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Comment: Re:Quiet cars and proportion of accidents (Score 3, Informative) 800

by MadKeithV (#48878297) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

That mandated noise IS entirely a safety issue

It is a perceived safety issue and I don't buy the arguments in favor of mandating noise pollution. If it really were a problem we should expect to see cars that are quieter than average involved in proportionally more collisions that cars that are more noisy. I've not seen one speck of evidence that quiet cars get in more accidents due to their sound levels. It is to my mind a completely nonsensical argument with no evidence to support it.

Studies have been done and have confirmed that quiet cars get in more accidents at lower speeds due to their sound levels.

Comment: Re:That's a lot of acronyms, isn't it? (Score 3, Interesting) 39

by MadKeithV (#48607883) Attached to: BT To Buy UK 4G Leader EE For £12.5 Billion

As a BT Customer, I can assure you that it stands for "Bloody Terrible", and the buyout is only feasible because the telecomms regulator is as toothless as a wet cabbage.

My friends who use it, assure me that EE stands for "Extremely Expensive".

As an EE user I have to disagree. It actually stands for "Eencredibly Eencompetent."
As I discovered when they contacted me to suggest I go from Pay-As-You-Go to Pay-Monthly, on a plan that was actually financially advantageous. Only to find out the next time I was abroad, a week later, that there was no roaming activated on Pay-Monthly. I spent a week attempting to get through to customer service with no success ("We estimate we'll be with you in 1m", for an hour and a half). When I finally managed to get through to them back in the UK, they gleefully told me that roaming could only be activated on pay-monthly if you'd been with them for over a year (W... T.... F.....).
I calmly explained that it was *them* that had contacted me to switch plans, when I'd been using the roaming facility on my PAYG for a week out of every month in the past year, so could they kindly get their thumbs out of their arses and fix it or cancel my plan entirely. And suddenly it wasn't so much of a problem to instantly activate my roaming.
Why am I still with them? Best coverage in the UK and abroad, and best prices for my (very non-average, admittedly) usage pattern. But holy shit, are they ever incompetent.

Comment: Re:Saw the debate (Score 1) 451

by MadKeithV (#48258835) Attached to: Ken Ham's Ark Torpedoed With Charges of Religious Discrimination

That's how you argue with a crazy person - with more crazy. He, and his followers, don't give a single fuck about the truth. So take them down within their own framework, not from your own.

No, no no. Never argue with an idiot. First they drag you down to their level and then they beat you with experience.

Comment: Re:Don't put PhD in the resume (Score 1) 479

by MadKeithV (#48001365) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?
Warning: the following reply may be somewhat acerbic due to real-world experience on both ends of the interviewing table.

That's only because those who haven't been through a PhD program are ignorant as to the amount of intense work, self-motivation, and ingenuity a PhD requires.

As someone who's been through a PhD program and dropped out in disgust, and has subsequently interviewed quite a few PhDs for industry jobs: baloney, it's pretty much as the GP describes in a great number of places. It's a highly-politicised who-do-you-know academic circlejerk. And PhD work is usually nowhere near as "intense" as proper high-level real-world work anyway (something a lot of them learn to their detriment in the first few months on the job).

Many PhDs have already worked extensively in industry.

Whoa, hold on there, now we're not just talking about PhDs, we're talking about PhDs with actual real world experience. That's a much smaller subset than you imply, and quite a few of that subset had *failed* real world experience that made them go back to PhDs. Someone with a PhD who's made it work in the real world is extremely valuable, because at that point you actually have evidence that you really have found that smart, motivated, ingenuous person with serious specialization who can be forgiven for naively believing the academic fairy-story that a PhD would actually be valuable outside of the world of academia.

The less you know, the less you realize how much you don't know.


Comment: Re:Fear of changing code.... (Score 5, Insightful) 232

by MadKeithV (#47925123) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

I have also seen/heard of circumstances where "doing the minimum to keep the thing working" is allowed but actually improving the code is not because improving the code counts as "new work" and comes from a different budget than maintenance. Seems stupid but that's how some shops operate.

"The minimum to keep the thing working" nearly always implies improving the code. All developers need to realize this and stop this silly false dichotomy between "maintenance" and "refactoring".

Comment: Re:Wow... (Score 5, Insightful) 232

by MadKeithV (#47925049) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

A small number of dysfunctional shops like that has virtually always existed.

90% is a small number, right?

I'm joking, I've never had to work in a truly dysfunctional shop, and yet "fear-driven development" tends to make an appearance whenever stress levels get higher. Pressure makes people take funny decisions that they think are "safe", such as not touching a legacy code base for another 5 years because "it works and we don't want to break it", until it finally collapses under its own weight and technological advancement (in the case I'm thinking of it was the lack of multithreading and 64bit support).

Often its the fear of other people's reactions if you stick your neck out and get it wrong that will doom you to inaction. It helps to remind yourself and others constantly that you cannot have improvement without change, and the only way to do nothing wrong is to do nothing. Build up trust at detecting and *recovering* from mistakes is at least as important as having a process that avoids mistakes. Mistakes happen. Learn to deal with them instead of expending inordinate amounts of time trying to avoid them.

Comment: Re:Killing the employees seems a bit harsh (Score 1) 89

I've often wished that writers of the English language were required to use parenthesis to help with parsing.

In fact, that is the purpose of the comma, which is often incorrectly replaced with parentheses.

The comma operator could be overloaded, the parentheses operator can't be.

Comment: Re:Uh, sure.. (Score 1) 359

Intelisense: There was a trick, you make the intelisense files not writable and then it won't update anymore. Then you use Visual Assist and you're golden :)

You could also rename the intellisense DLL which solved the problem globally. That everyone at my company did this was a testament to how bad a pile of shit Intellisense for C++ was in VS2005 and VS2010. It's a hell of a lot better in 2012 - haven't used 2013 yet.

Error in operator: add beer