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Comment: Poor journalism (Score 0) 62

by AncientPC (#42356225) Attached to: Japanese Police Charge 2channel Founder Over Forum Posts

I forwarded this along to my Japanese wife, who went and researched into the issue. Her response:

That article is not accurate. The police has identified at least 50 drug dealers using the website to sell illegal drugs now. The police has requested the founder to delete those posts many times, but he claimed that the ownership of the site has been sold to someone (which turned out to be a lie), kept ignoring the police warnings, and left the posts there.

2ch used to be one of the most popular forums, but the quality of posts have been questionable in the past couple of years. In fact, my uncle owned a clinic and someone kept posting horrible stuff about the clinic, so my uncle had to move his practice to other place and changed the clinic name. They tried to sue 2ch for not doing quality control properly but back then, there were no laws that could protect their rights. 2ch is now turning into something different where you can buy/sell illegal stuff and adult/kids porn. It's really really bad.

If the situation was the case as Japan Probe reported, there would be some more mainstream news sources picking up on it (Asahi, Yomiuri, BBC, etc). I would evaluate their article with a grain of salt.

Comment: Re:It's a very sad thing to admit, but (Score 2) 260

by AncientPC (#42223465) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Laptop With Decent Linux Graphics Support?

Intel graphics and wifi has a good Linux reputation. Atom was an exception because they used a 3rd party GPU (PowerVR).

Thinkpad with a full Intel stack (CPU, graphics, wifi, SSD) is the preferred route. I prefer the T430 (14") or X230 (12"). The biggest draw back is low resolution (1600x900 or 1366x768). You may want to look into the X1 Carbon as well.

If cost is an issue, I would choose an X220 or T420. I actually prefer the older models as they have 7-row, traditional Thinkpad keyboard vs the newer 6-row chiclet style (Apple) keyboard. You can find them on Lenovo refurbished or off eBay / Craigslist. If the X220 had better resolution, I'd be stockpiling them in my closet. As it is, I'm pretty damn happy with my X220. I even have audio output through my Display Port working in Arch! (Is that awesome or kind of sad?)

If you're looking for a non-Thinkpad solution, the biggest headaches are usually graphics chipset, wifi. AMD / NVIDIA? Check chipset support. With wifi try to stick Intel once again, some Atheros chipsets are nasty and require a flaky ndiswrapper. Paying an extra $10 - 20 to upgrade to an Intel chipset is worth avoiding problems down the road. For touchpad, you usually want to make sure it's Synaptics for multi-touch support. I've had ACPI issues with desktops, but not with laptops thus far (Dell Inspirons / Latitudes, Asus EEE PCs, and Thinkpads).

Comment: Higher priority at Dropbox (Score 4, Interesting) 261

by AncientPC (#42222387) Attached to: Python Creator Guido van Rossum Leaves Google For Dropbox

Google's search engine was originally in Python, but the company has since moved on to use Java on the front end, C++ on the back end, and Python has been relegated to glue code.

On the other hand, Dropbox has been using Python for its entire stack. I believe they made a few performance related contributions to CPython as well.

Guido is a great engineer (besides being a language designer), and still writes a lot of code. He probably would get more satisfaction working at a growing company where Python is a first class citizen rather than at Google.

Comment: Re:Python VS PHP (Score 1) 261

by AncientPC (#42222365) Attached to: Python Creator Guido van Rossum Leaves Google For Dropbox

Python list comprehension method:


        filtered = [x for x in unfiltered where x.foo=="bar"]

Or you could just use Python's filter() which is conceptually the same as PHP's version:

        filtered = filter(lambda x: x.foo == 'bar', unfiltered)

Python has better syntax than PHP, but this is one of the weaker examples.

Comment: Re:tech is a fairly broad category (Score 1) 660

by AncientPC (#42207083) Attached to: If Tech Is So Important, Why Are IT Wages Flat?

Any from North Dallas? Did you compare actual living costs between the two?

I added more details in another response here. I was born and raised in North Dallas, but I really don't like area. When I was job hunting, I only looked for opportunities in Austin, Seattle, or Silicon Valley.

My family still lives in DFW, and constantly raves about how cheap everything and how low taxes are. Then again, they have never lived anywhere else. To be honest, I felt the same way until I followed my wife to Hawaii and Japan. After living in the heart of other major cities, extended stays in Seattle, and backpacking through Europe, I realized I don't care for the suburban lifestyle anymore.

So, I'm picking up and moving to SF. Maybe it works out, maybe it doesn't. I've regret missing opportunities in the past, and am not going to make the same mistakes again. I'm not going to live my life on cruise control. This post (cache version) resonates with me a lot.

Comment: Re:tech is a fairly broad category (Score 1) 660

by AncientPC (#42205417) Attached to: If Tech Is So Important, Why Are IT Wages Flat?

I've been to SF before, as well as lived in Hawaii and Japan so I'm not really fazed by high prices. Before I accepted the job offer I did use a cost of living comparison calculator. There are also other mitigating factors such as my wife's employability skyrockets in west coast cities.

Even then, there are other intangibles that you can't measure with a cost of living calculator. I knew quite a few people who took significant pay cuts (25 - 60% decrease) to move to Hawaii. I am interested in working for small companies and / or startups. While Austin's startup community is fairly strong, there really is no comparison to Silicon Valley. People move to NYC for the similar reasons, despite better cost of living situations elsewhere.

In either case, I can always move back if San Francisco doesn't work out.

Comment: Re:tech is a fairly broad category (Score 1) 660

by AncientPC (#42200991) Attached to: If Tech Is So Important, Why Are IT Wages Flat?

Depends on where you live. The cities are diverse, the rural areas are not. I've lived in Texas for ~3 decades, and will be selling my house to move to SF / SoMa soon. I am used to being the only non-white when visiting Lockhart, Mineral Wells, Fredericksburg, College Station, and other smaller towns around the state.

FWIW, the SV offers I received were about double what I got from Austin companies.

Comment: Re:Some people think bilingualism causes confusion (Score 1) 221

by AncientPC (#40884443) Attached to: Bilingual Kids Show More Creativity

My wife's research is in this field (linguistic development in children), mostly doing case studies on non-Japanese children learning in Japan.

These kids are typically from lower income households with busy parents. Rather than gaining full mastery of one language, many only develop partial mastery in two languages. This partial mastery negatively impacts their scores in testing as they have more difficulty expressing certain high level concepts in either language.

Now, obviously does not apply to everyone. I also grew up in a bilingual household and picked up two more languages later on in life. While bilingualism is achievable, it requires more resources and time that may not be available to everyone.

The main argument of my wife's research is that if a child does not have a strong foundation in at least one language, he/she will have difficulty learning more advanced concepts than children who have single language mastery.

For example, if you only have a basic understanding of C and Lisp it may be difficult implementing advanced data structures or algorithms if you don't know about pointers or monads.

Comment: RoR / Python on Heroku (Score 3, Informative) 409

by AncientPC (#40197533) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Tips For Designing a Modern Web Application?

For reference, I come from a LAMP + CodeIgniter background. I've done some Java stuff for university and at IBM, but nothing on the web side.

If you're coming from a Java background, I'd suggest a Python + Django (heavier framework) / Flask (lighter framework), or Ruby on Rails on top of Heroku. PHP is cheap for hosting, expensive for developing. What's more important to you?

You can Google the differences between Python / Ruby. They're roughly the same, with Python requiring you to be more explicit while Ruby tends to do a little more "magic". Also, whitespace code blocks is a deal breaker for some people. I like Python more.

Heroku is free for a single web worker and a small shared database. They're built on top of AWS and charge a premium for the convenience of abstracting away dev ops. It's cheaper to use AWS directly or using a VPS, but at a time cost. How much time do you really want to spend doing dev ops rather than working on your core product?

I would worry about the web app first, then expose an API for use with mobile apps when it comes to it.

Web app development is drastically different from enterprise code. It's about constant iteration and deployment, scaling if necessary. Breaking out of your Java comfort zone will also help you grow as a programmer. You're going to have to learn HAML / LESS / JavaScript anyway for the front end.

Comment: Re:No shit sherlock (Score 3, Insightful) 500

Slashdot has fallen quite a bit for such a misinformed, rambling post gets modded insightful.

It really comes down to the founders of the companies. Microsoft has taken on the personality of Bill Gates - lacks imagination, cares more about money than good products, etc.

You're projecting a lot of MS's business practices onto Bill Gates, conveniently ignoring the other players. Someone who lacks imagination does not drop out of Harvard to start a new company that managed to revolutionize desktop computing.

Someone who cares more about money than good products would not start the Buffets-Gate Giving Pledge, and contribute significant portion of their wealth via the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Apple has taken on the personality of Steve Jobs with a little bit of Woz thrown in - obsessive compulsive about solid products with good design, outwardly controlling but hacker friendly at heart.

OTOH, Steve Jobs cut all corporate charity programs after taking over in 1997.

While the original Apple products where hacker friendly, that certainly was not the case after Steve Jobs returned.

The reason Apple is kicking ass right now is because it does such a good job at constantly producing products that work well, look good, and don't change dramatically all the time. They may not have the highest specs at any given time but the user knows what to expect and that they can expect a pretty good device.
When people say Apple is evil it just tells me they don't own any Apple products and know nothing of Apple's history. They're usually wannabe nerds that can barely use anything other than Windows and usually they think their awesome at Linux because they've managed to install the flavor of the month baby distro. They think hacking is taking a device that was expressly made for being hacked and following step by step directions. Probably they have absolutely no sense of taste either - they think their Dell Inspiron One is comparable to an iMac.

This is a load of fanboy horseshit I'm not going to even bother debunking.

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. - Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian

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