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Comment: Re:First Fascist! (Score 1) 36

by fustakrakich (#49144851) Attached to: Welcome back, SlashPot (thank you failure machine samzenpus)

:-) I still give pudge points on style. But I have to admit I admire a guy who sticks to his story no matter what, like this one here. He is Bill O'Reilly. I mean, what the hell, it works! Our entire system rewards this shit. That's why they (O'Reilly, Limbaugh, whoever) make the big bucks. It is a winning formula

Anyway, I figure any time I bump into this prohibitionist bullshit, I'll have something to say about it, regardless the effect. It is just one of those evils no one should ever tolerate, no matter where it comes from. The worst part is that I naively expected better from my generation and since. Maybe now though, it looks like we have a chance to kill the beast in the parts of the world that want to call itself civilized. Gotta keep pushing against the devil.

Comment: Re:ignorant hypocrites (Score 1) 241

by dcollins (#49144477) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

...if they were familiar with that medium, then they could give you a very good estimate.

That's a keenly important conditional. My partner is a fine artist in fabric and mixed materials. She commonly has to spend weeks experimenting with new joint compounds, procedures, etc. (which can take days for one to dry to see if it works, etc.) For her next project she wants tapestry-sized plastic weaving to be glued stiff so it can be hung in space without a curtain rod. How long will it take to determine the right process? Is it even feasible? We don't know yet.

Arguably software development is more like that; you're always writing new material procedures on most new projects.

If management is asking the devs for their estimate, then how in the hell is it management fault for any of those timelines?

The last time I worked software, management took all my estimates and arbitrarily cut them in half, saying, "We're smarter than most other companies, so we can do it in half the time." Used that to close the contract with the outside client, etc.

User Journal

Journal: Well, this is a bummer

Journal by fustakrakich

So now this place wants to look like a cross between Lollipop and iOS!


Okay, it's not entirely yucky. I can zoom all the way in now and line wrap works! Yay!

Comment: After which managers toss the "bad" estimates (Score 1) 241

by msobkow (#49143587) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

My experience has been that management comes to the developers for estimates. They provide those estimates to the end users. The end users bitch, whine, and complain that they need it to be done in half that time.

Management then comes back to the dev team and tells them they've agreed to get the project done in half the time that was estimated.

Then both management and the user community bitch when their "estimates/targets" aren't met, and who is blamed for the issue?

The developers.

The developers always are to blame for computer problems, never the bad specs, the conflicting specs, the unknown variables, the use of "new technology" that some vendor flim-flammed onto the department/team, or anything or anyone else.

Screw 'em. Now that I'm retired, I'll never have to give anything more than the most vague ballpark estimate of how long it will take me to do something ever again. Instead, on my pet project, I just bullet point some of the things I intend to work on next -- and even that is subject to change. The lack of stress and the freedom to live my life according to my own whims and needs has proven an invaluable source of improvement in my "quality of life."

What a shame I've never encountered a job that would let you do that.

Comment: Re:Long story short (Score 1) 249

by werepants (#49143173) Attached to: The Case Against E-readers -- Why Digital Natives Prefer Reading On Paper

One piece of advice I heard with respect to productivity is this: Decrease the number of steps between you and good habits, increase the number of steps between you and bad habits. Take Facebook, for instance. It offers enough value to me to maintain it, but despite the subconscious urgency I feel to check it, it offers very little benefit if looked at more than once per day. Reading a book on a tablet means I am at most two button presses away. Reading a book the old-fashioned way means that I have to get up, navigate towards the nearest tablet/computer/phone, unlock it, and open the Facebook app. The inconvenience means I'm less likely to give in when a momentary impulse strikes.

There's also plenty of research to support this, and on some level it is unquestionably true. What takes more willpower: avoiding the warm chocolate chip cookies sitting on a plate in front of you, or avoiding the warm chocolate chip cookies at the store 5 miles away?

The point being, I enjoy pursuing activities with distraction minimized. Reclining with a paper book and a glass of bourbon is infinitely more relaxing than squinting at a screen and pushing buttons. My focus is maintained because the device I am holding performs a single primary function which I am singularly devoted to.

As to this question:

Do you get rid of all your phones and computers?

No, because I find these things to be very useful and often enjoyable, but they can sometimes present distractions that prevent me from doing more useful, more enjoyable things. Technology is a wonderful servant but a terrible master. A variety of strategies are out there for making sure that you aren't mastered by it, and I don't think that one kind should be more highly regarded than another.

Comment: Re:Fuck it - everyone for themselves. (Score 1) 343

by werepants (#49142381) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt

What the climate will do then is still anybody's guess, because we cannot predict climate and do not understand climate and the climate is perfectly capable of starting an ice age with CO_2 several (as many as 10 to 20) times as high as it currently is (it has done so in the past, in the Ordovician-Silurian transition).

You know what defines transition periods between eras in geology? Extinction events, typically. This particular one was the second-worst in known history. Dramatic changes in the environment are typically thought to cause these extinction events, as is the case here. So, the fact that an extreme event can counter gradual changes does not in any way lend support to your belief that global warming is not a problem. We would see sudden and dramatic cooling if we suffered an asteroid impact that clouded the atmosphere with dust - this doesn't negate that global warming is occurring, it means a dominant effect happened to counteract a more subtle and slow-acting one.

It's like saying you should quit your job and buy a lotto ticket because you know somebody who won the lottery. Just because we've seen someone become stupendously rich without effort doesn't mean that working for a paycheck is pointless. Similarly, just because we've seen a time period where the greenhouse effect was overwhelmed by dominant cooling effects doesn't mean we can count on the same thing happening and disregard CO2 levels.

There is good discussion to be had about global warming and what our response to it ought to be, but this particular example is not a valid objection.

Comment: Re:It's not just the fragmentation (Score 4, Insightful) 114

by jedidiah (#49140913) Attached to: Who's Afraid of Android Fragmentation?

Meanwhile, there is this PC platform that wiped out all of it's other bespoke competitors probably before you even touched your first computer. PCs are MUCH more diverse than Android phones. But if you started whining about "fragmentation" to PC developers they would look at you like you grew a second head.

Comment: Re:Ignorant premise (Score 1) 411

by HBI (#49139859) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

That's a particularly weak argument. You have no evidence to back this up, just an assertion. Yet the visible signs of emotion in babies and pets are well documented. You seem to be saying that if the being demonstrating emotion can't talk to act as a witness of his own emotion, then it's unprovable that they are sustaining emotion. They could be faking it to avoid being considered prey. At some future point, they figure out how to perform the same actions in the same situations for a reason, and therefore give up faking the behavior.

William of Ockham would say that you were full of baloney.

Whom the gods would destroy, they first teach BASIC.