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Comment: Re:I've hired people with misdemeanors before (Score 1) 717

by 3dr (#48543315) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

What's the crime? A lot of nonviolent crimes are felonies. If I were looking for candidates, my consideration of an employee would entirely depend on what the crime was, and what my legal counsel thinks.

And also, especially in drug-related offenses, the felony limit can be quickly reached by an exaggeration of drug mass. LSD charges, for example, are typically trumped up because they weigh the grams of paper, not the micrograms of LSD on it. Or here in Austin, where a guy was facing PCP possession charges partly based on the weight of the tray of brownies he baked (couple pounds), instead of the mass of PCP actually in the brownies. (But, he did have a bottle/supply of PCP which *was* a serious issue, but the charges based on the brownies was absolute nonsense.)

Comment: Re:AT&T doing same but here's the opt-out link (Score 2) 81

by 3dr (#48330675) Attached to: EFF Hints At Lawsuit Against Verizon For Its Stealth Cookies
I don't know what they have access to, but by disabling wifi, they see the traffic directly from the mobile device (which has a couple different IDs on the cellular system), and that's how they know (a) you're a verizon customer, and (b) what device & account it is.

Comment: Re:Not a chance (Score 3, Interesting) 631

by 3dr (#48253203) Attached to: Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

You know what? Pretty well, actually.

Several years ago on a whim I began asking for discounts everywhere. "Do you have any promotions you could apply to this?" is what I would typically ask. I was shocked to find that most of the time, there is something, like a 10-20% coupon or similar that they can throw at it. Or, if not a direct discount, say at a restaurant, they may give a voucher for a free dessert or appetizer. The worst answer is they say "no, sorry, don't have anything I could do" and you leave it at that.

So, while the peon running the register may not be able to change prices, they are often empowered to provide a discount if prompted.

Comment: Re:If you wanted us to believe your Op-Ed... (Score 3, Insightful) 547

by 3dr (#48103589) Attached to: Goodbye, World? 5 Languages That Might Not Be Long For This World

Python is my go-to language for quick code sketches, framework ideas, etc. That's the power of dynamically typed languages, it's very easy to throw code together to test ideas, and is what I value in "scripting" languages.

As much as I like Python, even with it's quirks like len() is a function on a sequence not a member, the one thing I despise is the whitespace-describes-structure. I have lots hours due to an auto-format of code run amok. Suddenly, all the code following an if-statement is now the body of that statement. It just doesn't make sense to not have block delimeters. With every other meaningful language under the sun using curly braces, why couldn't Python? I like the *idea* of clean code like Python code, and I enjoy reading Python code, but I prefer to have explicit block syntax.

As an aside about spelling mistakes, I agree, and Python doesn't help you there (unless you are reading a misspelled class field). One trick I use to fortify larger Python programs is to define slots on each class to explicitly define the members. If your code accesses a mistyped member name, that name will not be in the __slots__ list and the python runtime will raise an exception. Not only do __slots__ protect you from name typos, they are faster than regular fields for some reason. I've shared this tip with other pythonistas, and nobody else has heard of doing this; I can't believe others aren't doing this, too.

Comment: Two takes on this (Score 1) 159

by 3dr (#48014899) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?

First of all, I'm of the mindset that it's probably best to not list every issue fixed, and especially not list every bug reported publicly. Many bugs reports are bogus, and it's certainly possible for a large number of "reported issues" to detract from the true quality of the current version. For a new product I would never make this information public. But that's neither here nor there since in the OP's situation, they are public. So, let's go with that.

What I would do is based on a Freakonomics episode where a company (furniture company, or appliance company, whatever it doesn't matter) inadvertantly stopped advertising in some of their major-market newspapers. While it was an intern's mistake that this happened, what they found was that there was no impact (i.e. no reduction) of sales in those markets. So while a logical person would say, "Let's scrap advertising in those markets forever and keep the cash," the people in charge instead said "but we *have* to advertise." Preserving expectations/status-quo won out over rational thinking, and the difference was millions of dollars.

I would put a challenge to the marketing and sales departments. If they think public disclosure is hindering sales, let them prove it. Pull the publicly-visible bug tracking for a period of time and if the marketing and sales people are right, sales will go up compared to similar periods in previous years. If, however, customers are unhappy with the "secrecy", take that into account as a ding against the approach. But I'd be firm -- if you pull the bug info, the sales better increase.

Of course, before you issue a heavy-handed challenge to M&S, maybe just ask your existing customers about it. "We are considering pulling our publicly-visible bug tracking/reporting but have no plans to change our update cycle, just the reporting. How does this impact your business, and how does it impact your decision to use Product X?" Use that as a basis to continue current practice, or start the M&S challenge.

I also acknowledge I am anothing but a keyboard jockey in this horse race. :)

Comment: Re:They are wrong... (Score 1) 316

by 3dr (#48010463) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Swift Or Objective-C As New iOS Developer's 1st Language?

Although they plan to have translators to move old code forward, do you really trust automated translators enough to run them on huge chunks of production code?

Yes, certainly. It's called running the automated translator and NOT blindly checking in the generated code. There's no concern here.

Comment: Re:That guy is going to need a lawyer real fast (Score 1) 307

by 3dr (#47180133) Attached to: GM Names and Fires Engineers Involved In Faulty Ignition Switch

True. It's a shame, really, since his PRIDE is what apparently kept him from sucking it up and fixing it. His pride killed these people. And no design reviews of the switch for torque and electrical capacity? The managers have a role in this, too.

But in this whole scenario, I think the one thing that surprises me is how they are designing yet another ignition switch. How many switch variants do there need to be across a manufacturer's models? I'd divide it across RFID-enabled keys vs. plain-Jane metal keys.

Privacy

US Plunges To 46th In World Press Freedom Index 357

Posted by samzenpus
from the out-of-the-medals dept.
schwit1 writes "Reporters Without Borders puts out their Press Freedom Index every year, and the 2014 ranking came out today. It was not a good showing for the U.S. Specifically, the U.S. registered one of the steepest falls of all nations, down 13 slots to the #46 position, just above Haiti and just below Romania."

Dennis Ritchie is twice as bright as Steve Jobs, and only half wrong. -- Jim Gettys

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