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Comment: Not really (Score 2) 358

by nurb432 (#47439867) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?

Unless its something like they had on ARK-II back in the 70's, ( and that would not be too practical ) a smart watch will always be a gimmick, unless there is some sort of way to make the screen appear bigger than it is.

Not being a Luddite, or not 'thinking outside the box', its far to small to be really useful other than for telling time. Just from the proliferation of larger screen phones you can tell that going smaller is not the direction people want to go for usability or functionality.

Sure, you can have alarms, and scrolling banners.. but your phone can do that, and so much more, without the 'squint' limitation...

Comment: Re:Holy grey area! (Score 2) 150

by nurb432 (#47438463) Attached to: Biohackers Are Engineering Yeast To Make THC

It may not be as grey as you think.

Example: Buying spores for psilocybin mushrooms could well be illegal, as it shows 'conspiracy to commit', which is illegal in its own right... The spores contain noting, but there is no other use for them but to create illegal substances so its really hard to make up an excuse.. This is no difference than your business proposal.

I also think in some US states ( and countries ) possession of the spores was declared illegal outright....

Comment: Moron Judge (Score 1, Interesting) 132

by nurb432 (#47423155) Attached to: Judge Shoots Down "Bitcoin Isn't Money" Argument In Silk Road Trial

Its not *money*, its just simple bartering. in this case for objects that people agree on is valuable ( like pez dispensers, game tokens, or Gold Pressed Latinum ) Now, can trading in illegal/stolen items get you put in jail, sure. But its not *money* laundering. ( i think the correct term in most areas would be 'criminal conversion' )

Much like 'piracy is theft', while it may be illegal to do so, its still not *theft* because the term is used.

This perversion of terms and concepts is dangerous. It only leads to more loosely defined terms of illegality and more people subject to the governments wrath.

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 2) 586

by DickBreath (#47418945) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software
I learned BASIC in 1977, about the same way, and about as quickly.

And I was writing a few BASIC programs shortly thereafter. But they are today what I would call TRIVIAL. Things that I would do in a single method of a modern language. With much better style, correctness, comprehensibility and maintainability.

Having just learned programming myself doesn't mean I was by any means an expert ready to work on big commercial problems worth lots of money. It took years more to learn a lot of important things. Structured Programming (aka giving up GOTO). Encapsulation. Information hiding. Data structures and dynamic memory. Algorithms. Understanding performance classification of algorithms. Understanding how the machine works at the low level. Writing toy or elementary compilers. Learning a LISP language (pick any one, they will teach you the same important and valuable lessons). Learning databases. How they work as well as how to use them. Read a few good books on human interface design before building a complex GUI program. I could go on and on.


> You can't learn how to build a highly optimised, always available, secure e-commerce trading platform in 8 hours.

Correct. The point here I think is that to have all of the valuable skills that makes you good at something, and fast at it, and apparently able to recognize the solutions to problems very quickly is -- lots and lots of study and practice. Years of learning. Failures (hopefully on some of your own toy problems first rather than commercial ones). Figuring out how to debug complex systems -- without or prior to the existence of source level debuggers.

I don't have a lot of sympathy for those who cry because employers want skilled programmers. Well, professional sports teams want skilled players. And modelling agencies want beautiful people. These things come with some combination of luck of the draw and effort to take advantage of it. (Those models don't eat donuts, for example.) I also think computer geeks should be able to cry and whine that humanities studies are unfair.

Comment: In the old days . . . (Score 1) 586

by DickBreath (#47414683) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software
From TFA (the friendly article, or whatever other F-word you prefer) . . .
> In the old days there was a respected profession of application programming.
> There was a minority of elite system programmers who built infrastructure and tools
> that empowered the majority of application programmers.


I think it is still that way. But now there is a third class who think that breaking into the application programming is some kind of godlike elite skill because it requires you to actually know more than the mere syntax of a language. Programming is racist and sexist because it requires you to even learn the syntax of a programming language. Why can't the computer just do what they say? Why do they need a special language? Why should it be necessary to learn to design complex databases, and understand in memory data structures and algorithms? Why focus on gaining lots of insight in order to come up with vastly superior algorithms?

In short, from what I see on some programming boards, what some people seem to want is a high paying position where an untrained monkey could get a computer to do what the boss wants, and then collect a paycheck -- um, no. Direct deposit.

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 5, Insightful) 586

by DickBreath (#47414587) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software
That may be true, but you miss the deeper underlying issue that TFA (the friendly article) is whining about.

They want to be able to be a programming superstar by reading a book such as:
* Learn Programming in 24 Hours!
* Learn Brain Surgery in 24 Hours!
* Learn Rocket Science in 24 Hours!
* Learn To Be A Concert Pianist in 10 EASY Lessons!

Various programming boards are flooded with people who want to know how to break into programming for big bucks, quick, overnight, but don't want to actually do the hard learning.

Gosh that takes me back... or is it forward? That's the trouble with time travel, you never can tell." -- Doctor Who, "Androids of Tara"

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