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Comment: Re:Slippery slope? (Score 1) 604

by HappyEngineer (#43506781) Attached to: Bruce Schneier On the Marathon Bomber Manhunt
Damn straight. If we compare the actions of the Boston police in this case and the LA police in the Dorner case, I think we can see that some departments act better than others. The people in LA surely must fear their police more than they do the criminals whereas the people in Boston can rightly be proud of the way their officers reacted.

Comment: Re:You wouldn't believe (Score 2) 489

I have not found any correlation between outside interests and talent at coding. The best coders are people who are obsessive about organization and are enthusiastic about finding a balance between getting things out the door and refactoring things to keep them maintainable in the long term.

Arguably, the best coders are ones who work for managers who believe in that balance.

If a particular literature graduate is a good programmer then it is because of those things.

Comment: Re:Credibility (Score 1) 1111

by HappyEngineer (#43340275) Attached to: Build a Secret Compartment, Go To Jail
No, he knew damn well that the odds were good that a significant percentage of his clients were probably crooked. That's a lot of qualifiers and someone who wanted to be completely safe would have refused many more jobs than he apparently did. But, there are legitimate uses for these things and no one should be sent to jail without a lot more proof than was used against this guy. Anyone who regularly drives to areas where cars get broken into could make good use of these things. There are plenty of situations where people can do shady things without actually doing illegal things.

The thing that bothers me the most is that people who know they're guilty end up getting better deals than people who believe they shouldn't give in because they think they're in the right. He was punished for the crime of not cooperating. People learn to deal with situations they encounter regularly, but that doesn't help when the first encounter is a death penalty. If touching a hot stove caused you to lose an arm, we'd all be down one arm.

Comment: Re:Worse than that (Score 1) 491

by HappyEngineer (#43050129) Attached to: Bradley Manning Pleads Guilty To 10 Charges
If that were true, couldn't "the enemy" in section 2 be replaced by "the enemy or the public"? If read loosely enough it could be replaced by "anyone".

Also, does "intelligence" refer to any information whatsoever? If he had leaked only the information which exposed illegal or immoral acts by the government, would that still be "intelligence" given that it would be information about our own actions?

Comment: back button vs metal case (Score 2) 587

by HappyEngineer (#42848659) Attached to: Woz Says iPhone Features Are 'Behind'
Whenever I use my wife's iPhone or iPad the thing I wish for most is a back button. I get so used to it when using my Android phone (Samsung Galaxy II) and Nexus 7 that I get confused when I need to figure out how to go back in iPhone apps. It's done slightly differently in every app and every part of every app and in some places there doesn't seem to be a way to go back at all.

OTOH, I have always loved the hardware design of the iPhones. I love phones which have a metal feel. Even the plastic on the iPhone feels better than the cheap plastic of my own phone. I chose my Android phone based on features rather than look and feel. I've never liked that it's entirely plastic.

I loved my Nexus One because it was a great Android phone (at the time) with a metal feel, but when I upgraded I couldn't find a similar phone.

Comment: Re:Have some shame (Score 2) 589

by HappyEngineer (#42572559) Attached to: Aaron Swartz Commits Suicide
Damn straight. I was born a decade before Swartz, but he did far more with his life than I have with mine. He had passion and used it for both technological and political ends. I have yet to hear of anything he did which didn't make me wish I was more like him. The charges against him were for acts that I 100% support and believe the laws and punishments against what he did are profoundly unjust (like many laws we hear about these days).

I'm going to put this picture up on my wall to remind me daily about what a worthwhile life looks like and that we should value each and every day that we are alive.

Comment: Re:Obvious study is obvious (Score 1) 217

by HappyEngineer (#42407699) Attached to: 'Connected' TVs Mostly Used Just Like the Unconnected Kind
Buying a TV without Netflix support was recently classified as a form of mental illness which can be treated by forcing the patient to watch nothing but political ads for 8 hours straight. After that point the cured patient is unable to hear the name Comcast without recoiling in terror and bursting into tears. Patients are reported to lead much fuller and happier lives thereafter.

I have purchased two TVs (one 55" and one 65") in the last few years. Required features: Netflix, DLNA, not Sony.

Comment: Re:When Hostess closes.. (Score 1) 674

by HappyEngineer (#42010207) Attached to: Hostess To Close; No More Twinkies
My understanding is that the money you get from unemployment is based off of your recent income. If they took the pay cut and were fired a year from now, their unemployment checks would be based off of the post pay-cut amount wouldn't it?

If the company was up shit creek and the employees knew they were going to have to find new jobs in a few years anyway, it's probably best for them to get fired now and take the unemployment.

