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Comment: Re:Goodbye free speech (Score 1) 202 202

How can you tell? Just because the plaintiff says so? Some of those reviews look legit and yes a few look fake. I notice he doesn't complain about the obviously fake good reviews (how does a company in Cali get a positive review from a teen in New Jersey.)

If the images are anything to go by, then one of them is a Hasidic Jew from Israel, another is an actress in Chicago, and another is some guy in New York.

Unless they aren't, in which case their picture icons are being used in violation of Copyright, unless they have written permission from the image owners...

Comment: It's the non-engineers. (Score 5, Insightful) 117 117

The stories about jobs and careers are getting so tiresome. I realize Dice bought Slashdot to datamine the comments (free focus group!), but it seems like half the stories are a variation on the same these days.

It's the non-engineers.

They have this misconception that people used to dealing with the intricate semantics of programming languages are going to be unaware of the intricate semantics of English. Therefore, if they ask a question once, and do not get an answer they like, they will repeatedly ask the same question in different guises, hoping to obtain the answer they wanted to hear.

This really comes down to who is more patient than whom.

I usually attempt to buffer my answers in order to soften the blow, but you can ask the same question as many ways as you want, and the answer will likely not change, so long as it is fundamentally the same question. And I usually have the patience of Job. However, there was one incident where I was up against a deadline, and was being asked to "just cobble together something that works, and we'll (read: you'll) fix it (read: in a binary compatible way) later. Which was an impossibility (I was working on some very complex database code written in C++ which did subschema definitional enforcement on an upper level database schema, and the semantics had to be correct for the data stored in the binary backing store to be usable going forward, when we did the next update). The code had to be *right*, as opposed to *right now*, and the time difference was important.

We had a UI person who was in a management position, and they brought her over to argue their case that immediate was better than correct (correct would fit under the deadline, but only if everyone left me alone to finish the code). The UI person was constantly revising the UI in each release, and each release was practically a full rewrite. And she did not understand why I could not write my code the same way she wrote hers. Finally having had enough, I explained "It's OK if your code is crap; you are going to rewrite it in the next release anyway. My code has to work now, and it has to continue to work going forward, and therefore it needs to be correct. I understand that you are feeling the approaching deadline. So am I. However, while your code can be crap, mine can't be because I have to maintain it going forward. Now if you will get the hell out of my office, I will be able to finish the code by the deadline."

Needless to say, there were some ruffled feathers. The director of engineering sided with me. I completed the (correct, rather than expedient) code by the deadline, and the product didn't turn into unmaintainable crap vis-a-vis the update process going forward.

What's the moral to this story?

Well, with specific regard to DICE:

(1) Repeatedly asking the same question in different ways is not going to get them a different answer, if the first answer was correct. Any other answer than that answer would be incorrect, for the question asked.

With specific regard to the current topic:

(2) Engineers who actually reliably, repeatedly, and consistently deliver what they are asked to deliver, within the timeframe that was agreed upon, can, and often do, wield more authority than the managers nominally set above them in the food chain, so it's not like going into management is going to give you any more real authority than you already have by way of your relationship with the team, and their trust of your judgement.

A management path can be a good idea if:

(A) You want more perks (stock options, etc.), although in a good company, if you are a great engineer, you will get those anyway

(B) You are tired of doing engineering for a living (which probably means you didn't qualify as "great engineer" under option 'A' anyway)

(C) You feel you would be more useful and/or happier in such a position (but if your happiness is based on power, don't expect it will necessarily follow)

(D) You are an OK (but not great) engineer at a company which engages in age discrimination, and you are happy to continue working for such a company going forward, and it's your only way to do so (at which point, I pretty much need to question your personal ethics)

Other than that... DICE: Asked and Answered. Please go on to the next survey question.

Comment: Re:It has this. (Score 1) 189 189

Do you defend every company which charges premium prices for a product where they limit your ability to do something every computer has been able to do for the last 50 years

Of course.

I will happily defend IKEA for selling me a chair that is limited from being able to do *anything* "every computer has been able to do for the last 50 years".

Except, you know, being sat on. If I can't sit on the chair, I'd be pretty unhappy. On the other hand, not every computer in the last 50 years has been large enough or flat enough to sit on. You gotta draw that line somewhere!

Comment: A near miss is defined as 500 feet (Score 1) 268 268

A near miss is defined as 500 feet:


According to the American Helicopter Services & Aerial Firefighting Association, airtankers fly between 150 and 200 feet:


The article reports a drone altitude of 800-900 feet. Let's take the most pessimal separation from these numbers: 800 - 200 = 600. That gives them a buffer of 100 feet in which this was *NOT* even classifiable as a near miss; there was no danger of a drone to aircraft collision, unless you are claiming that the drone pilot intended to fly the drone into the DC-10 airtanker.

