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Comment Re:Well... (Score 2) 168 168

I would say this is often true in the real world, but it shouldn't be true if things are really written using best practices. A true, well-written object-oriented design comprised of small, isolated pieces of encapsulated logic, ideally paired with comprehensive unit tests, should prevent the kind of subtle problems you describe. The unfortunate reality, however, is that in many professional settings such careful practices are often ignored or only partially followed, undermining the benefits they are supposed to provide.

Comment Re:Common sense (Score 5, Insightful) 72 72

You're right, it is common sense. My initial reaction to this was the same as yours. That said, it's very useful to verify common sense scientifically, because it's amazing how often common sense proves to be wrong when formally tested. Take nothing on faith, not even (and perhaps especially) the obvious.

Comment Re:Presidential pardon (Score 1) 351 351

You do know we're talking about Snowden here, right? The one who actually took the time to sift through and prepare the data, just sharing elements of it that really show USA wrongdoing and carefully timing it for maximum impact? Not Manning? Just what did he release that caused more bad than good? Or perhaps your definition of "bad" is "makes the US look bad even if they're violating the constitutional rights of their citizens". Just who or what do you think you're talking about, exactly?

Comment Re:Or maybe the young folks just hate meetings? (Score 1) 453 453

Not all meetings are created equal. If I can provide an alternative to your closing sentence... "Meeting can and should be about collaboration, with group participation, and getting something done. If you can not get that out of a meeting, fire the participants or reconsider why the meeting was called in the first place."

Comment Re:Steve jobs says: (Score 1) 311 311

I actually kind of agree with your joking sentiment... GPS instructions should be taken with a grain of salt. I've had my Tom Tom tell me to drive off a cliff before (really, it said "turn left", left was a sheer drop), but I didn't listen to it. Pretty sure if I were told to drive onto a runway I'd engage my brain and reroute myself.

Comment Re:Illusion of privacy (Score 1) 224 224

I consider any machine I don't control unsafe, especially servers run by any corporation. Machines I do control are still suspect. At this point the only guarantee is the one that the government has long known to be the best option... air gap. Even that isn't 100%, as evidenced by ip/thumbdrive as with stuxnet, but it's the only way you can consider something private.

Comment Re:"Brilliant"? Hardly (Score 1) 743 743

The fact that the "former official" does not seem to realize this does not lead us to conclude that Snowden was brilliant... but rather that the mentioned official was anything but.

It doesn't show that the official is anything but... it shows that the official believes the American public is anything but.

Comment Hmm (Score 5, Insightful) 214 214

Yes and no, I think.

On the one hand, it is a good thing to prevent yourself from constrained thinking. I work with someone who thinks exclusively in design patterns; it leads to some solid code, in many cases, but it's also sometimes a detriment to his work (overcomplicated designs, patterns used for the sake of patterns).

Unlearning all we have figured out in computer science is silly, though. Use the patterns and knowledge we've spend years honing, but use them as tools and not as crutches. I think as long as you look at something and accurately determine that a known pattern/language/approach is a near-optimal way to solve it, that's a good application of that pattern/language/approach. If you're cramming a solution into a pattern, though, or only using a language because it's your hammer and everything looks like a nail to you, that's bad.

If all else fails, lower your standards.

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