Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:...eventually put people on mars...my butt (Score 2) 97

by Greyfox (#49624429) Attached to: Opportunity Rover Reaches Martian Day 4,000 of Its 90-Day Mission
Well another problem is that we actually know what conditions are like there. It's one thing to ask a bunch of religious fanatics who are being persecuted in their current setting to move to someplace nominally more rustic where they'd be free to practice their heathen rituals. It's another to ask someone to leave their gravity well for a long trip to a much crappier gravity well. It's kind of a hard sell. "Yeah, Mars is a shithole with nothing but dust and more dust, but we'd like you to move there so you can scrape out a subsistence living that we'll probably lose interest in the next time the budgets come up." At least in the new world you could live off the land hunting beavers in the event the budget for new world colonization ever got cut.

Comment: Re:It doesn't require perfection (Score 1) 146

by Greyfox (#49622935) Attached to: How the NSA Converts Spoken Words Into Searchable Text
It's really not that much of a problem. You just replace any words you don't recognize with "Jihad!" Like "Hey Alex! You want to go to jihad later and get some burgers?" Clearly there's some sort of terrorist activity going on there which justifies an increase to the budget next jihad!

Comment: Nope (Score 1) 240

by Greyfox (#49622553) Attached to: Is It Worth Learning a Little-Known Programming Language?
You get typecast. You could have 3 decades of C/C++ and mention that you studied APL for one semester in college and all the calls you'll get will be for APL jobs. I don't even list LISP on my resume, even though I became enlightened in LISP in the 90's. With LISP, enlightenment is a heady feeling where you suddenly see the elegance with which everything fits together, followed by the sinking realization that if you want to actually do anything with the language you'd have to write all the libraries yourself.

Comment: Wait What? (Score 1) 388

by Greyfox (#49621239) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth
LWN is still a thing? Damn, I stopped reading them ages ago, when I realized that all the stories I was reading were popping up on slashdot several days earlier.

Amm... anyway, most of the programmers I've known over my career have been average. They don't seem to particularly enjoy programming but they can generally make the computer do what they want it to do. Then they're quite happy to go home to their families and do other things. I've run across (and had to clean up for) five or six truly inept ones. And I mean people with no ability with computers whatsoever, who were essentially defrauding the company they were working for. Usually those people had left the company by the time I'd gotten there.

I've never met a true rockstar programmer at any company, although I have met a couple in Linux channels on IRC. I got to audit the source of the AT&T C standard library on a contract in the '90's and a lot of that stuff was brilliant. I wish I could have worked with the programmers who wrote it.

Me? I'm not going to try to appraise my own skill at it. I enjoy programming and do it at home. I've retrofitted several projects with data structures and will fix crashes that other programmers tend to ignore. I've also been told code I've worked on is easy to understand and maintain (By people in other countries who it was outsourced to.) I prefer not to subscribe to institutionalized learned helplessness that dictates that the software works that way because the software works that way and nothing can be done to fix it. I have several github repos where I work on things that interest me at the moment, mostly licensed under the Apache license. That may make me different from a lot of programmers, but I won't argue that it makes me any better or worse.

Comment: Mmm, Delicious, Delicious Chemicals! (Score 2) 284

Why doesn't the industry just charge those people for the addition of chemicals to their water? Those people are getting those chemicals for free right now, and chemicals don't cost nothing! The industry should be billing everyone in that town for the chemicals they're currently getting for free!

Comment: Re:Volunteers (Score 2) 56

by Greyfox (#49621063) Attached to: The BBC Looks At Rollover Bugs, Past and Approaching
Oh we went to a 64 bit time_t ages ago. You should just have to recompile, even if you use long instead of time_t. Assuming you ever upgraded your machine to a 64 bit platform, which won't be a problem for most people by 2038. Even the US military and NASA should be on 64 bit systems by then. So essentially we've already fixed the problem for Linux. Specific installations that don't upgrade might have some problems, but most of those systems won't last another couple of decades and will require replacement sooner. Specific in-house software that was compiled 32 bits and the the source lost might also have problems. Any remaining SCO installations might also still have problems. I actually kind of hope I can spend my last couple of years before retirement stamping out the remaining SCO installations, naturally while billing $200 an hour.

Comment: Nothing To See Here (Score 3, Informative) 233

There's really nothing to see here. Except that long distance with per-minute charges are still a thing. And AOL is still a thing, I guess? I definitely would not have called that. And old people are easily tricked into buying both those things. I don't think addressing the ease with which old people are tricked is on the agenda. Whether it's aluminum siding or their uncle in Uganda, tricking old people is just way too easy. And phone companies will just let you run up tens of thousands of dollars in arbitrary charges in one month, and let you keep doing it for several months when you don't pay the first one, that's definitely been a thing for a while. I'm actually a bit surprised AT&T waived it. In the stories I've heard in the past, the telcos usually put up a pretty good fight about that sort of thing.

Comment: Re:No need to attack (Score 2) 162

by Greyfox (#49585335) Attached to: The United States Just Might Be Iran's Favorite New Nuclear Supplier
Um, and that minor incident at the Bikini Island Atoll. Entire island nation loses their homes permanently and a bunch of people get cancer and die within a couple of years. But you know, you want to make an omelette, you need to break a few eggs. The USA and the USSR were doing open-air testing until nearly 1960, when the USA finally screwed the pooch hard in the south pacific. And then there was that time some jackass decided to detonate a nuclear bomb in the Van Allen Belt. That was in the mid 60's and for a year or so you couldn't launch anything without it being disabled by the trapped radiation. There was some concern that we'd ended space exploration permanently. But you know, minor little whoops there, no need to mention that in history class.

Comment: Re:Wow. Who knew? (Score 3, Insightful) 437

by Greyfox (#49585105) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules
He never was the Libertarian messiah. Anyone who thought he was just wasn't paying attention. He has a marginally more interesting back-story than most congresscritters (Joker killed his parents and then he spent his teenage years spanking it to Ayn Rand novels,) but he's really only qualified to be a Fox News android.

The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work. -- Richard Bach, "Illusions"

Working...