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Comment: People who can think and learn (Score 1) 325

by spaceyhackerlady (#47922291) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

I'm guided by the experience of the airlines. While you must, obviously, have the right sort of pilot's license, they also want a four year university degree. Not because it necessarily enhances your flying, but because it shows you can learn and accomplish things. If you can learn and accomplish things, and know your way around computers, I'd love to talk to you.

The big problem at most places I've worked is getting promising resumes past HR people who only count buzzwords.

...laura

Comment: Re:So, a design failure then. (Score 1) 123

by hey! (#47921919) Attached to: Developing the First Law of Robotics

It depends on your design goals.

In Asimov's story universe, the Three Laws are so deeply embedded in robotics technology they can't be circumvented by subsequent designers -- not without throwing out all subsequent robotics technology developments and starting over again from scratch. That's one heck of a tall order. Complaining about a corner case in which the system doesn't work as you'd like after they achieved that seems like nitpicking.

We do know that *more* sophisticated robots can designed make more subtle ethical systems -- which is another sign of a robust fundamental design. The simplistic ethics is what subsequent designers get when they get "for free" when they use an off-the-shelf positronic brain to control a welding robot or bread-slicing machine.

Think of the basic positronic brain design as a design framework. One of the hallmarks of a robust framework is that easy things are easy and hard things are possible. By simply using the positronic framework the designers of the bread slicing machine don't have to figure out all the ways the machine might slice a person's fingers off. The framework takes care of that for them.

Comment: Re:The protruding lens was a mistake (Score 1) 215

by hey! (#47921441) Attached to: Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

I don't think you've really grasped Apple's design sensibility. Job one for the designers is to deliver a product that consumers want but can't get anywhere else.

The "camera bulge" may be a huge blunder, or it may be just a tempest in a teapot. The real test will be the user's reactions when they hold the device in their hand, or see it in another user's hand. If the reaction is "I want it", the designers have done their job. If it's "Holy cow, look at that camera bulge," then it's a screw-up.

The thinness thing hasn't been about practicality for a long, long time; certainly not since smartphones got thinner than 12mm or so. They always been practical things the could have given us other than thinness, but what they want you to do is pick up the phone and say, "Look how thin the made this!" The marketing value of that is that it signals that you've got the latest and greatest device. There's a limit of course, and maybe we're at it now. Otherwise we'll be carrying devices in ten years that look like big razor blades.

At some point in your life you'll probably have seen so many latest and greatest things that having the latest and greatest isn't important to you any longer. That's when know you've aged out of the demographic designers care about.

Comment: Re:I'm not surprised (Score 1) 84

by hairyfeet (#47921225) Attached to: Canon Printer Hacked To Run <em>Doom</em> Video Game

THIS, this right here, is what royally pisses me off with the "Linux is ready for the desktop" crowd, because its fucking trivial to show that even the most basic consumer hardware just DOES NOT WORK while basic common sense features, like having a way to roll back drivers when an update hoses them or roll back the system when something goes wrong, that Windows has had for a decade and a fricking half just do not exist. I mean how bad would the FOSSies be laughing if you had to wipe and reinstall Windows every year to year and a half just to get the latest security updates? Well I get that trotted out as a viable "solution" to the fact that no Linux distro can pass the Hairyfeet challenge, which boils down to "get 5 years worth of updates without shitting yourself". Last time I saw that level of shitty in Windows was WinME!

And its sad but I realized years ago that most security problems, both on and offline, could be solved by merely applying the "douchebag rule". Act like the world is filled with vicious trolling POSes that will do something nasty even when they don't gain from it? Watch your issues disappear. Its sad that we have come to that point but we have so many worthless excuses for human beings with nothing better to do than cause grief and misery because they can that this is the world we live in. Hell did you see that article in yahoo about SWAT kicking down the door of a COD player and coming within a hair of killing the kid? Turned out somebody he beat online got butthurt and deciding to call SWAT on him just to be a giant fucking prick, THAT is the world we live in now.

Comment: Re:Not good enough (Score 1) 272

by hairyfeet (#47921027) Attached to: Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

Bono is a douchebag hypocrite who says that somebody who downloads a song on P2P should be given jail time while he has no problem with his band ripping off other artists wholesale. See "U2 rips off song" in any search engine to find more examples than I can count.

I have found being a fucking hypocrite can generate more hatred than pretty much anything else and seeing how fucking reviled Bono is I'd say his hypocrisy must rub a lot of folks the wrong way. If U2 disappeared from the face of the earth tomorrow? I'd have no problem with that and the music scene would probably be a better place.

Comment: Let's be different (Score 2) 81

by spaceyhackerlady (#47920245) Attached to: New Release of MINIX 3 For x86 and ARM Is NetBSD Compatible

I've followed Minix development with interest. The internal architecture is different from most OSs out there. Not different for the sake of being different, but different to show different solutions to problems. The way we do things in Linux et al is powerful, but it's not the only way.

I haven't come up with a compelling reason to use it in my work (yet... :-), but I install each new release on a virtual machine and play with it.

...laura

Comment: Re: Government s a crappy investor (Score 2) 58

by TheRaven64 (#47918687) Attached to: Funding Tech For Government, Instead of Tech For Industry
Not really. They've increased a bit above inflation, but the amount I'm spending on electricity has remained pretty constant, increasingly slightly below inflation (increases in device efficiency offsetting increase in costs). The amount I'm paying for gas has gone up a bit more.

