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Comment: Nets (Score 1) 222

by EmperorOfCanada (#49795881) Attached to: Why Detecting Drones Is a Tough Gig
I see a point where nets will go up for a while(probably after an attack). But they will be so ugly that there will be relentless pressure to take them down. Then they will have "pop-up" nets. But they won't work and the nets will go up one more time.

Then some genius will come up with a solution and the nets will go away.

But we are all taking about little quadcopters and whatnot. But there are many many types of contraptions that will come along with drone technology. Gliders, missiles, planes, darts, parachutes, combos; so fly then crawl.

Just like the stupid war on terror. The real key is not to fight the war but to prevent the causes of the war in the first place. There will always be a few nutcases so there isn't much that can be done there. But if there were to ever be regular attacks then you are doing something wrong at a much higher level.

Comment: Re:Early recognition of greatness (Score 1) 397

by EmperorOfCanada (#49787319) Attached to: Can Bad Scientific Practice Be Fixed?
Yes I normally hate the reposte of "Citation please" I don't have something specific off the top of my head but there is the whole story of there being no people in North America before Clovis. If I understand correctly the evidence mounted and mounted against a specific history of the first peoples of North America but few dared to publish, which was both difficult and damaging to one's career. Then the roadblocks went away and woosh everybody published pretty much what everybody agreed had actually happened.

From what I gather this pretty much is the classic: Science proceeds one funeral at a time.
I won't specifically mention which plane crash but I personally know a researcher who basically bounced around the room in joy when a plane crashed and killed a number of people in his field. He summed it up with, "Some innocents died today but orders of magnitude more more will live because of the removal of some very senior roadblocks that died on that plane."

The media reported it as a great loss to that field of science.

Comment: C++ is so broad as to render this question useless (Score 3, Insightful) 333

by EmperorOfCanada (#49784501) Attached to: How Much C++ Should You Know For an Entry-Level C++ Job?
This would be like how much English do you need to get a job at an English speaking company?

If the domain of the programming is really specific such as financial machine learning, or embedded systems then a tiny handful of fizzbuzz tests would be enough as the core questions would all be about the domain knowledge. But if the job involves pushing C++ right out to its limits where the company has occasionally made contributions to LLVM or GCC then maybe the minimum knowledge would be that of a C++ god.

But the simple reality is that the surface area of C++ and its applications is so large that as long as the programmer had demonstrated that they can deliver in one area of C++ and are capable of learning whatever SDKs or specifics that you use I would not be too torn up to hire a programmer who knew little of the local company's subset of C++ used.

I personally have delivered C++ applications for embedded systems, mobile, and desktop. Yet it would take me very little time to write a (apparently) simple test that I would fail. Then I could point to myself and say, "Ha ha you don't even know these basics, you fool!"

For instance what is the keyword "compl" used for? Answer: it is a replacement for the ~
Why would you want to use compl other than having a broken tilde key? Answer: Because some systems don't have a ~ but do need to compile C++.

Plus if you were to quiz me on after I had been maintaining some other systems in Objective-C/Javascript/Python/PHP/SQL you could probably catch me up on all kinds of little stupid things where I would muddle the languages together. So just asking me the string function for reversing a string, upper/lower case, or other trivial things. I could end up looking like a real boob even though I could point to the hundreds or many thousands of times that I had used that construct/function/keyword in C++.

So, I am a huge fan of talking over some code that was created by the person and then seeing a quick fizzbuzz test or two to make sure they aren't full of crap. After that it would be to talk about projects that are at least similar to the project in question.

That all said; I wouldn't even be terribly offended if someone didn't even have much C++ experience as long as they could show that not only did they have mastery of one of the languages similar to C++ such as Java, javascript, or even even PHP; but that they had a proven ability to have quickly mastered a new language in the past. On this last note I would find it odd that an aspiring hard core programmer hadn't solidly encountered C or C++ in the past.

Comment: Early recognition of greatness (Score 3, Interesting) 397

by EmperorOfCanada (#49774399) Attached to: Can Bad Scientific Practice Be Fixed?
I have witnessed way too many brilliant, and I mean off the scale brilliant graduate students who are forced to pretty much credit their work to some 60+ year old very tenured professor because he is the only one who can get access to the money. But worse than that I see the same off the scale brilliant students being told that they are wrong wrong wrong. Not because they are wrong but because when they are shown to be correct it will upend the research and conclusions that entire careers were built upon.

