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Comment: Oh, we, absolutely (Score 1) 207

by fyngyrz (#49627601) Attached to: Police Can Obtain Cellphone Location Records Without a Warrant

And by "we", of course you mean the tiny, tiny minority that isn't... sitting in front of their television, a string of drool trailing from their partially open mouths, while the latest reports of Kim Kardassian's antics reflects from the their glazed eyes and the Doritos grease spots around their mouth. Or the deluded information-poor who consume Faux News broadcasts as if they were (cough) actual journalism.

Metaphorically speaking, little tiny soapboxes located at huge distances from one another, that no useful number of people pay any significant attention to... yep, that's pretty much right where we are.

It's not a slippery slope. It's a deep pit, and we're at the bottom already. They've just painted the sides with jingoistic and fear-inspiring slogans, that's all. The only way out is to stand on each other's shoulders, but that would require the use of backbone, which our society currently lacks in any significant sense.

Comment: Just stupid (Score 1) 207

by fyngyrz (#49627569) Attached to: Police Can Obtain Cellphone Location Records Without a Warrant

From TFS:

"We find no reason to conclude that cellphone users lack facts about the functions of cell towers or about telephone providers' recording cell tower usage."

In other words, we assert you probably know your privacy is being violated by existing technical means, so we'll just ignore the obvious constitutional instructions about warrants when dealing with personal information -- whereabouts, in this instance. Because the constitution is abused and/or ignored by most judges now, so that's ok, right? RIGHT?

Let's say some people commit murder in parks. Because they do. So, using the "reasoning" of the utter morons in this court:

We find no reason to conclude that park users lack facts about the prevalence of murder in parks.

And therefore, it's perfectly ok. Mr. Murderer, go forth and murder some more. Next Case!

Comment: Disagree. (Score 2) 409

by fyngyrz (#49625229) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

Just give each person a few programming tasks that should take ten minutes or so.

Yeah, but actually no. Each skill set is different. I could write you a PCB router in under an hour, or whip up an image processing mechanism, layered image editing, signal processing, write an FFT from scratch. I can do assembly coding as fast as I can type while higher up, I favor c and Python for their various and highly disjoint abilities. I'm good at documentation, and I can manage effectively -- without getting the team to hate me. But fizzbuzz? Sort of boggles me. I solve it very slowly. Perhaps because there's no point to it and I don't really give a flying crap. :) But perhaps also because it's just not my thing. I despise puzzles-for-the-sake-of-puzzles, and avoid them like the plague.

Bottom line, any type of interview question or test will sit poorly with some high quality programmer. Some don't know a language, some have an unusual process, some aren't great communicators, some don't function well with someone staring at them or under immediate pressure... there is no perfect interview method, and surely no way to determine programmer competence outside of their actual accomplishments -- which, even when you can pull it off, is not the same thing as measuring their skills against others, placing them in an objective relationship to the skills of others, either.

Personally -- and this is strictly anecdotal, but reflects many decades of experience -- I've had a lot better luck asking many-possible-answer questions about techniques and areas of knowledge in a friendly, low-pressure atmosphere where the interviewee is made to feel they are welcome and respected the moment they walk in the door.

Comment: Re:Everyone's a programmer. Even dead people! (Score 1) 409

by fyngyrz (#49625069) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

Hell, you wouldn't ask a psychiatrist to give you an appendectomy, would you?

The only thing I'd ask a psychiatrist is "please leave."

Wow wow wow.

You probably want to get that turntable checked. One day it's only wowing, then suddenly tomorrow there's flutter, rumble, tracking error, and cookie crumbs blocking the strobe light.

I'm just needling you, of course.

Issues much?

Nah. Just perpetually amused. :)

Comment: Everyone's a programmer. Even dead people! (Score 2) 409

by fyngyrz (#49622191) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

A variation of it is quite prominent on Slashdot, with many users inexplicably believing that programming requires a "special mind", dividing people in to two groups: "can program" and "can never program".

Some of us just have different metrics for drawing a line between "programming" and "stumbling around in a programming language doing dangerous, stupid, and occasionally functional things."

But, hey. If you can set your digital alarm clock, or interact with your microwave in such a way as to involve more than one button push (even if you're going to destroy the comestible), you're a programmer, right?

It's like kids with crayons. They're all artists! Special butterflies! Call the Louvre!

Now get off my nursing home's lawn

Comment: Come on. What tripe. (Score 3, Insightful) 409

by fyngyrz (#49622119) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

From TFS:

If you could measure programming ability somehow, its curve would look like the normal distribution.

Since you can't measure programming ability "somehow" or otherwise, you don't know what the curve would look like. Which reveals the entire set of claims here as utter garbage. If you don't know what the distribution is, you don't know what the distribution is. How difficult is that to understand?

Comment: "Strawmen" -- Meh (Score 1) 282

Wow. Give us what we want or we will fuck you even harder.

Are you in the habit of erecting obvious strawmen, or was this particular bit of off-target re-interpretation just special for me?

Although it does apply to this group -- they're telling the government, "give us what we want, or we'll try to hose some good science" So perhaps your post wasn't a strawman after all. Perhaps you're just confused as to who the culprit is in this situation.

Comment: What tripe (Score 2) 613

by fyngyrz (#49601755) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

Many schools ban bare-shoulder outfits, anyway.

That's like saying "many people try to force others into doing stupid things, so anything I want to try to force you into is good, right and holy."

Some dumb-ass school rule stands as absolutely no legitimate justification for pop-culture repression of personal and consensual choice.

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter