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Comment: Re:BS aside, is the K-XL a good thing or not? (Score 4, Insightful) 437

by Gorobei (#49123873) Attached to: Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

Right now, gas prices are relatively low, but they are rising, and oil will be back in the triple digits soon enough, almost definitely by Memorial Day.

Then you can make a ton of money right now by buying WTI futures or options. The consensus Memorial day price is under $60 - you can clean up to the tune of 1000%s of profit if you put money on your "almost definite" knowledge.

Comment: Re:Can they do it with corporate code? (Score 1) 220

by Gorobei (#48929133) Attached to: Anonymous No More: Your Coding Style Can Give You Away

Can they do it with corporate code where there are naming and style standards in abundance, and code reviews to ensure those guidelines are followed?

I was starting to wonder about that, then realized we at $BIGCORP are already generating ASTs from your input buffer, unifying those trees with a bunch of patterns, and telling your editor to flag questionable constructs. You type "if not foo in x" and 50ms later you get a proposed improved snippet. It's pretty rare to see quirky style in our codebase.

Comment: Re:Poor Alan Kay (Score -1, Troll) 200

by Gorobei (#48894847) Attached to: Bjarne Stroustrup Awarded 2015 Dahl-Nygaard Prize

"C++ is a three-way compromise between good object oriented design, backwards compatibility with C, and high performance. Stroustrup has never billed it as anything else."

Yeah, so when Bjarne wins the "sucks cocks for money with a smile, never billed it as anything else" award, we should all cheer?

Comment: Rubbish (Score 1, Insightful) 250

by Gorobei (#48693323) Attached to: How Amazon's Ebook Subscriptions Are Changing the Writing Industry

"Absolutely and unambiguously make writing and publishing a zero-sum game"

Um, no - the more readers, the more money. It's not zero sum at all from the writers' point of view.

Of course, back in the old days, people often curled up in a chair and read eight good books simultaneously; writers didn't compete with each other for readers' time and dollars at all.

Comment: Re:The best reasons to learn Python (Score 1) 277

by Gorobei (#48519371) Attached to: Which Programming Language Pays the Best? Probably Python

For the best reasons to learn Python, see The Zen of Python. If Python happens to pay more, that's just gravy.

That said, it seems hard to believe that people would get paid extra to work in such a pleasant language. If so, maybe Adam Smith had it all wrong when he said:

First, The wages of labour vary with the ease or hardship, the cleanliness or dirtiness, the honourableness or dishonourableness of the employment...The most detestable of all employments, that of public executioner, is, in proportion to the quantity of work done, better paid than any common trade whatever.

Read on a bit more. By paragraph 10 he points to increased wages for jobs requiring skill, by paragraph 20 he's getting into jobs requiring trust.

Pity he living too soon to comment on large software project laborers.

Comment: Re:Hold on a minute (Score 1) 198

by Gorobei (#48191575) Attached to: Developers, IT Still Racking Up (Mostly) High Salaries

Software developers help companies make more money. It is the Add in Value-Add. They are the equivalent of the machines in a machine shop. Without them, what is the point in being in business. If you are a software company you pay what you need to pay, to recruit and retain the best developers you can.

Most software developers are not in pure software development companies. They are in large companies doing something like fortune-500 stuff or selling ads (Google) or moving goods (Amazon.)

Very few companies think "let's hire more developers, they add value!" Hiring a developer is a last resort when the tech you have doesn't do what you need. It's like needing to hire a lawyer - you don't want to do it, but it's the cheapest way to achieve your goal.

Comment: Re:So, is there any shred of EVIDENCE? (Score 4, Interesting) 202

by Gorobei (#47759795) Attached to: How the Ancient Egyptians (Should Have) Built the Pyramids

For most blocks, they just strapped four quarter-circle cradles around the stone and rolled them up earthen ramps using ropes. The remains of the ramps still exist around some pyramids, and some original cradles are on display in the Cairo museum. Pretty much considered solved by the archeologists; it's just armchair physicists who want to invent problems and propose new solutions.

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by Gorobei (#47494667) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Minimum Wage is also an attempt to keep the employer/employee relationship decent.

You could have a business model in which you maim small children so that they can earn more money while begging for you, but we, as a society, have decided that it is a bad thing. Yes, it happened in Victorian England and present day India, but we don't do it, even if it is "optimal" under free market conditions.

So, requiring you pay a person enough to live a decent live might not be that bad of an idea. If your business model can't support it, maybe you shouldn't be in that business.

Comment: Re:Can't Tell Them Apart (Score 1) 466

I can understand that. "Take something that you do on a computer in a structured environment with constructive tools and then draw it on a whiteboard, while talking out loud, to a bunch of strangers." Impossible. Frankly, I can't write and talk at the same time, let alone try to code on the fly without a computer. I'm trying to imagine an interview for a guitarist where they say, "Why don't you walk up to a whiteboard and draw out how you'd play some song you've never heard of."

Good analogy. If you were a great guitarist, and you were looking to hire a great guitarist, that question might be reasonable. The two of you would start talking and pretty soon determine if you have a mutual fit.

Same thing with code. Maybe you think "can get the job done" is good enough. Maybe they expect symphonies, though. Right or wrong, you might not be a good fit. Heck, we expect serious CS from all our potential hires, and sometimes one stops the recruiting process because he figures we are weaker than him. Totally fair - it's not about getting the whiteboard problem right or wrong, it's about the talk between people who are going to potentially work together.

Comment: Re:Can't Tell Them Apart (Score 1) 466

I wouldn't.

There are three basic ways to solve this problem:

1. The infinite series: some people know the basic one of the top of their heads: 4 * alternating odd fractions. Some may even know some Ramanugen (spelling - Indian math genius) better series.
2. Some people may remember there is an algorithm to compute the nth digit of Pi efficiently - ask to do a web search for the state of the art.
3. Just go to a trusted website that has already listed Pi to a bazillion digits and pluck the digit out.

Comment: Try Google. (Score 4, Interesting) 217

by Gorobei (#46809111) Attached to: Reinventing the Axe

The axe has been with us for thousands of years, with its design changing very little during that time. After all, how much can you really alter a basic blade-and-handle?

Well, a simple Google image search for "axe catalog" shows 42 different axe heads sold by the Shapleigh company in 1929.

So, the answer would seem to be "quite a lot."

The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.