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Comment Drupal ... (Score 2) 161

Recently, I spent 3 months as a maintainer of about a dozen production Drupal websites.

That job was, by far, the worst job I've ever had in 11 years as a PHP programmer.

Drupal is a horrible, terribly programmed piece of shit that makes life extraordinarily difficult for everything from install to administration to development to deployment. It is BEYOND bloated, dogged slow, kludgy, broken, insecure, half-baked, lacking in good community support, and generally awful through and through. It is an ugly bitch to code in on multiple levels--massive byzantine array structures to do anything, slow variable functions, the object orientation it has is pointless, obnoxious database schema and proprietary SQL (yes, really), the Javascript Drupal object...

I could go into further detail...I came up with 39 reasons as part of my regular venting in that job why I will NEVER touch it again or so much as own up to having used it in the past.

Trust me, do NOT deal with that crap. Even worse than using it would be to throw that white elephant on a third party (the municipality) that has no concept of how to deal with it, and would very likely have to pay out the ass for the rare PHP programmer that specializes in Drupal to deal with it when you've moved on.

Comment Yes (Score 1) 630

Having just gone through an exhausting whirlwind of a job hunt in the bay area, I would say, yes, absolutely, a degree in CS is worthwhile. I was eliminated from consideration for a good number of positions because I did not have a CS degree and I was asked about having one in many phone screens and interviews. The act of being able to do pen-and-paper/whiteboard programming tests (something you'll get a lot of in CS classes) and talk about what I'm doing with some level of competence was key to my successful prospects. That, and working with people in paired programming sessions/being a nice guy helped too, something you'll probably get experience with in CS classes as well.

In the very-much-non-tech-town I am from, Phoenix, I was asked about having a degree once. This may be one of those things that varies on your area, but for areas that matter (here, probably a few select cities elsewhere) it would be advantageous to have one.

And if you think there aren't companies that feel the need to train you, that's ridiculous. I took what is all intents and purposes an entry level Ruby on Rails job after over a decade in PHP and some past (mostly 3 or 4 years ago) RoR experience. There are good companies that will hire good programmers regardless of what languages they know--I know this because I am working for one now. You do have to find them tho.

Comment Re:Favourite tends to be what you grew up with (Score 1) 373

I'll agree with the parent's general premise--in my place, we had just about every console made except for Sony and most of sega's later offerings and Sonic took most of my time out of all of them. I barely remember the TurboGrafx's 16's, but I always remember the Genesis controller as the best in the lineup. The NES controller was generally too small and took sime time getting used to wherein its elegant simplicity would shine somewhat dim. I always found the shoulder buttons on the SNES awkward, and it was still too small. I wish my dreamcast and the concept behind it lasted long enough. I fondly remember the N64's in the later years--it was too just too cool with Goldeneye.

But the Genesis's controller wins hands down. The C button was nifty, the ergonomics and weight were perfect, and there was nothing to get in the way. The 8-way D-pad was too cool.

But the best way to play Sonic the Hedgehog was the PC version of I think it was Sonic CD. Seriously. I could beat the Time Trial in the end hands down every time with a regular PC keyboard whereas I might get it every so often on the Genesis.

Any controller, however, that relies on the dexterity of the thumb is just stupid--that's when it becomes less and less about skill and more how good just one stupid appendage is at doing things it's not made to do. Too bad the PowerGlove was too ahead of its time--from what i've seen, the Wii's just half-way there on the same concept. I mean, they could have the PowerGlove and the PowerShoe (and the PowerBrassKnuckles) and people would finally get points for virtually or quite literally beating each other.

How cool would that be to watch?
The Courts

Andersen Vs. RIAA Counterclaims Challenged 149

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA is now challenging the counterclaims (PDF) in Atlantic v. Andersen, for Electronic Trespass, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Invasion of Privacy, Fraud, Negligent Misrepresentation, the tort of Outrage, Deceptive Business Practices under Oregon Trade Practices Act, and Oregon RICO, first discussed here in October 2005. The RIAA has moved to dismiss the counterclaims (PDF) brought by a disabled single mother in Oregon who lives on Social Security Disability and has never engaged in file sharing, this after unsuccessfully trying to force the face-to-face deposition of Ms. Andersen's 10-year-old daughter. Ms. Andersen's lawyer has filed opposition papers (PDF)."

