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Comment: Re:Keep Some Rules In Mind (Score 1) 254

by Tarsir (#44031171) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Start Reading Other's Code?

2) Just because the code is awful doesn't mean it has no value -- No matter how bad it is and how difficult it is to read, if it works at all it has probably got years (maybe even decades) of bug fixes and feature requests. Until you have a handle on it, any little change could cause a catastrophic cascade of side-effects.

3) No, we don't need to rewrite it. See 2. A working program now is worth more than all the pie in the sky you can promise a year from now.

So very true--take note all you young programmers out there. Especially those of you who are suggesting to dive right in and begin refactoring code immediately. I shudder to think of the damage you can do by "refactoring" code which you've just started investigating and which you don't yet understand.

Comment: It's important (Score 1) 656

by Tarsir (#43875075) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Important Is Advanced Math In a CS Degree?

If you're like most people in a University STEM program, you found High School very easy. This math course may very well be the first challenging thing you've done at school. You have to face and overcome this challenge, just as you'll have to face and overcome many challenges during your programming career.

The point of all this 'well-roundedness' stuff, where people tell you you must learn diverse subjects that have no relation to your desired career, is to make you work outside your comfort-zone; and to expand your comfort zone to include new subjects and skills. You'll have to do the same in your career.

+ - Camelot Unchained Kickstarter

Submitted by Resgo
Resgo (2897729) writes "The Camelot Unchained Kickstarter is in full swing and is coming up on 60% funded with 17 days left in the campaign. Camelot Unchained is a proposed tri-realm Realm vs Realm (RvR) PVP focused MMORPG being developed by Mark Jacob's (Dark Age of Camelot) City State Entertainment. They have posted a number of interesting foundational principles, goals, videos, for the game as well as some tech demos. Check it out. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/13861848/camelot-unchained"

Comment: Re:Why the Dice.com hate? (Score 4, Insightful) 246

by Tarsir (#42889619) Attached to: Reasons You're Not Getting Interviews; Plus Some Crazy Real Resume Mistakes

To be fair, drivel like this has been showing up for Slashdot for years. I didn't notice it was a paid piece until I read the comments complaining about it. The problem is two--fold. First is a matter of principal--rather than get their drivel on Slashdot through users submissions, like all the other drivel, they're using their position as parent company to do so.

Second is the very real possibility that paid Dice.com drivel will increase in volume until there is nothing left but Dice.com drivel pieces. Then the few genuinely good stories will be gone.

Comment: Re:Great! A place where I can buy nothing! (Score 0) 330

by Tarsir (#42765819) Attached to: Online Narcotics Store 'Silk Road' Is Showing Cracks

You can get anything from Silk Road. (...) [You] can buy counterfeit coupons, fake IDs, real IDs, software, pr0n, weapons (until recently), school assignments, hit contracts, and the list goes on.

[It's] the principle of being able to do whatever you want with your money and your body. (...) [Stop] asking questions that are nothing more than your thinly veiled criticism of someone else's life choices.

Yeah! Who are you to tell me me that I can't buy a crate full of AK-47s and put out a hit on the guy who cuts across my lawn every afternoon?

Comment: Re:Real reason (Score 1) 523

by Tarsir (#40950997) Attached to: Poll Finds Americans Think the TSA Is 'Doing a Good Job'

"Have you quit beating your wife yet?" has an implied premise, which is that you are currently beating your wife

Similarly, "So you're saying TSA doesn't do a good job? Then tell me how many buildings terrorists have flown airplanes into recently. Name one!" has an implied premise that the TSA is responsible for the number airplanes flown into buildings.

Comment: Re:Oh, stop acting surprised, Iran (Score 4, Informative) 289

The US has opened pandora's box, and there is no going back. You can't control malware the same way you can try to control nuclear weapons. Just wait and see.

I don't think the US opened that box. Organized crime has been deploying malware against individuals and organizations for years. I've been seeing stories on Slashdot about "Chinese Hackers" breeching US governmental and corporate networks for years. With Stuxnet and Flame the US has merely taken what everyone was already doing and done it better.

Comment: Part-time (Score 1) 266

by Tarsir (#40263313) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Getting a Tech Job With Skills But No Formal Degree?

Study part-time (you can fit one or two courses a semester around a full-time job without too much pain) for whatever degree fits best for high level system administration (it's not, or shouldn't, be Computer Science). Put that degree on your resume, with the projected completion date in the future--if you're worried, put a bullet point underneath stating that it's a degree in progress. This will get you past quick filter passes which throw out resumes that have no undergrad degree.

Anyone who is looking at these resumes closely enough to notice the undergrad isn't actually completed yet will likely be more interested in work experience than in education, so you're okay on that front. Once you get to the interview you can spin it as a positive: you're qualified to do the job based on past experience, and you're sufficiently ambitious to get the degree anyway to 'round out your skillset', or however you want to phrase it.

Comment: Re:Logistics/time are a problem (Score 1) 381

by Tarsir (#40225831) Attached to: Why Kids Should Be Building Rockets Instead of Taking Tests

He said that he would like to do more but that (...) a great deal of time is spent policing the kids to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to do.

(...)

If you really want to teach science in a manner that would engage kids, you need some exceptional teachers.

Exceptional teachers, and a well-behaved class. My girlfriend is a teacher who has taught at several different schools in my area, and she raves about the difference having a well behaved class can make. With a well-behaved class, she can do all kinds of engaging activities and crafts (she teaches Grade 1). She can't do that with a poorly-behaved class because they would take that opportunity for freedom and creative thinking and waste it drawings guns, knives, penises, swear words, and insults directed at other students.

This isn't meant as a rebuttal to you, but to all those posters (and there are many) who peddle conspiracy theories about how the education system is, by design, preparing students to be obedient factory workers. There are good, practical reasons why teachers have strict expectations regarding behaviour, and it's not because they're trying to crush little Johny's spirit. It's because in actual fact, little Johny is an unrepentant brat who's disrupting the 20-30 other kids in his class who might want to learn.

But I digress. More prep time will help too :P

Comment: Re:Well that was 7 minutes I won't get back (Score 1) 156

by Tarsir (#40185435) Attached to: The Cost of Crappy Security In Software Infrastructure
Agreed. This was an article with many low points, but I think the following two excerpts highlight the flawed reasoning quite well:

The underlying platforms and infrastructures we develop on top of should take care of [ensuring security], and leave us free to innovate and create the next insanely great thing.

The other major factor in why things are so bad is that we don't care, evidently. If developers refused to develop on operating systems or languages that didn't supply unattackable foundations, companies such as Apple and Microsoft (and communities such as the Linux kernel devs) would get the message in short order.

This article is missing even a gesture towards explaining why "the infrastructure" should be responsible for security while developers create their masterpeices, and boils down to mere whining: "Security isn't fun so someone else should do it for me!" Perhaps the worst part is that there is a good argument to be made that the OS and hardware should take of security, and a fundamental limit to how much security they can offer; the blog author just doesn't make it. Having the OS plug a given security hole once is more efficient than having each application duplicate the effort of plugging the hole. On the other hand, security is necessarily a trade-off for functionality, so the only fully secure application is one with no permission to do anything.

Algol-60 surely must be regarded as the most important programming language yet developed. -- T. Cheatham

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