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Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

stoicfaux Depends on where you work... (637 comments)

If, like the vast majority of CS grads, your career is to write code for a standard/traditional software company, i.e. web, business apps, etc., then no, you don't need to know a lot about how a computer works. Your goal is to implement business decisions (i.e. write software that makes the business more efficient, more money, etc..) Anything that distracts you from implementing business code, such as memory allocation, vi/emacs, overly complex version control (*cough*git*cough*), "fringe" languages, and so on, is inefficient.

However, if you dislike being a code drone, or just happen to work in a career where scalability, parallelism, performance, and/or resource efficiency is paramount, then yes, you will appreciate a class in C, Assembly, or even an intro EE course that introduces you to IC chips and breadboxes.

On a side note, you will also appreciate taking a few business courses so that you can appreciate how differently business people speak and think from engineers. Heck, I would even recommend a few sociology, psychology, and/or history courses as well.

about 2 months ago

William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

stoicfaux Blackmail? (278 comments)

If the NSA can track people's movements, track who comes into contact with them, or just flat out records their phone calls, how many of our local/state/federal politicians, policy makers, law enforcement members, bureaucrats, bankers, CEOs, etc., could be blackmailed based on such information?

Next question. Who controls the NSA?

about 3 months ago

Sun Not a Significant Driver of Climate Change

stoicfaux Re:What about the Little Ice Age? (552 comments)

Here's a better example: Mercury, the planet closest to the sun, has a daytime temperature of 800+ degrees Fahrenheit (420+ C), and a night time temperature as cold as minus 270 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 170+ C).

Venus on the other hand, due to its blanket of CO2, is around 860 degrees Fahrenheit (460 degrees C), day or night, at the poles or at the equator.

Venus is nearly twice the distance from the sun as Mercury and receives only 25% of Mercury's solar irradiance. If the sun truly was the only main determinant of a planet's temperature, then the surface temperature of Venus shouldn't be hotter than Mercury's, nor should Venus's nighttime temperature be as high as its daytime temperature.

about 10 months ago

Snowden Strikes Again: NSA Mapping Social Connections of US Citizens

stoicfaux Blackmail Congressmen, Lobbyists, etc.. (513 comments)

So... is the NSA applying this data-mining to our representatives and public officials? If not, why aren't they? Imagine being able to know who has been lobbying whom. Imagine knowing who their paramours are. Imaging knowing what their shopping habits and travel patterns are.

Just imagine if we appointed an enlightened, benign head of the NSA. We would finally have a functional government. Granted it would be a tad autocratic, but hey, pros and cons.

1 year,22 days

Report: By 2035, Nearly 100 Million Self-Driving Cars Will Be Sold Per Year

stoicfaux The number is high because... (325 comments)

if you can build autonomous cars, you can build cars autonomously. Meaning, cheaper cars, one that "everyone" can afford. Plus, the reduced driver skill requirements will also increase the market.

Also, due to the stringent testing requirements, reliability and robustness are almost guaranteed, and the long testing cycle means that there will be few models to choose from, so factories will benefit from focus and specialization.

about a year ago

Minneapolis Police Catalog License Plates and Location Data

stoicfaux New Revenue Stream: Blackmail (289 comments)

Is the database of married couples in Minneapolis also public...?

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Depressing Sci-fi You've Ever Read?

stoicfaux Nutrition Labels... (1365 comments)

Nutrition labels on processed and fast food read like science fiction and have pretty depressing effects given what they do to a human body. That people continue to eat such "food" as their primary source of calories is just gravy.

more than 2 years ago

ACLU Questions Privacy of License Plate Scanners

stoicfaux This is good news! (246 comments)

I've always wanted to know what establishments and homes that my local officials, politicians, lobbyists, and CEOs travel to and from...

more than 2 years ago

GM Working On Wi-Fi Direct-Equipped Cars To Detect Pedestrians and Cyclists

stoicfaux Spoofing? RIAA? Targeting? SETI? (111 comments)

How long until someone tapes a "Wi-Fi Direct-enabled smartphone" to someone's car and the app is set to go off randomly? Or just puts a transmitter in the middle of the street and sets it to go off randomly?

How long until the RIAA jumps on the words "peer to peer" and that "music files or contact information could also be securely transferred from the home computer to a vehicle’s infotainment or navigation system" via Wi-Fi Direct devices?

How long until a deranged geek realizes that anyone running a Wi-Fi Direct app can be triangulated, tracked, and shot with a weapon hooked up to an automated targeting system?

