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Coding Bootcamps Presented As "College Alternative"

xtal Great news for those of us with experience.. (226 comments)

I've gotten one hell of a return from my BSc. EE. Thankfully it's not being devalued, and as far as ROI goes, wow. Was it easy for me? F--k no. Things that are worthwhile rarely are easy.

Anyone who thinks these bootcamps are a substitute for theory training is a fool. They can make a great way to leverage that core knowledge, though. They're also great for churning out code monkeys. I don't want to be a monkey.

You know what's a substitute, though? -Free- books and training online on those academic topics. Marry that with a good, accredited lab work program and you're going to be onto something; I suspect, however, this will be targeted at a lower common denominator.

Democratizing forces will come to higher education as there's HUGE market inefficiencies there created by an artificial barrier. It's just a matter of time, or like I've said before, one of the Ivy league institutions to offer real credit in an online environment. Right now it's a big game of chicken to see who blinks first.

about two weeks ago
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Magic Tricks Created Using Artificial Intelligence For the First Time

xtal Genetic algorithms already there.. (77 comments)

http://www.damninteresting.com...

There's some magic tricks outside of the basic programming for you. Paper is linked in there or easily searchable, and is quite interesting.

And yes, there might be reason to start to get concerned. Disruptive changes happen quickly. Eventually, we will be the ones disrupted..

about two weeks ago
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Internet Voting Hack Alters PDF Ballots In Transmission

xtal Re:Paper? (148 comments)

Do you know how this works?

The box goes out in the open. Everyone can watch things go in.

The count is done with several people. Observers can watch. That's how it's done in Canada. Really.

The whole process, if fraud is a concern, can be watched end-to-end. There is no opportunity for "extra slips".

Paper works and is AFAIK the hardest to game and has the most oversight. I question those who are so quick to get rid of it.

about two weeks ago
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Internet Voting Hack Alters PDF Ballots In Transmission

xtal Re:Paper? (148 comments)

..or just use a piece of paper.

about two weeks ago
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Internet Voting Hack Alters PDF Ballots In Transmission

xtal Paper? (148 comments)

Seriously?

Whats wrong with paper?

Lots of systems for automatically dealing with it. Unique and irrefutable record. Easy to recount. Don't like one machine? Design a better one to scan and count. People really pissed off? Count those SOBs one at a time in front of a crowd on a big-screen TV.

Ballot boxes are easily placed out in the open; they're easily observed and tracked by as many people as would like to. The entire way through the process.

Lots of very large, modern democracies just use paper. Including your neighbours up north. X marks the spot.

Crazy.

about two weeks ago
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MPAA Bans Google Glass In Theaters

xtal The anti-piracy ads were enough for me (357 comments)

Haven't been to a movie in over 10 years.

I do have a very nice home theater; I'm guessing over that span it was cheaper.

Hope the theater operators enjoy the grave the MPAA is helping them dig. They can get cozy with the cable operators next door..

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Unlimited Data Plan For Seniors?

xtal Add internet service at home? (170 comments)

It's $80/mo.. you can't get anything near unlimited for that.

Be glad you're not in Canada.

about a month ago
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OEM Windows 7 License Sales End This Friday

xtal Last Microsoft OS of relevance.. (242 comments)

Windows 7 will be a around for a very long time.. but I suspect it will be the last OS they have a monopoly on.

Anyone remember the background on boot for Windows 95, and all the controversy over "hidden shapes"?

Oh, the irony it was the cloud that killed Windows by rendering, largely, OS agnostic computing.

about a month ago
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NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders

xtal Re:All the movies had women in business (786 comments)

Computing IS anti social!

You get good at programming by staring at a screen and figuring things out. For thousands, and thousands, and thousands of hours. There is no getting around that fact.

The more complicated it gets, the more "anti social" it is. What does that mean anyway? Do we all need to sit around and code by committee?

about a month ago
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Genes Don't Just Predict Intelligence, But Also How Well You Do In School

xtal Re:Intelligence (154 comments)

What this demonstrates very clearly is you should choose your mate(s) carefully, as you can dramatically alter their probable success through selection.

about 1 month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Advice On Building a Firewall With VPN Capabilities?

xtal Consumer routers suck (238 comments)

Buy a good switch and a low power PC with some ram. Virtualize it all.

Smoothwall is a good choice, there are lots out there.

Makes it easy to do other things like IDS as well later.

about 2 months ago
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How the Outdated TI-84 Plus Still Holds a Monopoly On Classrooms

xtal Primitive calculators hold back math understanding (359 comments)

Number crunching is stupid.

Math students should be using computers to visualize and manipulate math, and help them understand what it is they're solving for.

This is best done with modern, kick ass graphics, and on any modern tablet, can be done in real-time.

It's an embarrassment to the entire teaching profession that calculators are needed on any exam, but more over, it is doing a serious disservice to students to not use them for what they should be used for - math visualizing machines. The TI calculators are used by and large to hand-hold lazy teachers and provide them with busywork for students.

Grrrr.

Also, HP48GX forever.. but I didn't need it until engineering school. I completed all of the math courses for my EE without a calculator - they weren't allowed by the math department, and rightly so.

about 3 months ago
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Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

xtal Python (371 comments)

Python has replaced Java for anything I used to do with it.

Javascript lives on.

IDEs are better. It's easier to port code. Much has been abstracted. I don't necessarily see where Java fits in the picture long term; it's been abandoned by Apple and Microsoft as a core language.

The beat goes on.

about 4 months ago
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What Do You Do When Your Mind-Numbing IT Job Should Be Automated?

xtal Sit and watch my automated scripts and read (228 comments)

Just because you automate it, doesn't mean you have to tell anyone.

Be a shame, you know, if those scripts stopped working..

about 4 months ago
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iFixit Takes Apart the Oculus Rift DK2, Finds Galaxy Note 3 Display Inside

xtal Shut up and take my money already (57 comments)

Finish this.. I've been waiting since the iGlasses came out in 1997..

about 4 months ago
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China Builds Artificial Islands In South China Sea

xtal Re:Another very good reason... (192 comments)

The problem is there is no alternative to oil.

None.

Nuclear may provide energy dense alternatives but you'd need to have been building plants 10 years ago. Coal is an option, but you will turn the sky grey.

Green technologies do not have the energy density needed. Simple napkin math can demonstrate this. There are no conspiracies; the world runs on oil because there are no alternatives available. A refusal to recognize the underlying thermodynamics and energy requirements in real world units, rather than fluffy unicorns and windmills, holds back adult discussions of what needs to happen and when.

The only technology available is nuclear. Manhattan-project style efforts to crack fusion technologies, or more usefully, the battery problem, would go a long way to help. We're not just there yet.

about 5 months ago
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I Want a Kindle Killer

xtal ...paper replacement (321 comments)

All I want is a paper replacement.

There are large e-ink displays, but they all lack high resolution input - as high as a 0.5mm pencil can get you.

15 years after I graduated, I still carry engineering paper, and I get it from the same bookstore. All that's changed is I take pictures of my notes instead of scan them now.

Come on Apple - want to innovate? Figure that one out. I triple dog dare you.

about 5 months ago

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