Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Education

Ask Slashdot: Resources For Kids Who Want To Make Games? 87

Posted by Soulskill
from the building-blocks-of-fun dept.
Mr. Jones writes: My 11-year-old son is fascinated by games — game mechanics in particular. He has been playing everything from Magic to WarFrame since he was 5 years old. He seems mostly interested in creating the lore and associated mechanics of the games (i.e. how a game works). If it was only programming I could help him, but I am lost when it comes to helping him learn more formal ways of developing and defining gameplay. I really see a talent for this in him and I want to support it any way I can. Can you suggest any conferences, programs, books, websites, etc. that would help him learn?
Education

Ask Slashdot: How Should a Liberal Arts Major Get Into STEM? 279

Posted by Soulskill
from the jump-in-with-an-appropriate-number-of-feet dept.
An anonymous reader writes: I graduated with a degree in the liberal arts (English) in 2010 after having transferred from a Microbiology program (not for lack of ability, but for an enlightening class wherein we read Portrait of the Artist). Now, a couple years on, I'm 25, and though I very much appreciate my education for having taught me a great deal about abstraction, critical thinking, research, communication, and cheesily enough, humanity, I realize that I should have stuck with the STEM field. I've found that the jobs available to me are not exactly up my alley, and that I can better impact the world, and make myself happier, doing something STEM-related (preferably within the space industry — so not really something that's easy to just jump into). With a decent amount of student debt already amassed, how can I best break into the STEM world? I'm already taking online courses where I can, and enjoy doing entry-level programming, maths, etc.

Should I continue picking things up where and when I can? Would it be wiser for me to go deeper into debt and get a second undergrad degree? Or should I try to go into grad school after doing some of my own studying up? Would the military be a better choice? Would it behoove me to just start trying to find STEM jobs and learn on the go (I know many times experience speaks louder to employers than a college degree might)? Or perhaps I should find a non-STEM job with a company that would allow me to transfer into that company's STEM work? I'd be particularly interested in hearing from people who have been in my position and from employers who have experience with employees who were in my position, but any insight would be welcome.
Open Source

Ask Slashdot: Best Software For Image Organization? 259

Posted by timothy
from the where-do-we-stand-in-2014? dept.
Wycliffe writes Like many people, I am starting to get a huge collection of digital photos from family vacations, etc. I am looking for some software that allows me to rate/tag my own photos in a quick way. I really don't want to spend the time tagging a bunch of photos and then be locked into a single piece of software, so what is the best software to help organize and tag photos so that I can quickly find highlights without being locked into that software for life? I would prefer open source to prevent lock-in and also prefer Linux but could do Windows if necessary.
Handhelds

Ask Slashdot: Best Software To Revive PocketPCs With Windows Mobile 5-6? 110

Posted by timothy
from the don't-knock-interesting-hobbies dept.
An anonymous reader writes I recently got my hands on some amazing (at their time) pieces of technology, PocketPCs from the 2005-2007 era. All run with Windows Mobile 5 or 6, have storage SD cards (up to 4GB), 300 to 600 MHz ARM CPUs and 64-124MB of RAM/ROM. GPS chip is Sirf STAR III. I want to know what software you would install on them. Maybe a good Linux with GUI - if anyone can point on how to make it work. Creating some apps myself would be nice, but dunno where to start for WM5. One of my ideas was to use them as daily organizer / shopping list / memory games for people that don't own smartphones. So if anyone remembers such apps, I'd appreciate a reference. Tips or ideas for memory training or smart games are also highly welcomed. The power within these toys is simply unused and it's a shame!
IT

Ask Slashdot: Are Any Certifications Worth Going For? 317

Posted by Soulskill
from the lifeguard-certification-might-help dept.
An anonymous reader writes: I am an IT professional in my 30s and have had some form if IT employment for the last 15 years. I've worked my way from technical support to IS manager, but my career seems to have stalled. I have a fancy 4-year degree in Information Systems (I was never much of a programmer) from an actual college, and a good deal of real-world experience combined with reading the odd technical book here and there to keep abreast of what's going on in the world of tech, but what I don't have is any certifications. None.

