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Comment: Re:Not Obsolete At All (Score 1) 365

by Bovius (#46188191) Attached to: Do Hypersonic Missiles Make Defense Systems Obsolete?

I don't understand why we're still making kneepads. Kneepads are completely ineffective at protecting knees from hypersonic missiles, but spending on kneepads continues to rise. Kneepads are obsolete and we should be focusing our efforts on knee-mounted lasers to defend against this new hypersonic threat.

Comment: Yikes (Score 5, Insightful) 241

Holy balls that is creepy. At best, this would really weird people out who knew the dearly departed. At worst, it would provide a hook for traumatized loved ones to avoid dealing with the grief and get increasingly bottled up in a fantasy world.

It is difficult for me to imagine ways in which this would be a good thing.

Comment: Really? (Score 1) 185

by Bovius (#46057867) Attached to: A Thermodynamics Theory of the Origins of Life

"England says his ideas pose no threat to Darwinian evolution."

Really? This had to be stated?

* Why would this have anything to do with Darwin's theory of evolution? Evolutionary theory is pointedly silent on the origins of life, nor does it depend on a thermodynamic explanation of speciation.
* Why would the article, or England for that matter, feel the need to explicitly state this?

[opinion] I feel like the scientific community has so rabid about avoiding anything resembling creationism that they have to reassure themselves when new ideas come up, even if the ideas are no threat to their core beliefs. [/opinion]

It's disappointing and makes it hard to take anything this guy says seriously, regardless of how reasonable or far fetched his formula is.

Comment: Re:A wise move.... (Score 1) 205

by Bovius (#46052859) Attached to: Valve Offers Free Subscription To Debian Developers: Paying It Forward

Agreed. I'm sure internally, Valve deals with the same circus of foibles that every other tech company sees. But externally, looking at their overarching business strategy, it's really satisfying to see them playing the long game, and knowing that in all probability the PC gaming market will continue to benefit from their efforts.

Comment: Really. (Score 5, Funny) 91

by Bovius (#45696281) Attached to: Former Google Lawyer Michelle Lee To Run US Patent Office

"...but said the opinions of her former employer would not guide her work."

I wonder if she rolled her eyes and winked after saying this.

This is one of those situations where I think the chosen person could actually do an enormous amount of good if they had the will to, but I have little to no hope that that will be the actual outcome.

Comment: Respect (Score 3, Insightful) 361

by Bovius (#45402635) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Communication Skills For Programmers?

>I don't have to hold my tongue when someone is wrong

I respectfully disagree. You should definitely speak up if something is wrong, and it's good that you're in an environment that allows you to. That being said, I suspect that the number one "communication problem" software developers tend to have is coming across as having an overactive ego, that your word is the divine truth handed down to the unwashed tech-illiterate masses, and that their opinions don't actually matter in the face of the cold, hard facts you bring to the table. I don't think this is the dev's actual attitude (most of the time), but it's so, so easy to come across that way. Coming up with ways to share an idea while making sure your audience understands yet doesn't feel talked down to is a skill I know a lot of devs could stand to learn. If your coworkers feel respected by you, that goes a long way toward improving communications.

The other problem I see frequently is a general lack of visibility into what progress is actually being made on the seething morass of shifting dev priorities. Even something as simple as a daily/weekly project status update e-mail to the right people can do wonders here.

(This question gets deep into greater issues of how much power tech people have and their perceived role in businesses and society, which is far too big a discussion to be had here. Short version: IT experts are witches).

Full disclosure: I am a career software developer, and like to believe I do pretty good at the communicating with business thing.

Comment: Maybe... (Score 1) 140

by Bovius (#45263783) Attached to: Is Europa Too Prickly To Land On?

I think the top of Spain is pretty flat. You could probably land there if you can get nestled under that French overhang.

Other than that, though, yeah, that's way too prickly. The next closest viable landing spot is over on that Brazilian ledge, and even then you'd need to make sure you get a firm perch so you don't slip off and fall to the Antarctic floor below.

Comment: Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (Score 1) 361

by Bovius (#45195601) Attached to: CryptoSeal Shuts Down Consumer VPN Service To Avoid Fighting NSA

Not that many customers are going to be scared off.
Most people don't care about the NSA reading their data.
Businesses care about competitors reading their data, not the NSA.

This, sadly. I wish the general public could be bothered with this, and I also wish we could point to one particular distraction as the culprit, like Jersey Shore or the fact that we haven't been able to run a planned government budget since 1997, but the NSA issue is a particularly bad symptom of a larger problem.

Actually, that budget thing sounds pretty bad.

Comment: Re:More details? (Score 4, Informative) 465

by Bovius (#45154937) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Language To Learn For Scientific Computing?

Second this. There are numerous languages out there that are tailor-made for specific kinds of problems. You didn't quite share enough to narrow down what kinds problems you need to solve, but the R project is geared toward number crunching, albeit with a significant bent toward statistics and graphic display.

http://www.r-project.org/

If that's not pointed in the right direction, some other language might be. Alternatively, there are a lot of libraries out there for the more popular languages that could help with what you're doing. Heck, 12 years ago we didn't even have the boost libraries for C++. It's difficult for me to imagine using that language with out them now.

Comment: Re:A GOOD LANDING !! (Score 1) 249

by Bovius (#45086457) Attached to: Passenger Lands Plane After Pilot Collapses and Dies At the Controls

The summary eludes to it, but the articles I've read so far on it fail to mention that the landing happened *when it was dark out*. I haven't seen a specific time of landing yet, but it's looking like it was well after sunset, which is why the note about not having lights on is so noteworthy.

Untrained landings under pressure are heroic feats as it is. Doing so as it's getting progressively darker outside turns it up to 11.

Comment: Re:stop trying, use git instead (Score 1) 238

by Bovius (#44811539) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Best To Synchronize Projects Between Shared Drive and PCs?

Let's imagine your mother has received a PDF document in her email, and she has to add it to the repo. Would you really make her use git? Just making her email the file to you isn't a good solution in this case.

I would not make her use command line git, but I would make her use one of the many GUI clients available for git. If she can be trained to use whatever you're using now, she can be trained to use one of these.

I would be nice to her and spend some time hanging out with her after the training, of course. She's my mom. I would also expect her to need repeated training, but I would expect that of anyone who is not tech savvy.

To understand a program you must become both the machine and the program.

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