How long until SETI is ported to Wi-fi Direct apps? Granted, there would need be some hacking needed on the car's CPU/OS as well.

more than 2 years ago

SCO vs. IBM Trial Back On Again

stoicfaux Re:Statute of limitations (232 comments)

IBM buying SCO would be a win for SCO's backers. They would point at the purchase and say, "How nefarious! IBM had to buy SCO to cover up IBM's perfidy and malfeasance! Linux really does infringe and contains tainted code! Open Source is Teh Evil!"

more than 2 years ago

IBM Seeks Patent On Judging Programmers By Commits

stoicfaux You can patent metrics? (182 comments)

Seriously, can you really patent the idea of taking metrics in order to evaluate performance? Even with the idea of software patents, that seems overly broad.

more than 2 years ago

Outgoing CRTC Head Says Technology Is Eroding Canadian Culture

stoicfaux US is going to annex Canada anway... (404 comments)

New resources in Canada are being exposed (i.e. thawing out.) Canada can make a claim on Arctic resources which are now in a "land rush" due to also being exposed and explored. Canada is the largest country in the world in terms of landmass and is positioned to potentially have a milder climate to grow crops in when global warming/climate change severely disrupts the climate and weather of the US farming industry.

So we might as well make the "annexation" easier via cultural means instead of doing so via a crude, overt coup or invasion.

P.S. I'm not sure if I'm being funny or serious.

more than 2 years ago

Mexican Gov't Shuts Down Zetas' Secret Cell Network

stoicfaux Re:Time to go Legit? (300 comments)

I can think of a few reasons that drug cartels would want to end prohibition:

  • If the drug cartels were consolidated or whittled down to a few, then direct confrontation between a few very large cartels would probably be too bloody and costly, so it would make more sense to reach an "agreement" and maintain a monopoly. Think OPEC.
  • The money and the customers aren't in Mexico. Legalizing drugs in Mexico doesn't make them legal in the U.S., so the price stays high, while production costs go down, and profit increases.
  • Being legitimate makes a Drug Lord's life a little less stressful, turns them from thugs into powerful respectable gentlemen, and gives them an opportunity to establish a legacy for their family and children. Being the next Morgan or Rockefeller might be pretty tempting

Plus, going legit could also mean a shadow government to avoid directly antagonizing the U.S. Who's in charge of Russia right now? The elected President or Mr. Putin, the unofficial actual leader of Russia?

more than 2 years ago

Mexican Gov't Shuts Down Zetas' Secret Cell Network

stoicfaux Time to go Legit? (300 comments)

Given the levels of organization, sophistication, business savvy, and ruthlessness needed to run a modern day, world wide drug organization, why haven't they gone legit and taken over Mexico's politics? Seriously, at some point it just be easier to influence the Mexican government into passing laws that legalize drugs and turn Mexico into a legitimate drug clearing house for the world.

I leave it up to an economist/historian to point to relevant examples in History where the only way to increase the profit of an illegal market was to legalize the market.

more than 2 years ago

Paper On Super Flu Strain May Be Banned From Publication

stoicfaux Security? (754 comments)

So not only did a civilian institution create a MWD, it has *civilian* security guarding it...? Does this worry anyone else?

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do You View the Wall Street Protests?

stoicfaux Re:Completely valid (1799 comments)

Firstly, conversely, capitalism isn't foolproof either. It can develop natural monopolies that require government action to control or to break-up.

Secondly, in regards to your statement that "nothing wrong with capitalism," I would counter that under pure capitalism, *everything* can be bought and sold, including votes. So if government officials aren't supposed to be bought off, then that implies that capitalism has something wrong with it and needs to be kept in check.

I guess I'm saying that capitalism has significant advantages, but it's definitely not the sacred cow that many of our politicians like to portray it as. The real question is when do we start debating as to whether capitalism has failed or whether government has failed or whether the voters have failed or some combination thereof?

about 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do You View the Wall Street Protests?

stoicfaux Re:Completely valid (1799 comments)

It is about wealth distribution. The top richest 400 families own more wealth than the bottom 50%. Do you really believe that ~2,000 Americans provide more value and have more worth than 150 million Americans?

If wealth, aka money, represents time and skills, do you really think that 400 American families can provide more skills and time to society than 150 million Americans?

If wealth represents physical wealth, such as land, do you really think 400 American families can make better productive use of that much physical wealth than 150 million Americans?

Capitalism is a tool to support society by efficiently allocating resources and promoting individual initiative. Society, and thus capitalism, depends on people to make it work. If 50% of our population isn't benefiting from capitalism, then 50% of our population is going to stop supporting society. And when push comes to shove, it's 150 million Americans against 400 families. Who are you going to bet on? Or do you think that a dwindling middle class is going to keep 50% of Americans in check in order to preserve the top few percent?

about 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Does Being 'Loyal' Pay As a Developer?

stoicfaux No commute? (735 comments)

plus their office is practically outside my front door (as opposed to my current 45 minute commute each way). This would make a massive difference to my life.

The commute alone is worth switching for. That's an (unpaid) hour and a half of your life that you get back.

about 3 years ago


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