I find that many senior professors/scientists never really accomplished anything and simply became experts in an established field further establishing that field. They are threatened by anyone who comes along and shakes the tree which might cause a few of their most rotten fruit to fall. But they are also threatened that if recognized that a truly great young scientist will come along and "steal" all the grant money that is rightfully theirs because of their seniority.

There are the rare senior scientists who encourage new and radical thinking along with making sure that credit is properly assigned (first name) but pretty much without exception these are scientists who accomplished something in their day.

I find a very common song sung by these terrible scientists is that all science is now to be done by groups. Yes groups are often required to conclusively put something new to bed but almost without exception great science had some key crack opened by some one person(or two) thinking way outside the box; not merely going through a checklist.

I have long thought that one of the reasons that so many great scientists are a bit autistic is that only this way can they ignore the continuous social pressure to conform to the groupthink that the lesser scientist would prefer they would. Whereas the more social but less capable scientists are the ones who can rise to the top on little or no accomplishments and cajole and structure the system so as to provide them with a huge cut of the grant money.

Comment: Who's AI (Score 1) 413

by EmperorOfCanada (#49765269) Attached to: What AI Experts Think About the Existential Risk of AI
The key in all this is who's AI? The AI of google? AI of the NSA? AI of some hedgefund? AI of some brilliant but disturbed scientist who was rejected from Harvard? AI of some brilliant guy at a game company?

There are many people working with adaptive systems that have a wide variety of problems. Many might even scoff that they are working on AI. But the critical point is when any one of these systems is flexible and adaptive enough to start improving the fundamentals of how it works. Once that magical point is crossed the system will grow way beyond the wildest dreams of its creator.

Comment: Maybe in the past (Score 1) 170

by EmperorOfCanada (#49753587) Attached to: Video Games: Gateway To a Programming Career?
When I was young getting a video game literally involved programming it. That pretty much was as much of a trial by fire as possible. Then after that getting commercial games generally involved piracy that was really really hard and later it involved hardware tweaking and noodling with that stupid config.sys crap to get the machine just so.

So popping a disk into an XBox or downloading content just isn't the same. Although I would be willing to bet that through xbox mods, xbox fixing, and cellphone repairs that there are a whole bunch of electrical engineers being born.

I would say that for those potential CS/engineers out there that the arduino type direction will be more fruitful.

Comment: Re:WTF (Score 1) 530

In a word, Yes. Plus the major ISPs in Canada pretty much have been caught doing traffic shaping, injections, and handing stuff over to the police willy nilly.

My VPN has not. Plus an hour after they are caught I will be switching VPNs along with about 1 million of their other customers. A typical VPN customer is going to be more sophisticated plus very concerned with privacy and very prone to reacting quickly and negatively to this sort of thing.

Therefore it would probably be priority number one to maintain our privacy even over a high quality service as I suspect if they sent me a letter saying, "We will be dropping speeds by 10% because we feel that we had to increase our crypto to something next gen." that most customers would nod and say, "Good."

Comment: WTF (Score 3, Interesting) 530

How can they be respecting my privacy seeing that such a feature would require that they have access to my browsing history. Even if (in theory) they aren't downloading my browsing history and it is my browser making the requests they can deduce what sites I must be browsing to request such "suggestions."

So if I mostly go to sites that involve sex with bowls of pasta and my browser were to request suggestions involving bowls of pasta porn it isn't much of stretch for them to guess what kind of sites I go to.

This shit pisses me off. I already use a VPN to keep my ISP from this sort of interference. Now it is my damn browser ratting on me.

How about a big fat no. Firefox already has a dropping market share and now it will drop by at least one more(me).

Just to be clear as to how much I value my privacy and don't want tracking. I use a VM for all services that I log into that goes through a separate VPN. Thus my day to day surfing is 100% separate from anything that has any logins. So any cookies/IP address that facebook, google, etc might have handed to me aren't available during my general web surfing.

I break zero laws yet I still want nobody tracking me as is my right.

Comment: The usual screwed up game studio (Score 1) 81

by EmperorOfCanada (#49749671) Attached to: Take Two Sues BBC Over Drama About GTA Development
From what I have read and herd take two is the absolute norm for a horrible game studio that exploits the crap out of its employees first to buy fancy cars for the founders and then when they get pushed aside by the MBAs to buy fancy cars for them.

At what point will someone set up a game company that is a true workers cooperative where there are no Ferrari driving founders. Just lexus driving everyones?

