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Comment So basically a text book? (Score 1) 89

So basically they are just giving them a text book in video form? People are going to pay tuition for this? Does this actually count as a degree in this modern world? I mean the whole value of the education was the ability to ask questions when you didn't understand things, and the interactive coursework. If you don't have that, it's just a self study certification at that point. The sad thing is I am going to have to work with the products of this 'education' system here in the near future. It's already bad enough....

Comment Re:Women who want to do it are doing it (Score 2) 185

You do realize that those of us who got into tech were not exactly popular in the guys department either, right? I mean in highschool it was not the computer club guys getting the dates to the prom, it was the football jocks and such. I got into tech despite the many, many social pressures against being a smart kid. This is true for both genders in America. So don't believe that some magical boys club is promoting up our youth in this industry. The entire pressure in high school for both genders was to shut up, be stupid, and fit right in.

Sports are cool, math is for nerds is what society pushes. Both genders get this until college, and even then the girls didn't want to date the comp sci guys and went for the hockey players. I stuck with it despite all of this, and I don't expect that to change any time soon.

Comment Not the reality of software development (Score 5, Insightful) 185

OK, I've worked in the industry for a very long time now, and it can be 'fun' for the few bits where you actually get to prototype or work on the bulk of the features. That takes 10 percent of the time. The rest of the time you are going to be trying to find obscure bugs, introduced by crappy programmers rushing to get features out. Meanwhile you will be micro-managed through the 'agile' process asking you to account for every hour of your time. Then we will throw ill defined features at you, and expect them to be done within this two week time period, and be shocked when you reach the end of two weeks, and they are not done. This is usually due to the fact that meanwhile 16 support tickets were also thrown at you that are all critical in nature. Then you have those late night calls with your Indian counter parts that you can barely understand or stay awake for. But it is fun!

I don't know what planet these people live on. It is a tough career with crazy deadlines and weird policies. You have to constantly keep up on the latest trends, or you will be viewed as 'too old' for the job. Meanwhile, computers never sleep, nor do they expect you to. You have to push back constantly to maintain your personal time.

That said, I love computers. I love programming. I just don't love the industry as it is now. There is a reason that most women don't want in. They may in fact be much smarter than men in this regards.

Comment Re:Using computers != Computer Science (Score 1) 179

Actually you can often repair TVs these days.... Number one thing that fails in them is the power supply and that is really easy to fix. Second most common, a bad capacitor. Once got a 'broken' LCD tv and it was an internal fuse that was gone. Five minutes with a soldering iron and fixed. Just because you believe they can't be fixed, or paying someone is not worth the money to fix them as there is so much cheap Chinese junk on the market, does not mean they can't be fixed. You just don't know how is all. I fix stuff all the time that is 'broken' in minutes. Take a look at the maker movement and learn something...

That said, it is an analogy. You clearly understood it, so that worked too!

Comment Using computers != Computer Science (Score 5, Insightful) 179

I really wish that people would realize there is a big difference from using an app on a tablet or coding up a web page with some javascript to actual computer science. Computer science involves math, design, understanding memory usage, computer architecture, and much more. It is not just hacking out some code. You are not teaching pre-schoolers computer science. Nor are you teaching elementary school children that either.

That said, you should be teaching them basic algebra and logic skills that will be very applicable to many things in life. Absolutely teach them how to use a computer. All kinds of things can be done with that. Don't claim you are teaching them computer science.

I guess it really annoys me because it is like saying a TV repair man is an electrical engineer. Heck, that one is at least slightly closer than calling making a web page being a computer scientist....

Comment Cat 6 Wire (Score 1) 557

Biggest regret I have in my home is not having Cat 6, dual runs to every single room at a minimum. Punched down to a proper patch panel in a room somewhere you can stick servers. Cat 6 should last quite a while, and give you all sorts of possibilities. Wifi sucks, and should just be for portable devices. Copper will always carry more. Cat 6 allows the 1 gig of today, plus the higher speeds coming.

Then, I would also do in ceiling wifi with something like ubiquiti stuff (I did add that in since then) with their own copper runs and all linked together to provide seamless wifi. I have this now including outside access points.

With that, I think you will have infrastructure (given the ability to do POE) to do almost anything you want. I would skip home automation stuff as most of it is immature and changing standards. Most of it just ends up as 'gee whiz' stuff anyways. Only exception to that is a net controllable thermostat.

Comment Wrote POS System Software (Score 4, Interesting) 90

I actually had a job for a couple of years designing 'advanced' POS system software based on the industry standards. The items that the retailers considered 'advanced' just amazed me. They seemed like basic items to me. That said, it is almost impossible to protect against this until they changed the coupon codes to something like QR codes that they could digitally sign. The current standard was made long time ago and is very limited in the amount of information it can carry.

/ This is a simple standard anyone can google that shows exactly how these bar codes are laid out. I used that myself when implementing that section of code. Why anyone would pay for it is beyond me. At the end of the day, the retailers know there is going to be some fraud on this. They have switched to all of these automated checkout systems to save money on cashiers, who would likely catch this sort of thing, so I don't really feel sorry for them at all. They have made that trade.