When I was a poor student fresh from college, I decided that certifications were a waste of money, since the jobs I was applying for at the time didn't care about them, and the tests were several hundred dollars each. Now, it seems most jobs I see listed want some certifications, and I suspect HR systems are weeding out resumes that don't have the correct alchemical formula of certifications.

So my question is: are any certifications now worth it? If so, where do I start? I will probably stick to the track I'm on (I'm better at managing than developing). Going to classes might be an option, but I'd prefer to be able to self-study if possible to work around being on-call constantly (and, to be blunt, classes are expensive). I don't want to stump up for a class only to find out I don't actually like the class or the material or the certification isn't actually what I thought it was.
Businesses

Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT? 718

Posted by samzenpus
from the orange-is-not-the-new-big-blue dept.
First time accepted submitter Lesrahpem writes I'm a felon with several prior misdemeanor convictions from an immature time in my life. I've since cleaned up my act, and I want to go back into the IT sector. I keep running into potential employers who tell me they'd like to hire me but can't because of my past record (expunging won't work, I'm in Ohio). Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Should I just give up and change careers?"
Businesses

Ask Slashdot: Paying For Linux Support vs. Rolling Your Own? 118

Posted by Soulskill
from the how-to-train-your-penguin dept.
schmaustech writes: A lot of businesses pay for Linux support. But at what point does that stop being worth the money? When would a company be better served by setting up their own internal support? When does it make sense for them to write their own patches, which could be submitted back to the community? The inherit risk is that the organization is accountable and accepts the risks if a major bug is encountered within any of the open source applications they are using. What's your perspective on this, and how many major corporations are taking this approach?
The Internet

Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Electronics-Induced Inattentiveness? 312

Posted by Soulskill
from the your-attention-is-the-currency-of-the-future dept.
An anonymous reader writes: I am a graduate student in his twenties who used to be able to read dozens and dozens of lengthy books in his childhood. Over the years, I have noticed that my attention span and ability to concentrate has decreased noticeably, seemingly in synchronization with society's increased connectedness with the Internet and constant stimulation from computers and mobile devices alike. I have noticed that myself and others seem to have a difficult time really sitting down to read anything or focus on anything relatively boring for even more than ten seconds (the "TL;DR Generation," as I sometimes call it).

I see it when socializing with others or even during a professor's lecture. I have tried leaving my mobile phone at home and limiting myself to fewer browser tabs in an effort to regain concentration that I believe has been lost in recent years. Nonetheless, this is an issue that has begun to adversely affect my academic studies and may only get worse in time. What advice do fellow Slashdot users have with regard to reclaiming what has been lost? Should such behaviors simply be accepted as a sign of the times?
Businesses

Ask Slashdot: Convincing My Company To Stop Using Passwords? 247

Posted by timothy
from the you-forgot-duo dept.
gurps_npc writes Any password policy sufficiently complex to be secure is too complex to remember so people write them down. Worse, company policy is to leave a message on your answering machine describing it — when the software uses a 6 number password to get your 8 letter/symbol/number/capital/no dupes (ever) real password. I want to suggest a better method. I want to go with a two factor system — either token based or phone based (LaunchKey, Clef, Nok Nok). Does anyone have any advice on specific systems — or points I should bring up? Or alternatives such as graphical based passwords?
Open Source

Ask Slashdot: Non-Coders, Why Aren't You Contributing To Open Source? 488

Posted by Soulskill
from the afraid-of-linus's-wrath dept.
Jason Baker writes: Most everyone is using an open source tool somewhere in their workflow, but relatively few are contributing back their time to sustaining the projects they use. But these days, there are plenty of ways to contribute to an open source project without submitting code. Projects like OpenHatch will even help you match your skill set to a project in need. So what's holding you back? Time? Lack of interest? Difficulty getting started?
Businesses

