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Comment: Re:Why not include the original IBM design? (Score 1) 98

by hey! (#48684259) Attached to: Know Your Type: Five Mechanical Keyboards Compared

I actually dug out my old Model M last year. Aside from the fact that the rubber.insulation had flaked off the keyboard cord, it still worked perfectly. And it was every bit as good as I remembered it being for typing, and if I replace the cord it will last forever.

There's only one problem with the thing: it's so damn loud. Every damn keypress is accompanied by a loud "POK!" Forget about annoying other people, *I* was annoyed. Years of typing on pretty good Thinkpad "scissor switch" keyboards had accustomed me to a low, pleasant sussuration.

Cherry makes a "brown" switch that is not quite as loud as the classic buckling spring. I have a cheap nixeus keyboard that uses "brown" knock-offs. They're pretty good and not so loud as to be annoying. I wouldn't use this keyboard in public, at a Starbucks or in the library, but it's fine in my home office.

Comment: Re: This is MY suggestion on how to start to fix (Score 1) 133

by causality (#48681541) Attached to: 13,000 Passwords, Usernames Leaked For Major Commerce, Porn Sites

Instead of passing harsher laws, maybe we should require that you (and people like you) should be only allowed to use the internet under the supervision of a caretaker.

Of course, if you seriously advocate that people take responsibility for their networks, their equipment, and their decisions and realize the part they play in enabling the problems they complain about, you'll be accused of "blaming the victim".

Still, unlike the harsher laws that vary by jurisdiction (of which some have no extradition treaties), this actually stands a chance of working. On a hostile network like the Internet, nothing other than hardening the targets is going to actually improve security. It would also be nice for the rest of us not to have to contend with botnets and other problems made possible entirely by the clueless who want all the benefits of a general-purpose global network but don't want to put forth the effort to learn how it works and how to use it responsibly.

They strongly resemble the child who wants a pet cat but doesn't want to feed it and change its litter box because that part isn't fun.

Comment: Re:Cards are safer than cash. (Score 2) 133

by causality (#48681451) Attached to: 13,000 Passwords, Usernames Leaked For Major Commerce, Porn Sites

Dependency: Of course the people who can't afford to keep their CC balance at zero end up paying for my peace of mind via increased interest rates. Ultimately CC's are an unfair burden on the "working poor" and become "just another bill" when they inevitably hit their limit (been there, done that). The sad fact is that if everyone at every point in their life could afford to keep the balance at zero nobody would pay interest and CCs would not exist.

That last sentence is false and shows you don't fully understand what you're discussing. The merchant is charged a fee, usually a small percentage of the transaction, each time you use your credit card. Even if you never personally pay interest because you pay in full each month, the bank issuing the credit card is making money from your use of that card.

Incidentally, this is also why some small, local, mom-and-pop stores won't accept a credit card unless your total purchase exceeds a certain amount. The fee they must pay isn't worthwhile to them if the transaction is too small. Larger stores are better able to absorb it and just consider it a cost of doing business.

Comment: Re:It is ludicrous (Score 1) 149

by Anrego (#48679805) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

The really terrible thing is they are cutting things like shop and metal working, which is really what we need.

Not saying high school should become a pre-trade school, but they shouldn't completely ignore the fact that there are non-university career paths, and in the current job market, they may even be a better choice.

Comment: Re:Keep the kids longer and don't send homework (Score 1) 149

by Anrego (#48679403) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

Not only that, but classrooms tend to drop to the lowest common level. The kids who are behind because they can't get their homework done (due to as you said, shitty living situation, both parents busy or just unable to help, etc) drag the whole class down with them.

Limiting homework would serve to level things out a bit, and honestly as a kid I think I would have preferred more classroom time if it meant no homework.

Comment: Re:Ouch (Score 2) 149

by Anrego (#48679393) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

I'm really all for that.

Kids have very diverse lives out of school. Some have sports or other activities after school, some have shitty home situations that make doing homework harder, etc. At least if most of the learning happens at school, kids get mostly the same shot at it.

Personally I always hated homework growing up. As an adult I've fought hard not to take work home with me. A few people at work have my cell number for absolute emergencies, but that's about it. Webmail access? Company laptop? Nope and nope. When I leave work I'm done for the day. The convenience of quickly checking something turns into the expectation to always be available, and screw that shit. I'll put in an 80 hour week when needed, but when I'm off the clock that's it.

Comment: Re:It is ludicrous (Score 2) 149

by Anrego (#48679355) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

It doesn't even have to be project based, you just need good teachers who arn't stressed and completely burnt out.

For instance, I hated history up until grade 11. The difference? The teacher still used a mostly lecture style, but she made it interesting, and engaged the class in discussions. She knew the material backwards and forwards and so she could (and did) let the class go off on unintended tangents. Up until that point history had mostly been about memorizing names and dates and arbitrary facts associated with them. She had us discussing they why and the implications and I loved the shit out of it. I ended up developing an interest in history that I still explore on my own to this day.

Most teachers seem burnt out, know the system is broken, and often barely know their material because you have math teachers doing history and history teachers doing physics due to manpower and budget problems. When the teacher just wants to get through the day and isn't passionate about the material, the students adopt the same mindset.

Comment: Re:It should start later, esp. for high schoolers (Score 1) 149

by Anrego (#48679297) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

Well, the problem there is diversity.

I'm one of those "afternoon thinkers". During my first year of high school, we did split shifts with another school that was undergoing renovations. They had to be bused in, so we got the early shift. Class started at 6am, which for me meant getting up around 5am. Looking back I would love to see stats on the grade average from that year. I know my marks were down across the board. My physics score was so low they didn't want to let me take the advanced course the following year (which I did anyway and did fine in).

But that said, some people are morning people. They are weird but they exist. They get up by their own preference at like 5:30 am chirp around the office while the rest of us star blankly at our monitors waiting for the coffee to kick in.

Comment: Ouch (Score 4, Interesting) 149

by Anrego (#48679265) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

This all makes sense and is probably a good idea.

That said, despite school having literally been decades ago, I find myself empathizing with the kids on this one, who I'm sure arn't seeing this as an investment in their future but rather yet more time spent in the dungeon. I didn't exactly hate school growing up, but damn if I wasn't ready to get the hell outa there when the bell rang.

Maybe it's because we just had Christmas and that always puts me in a nostalgic child like mood. I'm sure if they announced this in September when school is just getting back into session and screwing up my morning commute I'd say to hell with the kids, but for now, the kid in me say: BOOOO!

Comment: I've managed a team full of H1bs.. (Score 4, Interesting) 510

by hey! (#48677749) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

Not my choice, we got them in a deal with a VC. And I will tell you from experience that they're not all great programmers. A *few* of them were very good programmers, most of them were OK, and a few were very *bad* programmers. Just like everyone else. The idea that the H1B program just brings in technical giants is pure fantasy. This isn't 1980; if a CS genius living in Bangalore wants to work he doesn't have to come to the US anymore, there are good opportunities for him at home..

H1B brings in a cross section of inexperienced programmers and kicks them out of the country once they've gained some experience. I have nothing against bringing more foreign talent into the US, but it should be with an eye to encouraging permanent residency. I think if you sponsor an H1B and he goes home, you should have to wait a couple years before you replace him. Then companies will be pickier about who they bring over.

I have to say, managing a team of H1Bs was very rewarding, not necessarily from a technical standpoint but from a cultural standpoint. Because I had to learn about each programmer on my team and the way things are done in his culture, I think I became closer to a lot of them than I would have to a team of Americans.

A method of solution is perfect if we can forsee from the start, and even prove, that following that method we shall attain our aim. -- Leibnitz