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Comment: Re:If you can observe it, it is not religion (Score 1) 105

by Tamerlin (#47416883) Attached to: Mapping a Monster Volcano

The fact that you COULD observe it, doesn't mean you actually will. Thus, until you actually observe it yourself, your knowledge of reality is still coming through faith.

That's not at all correct. It's based on reason.

When a competent scientist publishes a result, they also publish the methods that they used to achieve it. Part of the scientific process is to validate them by having 3rd parties reproduce those results. That becomes evidence.

Incredibly stupid people will claim that because it's not proven it must be wrong, but science is rarely cut and dried as the religious imbeciles want everyone to believe. When 98% of the scientific community says that there is a 90+% chance that we're right about a given assertion or hypothesis, then I believe it, because I understand the rigor of the scientific process, not because of faith in some vague, amorphous all powerful being that you really shouldn't think about because thinking about it leads to thinking and thinking leads to free will, and people with free will who can think stop believing in religious foolishness and stop giving money to the corrupt church.

Comment: Re:Classic Obama (Score 1) 211

The only thing I still find surprising about Obama is that people continued to have any respect for him after his administration's response to Deepwater Horizon. His administration facilitated BP's blatant attempts to lie to the public, break a legion of laws about their cleanup procedures, and didn't bother to take advantage of BP's history of negligence to prosecute them. The same idiot's been pandering back and forth regarding the Keystone XL pipeline even though it's useless for the economy, a climate fustercluck in the works, and given its manufacturer's track record a guaranteed ecological disaster... yet he was more interested in his reelection campaign money to do the sensible thing and kill it.

Comment: Re:Constitutional Loophole? (Score 1) 143

by Tamerlin (#46960265) Attached to: How Dumb Policies Scare Tech Giants Away From Federal Projects

For anyone else, insider trading will get arrested... if you're in the federal government, not only are you protected from punishment for violating insider trading laws, but you actually have rules and regulations in place to facilitate your insider trading.

Some of those rules and regs include not allowing federal agencies to consider company track records when reviewing bids, and some of them require giving the feds early access to contract grant information so that they can make insider trades.

Comment: Re: Our patent system is totally broken (Score 1) 152

by Tamerlin (#46960201) Attached to: USPTO Approves Amazon Patent For Taking Pictures

It's also an example of a technology company's arrogance. They're too stupid to understand that they're not breaking new ground (when I joined there, my first impression was that their technology was antique by government contracting standards), but they're arrogant enough to think that they're innovative.

Comment: Re:Startup or frat party? (Score 1) 274

by Tamerlin (#46920967) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Joining a Startup As an Older Programmer?

If the management operate like that, then they're obviously idiots, because the folks putting in the 16-hour days are the bugs, as well as the bug generators.

Naturally, most startups operate this way because "that's how it's done" even though the vast majority of the time it leads to a far higher bug rate, very poor code quality, high turnover, lengthens the time to delivery, and increases development costs in the long term.

Comment: Re:sugar (Score 1) 703

by Tamerlin (#46566983) Attached to: IPCC's "Darkest Yet" Climate Report Warns of Food, Water Shortages

You deserve credit for one of the best posts so far. Most of the deniers clearly ignore reality in their assumption that all points around the world will warm equally, even though the world today has very widely varying climates.

The situation with the thawing tundra is looking to be quite a bit worse than a surge of CO2. It's turning out to be a large amount of methane, which although it doesn't persist for as long as CO2, also has a stronger insulating effect than CO2, which in the short term exacerbates warming significantly.

Add to that the rise in sea level, which so far even though only due to thermal expansion is already forcing people to abandon land due in some cases to becoming submerged and in others contamination from salt water in their aquifers, and this is before we see the effects of large volumes of land-based ice melting... into the oceans.

And never mind the fact that warm water feeds cyclones... and that another side effect of global warming is to melt out glaciers, without which places like the Seattle metropolitan area wouldn't have enough water to last a summer...

Comment: Re:Its silly (Score 1) 405

by Tamerlin (#46516737) Attached to: Paris Bans Half of All Cars On the Road

In reality, the worst offenders in the pollution race include the US and China. Both are in the top ten most disgusting nations on earth... but as if that weren't bad enough, our consumerism is driving a lot of the consumption in developing nations, and we still burn more hydrocarbons per person than any other nation.

Comment: Re:I'm confused (Score 1) 246

It sounds like we're on the same page, so to... type. You're right, colleges these days generally don't teach programming, they teach programming languages. For that reason alone I think that the class that I took on expert systems was the most useful of the CS classes that I took, because the prof, being a professional who happened to be teaching, took a software engineering approach to how to develop expert systems. Hence we went through the process of analyzing the problem and designing a solution before coding it, and it's lead me to endless frustration in my professional life because all of the engineering is missing from almost every development team I've been on. Most of them think that requirements = design. And most recruiters care more about what languages you've used than about how good you are at understanding and solving actual problems.

Comment: Re:I'm confused (Score 1) 246

The point is that spending some time working through some non-trivial use cases of git or svn or spending some structured time actually being taught to debug, what to actually do with a dump file, or to use git/svn/etc to fork and merge in a structured teaching environment is useful.

There's nothing in there that justifies making a class of it. If it's not part of a foundation class on developing software, there's a bigger problem that needs solving.

The goal is not to teach them to use the tool feature by feature but what the tools are capable of and that's valuable.

That I agree with.

Make it 1 credit. Like you said they don't need to spend a LOT of time on it, but spending SOME time on it, in a structured teaching environment is invaluable.

No, make it part of a class on building software. The best way to learn something is by doing it, and it's a complete waste of time to make a class on it because it's part of development. Making it a separate class is the height of idiocy... it justifies the pure idiocy of HR filtering out people who've done lots and lots of programming and software engineering, yet haven't shelled out their own bux for Visual Studio because they were using open source tools instead.

Nobody can learn to use a debugger or source control system effectively from never having seen one before to competent in 15-20 minutes.

They might learn enough to get a programming assignment done, but they won't touch the surface of what it can do.

I'd argue that showing someone how to use a debugger is best done when teaching them how to program. If you're showing someone how to use a debugger in a class that isn't a programming class, you're wasting their time, because at that point all you're doing is showing them the features of the debugger and creating extra busy work in the form of pointless homework assignments.

While that's standard operating practice in most colleges because they want to beat the idea of work/life balance out of students' heads so that they'll be good little mindless drones after they graduate, it's a symptom of systemic idiocy that should be rooted out and destroyed.

Rather than fixing the symptoms of a crappy education system with extra stupidity, fix the systemic problem: revamp the programming curriculum so that it's geared toward having students work through the process of analyzing requirements, designing solutions, and implementing them as part of a team with version control, profiles, and debuggers, and get them trained to deal with real life. A class on "here's how you use an IDE" will never accomplish anything of value beyond an asinine resume pad. Work the tools into the programming classes where they belong.

CCI Power 6/40: one board, a megabyte of cache, and an attitude...