That said, there are some safeguards in there. If your coupon total is unusually high, your checkout will lock up and require approval from the person watching up front. So anything outrageous will likely be caught. Also, you better pay with cash, as the transaction is all tied together to your card. Also, don't use a loyalty program. So at the end of the day is all that hassle worth it to maybe save a couple of dollars? Conversely, though, I guess the checkers care less and less every day as they get replaced by machines and probably just hit the 'ok' button most of the time, and the retailers eat it as just cost of doing business.

Myself, I would not suggest it as it is punishable by law. It is worth going to jail to save a relative few dollars off your bill?

Comment Re:The title game (Score 1) 124

Simple then, let them do it anywhere else then and try and compete. Don't allow the companies here to bring people in from overseas to work here at deflated wages and with strong ties to a single company at the workers disadvantage. Let them do it at some other spot then, and try to compete with others working onshore in the US. Big difference between that and the H1B program. Like it or not, countries all over the world have immigration laws to avoid flooding their countries with people. Ever try to work in Mexico as a US citizen, or own some property? It's not just the USA that does this. Again, if there is a shortage then allow an increase in Visas for the US as a temporary FREE worker competing evenly on every level. Then it is a fair game.

Comment Missing the point, many things ARE low voltage (Score 1) 597

I think the article is also talking about the fact that so many things are running low voltage today (and low amperage) that we are constantly throwing away energy in a solar situation to convert them back and forth. I have an off grid cabin where there are zero power lines as an option. Everything was originally designed for a generator. When I first put solar in, an inverter was a must to run a lot of things. My efficiency sucked, and I would have to budget power all of the time. Since then, I have switched to all LED bulbs. I put in a 12v dc stereo, and a 12v dc tv/dvd player. Additionally, I installed a car 12v DC to multi port USB charger. All of my music and movies run off a windows tablet running XBMC off of that USB hub. The fridge is 12v DC. The water is run off a 12v RV pump. Basically, I can do everything with no conversion from DC to AC to DC. There was an amazing amount of stuff that was either doing this through wall warts or internally in the device itself. That is all wasted electricity. The net result, I can run all of the stuff, all of the time, with the same number of panels. Amazing returns. I don't think anyone should be talking about switching high amperage devices over to DC. I left an AC line (and the inverter) in for that. But instead I have parallel low voltage AND low amperage DC lines for all of the stuff we use day to day. That would be the big gain in a solar home.

Comment The title game (Score 5, Insightful) 124

You can clearly see the way the companies are manipulating the system. Don't hire them as 'engineers', but as 'technology leads' then make up a low salary for them. No, the salary is not minimum wage as posted above, but it is half of what you would have to pay a standard software engineer, and you have their loyalty as it is a hassle to switch jobs. Yes, some companies appear to be above board, but is Google really only paying their software developers 123,000 in Silicon Valley? That seems low for that place. And yes, these salaries look big until you consider where they are. They are pulling salaries from the biggest companies in the most expensive places. Anyone looked into the data yet and see what the consulting sweat shops are paying/claiming? Again, tax the heck out of H1Bs and if there really aren't any engineers available in the US these companies will be happy to pay the penalty. Or better yet, untie H1Bs from a company, make it a 2 year visa, and let them go wherever they want. My guess is the companies will not be so hot on using H1B labor at that point.

Comment Manufacturing Data (Score 1) 100

Something as simple as manufacturing data far eclipses this number every day. Think of every screw from every supplier in every product. Then tracking the reliability of this product through the entire lifecycle with self diagnostic tests. No, this is not for your toy made in china, but when it comes to real top end products that HAVE to work, then you need this kind of data to figure out what went wrong and fix it fast. That could save your company millions. No, making your latest dot bomb app does not need this, but there are many places that do. Also check out financial apps like credit fraud, insurance, etc.

Comment Stream/Wx Sensors (Score 1) 403

These things are all over and in remote areas. They are solar powered, and designed to be left alone for long periods of time. They are built such that they can go down at night if the battery dies, and come back to life with the sun. So as long as the sun shines, these things will keep sending their data. I would bet they would just keep quietly ticking on for a very very long time.

Comment Big Data and Data Science (Score 1) 420

I have been a programmer for over 30 years now. The best way to keep your job is to jump on the hard technologies that real industry is doing, not the latest dot bomb thing. That stuff goes to India or Costa Rica. Manufacturing needs big data to reduce production costs. Marketing needs it as well. It is hard stuff you can't just hack out, and you need practical math. The clients also expect good communication skills and don't mind grey hair. I think being a data engineer is going to hold out against large scale offshoring for awhile. That is my bet, anyways, and I have managed to stay at the forefront for quite a few years. Also, get the heck out of Silicon Valley. Go to America's offshoring places. I am in Utah, and get paid much less but can buy so much more. My cost of living is fractional of CA. We are America's India and business is booming.

We can predict everything, except the future.