Then again, perhaps the actual best solution would have been to look for new jobs starting 6 months ago while still working there at full pay.

Comment: suckiness is more obvious in older people (Score 1) 388

by HappyEngineer (#41888173) Attached to: What's the Shelf Life of a Programmer?
If you suck as a younger person then you just appear to lack experience even if your suckiness is due to you sucking. If you suck as an older person then it's obviously because you really do suck. A sucky younger person will turn into a sucky older person, but people will still hire the younger person because they assume it's really just inexperience.

Comment: Re:In case anyone missed it... (Score 1) 409

by HappyEngineer (#41877833) Attached to: Ralph Nader Moderates One Last 3rd-Party Debate for 2012
According to isidewith, I match Jill Stein 90%, Gary Johnson 86%, Obama 75% and Romney 12%.

The idea that I match both the Green and Libertarian parties is interesting. I think this is the result of me putting social freedoms as my highest priorities.

Furthermore, I match the libertarian party 68% and the Republican party 4%. That shows pretty clearly how un-libertarian the Republican party really is (at least with respect to all the issues I care about).

Since I live in California I think I'll vote either Green or Libertarian for president.

Comment: Re:I'm Optimistic (Score 0) 816

Disney isn't known for being edgy. The Star Wars prequels would have been fantastic if directed by Quentin Tarantino or Peter Jackson or the guys who did Sin City or any other director who could turn the movies into something for adults. The prequels were ok, but Star Wars didn't grow up with its audience in the same way that the Harry Potter movies grew up with their audience.

Actually, I want a reboot of the entire series done in an edgy dark way where Darth Vader uses the force to rip limbs off subordinates (in extremely bloody ways) when they lose the Falcon or come out of lightspeed too close to Hoth. I want Luke to be a naive kid who is forced to witness the horrible slaughter (on screen) of his uncle Owen and aunt Beru. Obi Wan should be grizzled and angry. Perhaps he'd slap Luke whenever he whined. Han Solo wouldn't just shoot first, he'd shoot to wound, dodge the shot from Greedo, then rip Greedo's head off with his bare hands. Boba Fett would leave a trail of bodies in his wake as he followed Luke. When the Death Star destroyed a planet we'd get personal views from the surface as people were baked alive then exploded.

The thing is, what I've described pretty much leaves the plot unchanged. We just get to see the same events in a darker light.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that Disney will not deliver what I want.

This sort of thing is EXACTLY why we need to make copyright much shorter. We need serious reboots of Star Wars done by lots of directors. We'd all get the version of the movies that we wanted.

Comment: Re:Not really (Score 1) 133

by HappyEngineer (#41418357) Attached to: US House STEM Visa Bill Fails
Regardless of the effect on wages, I personally believe that hoarding the smart people of the world is a definite long term positive. If I had my way I'd allow unlimited immigration for anyone who could demonstrate high level skill in any field.

Perhaps it'd depress wages for high skill jobs, but I suspect it would also lead to an explosion of innovation in all fields.

Comment: Re:I'll believe it when I see... (Score 4, Insightful) 867

by HappyEngineer (#41369843) Attached to: Warp Drive Might Be Less Impossible Than Previously Thought
There are several issues here, but I'd like to comment on your linking of light and causality.

First, objects traveling faster than sound do not violate causality for a bat. Just because the sound they receive is confusing does not mean that the universe broke or that anyone traveled through time. A supersonic object can make two sounds at two different times and a listener at a certain position would hear the sounds reversed. That's confusing, but it doesn't violate causality (except in the strict sense that a bat would sense that events occurred in the wrong order). Sound and light are not the same of course, but getting your data out of order just means that things are confusing for the viewer.

The reason sound and light are not the same is because sound is not synced with time. Being supersonic does not affect time significantly whereas getting closer to the speed of light causes you to experience time differently than others traveling at different velocities relative to you. Furthermore, time dilation and your speed of travel are synced such that light travels away from you at the same speed no matter what speed you are traveling at (assuming you aren't magically warping space).

I don't know enough to comment on how exactly warping space to travel ftl works with special/general relativity, but I've never seen it debunked. The real problem is that there is no known way to warp space to create this warp drive.

Comment: just do interviews and you'll see (Score 2) 767

by HappyEngineer (#41354867) Attached to: Can Anyone Become a Programmer?
I've interviewed a lot of people for the position of senior engineer. This has taught me that most experienced programmers can't program. Most have trouble writing the simplest of code snippets despite claiming a decade or more of experience.

Given that, I'd say that anyone can become a senior engineer, but few people can learn to program even when given a decade of on the job experience.

The world is not octal despite DEC.

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