Slashdot: News for Nerds


Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!



"Logan's Run" Syndrome In Programming

raybob Re:My own two cents' worth (599 comments)

True about OO being an organizing method for code, but said in a way that seems to be from outside the OO point of view. For instance, OO also enables code reuse and the construction of useful frameworks, for instance having supported the organic growth of the Java classlibs, frameworks, etc..

Also, along with OO is the event-driven paradigm, which alot of geezers (and I'm a geezer, too) have a hard time with.

more than 4 years ago

How To Enter Equations Quickly In Class?

raybob Mathematica (823 comments)

is a lot of fun to play with, does computation & all kinds of neat tricks in addition to typesetting.

$139 for the student version, available for the Mac.

more than 4 years ago

When Libertarians Attack Free Software

raybob Motivation (944 comments)

Individuals still act out of self-interest even when contributing their time & energies to FOSS. The payoff can be ego gratification, skill enhancement, position in the community, etc. In other words, self interest doesn't have to mean capitalistic self-interest only.

Developing talent/skill is in furtherance of capitalism:

"Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men's stupidity, but your talent to their reason." -- Ayn Rand, from "Atlas shrugged"

more than 4 years ago

The Science of Irrational Decisions

raybob Re:I wonder if this human trait can shed light on (244 comments)

Cr@p, missed this on previewing my post: 'effects', not 'affects'. Big pet peeve of mine. I guess my setpoint is that I would never make that mistake !!

more than 4 years ago

The Science of Irrational Decisions

raybob I wonder if this human trait can shed light on (244 comments)

another current /. headline:

Think the prosecutors & defense attorneys allowed their set point to be an assumption that the data must be correct ? Sure they did.

And I've always wondered about the moral certitude which seems to guide the decisions of various group adherents, like the Moral Majority back in the 80's. Say even the Acorn folks now. Once the premise is accepted, all further reasoning is derived there from.

I think this is sort of common sense, though and we all know that this is how the mind operates. Otherwise, how could organisms effectively process all of the stimulus information present in their environments with the outcome being a rational decision, in the time span necessary for survival decisions, with the limited 'computing resources' that our brains provide. ?

Don't we all generally accept that human thought processes work from categorization ? Hence we get bad affects like biggotry, prejudice, racism, genocide, etc. along with the ability to decide quickly and hence survive our environment.

more than 4 years ago

3 of 4 Charges Against Terry Childs Dropped

raybob The lesson to be learned (189 comments)

for sys/net admins is to keep in the back of your mind that your actions can be scrutinized somewhere down the line, even if you are the most conscientious, morally upright employee.

If you work in an environment where you are the key technical resource, and others don't have the chops to safely manage the systems you designed/built, you still need to be sure that you put mechanisms in place to track access first, and then you need to provide equivalent access as agreed with management, to other administrators. Since you have the tracking mechanisms there, you can unravel who did what if there is an issue.

I know that it's hard to do this if you work in a hostile environment, or one where people are defensive about their jobs. This is especially true if you are the lead or only techie with the skillset to safely operate in the environment. But without being too paranoid about it, try to inform management as to what you're doing occassionally, track access of yourself & others (if you exclude yourself by using other means of authentication or access, you won't have a leg to stand on, since your actions weren't logged and you could have 'hidden' them).

Try to foster a trust environment with your peers, help them along in becoming competent while giving them access appropriate to their skillset (but make sure others know they are accountable for their actions), and you would improve your chances at exonerating yourself if the PHB's ever start pointing the accusing finger at you.

more than 4 years ago

14-Year-Old Wins International Programming Contest

raybob Re:That's curious (141 comments)

We make with C, no problem.

more than 4 years ago

Dell Considering ARM-Based Smartbooks

raybob Ripe for adoption (298 comments)

I predict that these things are going to take off. Once people realize that they don't need a heavy OS like Windows in order to enjoy a portable platform that provides email & web browsing, any prejudice against will evaporate. Besides, most people won't even notice that Windows is missing.

One reason PDA's never took off is the man-machine interface. The keyboard is pretty much a must-have for an email & messaging platform. These things are going to be everywhere, especially with carriers eager to sell data plans subsidizing them.

more than 4 years ago

Wikipedia Approaches Its Limits

raybob It is human nature to dominate others (564 comments)

I'm surprised that nobody brought this up, although someone did mention that wp will probably be notable in hindsight as a social experiment.

To reference another social experiment (wp, why not ?)

A closed society, given absolute power, discards any moral obligations towards other individuals that are categorized as 'others'. We see this time & time again throughout human history. Is this exclusionary behaviour really a surprise to anyone ?

more than 4 years ago

Will Silicon Valley Run Out of Data Center Space?

raybob Half-empty dc's (142 comments)

I've worked in several large datacenters in the Atlanta area for various clientes in the past few months. These things are overbuilt, and half or more of their capacity looks idle. Speaking with dc staff, many of even the populated cages are idle/bankrupt/abandoned.

