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Get Ready For the Nerdlympics 174

Posted by timothy
from the live-from-mom's-basement dept.
jfruhlinger writes "In the upcoming Olympics, competitors will take part in the 'modern' pentathlon, designed in 1912 to simulate the skills a cavalry officer would need when trapped behind enemy lines. ITworld.com has developed a new set of competitions — untangling cables! code obfuscation! — that are a bit more relevant to the modern geek." Don't be too smug, though: Naturalist points out a story indicating that "Exercisers learn faster, remember more, think clearer and bounce back more easily from brain injuries such as a stroke."
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Get Ready For the Nerdlympics

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  • by unity100 (970058) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @12:56PM (#24500095) Homepage Journal
    thats the kind of shit that i would be interested in watching !! running a straight line ? well i can do that myself, even if i cant do 100 m under 9 seconds. but untangling a mess ? now that is a watch for any time of day !
  • Code obfuscation? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:00PM (#24500163)

    I wouldn't think code obfuscation is a useful skill under any circumstances. I'd think it would be always detriment. Rather, a useful skill would be code de-obfuscation.

    • Perl programmers would have an unfair edge ;)
      • Perl programmers would have an unfair edge ;)

        Disagree. I'd stack a pure K&R C code single-line macro up against the best from CPAN any day.

        • Yeah, kids these days have no idea what real C code looks like. C code that looks like C is not industrial-grade C. To know what real, portable, robust production C looks like, copy some textbook C code into a text editor, add a few randomly chosen non-C keywords in front of every struct and function declaration, and then upcase everything except the function names where they are defined and all the variable names. Now imagine everything in uppercase is a macro whose default value is declared in a bunch

  • Insultolympics (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:01PM (#24500167)

    Gee, great, because you know most geeks only love computers and don't have diverse interests.

    This is a dumb article written solely for the purpose of generating traffic, and by getting on /. they've succeeded in spades.

    • by reset_button (903303) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:08PM (#24500261)
      You're assuming that getting on Slashdot generates traffic for them, but we all know that nobody RTFA.
      • by Red Flayer (890720) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:24PM (#24500469) Journal
        Ah, the Slashdot paradox:

        The hordes of Slashdot can bring a webserver to its knees even though no Slashdotter actually views the webpage.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I don't read the articles. I just click the links.

        • browser prefetching?
        • Re:Insultolympics (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Jimmy_B (129296) <slashdot@nOSpaM.jimrandomh.org> on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:57PM (#24500941) Homepage

          There are two types of Slashdotter: Those who read the article, and those who comment on the story. These groups do not overlap.

          • There are two types of Slashdotter: Those who read the article, and those who comment on the story. These groups do not overlap.

            The problem is self-perpetuating.

            As most of us are in a rush to post something insightful or funny, we don't take the time to wade through 9 pages of ads to RTFA, we just read the summary (sometimes) and post. While TFA can be informative and sometimes worthwhile to read, most of us want to get our posts in early or high on the page so they will be read and responded to. Its a fo

            • Re:Insultolympics (Score:5, Interesting)

              by caluml (551744) <slashdot&spamgoeshere,calum,org> on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @02:47PM (#24501717) Homepage

              As most of us are in a rush to post something insightful or funny, we don't take the time to wade through 9 pages of ads to RTFA, we just read the summary (sometimes) and post.

              Perhaps there should be no commenting for 5/10/15/20/30 minutes after a story is posted. That would mean people "might as well" RTFA, and I think we'd get more comments, that were longer, better thought out, and more insightful/interesting.

              • Or, we could just have community-based moderation that helps weed out comments that are not amusing, interesting, insightful, or informative. Why hasn't anyone thought of that?

                As for longer comments... well... in general, they leave a bad taste in my mouth. Usually whatever takes 10,000 characters to say can be said just as well in 1000. If I wanted to read a long informative essay, there are better places than slashdot comments, and I prefer it that way. YMMV
              • by houghi (78078)

                And also wait for 5/10/15/20/30 postings and randomize them, so there won't be any F!rst P0st

              • by ais523 (1172701)
                It would also mean you'd get about 100 comments at once when the timeout ended, all saying "first post!"; at the moment that's less of a problem due to the need to actually come across the article at the right time.
              • by daybot (911557) *

                Perhaps there should be no commenting for 5/10/15/20/30 minutes after a story is posted.

                As a subscriber I get pretty much exactly that.

                That would mean people "might as well" RTFA, and I think we'd get more comments, that were longer, better thought out, and more insightful/interesting.

                Nope - it doesn't make any difference to my reading or commenting habits.