Comment: 10,000 dead!!! (Score 2) 57

by EmperorOfCanada (#49723337) Attached to: Forecasting the Next Pandemic
I was told by a guy who build computer models of pandemics that when the media is blah blahing about ebola and whatnot that the key test is that if we first hear of a disease and 10,000 are dead then it is time to run for the hills but no sooner. Everything else is pure hype. But he also said that he didn't think that the governments of the world fully understood the math behind a truly nasty disease and that they wouldn't do the right thing when it came to quarantines especially with "favoured" countries. He said shutting down all transport to the Ivory Coast was enough of a political hand-grenade so what would be like to shut down all travellers to and from Japan, or England? The key being not most travellers but all including the VIPs who will potentially make calls to the whitehouse or whitehall as the case may be.

So while he thought that we could easily deal with any pandemic along the lines of the worst in history that the mamby-pamby governments of today wouldn't so he had a cabin way in the woods to sit it out until the various governments realized that PR was now out the window and that measures for survival now needed and could be brutally implemented. A great example would be the aggressive measures taken against malaria in the Southern US would be very difficult to implement in today's political climate.

But at the same time he was working on a model that showed that our ability to deal with diseases is soon approaching the point where pretty much no disease could really wipe out huge majorities of populations.

By the way the second test of a really dangerous disease was that another 10,000 were dead in western countries in that many diseases are local by their very nature such as Malaria; so a disease that spread in a modern non tropical country would be a dire problem. Ebola basically not spreading in the West is a perfect example.

Comment: Microtransactions (Score 1) 618

by EmperorOfCanada (#49710969) Attached to: Editor-in-Chief of the Next Web: Adblockers Are Immoral
Around 2000 I was playing with a Digital (the computer company) technology where you could do microtransactions on web pages. I forget the exact size but it was as low as something like 1/1000th of a cent. This was pretty cool in that you could charge customers to visit your website page by page or however you would like to structure the transaction. The idea was that an end user would have put, say, $10 in their wallet and each time they would go to a website it would pop up and say, "This site will charge x amount per page" you could also put limits on a given site or have it pop up every so many cents and so on. This way some site couldn't screw you with frames or some such scummery.

I loved their implementation as it was beta but fundamentally clean. They also indicated that they had a handful of major banks onboard so it wasn't DOA. I think the death of Digital itself was what killed it.

But I would love this and would have no problem paying a tiny bit for slashdot, NYT, The Economist, stack-overflow, even reddit. But I would say FO to sites like huffpo who you know would spread their articles out so thin that it would be pretty much one word per page.

Plus it would be funny to watch great site after great site implode after the MBAs took over and just started to try to skin their customers by jacking up the prices over and over and over until the site collapsed. Which is sort of how many sites operate now as an ever higher percentage of their surface area is dedicated to ads and an ever growing percentage of their content becomes clickbait.

But one of the greatest parts in the Digital plan was that they only took a tiny taste, a very tiny taste vs the massive cut that google takes on adsense and most others take on their ad platforms. So when you gave a penny to slashdot they would basically get that penny.

What is even worse was that at this point paypal wasn't the domination machine that it was to become. Thus this platform could have become the defacto payment system for all transactions in that it didn't only do microtransactions but you could do ebay sized ones without any difficulty but at a much lower fee.

Comment: Yes and no (Score 1) 507

by EmperorOfCanada (#49700863) Attached to: Is Agile Development a Failing Concept?
Agile development in the more pure form such as XP is doing just fine where I see it being used. But the management/certification/terminology/paid courses version of Agile should be taken out behind the woodshed and shot. Basically when I hear a company has SCRUM masters then I add it to the dead pool of tech companies that my friends and I bet chocolate bars on. I have a long list of these sort of silver bullets that can claim to turn shitty programming teams into productive machines. Six Sigma would be another pet peeve.

I am partial though to some parts of the PMI PMBOK type stuff but some care needs to be taken distinguishing between certification and ability. At least half of managing people is being a people person.

But to me agile seems to be mostly adopted by really really shitty programmers who aspire to management so as to cover up their complete inability to get anything done. Also many Agile people tend to use the guise of agile to ram their shitty programming style down everyone's throat as some kind best practice. People who like ++i or have insane commenting styles.

Programmers used to batch environments may find it hard to live without giant listings; we would find it hard to use them. -- D.M. Ritchie