top Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?
Although my main profession is software, I also do circuit design, construction, metalworking, carpentry and most of the other building trades
I find that even though the specifics are different, the fundamental skill is the same..problem solving
Software, circuit design, carpentry or any of the other disciplines seem more similar than different
The steps are the same..clearly identify the problem, look at the tools and materials that are available, then find a solution using what you have to work with
top Intel Releases $99 'MinnowBoard Max,' an Open-Source Single-Board Computer
than a $39 Raspberry Pi?
top Ask Slashdot: Will Older Programmers Always Have a Harder Time Getting a Job?
Today, the digital world is young and new
The managers are young, the employees are young, the customers are young
Once upon a time, the railroad was the hot new tech, then radio was, then tv..etc
Someday, software will be as mature, professional and boring as ball-bearing engineering
I suspect that ball-bearing engineers suffer no age discrimination
BTW..I am a 60 year old programmer who is turning away work. I work in the totally non-sexy world of embedded systems and industrial equipment
top Teaching Calculus To 5-Year-Olds
..Alan Kay's educationally oriented programming language
Most kids who take math don't learn math
Most kids who take French don't learn French
But, kids who grow up in France, have no problem learning French
We want to create "Mathland" where learning math is natural
about a month and a half ago
top A New Car UI
Whenever I hear the term "muscle memory" it reminds me of learning to play a musical instrument
That thing looks as baffling and intimidating as a saxophone to a new user
Sure..once you learn it, it might be cool, but how many people have the physical talent and time to learn it
I tried for years to learn piano, practiced a lot, and just never could get it
top Ask Slashdot: Anti-Camera Device For Use In a Small Bus?
Tell him his idea is stupid and find another customer
top The Road To VR
The articles were filled with very optimistic visions of a VR future that was "coming soon"
I worked for Disney Imagineering R&D at the time, so money was available to buy some stuff and play with it
We bought the "state of the art" system, and hooked it up..it was not super impressive
When we showed it to the President of WDI, he said "don't show this to anybody else, it makes us look bad"
Years, and many millions of dollars later, we managed to create our own VR headmount display and opened "Imagineering VR Lab" at Epcot
It was better, but still nowhere near lived up to the hype
top Star Trek Economics
..but, the way things are going, the future will be a very small number of ultra-rich with the rest of the population living like rats in the sewers of Calcutta
top Ask Slashdot: Should Developers Fix Bugs They Cause On Their Own Time?
..of software development, and even the best of us aren't very good at it
If there was a foolproof procedure to guarantee bug-free code, and only the lazy or incompetent produced bugs, things would be different
Unfortunately today, a talented, competent developer, using best practices, always produces bugs
top Customer: Dell Denies Speaker Repair Under Warranty, Blames VLC
..it uses Windows system calls which then call the sound driver
If the damage was caused by software, it's clearly the fault of the driver
VLC is too far up the stack to cause anything abnormal
top Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?
..text vs "something-else-that-isn't-text"
The problem is complexity
Programs are getting too complex for humans to understand
We need more powerful tools to manage the complexity
And no, I don't mean another java framework
top Ask Slashdot: What Does Edward Snowden Deserve?
How about a full pardon and the medal of freedom
top Who Makes the Best Hard Disk Drives?
After hearing his horror stories, I wondered if I made the right choice buying WD drives
But, the evidence speaks for itself...100% reliability
top You Might Rent Features & Options On Cars In the Future
It seems like the marketoids are convincing companies to design ever more annoying technology to piss off their customers
In the old world, companies tried to satisfy their customers
In the modern world, it seems like companies want to make customers as angry as possible
Sadism is the new corporate religion
top Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve
The douchiness is in reactionary fucking morons who scream "waah CFLs suck because of LEDs, therefore we should all go back to incandescents" which is a really fucking stupid comment as you watch them make it.
CFLs aren't dimmable..yes, some manufacturers lie and say they are..but they're not
LEDs are dimmable, poorly, but they are somewhat nonlinear and have a minimum threshold where they turn off
I am all in favor of energy efficient bulbs..IF THEY ARE DIMMABLE!..I mean really dimmable, with a smooth, linear transition from off to full
top Do Non-Technical Managers Add Value?
We were the R&D group of a major corporation
Our boss, the VP of R&D, was non-technical, but he did a great job
He handled the politics
He got us the budget
He got us our own purchasing guy and receiving dock
He isolated us from the bullshit of the rest of the corporation
He gave us freedom to handle the technical side as we saw fit
To sum it up..his job was to give us the perfect environment, our job was to do cool stuff that made him look good
top Disney Pulls a Reverse Santa, Takes Back Christmas Shows From Amazon Customers
You are never buying from them, only renting for variable durations
top Ask Slashdot: What's On Your Hardware Lab Bench?
When I need it, there is no substitute
One of my favorite tricks when working on digital/analog hybrid circuits is to use the microprocessor to set an output pin, then use the signal to trigger a scope
I have debugged lots of tricky interrupt driven realtime stuff with this approach
But yeah, it gets turned on about once every two months
top Vint Cerf Thinks Privacy May Be an Anomaly
We are living in the transition time where some people have private lives and some are more public
If current trends continue, everybody will have embarrassing pictures on the internet and nobody will care
top 4K Ultra HD Likely To Repeat the Failure of 3D Television
So called "3D" (actually stereoscopic) sucks in most cases
The best it gets is in a carefully done CGI film where left and right eye views are separately rendered by someone who knows what they are doing
Unfortunately, a lot of "3D" is regular 2D films, cheaply post-processed to give a slight taste of stereoscopic-ness
A 4K monitor can use intelligent upscaling to make any existing program material look better
MpVpRb has no journal entries.