        • that's cos everyone opens the article in a background tab, then starts looking at a couple of comments while it's loading, but by the time they've finished reading 50 screens full of trolling, bitching and offtopic arguements, they don't have time to read the article and close the tab without reading it.
        • I would imagine that the Slashdot irony is that the Slashdotter clicks on the link to see if it has been Slashdotted, not necessarily to view the web page, and in the process helps affect the crushing blow to the web server.
    • If getting on /. is 'success' than I must need a new dictionary.

    • by CaptainPatent (1087643) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:19PM (#24500385) Journal

      Gee, great, because you know most geeks only love computers and don't have diverse interests.

      Your statement confuses me. You state a known fact but seem to do it with a sarcastic tone!

      Are you saying there's something more to life than dual booting?

    • That's because most of us would rather see technological events instead of "X-treme" stamp collecting. Maybe the stakes would be higher if the winner gets to lose his virginity. Who needs a lame medal?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by try_anything (880404)

        I don't think any nerds interested in losing their virginity would subject themselves to the indignity of the Nerdlympics. Instead, they would compete in the Apple "Relevant Hipster Creators of Tomorrow's Pop Culture"-lympics, which consist of blogging, tweeting, and moodily tossing one's floppy hair out of one's eyes.

    • by 4D6963 (933028) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:21PM (#24500415)

      Gee, great, because you know most geeks only love computers and don't have diverse interests.

      What.. what the hell are you doing? You can't just go around talking about how people are not all just the stereotype attributed to the category they fall into! What's the matter with you? That's more anti-American than eating a snail kebab while reading Oscar Wilde! Of course geeks only care about technology and science fiction, hate sports, get abused by "jocks" and can't get with a girl! Don't you ever watch The Big Bang Theory and such shows? That's how geeks are on TV, and TV *is* to an important extent our perception of reality.

      What sort of drivel is to be expected from you next? Are you going to tell us that "jocks" aren't all just a bunch of buffy and cruel idiots with complexes who only enjoy football, locking "geeks" into lockers and dating cheerleaders, bound to become unemployed drunken failures by their 30's?

    • Gee, great, because you know most geeks only love computers and don't have diverse interests.

      This is a dumb article written solely for the purpose of generating traffic, and by getting on /. they've succeeded in spades.

      Of course us nerds have diverse interests:

      a) Computers
      b) Watching Computers

      I simply do not see what makes the article dumb!

      • Re:Insultolympics (Score:5, Interesting)

        by SQLGuru (980662) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:34PM (#24500629) Journal

        Other nerd interests not represented by this article (and a good list for a true decathalon):

        1) Star Wars
        2) Star Trek
        3) Arguing about which is better, 1 or 2
        4) Comic books
        5) Cosplay
        6) Role Playing / LARPing
        7) Robotics / Legos / anything from MAKE or 2600
        8) Quoting Python/South Park/etc.
        9) Anime
        10) Computers

        You could pick random events from each category every year.....no two decatalons would be the same.

        Layne

        • by jahudabudy (714731) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @03:04PM (#24502015)
          3) Arguing about which is better, 1 or 2

          I have to admit I spent an embarrassing amount of time trying figure our why nerds would argue over which integer is better. Then I reread the list...

          p.s. I'm torn between pride and shame that I managed to generate theoretical arguments in support of either side of the imaginary 1 vs. 2 debate
        • no two decatalons would be the same.

          So what you're trying to say is that in ten years, the nerd decathlon will be able to say "I'm not dead yet"?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:31PM (#24500565)

      This is a dumb article written solely for the purpose of generating traffic...

      The nerve! How dare these commercial online publications print articles for the purpose of drawing traffic to their site in order to generate ad revenue? It's just simply beyond the pale! Somebody should write their Congressman and get a law passed banning this egregious, naked attempt to provide a service in exchange for monetary compensation!

      • The emphasis is on the word dumb. I have no problem at all with a compelling, insightful, or genuinely funny article written to draw traffic. However, this article is none of those things. When junk like this gets published on slashdot, it will only inspire thousands more shoddy imitators. It's becoming rather tiresome.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Joe Tie. (567096)
      I hate the implication that geeks don't work out. I'm in far better shape than any of the sports nuts I know. We're geeks, we like crunching numbers and living by a set schedule. We excel in the very things that makes it hard for most people to stay in shape.
      • we like crunching numbers and living by a set schedule. We excel in the very things that makes it hard for most people to stay in shape.

        Personally, I think crunching celery would be more useful for staying in shape than curnching doritos (which seems to be as common as number-crunching among geeks, if the sterotype holds any truth).

