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Comment: Nobody wants to talk about Snap! ?? (Score 1) 876

by Desert_Scarecrow (#46198977) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?
SNAP! is a visual editor that can put together some simple-to-moderately-complex programs. I'm surprised no one has cited it as an example of the convenience / drawbacks of a visual editor. It can be hooked up to all kinds of things, including mindstorms, wiimotes, and Arduino. I've only seen it used standalone for intro-level CS instruction, but it does seem to have some interesting uses. I don't think this is a real problem though -- the text of actual code isn't a barrier to actual coders...

Comment: Re:well... (Score 1) 428

by Desert_Scarecrow (#33051288) Attached to: Your Online Education Experience?
Look, if you thought that workload was hard, you are not really preparing yourself well for a real education. When I shopped my Bachelor's from UofPxh around, I was quite pleased with the number of recruiting pitches I got for my MBA prospects, one of which I took. In almost any industry, college gives you the basic things you need to learn further, knowing that for the mast majority, "further" will be on the job. In any case, my degree took me from $14.20 an hour to $28.00 / hr in about six months...not all by itself, of course, but with a pretty significant role.

Comment: Re:no (Score 5, Informative) 631

by Desert_Scarecrow (#32333858) Attached to: Emergency Dispatcher Fired For Facebook Drug Joke
"Soldiers can't be charged with conduct unbecoming for bad behavior unless they are in uniform, so why should it be different?"

Absolutely, 100% wrong. They can. The fact that the individual works for a public service and not a private corporation is actually worse for their case, not better for it.

Comment: Re:One of Many (Score 1) 396

by Desert_Scarecrow (#31806462) Attached to: "Father of Java" Resigns From Sun/Oracle
The only thing you've proven is that your neighbors are idiots. A Windows machine is so ridiculously easy to run at the user level -- flawlessly -- that it's not even funny. Is it the cheapest option? No. Does it come in a shiny case and cost $400 more than the same hardware in a grey box? No. But to make it sound like Microsoft somehow puts all those viruses on your neighbor's computer is disingenious at best. It's like blaming Chevy for the damage caused to a car in a demolition derby. I've run an MS box to game with for years. I've never once needed to go to the shop, remain virus free just using the basic Antivir client + Spybot S&D (both free), and reboot my computer exactly once a month on Patch Tuesday. Sure, all I do with it is write papers for school and play games, but the cost difference to the user on the desktop is pretty minute.

Comment: Re:Non-issue? (Score 1) 578

by Desert_Scarecrow (#31216652) Attached to: Fingerprint Requirement For a Work-Study Job?
Any non-terrible biometric scanner will scan for a pulse while it is reading data points. While this is not so difficult to simulate with a finger, it's relatively difficult to simulate with an eye. For a bad guy, there are probably much easier ways of compromising security if they have the unlimited physical access they would need to chop up body parts and use those parts to bypass the scanner. Really the OP just needs to take off his tinfoil hat - or leave it on, understanding that he won't be getting a lot of government work that way.

Comment: Re:100% wrong. (Score 2, Insightful) 630

by Desert_Scarecrow (#29557069) Attached to: G20 Protesters Blasted By "Sound Cannon"
No. The whole point of non-lethal force is not to act in place of lethal force. The point of non-lethal force is to act along the continuum of force, gradually responding to physical resistance until the subject de-escalates into cooperation.

By your reasoning, a police officer who chooses to use a wristlock to subdue an agitated subject during a domestic violence call is no different than a police officer who shoots said suspect with a firearm. That's just patently ridiculous, and a statement of absolutism I hope you would care to rethink.

Comment: Re:Department of Orwellian Reasoning (Score 1) 630

by Desert_Scarecrow (#29556957) Attached to: G20 Protesters Blasted By "Sound Cannon"
Ignoring the parts of a post that are inconveniently and provably true...check.
Obvious lack of legal understanding...check.
Name-calling without the slightest shred of evidence (with bonus points for self-contradiction)...check.

You, sir, should run for Congress! You'd fit right in.

Comment: Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (Score 1) 105

by Desert_Scarecrow (#28969551) Attached to: Swiss Open Source Decision Going Microsoft's Way

Your argument from the point of waste suffers from a number of fallacies in this case. If the government deduces that there is no possible conclusion reached through the bidding process than the one it has selected, then holding the bidding process will only add to government waste -- the very thing you are arguing to prevent.

When the U.S. military started the off-the-shelf program and allowed less bidding and more self-determination, the days of the $300 hammer ended. Sometimes removing the bidding process is a good and logical thing.

Comment: Re:Then there's nothing wrong with the Alaskan roa (Score 3, Informative) 343

by Desert_Scarecrow (#27202335) Attached to: "Bridge To Microsoft" Gets Federal Stimulus Funds
You obviously don't live in the area or drive on the 40th street overpass. I do. I don't work for Microsoft, and I would use that road several times per month just in the course of travelling to various entertainment venues. What we have here is a non-story about a project that is useful, estimated to cost between 15-36M, and which Microsoft has already dropped $11M on. Show me how many Seattle businesses are willing to put extra cash of their own (in addition to tax base they already supply) on the line to dig their fancy tunnel. Oh yeah, the only people in Seattle that regularly write checks for public works are retired Microsoft employees...weird.

Comment: Re:Who should pay for infrastructure? (Score 1) 343

by Desert_Scarecrow (#27202275) Attached to: "Bridge To Microsoft" Gets Federal Stimulus Funds

"Taxation without representation is tyranny."

That's true. Fortunately for all of us here in Redmond, we have a representative republic in which we vote on the people who make these decisions. If the majority of stakeholders felt the way you do and elected a city council that opposed growth, then you wouldn't get the highway.

Since D.C. residents got the vote, I think you would be hard pressed to find many places in the U.S. anymore that are without representation. Just because your representation doesn't win all of the time, or because your representation represents the majority of the area you live in and not your personal views, doesn't make it tyranny.

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

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