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Comment: Re:Um.. we don't see it as advancing our career (Score 1) 125 125

Why then, at 40, do I still get weekly contacts from recruiters looking to fill local development positions? Is it possibly your comment applies to a local market, possible in Silicon Valley, but not to the Midwest? Or is it possible that every one of these recruiters is just trying to fill a quota of prospects despite the fact that the employer they're hunting for couldn't afford me?

Comment: Re:Jeez, sparse arrays, really? (Score 1) 128 128

From the user perspective, I think Wikipedia is correct. To any coder using a sparse array, it just looks and acts like an array where most of the elements are 0 or null. From the implementation perspective, when you know this is the case, there are some optimizations you can make to significantly reduce the memory usage of such a structure, which is why the term "implementation" was used to describe sparse arrays' relation to maps. Internally sparse arrays are implemented as maps so that space doesn't need to be allocated for all those zeros. Although a sparse array's implementation doesn't define it, it is a notable detail about how they are generally implemented. So if you want to split hairs on the definition of "is", Wikipedia probably has a better definition, but it's also not incorrect to say that they are implemented as maps.

Comment: Re:A dupe but can't be said enough (Score 1) 614 614

I thought the LCA involved in an H-1B visa is supposed to prevent paying the visa worker a wage lower than what would be paid to a native worker doing the same job. I can't find any reputable source for this, but Wikipedia states, "The LCA also contains an attestation section designed to prevent the program from being used to import foreign workers to break a strike or replace U.S. citizen workers." Is this a misconception that is not in fact backed up by any real requirement?

Comment: I Created an Easter Egg (Score 1) 290 290

I created an easter egg in a product called Fourth Shift Edition for SAP Business One (http://findaccountingsoftware.com/directory/softbrands/fourth-shift-edition-for-sap-business-one/) maybe 5 years ago that rendered an interesting sequence of John Conway's game of Life (starting from the acorn state) while displaying names of developers in a marquee. Trying to remember how to access it... I think it was just typing "LIFE!" while looking at the about dialog. I work pretty efficiently so it was hard to keep me busy at times. The easter egg was a (self-inspired) way to do something interesting related to the software I was working on for a couple hours while waiting to see what came next... and I thought it might someday briefly amuse someone too accustomed to nothing but business all day long. (The software is for ERP.) I showed it to my boss and a few coworkers who, if I recall, all had positive reactions... or at least no negative reactions I'm aware of. I'm not sure if anyone would have expressed a negative reaction to me if they had one because I feel pretty well respected there. I'm not sure anyone who knew about it is still with the company. Maybe I should tell a couple support people about it in case they feel like using it as a diversion while researching a solution to someone's inquiry, especially since it's Easter time. :)

Comment: Re:"Complexity" is very subjective. (Score 1) 188 188

The mere fact that you appear to be putting people who use certain technologies on a scale from "less-smart" to "smart" directly counteracts your assertion that complexity is subjective. If complexity were subjective, you would have simply referred to C++ users as "familiar with C++" and Ruby users as "familiar with Ruby" not put them on a scale from Ruby==less-smart to C++==smart. But since you use the terms "smart" and "less-smart", you imply that there is an absolute scale of complexity which can be measured in the smartness required to understand it.

Comment: Re:why? (Score 1) 677 677

All fine and good when there's no clean-up to be done. However, if you're in an error handler after opening a database connection, creating a temp file, and allocating a block of shared memory, now you've just leaked resources all over the place by skipping all the clean-up. Or you have to duplicate all that clean-up in this and every subsequent error handler within the function.

Comment: Re:Analogy (Score 1) 556 556

Sorry for using layman-speak in a geek forum, but I tire of picking all my nits before posting :). The point is that any particular value or set of values might be considered infinitesimally likely in an unknown and possibly infinite domain. We only have one universe so we can't very well figure out how many other possible values could have existed for all the conditions that support life in this universe. And we can't very well say for certain that none of these other possibilities would have ever resulted in conscious life. It's the anthropic principle.

Comment: Analogy (Score 1) 556 556

The reply (with which I agree) is that it's silly to calculate the probability of life out of context when you don't know what context(s) allow life. Take a simpler example. Assume I tell you to pick a random number between 1 and a quadrillion. You pick 709,108,554,989,243. Taken out of context someone can ask, "What are the chances that this exact number would turn up, one in a quadrillion!? They're so slim, this can't be random!" In fact you could have picked any of a much larger set of numbers and the same could be said about all of those. Calculating probabilities on an unknown domain doesn't work.

Comment: Policy has always deterred against VPNs (Score 1) 67 67

Even if the statement is that their policy hasn't changed, that doesn't say that their policy allows VPN access, according to a CNET article:

"We say very specifically that VPNs violate the terms of our service, and we believe very much so that anybody who licenses content should get paid for their content," he said. "We hear a lot in every market about this, and what we tend to find too is that, after launch, these issues drop significantly."


The reason it might still be working for many is that they are not using updated software that might be checking IP addresses internally, either innocently for other reasons, or to specifically start enforcing this policy in a limited scope.

Comment: Re:its their own fault (Score 1) 280 280

Changing your legal name for anything except marriage is much harder in some states than changing it for marriage. The process seems streamlined for marriage because it's so common, but is sometimes prohibitively difficult and/or expensive in other cases. I see this decision as Facebook wanting to be like one of the "easier" states and be available that way to people in all states regardless of how hard it is to change your legal name there. Kudos if they can accomplish that goal without significantly compromising the integrity of peoples' identities in other ways.

When someone says "I want a programming language in which I need only say what I wish done," give him a lollipop.