        Living by a set schedule? Not for most geeks I know... if you give a true geek some problem that interests them, they'll stay up all night trying to figure it out. As for IT g

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by AP31R0N (723649)

      If there was something called the Cheflympics and it was a series of cooking contests would that be insulting? Are the x games insulting to skateboarders? You know, i bet Tony Hawk has other interests besides catching wicked air. So?

      Sure geeks and nerds are a diverse lot, like ANY OTHER GROUP YOU COULD NAME. But this isn't about what makes them different, but rather about what they have in common (and poking a little fun at it).

      A website trying to get traffic and generate revenue through their sponsors?

    • by comp.sci (557773)
      I, for one, like turtles!
  • is it just me... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CaptainNerdCave (982411) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:02PM (#24500185)
    or does there seem to be a pretty aggressive push to make "nerd" and "geek" into "cool"?

    in a land where ignorance and laziness are applauded (nascar, etc), is this an attempt to make learning and knowledge "popular"?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Otter (3800)

      in a land where ignorance and laziness are applauded (nascar, etc)...

      Can't you F1 dweebs ever give it a rest? (Incidentally, working with network cables is something a chimp can be taught to do. It's hardly "learning and knowledge".)

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Otter (3800)
        As I posted that, I realized it's obviously wrong: if you have to teach the chimp, I suppose it is in fact "learning and knowledge".
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        in a land where ignorance and laziness are applauded (nascar, etc)...

        Can't you F1 dweebs ever give it a rest? (Incidentally, working with network cables is something a chimp can be taught to do. It's hardly "learning and knowledge".)

        And driving in a circle 300 times involves a steep learning curve? Not that I'd want to see cables being untangled...but a cubicle maze race ala MXC would be fun.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Mistshadow2k4 (748958)

          And driving in a circle 300 times involves a steep learning curve?

          Doing so at extremely high speeds in a car built with only speed in mind is a bit more difficult than you seem to think. If you don't believe me, try it.

          • Me and a friend drove to germany last year to pick up my gf at the Frankfurt airport.
            When we went back it was dark and snowing, etc.
            The germans (mostly nice people) drove like madmen (in my opinion), courteous but damn fast.
            I'd rather not risk my hide on their roads again.

    • by DerekLyons (302214) <(fairwater) (at) (gmail.com)> on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:21PM (#24500409) Homepage

      in a land where ignorance and laziness are applauded (nascar, etc), is this an attempt to make learning and knowledge "popular"?

      Someone who doesn't bother to properly capitalize and seemingly prefers bias and stereotyping himself... shouldn't complain about ignorance and laziness being applauded.

    • by mh1997 (1065630)
      I got into NASCAR because of the engineering and technology, I stayed for the chicks - that went home with other guys.
    • by Neil Watson (60859) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:36PM (#24500639) Homepage

      A NASCAR driver, or any race car driver, is a combination of an engineer, and an athlete. Hardly ignorant or lazy.

      • by steelfood (895457)

        Yep, they have to train to hold it in for the longest time possible, and know what to do when the dam breaks.

  • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:02PM (#24500193) Homepage

    I demand more evidence before I start exercising. I keep reading about all the positive benefits for the brain, but from observation of jocks, what I actually see is negative correlation.

    • by icegreentea (974342) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:20PM (#24500401)
      Then don't observe 'jocks'. Observe athletic people, or at least try to find some smart people who exercise. Jocks and 'athletic' are not the same. In any case, if improving your brain is the only reason you would exercise, you probably wouldn't enjoy it that much anyways.
      • by snoyberg (787126)

        whoosh

      • by Godji (957148)

        In any case, if improving your brain is the only reason you would exercise, you probably wouldn't enjoy it that much anyways.

        Actually, exercising gives the geek brain one thing it needs - time during which the brain does not have to be divided between n tasks. This time can be used to give the geek brain some rest, or to pay undivided attention to something useful - such as a podcast or an audiobook. Either, I think, can be considered "improving your brain".

      • Easy:

        Jocks play games with balls (baseball, football, tennis, golf, etc)
        Athletes play sports. (cycling, running, swimming, snowboarding, skiing, skydiving, etc)

        In any given group, I'd say the latter has more intelligent people participating.

        My George Carlin-esque definition is that if you use a ball, it's a game, not a sport.

        Flame on :-)

  • by jdgeorge (18767) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:04PM (#24500201)

    "Exercisers learn faster, remember more, think clearer and bounce back more easily from brain injuries such as a stroke."

    Hmmm.... Think "more clearly", perhaps?

