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Comment Darwinism: After RTFA, I say let'em do it (Score 5, Insightful) 160

Seriously, while a couple of the accidents listed are acts of God and could have happened anyway, many of them, from the human gene pool perspective, deserved to die.

Putting a gun to your head while taking a picture? Turning your back on bulls and or bisons? Having to be told to NOT touch or hug tigers? I do agree with Disney on their policy however, as a selfie-stick on a ride is most likely to hurt somebody behind the person taking the shot.

Sorry, for the sake of the human species, these people should be allowed to remove themselves from the reproductive population.

Submission + - What is the ideal developer's system?

mykepredko writes: After waiting through seemingly endless Chromium OS builds on a three year old system, I've decided to look at buying/building a couple of dedicated developer's systems; one for Windows (7 for now) and one for Linux. My basic requirements would be an 8 core Xeon with 4GB DDR4 per core minimum (ideally 8GB per core) with a least 512GB SSD. For I/O, I would want at least 6 USB ports, at least two DVI screen outputs and GB Ethernet with WiFi and Bluetooth. When I look for "powerful systems", I tend to find PCs designed for gamers and not software developers, who have large builds which take a long time in a basic/older system. What would you like to see in your dream development system? Are there any out there that you can recommend?

Comment Career step to having your jokes retweeted (Score 3, Insightful) 128

Hasn't comedy *always* been the domain of people stealing jokes with the successful people being able to fit them into their own styles with their own humour?

It's not like stand up comedians like:
- Rodney Dangerfield
- Joan Rivers
- George Carlin
- Jerry Sienfeld
didn't have their jokes repeated endlessly as well as use other people's jokes as part of their career. I have seen all four listed above live and they all did jokes that I've heard from Groucho Marx, WC Fields, Abbot & Costello and others (who probably stole them originally).

It's a hard living and even if you are successful you have to deal with the likes of parasites like Josh Ostrovsky and Jackie Martling while finding other people's jokes and routines that fit into your persona and act.

It's a circle of life thing.

Comment Not a "Design Flaw"/a Testing Flaw (Score 2) 157

I can see that most of the comments are referring to this as a design flaw and overly complicating the product but I imagine this was put into the Product Requirements Document as a feature that provided some benefit to the customer.

The issue really is, what was the testing protocol put in place, I would think that with something like this, the Samsung engineers would have to check for:
- The S-Pen being put in backwards and twisted to the preferred orientation
- The S-Pen being damaged and put in the right way and backwards and turned away from its preferred orientation
- Something other than the S-Pen being put in.
- The S-Pen being inserted with the force of a jackhammer
- The Galaxy being dropped (on all of its axis) with the S-Pen inserted correctly and incorrectly
- etc.

These tests should have been part of the product test and qualification plan.

Comment "Start me up" - What was Gates thinking? (Score 4, Interesting) 284

IIRC, Gates paid the Rolling Stones $12M for the rights to use their song "Start me up" which to this day I don't understand why he'd pick a song with the lyrics "You make a grown man cry!" in the chorus.

Trying to install Win95 on a Win 3.11 machine of the day certainly lent itself to tears. I don't think I was ever able to successfully do it (I reverted the 3.11 system back and then just went with Win NT and then then Win 2k) - I never used a Win95 or Win98 PC at work or at home.

A step in the right direction but definitely not an OS that was ready for prime time (sorry for the mixed metaphors).

Comment Fighter "Generations" is a Lockheed Marketing Term (Score 3, Interesting) 732

When reading articles about the F-35, you have to remember that the term "Fourth Generation" and "Fifth Generation" are terms that Lockheed Martin came up with to provide some marketing cachet for the F-22 and F-35.

There is no strong definition for the term and the best description that I seen is that "Fifth Generation" fighters employ stealth and undetectable communications. This definition is used with the F-35 to indicate that it will sneak up to enemy aircraft and launch missiles before the enemy aircraft know that it is there - the F-35 doesn't have the dog fighting capabilities of the F-22 or that of other fighters.

People seem to forget that the F-35's capabilities were first defined after the first Gulf War in which F-16s and other fighter-bombers could not detect Scud missile launchers or approach ones that were detected by other platforms before being detected and the launchers moved out of harm's way or camouflaged in such a way that they couldn't be detected. Then deciding that the basic platform could be extended to a SVTOL for the Marines and a carrier aircraft further doomed it's ability to maneuver effectively against other aircraft that were designed for air-air combat.

Unfortunately, the US(AF) has put all its eggs into the F-35 basket. I don't see there being a lot of opportunities to order more F-16s or F-15s (with the F-22 line shut down).

This means that in future conflicts, the US may lose the "air dominance" that has been used in war planning over the last fifty years.

Comment Start with this Password Verification Function (Score 4, Interesting) 52

I'm trying to remember where I first saw this function (I think it's a pretty common example for security coding seminars):

int passwordCompare(char* enteredPassword, char* validPassword) {
int i;

        for (i = 0; (len(enteredPassword) > i) && (enteredPassword[i] == validPassword[i]; ++i) {

        if (len(enteredPassword) == i) {
                return -1; /* true */
        else {
                return 0; /* false */

but, I would imagine that it would qualify as an example for the contest. I don't think it was originally designed to be malicious, but more of a coding error.

I would expect most of the entries in the contest would be of this variety, something that a (new) coder has put in that works for basic test cases, but has a serious flaw...

Comment They're sorting for "the right" employees (Score 2) 396

While I don't disagree with you, there are people who thrive in an environment like Amazon's. Now, most other people would consider the people who are successful at Amazon as "assholes" and I think they'd be right.

It doesn't sound like Amazon is shy about telling prospective employees what it's like to work there, so, to a certain extent, there shouldn't be any surprises for their employees when they're working there. That doesn't mean that it's not shameful to harass/punish employees when they have unexpected personal challenges and tragedies.

The good thing about all this is that Amazon is taking the assholes out of the workforce.

Comment Like Microsoft in early days but more organized (Score 1) 396

When I read the article, it reminded me of my interviews at Microsoft (Winter of 1985) with regards to the attitude that they had towards employees and work.

One of the things that I remember being told was that the Microsoft average employee peaked at 25 and left the company at 28 (with a suitcase of cash) to form their own business (or live on a beach). I was being hired to give my all for five years and then take a break. There was a lot of talk about supporting employees to help them work at this pace. What I didn't get was a sense of organization or where they wanted to go; I was being interviewed for hardware design and I got the feeling that they knew they were on top of the world and destined to be there forever, but didn't have a vision as to where they were going/taking the industry.

Over the years, it seems like Microsoft changed and became more corporate and relaxed but Bezos and Amazon are making this into much more of a cult(ure) with solid plans and expectations. I'm not surprised with their focus on results they are the successful company that they are and I'm not surprised that their employees are burning out and are bitter.

Comment How do you define a "robot"? (Score 1) 38

When I do robot classes and workshops, I define a "robot" as a device which:

1. Can perform different tasks.

2. Uses sensors to control its operation.

These points are pretty common for definitions. One additional requirement that I have seen is "more than three axis of movement".

From these requirements, I would say this is a robot.

"You can't get very far in this world without your dossier being there first." -- Arthur Miller