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Comment: Re:Why just guns? (Score 1) 264

by RobinH (#47872325) Attached to: Using Wearable Tech To Track Gun Use
I don't follow this logic: in countries that ban guns, violent offenders use knives? Doesn't that prove that it works? The total damage inflicted by a deranged lunatic with a knife has to be, on average, a lot less than a deranged lunatic with a firearm. That chinese guy who went berzerk with a sword on the same day as the elementary school shooting a little while back... didn't it end up that nobody actually died from that?

Comment: Has too many problems (Score 2) 364

by RobinH (#47870621) Attached to: Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled
First of all, it can't determine if you're a driver or passenger, so it will then disable your phone if you're a passenger. Not a huge deal if this is just a punishment, I guess. However it's still easily defeated by getting another phone. The right solution is to take away their driver's license for a period of time (2 weeks to start, and increasing amounts after that). Use your phone all you want, but don't drive.

Comment: SnapCircuits and RobotShop (Score 1) 115

by RobinH (#47855437) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Robotics or Electronic Kits For Wounded Veterans?

I don't know if this is too beginner level, but I think it's worth a mention: Snap Circuits. It's kind of like those old learn electronics kits with the spring connectors, but in this case they snap together with magnets. I would think if you went through all the kits you would learn all the basics pretty quickly, and then you'll be more comfortable moving on to the arduinos, etc.

Also checkout RobotShop for more advanced stuff.

Comment: Where Do These Stats Come From? (Score 1, Informative) 546

by eldavojohn (#47819359) Attached to: Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

Nearly half of the software developers in the United States do not have a college degree. Many never even graduated from high school.

What? I pored over the article and the US BLS link in it to find the source of these statements. Aside from a pull quote that appears as an image in the article but isn't even in the article itself and is unattributed, could someone find me the source of this statistic?

Because I'm a software developer in the United States with a Masters of Science in Computer Science. All of my coworkers have at least a bachelor's degree in one field or another. And my undergrad very much so started with a sink-or-swim weed out course in Scheme and then another in Java. Yes, they were both easy if you already knew how to code but ... this article almost sounds like it's written by someone with no field experience. Granted that's a low sample set, I'd like to know where the other half of us are. Everyone keep in mind that a Computer Science degree is a relatively new thing and there very well may be elderly coders doing a great job without technically a degree in computer science.

The only way I can see the misconception spreading is that people who use Wix to drag and drop a WYSIWYG site (for you older readers that's like FrontPage meets Geocities) erroneously consider themselves "software developers".

Comment: Decommissioned (Score 3, Insightful) 220

by eldavojohn (#47807697) Attached to: Interview: Ask Christopher "moot" Poole About 4chan and Social Media
Canvas (site, not the HTML5 element) and DrawQuest were killed earlier this year. I used it briefly in its beta form and thought it was a neat idea. Any chance you could elaborate on why it was shut down? The e-mail I got was brief and vague -- were you facing copyright issues? Monetization problems? Image space issues? Care to spill your lessons learned?

Comment: Re:Slashdot comments indicative of the problem (Score 4, Insightful) 1262

Um, it doesn't matter. It may not be appropriate for a woman to stand there fully naked in the middle of the street, but that still doesn't make it OK for anyone to do anything to her (other than ask if she needs assistance or call the police to deal with the situation).

Comment: Re:Delayed action (Score 4, Insightful) 708

by RobinH (#47766093) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report
That would actually be illogical for an individual to do if they're mostly interested in themselves and their offspring (and people do it which shows how generous some people are, sacrificing themselves for the greater good). A single person giving up 1/8 of their income for the benefit of everyone instead of themselves is just putting themselves at an economic disadvantage. Those are resources that can't be put towards better education for their kids, buying bigger/newer (i.e. safer for themselves) vehicles, etc. This kind of stuff will only work if we agree as a society that everyone has to play along by the new rules, for the benefit of everyone as a whole. A lot of people are completely against this idea (government intrusion on freedom, etc.) but that's the only way we've ever solved problems based on the "tragedy of the commons". If there's a common resource that people have an incentive to exploit, with no limit, for essentially free (e.g. the atmosphere) then they will do it. Sure, we all breath, but there's little/no incentive to breath "more". We can, however, use more energy by burning inexpensive fuel which consumes O2 and releases CO2 into the atmosphere, and we don't, as individuals or as companies, have to pay for that "externality". Therefore we will *never* stop doing it until we all agree as a society to regulate CO2 emissions.

Comment: Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (Score 1) 137

by RobinH (#47764635) Attached to: HP Recalls 6 Million Power Cables Over Fire Hazard
I had one of those cheap 12V switching power supplies (came with a 3D printer kit actually) and the power cord that came with it was getting very hot. I looked at the cord itself and it had 10A stamped on the plug end. That should have been more than enough current capacity, so something was definitely wrong with the cord. I took an old PC cord out of my junk box and noted that it also said 10A, then cut the PC end off of it and compared the wire gauge between the two. The faulty one's wire was much, much thinner than the one from my junk drawer. I wired it in and voila, the new cord ran cool as a cucumber. I believe the 10A stamped on the plug only referred to the actual 3-prong plug, and not to the wire itself. In the end this is just bad quality control from some knock-off supplier in China, so it's not surprising. I assume this HP mess is a similar problem. Just a bad batch of wires on the market, either because the original manufacturer screwed up in buying the wire, or maybe something more nefarious.

Comment: Re:Hmmm ... (Score 5, Insightful) 194

by RobinH (#47755765) Attached to: $75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen
Except the terribly bad design we typically see in embedded design is normally to provide a back-door way to prevent just this kind of problem. "Oh, you lost your password? No problem, hold down these three buttons and cycle power and it'll reset everything to factory defaults, and then you can login with this default password."

Real programmers don't write in BASIC. Actually, no programmers write in BASIC after reaching puberty.