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Comment: Re:Time Estimations (Score 1) 473

by Stanza (#45168041) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Hardest Things Programmers Have To Do?

Increase your estimate to longer than it will take, even with changing requirements. Tell your boss, "this part of the spec is undefined, but in the worst case, it will take X days." When you find out a spec change will increase your estimate, tell your boss immediately.

Estimation is definitely a skill, but it's one that can be developed.

Boss: We need to implement this.

Me: Okay, but it will take at least a few additional days, and I'll need to look at it closer before I can confirm that estimate.

Boss: But we can't give you additional time, we've already allocated the budget and the customer is expecting it on time!

Me: Well the original spec doesn't have it and I'll just keep doing what I'm doing.

Boss: But sales already told the customer that we already included that feature! Do it!

Considering my experience, estimation skills are actually skills in lying in the original estimate to give yourself enough time when the inevitable spec changes occur. And without spec changes, that "double all estimates" is still good advice, but the one I do is bump it up to the next unit of time (think it will take a day? tell them a week. Think it will take a week? Tell them a month.).

Also, bosses will come with ludicrous demands sometimes. The engineers at a previous place I worked at commonly told the bosses "don't schedule more than one miracle per project". The message we were trying to convey was yes, sometimes we can pull off miracles, but that's not something to rely on.

Comment: Re:What's next? (Score 1) 118

by Stanza (#41501611) Attached to: Iran's News Agency Picks Up Onion Story

Humans don't eat insects much? I don't know where you live, but you need to get out more. In Mexico City there are huge sacks of grasshoppers for sale in the markets, and in Korea silkworm pupae (is that an insect? maybe I'm stretching it) is a common snack and sold everywhere.


I'm sure many people can come up with many other common examples that evade me because I don't travel everywhere in the world. Wikipedia says far more about health, nutrition, and popular examples in movies than where people eat insects.


Comment: Re:The same reason our passenger rail system stink (Score 4, Interesting) 351

by Stanza (#41457769) Attached to: Why American Internet Service Is Slow and Expensive

I hear this all the time. Sweden is less population dense than the US is! Estonia is less population dense than the US is! Norway is much less population dense than the US is! Why does New York City and San Francisco (the most population dense areas in the United States) get slower and more expensive internet than rural areas in Germany? Hey, Mexico has slower and more expensive internet than the US, and it is more population dense! Maybe it's an inverse relationship after all!

If you plot population density vs internet quality in countries, I don't think you'll come up with any clear trend. And if you only look at urban environments, internet in the USA is still crappy, which is another reason not to bother considering population when wondering why US telcos charge lots of money for low quality service.

Comment: Re:I hope they don't just let it languish (Score 1) 466

by Stanza (#41381819) Attached to: Dice Buys Geeknet's Media Business, Including Slashdot, In $20M Deal

I've tried to run slashcode before.

I love perl, but there is a great example of why I think perl gets a lot of hate. It's pretty rough.

Having tried to use livejournal, reddit, and a few others, I note that the most difficult to use projects seem to use perl (Livejournal I'm looking at you).

Having said that, I think a lot of people are looking for a good place that has a slashdot-like community talking about nerd stuff. Hacker News is pretty good, but there is quite a different focus there.

Comment: Re:Alarmist (Score 1) 349

by Stanza (#40743395) Attached to: World Population Grows Beyond 7 Billion

So explain to me why some of the most catholic countries in the world have some of the lowest birth rates in the world? Look at Italy (1.4 children/mother) and Spain (1.39 children/mother). Where as protestant Netherlands is 1.79. For an example in the Americas, Colombia (2.1 children/mother) ties the USA.

As other people are telling you, the fertility rate correlates far better to wealth and education than religion, or even what type of religion.


Comment: Re:How does it taste? (Score 1) 236

by Stanza (#40105223) Attached to: Kim Dotcom Demands Access To Seized Property To Defend Himself

"Unique" - are you serious? Sorry, but the amount of nationalist conceit in that statement makes me want to barf.

I don't know what country you are from.

You can pick on the word "unique", but whether it is unique or not, I am going to hope for and work toward a government that is free from corruption. It may be a bit idealistic to do so, but I am going to argue that it is just not the way things are done here, and if they are done that way, it is broken.

If someone says "America is supposed to be unique in being a country where that is not how things work", yes it is nationalistic think that America should be unique that way, but I believe it is very important that people think that things should not work that way in their country. Because if you believe it should work that way, you won't try to change it.

And if all you see in that comment is the nationalism, not someone trying to say "hey we should be better than that", I can suggest a thousand other things to focus on. Nationalism may be used for good or ill, and I know a great many people who think it is used for ill more often than not, and a slightly nicer/less snarky comment would be "I'm from _____ -- and things are not supposed to work that way here either. :P".

Comment: Re:It's even simpler than that. (Score 1) 168

by Stanza (#26287641) Attached to: Capitol Records Flooded Internet With MP3s, Says MP3Tunes CEO

Thank you for explaining that, as I didn't even figure out that from the summary.

After a little research (karma link whoring, here I come!) I figured out the web page providing links to where other entities hosts files is here:

As far as I can tell, it is run by the same guy who runs mp3tunes.com, and is pretty well integrated, but by just going to mp3tunes.com I did not find anything what you are describing. I found it by going through his blog and reading some of his own descriptions of the lawsuits.

Unfortunately, it's a dreadful interface. I was hoping for something to open up in Songbird and hit play, instead, each song opens up a new webpage, and then, if you're using Songbird, only that one track is on the webpage. If you're using a proper web browser, they have javascript players, "load to locker", "load to mobile", with "Download this track" in small font in comparisons to all the javascript options that actually does link to the file in question.

United States

+ - More Boston Bomb Scares

Submitted by
Stanza writes: "I note via a livejournal entry that there was another bomb scare in Boston yesterday. However, searching around more mainstream press, there is only the video they link to, and a google search only comes up with two hits (one of which is boingboing.net, the other a satire site, also noting the lack of news on the subject).

There is some suspicion noted at the livejournal entry claiming that someone is calling favors to hide this. With such little noise in the media (it happened yesterday) it makes me wonder. Does this bother anyone else?"

The world is not octal despite DEC.