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Comment: Re:Short answer: no (Score 1) 400

by Zarf (#45778041) Attached to: Is Ruby Dying?

Ruby is standing stronger than ever.

By this metric Java is still kicking everyone's butts. Also... *all* programming languages are "dying".

I've been around the block enough times to know that if you want to survive as a programmer you had better damn well learn to program. And not in just one language, you need to know a survey of language types. Ruby is just one type in the same category as Python and Javascript. If you really want to survive 20 years as a programmer (like I did) you need to branch out more.

Now, you kids get off my lawn.

Comment: Re:A different model for hiring/interviewing? (Score 1) 630

by Zarf (#41313201) Attached to: Is a Computer Science Degree Worth Getting Anymore?

I think Andy is complaining about the bad CS degree mills that I've run into. I am definitely in the camp that a CS degree should be *harder* to get. That said, we should probably re-evaluate our interview process as an industry. Instead of grilling a kid on if he has skill X ... we need some way to determine if they are smart, competent, and motivated.

If you can't attract smart, competent, and motivated people ... maybe you need to re-examine your organisation.

Comment: Re:enormous battery FTW (Score 1) 281

by Zarf (#38972451) Attached to: 4G Phones Are Really Fast — At Draining Batteries

Now that you mention it, I *can* hang around for DAYS on wifi. My record so far is two and a half *days* on wifi. But, I usually use the phone as a mobile computer while traveling. In those situations it's a little TV for around 4 to 5 hours and it's a phone for 2 to 4 hours during lay overs and while navigating airports. For several hours before and after, it's a GPS... but it gets to be plugged into a car during those times.

Comment: Pandora|ONE (Score 1) 315

by Zarf (#34765060) Attached to: I would pay ___ monthly for a good online newspaper/magazine

I don't know how effective a marketing ploy it would be for the general population but the Pandora versus Pandora|ONE marketing trick worked on me.

If you don't know, Pandora works like this: you get a certain amount of "radio" for free with advertisements. If you want more than that amount (something like 40 hours a month or so I think) then you can elect to pay $30 a year for unlimited commercial free "radio".

If there was a service that delivered premium news content like that ... say allowing 10 stories a month free but charging $24 a year for unlimited ... I might pay for it if I really liked the service.

Comment: 3D in the lab caused me headaches (Score 1) 229

by Zarf (#34712562) Attached to: Nintendo Warns 3D Games Can Ruin Children's Eyes

I remember when I was in grad school 10 years ago the experimental 3D systems would give me horrible headaches after a few hours of use. I remember thinking that if we shipped 3D systems like those to average consumers it would be a disaster. Other grad students reported vertigo and one even vomited after an extended session.

The saving grace of these systems might be that they aren't fully immersive so you would avoid the vertigo we felt standing inside the CAVE. The headaches came from the shutter systems we used. I'm glad 3D in theaters today uses some sort of polarized light these are much more pleasant to look at.

I think as long as 3D remains a "treat" instead of a default experience we'll be okay. The fact remains that no matter what the system used to produce 3D illusions on 2D surfaces we are ultimately causing a pair of binocular eyes to see objects that are not there. Seeing things that aren't there just sounds bad for you.

Comment: Re:Send me a great idea and I'll program it (Score 1) 735

by Zarf (#34460554) Attached to: 'I Just Need a Programmer'

I put forward the same offer (and I'm not anonymous) with the caveat that I get a major share of the corporation built around the idea I select.

Just remember who will have the power in our working relationship. Me. You can't make your idea real. I can.

By way of analogy...
I already have the sword. Your idea might be for a gun. Last I checked, a real sword beats and imaginary gun.

If someone can truly send me a great idea that 'just needs a programmer', I will commit to writing the code. Out of the hundreds of 'ideas' that I get pitched 99% of them are already done (and often better than their plans), the 'idea owners' haven't even taken the time to review the market. Additionally, rarely does an 'idea' just need a programmer, it typically needs lots of capital to get over the hump of turning and idea into reality.

If your idea can pass a few simple questions
- How large is the potential market?
- Has this idea been done before, what makes it unique? It is patented, patentable?
- What have you invested in it?

My offer stands.

Comment: Re:Reversal. (Score 1) 735

by Zarf (#34460346) Attached to: 'I Just Need a Programmer'

Yes, a lot of self-described "idea guys" have lousy ideas and aren't interested in details like programming. Is perhaps the thesis here that idea guys can be taught to program, but mere programmers can't be taught to have ideas? Because that's a bit insulting.

Very insightful. Somehow, I had missed the implicit insult. However, I think the insult was accidental. The author is trying to convince these oh-so-bright "idea guys" that they are oh-so-bright and can make their ideas come true themselves. The desired effect is these oh-so-bright "idea guys" will discover just how outlandish it is to think that three inexperienced graduate students could recreate all the functionality of Windows 7 using Javascript and HTML5.

The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of bean counters. -- Alan Kay

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