Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

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.

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 amazon.com, 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."

Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level. -- Quentin Crisp