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Comment: Re:Dale Carnegie (Score 3, Insightful) 352

by clockwise_music (#47005915) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Should Every Programmer Read?
...when the sales and marketing and pointy-haired businessmen try to manipulate you

You have entirely missed the point of the book. It is not about manipulation. It's about being genuine and being persuasive. They are different things.

I definitely agree that it is good to know when and how someone is trying to persuade you something, and it's a very valuable skill to increase your communication skills.

"as a geek type you'll likely never be able to pull it off anyway"

Resigning yourself to having bad communication is not helpful - it is possible to vastly improve your communication skills, you can do it and you should learn how.

Comment: Re:CSS variables? (Score 1) 256

by clockwise_music (#46540635) Attached to: Firefox 29 Beta Arrives With UI Overhaul And CSS3 Variables
Some more brilliant standards by w3c:

Unlike other CSS properties, custom property names are case-sensitive.

Fantastic! Let's make some things case sensitive and some things not! Genius! If you're going to introduce something new (like, you know, VARIABLES), you might as well make it break all of your existing conventions.

Now even better, here's how you define a variable:

var-my-color: #06c;

And here's how you reference it:

color: var(my-color);

Oh that makes sense. You declare it as var-name but then when referencing it you refer to it as var(name)! Wow just like that other language... ooh um... oh yeah NONE OF THEM.

Honestly this is the reason why web development is utter hell. Confusing and stupid standards that no-one bothers to stick to.

And why the hell can't I do width: 50% - 10px? What century are we living in again?

Comment: Re:Reality check (Score 3, Insightful) 413

I can't believe that $2,000,000 has already been pledged. I assume by "audiophiles".

Hey guys, 99% of mastering these days has been brickwalled. The recordings that you're buying and downloading before encoding, at the mastering stage has already had all "the nuances, the soft touches, and the ends on the echo" removed. You can't get that back. In fact, all this device will do is make these artifacts more obvious.

Getting a 30 gazillion kbps FLAC file is utterly pointless when the same data can be represented in a 320kbs mp3 file.

I can personally guarantee* (*worth nothing, not redeemable for anything) that sound studios will not start producing multiple mixes just for the audiophiles. It's just not going to happen. People do not care about this stuff and are happy with their iphones/androids, so the sound studios are not going to bother.

Comment: Re:In other words - they were doing their job (Score 5, Insightful) 133

Maybe from an American point of view this isn't such a story. But I can assure you from an Australian and Indonesian point of view this is going to be massive.

The Australian government has already received heaps of flak about phone tapping the Indonesian president's wife which was a very big deal. Indonesia were not happy. The president even took the unprecedented step of tweeting his displeasure. Then the Australian government decided it was a good idea to start towing asylum seeker boats back to Indonesia - they claimed the policy was to "turn the boats back" - turns out they've been actually towing them and going straight into Indonesian waters with our war boats. Stupid, stupid. Plus they "accidentally" did this 5 times.

And only two days ago some Aussie girl was just released early after having been locked away in an Indonesian prison for 10 years. This will have raised the Indonesians ire too. This will just give them another excuse.

In 2 hours there will be another spluttering prime minister on the TV trying to put this fire out claiming that it's nothing new, "all's fair in love and war" etc etc, but it really depends on how the Indonesians react - if the headline is "Aussie's listening to ALL our phone calls, 1.8 million keys stolen, collaborating with the US", the people will react and protest, the government will look weak in front of their people, and they will have to react.

I think there's going to be a bit of a storm about this one.

Comment: Re:Your boss is an idiot. (Score 1) 716

Having worked with a lot of software developers, I can assure you that some bugs can definitely be caused by developer incompetence. There are people who don't know the language they are coding in, people who are just plain sloppy, people who don't test their code, people who compile it and check it in, and people who only test it with "right" data. Maybe you've been lucky and only worked with great developers.

The brick wall analogy is not nonsensical. I bet there are lots of edge cases, requirement changes and mortar leaks to consider when building a wall.

Comment: Re:Tell your boss... (Score 1) 716

A builder builds a wall. A week later, bricks begin to fall out of the bottom, but he continues to build the wall higher.

There is an important question here. Did the builder know any better, and should the builder be expected to know any better?

If this is something that is clearly taught in brick laying school, and the company expects their builders to conform to the rules of bricklaying school, and the person just knowingly willingly continued on, then the builder's company "technically" should suck up the cost. This is not the client's fault.

Whether the builder is fired or has to fix it outside of hours is a completely different question. That's up to the discretion of management. If the builder had continued on their merry way knowing they were doing the wrong thing, then asking them to fix it outside of their paid hours could be a good learning opportunity. Or if it's willful negligence then maybe it's a firing issue (if the building will fall down). Of course the best way to get them to learn their lesson is to show them the impacts of their work - now everyone has to stay back and fix their shoddy work, and they won't be popular for a while :)

However, if this is something that isn't taught in bricklaying school, but is something that only a bricklayer with 5 years of experience should know, and this dude was a fresh-faced apprentice, then the company needs to ask themselves "should we have had better quality control methods to stop this problem occurring earlier?". Should he have been supervised? Should he have been doing it in the first place? Should someone have inspected his work periodically?

This is actually quite a good question and not a silly analogy.

The next step is to try to apply this to software engineering. As we all know, building a wall and fixing up a shoddily built wall is quite a different thing to fixing bugs. Most (I would hope!!!) bugs are not caused intentionally or as a result of willful negligence. If a developer is committing work that is full of bugs and other people are building on top of that work, The same analogy applies as to the builder scenario. You expect someone to work according to their level of expertise. If they don't, you better start reviewing their work more often or move them to an easier task.

Comment: Re:Checking out the beta.. (Score 1) 136

I know what you mean, but I think it would actually have the reverse effect than what you think. Not having some basic formatting tools just reduces the quality of posts - because it's harder to do decent formatting. It won't keep people away, if anything it would reduce the quality of comments, as people who don't know HTML will just post lower quality posts. I wonder if there's some good stats on this.

The best way to improve comment quality is to vote up the good comments. Not to make it more difficult to enter good comments. Look at stackoverflow. Great commenting system with a realtime preview, fantastic.

"You don't go out and kick a mad dog. If you have a mad dog with rabies, you take a gun and shoot him." -- Pat Robertson, TV Evangelist, about Muammar Kadhafy