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Comment: Re:All payment systems are mobile (Score 1) 192

by JWSmythe (#49186527) Attached to: Will you be using a mobile payment system?

Years ago, I had to move about $2K between two banks every week. The banks were only about 3 blocks apart. If I wrote a check, it could be delayed by up to a week.

After a few weeks of that, I decided to just walk into the first bank, withdraw the cash, walk to the second bank and deposit it. Every single fucking time I did it, there was always some hassle.

On several occasions, I explained to both bank managers and various middle managers, why I was doing it (because they both sucked). Something would always get it hung up. What should have taken about 10 minutes total could take up to 2 hours.

They are both in the top 10 largest banks in the US. Because of their repeated incompetence, I will never willingly do business with again. I can go in there to take money away from them (legally, of course). I will never have an account with them again.

Comment: Re: file transfer (Score 2) 464

by JWSmythe (#49145089) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem

The most ancient laptop I ever touched was a Compaq 386/16 with a 20MB 3.5" 1/2 height IDE drive. It sounds pretty much like the same, or probably the piece of crap I had was a predecessor. I do remember it was clearly a 20MB drive though. I swapped it for a regular desktop 40MB IDE that we had in the shop.

Everything I found about that series says it's IDE. I couldn't find anything specifically saying the physical size, but I suspect it was a 3.5" drive. I seriously doubt it was RLL, MFM, ESDI, or anything more exotic. So he's wasting everyone's time asking rather than just opening it up and seeing "ooh, a IDE drive." Even if it was, he could go find some combination of adapters to use it. Anyone who's worked with stuff long has a box full of adapters and cards for exactly this. Well, I did ditch all my ancient cards on eBay a few years ago.

I'd be surprised if the drive even spins though. Most of the time when I go to try ancient hardware, the drives don't spin, or spin enough, even though the owner remembers that it was working when they shut it off.

Comment: Re:Without estimates you can't budget... (Score 5, Funny) 347

by JWSmythe (#49142377) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

Lets see... What would they say? This is the one-sided conversation, since it doesn't matter what you say anyways.

"Ok, we can accept that estimate."

"Ya, ya, ya, whatever."

"We'll have that information to you by the start of the project."

"The information isn't ready yet, we'll have that by the time you need it."

"I thought we had that to you already. We'll have to check with the information source."

"The PMs have some changes."

"Here's the information, but there are some small changes."

"No, those are small changes, they won't impact the timeline."

"No, you can't have more time, we already made commitments."

"The PMs have some changes."

"What do you mean you won't have it in on schedule? You agreed with the initial estimate."

"You're going to stay here until it's done, I don't care how long it takes."

"I don't care that you've been in the office 30 hours straight, this is your fault."

"We're hiring an off-shore company to help you with the project. Get them up to speed."

"The PMs have some changes."

"Since we have the off-shore team, we need to cut your department back."

"I read an article saying Java is the future. Redo it in Java."

"What do you mean we're waiting on the off-shore company?"

"We fired the off-shore company. You're good, you can get it done in time."

"Ok, hire more people into your department, but we're only offering half the salary, and no more bodies."

"Why is this project so far behind? Don't you know what you're doing?"

"The PMs have these changes."

"Why aren't you done? We're weeks from the deadline!"

"You didn't meet the deadline. Don't you know deadlines are firm. We have commitments."

"I don't want excuses, I want results."

"You and your idiot team are fired. Get out of my building."

[2 months later]

"We need you to come back and finish the project. We need it by next Monday, that should be plenty of time."

"Here's all the new specs. They should be easy to do."

"What do you mean total rewrite, it's only a few chances. You are an idiot. Get out."

[1 month later]

"We need you to come back and finish the project. We need it by" {click}

"We need you to come back and finish the project. We need it by" {click}

"We need you to come back and finish the project. We need it by" {click}

"Why do you keep hanging up on me?" {click}

Comment: Re:Oh bullshit! (Score 4, Interesting) 317

by JWSmythe (#49123201) Attached to: FedEx Won't Ship DIY Gunsmithing Machine

I've heard of similar things. For example, this guy sending air, water, and sugar.

As long as you have the right safety labels, there shouldn't be a problem. The guy in the above link screwed up with the "Rocket Fuel" label.

If they were sending a mill, why did they say "It's a machine for making guns"? IT could have been labeled as coming from "GG Machine Works", and if they needed a declaration of contents it's just "a CNC machine."

I can't even think of the countless things I've shipped. Usually I'm only asked on International shipments for the customs declaration. If I explain what's in them, it's too complicated, so they just put "computer parts" or "tools".

I've received some things that surprised people, like ammunition (legally marked and shipped as such, handled by UPS), a truck front axle, and all kinds of weird smaller things.

Comment: Re:Pointing fingers at problems (Score 1) 493

by kria (#49025857) Attached to: Will Elementary School Teachers Take the Rap For Tech's Diversity Problem?

(Perhaps things are more skewed in Indiana. It's a surprisingly conservative place.)

And it's very, very difficult to find the line between evolutionary programming and societal conditioning. I'm a female computer programmer at a defense contractor, while my husband has a degree in art and is currently staying home with our five month old baby. Not only is this the best financial situation, but I think that we both are far happier than if we went the opposite routes.

I think that most normal feminists, rather than misandrists on the fringe, just want artificial barriers for everyone in all professions to be removed. We've come very far in a relatively short time, and things will continue to improve. My mother received an education fit for becoming a secretary (and became a waitress), I had friends who were discouraged by teachers and even parents from technical fields, but I didn't experience that myself. Things will continue to be more open for my daughter, I hope.

Comment: Re:Why is it even a problem? (Score 1) 493

by kria (#49025811) Attached to: Will Elementary School Teachers Take the Rap For Tech's Diversity Problem?

I'm a feminist, but not a misandrist. I'm also an engineer, and I want to find the cause of things and fix it. Men have been the ones in a position of leadership for most of human history, nothing more. Women have, sadly, been fairly bad in many points in history at taking and making opportunities for themselves, since society has conditioned both genders in how they should behave.

I believe they didn't grade the test twice because this was an examination of available data rather than a created situation - they were two different tests that were typically graded in these different ways.

Comment: Re:Might as well redesign HTML as well (Score 3, Interesting) 88

by JWSmythe (#49022473) Attached to: Google Chrome Will Adopt HTTP/2 In the Coming Weeks, Drop SPDY Support

Well, it could be. That's not necessarily a good idea.

I did work under someone once who thought the future of web hosting would be to store all data in compressed blobs in databases. He had read somewhere that databases were faster than filesystems, and some other nonsense that made it sound like a good idea. Luckily, he never tried to implement it.

Comment: Re:Why is it even a problem? (Score 1) 493

by kria (#49019047) Attached to: Will Elementary School Teachers Take the Rap For Tech's Diversity Problem?

You say that like it's impossible for a female teacher to have biases about what the genders are good at. Reverse it, if you'd like - how many boys with an interest in something typically female may be dissuaded by their own fathers? Personally, I feel lucky in that I had teachers throughout my school career that were encouraging me, telling me that I could do whatever I wanted, in contrast to other women I've met who were discouraged by everyone from their math and science teachers to their own parents.

Sentient plasmoids are a gas.