Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Sort of dumb. (Score 1) 553

by Pherdnut (#49629223) Attached to: Recruiters Use 'Digital Native' As Code For 'No Old Folks'

Don't get me wrong. I hate all the industry Kool Aid but there's a fine line between sticking with the best tools for the job and falling way behind on the latest developments. There's an awful lot of Java and C developers out there who get agitated when required to work with any other language then the one true supreme solution. If you're not learning regularly or never wanted to learn after college in the first place, it's best to get on the management track ASAP.

Comment: Re:Where did this bizarre idea come from? (Score 1) 553

by Pherdnut (#49629073) Attached to: Recruiters Use 'Digital Native' As Code For 'No Old Folks'

There's a time and place for more procedural thinking. It's at the lower level where you shouldn't be rearranging how the app works in memory or with the file system constantly, and it is absolutely paramount that things succeed or fail consistently such that higher levels of the app can follow suit. For that, I'll take C. But when the UI gets redesigned 3 times a month and you have to write code that's going to be read by 5-20 different interpretations of the same language, JavaScript please.

I'm 40. New(ish) to 'tech but on computers since the Atari 800. 99% of software development practice is crap. But people don't keep trying to invent new stuff for no reason. What we do in days in UI now used to require months of extensive testing and couldn't be rearranged constantly.

As for the loyalty factor, have you spent most of your career with a 401k? I'm 40 and I haven't. Never even seen matching in my tech career which started '07ish. When I see a resume from a younger candidate that doesn't have job-hopping at least in the early portion, it makes me wonder if they weren't good enough or confident enough to take that 10-20% pay increase every year or so at the jr-mid-level because modern day corporations don't do much to engender loyalty.

UI is disposable. Design is disposable. YOU are disposable. That's not on this tech generation as much as I hate what they've done with San Francisco. It's not on my generation. It's on the generation in here that's giving itself a pat on the back for inventing everything (that's a bit of a stretch) and is now confused by the fact that much of it (older tech and the people) has been disposed of.

Comment: Casting Directors Are Stupid Humans Too (Score 1) 360

by Pherdnut (#49399193) Attached to: Why More 'Star Wars' Actors Don't Become Stars

People are horribly stupid when it comes to casting. Even former actors who should know better can't stop putting good actors in boxes. My wife, also an excellent actor, has moved into casting and is rapidly building a reputation at being great at it. The people she finds regularly bring more to their roles than even the role's authors knew was there. But she has to fight people all the time on whether actors fit an overly specific look or preconceptions they have about what their ethnicity or race will "bring" to a role to the point of trading off spectacular amounts of talent for mediocrity. This is in spite of what anybody who watches theater regularly should know. Actor talent or lack thereof can make or break just about anything. Actor stereo-typing is very simple-minded but also very common and everybody knows Star Wars. Directors and casting directors should know better but being in any popular sci-fi/fantasy film can be a tough box to climb out of.

That said, Portman hasn't been more than good enough for a role since she was a kid and I haven't seen Christensen in anything else, but the dialog in SW has always been a challenge and I don't 100% blame directing for them looking as bad as they do up there. Those actors in the original trilogy are working VERY hard in almost every scene. Neeson and McGregor rarely looked bad but you better believe some of that dialog reads something awful on the page. Only the empire deals in absolutes? He made it one more sentence beyond that before it occurred to me what a stupid line that was. That takes talent. Not to mention his gradual morphing into somebody who might actually be Alec Guinness in 20 years. Impressive work.

But let's completely black out Ep 2's romantical dung-heap. It's what I do most of the time. Even if we ignore that dialog/directing horror, Christensen pretty much manages to hit two notes through the entirety of the last two prequels, surly and remorseful. I'm sure directing didn't help him there and the role wasn't written with much opportunity to play for charisma but that's something the right actors can excrete through their pores if they have to. Ford's done it his entire career. He could have played being mad about his lack of rapid-Jedi-career advancement like it was a legitimate gripe. I mean really, this is a dude that's done some pretty amazing things for the Jedi and in return he gets way too much free time to hang out with evil senators and dead mom. But instead he comes off as a self-entitled brat. The right actor could have made me like him at least a little bit more but in the end the balance was tipped in favor of rooting for the lava.

Portman, even when given interesting things to do like be an action heroine, the ruler of an entire planet, or its representative in the senate is 99% flat-lining throughout the whole thing until the very end when she's heart-broken at which point she demonstrates her vulnerable pretty girl thing that she's mostly been hired for. Unfortunately it's far too late for anybody to care that her character is heart-broken. She's just not that good. She can do drama on the extremes and her narrow shtick but she's not up to being a mover and shaker in a galactic space opera that makes no sense whatsoever if you think too hard about it.

Comment: Re:The Moral of the Story is... (Score 1) 360

by Pherdnut (#49398661) Attached to: Why More 'Star Wars' Actors Don't Become Stars

Don't get me wrong. I love Star Wars. They never had a good script. SW is great in spite of having horribly written scripts. Read that dialog on the page sometime. It's ALL amazingly bad. Then really think hard about the plots. Who builds the Death Star twice?

Fisher had a serious well-known drug problem that probably didn't help her post-SW. Portman at her very best has never been great but I do think both her and Christensen (who I've seen in nothing else) got hosed by those anti-romantic interactions. But to be fair, neither Leeson, nor McGregor ever looked bad in those movies. Or at least they looked good enough most of the time that the really atrocious lines didn't stick to them.

Comment: Re:nice, now for the real fight (Score 1) 631

by Pherdnut (#49149147) Attached to: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules

Here's how it works:

* The profit motive drives people to make more money.

* One inevitable outcome of that is that people innovate new ways of delivering high quality goods/services for less cost, create new industries with new jobs, and invent neat new things that enhance our quality of life. Almost everybody likes this. It works great. It's one reason most more-socialist-leaning governments in Europe still have predominantly market-driven economies in most sectors. Hell, even China has slowly but surely moved to a more market-driven economy. Mao himself tossed socialism out the door on their farming coops when that wasn't working out for them.

* Another inevitable outcome is that many will poison/murder/nuke the environment/your children/our schools/the legal system/our health/our quality of living/real estate/the global economy/the internet/very small dogs/etc... to make a higher percentage if there aren't any rules to prevent them from doing so. See Monsanto, the textbook industry, US children with lead poisoning from Chinese toys sold in the US, and other crap that makes news on a daily basis, etc... Consider that most other western nations have nationalized health care. And yes, there are downsides to that but what doesn't happen is that a minority of the most expensive patients are denied service that their coverage at least appeared to promise because that eats into somebody's margins but they know they can get away with it as long as 98% of their customers never have a problem with their service.

So, when our conservative friends start polishing that old chestnut about the "free" market it's because our new corporate overlords want them to start removing regulations that protect us from that third bullet point again for like the umpteenth time since the first naive fool actually took the words trickle-down economics seriously.

The notion of a free market is a paradox. It cannot exist because it would inevitably destroy itself. It's a game without rules that nobody wins. They know that but they can and will cheat at every opportunity we give them. So knock it off with this free market foolishness. It's naive and it's been making a tool out of libertarian and republican voters for decades now. There's a middle ground between having an excess of rules that hamper market growth unnecessarily and having next to no barriers to abuse whatsoever. That place isn't about being a moderate, it's about "duh." Because nothing else promotes a healthier, more vital capitalist sector than rules that guarantee competitive practices and protect us from abuse.

And when the very nature of a given sector, like health insurance, makes it near-impossible to regulate owing to extreme motivation to abuse given the profits and ease of getting away with it, just say !@#$ it and sprinkle a little socialism on the problem already. Healthy not-dead not-financially-ruined people buy more products and/or start new businesses. Health care is infrastructure. If we can operate health care reasonably at a small loss, it's well worth the investment to do so.

