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Comment: Re:About time... (Score 3, Insightful) 151

by Austerity Empowers (#49147777) Attached to: Invented-Here Syndrome

It's the penny-wise pound-foolish issue when engineers and developers are forced to be mindful of schedules and business objectives. We in essence become as brain damanged as our managers, and start behaving irrationally.

It's well known we have absolutely no capacity to estimate schedule accurately, but we do have the "gut feel". If your gut says that it will take a day to implement functionality, assume it's a week and just do it, it's trivial. If it says 2 weeks, it's actually 2 months plus three squirrel years and a llama month divided by e^-jwt, maybe spend a day or two evaluating options. If it feels like 6 months, try very hard to find something OTS, because this may become the project you're working on when you retire (which in todays parlance means: you die in your swivel chair of old age).

You could of course be entirely wrong. Last week in fact I decided modifying a script to do what I need would take at least a month, had an epiphany in the shower and had it done in 6 hours. Guts have failed even Homer Simpson. But unless someone comes along who has been-there-done-that with a better option, and who demonstrates he' serious by NOT trying to railroad you in a meeting, but in fact just walks by the cube and says "hey, use this", you're usually better off trying it out yourself. At worst you waste some time but learn the problem, and how to best evaluate other solutions that come up.

Comment: Re:Lower the bar further. (Score 1) 148

by Austerity Empowers (#49132465) Attached to: Artificial Intelligence Bests Humans At Classic Arcade Games

Don't even need that. I made pong for the TI-82 instead of paying attention in calculus class in high school, my "AI" could not be beat. Because it's really easy to do things when you can precisely calculate vectors and positions... It's actually harder to have something that makes human-like mistakes.

I don't think actual breakout or space invaders would be significantly harder.

Comment: Re:Instilling values more important (Score 4, Interesting) 692

I agree with this more than OP. Rational, ethical thought should be the cornerstone of any technical minded person. Rational to arrive at the most optimal data driven solution, ethical to ensure that the solution doesn't sound like "Well if we kill all the sick people, disease will be eliminated". Empathy, specifically for geek girls, is dangerous, she's going to face an uphill battle by her peers who are going to be afraid of her, threatened by her, and pressure her to drop to the level where they can compete in whatever way they comprehend it. The only way she'll steer clear is to govern basic human empathy with rationalism and clear thought, and it will still be very hard.

In general, empathy and compassion are dangerous when not heavily moderated by clear thinking and not entirely noble. If I gave all my money to N poor today, there'd be N+1 poor tomorrow. If I gave some of my money to the poor every day, there's be N slightly less poor tomorrow. Wealth is productivity, some of us have greater capacity for productivity than others. Truly helping others is much, much harder than empathy.

Comment: Re:The temptation to jump ship (Score 1) 253

The Sony eReader (haven't tried the Nook) and the Kindle non-Fire's are also very easy on the eyes. You can read them in the gym or wherever just as easily as a dead tree, but wipe them clean, they won't absorb sweat.

I can understand not wanting to read on phones/iPads/computer displays sometimes, they can give headaches and in my case mild nausea if I'm in the gym or something like that. I'm very sensitive to this sort of thing, but I think to a degree everyone gets fatigued by computer displays. In addition to being somewhat less distracting, these eReaders are just easier on your eyes...

Comment: If I were a publisher, I'd definitely agree (Score 4, Insightful) 253

But I'm not, and eBooks are awesome. I don't have physical space for dead trees in my house, and I can't imagine millenials are doing any better. Let's face it, most stuff we read for pleasure doesn't need to be recalled with anything other than casual clarity. We're not hanging on to carefully wordsmithed literature, we're reading mass market fiction with a good story but relatively low literary value.

Publishers need to return their money to the shareholders so the rest of the world can get on with life.

Comment: Parents keeping kids away from peanuts? Not really (Score 2) 239

Doctors are telling us to keep our children away from peanuts, eggs, and various other foods until two years of age. Then we're supposed to introduce them one at a time, with a few weeks between to monitor results & possible outbreaks. Even if no one in the family has any such allergies.

I'm sure it's not just me, almost every friend across the US with kids in our approximate age range have talked about the same things. I wonder if the people who write this stuff are paying attention...

Comment: Re:H-1B Visas Proving Awful For Americans (Score 3, Informative) 176

by Austerity Empowers (#49120027) Attached to: H-1B Visas Proving Lucrative For Engineers, Dev Leads

Don't compare salaries for one job against salaries for another job. $87k for an (electrical/computer) engineer is exceptionally low, generally 5 years xp max. I have seen H1B justifier req's out there where they offer that salary to 10-15 year people who make almost twice that, and obviously turn it down.

This is pure FUD, of the "those people make more than me, so fuck them" variety. But H1B continues to be a huge problem and deterrent for people in the country to be in the field, and has the salary lowering effect we expect it would have.

Comment: Re:common man (Score 1) 194

by Austerity Empowers (#49108027) Attached to: The Imitation Game Fails Test of Inspiring the Next Turings

I'm not confident I can worship in this cult of genius. History is full of geniuses who amounted to nothing because they were either too far ahead of their time, or too irrelevant to the needs of mainstream population. The ones that end up mattering are simply in the right place at the right time, and were able to take advantage of desperation.

Turing's machine may not have been built if Hitler weren't about to destroy Britain, or if Enigma was not also exceptionally well crafted. Turing's machine probably wouldn't have been built if a thousand mediocre people could brute force enigma, in fact. If you've ever used a laptop or a smart phone built in China (you have), you're using hte product of a ton of marginalized labor minimally employed, rather than much more sophisticated robotic lines and basically work that very smart people might be doing, if there was money in it.

Mediocrity employed en masse is quite powerful, and frequently frustrates many geniuses.

Comment: Re:What a reason to sue (Score 4, Interesting) 148

This is a clear case of not caring. On one hand the 'pilot' was a blatant attempt at working around their contract, and while I don't think it was as terrible as some think (as basic cable goes), was clearly an afterthought. On the other hand, it's hard to care at all about his wife's position. She was the one who delayed the ebook release for reasons that only cavemen can relate to, and she continues to generally pop up in annoying and unhelpful ways. Generally its' greedy people fighting over the monies, don't give a crap who wins or loses, the rest of us already have lost.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.