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Comment Re:Blindfold Anyone? (Score 1) 151

A relative's son was also diagnosed with "lazy eye" and got the eye patch and exercises. However, he also was a bit lazy doing those. The solution was to provide him with an air rifle fitted with a collimator sight (requires both eyes looking at the same spot to aim) - of course together with strict safety/responsibility training. Seems to have done the trick. As a side effect, the pre-teen lad has gradually been introduced to "real" fire arms, and is now one of the best shots at his dad's shooting club even in competition with adults. Seems that the self-esteem from a "real" accomplishment is valuable: he is on the quiet side but happy and confident, not cocky or moody, seems not having any need to prove anything.

Comment Career advancement (Score 2) 446

Looking back at a few previous employers, I could just shake my head at the practical test one had to perform as part of the interview process, but which tested skills (Java programming) not related to anything one actually did on the job. After some months on the job, you realize that to stay current, you will either need to do a lot of reading (hahaha - those play examples seldom scratch deeper than the surface of some of the stuff needed for actual worthwhile enterprise stuff) or work somewhere else (hahaha - it is likely that you will find out only some time after the interviews that this shop is actually more of the same old).

* EJBs? You mean that pesky indirection shell that we have between our back-end and our front-end (containing all logic, including anything resembling business rules), just because somebody read that one has to have a three-tier-architecture?

* Concurrency? Apart from all the application server constructs that all but hide that, never seen something like that used in the last decade or so.

* Streams, Lambdas, generics, foreach loops? You mean to tell me you actually got around to upgrading your "tried and tested" application server that "just works" to a recent version?

* Unit tests? Documentation? You mean like all that legacy outsource-generated drivel masquerading as code is so generously endowed with?

And come on, those things are still fairly run of the mill... As I passed the weeks doing freshman-level hacking at my new employer (spoken about in awe and envy even by recruiters who didn't try to place my there, and the company that tried very hard to have some sort of googlesque atmosphere by giving out free snacks, having generous free-drinks parties, and a conspicuous social media campaign extolling themselves as an employer of choice) only my frustration (and waistline) grew...

I think one of the best things an employer can do is make it's employees more employable (by exposure to practical experience, not theoretical learning only). As paradoxical as that may sound, that would probably make me less inclined to leave their employ. (But I'm only speaking for myself.)

Comment Abstract thinking (Score 1) 589

Most commenters here seem concerned with calculations needed to be done while constructing some software (usually not very much). I think that is maybe the wrong level of thinking about the post.

One of the fundamental skills needed when programming involves abstract thinking: generalizing algorithms (very basic example: not only detecting the maximum of two ints, but also the maximum when you have 0, 1, or many ints - or any numeric type for that matter). For this you need to be able to recognize patterns - one many levels, not only for a variable number of items, but certain code constructs, all the way up to architectural constructs. (Between a function taking a variable amount of input, and Go4 patterns, there is a range of issues where you might become a much faster/less error-prone programmer if you start constructing utility functions, use generics/streams/lambda functions etc.) Then there is induction ( [correctness of] later results depending on preceding results).

I believe a lot of these are similar to the disciplines one needs to perform formal algebra, trigonometry, logic, discrete maths, etc. To be sure, mathematics never was my favourite subject, and perhaps one should spend more time thinking about the similarities between programming and maths to make a more rigorous argument and much less "gut-feely" than the previous paragraph. However, I feel that the 3 years of maths training I went through at college was not wasted, even if I never consciously employ any of the concrete fields of study in my job.

In the same vein, one could also argue that music and maths have similar interplays, e.g. the similarity and differences of "themes" as found especially in classical music, relationships between various pitches, and more. Then there is the concept of concurrency once you start to move beyond a simple melody line....

In short, I'd certainly recommend formal training in mathematics, as well as at least some music beyond being a consumer, to anyone wanting to become a programmer.