Comment: I'm going to go with Angular/bootstrap FTW (Score 1) 143

by Pherdnut (#48498983) Attached to: Black Friday '14: E-commerce Pages Far Slower Than They Were in 2013

There's a whole new generation of JS devs who are complete slobs about dependencies. They will attach the entire Bootstrap library for one plug-in. I've seen libraries that embedded and minified it such that it wasn't even obvious they were using it and they weren't using it for much. 20 megabytes for a !@#$ing restful documentation widget whose own proprietary code was 20,000 lines long. It's just ridiculous. IMO, every client-side web dev should be forced to support IE6, then mobile, then write for the desktop browser. But people want the latest buzzwords, they want them fast and cheap and they want them now. This is what you get. A bunch of jr-level slobs writing e-commerce apps who knew what to say about how much they love these new frameworks at the interview.

Comment: Almost nobody read this article (Score 1) 786

by Pherdnut (#48221117) Attached to: NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders

And granted it lacks clarity in headline and it's a bit wish-washy in focus (is it just a synopsis of the podcast?) but movies/ads are given very light mention in a paragraph. The most interesting idea to me is that girls fell behind in personal computing at about the same time they fell behind in computer science. And that makes a lot of sense. I knew no girls who spent a lot of time on Atari 800s and Commodore 64s and the early IBM PC compatibles outside of a classroom.

We can probably lay some of that at the feet of baby boomer dad's gender issues and the assumptions math and science teachers have about girls that they don't even realize but I also suspect there's a more general cultural problem with young women not being taught how to handle failure well. Because learning/doing anything new beyond just being a non-power user in technology is 90% failure. You try and try again until it works. Academia is different. They have problems to solve and they'll show you the solutions. You can copy those down, memorize them and always have them ready. Whether you succeed is often largely about whether you have any aptitude for it and whether you studied.

One thing I remember a lot of girls saying even in high school in the late '80s/early '90s was "I'm just not a <fill-in-the-blank> type person" and then they'd quit whatever discussion/problem they had just been exposed to. It was easier to to redefine their identity to a more limited narrow view than it was to try something and maybe fail at it.

Even my own wife who is brilliant, creative, a very successful artist, has borderline photographic memory, and can do math in head as well as I do swears that Algebra 1 was a horrifying experience for her. Says she just "can't handle the mixing of letters and numbers." She had to take a stats class recently to wrap up a long-delayed degree and aced it. Hated every minute of it but she attacked it and rote-memorized and got through but couldn't tell you a thing about stats a year later. And it's the same with technology. Any time something doesn't just work as well as it probably should she gets so frustrated she can't even think through what the problem might be or a potential workaround.

If she could do that, she'd be great at it. She's the kind of smart that could be great at anything she lets herself get interested in. But she's not a "that" kind of person. Men put themselves in boxes too but never to that degree, IMO. And I think that's at least in large part probably a cultural thing, but absolutely crippling for women facing tech problems once they carve any aptitude for it out of their identities like that. It should take more than one asshole teacher to dissuade you from an interest.

Comment: Re:Bill by weight (Score 1) 819

by Pherdnut (#47869413) Attached to: 3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

Several problems here:

* I was comfortable in premium seating. Now I'm not. What gives?

* I'm 6'3. It's not a genetic anomaly. It's just 6'3.

* Airlines aren't required to guarantee seat dimensions. They can swap a flight out at any time. If there was an airline that was guaranteed to accommodate my height on every flight, you better believe I'd pay more but there's no guarantees in premium seating even if you're willing to spend the absurd amount more for what is often only a marginal upgrade.

* 6'3 doesn't mean I'm rich.

* It does mean I'm probably bigger than you. A lot bigger than you judging by your self-evident short-guy complex.

* But if it means I am in fact among the larger customers AND I statistically have more money to spend, why do you or the airlines want to piss me off?

Comment: Re:Cheapest Ticket (Score 1) 819

by Pherdnut (#47869369) Attached to: 3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

I've been on flights so uncomfortable, I'd rather they just tell me I don't want to be on that plane by telling me they can't accommodate me. Because then we're having an honest conversation about my money and whether they want it and I don't have to go through 4-12 hour torture to figure out that they just wanted it once.

Logic doesn't apply to the real world. -- Marvin Minsky