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Comment Re:Why shouldn't this be public anyway? (Score 3, Insightful) 56

Because people are stupid.

HIV is pretty much non-contagious as long as you don't exchange some sort of body fluid. Now, I don't know how you go about in your everyday life, but I don't routinely have people spill blood, semen or other stuff coming out of their body into mine.

But people are stupid.

Remember the H1N1 craze? Swine flu? Or any other of the sky-is-falling pandemics? SARS anyone? Yes, they are contagious. How many cases did we have around the US and Europe? Was it more than a dozen combined? People went apeshit over that crap. Mostly because they didn't have the first clue about it other than "oh it's killing people, watch out!"

And now imagine these people should interact with people who actually carry a deadly disease. No matter that there is no sensible way they could get infected, they WILL go bananas over it.

HIV is already a disease that puts a terrible weight on your psyche. Making these people outcasts for no reason whatsoever doesn't really help it.

Comment A relevant programmer koan (Score 1) 478

(shamelessly copied from the jargon file)

Tom Knight and the Lisp Machine

A novice was trying to fix a broken Lisp machine by turning the power off and on.
Knight, seeing what the student was doing, spoke sternly: “You cannot fix a machine by just power-cycling it with no understanding of what is going wrong.”
Knight turned the machine off and on.
The machine worked.

Comment Yes you do. (Score 1) 478

Sorry, but the line "or it has been done by someone else" alone is enough to dismiss what is said as rubbish.

There is a lot of things this world needs desperately. Another batch of cargo cult programmers is not among them. You needn't invent the wheel twice but you should know what makes it turn so you don't install it sideways. If you do not understand WHY you do the things you do, at the very least you will end up with very inefficient code. At worst with very insecure code.

Comment Re:Companies don't get it.... (Score 1) 396

I'm with you on every point except your agile comments. Yes many companies get it very wrong, but many companies get waterfall just as wrong. For me, coming from a massively waterfall environment to an agile environment has dropped my stress level considerably. Here is how agile (Scrum, specifically) is supposed to benefit you:

Is there any way to do waterfall right? I mean in theory it could work if people knew exactly what they wanted, but I haven't run into it yet. Usually when they see it implemented it turns out that's not actually what they meant or they had a lot of other conditions and features too that it turns out wasn't in the spec. That said, at least with waterfall you have a real plan, where you sometimes have to cross a desert where there's fucking nothing of value other than getting to the other side. Sometimes there's just not any quick wins, you need to make something big that solves a lot.

Comment Re:Companies don't get it.... (Score 1) 396

Game room/exercise room: What this means is more distractions for the young workers who already can't focus on their task for five minutes and get something done. Now they need to bug you to play with them and wonder why you say you don't have time as we are already way behind. So now you end up doing their tasks while they are shooting pool just to make sure the client gets what they were promised. Basically, more people NOT working while at work, forcing you into more hours to pick up the slack. BTW, how many hours a week does your company actually expect out of you?

Dunno, but if it's X whether I play a game of pool or not.... I'm playing pool. It sounds like you're playing Sisyphus, if the ball is always rolling down hill why is it your job to push it back up? Sounds like you want to be the hero that saves the day, but as long as you're just covering for other people all you have are a few youngsters who think you're grumpy and don't see the problem because the deadlines are met anyway. Find a way to let them crash and burn, without you getting too singed and you might find yourself more appreciated.

Comment Re:What I don't like (Score 1) 396

A lot of tech work is reactionary. And if all you have to do is put out fires, it isn't terrible. But you are usually expected to work at other things between fires. Which means the second you start doing one thing, you have to stop and go fix six other things. Always feeling like you are getting pulled in eighteen different directions sucks.

Actually that part is not so bad. The bad part is when you're not allowed to do anything more than run around with a fire extinguisher. I mean if the electrician told you the wiring is from last century and needs to be replaced, you'd do it. Same if the plumber said your sewer and water pipes are shot. But the more of a clusterfuck an application is, the harder it seems to replace because nobody understands it, it operates on no standards and the documentation is non-existent. The kind of application that have you tearing your hair out because it will fail in surprising, spectacular and entirely irrational ways and fixing it is like an acid trip through Alice's Wonderland, never knowing what you'll unleash next. Once I discovered a bug where totally unrelated functionality used the same locking table, but only one checked the object type. So you'd pull a string on one end and another part of the application fell apart. Oh joy.

Comment Re:Amen (Score 1) 33

I used mh/nmh for a long, long time. The command-line tools were excellent for quickly filtering emails (thanks to bash and grep and each message being a file in a folder), but really, the tcl/tk exmh wrapper was what I really liked. It did what I wanted, using tools that worked, without me having to memorize all the tools and how they worked.

These days I just use gmail.

What is now proved was once only imagin'd. -- William Blake