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Comment: Re:Code the way you want... (Score 4, Interesting) 367

by Sowelu (#47518507) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

Well, it's different in the ways that make a difference for me...which weirdly enough are "different syntactic sugar" and "a different IDE". It's not as different as it could be, but it does have the advantage of keeping me sharp in the same concepts Java uses as well. I don't have to yell at Eclipse when I'm at home, and I get legit excited when I can play with Linq. (What has my life become...) And that's enough to prevent burnout. But, projectwise, instead of writing backend server components for internet things, I'm writing one big program that decompiles an old retro game and extracts its map and graphics data with a nice graphical client. It feels too big for python. I guess at this point, "small projects" means "things that are not fifty-dev enterprise software things". Small enough that one developer can actually do it all.

I can say that being one dev in control of an entire hobby project makes me a better unit tester (seriously, what company actually follows its own internal UT guidelines) and is great for architecture experience, if you are a midlevel SDE on the rise.

There's probably something positive intellectually about having two languages with slightly different data structures; when you try to solve a problem the same way and are forced to make minor changes, you might find optimizations that are useful in both languages.

My hobby language used to be Multi-User Forth. That got tedious.

Comment: Re:Code the way you want... (Score 5, Insightful) 367

by Sowelu (#47518163) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

May I also suggest that you make your work and your hobby /different languages/, so you can more easily separate them. When I've worked and coded-for-fun in Java at the same time, I'm miserable. When I started taking up C# at home (can the language hate, it's fine for small projects) I had a lot more fun. Work in the web industry? Write native apps for a hobby! You CAN code for work and for fun, but only if the projects are different enough that you can get in an entirely different headspace while having fun.

Comment: This is actually pretty nice. (Score 1) 277

As a former paid Microsoft shill (okay, contractor on like four different projects), I would wholeheartedly welcome this if I ever went back. Which I won't, but still.

One year was too little time. It takes months to ramp up; now you get a lot more productive time.

And 90 days of downtime between jobs was awkward--it's hard to set up a 3 month contract that fit perfectly in those dates. Realistically, you'd find another 6-month job in the meantime, and not go back to Microsoft until well after the mandatory break, even if MS was the best job you could get at the time.

So yeah. This is better for employees' stability, and for managers getting more productive time out of contractors.

Comment: Re:Unconstitutional (Score 1) 150

by Sowelu (#47502367) Attached to: New York Judge OKs Warrant To Search Entire Gmail Account

Let's not exaggerate about "no difference". Writs of assistance, and searches in general, back in the revolutionary days were highly disruptive to life and business. If someone copies out your entire gmail folder you probably won't notice it, it's not like they'll be taking up space and getting in your way and throwing your files around as you try to read it yourself. They were even used to gain entrance to a place and trash it under the guise of a search.

I'm not making a value judgment on the merits of this case or whether it's reasonable or not, but you are drawing a false equivalency. Seizing all of a person's electronics equipment or servers is a much closer analogy. Non-destructive copying with zero downtime is not.

Comment: Re:Two sides to this... (Score 1) 150

by Sowelu (#47502309) Attached to: New York Judge OKs Warrant To Search Entire Gmail Account

Thing is, that's not actually so bad to me at all. If you could tell whether someone was lying or telling the truth about performing some illegal act--and be certain of it (big assumption)--I'd wholeheartedly support it. It would catch criminals a lot faster, and exonerate the innocent a lot faster, what on earth could be bad about that? As you're describing it, it doesn't sound like it's violating any privacy of yours, except for the specific fact "did you commit the crime". It's just a one-shot perfectly accurate truth serum.

It certainly doesn't violate the 5th Amendment. The "no self incrimination" is specifically to cut down on coerced, inaccurate testimony. If this thing was accurate, it's a completely different issue.

It seems to me that almost every Internet Anti-Government Crusader's true agenda is "protect my right to lie to the authorities", or "protect my right to not get caught". Doesn't get any of my respect.

Comment: Re:This will die in the senate (Score 3, Interesting) 148

by Sowelu (#47469277) Attached to: US House Passes Permanent Ban On Internet Access Taxes

In truth, this is also why Social Security has its problems. When it was established, it was "You likely won't live to use it, but if you do, you will be well taken care of". It was insurance against an uncommon and, in a way, kind of negative thing happening to you: Living to an age such that you could no longer support yourself. It was a luxury that not many people had, and it could absolutely be hard on your family. Of course, now almost everyone lives long enough to collect it.

No, it wasn't meant to be a replacement for savings, and you weren't supposed to get out what you put in. A small portion of the population was supposed to collect it, because most of them didn't live long enough to.

Comment: So maps... (Score 1) 86

by Sowelu (#47434969) Attached to: What Happens When Gaming Auteurs Try To Go It Alone?

I don't know much about what he actually did at Epic aside from some of Unreal Tournament's best maps (it was pretty awesome that it showed the author name when you loaded a map) and I don't know what his job was the other companies at all. Was he a coder? Designer? Producer? Artist/art director? Nothing but level-design-o-rama?

Comment: Re:Why is this news? (Score 1, Insightful) 443

by Sowelu (#47433767) Attached to: The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

Cyclists ARE a menace, to themselves. I nearly killed one two years ago because he blew a stop sign coming down a hill, swerved in front of me, hooked his tires into a trolley track and fell over about 20' in front of my car. If I hadn't been driving below the speed limit he would have been street pizza.

Biking in hilly, high density areas (like downtown Seattle) should require a license. One that can be revoked.

Comment: Re:Unprovidable keys (Score 1) 353

by Sowelu (#47419493) Attached to: UK Computing Student Jailed After Failing To Hand Over Crypto Keys

See though isn't that destruction of evidence? Which is pretty clearly illegal.

"Oh, you were looking for documents at my house? Sorry, I built my filing cabinet to shred and burn everything if I don't press a button every week" -- if you're arrested for (for example) financial fraud and you pull that kind of BS, you're in deep trouble. In fact, after you've started being investigated for something, any action to destroy potential evidence is super suspicious and may well be specifically illegal, even if (especially if) there's no way after the fact to prove whether it was incriminating or not. Just because you took that action far in the past when you set up the dead man's switch, doesn't excuse you from the consequences.

It's well established in corporate cases that people have an obligation to prevent automatic deletion of materials during an investigation. I'd be surprised if that didn't hold for private citizens too, why wouldn't it? If you would reasonably expect that the police have a lawful reason to search your documents, and you don't volunteer that those documents exist and are going to be deleted...I really don't see any ethical difference between that, and finding some way to delete them remotely yourself.

In a criminal case I don't see an ethical difference between "I did X and Y happened", and "I knew Y would happen if I didn't do X, and I didn't do it". Kind of like "I cut her brake line" vs "I knew her brake line was cut, and that she was going to drive the car, and I didn't inform her".

If there's an argument that a dead man's switch really is ethically different from active deletion...and I really do mean ethically different, not "more likely to get you off the hook for a crime"...I'd love to hear it.

"Just think of a computer as hardware you can program." -- Nigel de la Tierre