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Comment: Yes (Score 2) 179 179

This is a good idea; a deeper understanding of the various roles around you can only improve your own work.

Similarly, coders should be able to:

  • Read (and write!) a project proposal
  • Successfully explain their work to a room full of non-technical people
  • Interpret a project plan and identify risk points
  • Understand an annual report
  • Grasp basic employment law

Specialized skills are substantially enhanced by a broader understanding of the organization as a whole.

Comment: Re:it could... (Score 4, Interesting) 125 125

The [lack of] precision in the bearings is much more significant than angular precision.

You solve that with better manufacturing techniques.

Harmonic drives are already used industrially and commercially. This is essentially a double harmonic drive driven with a planetary gearset. Nothing some good precision manufacturing couldn't create something amazing with.

Comment: Re:This is shortsighted (Score 1) 35 35

In fact, having wheels is a feature, not a bug.

Until you encounter a steep set of stairs, then simple wheels might not be sufficient. You'll either have to develop special wheels or tracks - which might not be that great at other non-stair-like terrain - or try a more universal mode of locomotion.

Ever see those photos of mountain goats climbing the nearly sheer face of a dam? I'd love to see a wheeled robot do that without grappling lines!

Comment: Re:easy (Score 2) 451 451

There is quite a bit that is legitimate in criticizing the new trend of 400 layers of abstraction each adding their overhead for the sake of rapid development. Those old development models produced more stable and dramatically more efficient software. Nobody really denies that, they just argue that developer time is more valuable than computer time and improvements in hardware make up the difference in most use cases.

But what happens when hardware stops getting dramatically faster? We'll have to go back to making things more efficient to see gains and suddenly you'll have a great deal of respect for dad who could make a word processor with 90% of the functionality of word that weighed in under 1mb and ran smoothly on as little ram with a processor your smart phone could emulate 200 times over. There is a reason where the browser makers, the home of high level abstraction and high level languages, are finally all actually in agreement and collaborating and the thing that brings them together is making c/c++ compile to a uniform standard that all browsers can execute at near native performance.

The circle comes around, it always comes around.

Comment: Re:I quit trying to organize my songs long time ag (Score 1) 358 358

For certain music genres, third party tags will be flatly incorrect even from an authoritative source. Classical music and Jazz need to use more tags than are typically supplied by download and streaming services and what tags are used are often applied incorrectly. Streaming and online stores ironically make more work for me than just ripping a goddamned CD and typing everything in myself.

Comment: Re:I gave up on some Google Apps (Score 4, Insightful) 62 62

Google's on screen keyboard properly displays the case of characters based on the state of the shift key. Apple's keyboard is kind of an unpolished insult to the concept of literacy. There's plenty of stuff I don't like about Google's applications but none of it is as unforgivable as that.

Comment: Re:Goodness (Score 1) 298 298

Perhaps all of that was an attempt to motivate at least a lukewarm response to the obviously coming problem so people wouldn't end up running around with their hair on fire later.

Oh I get that, I'm just saying that years of teeth-gnashing and arm-flailing has had pretty much the opposite of the desired effect.

This has been pitched as a dire and urgent danger for ages. The IPv4 address exhaustion problem Wikipedia article is nearly nine years old, for crying out loud.

This will get sorted out like pretty much every single other technical capacity issue gets sorted out: once the pain and cost of not acting becomes prohibitive, people will act, and it will cease to be an issue.

Comment: However Shall We Figure This Out? (Score 1) 338 338

This it perhaps the first severe accident of this kind in a western factory, and is sparkling debate about who is responsible for the accident, the man who was servicing the robot beyond its protection cage, or the robot's hardware/software developers who didn't put enough safety checks. Will this distinction be more and more important in the future, when robots will be more widespread?

Folks, there exists an entire and oft maligned profession that is dedicated to figuring just this sort of thing out.

This isn't some big unsolved existential question. It's a fairly dry exercise in interpreting and applying precedent in new ways. Humans are actually reasonably good at sorting out how to deal with the legalities of new things.

+ - XKEYSCORE: NSA'S Google for the World's Private Communications->

Advocatus Diaboli writes: "The NSA’s ability to piggyback off of private companies’ tracking of their own users is a vital instrument that allows the agency to trace the data it collects to individual users. It makes no difference if visitors switch to public Wi-Fi networks or connect to VPNs to change their IP addresses: the tracking cookie will follow them around as long as they are using the same web browser and fail to clear their cookies. Apps that run on tablets and smartphones also use analytics services that uniquely track users. Almost every time a user sees an advertisement (in an app or in a web browser), the ad network is tracking users in the same way. A secret GCHQ and CSE program called BADASS, which is similar to XKEYSCORE but with a much narrower scope, mines as much valuable information from leaky smartphone apps as possible, including unique tracking identifiers that app developers use to track their own users."


"Other information gained via XKEYSCORE facilitates the remote exploitation of target computers. By extracting browser fingerprint and operating system versions from Internet traffic, the system allows analysts to quickly assess the exploitability of a target. Brossard, the security researcher, said that “NSA has built an impressively complete set of automated hacking tools for their analysts to use.” Given the breadth of information collected by XKEYSCORE, accessing and exploiting a target’s online activity is a matter of a few mouse clicks. Brossard explains: “The amount of work an analyst has to perform to actually break into remote computers over the Internet seems ridiculously reduced — we are talking minutes, if not seconds. Simple. As easy as typing a few words in Google.”

Link to Original Source

+ - Get started with two nerdy hobbies at once. The HamShield for Arduino!-> 3 3

belial writes: For the past year, Casey Halverson, Morgan Redfield and Nigel Vander Houwen have been working on a not-actually-secret project at Seattle's Metrix Create:Space. The HAMShield for Arduino, a shield that incorporates a SDR and low noise amplifier in the VHF and UHF bands!

In the first 12 hours of it being on Kickstarter, it passed the halfway mark, pretty much guaranteeing its funding. What would you make with one of these if you had one, and how do you think this is going to change the Amateur Radio landscape?

Link to Original Source

It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.