You will find elsewhere on the AHSAFA site that the aircraft do not "dive-bomb" the fires; a fully loaded airtanker had a heck of a lot of inertia, and it's not really an option; they are long, low runs. I refer you to the site however, because I doubt you'd trust my (anecdotal) personal experience with U.S. Forest Service airtankers.

Comment: Re:It has this. (Score 2) 189 189

How about we turn this around: Other than pirating commercial software or installing spyware, what do you lose by an inability to side-load without a jailbreak?

Really? That is a question? Is that how far we've fallen down the dumb consumer hole?
How about being able to create and share programs on phones without the blessing of some magical corporate entity, or without someone having to fork over money for a developers license?

Perfectly doable, if you have source code to what's being shared, or if what's being shared is being distributed as linkable object files. Have you really not looked into current iPhone software development tools? It doesn't require paying the $99 fee to install whatever crap you want on your own device. The fee is for the ability to list on the App Store.

Comment: Re:It has this. (Score 1) 189 189

As opposed to downloading a remote access program from the store?

These programs have to be explicitly launched by the user themselves after each boot. In other words, they are about as dangerous as a tethered jailbreak, shich is to say: Not very.

This is about as FUD as it gets. The ability to side load is not a physical security exposure. If you have a lock screen then access is blocked in any case. If you don't have a lock screen, then the mythical walled garden won't protect you. Blocking side load only makes sense when it comes to protection from user error, and even then on Android you can side load single apps without enabling universal installation of apks so the only thing you're left with is user stupidity.

How about we turn this around: Other than pirating commercial software or installing spyware, what do you lose by an inability to side-load without a jailbreak?

Comment: It has this. (Score 4, Informative) 189 189

the only thing i can think of that would get me to switch to ios over android would be if they came out of the box with the ability to sideload apps without jailbreaking

It has this. Just enroll the device as a developer device, and compile the code, or enroll it as a corporate device, if you want to use precompiled code you trust but that Apple won't allow into the App store because Apple doesn't trust it.

If you mean thing like side-loading just random crap, like if I were a private detective hired by your wife, and had 60 seconds of access to your iPhone, I could sideload some serious backdoor onto your phone to enable me to monitor your texts, phone calls, email, Facebook, and so on ... I'm pretty sure no one wants someone else to be able to load that kind of crap on their phones, but if you can do it, they can do it, too.

Comment: They actually didn't "have to" divert. (Score 0) 268 268

The plane did not *have* to divert, the plane *chose* to divert, to make a point about drones.

If the drone was operating between 800 and 900 feet off the ground, it was well out of any potential collision zone.

An airtanker on a retardant run operates at an altitude of 150 to 200 feet.

Comment: I have an iPhone 1 (Score 0) 149 149

I have an iPhone 1; it was given to me in 2007 as part of the Apple iPhone giveaway to employees.

It is now 8 years old. And using the original battery, and not having charge or capacity problems.

The only people who care about removable batteries are the people who want to have multiple batteries so that they can replace them in order to maintain a more or less continuous duty cycle for the device.

For those people, there are cases with integrated batteries they could use as an external power source.

Comment: Re:The Declaration of Causes of Seceding States (Score 1) 303 303

You gotta explain how the ""straw that broke the camel's back"" occurred in the third year of the war.

It was more or less a series of border skirmishes (including a few port cities), until the proclamation.

This map animation demonstrates it better than I could with just words:


The proclamation more or less gave a mandate to penetrate deeply into the Southern states in order to enforce it.

Comment: If my church were being torn down for a telescope (Score 4, Informative) 303 303

If my church were being torn down for a telescope, I would of course protest.

However, I would protest when they were first tearing it down in 1967, and not wait until 37 years later, in 2004, to start protesting.

They've only been protesting about how holy the site is since about 2004. When it benefitted them in ways other than piety for them to do so. This is about trying to garner international attention for the monarchist movement in Hawaii, who would like to bring back the Kingdom of Hawaii, and are still pissed off about the deposition of Queen Liliuokalani, and the effective annexation of Hawaii in 1893.

Protesting a telescope gets media attention, even though there are already 13 telescopes on the site, operated by 11 nations, and they are in fact already the largest astronomical observatory on the planet. The only thing new about this one is that it was easier to latch onto the media attention, since the telescope in question was going to be very large, and was therefore already getting media attention.

Of course, assuming this was granted (thus setting the precedent for all non extinct indian nations to reclaim their lands within the U.S. as well), there would immediately be internecine warfare as to *who*, of the 10 groups claiming to have the "rightful" king or queen among their members, got to be the "official" one.

See also:


A fail-safe circuit will destroy others. -- Klipstein