Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:ignorant hypocrites (Score 1) 347

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.

Comment: Re:Not Censorship (Score 2) 285

by dcollins (#49119871) Attached to: Google Knocks Explicit Adult Content On Blogger From Public View

Here's your problem (and it's a common one): You are primed to jump down someone's throat if they say "1st Amendment rights!" and correct them, saying "1st Amendment rights are only about government actions", which is true. But when someone says "This is censorship!" and you go "censorship is only about government actions", that is false.

The 1st Amendment is the specific restriction on government censorship. But many other bodies can and do practice censorship -- like TV networks and now Google.

Comment: Re:Goodbye college football (Score 2) 94

by dcollins (#48961841) Attached to: What Happens When the "Sharing Economy" Meets Higher Education

This has been the dream for, like, a century now... but schools are simply not structured to permit that. Actually about 20 years ago in the USA we/they doubled-down on the issue; the phrase "tracking students" into different classes or programs by ability was effectively prohibited everywhere, and is considered inequitable, immoral, and kind of offensive to even mention in many educational circles. The standard response in recent decades is that the bright kids should spend their time group-tutoring the slower kids.

Comment: Re:Goodbye college football (Score 1) 94

by dcollins (#48961793) Attached to: What Happens When the "Sharing Economy" Meets Higher Education

The evidence is phenomenally consistent that the online self-paced stuff works great for professional people who've mastered college-level skills in reading, writing, and math... but falls on its face for people who don't have that. For example, every attempt at getting the horde of people who need algebra remediation through online course has been a disaster. UDacity tried it at San Jose state and was suspended after one semester. Community colleges in Philadelphia tried it and concluded "The failure rates were so high that it seemed almost unethical to offer the option". So I highly doubt you can replace elementary/secondary schools with this method; at that level, most student need a personal face and hand-holding through the material, especially with technical stuff like using, interpreting, and debugging online resources in the first place.

Comment: Re:No we are not them. Re:"They" is us (Score 1) 339

by dcollins (#48914649) Attached to: Davos 2015: Less Innovation, More Regulation, More Unrest. Run Away!

"Right now, the 15% capital gains tax rate is so high that it discourages middle- and lower-income people from investing..."

That seems incoherent/illogical. If they can "only" pocket 85% of the free money from investing, what, people make the decision to blow it on a new TV or car instead? And if that rate was changed by 5% or something they'd change their behavior? That's nonsense.

Comment: Re:Good news (Score 1) 422

by dcollins (#48890831) Attached to: Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts

Bullshit, and a pox on the prequel apologists. As an adult in the last decade or so I've seen all kinds of movies (et. al.) that fill me with equal enjoyment as the original Star Wars movies when I was a kid/teen. Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies, most of the Marvel superhero movies, etc., truly amazing works of wonder. But Lucas' prequels were appalling, offensive crap. Even among the original movies the standout is Empire which he didn't direct.

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.