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Comment: Re:Whatever you're interested in (Score 1) 282

by NewWorldDan (#46779751) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

I still enjoy getting magazines in the mail. I find them more satisfying than trying to read something on a tablet. Mostly I get woodworking magazines (Woodworker's Journal and Fine Woodworking). I also get the print edition of MSDN Magazine, which I like to take with me when I go to lunch.

Comment: Re:Pretty much true (Score 1) 578

by NewWorldDan (#46726715) Attached to: Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

Try hiring programmers sometime. I've replaced the interview with 2 simple programming tests:

1) FizzBuzz
2) Read a list of numbers, sort it, write it back out.

The candidate is expected to do this in C#. For the applicants that I get, with decent looking resumes, less than 30% pass. A good programmer can do both easily in under 10 minutes. Entry level should be able to do it in under 20 even if they've never used C# or .NET. A lot of candidates look at the screen for half an hour before admitting that they just can't do it. One guy with a degree and 5 years experience took 50 minutes to produce something that mostly worked. So I hired an entry level guy who had never used C# or .NET or Visual Studio, but still managed to finish both tasks in 12 minutes. It took some work to get him trained on MVC and EF and good web security, but it was worth it.

I don't care where they studied or even if they have a degree. If they can pass my little test, they've got a good shot at being hired. If they can't, they should be looking for a different line of work. Try hiring programmers. Give them my little test and then tell me what you think.

Comment: Re:False economy (Score 1) 451

by NewWorldDan (#46716629) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?

You might also find that for 2 employees, switching away from Windows is just not an option. There may be an accounting package or some other piece of software that they're using where changing OS is just not an option. Before you even think about making a change, take a very detailed inventory of the software that your users need. Especially the things that only get used a few times a year. That's where you'll usually find your biggest stumbling block.

Comment: Re:10 REM HAPPY BIRTHDAY (Score 2) 146

by NewWorldDan (#46704355) Attached to: Born To RUN: Dartmouth Throwing BASIC a 50th B-Day Party

As memory serves, you would want semicolons after lines 60 and 70 so as not to cause a new line. The dangers of posting untested code to the web.

Anyway, I thought I'd share the greatest program I ever wrote: a chat-bot. I was 8 and taking a summer school BASIC class in 1984. Near the end of the summer, we had a group of seniors visiting, so I wrote a really simple chat program - just asked some questions and provided canned responses. When those seniors saw the computer talking about the weather they got up and backed away in fear and I had to explain that it said the same thing no matter what you typed, but they still wouldn't go near the computer again. Looking back, that was totally awesome.

Comment: Re:Hardware requirements (Score 1) 641

by NewWorldDan (#46694311) Attached to: Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

That suggestion is utter nonsense. I have used open source programs that were later abandoned. I don't have the budget to hire 5 programmers to modernize and maintain them. At that point, I might as well hire a staff to write nearly all software I depend on.

By comparison, XP has been maintained as Vista, 7 , 8, and 8.1. Unfortunately, you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, and you can't produce a modern OS without sacrificing some backwards compatibility.

Pretty much everyone who has outdated hardware tied to XP has a way to modernize. It's just... very expensive.

Comment: Re:Microsoft (Score 1) 226

by NewWorldDan (#46683805) Attached to: Should Microsoft Give Kids Programmable Versions of Office?

Microsoft has always been the lesser innovator. They're always late to the party. But they still have a stranglehold on the business desktop and that isn't going to change any time soon. Too many businesses have legacy apps that haven't been updated in 10 years and that they can't realistically migrate away from. The hard part for Microsoft this time around is that they're having to change their business model - from making money selling software to giving away the software and making money off every stupid thing the user does. Personally, I prefer to buy the software and be done with it, but the times they are a changing.

Comment: Re:Easy answer (Score 2) 88

by NewWorldDan (#46651645) Attached to: Amazon's Fire TV: Is It Worth Game Developers' Time?

No, it's not an easy answer, you target the platform that will have the best sales when the product is released (say, 12 months in the future). Further complicated by the fragmentation of the Android platform. So now you've got the Play store, Ouya, Fire TV, and a dozen other Android platforms that you may need to customize for, each with varying hardware specs, so it's hard to predict if your game will perform as expected. Then you compare that to the Steam ecosystem, Windows, Apple, Wii U, XBone, and Play Station.

So, smartass, what's the gameplan that's going to target the greatest number of the right kind of users while minimizing development and administrative overhead? How successful will these various platforms be a year from now, and how crowded will their various marketplaces be? How many other games on that platform will you be competing against? It's a very complicated puzzle to try and figure out.

Comment: Re:opt-out (Score 1) 157

by NewWorldDan (#46639275) Attached to: Should Patients Have the Option To Not Know Their DNA?

Well, there are people who avoid going to the doctor if they think they'll be switching jobs in the near future because they don't want to be burdened by a pre-existing condition.

Of course, I think in 20 years, this will all be moot. Everyone will be gene-sequenced at birth and they'll have this database of information to work off of and it will just be the new normal. Medicine will eventually learn what spam fighters already know: dumb beats smart. Which is to say, however clever you think you are, given a large enough data set, brute force data analysis will always outperform.

Comment: Re:As one-way as X10 (Score 1) 176

by NewWorldDan (#46632341) Attached to: The Connected Home's Battle of the Bulbs

If they're Bluetooth based, I wouldn't be worried about random hackers. I'd be worried about my asshole friends drunkenly screwing with my house. Or that I'd get a new phone and have to reprogram all my lights. To hell with that nonsense. Either I want the lights on or off. I can hit a switch as I enter or leave a room.

Comment: Re:There are many journals (Score 0) 82

This sounds like a bit of much ado about nothing. US law, as I understand it, doesn't really provide for "moral rights" to a work. That's more of a European way of thinking. This is more of a boilerplate, if we publish this, don't sue us ever kind of thing. Moral rights to a work are idiotic anyway. In the European way of things, there's a period of time where you're not allowed to offend the work (like, say, making a porn version of Star Wars) after the main copyright period ends. The US workaround for this to comply with treaty obligations is just to extend copyright until the period of moral rights would expire. Which as luck would have it also keeps Mickey Mouse out of the public domain. So in the US, if the law is still as I remember reading it many years ago, completely moot.

Comment: Re:don't prop up a dying market (Score 1) 353

by NewWorldDan (#46624777) Attached to: If Ridesharing Is Banned, What About Ride-Trading?

Actually, in most of these services, the driver has been vetted by all of his previous passengers and complaints are public (same goes with riders). Get a bad reputation for inappropriate behavior, you're not getting any more business. Furthermore, there becomes a record of all pickups and drop-offs.

As opposed to a conventional taxi, where both the driver and passenger are complete unknowns.

Both approaches have their problems. Requiring drivers to have an upgraded license and appropriate insurance is certainly reasonable. The medallion system that a lot of large cities use is absurd.

Comment: Re: Users who pay for high bandwidth connections s (Score 1) 182

by NewWorldDan (#46546447) Attached to: Level 3 Wants To Make Peering a Net Neutrality Issue

And if we had more than 2 choices, we would. Right now, it's a duopoly and neither incumbent is willing to rock the boat.

What really needs to be done is to separate the providers from the last mile connection. A lot of ISPs could get in to the game if they only had to get their fiber to a local substation.