Comment: Re:If there was only one viable choice ... (Score 1) 129

by TheRaven64 (#47918667) Attached to: Court Rules the "Google" Trademark Isn't Generic
I switched to DuckDuckGo and haven't looked back. They used to be noticeably worse in results quality, but Google has gone a long way downhill. Occasionally I don't find things with DDG and try Google. When I do, I have to wade through pages of totally irrelevant stuff to find that there are no matches, whereas at least DDG tells me straight away that it can only find half a dozen possibly-relevant things. I especially like the way DDG integrates with a number of domain-specific search engines.

Comment: Re:What for? (Score 5, Interesting) 164

by TheRaven64 (#47915739) Attached to: Why Apple Should Open-Source Swift -- But Won't

I maintain the GNUstep / Clang Objective-C stack. Most people who use it now do so in Android applications. A lot of popular apps have a core in Objective-C with the Foundation framework (sometimes they use GNUstep's on Android, more often they'll use one of the proprietary versions that includes code from libFoundation, GNUstep and Cocotron, but they almost all use clang and the GNUstep Objective-C runtime). Amusingly, there are actually more devices deployed with my Objective-C stack than Apple's. The advantage for developers is that their core logic is portable everywhere, but the GUIs can be in Objective-C with UIKit on iOS or Java on Android (or, commonly for games, GLES with a little tiny bit of platform-specific setup code). I suspect that one of the big reasons why the app situation on Windows Phone sucks is that you can't do this with a Windows port.

It would be great for these people to have an open source Swift that integrated cleanly with open source Objective-C stacks. Let's not forget that that's exactly what Swift is: a higher-level language designed for dealing with Objective-C libraries (not specifically Apple libraries).

Objective-C is a good language for mid-1990s development. Swift looks like a nice language for early 2000s development. Hopefully someone will come up with a good language for late 2010s development soon...

Comment: Re:If there was only one viable choice ... (Score 1) 129

by TheRaven64 (#47915717) Attached to: Court Rules the "Google" Trademark Isn't Generic

It wasn't just about interface. People tend to forget how search engines did an absolutely horrible job of intelligently ranking the sites you wanted to see.

I find it pretty easy to remember - I go to Google today.

The UI was what made me switch both to Google originally and from it some years later. When I started using Google - and when Google started gaining significant market share - most users were on 56Kb/s or slower modem connections. AltaVista was the market leader and they'd put so much crap in their front page that it took 30 seconds to load (and then another 20 or so to show the results). Google loaded in 2-3 seconds. The AltaVista search results had to be a lot better to be faster. I switched away when they made the up and down arrow keys in their search box behave differently to every other text field in the system.

Comment: Re: Government s a crappy investor (Score 2) 58

by TheRaven64 (#47915703) Attached to: Funding Tech For Government, Instead of Tech For Industry
My 'precious electronic toys' use about a tenth of the power that the ones I was using a decade ago for the same purpose did. Even lighting power consumption has dropped. My fridge, freezer and washing machine are the big electricity consumers in my home - efficiency has improved there, but nowhere near as fast as for gadgets.

Comment: Re:Tricky proposition (Score 1) 58

by TheRaven64 (#47915695) Attached to: Funding Tech For Government, Instead of Tech For Industry

There's a lot more to government than military intelligence gathering and law enforcement (although it would be a good idea for someone to remind most current governments that those are two things, not one). And most government projects end up spending insane budgets. This isn't limited to the US. It amazes me how often government projects to build databases to store a few million records with a few tens to thousands of queries per second (i.e. the kind of workload that you could run with off-the-shelf software on a relatively low-spec server) end up costing millions. Even with someone designing a pretty web-based GUI, people paid to manually enter all of the data from existing paper records, and 10 years of off-site redundancy, I often can't see where the money could have gone. Large companies often manage to do the same sort of thing.

The one thing that the US does well in terms of tech spending is mandate that the big company that wins the project should subcontract a certain percentage to small businesses. A lot of tech startups have got their big breaks from this rule.

Comment: Re:the tip is enough (Score 4, Insightful) 258

by hairyfeet (#47915481) Attached to: The Growing Illusion of Single Player Gaming

Sigh...how about constantly shifting in game ads to pummel you where you can't escape or use adblock? How about selling your playing habits to advertisers because "hey hardcore players do the dew!" or how about disappearing expansions so if you want to play with everybody else better whip out that CC, because "its only good for x number of days!"

All one has to do is look at EA and Activision to see if there is a douchey way to turn players into walking ATMs some game company WILL do it.

Comment: Re:I'm not surprised (Score 2) 84

by hairyfeet (#47915465) Attached to: Canon Printer Hacked To Run <em>Doom</em> Video Game

THANK YOU, as it doesn't matter if you can squeeze a driver set down to 1Kb if the damned things don't work or work half assed which is what I found trying random printers on Linux at the shop last year. Some would print but NOT scan, some would scan but came out lousy, and frankly NONE of them worked OOTB without seriously fiddling. Compare this to a Windows printer install...1.- Put CD in driver, 2.- Follow instructions....there is no step three! And the driver is 30 Mb, oh noes...who fricking cares? What kind of garbage are you dumpster diving where 30Mb or even 300Mb makes a damned bit of difference? Hell the cheapest shittiest used towers I keep around just to have something under $99 have 160Gb drives so who cares about drivers in the Mb range?

As for TFA...is anybody REALLY surprised, I mean really? These corps never think about security until it bites them square on the ass so while I'm glad its a white hat and not a black pulling this I really wouldn't be surprised if all consumer printers with net features is equally shitty, its just not something they even bothered considering. It reminds me how there was zero security on faxes until assholes started spamming black faxes, most of these companies just don't think "What would a giant douchebag do?" which sadly today is EXACTLY what you have to consider right off the bat.

When the weight of the paperwork equals the weight of the plane, the plane will fly. -- Donald Douglas

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