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Comment: Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (Score 2) 200

by Nkwe (#47390719) Attached to: The View From Inside A Fireworks Show
Maybe and maybe not. There is always the chance that the firework could malfunction on it's own. Possible malfunction is one of they many reasons that in professional shows, no one gets to sit under where the fireworks are intended to go or anywhere a wind shift or malfunction may take them. I suppose if a drone collided with a mortar very close to the ground as the mortar was being launched it might alter the trajectory, but at the altitude from where the pictures were being taken, the firework has gone where it is going to go.

Acknowledged that in some smaller shows you used to be able to sit right under the fireworks and having the smoldering hunks of cardboard rain down on you. This was kind of cool, but in my experience, hasn't been an option for a long time.

Comment: Re:consent (Score 0) 130

by Nkwe (#47345025) Attached to: In 2012, Facebook Altered Content To Tweak Readers' Emotions

They can do whatever they want, it's their site.

Did you think about that before you wrote it? If not, take a second and think about it.

There are many, many, many things they cannot do with their site.

Within technical limitations, they can do anything they want with their site. However, some things they could do may have legal or financial consequences.

Comment: Life on the line (Score 1) 97

by Nkwe (#47288687) Attached to: When Drones Fall From the Sky
One of the things that keeps traditional aircraft pretty safe is that the pilot is inside the plane and is highly motivated not to crash. Perhaps to keep drones safe as well, we should keep the risk with the pilot -- if you crash a drone, the penalty is the same as if you were inside the plane you were remotely piloting (penalty up to and including death).

The range of penalties would of course need to be scaled to the size of the drone -- a toy quad-copter is not the same as a Predator, but the point is the legal infrastructure needs to ensure responsibility for those piloting drones. Note that I emphasized the pilot. The pilot needs to be on the hook, not the company employing the pilot, the manufacturer of the drone, or anyone else.

Comment: Re:Dear Microsoft.... (Score 1) 218

by Nkwe (#47187945) Attached to: Microsoft Fixing Windows 8 Flaws, But Leaving Them In Windows 7

Powershell is worthless. HyperV is great.

PS is worthless because, in order to do anything useful, you need to fire up visual studio. Give me a gnu userland any day.

Um... PowerShell has nothing to do with Visual Studio. In fact (among other things), PowerShell lets you easily script against the native .NET libraries without having to compile code.

Comment: Re:Can't Tell Them Apart (Score 1) 466

by Nkwe (#47020435) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Minimum Programming Competence In Order To Get a Job?
I think it is more about understanding the semantics of the interview question, because being able to understand specifically what is being asked is a critical skill in programming. There is a subtle but important distinction between "How would you obtain the value for PI in your program?" and "How would you calculate PI in your program?" An excellent answer to an interview question about "calculating PI" would be a discussion about what is really being asked as such a discussion would indicate that the candidate recognizes the subtleties and also knows that questions asked of programmers are not always clear or precise. (Of course having an answer to each possible flavor or meaning of the question is a bonus.)

Comment: Re:Can't Tell Them Apart (Score 1) 466

by Nkwe (#46993751) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Minimum Programming Competence In Order To Get a Job?

It is not clear why you would be trying to calculate a value that is a known constant

Because doing so was the task suggested by the parent thread as a possible interview question. A response to that suggested using a programming library to instantiate a circle object and simply extract the circumference and diameter properties from the object, apply a little math and voila. My comment was that doing so didn't count as calculating PI, rather it was just indirectly extracting the constant from some other programming library.

If I were doing the interviewing I wouldn't expect someone to know how to calculate PI, but I would expect someone to know the difference between extracting a constant from a library (directly or indirectly) and knowing the mathematical or other process for deriving the constant. I would be concerned if a candidate didn't know the definition of PI.

I agree with your comments on memorization of APIs and code being a poor indicator of a solid programmer.

Comment: Re:Can't Tell Them Apart (Score 1) 466

by Nkwe (#46990599) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Minimum Programming Competence In Order To Get a Job?

Instantiate a circle and get the diameter and radius then divide it out. I dont know if it would simple stop at runtime though...or how to control when it stops showing digits...anyone?

Of course then you are not actually calculating PI, you are extracting (via geometry / math) the value of PI embedded in the circle class that you probably didn't write.

Off the top of my head I have no idea how to actually calculate PI from scratch. If I get to leverage the underlying geometric or trigonometric libraries in the environment, sure; but from scratch, no. I could, of course, look it up, but the context of the interview question above didn't imply that reference material was an option.

If I were interviewing someone and asked the "calculate PI question" and they gave me the response that I gave above, I would consider it a "passing" answer. When I interview people (for programming or otherwise), I am more interested in their ability to understand and clarify the question and how they approach answering the question instead of the actual technical answer. You can look up technical references, you can't look up how to think and communicate.

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths

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