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Comment: Re:News? (Score 1) 394

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49621431) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

A downward slope would just be non-normalized data. If there are a lot of bad ones, bad just becomes the mean. Programming talent, like most things, probably falls neatly into a bell curve.

In terms of programmers most of the employers I know would deem employable, they are only looking at the best programmers so they only see a few percent at one end of the slope. The rest are just increasing numbers of increasingly unacceptable programmers. The shape of the curve doesn't matter to them.

Comment: Re:Entry level... (Score 1) 527

Entry level implies no experience.

For some job postings I've seen, "Entry Level" means less than 4 or 5 years experience. And when you factor in "internships", having a recruiter or HR staffer say "you don't have enough experience" to an applicant for an "entry level" job is no longer the oxymoron it once was.

Comment: Re:Up-to-date education (Score 1) 527

If employers lose lawsuits over this, they'll probably change it to "up-to-date education" and "3 years of active use of a major social network, iOS or Android operating system, and electronic bill payment". This allows older people to technically qualify by having taken a relevant class at a local college and joining Facebook.

My employer already requires its employees to keep their education "up-to-date" (at our expensive, though the company will pay for any classes it requires us to take). I happen to use an Android device - but not for accessing company resources as the company expressly forbids that. I also happen to use electronic bill payment - for my convenience. The company doesn't care. And while my employer happened to find me through Linked In, they don't care about my "social network" usage (I last used it during my last job hunt, years ago). (The closest the company comes to "social media" is an internal IM/VOIP conference system they have us use instead of using conference rooms for meetings.) They also don't care that I've contributed to open source projects unrelated to the company's business. (They would care if I contributed to a project they view as competition, of course. Nothing new or surprising about that.)

Unless the job I was applying for actually involved working with social media, Android, iOS or electronic bill payment, such requirements would be improper. Unfortunately, it would still be a major pain to get yet another ruling to that effect.

Comment: Re:The 90s all over again... (Score 2) 105

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49573935) Attached to: Why Crypto Backdoors Wouldn't Work

I seem to recall that we went through this in the mid to late 90s, where the government insisted any use of strong cryptography should as a matter of law, have a backdoor for the government. Then suddenly they dropped it,

I recall reading that a researcher figured out a way to spoof the "Law Enforcement Access Field" shortly before the US government dropped their push.

Comment: Re:My 2c (Score 1) 35

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49573843) Attached to: RealTek SDK Introduces Vulnerability In Some Routers

And what about when the router you use is an all-in-one provided by your ISP and you dont get a say in which one you use?
Like cable companies that provide a cable modem/router and dont give you any choice but to use theirs.
Or things like Verizon FiOS or AT&T U-Verse where they provide the same (modem/router in the one box)

So far, in my experience, cloning a PC's mac address to your own router's WLAN port has worked for me and for friends of mine. And since my router (as well as most of the PCs in my house) is running a version of Linux, I can truthfully say I'm running Linux.

Comment: Re:So what? (Score 1) 407

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49529705) Attached to: Using Adderall In the Office To Get Ahead

I would have filed a claim for unemployment, then when said claim was initially denied because you quit voluntarily tell the Department of Labor why you quit. You would have doubtless been approved at that point and DOL starts an investigation of that company, a win win.

More likely, the arbitrator would not have believed you and rejected your appeal. Maybe after the DOL investigation, assuming they manage to confirm your accusation, you could appeal again.

Comment: Re:Corporate IT salvation (Score 1) 190

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49529587) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Device Guard For Windows 10

One client I worked for, software developers were issued 2 PCs. One for email, Word and Excel documents, and other office stuff. The other for SW development. There was also a separate LAN for the SW dev PCs. The only support IT provided for the SW dev PCs was (1) an install DVD so we could re-install Windows and (2) hardware repairs (for example, replace a failed hard drive). Otherwise, IT treated us like an outside vendor.

Comment: Re:I took a high speed train recently... (Score 1) 189

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49523729) Attached to: Maglev Train Exceeds 600km/h For World Record

on a trip to Italy, from Rome to Naples (same distance as DC to Philadelphia).... There was no security theater - you could arrive two minutes before departure and run onto the platform and make the train. The seats were comfortable and roomy, and there was free wifi and charging stations at every seat.

