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Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

godrik Depends what you mean by "in tech?" (389 comments)

Would I give my heart surgery to a guy that does not have an MD, but has a bachelor in poetry? Absolutely not!

Does a bachelor in poetry have a place in a hospital? Yes absolutely!

In particular, liberal art graduate tends to be good communicators. And that is something pretty much all tech field need. We need lots of people to help the tech field communicate.

I am working in a university in a CS department, and I strongly believe that having people to help us "publicize" our work is very important. I'd love to have a youtube channel full of interviews of different members of the department. Maybe short videos explaining a particular paper I wrote. That would be cool and would fulfil our job to explain what we are doing to the public.

We had a couple of artist in our college last year who essentialyl tried to make a piece of art by taking a marionette and coupling it with a few camera to build an "interactive automaton".


Early iPhone 6 Benchmark Results Show Only Modest Gains For A8

godrik Re:power consumption? (207 comments)

Well, I'd suggest the right question is, how much does this one benchmark matter?

Well, the article does not even convince me that the benchmark was properly executed. When going from a 32-bit to a 64-bit architecture, you certainly need the code to be properly optimized for the new target architecture. For instance, if you do not use the new instructions, it is unlikely you will see a major performance improvement. If you normalize the benchmark result to clock speed and number of cores there is not much difference between the 2 processors.

So my guess is: they did not properly compile the benchmark.

5 days ago

Net Neutrality Comments Surge Past 1.7M, an All-Time Record For the FCC

godrik Re:The issue isn't really net neutrality. (81 comments)

I disagree with that. What we want is to have net neutrality in practice. Now competition in the ISP market is a tool that could lead to net neutrality. It is an indirect way of getting net neutrality. But I strongly believe that net neutrality is important enough that we want to have a direct regulation about it.

Now, more competition in the ISP market woud not hurt :)

5 days ago

German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

godrik Re:well done mods. (290 comments)

This is slashdot. Nobody RTFA anyway (even the editors).

5 days ago

Direct Sales OK Baked Into Nevada's $1.3 Billion Incentive Deal With Tesla

godrik Re:I never liked those state/city incentives (149 comments)

There is a similar law (in spirit) in North Carolina about public universities trying to hire a university professor from another public university. You can not make an offer more than xx% over what they currently have (I think it is 10%). The reasonning is similar, it cost more money to the state to get the same person they were already having at a similar position.

5 days ago

Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

godrik Essentially a smartphone replacement (471 comments)

I already carry a tablet around. So if I need to have a watch AND a phone, then it is useless to me. I want it to replace my smartphone to keep only a watch and a tablet.

I want to be able to make a phone call with it. Not dick tracy style, but I could slide the watch to my hand and use it as a phone.
I want email/text message notification. (I don't care about composing if speech to text works fine.)
Appointment and todo list and reminders. (Once again modification using speech to text)
Time travel estimate to my next appointment (or home, work google now style)
Giving direction like a GPS.
Weather forecast.

ideally, battery life of more than 2 days. and something much smaller than what all smartwatch are. I don't want a half phone on my wrist. With modern screen resolution a quarter credit card is probably big enough.

about a week ago

Report: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Studio For $2bn+

godrik Re:Dear God, no (368 comments)

Let's be honnest here. If anybody is willing to buy anything I did for $2B, I'd sell it without thinking about it (even if it is a cure for cancer). Cash in your $2B and go explore some other crazy ideas you have that you release for free (you'll probably find a second way to cure cancer). You no longer need money at that point: you can live with $10M/y for 200 years...

about a week ago

To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars

godrik Re:container ships and bulk transport -- (486 comments)

We once had world trade based on sail. Much/ most of that cargo does not need to get to it's destination quickly..

That is something I actually wondered. If you go slower then you need more boats and more crews. Also you'll need to store more food on the boat. (I guess you could fish, but let's not go there...) So there is a fixed overhead which prevents you from going arbitrarily slow.

According to [1], it takes about 10 days to cargo from the UK to the US (east coast). That boils to to roughly 26Km/h. I don't know much about boats, but that seems fairly slow to me.

Anybody knows more?


about a week ago

To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars

godrik Re:if you really want to cut emissions (486 comments)

Well, that might be a little bit extreme. I am all for promoting local economies. But we need to make a good cost/reward analysis. Quite frankly, the cost of bringing an smartphone (or whatever electronic) from overseas is actually fairly small compared to the cost of producing that smartphone. (Even assuming you bundle in the cost of phone all derivative ecological cost.)

I am not an expert, but if you distribute the production line all over the world, then you might lose a significant economy of scale when producing the devices. Also I don't you might still need to transport prime (or refined) materials: you might need chip foobar, which is not produced in the USA and need to be brought from overseas. Producing everything everywhere is never a reasonnable choice.

