

So China makes what seem a sensible law ... can someone explain to me why it is that bad?

more than 3 years ago
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Google Introduces, Then Scraps, Bing-Style Background Images

Korbeau Re:Thanks god. (466 comments)

My guess about this one is that they don't want you to notice that you are almost always "logged in" into Google search if, for instance, you have a Youtube or Gmail account. With the fade-in, you don't really notice the "log out" option in the top-right corner.

I remember being very surprised to see that I was always searching in "authenticated" mode because I told Gmail to keep me logged in (btw, the option is checked by default so probably most users are).

I find it very frustrating that they decided to link all the accounts like this. I want to keep my search separated from my Youtube views/comments separated from my mail.

(of course: they can still deduce who you are without being officially authenticated, but that's another story)

more than 3 years ago
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Washington Wants 10,000 Web Surfers

Korbeau Re:"Washington" is a US State (147 comments)

Argh! for the 8^56th time!

- "Washington" is a US State founded in 1889.
- "Washington D.C." is the Capital of the United States.

This article was obviously not written by anyone on the west coast.

West coast? Which one? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Coast

more than 3 years ago
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How To Take a Big Vendor To Small Claims and Win

Korbeau Re:Qualifications (171 comments)

Imagine 8 and 20 years... it would have been.. like... 3000$!!

more than 3 years ago
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Net Neutrality Suffers Major Setback

Korbeau FCC vs Canada's CRTC (790 comments)

Did the FCC at least force ISP to give the users the exact throttling rules like Canada CRTC ruled last autumn?
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/09/10/21/2223229/

I would have loved to see slashdotters' reaction to the CRTC announcement after this news came it, would have put things in perspective. It's good to be pro-net-neutrality (CRTC also is pro-net-neutrality), but even with limited power it tried and succeeded to at least get some basic ruling done so we are not (the users) completely screwed.

In the end though, I guess both organizations will reach the same kind of decision (Canadian politicians being what they are) and Big Industry will flourish.

about 4 years ago
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Ubisoft DRM Causing More Problems

Korbeau Re:Well, I sure am glad (279 comments)

The trick is, you can't judge the success of this strategy on the sales of Settlers 7. Sure, there might be an uptick in sales for this game, because they can't pirate it, but what happens when users frustrated by this don't buy Settlers 8? Will people blame that on DRM?

Yeah, I totally agree. Big Game Industry is making experiments these days with all sorts of DRM and DLC schemes. Even some titles shipped without any kind of DRM or even a basic form of CD-Key to see if it would change a thing.

My guess is that the effect of such schemes are minimal. I think good PC-only title can still make good money, but for all console ports the PC version is pretty much dead.

Currently Big Game Industry still allocates some resources in the last mile-stone to make a shippable PC version. Shippable meaning buggy, hungry on resources, needing the latest video card and often still with console artifacts in them (like you are asked to press "O" and "X" buttons instead of key names). They also "consolize" most game genres and now you cannot do without dumbed-down interfaces, targetting aids, etc.

At some point, my guess is that they will stop to bother.

Who I really blame for this are the gamers themselves. They don't realize their consoles are just a DRM-packed, slow PC, and proudly decide to chose for a DRM, costly solution to gaming, instead of refusing to buy consoles and stick to PC.

about 4 years ago
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Ubisoft DRM Causing More Problems

Korbeau Re:Well, I sure am glad (279 comments)

As far as I can tell, the article you are pointing to refers to Silent Hunter 5, and both Assassin's Creed 2 and Settlers 7 remain uncracked.

Also note that the solidity of DRM techniques like these depend at how much time the developers spend to "secure" their product. My guess is that for Silent Hunter 5, a very niche product, they only did the minimum. But for their big titles they probably have hordes of programmers messing the game pretty much beyond recognition without the connection to the server. Oh, that never makes it impossible to crack, but it's no longer a simple matter of by-passing some CD key checks by inserting NOPs, you really have to build a set of tools around a particular title and it can take weeks to do so ...

And that's really their goal. Most of the sales of a game are done during the first few days / weeks. If it takes a month to crack the damn thing, they have reached their goal.

If they sell 10'000 more titles because frustrated kids can't find their free crack and must beg their parents to go to the store, they have reached their goal. I'm eager to see their financial numbers about this - I'm still skeptical it will change anything, but we'll see.

Now to answer your question: you are supposed to pay because 1) it is illegal to do otherwise 2) you support the developers of the games you love.

Wiseass like you wonder why all PC games are crap and developers focus on console gaming since the Internet got popularized ...

(PS: that is not to say I'm all for these draconian DRM practices. I don't really care about the "always connected" feature as long as the requirements are clearly visible when you buy the game, but I don't like the fact that it prevents resale).

about 4 years ago
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Gnome 2.30 Released

Korbeau Re:You know what they say... (138 comments)

" If you can't fix it - give it more features! "

Did God say that after giving women boobs?

about 4 years ago
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Gnome 2.30 Released

Korbeau Yay! (138 comments)

"advanced file management, better remote desktop experience, easier notes synchronization and a generally smoother user experience"

I requested those *specifically*!

about 4 years ago
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The Computer That Can Read Your Mind

Korbeau first post (145 comments)

from Intendix.

Now Twitter char limit

Seems reasonable.

more than 4 years ago
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A Second Lessig Fair-Use Video Is Suppressed By WMG

Korbeau Re:Free Speech != Right of ... (187 comments)

It is when the reason for the suppression is a law. That is, they (ostensibly) don't really "want" to do it otherwise. If you can't grok that even a little bit, then shut up and let the citizens talk.

That's pure business decision:

1) I scratch your back you scratch mine - big business probably pay them or give them incentive to find automated ways to find copyrighted material.

2) It's probably less costly to apply a guilty until proven innocent policy than the other way around. That means that there are very few false positive using such system. The article's author has been unfortunate in this matter, but notice he can contact Google to have his stuff back online.

There are about a dozen DRM-related discussions on Slashdot every month. I usually stand behind them, but in this case that's complete FUD.

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft Says, Don't Press the F1 Key In XP

Korbeau Damn! (324 comments)

I'll have to stop missing the ESC and ~ key!

Most annoying thing: press F1 in a software like Visual Studio and have to wait 5 minutes for it to refresh online help.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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How can I "ask Slashdot"?

Korbeau Korbeau writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Korbeau (913903) writes "Is this the official form or something? I have some stuff I'd like to ask but it's really not clear where to write it. (on a side note: I did not find a good "topic" to post my question on...)"

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