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Comment: Varidesk (Score 1) 323 323

I've had my Varidesk Pro Plus 36" ( http://www.varidesk.com/ ) for about a month and I love it. They are relatively cheap, ~$350, easily adjustable, and I even got the boss the pay for it.

I've been sitting in front of a computer for a living for about 25 years now and definitely have my share of back issues. So far, I've worked up to alternating standing and sitting for 30 minutes at a time, although I sometimes get tired by about 3pm. Overall, the Varidesk is a great improvement over sitting all day, and I've not personally found any problems working/coding from a standing position.

- Necron69

Comment: Re:Syntax hilighting (Score 4, Interesting) 443 443

Those of us who are colorblind often struggle with the default colors used in syntax highlighting. If you can (or bother to) adjust those, it can work, but colorized syntax highlighting on a white background can often be near invisible to me. It doesn't highlight at all, it HIDES the code.

Necron69

ps. Colorized 'ls' - red on black? Are you out of your f*cking mind!?

Comment: Sometimes (Score 2) 267 267

Several years ago, I fought tooth and nail over selecting the new test automation framework we were going to start using at work. I wanted a nice, modern, resume-building language like Python/Ruby/Java. What did they pick? - a legacy internal system written in Perl (and abandoned by the original author who had left the company).

Over the last year, I've become a moderately skilled, OO Perl programmer, and it's worth six figures to me. Good enough. :)

- Necron69

Comment: Computers are not the answer (Score 1) 352 352

If you think one poorly trained 'teacher' is going to be able to control a classroom of 50 elementary students, you're going to have a bad time.

Studies have repeatedly shown that the number one factor in student performance isn't teachers or technology, it is the economic status of the student's families. In Denver Public Schools, where my wife teaches, greater than 50% of the students are non-native English speakers. You really think throwing a bunch of computers at them and taking away the teacher will help?

Necron69

Comment: Rampant Paranoia (Score 1) 394 394

I really don't get the big deal over Facebook or other social media. The only thing there is what you put on it. For me the value of FB vastly outweighs any possible privacy concerns. I have my account pretty locked down to friends and family, so the worst that is going to happen is that I might see some ADVERTISING. OMG! End of the world!! (and it isn't that bad with AdBlock installed either)

If an employer asked for my FB account, I would happily tell them that it is for private use. I even Google myself from time to time to make sure it stays that way, but I also watch my mouth when I post things. Keep it light, friendly, and absolutely no politics.

If my friends and family care, they will see on FB that I ski, bike, go to the gym and occasionally go out to eat at a nice restaurant. If they don't care, they don't have to look.

Facebook has allowed me to reconnect with long lost friends, 'missing' cousins and lots of other people I might care about. It isn't some deep friendship or family bond, but it is more of a relationship with those people than I had before Facebook came along. That alone is worth something.

-Necron69

Comment: If you really think... (Score 1) 584 584

that girls and boys/men and women are identical except for plumbing, you are going to have a bad time. There is far more to our gender differences than mere marketing and stereotypes.

I say expose your kids to as many different things as you can, and let them figure out what they like or are good at. I tried ridiculously hard to get my son interested in computers and geeky things from a very early age. At 21, he is now a car mechanic and loves football and UFC. Go figure.

Necron69

Comment: Re:Finally! (Score 1) 59 59

Meteorite impact sites are in fact the locations that we mine lots of valuable minerals:

http://www.univie.ac.at/geoche...

The heavy, denser metals largely sank deep into the Earth when it was still forming. This is thought not to be true for many asteroids, although we don't know for sure. Estimates of mineral value range from billions to trillions (at current prices) for even small metallic asteroids.

Necron69

Comment: You are kidding, right? (Score 1) 237 237

In order for Uber/Lyft to be a challenge to public transportation, you first need a public transportation system that is actually useful to a significant number of people. I'm glad folks in Europe, or the US East and West Coasts have good public transit, but the vast majority of people in the US drive their own cars out of necessity.

We've made great strides here in Denver, CO, but I've lived here for almost 40 years and I can count on two hands the number of times I've taken a bus, and my light rail/train rides still stand at zero. Three years from now, the NW light rail line will finally open in the direction I need to go, yet it will still end many miles short of my office.

I know of only one friend who has ever used Uber in Denver, and her New Year's Eve ride across town caused her extreme heartburn at the price. Uber/Lyft are fancy cab services for rich people. They aren't going to put a dent in public transportation (where it exists) anytime in the next decade, if ever.

Necron69

Comment: Re: hmm (Score 1) 135 135

Microsoft isn't required for this. In order to qualify for the full company health insurance subsidy next year, all employees at my company now have to sign up for the 'Virgin Pulse' health website, do a (supposedly confidential) health screening, and get issued a step counter that updates your online account via computer or smartphone. You can earn 'HealthMiles' or something like that.

I'm doing it, but I'm not entirely happy about it.

Necron69

Comment: Re:Why is he worried (Score 1) 583 583

You give the current car control program far too much credit. At the moment, it doesn't 'see' a 'child' - it sees a change in the pixels returned by the optical scanner, plus reflections from the lidar/radar indicating an object has moved into the road. There probably aren't (currently) sensors to indicate the number of occupants in the car. The _only_ logical thing for the programmer here is to code it to stop the car when an object unexpectedly appears in the road.

Tesla and Musk and (AI) aren't anywhere near the level of abstraction you are describing. These cars work fine on city streets (that have been well mapped out beforehand), with good lane markings, known traffic signs and signals. They don't 'recognize people' or make arbitrary decisions about them. At best, what we have now are expert systems and nowhere near an 'AI'.

Necron69

Comment: Re:Automation and jobs (Score 1, Insightful) 720 720

No matter how much you want it to be true, corporations do not exist for the purpose of employing people or paying taxes. They just don't.

I don't know how to fix this mess either, but incentives matter. Higher taxes make companies move, and if you stop them moving, you will eventually have fewer companies to tax.

- Necron69

Why did the Roman Empire collapse? What is the Latin for office automation?

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