Also shipping from california to florida might actually be worse than shipping from brazil. So you might want to produce in florida. But clearly putting one production site per state is certainly ridiculous. Some things might have to be transported over long distances. Producing mangos or strawberries in New York, might not be so easy...

about a week ago

Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

godrik Re:Torvalds is true to form.... (727 comments)

I thi nk that what you are seeing is the difference between fat packages and slim packages. What I mean is that in your typical gnu/linux distribution, libs are installed on the system and applications depends on teh libs. That makes dependency issues a real nightmare.

But all other succesfull operating system take a different approaches. on windows, application typically deploy their own libraries. On macosX everything is typically in a fat binary. On android, all libraries are shipped in the APK. I assume IOS works the same. They all depend on a slim "operating system" and on shipping "complex" libraries when needed.

I wonder if that is the main problem with application deployement?

about a month ago

Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

godrik Re:Infrastructure? (727 comments)

I'm working on building a multiseat box at home

Wow! There are still people doing that? I was doing it 10 years ago and found it useful at the time. I no longer need that configuration, but I'll be glad to hear bout it. Could you tell more? Did you blog anything on that topic?

about a month ago

C++14 Is Set In Stone

godrik Re:Why do we need Auto? (193 comments)

I use auto a lot. auto (or equivalent syntax) are used a lot in functional programming languages. Mostly in short functions where I do not really care what the proper typename is. It is clear how the variable behaves and that is I care about it. Often, I know I get some kind of iterator, but the actual type might not be easy to find. In particular, it might depend on a template parameter. So I guess I could add plenty of typedefs to get an easy to write type. But what is the point really?

about a month ago

C++14 Is Set In Stone

godrik Re:What about (193 comments)

Indeed! Where are concepts! These is the number 1 addition to C++ most of us need! I am sure that they were not added for a good reasons. But programming template is currently a nightmare because of the duck typing of the meta programming system.

Dear standardization committee, we NEED a solution to the template compile time debugging problem.

about a month ago

Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

godrik love/hate relationships with templates (427 comments)

Dear Prof. Stroustrup,

Writing templated C++ code has become one of my favorite way to write abstract algorithms in an efficient (runtime wise) way mostly because it not alone allows to know types at compile time, but also some values. Yet programming templates is nightmare because the template system is compile-time duck-typed. How can that system be made better? Concepts were proposed for integration in the C++ norm but got pulled back. Yet it seems they are essentially what is required. Will template programming ever improve?


about a month ago

T-Mobile To Throttle Customers Who Use Unlimited LTE Data For Torrents/P2P

godrik Re:This is going to end so well for them! (147 comments)

I am an unlimited 4g lte customer of t-mobile. And when I asked what unlimited meant, the seller told me exactly what it meant. unlimited up to 2GB per month (which is a lot, I never reached it), then throttled down to a slower speed which still allows you to check emails and navigate.

I even frequently use my phone as an internet acecss point for my computer. But I don't dump the web when I do so. So it never was a problem. The only people that reach the throtling are pretty much people that explicitely try to push the limit and know very well they are not supposed to. If you are smart enough to route P2P application through your phone network to use the "unlimited" internet, you are probably smart enough to know what unlimited actually means. So yeah, I get it, companies are misrepresenting, but does anybody actually get tricked by that?

about a month ago

Gmail Now Rejects Emails With Misleading Combinations of Unicode Characters

godrik Re:all of them then? (79 comments)

I'd like to see the precise rules (but too lazy to RTFA now). There are many non-english words that can be highly confusing. In french "telephone" is "téléphone" which could be though as a way to trick users. Also turkish have a dotless i, I would not be surprised it appears in words with similar spelling in english.

about a month ago

Connected Collar Lets Your Cat Do the War-Driving

godrik Re:Open WiFi (110 comments)

Indeed, I leave my WiFi open by choice. This is not a vulnerability, but an choice.

about a month ago

The Great Taxi Upheaval

godrik Re:From a non-driver perspective (218 comments)

I looked at these numbers as well, and they look like BS to me as well. But anyway comparing the cost of Uber to the cost of an SUV seems unreasonnable to begin with. If you are driving so much over the course of years AND your can deal with not having a car at all. Then why the hell are you driving an SUV to begin with?
Switching to a compact would probably cut gas expenses by 2 and the car is likely to be much cheaper as well, which means less investment and replacement and lower insurance.

The story from GP reads like "I used to buy $200 of grocery per day. But now I save a lot of money by eating at the restaurant for only $60 per day. On top of that, I do not prepare the food, so I can read the NYT in the mean time."

about a month and a half ago

Old Apache Code At Root of Android FakeID Mess

godrik Re:I call BS (127 comments)

Too bad there is no "not funny" tag on slasdhot. This would be a perfect use case for it.

about a month and a half ago

Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

godrik Re:Sorry to tell you... (544 comments)

I am pretty sure the market still exist. It is just much smaller. A changed phone a couple month ago because my previous phone (with slide out keyboard) died on me. I search for a replacement and could not find one. But when asking at my local store the girl told me I was the second guy looking for one with week.

Making a phone with an hardware keyboard would certainly be much more expensive now than it was before (relatively to current phone market prices). Now the question is how much more expensive ? And do people that want a slide out keyboard REALLY want one.

about 1 month ago


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