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Comment: Re:Fear of changing code.... (Score 5, Insightful) 231

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) 231

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.

Comment: Re:Step 1 (Score 1) 196

by MadKeithV (#47343999) Attached to: How Apple Can Take Its Headphones To the Next Level

I also agree that audiophiles can be properly full of BS. A good way to get a laugh is to go to, look up a popular set of cheap ass headphones and read some of the lengthy comments written by the audiophile crowd. You'll be tempted to think that they expected live concert quality sound from the thing.

You want a proper laugh? Look at these power cables. There are no words.

Comment: Re:Step 1 (Score 2) 196

by MadKeithV (#47343995) Attached to: How Apple Can Take Its Headphones To the Next Level

In my spare time, I've been an audio technician for the past 5 years. Before that, I was a DJ as a hobby, and I've been on stage crew occasionally for the last decade...

In other words, you really have fucked up your ears.

No wonder $15 earbuds sound good to you.

No, he's right. In 90% of the situations that you'd use headphones you wouldn't get much mileage out of anything above decent $15-$30 earbuds. Don't get me wrong, I've got my expensive monitoring headphones for tracking, and I have a set of studio monitor speakers for my home recording setup, but I equally enjoy m $30 Pioneer phone buds and Creative desktop audio set for the kitchen. To a point the grandparent and I have it slightly easier than the people who absolutely want to have earthquake bass. You don't get earthquake bass with any kind of fidelity out of small drivers. It's just not physically possible. All these "bass enhanced!" tiny headphones and in-ears just have a resonant spike somewhere in the lows. Better lows? Bigger drivers. That means over-ears. And then they are either open and comfortable for large periods of time, but leaky as all hell meaning you either suffer from sound degradation from sound leaking in from outside so forget "fidelity", or you're annoying the crap out of everyone around you by the loud noise leaking away from you. Or you get closed over-ears. And sweat your ears off after anything longer than 20-30 minutes. And then you realize that if you add it all up, you can get an awful lot of enjoyment out of a good cheap pair of phones, and save your money to get a good amp and speakers with good drivers and crossovers for the spaces where you can listen to music on your own terms, in actual high fidelity.

Comment: Re:What choice do we have? (Score 1) 710

by MadKeithV (#47314149) Attached to: Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

You're given X amount of work to do and Y amount of time and if you don't do X you're fired, so you put in extra hours. Again and again and again.

Except that the studies show that when Y goes over 40 hours a week, the total amount of work you actually get done goes down. Not the average, not the work per hour, you get less work done in total than you did at 40 hours a week. So it is actually very much an "ism" - people repeating the same completely counterproductive action over and over in the hope that somehow they'll be more productive when they won't be.

Just be "that guy" at work that packs up and leaves at 8 hours that day. You'll get more done. Whenever you get flak, point back to these studies, and hammer home over and over again that you are getting the work done. In time the company culture will adjust and everyone there will be happier, including the bosses because more is being done with happier workers. Or you discover that you're working for a pathological employer who doesn't care about actual results but about appearances, but then you should leave anyway before you kill yourself working.

+ - Kingston and PNY caught bait-and-switching cheaper components after good reviews

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Over the past few months, we’ve seen a disturbing trend from first Kingston, and now PNY. Manufacturers are launching SSDs with one hardware specification, and then quietly changing the hardware configuration after reviews have gone out. The impacts have been somewhat different (more on that) but in both cases, unhappy customers are loudly complaining that they’ve been cheated, tricked into paying for a drive they otherwise wouldn’t have purchased."

Comment: Re:Queue the deniers (Score 5, Insightful) 387

by MadKeithV (#47210157) Attached to: Geothermal Heat Contributing To West Antarctic Ice Sheet Melting
I have to respond to this, because it's clearly an attempt at a "balanced" view but missing some very important key points that distort your opinion.

First of all reducing the AGW debate to "both sides" with a neutral "middle ground" is disingenuous - in the count of number of people the balance is very strongly in favor of accepting AGW to degrees ( e.g. this recent set of studies arriving at between 91-97% consensus ). The denialists get disproportionate attention, which is actually a known type of political manipulation (e.g. argument to moderation) and this type of attention has been shown to disproportionately affect people who aren't specialized in the subject matter to moderate their position when no such moderation is required (more on this subject, though I can't find the scientific paper about it right now.

Second, appeal to "scientific purity" is overshooting. Science is constantly advancing, improving models, replacing wrong assumptions with less wrong assumptions. There is nothing "pure" about it, and in no way does it need to be to advance the cause and be useful to our lives. Words such as "purity" are much too loaded to be used, exactly because of the scientific approach. There's no need to deny - the scientific world does not have all the T's crossed and the I's dotted on AGW, just as it doesn't on gravity, physics and quantum theory, but we still happily cross bridges every day. The degree of certainty has long reached sufficient levels to warrant seriously looking at how to realistically (not politically, stupid carbon credits) mitigate instead of discussing a black and white position on AGW's existence.

And thirdly the AGW debate is much bigger than the USA. I understand that you have bipartisan issues across the board (not just AGW, and to be clear: I think both parties are in the wrong) but that doesn't extend to the rest of the world and this is a global issue.

So I think that while I don't entirely agree with your argumentation, I agree with your position. AGW is a science thing - and science has agreed that it exists though not to which degree. The challenge is to find solutions, and that's also with science.

Finally, I find the actual article very intriguing and somewhat challenging to my own views on AGW, as evidenced by my first thoughts on this: could it be that the geology of the antarctic is becoming destabilized because of the lessening of the weight of the ice sheet, in turn causing more geological activity? But that's a conjecture from an explanation that wouldn't challenge AGW, and real science must of course also look for other hypotheses.

Comment: Re:No fuel economy figures are going be right (Score 1) 238

by MadKeithV (#47092409) Attached to: Official MPG Figures Unrealistic, Says UK Auto Magazine

An inaccurate but precise measure is great if it's consistently inaccurate. But if it's consistently inaccurate, why not just measure the inaccuracy and correct all the values?

Because inaccurate measurements are rarely consistently so.

The test isn't claimed to be inaccurate, it's claimed to be non-representative of real-world usage.

Comment: Re:words (Score 1) 373

by MadKeithV (#47046251) Attached to: The 69 Words GM Employees Can Never Say

I like how the article explains to us the meaning behind the words Hindenburg and Titanic.

I wouldn't be surprised if some folks don't know the story behind these words. I mean some folks don't know the difference between "your" and "you're".

On the plus side you could use the result to cook you're toast at the end of it all.

If you're inside the car then you ARE toast at the end of it all.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen