Google: Better To Be a 'B' CS Grad Than an 'A+' English Grad
I think there is (unsurprisingly) a lot of misunderstanding among the CS crowd about what an English major actually studies. I was not one myself (journalism and Russian language double-major), but from what I understood from my English major friends in college, it's not poring over obscure grammar rules for four years. It's actually more of a degree in writing and communications, learning how to structure and present information in essay form. It's also studying the various kinds of writing out there for different purposes - ranging from artistic to practical - and learning about how other writers have communicated in the past (literature) and what can be learned from them and applied to written communications today.
I graduated as a double major: English with a writing concentration, and Philosophy with a religious concentration. I know, the McDonalds track, right?
It's not that hard to understand how someone can look at an MFA student writing poetry for their degree and scoff. However, "English" covers a ridiculously broad spectrum, especially as the definition of a "text" has been broadened to include any context where meaning is being communicated. Ethnographies focus on culture and the spoken and unspoken messages inherent in both our interactions and our environments. The fundamentals of literary criticism can be used to deconstruct and examine everything from works of art to advertising campaigns.
I picked up Philosophy as a second major because I needed a better grounding in where English-as-a-degree is currently grounded. I learned more grammar from my Philosophy classes, because in the upper-level English classes it's just assumed you know how to write. If you don't, how'd you make it that far?
No, an English major is not immediately useful for developing a piece of software, but an English major is useful if you're having a hard time understanding why releasing a decapitated and bloody bikinied torso might offend a significant segment of humanity. Recognizing that connotations are as important as denotations might help bridge certain contentious issues of race and gender that are making more and more frequent headlines. Skill at reading environmental and interpersonal dynamics can lead to subtle changes with dramatic improvements for development teams.
English majors aren't flashy. Chances are slim we'll create for you the next billion-dollar software idea. We're a long-haul sort of investment, which I can understand is distressing for fast-paced companies like Google. We can make what you do and how you do it better, but not always in easily quantifiable ways. Worse, when those ways are quantifiable, they tend to seem blindingly obvious, never mind that you couldn't see the forest for the trees before we came along.
I don't begrudge anyone dissing on English majors. I do it myself because I think it's fun. But I pursued the degree I loved, knowing full well that it wasn't going to earn me six figures anytime soon, or maybe even at all. I'm still happy where I am and with the education I have. Moreover, someone like Bock who dismisses the skills of an English degree gives me a good idea of where their head's at and what's really important to them. Namely, not aligned with what's important to me, so it's not really an opportunity lost.
Mozilla Is Investigating Why Dell Is Charging To Install Firefox
Installing Firefox is what... 45 seconds? That's £1300 an hour. Now I know how all those commenters make $86,976 a week working from home! They work for Dell!
No Pardon For Turing
Perhaps I misread the poster's intent, but I took the conversation as:
"It's not a choice, so pardon the man."
"What if it were a choice? Then the conviction should stand?"
To be convicted of a crime and chemically castrated for being a homosexual is inhumanly wrong. Whether that homosexuality is a choice or not bears absolutely no weight.
$5M In Torrented Files Presented As Art
As art, I think it would be far more compelling if the hard drive was online and seeding.
Smithsonian Unveils 'Art of Games' Voting Results
Shadow of the Colossus took the prize in the PS2 category. As I recall, SotC was far more successful than Ico, plus SotC gets brought up constantly in any "Games are art" debate. As such, I'm not surprised that Ico may've been bumped.
I'm not sure how a Tony Hawk game made the honorable mention list, but having not played it, I'll reserve judgement.
Steve Wiebe is the King of Kong Again
I find it hilarious how the post about Billy Mitchell being a douche bag prompted dozens of posts about the editing methods of the film, about how one shouldn't judge a person because of those edits, and how the movie is more fiction than reality. Someone posts that Steve Wiebe is a bad father based on the exact same film, and everyone takes it as rote truth. Love it.
iPad Is a "Huge Step Backward"
You're absolutely right. It's such a shame that no one has yet determined a way to break the locks that bind the iPhone and the iPod Touch to the App Store. You could even say these devices are imprisoned, jailed. If only some intrepid group of hackers could find a way to break these devices out of jail, allowing those that wish it a way to modify their devices or install "unauthorized" applications onto them. If only there were some way to get the word out, and allow those that wish to make use of this mythical hack to find it. Perhaps some day such technology will exist.
Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time Offers New Gameplay Mechanic
Also of note: Cursor*10. Less direct interaction, but more planning ahead.
Nintendo, Sony Take Big Financial Hits
But is that going to get us a price drop? When the PS3 first dropped, everyone justified the price of the console because Blu-Ray players were just as expensive, if not more so. Well, I'm seeing hundred dollar Blu-Ray players now, but the PS3 is as expensive as it ever was.
Student Suing Amazon For Book Deletions
I read "goodluckwiththat" and wished it to the kid honestly. If there's any chance this sets a precedent for what can and can't be done with DRM'ed media, it's worth a shot. Wonder if he'll stick to his guns when they offer him a settlement. Cynicism tells me "No."
US Videogame Sales Have Biggest Drop In 9 Years
PvZ was awesome. Loved that game.
Xbox To Get Live TV and Massive VOD Update
Is this UK only? Seems that way from the articles, but the summary doesn't mention anything. If it is, that's good news for them, but kinda useless for the rest of us.
Should Job Seekers Tell Employers To Quit Snooping?
People need to understand a simple concept: if you wouldn't feel comfortable saying something in front of a packed auditorium, you probably shouldn't say it in a public forum online.
Absolutely. If you're comfortable voicing the opinions you put online anywhere else, then you're probably going to be miserable working for a company that refuses to hire you based on those opinions. If you're an asshat who likes to piss people off, then you're not likely to be working for anyone too long, anyway.
I'm not a big fan of the trend towards using online personas against people, but I see it as a reverse filtering effect. "You don't like me. I don't like you. Glad we know this now."
AP Considers Making Content Require Payment
Let them force users to pay for their content. If it kills off the service, then so much the better. Something else will step in to fill the void left behind, and will likely be less dinosaurian about the entire process. Good riddance.
And if it works? Well, I'll accept an "I told you so."
Amazon Enters Gaming Market
I don't know how much I'll use the service later on, but I've already grabbed the free games.
Incidentally, there's a fourth free game available; Big Kahuna Reef. It's not advertised, as far as I can tell, so I don't know if there might be more hiding in the pages.
Atari Talks Ghostbusters Date, Popular Franchises
An acquisition of the game would explain it. I knew there was an issue with the merger, and that the game might not be released. I never heard that Atari picked it up. Thanks.
Atari Talks Ghostbusters Date, Popular Franchises
Did I miss something? Is this a new game, or just the release of the game that was supposed to come out in November?