Comment Melatonin (Score 3, Interesting) 85

Interested people might want to go read up on melatonin: how it is produced most effectively, and what its effects are on health. Obviously, it is an area that still requires a lot of study to be conclusive, but I suspect that this hormone plays a large part in the effect demonstrated in this study.

Comment Re:A simple solution (Score 1) 214

And the simple solution to that, from the terrorist point of view, is just to use either a willing suicide bomber (there seem to be plenty of those) or an unknowing patsy.

I'd guess for a first try, I'd put a suitably bound large dog or pig in the passenger seat.

Oh wait, I think I might have just restated your suggestion.

Comment Why is this an issue? (Score 1) 698

In an idealist world, a person would be allowed to own machinery of whatever type.

Killed someone? Then a court gets to decide if it was a justified killing or not. Justified killings usually involve self-defense, or as one of the parties in a war.

The means used for the killing should not be subject to law, whether an unlawfully possessed firearm, or even a makeshift dagger made out of a broken bottle. The idea is to sanction the act of unlawful killing. If one prone to kill unlawfully can not get his/her paws on a firearm made from unobtainium, a baseball bat may be substituted, and where would that leave the Holy Sport? What about a naturally-occurring stone conveniently situated by mother nature - are we now going to remove all rocks larger than 2 inch diameter from a jurisdiction? So you rather try to control the action (with the assumption that it sprouted out of free will/willful choice), instead of an inanimate, free-will-less, self-unaware object/machine.

So I guess the above principle is much too short and full of common sense to ever be implemented rigorously. (And yes, I do know that there are nuances to it even if applied as set out above.) My excuse: IANAL.

Comment Re:Roomba technology (Score 1) 114

Sorry for replying to myself. LG was around 1/5 the price of the Kärcher.

My take is that the issue isn't with the machine's "brainpower" (a simple random pattern will do, albeit take longer). It is the actual sucking hardware that needs to not suck (oops for the pun). Anything round or rotating is bad at cleaning square corners and around many objects - you need something that goes right to the edge. You also need to have something robust enough to be able to handle sand, grit, stones and other small objects that may lay around undetected, and be strong enough to pick them up.

Comment Re:Roomba technology (Score 1) 114

First robvac was a Kärcher (same model was sold under Siemens name but not in my locale). Solid machine, basic random-pattern algorithm. Did a stellar job until /something/ fried it's motherboard. Deemed it too expensive to fix.

Then got an LG. Worked fairly well, but could apparently not determine the height of the "ceiling" it works under - goes under bed, got stuck there. A bit flimsy, broke while still under warranty, so just asked my money back.

So I went back to the manual process. I've been living in a house with tiles for some while, which I simply sweep with a broom/mop thingy made from microfibres and with a lot of moppy hairs. While not perfect, it's the easiest compromise so far.

Yes, I am inherently lazy. I still would like to have a thing that goes about the same job while I do my own thing. Even spending a morning cleaning the house is a morning lost to more important things....

Comment Inside a shipping container??? (Score 2) 164

I'm looking at all those rounded space-wasting contours. And once you try to fit it inside a (rectangular) shipping container to get it to your locale, there's even more space wasted between the pod and the box.

So how about some lateral thinking: instead of buying one of these and have them shipped from Slovakia, how about buying a discarded shipping container RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE and fixing it up for living quarters? There's some nice designs floating around on the internet... Which will cost you less, probably, than purchase and shipping on one of these eggs.

Could still be moved around with comparable ease locally, and when you want to go to another state or country, sell it and start over in the new locale. Although I'm thinking that 2 x 20ft/6m containers might be more livable for my claustrophobic slightly-oversized frame.

Comment Re:World culture of being clueless about what you (Score 1) 373

Having recently flown on an airline named after a greek letter, and having sampled the output of their catering services, I am reminded that I am somewhat repulsed by the fact that you mention "nutrition" and "airlines" in the same post.

However, mentioning "airlines" and "flak" in the same sentence somewhat atones for that.

Statistics means never having to say you're certain.