Canada's Wayne Crookes Sues the Net 200

newtley writes "Wayne Crookes, the Green Party of Canada's ex-financier, is in effect trying to sue the Internet. He's going after the Wikipedia, Google, and (run up by federal Green Party activist Michael Pilling) claiming he's suffered, 'an immense amount of frustration and emotional distress' over postings. Some 15 others may also have been targeted. "Mr. Crookes seems to be 'trying to unwrite history,' Pilling says. 'He was a central figure in the growth of the Green Party. His actions were highly controversial and if we have freedom of speech in this country, people should be allowed to talk about them.'" Newtley adds in a posting submitted 121 minutes later: "Literally 15 minutes after I posted [the foregoing], there was a knock on my door. It was a writ server telling me I, too, have been named in a lawsuit launched by Wayne Crookes..."

Record Store Owners Blame RIAA For Destroying Music Industry 586

techdirt writes "It's not like it hasn't been said many times before, but it's nice to see the NY Times running an opinion piece about the RIAA from a pair of record store owners which basically points out how at every opportunity, the RIAA has made the wrong move and made things worse: 'The major labels wanted to kill the single. Instead they killed the album. The association wanted to kill Napster. Instead it killed the compact disc. And today it's not just record stores that are in trouble, but the labels themselves, now belatedly embracing the Internet revolution without having quite figured out how to make it pay.' It's not every day that you see a NY Times piece use the word 'boneheadedness' to describe the strategy of an organization."

Harvesting Energy in the Sky 261

withoutfeathers writes "The Economist magazine has an article on Flying wind farms. Mind you, we're not talking about ordinary, terrestrial windmills here. We're talking about actual airborne — up to 10km in the sky — wind farms intended to harvest the immense supply of energy in the jet stream. On the surface, the idea seems a little eccentric but, in fact, San Diego (California, US) based Sky WindPower has, apparently, thought their concept through pretty thoroughly and believes they can not only make this work, but do so profitably. The article discusses several other ideas for high-flying wind farming including a Dutch proposal to use pairs of kites to drive a generator."
Star Wars Prequels

USPS Announces Star Wars Stamp Set 153

morpheus83 writes "After R2D2 letter boxes, the USPS continues the saga, as it unveiled 15 new stamps featuring Star Wars characters at Grauman's Chinese theater in Hollywood where the original Star Wars movie opened 30 years ago. The 41 cent stamps will be released on May 25, and all the 15 stamps will be issued on a single sheet resembling a movie poster."

Ocean Floor Crust Wound to Be Explored 148

eldavojohn writes "A group of scientists are disembarking right now to study an open gash in the ocean floor where earth's mantle lays exposed without any crust covering it. The scientists describe this as the result of the mantle moving too quickly for the crust to keep up. Either that, or the mantle was never covered by the crust and just has always been like this. From the article, 'Regardless of how they formed, the exposed mantle provides scientists with a rare opportunity to study the Earth's rocky innards. Many attempts to drill deep into the planet barely get past the crust.'"

Submission + - Vista DRM "longest suicide note in history"

An anonymous reader writes: VISTA'S CONTENT PROTECTION specification could very well constitute the longest suicide note in history, claims a new and detailed report from the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

"Peter Gutmann's report describes the pernicious DRM built into Vista and required by MS for approval of hardware and drivers," said INQ reader Brad Steffler, MD, who brought the report to our attention. "As a physician who uses PCs for image review before I perform surgery, this situation is intolerable. It is also intolerable for me as a medical school professor as I will have to switch to a MAC or a Linux PC. These draconian dicta just might kill the PC as we know it." ost.txt

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