* Posts by Mat Bettinson

4 posts • joined 28 Mar 2008

Uni profs: Kids today could do with a bit of 'mind-crippling' COBOL

Mat Bettinson

Learning a language at uni for a job?

Ah yes, another story brought to you by the department that thinks university is for teaching vocational skills. When at university, students are learning how to be computer scientists. They'll be exposed to a number of languages and rather a lot of stuff about how you actually conceptualise problems as a programmer. The idea that one should be taught because they're going to get a job in it... it's just wrong on so many levels.

They're there to be learn how to be programmers. Picking up a new language isn't hard for a fresh faced grad. I'm struggling to think why any employer would be that interested in exactly what you did in your course work. As always, what they'll most be interested in is seeing a bright flexible student, hopefully with a bit of initiative to learn something about <insert vocational language here>.

Of course it seems rather unlikely someone is going to go off and learn COBOL off their own bat?


BBC defends iPlayer against Murdoch Jr's 'anti-competitive' claims

Mat Bettinson

No tax?

Internet bloke innit. Just makes stuff up. They shelled out £250M of tax last year by the looks of it,.


Creative climbs down over home brew Vista drivers

Mat Bettinson

PR own goal by irrelevant company

Having used Creative products since the original Soundblaster it is remarkable how they've managed to descend to the situation today where they pretty much fail to deliver any new technology with decent features and quality that you would fork out money for. These days I have an X-Fi in my Vista gaming rig for the entire reason that the 3.5mm audio jack being 15cm lower is handy. Yes, it's that useful.

There's genuinely no point buying an add-in card these days. There might still be, if these guys produced high quality drivers and features that would be mildly useful but Creative are spending less and less on R&D as they shovel out cheap speakers and web-cams by the truckload. It's not a brand I think we'll shed too much of a tear for.


Ofcom climbs on Byron bandwagon

Mat Bettinson

You can't shove this on the plate of the BBFC

"A film style rating on Games would be fine IMO game\console developers could be doing more."

Well, the developers, more accurately publishers, are doing plenty. There's a perfectly fine industry self-regulated system for coming up with age ratings for games. It's called PEGI. The problem with the report talked about here is that the government wants some legally enforced entity such as the BBFC to handle it.

The thing is the BBFC don't know their arse from their elbow concerning games. They need to tool up with the people who do, the resources to look at the ever increasing volume of games being produced etc. It's no good just shoving it on their plate. I do think it's right that there ought to be a system where if PEGI fails for whatever reason, the BBFC (or someone) can step in and make sure a title gets tidied up and described adequately. That'll keep the game publishers on the straight and narrow (just like Manhunt did before the cowardly u-turn).

Concerning net censorship stuff. I fail to get the big deal. If you as a parent are worried about your kids seeing 'stuff' then put systems in place or supervise their Internet time. If, however, you think that maybe the Internet is a pretty good way to experience everything good and bad that the world has to offer in the safety of your own home, and prefer to be a guiding light to explain anything they might find.... well then, nothing to do here.

The only argument seems to be from people who don't want their kids to see 'stuff' but then wont take responsibility via the countless ways they could take responsibility, and would rather point the finger at the Internet? Well then, the only real shame there is that they managed to breed in the first place.



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