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The Myth of the Science and Engineering Shortage

wrp103 Actually, H1-B visas (392 comments)

I think the real shortage is probably for H1-B visas so that companies can hire foreign workers at lower salaries.

about 10 months ago

How a MacBook Camera Can Spy Without Lighting Up

wrp103 Re:It's pretty simple (371 comments)

It's pretty simple: if you have a device with a camera, just cover the camera with a little black tape and tada, no more spying

I use a Post-It, with the non-sticky part over the camera hole.

That way, when I actually do want to use the camera, I simply bend the paper back and expose the camera. When I am done, I fold it back. Replacements are pretty simple. One pad should last you a long time. ;^)

about a year ago

Yahoo Encrypting Data In Wake of NSA Revelations

wrp103 Re:Took them way too long (137 comments)

Well, actually it's quite embarrassing that they're only doing this now...

I agree. It is amazing what little effort companies make to "protect" their data. They seem to think that having a password is all that is needed.

about a year ago

What Nobody Tells You About Being a Game Dev

wrp103 Re:Infinite (181 comments)

Ok, so how do you create an infinite world with procedural generation? You can't limit yourself to, say, a 64-bit int, cause that's not infinite. You could, presumably, use linked lists, but then you'd run into speed issues.

You seem to be assume the use of integers to identify the rooms. And there are many alternatives to linked lists.

A simple method would be to generate a pair of unique strings for each entrance/exit of a room. The first string would identify the current room / board, and the second string could represent the destination room. If you want to get really interesting, you can have one-way doorways, or even a different destination based on various factors. A simple hash table or an indexed database table could be used to locate the rooms. If the target string doesn't have a room associated with it, then you create a new room, save it, and then load the new room.

Just because an exit from one room takes you to a previously visited room doesn't mean the world repeats. In fact, if that never happened, the game would be boringly linear.

There is no reason that the entire world has to be in memory at one time, only the rooms where players are located. When memory gets tight, you can page out any rooms that are now empty, or perhaps where there has been no recent activity. When a new room is loaded, you can control its contents based on if the player has been there before, or if this is the first time that any player has been there within some time period. That would allow some one-time objects, others to be regenerated periodically, other items to be limited to one per party, etc.

more than 2 years ago

Constant Technology Use May Hamper Kids' Ability To Learn

wrp103 Sounds familiar (163 comments)

I remember reading similar concerns when PBS came out with a radical new TV program called "Sesame Street." ;^)

It is much easier asking these questions than doing actual research and coming up with some answers. I think a lot depends on what they are doing with technology: if they are reading and learning or just goofing around and wasting time.

I taught college classes for a number of years. Eventually, it became very common for students to bring their laptops with them to class. Some of them followed my lecture notes and tried sample problems. Others read email, web sites, or played games with the sound turned off. As long as they weren't disruptive, I didn't try to stop them.

Of course, K-12 is very different than college, but when I was in high school, I carried a book with me to read when a class got boring. These days I carry several books on my phone in case I get some extra time. My grades were pretty good, so I didn't seem to suffer from not paying attention.

Essentially, the question seems to be: "Does the teacher have to keep the students entertained?" Perhaps it should be phrased: "Does the teacher have to keep the students involved?" Teachers that drone on endlessly, sometimes reading their lecture notes, will have problems. Those that interact with their students and have activities that involve the students will do much better. As always, anything that changes the current situation is suspect.

more than 2 years ago

WW2 Carrier Pigeon and Undecoded Message Found In Chimney

wrp103 Re:I got it! (287 comments)

"drink more ovaltine"

doh! I knew it. just knew it.

That's great. I'm over 70 and I do indeed remember my Ovaltine decoders. I bet a very large percentage of the people here on /. have no clue what your post was about. Thank you sir, for reminding me of some good childhood memories.

Not only did I get an Ovaltine secret decoder ring, but I made my brother drink it, since I couldn't stand the stuff. ;^)

more than 2 years ago

Facebook Masks Worse Privacy With New Interface

wrp103 Re:Also makes social engineering harder (446 comments)

I don't know where the original poster got their information, but nothing is forced to be public. You can control the privacy on any of the fields. If you look at your privacy settings, they look locked, but there is a "Change Privacy Settings" button that will prompt for your password before it will let you change any of the settings. It seems to me that would provide more protection against a robot changing profile settings.

more than 5 years ago

Blogger Loses Unemployment Check Because of Ads

wrp103 Re:The state is correct (554 comments)

In PA, you can make up to $200 a week (depending on what you were making) without it affecting your unemployment benefits. If you go over the limit, the amount in excess is deducted from your benefits check for that period.

This allows people on unemployment to look for part-time work, which might turn into full-time work, and thus take them off unemployment benefits. Of course, in this economy ...

more than 5 years ago

Scientists Worry Machines May Outsmart Man

wrp103 Needed: Artificial Common Sense (652 comments)

This "concern" has been around for some time, and has always been 5 to 20 years away.

IMHO, rather than concentrating increasing artificial intelligence, we need to figure out how to give computers common sense. Every programmer that has worked on AI has encountered cases where their program went off on a tangent that the programmer didn't expect (and probably couldn't believe). That isn't artificial intelligence, it is artificial stupidity. If we could get to the point where a program could ask "does this make sense?" we would be much better off than coming up with new and improved ways for computers to act like idiots.

more than 5 years ago

Mimicking Photosynthesis To Split Water

wrp103 Re:Not new (257 comments)

Is this a dup of this story from July 31?

more than 6 years ago



wrp103 wrp103 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

wrp103 writes "Carly Fiorina, formerly of HP,

talks to Stanford students as part of their Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders series. She talks about her career (she started as a secretary after getting a degree in Art History) and has some interesting thoughts about leadership."


wrp103 has no journal entries.

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