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Ask Slashdot: What To Do With a Math Degree?

finlandia1869 Contractor or Govt (416 comments)

Contractors, definitely. The Feds needs math types in multiple agencies. The Census Bureau does a lot of stat work, for example. DoD needs math types at the warfare centers scattered around the country. Does she have any interest in Human-Systems Integration or training systems? There are a lot of people trying to find ways to get all those personnel trained up on new systems.

Alternatively, teach at a private school. They have the advantage of being able to select and expel their students and there will be less bureaucracy.

more than 2 years ago

California Considers DNA Privacy Law

finlandia1869 Re:Warning (119 comments)

No, no. Since everything appears to cause cancer and other nasty effects in California, the first thing you should consider is whether California is in fact the cause.

more than 2 years ago

Quantifying the Risk of Texting Drivers

finlandia1869 Touchscreens just as bad as texting (217 comments)

You know what else is equally dumb, but has gotten a free pass? Touchscreen interfaces in cars. I make it a point to buy cars with physical controls so that I can do things by touch alone. Plus, the designers always seem to make it a point to bury settings in nested menus; this only makes it worse. 4.6 seconds is probably how long it takes some people to change the station on the radio. And of course, they have to look down at the screen to do it.

more than 2 years ago

Member Claims Anonymous "Might Well Be the Most Powerful Organization On Earth"

finlandia1869 Powerful in their own minds, maybe (241 comments)

People running around and doing the equivalent of tearing down billboards and defacing storefronts. Big whoops. Last I checked, the major players in the global financial network have actual power. And most central/federal governments, too. This guy needs a cold beer and a sense of proportion. Ok, maybe not the latter; we know that's the one thing that no one in the universe can afford to have. Make it two beers, then.

more than 2 years ago

Gaming Clichés That Need To Die

finlandia1869 Graphics and sound are now a cliche (416 comments)

I'd say that burning too much time and money on graphics, sound, FMV, and voice acting at the expense of mechanics, plot and bug-freeness has become a cliche in and of itself.

Obviously the solution is to go back to text-based gaming. OK, fine, EGA and the PC speaker.

more than 2 years ago

Interplay Ex-CEO Brian Fargo Kickstarts Wasteland II

finlandia1869 It's a niche, but it's a niche no one occupies now (122 comments)

Look at Civ or Galactic Civilizations. Those non-FPS/RTS games were turn-based and required thought and planning. Old RPGs are the same way. People like me who grew up with Wasteland and its contemporaries miss the engagement and cleverness. I'm not interested in a fast twitch game and am willing to pay for a game that makes me think and spend time to beat. It's merely a bonus that it's a sequel to one of the all time greats that we're talking about. I'm contributing tonight and then I'm going to fire up my old copy of Wasteland and go see how little firepower I can beat Guardian Citadel with this time. Exploded blood sausage ftw!

more than 2 years ago

Pentagon To Crowdsource Weapons Software Testing

finlandia1869 Interesting, but DARPA is exaggerating the problem (80 comments)

I take issue with DARPA's assertion in TFA that formal verification cannot be scaled up to work on a modern weapon system. My office has done it for very long time and we are very software-intensive. We and our contractors just had to get smarter as the system became more complex and requirements became steeper.

Nonetheless, I would be interested in the potential of such a process to find sneak circuits and latent problems. Use it during the development process prior to integration and verification.

more than 2 years ago

What Life Was Like Inside the Hexagon Project

finlandia1869 You keep a secret because you know it's important (104 comments)

It's no surprise that they can keep a secret. Civilian personnel in defense and intelligence are, by and large, capable of keeping a secret when it counts. They are motivated to do the job and keep such secrets as are necessary to get it done (this does not include fraud, but the Important People do what they want). They know that info getting out could cause soldiers to die and wars to be lost. Speaking for my colleagues, it is not just another job because we know what's at stake.

Now, give classified info to some dummy in Congress...that's scary. Those people get their clearances by virtue of their jobs and not because of their own merits. And the spill procedures that we have to follow don't apply to them. Just like all those other laws and regulations don't apply to them.

more than 2 years ago

The Army's $10M Spy Bat Still Too Big

finlandia1869 Typical lousy DoD requirements - this one's hosed (199 comments)

As an acquisition guy, I hate this kind of stuff. This is how DoD projects go way over budget and behind schedule. Instead of "give us a long-range recon platform that the enemy is unlikely to notice," you get "give us a long-range recon platform that's stealthy, looks and flies like a bat, weighs this much, is this big, consumes this much power, can do all this other stuff that we think would be cool, etc., and by the way, you'll need to develop technology that's multiple generations ahead of what you have now." The former lends itself to more realistic requirements, useful incremental development, lower costs, and the like. The latter creates expensive messes.

more than 6 years ago


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