And the dc salesmen have seemed pretty eager last 6 months or so. I've bought some rack space & virtual servers recently, and got some shinin' deals.

So I can attest to the fact that at least that postulate about dc capacity being underutilized.

But, things seem on the upswing now though, at least my intuition says so.

more than 4 years ago

Sensor To Monitor TV Watchers Demoed At Cable Labs

raybob Re:Can it ... (302 comments)

Only if it's equipped with a microscope


more than 4 years ago

Working Off the Clock, How Much Is Too Much?

raybob Re:40.1 hours is too much (582 comments)

You're right, it can be tiring over the long run, and I think that many of us experience that burn out. But I find that I have a healthy amount of enthusiasm for my work when I'm allowed a certain amount of freedom to pursue good solutions on my own & implement them, or work on a team & pull off a project that is technically elegant or especially efficient.

The one feeds the other I think, you build up that confidence from management, and they continue to give you those degrees of freedom that keep you motivated. Then again, all it takes is one overbearing PHB to derail that :( You learn to watch out for those types though, as you see different environments over the years.

The best thing is that if it is going right, no matter how challenging the work is, it feeds into other parts of your life & has positive impacts there.

more than 4 years ago

Working Off the Clock, How Much Is Too Much?

raybob Re:40.1 hours is too much (582 comments)

I'm with you, I liked being a contractor also. I felt like I owed a higher degree of professionalism & rapidity, though. Pull that off, and it'll make you shine, and they'll bend over backward to stay out of your way and let you get the work done.

Now, having moved to a full-time position, which I thought I would never do again, I keep the same attitude of 100% heads down, no slacking whatsoever, and man, do they ever show the appreciation for that. I work more than 40, never outwardly show any negative emotion regarding unpleasant maintenance windows or working conditions, and help out my peers.

So maybe how they treat IT folks also has something to do with the attitude you bring to the job. Act like a paid-by-the-hour, high-dollar pro, even if you're 'fulltime', and you'll be treated as such.

more than 4 years ago

Google Buys Finnish Paper Mill

raybob Re:its not good enough for google (166 comments)

Okay, lots of fans for Finland here. Sure, they have some tech industry there. But they are still rural. Name three major metros in Finland, anyone ?? Helsinki, um, um....

Let's compare with Arkansas for instance, shall we ? Anyone want to debate that it is rural ? Anyone want to debate there is tech industry there ? Walmart, UoA RFID research center, Acxiom, Tyson Foods, Arkansas Best Freight -- all major tech consumers & employers.

Cell phone coverage everywhere ? Sure. Running water everywhere ? Probably.

Paper mills ? Yep, got them too. I don't know who designed them, but a paper mill is a big ugly smelly thing that unless otherwised purpposed, will remain a hulking ghost if decommissioned.

Finland is definitely remote relative to the core of Europe, is sparsely populated, and in fact refers to itself as a 'rural European nation' (google "rural finland").

So, I don't undertand what your argument is. Are you just punking on the fact that the guy was making a joke and I tried to turn it serious ? If that's it, then grow up and join the adult table.

If you believe that Finland is the premier urban oasis of Western Europe, maybe you ought to go there & look around for yourself. Then tell me what you think.

more than 5 years ago

Google Buys Finnish Paper Mill

raybob Re:Redundancy... (166 comments)

But then again, you have to admire how they structure their word usements.

more than 5 years ago

Google Buys Finnish Paper Mill

raybob Re:its not good enough for google (166 comments)

Change is inevitable. I'm pretty surprised to see anyone here taking the luddite stance.

Think of it this way though. Finland is basically rural Europe. Investing in information industry in rural Europe, Google is leading the envelope is spurring information technology job growth in rural areas, where unemployment is highest (definitely true in the U.S. anyway).

Bringing IT workers in usually will raise the general technology if not education level in a given rural setting (see datacenters in South Carolina and Alabama for instance). That will tend to improve school systems and other services to a certain degree. Granted a datacenter isn't a massive employer, but it can start or contribute to a positive trend.

So, converting a mammoth eyesore that can't be profitable in hard industry space to a net job producer ? How can you argue against that ?

more than 5 years ago

Pitfalls of Automated Bill Payment

raybob Re:ehh (416 comments)

I, um, humbly beg your forgivenss, mr. anonymous coward. /. is what it is today because of you guys.

I guess I'll let you have the last word on this. Or maybe . . .

LW !!!

more than 5 years ago


raybob hasn't submitted any stories.


raybob has no journal entries.

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account