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Comment: FP; project scheduling (Score 1) 598

by Allen Akin (#45066745) Attached to: What Are the Genuinely Useful Ideas In Programming?

The behavior of floating-point arithmetic. This wasn't covered in my university curriculum, and was necessary in tasks including graphics, machine learning, and finance once I got into the industrial world.

As a manager, possibly the single most important skill for me was learning the ways to estimate the time required for complex programming tasks. Once you're tackling problems beyond the scope of a single programmer, coordination is required, and schedule estimation is essential.

Comment: Re:No one has posted in minutes! (Score 1) 167

by Allen Akin (#41016699) Attached to: West Nile Virus Outbreak Puts Dallas In State of Emergency

In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency has stated that concentrations of up to 100% are safe for adults. The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that concentrations of up to 30% are safe for children. In both cases the repellent must be applied properly! Consumer Reports recommends 30% to 50% for adults, and helpfully explains that higher concentrations last longer, but don't repel any more effectively than lower concentrations.

Personally, I've used 100% DEET for a week at a time, a few times a year, over several years, without any of the documented side-effects. If someone is in one of the (relatively uncommon) situations where it's appropriate, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend trying it. Otherwise, adults can use 30% to 50% DEET and reapply as needed. My kids use 10% to 30% when necessary.

All this is subject to the usual cost/benefit tradeoffs, of course. There appears to be a lot of data showing that the risk of using DEET is low, so if West Nile or some other mosquito-borne disease is threatening, the benefit probably outweighs the risk.


The end of labor is to gain leisure.