As of the last time I rode Amtrak (a few years ago), there was no security theater, the coach class seat were more comfortable and more roomy than any airline first class seat I've ever ridden in, and there was a 120 VAC outlet for each seat. Supposedly, Amtrak has expanded its free WiFi offerings to more trains. Unfortunately, the TSA has "promised" to expand its operations into train and bus stations. I am quite sure this will soon affect - if not already - at least 2 of the stations I would be likely to use.

Comment: Re:Instead... (Score 1) 356

In the old days, websites handled this sort of thing very well -- the reflows they did were helpful and didn't break the user experience. Somewhere along the line, though, website stopped doing this well, so now reducing the window size often breaks the usability.

Having done some software dev for websites, in my experience, the problem arose as more and more designers wanted precise control over every pixel on the screen. Thus they would design to a specific pixel width. If your screen/window wasn't wide enough, you had to side-scroll. The wide variation in screen size and resolution in mobile devices has forced designers to cede some of the layout control back to algorithms.

Comment: Re:Well done! (Score 1) 540

Even with the scholarship they were offering, we would have been stretching our finances to the breaking point. So, yes, it was a choice, but not much of one.

It is unfortunate that so many schools are unable to offer true merit scholarships any more. The school I went to (and, later, my daughter) still offers true merit scholarships. And even with the need-based scholarships they don't raise an issue with a yearly family vacation - and especially not a vacation involving visiting grandparents or other family members.

Comment: Re:Translation (Score 1) 325

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49488693) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

It would not be news, if a corporation, that had purchased a similar tablet based course-ware system and what the supplier delivered did not meet the needs (however hazily defined the requirements), stopped further payments and filed suit to collect a refund of payments made.

Suppliers deliver dodgy products to corporations, government organizations and ordinary citizens, alike. And even corporations issue hazy, clueless or even bad requirements. If a supplier supplier promises to deliver a satisfactory product based on questionable requirements, caveat vendor.

Comment: Re:forking and "merging" hardwar designs (Score 1) 46

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49475253) Attached to: The Makerspace Is the Next Open Source Frontier

As a component supplier, our point of view is far smaller. It is normal for a new project to take an existing design then modify it as needed. Sometimes, this involves combining changes from different variations from a common ancestor. When this involves a single physical part, as opposed to an assembly, this requires some kind of "design merge". Sometimes this involves taking one of the 3D models and modifying it to incorporate the desired aspects of its "cousins". How much of this can be done automatically depends on a lot of things. The hardware designers have told me it usually takes very significant effort on their part to achieve the intended final result..

Still, we have a lot of metadata associated with the designs that we track.

My point is that, while we have a "wish list" of improvements to our tools, we're already doing what Jono said the maker community needs to figure out. Many of my coworkers - and I - are part of our local maker community. And I'm sure other local area maker communities have similar experts as members. Just a matter of education and sharing.

Comment: forking and "merging" hardwar designs (Score 2) 46

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49473399) Attached to: The Makerspace Is the Next Open Source Frontier

if someone refines a 3D printed piece of a drone, how do they fork the blueprints, submit their changes, have them reviewed, and get them merged into the project?

Where I work, this happens as part of our normal product develop processes. Design documents, whether for hardware or software, are still documents. Granted, "merging" changes in a "blueprint" or 3D model is harder to do, but not impossible. Right now, it still requires a lot of human work, but that can improve over time.

Comment: Re:Jury nullification exists because... (Score 1) 629

Jury nullification is a side effect of the prohibition against retrying a defendant for the same crime after having been found not guilty

This prohibition is important because, at least in theory, it prevents a determined prosecutor from repeatedly retrying until there is a conviction, the defendant caves or the prosecutor gets tired. Of course, it's not impossible to get around this by filing charges for other things the defendant might have done at the same time. In theory, the defendant or defendant's lawyer could argue these new charges are "lessor included charges" and get them dismissed.