    I must infer that the author is a non-exerciser.

  • by Enderandrew (866215) <.enderandrew. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:06PM (#24500239) Homepage Journal

    Obfuscating how you're slacking off
    Convincing suits that you really need that Alienware
    Switching people to Linux without them realizing it

    • Some I thought of right off hand

      - Data Conversion
      - Data Normalization
      - Equipment setup from a set of boxes - computer, monitor, printer a full set-up and configured system
      - Switch rack untangle/rewire
      - Deploy a network (you get a router, switch and an bunch of computers/printers and unconnected wires. (netwalk in real life)
      - Create a spreadsheet (from handwritten copy)- I've had to do this a lot.
      - Move a system or a network to another location (includes packing up and setup, could be part of a tech-biathlo

  • I may now be a nerd "once removed" due to my current occupation, but I'd be pretty interested in the Rube Goldberg Code event they've got here. Sounds like it could be elegant and fun in an infuriating way.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by D Ninja (825055)

      I may now be a nerd "once removed" due to my current occupation

      Slashdotters! We have a manager in our midst! Attack!

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Dripdry (1062282)

        I prefer the term "Workplace Efficiency Monitor" thank you very much.

        "insensitive clod" was unavailable at the time of this post.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:06PM (#24500245)

    That sounds like a load of rubbish. I'm just as quick as a 700lb antelope. I mean, just this morning, I was doing something... and then it was done. And yeah, stuff. Who am I? What am I doing here?

  • by Quartz25 (1195075) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:06PM (#24500247) Homepage

    ITworld.com has developed a new set of competitions â" untangling cables! writing Perl!

    There. Fixed it for you.

  • I take exception to this whole idea. First, it is the "geeklympics." Nerds are in labs, not IT departments. Second, sitting through meetings isn't geeky or nerdy, it is an administrator-type activity.

    Anyway, I'm getting ready for the Pimplympics. I specialize in the pentath-ho-lon.

  • Scoring? (Score:3, Funny)

    by halcyon1234 (834388) <halcyon1234@hotmail.com> on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:19PM (#24500389) Journal

    Interesting games, but what about their scoring? Are they going to follow suite [slashdot.org] with the Olympics, and exclude the ability to score a perfect 1010?

  • That's amateur stuff. Let me know when they move on to Christmas lights.

    Bonus points if you have to find and replace the bad bulb.
    • by Gat0r30y (957941)

      Christmas lights.

      Fry - Tangled up Christmas Lights!
      Bender - And unlabeled booze!
      Leela - that ought to keep those idiots busy for a while

  • by brunokummel (664267) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:28PM (#24500533) Journal
    I would say Computerlympics at most...
    Even though I'm a computer graduate, I feel kind of bad for all the geeks from the other areas that got neglected by this so called nerdlympics ...
    What about the math geeks? physics majors? chemistry? grammar-nazis? biology? star trek?
    • "I feel kind of bad for all the geeks from the other areas that got neglected by this so called nerdlympics ... "

      It says nerdlympics not geeklympics. Please do not lump me in with a bunch of nerds.

      • Looks like you wandered over to the wrong site - this is 'News for NERDS, stuff that matters' but over on \. they've got 'News for GEEKS, stuff that splatters." See ya there!
  • Pointless (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kenp2002 (545495) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:52PM (#24500873) Homepage Journal

    It is a telling sign of the time when a people elevate the useless trapping of sedentary life in an attempt at parity with the advancement and conditioning of the human body to a state of near perfection.

    Have we lost the passion for self improvement somewhere in the fields of snack food and talk shows?

    "To all things I see bent knees to man's greatness as man discards the human gifts and flaws for the cold comfort of a life spent as a machine..."

  • by 192939495969798999 (58312) <info@devi n m oore.com> on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @02:03PM (#24501011) Homepage Journal

    I've had 8 strokes, and I haven't potato any of my mental sharpness.

  • Hacks (Score:3, Funny)

    by JCSoRocks (1142053) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @02:44PM (#24501673)
    People think doping in the real olympics is bad... Just wait until they see hacks during the nerdlympics! Speed hacks, aim bots, wall hacks... It'll be awful.
    • Speed hacks, aim bots, wall hacks... It'll be awful.

      Oh no, that would be a walk in the park compared to this.

      *drum rolls*

      On your mark...

      set...
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .

      LEEEROY JEEEENKINS!!!

  • "Exercisers learn faster, remember more, think clearer and bounce back more easily from brain injuries such as a stroke."

    Strokes caused by doing stuff like exercising too much.
  • They forgot the REALLY TOUGH even: documentation.

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