Ask Slashdot: IT Career Path After 35? 376

Posted by timothy
from the your-cane-is-in-the-mail dept.
An anonymous reader writes "All my friends seem to be moving towards a managerial role, and I'm concerned about my increasing age in a business where, according to some, 30 might as well be 50. But I still feel young, and feel like I have so much to learn. So many interesting technical challenges cross my path, as I manage to move towards larger and more complex projects. I am in higher demand than ever, often with multiple headhunters contacting me in the same day. But will it last? Is age discrimination a myth? Are there statistics on how many IT people move into management? I know some older programmers who got bored with management and successfully resumed a tech-only career. Others started their own small business. What has been your experience? Do you/have you assumed a managerial role? Did you enjoy it? Have you managed to stay current and marketable long after 35?"
Upgrades

Ask Slashdot: Making a 'Wife Friendly' Gaming PC? 720

Posted by timothy
from the or-any-spouse-reallly dept.
shadeshope writes Having just gotten married, I find that for some inexplicable reason my wife doesn't like my huge, noisy, 'ugly' gaming PC being in the living room. I have tried hiding it in a TV cabinet: still too noisy. I have placed it in another room and run HDMI and USB cables, but the propagation delay caused horrible tearing and lag when playing games. Have any other slashdotters encountered this problem? I don't want to buy a console (Steam sales let me game so cheaply), or mess with water cooling. Ideally I would just hide it in the attic, is there some wireless technology that would be fast enough for gaming use? I have become quite attached to 'behemoth.' I have been upgrading him for years and he is the centre of my digital life. I run plex home theatre, media centre, steam, iTunes and air server. Will I have to do my gaming in the spare room? Once I have sorted this small problem going to try and make a case for the efficacy of a projector to replace the television..... it takes up less space, motorized screen could be hidden when not in use, etc.
IOS

Ask Slashdot: Objective C Vs. Swift For a New iOS Developer? 211

Posted by Soulskill
from the past-vs-future dept.
RegularDave writes: I'm a recent grad from a master's program in a potentially worthless social science field, and I've considered getting into iOS development. Several of my friends who were in similar situations after grad school have done so and are making a healthy living getting contract work. Although they had CS and Physics degrees going into iOS, neither had worked in objective C and both essentially went through a crash courses (either self-taught or through intensive classes) in order to get their first gigs. I have two questions. First, am I an idiot for thinking I can teach myself either objective C or Swift on my own without any academic CS background (I've tinkered in HTML, CSS, and C classes online with some success)? Second, if I'm not an idiot for attempting to learn either language, which should I concentrate on?
Technology

Ask Slashdot: Best Drone For $100-$150? 116

Posted by samzenpus
from the eye-in-the-sky dept.
andyring writes With Christmas fast approaching, and me being notoriously hard to buy for, I thought a camera drone would be great to suggest for Christmas. But the options are dizzying, and it's nearly impossible to find something and know it'll be decent. What are Slashdotters suggestions/recommendations/experiences with a basic camera drone in the $100-150 range? Looks like all of them do video but I'm more interested in high-res stills although that may be a moot point.
Security

Ask Slashdot: Best Biometric Authentication System? 127

Posted by samzenpus
from the eyes-have-it dept.
kwelch007 writes I run a network for a company that does manufacturing primarily in a clean-room. We have many systems in place that track countless aspects of every step. However, we do not have systems in place to identify the specific user performing the step. I could do this easily, but asking users to input their AD login every time they perform a task is a time-waster (we have "shared" workstations throughout.) My question is, what technologies are people actually using successfully for rapid authentication? I've thought about fingerprint scanners, but they don't work because in the CR we have to wear gloves. So, I'm thinking either face-recognition or retinal scans...but am open to other ideas if they are commercially viable.

I have never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck. -- Rob Pike, on X.

Working...