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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.

Comment: Re:Anthropometrics (Score 1) 819

by Pherdnut (#47869333) Attached to: 3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

I'm 6'3 and you'd whine once I got my steel-toed butt up your ass and left it there for an hour which would about equal the discomfort I encounter even before the jackass in front of me reclines his seat into my knees. I get it. We can't support every possible body type or it would get expensive but dude, I'm 6'3, not Andre the Giant. Flights were actually quite comfortable for me for a few years there but very recently they have been ridiculous. Now I try to find Airbuses, exit rows, or I don't fly at all. It's been a while but I've never been uncomfortable on an Airbus. Perhaps French design doesn't accommodate American abuse in regards to minimum seat-spacing.

Comment: Re:Not that simple (Score 1) 294

by Pherdnut (#47753627) Attached to: The Technologies Changing What It Means To Be a Programmer

Ironically a lot of JavaScript developers would tend to agree with a lot of your points. When you come to programming writing code for six to 20ish at least mildly disagreeing interpreters of the very code you're writing, many of them with their own proprietary versions of an essential API, you develop a healthy respect for reducing baggage, avoiding needless dependencies, and thinking very carefully about how to keep your code legible and easy to modify. I absolutely think over-reliance on IDES/tooling to read and fix the code for them has made a lot of Java and C# devs weaker programmers than they could be and that a side benefit of being able to execute code instantly is that JS devs were less interested in tools that did the work for them. I actually had a guy on StackOverflow tell me to stop joshing about actually writing reusable/portable code as if he couldn't imagine somebody doing something loosely coupled enough to make that possible no too long ago.

But don't be too quick to get on that garbage collection bandwagon. In many ways, the more dynamic scripting languages, JS in particular IMO, are closer to C in spirit than C# or Java because they are (JS in particular) informed by a design philosophy that doesn't give a rat's ass about protecting you from yourself or any B-grade programmers on your team. It is exceedingly flexible, will let you do spectacularly awful things to yourself and you get burned. And you learn. And you stop. And it happens pretty fast. What a concept. Power, flexibility and willful incompetence either adjusts or will want to show itself the door. I don't ever want it any other way. One of my favorite frameworks hinges on the concept of matching URLs with regular expressions. It's amazing how many useless jagoffs that knowledge requirement eliminates.

But there's really not much in the way of limits on performance in a language like JS or Python where you can very easily bind to C or C++. IMO, it's the perfect combination. All the higher level concepts and flexibility to build APIs that help you keep things lean and understandable and easy to modularize/reuse with all the performance you need when it becomes critical. I'm still a rank noob at C/C++ but the more I read up on C the more of a natural fit it feels like in tandem with JS. I couldn't write a maintainable app with it and I wouldn't have the first clue how but the JS, IMO is probably better suited to gluing things together. Or at the least I seem to have a hell of an easier time of it than the Java or C# devs and those were supposed to have an easier time of it than C/C++ but mostly I think they wandered off of that path and landed in this weird place where it was more about making sure you could still pull things off that were adequate with a bunch of mediocre programmers. And gee didn't that set the bar high. Most Java web devs at the median skill-level can't even be bothered to learn HTML.

I'm definitely not sure what you mean by large projects though. Do you mean like say... OS/2? Okay, maybe that was cheap but MMOs are certainly large projects. Windows finally got a near-total rewrite. Complex applications are constantly producing new versions with new functionality. The folks in Silicon Valley are doing very complicated things with very large sets of data nowadays. Larger, complex apps might be less representative in this latest technology explosion but I doubt there's fewer of them per capita than there were in your day.

Just because smartphones and the web have made smaller projects much easier to distribute, market, and profit from, doesn't mean people forgot how to write larger, more advanced apps, or got any less worse at making complete disasters of them for that matter. One thing I would say has dramatically improved is turnaround time on the UI side of things. With web technology and many other mostly-non-Java solutions we can knock out robust GUIs almost instantly compared to what I've heard from more veteran devs I'm friends with from the late '80s and '90s..

But seriously, if you still code for interest, give the JavaScripts and the Pythons a chance. You might find them surprisingly agreeable.

Money can't buy happiness, but it can make you awfully comfortable while you're being miserable. -- C.B. Luce