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Comment: Re:Going in circles (Score 1) 100

I'm with you. I thought Graffiti was stupid until I spent 10 minutes using it and became proficient, and then quickly became much more than proficient. Until I discovered Google's swipe keyboard for my Android phone, I regularly wished for something like Graffiti.

Comment: Why not both? (Score 2) 159

by djchristensen (#48014545) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?

Assuming your customers are technically competent, allowing them access to the bug DB for bugs that might affect how they use or deploy your system is probably a good thing. On the other hand, access by competitors to your development plans is a bad thing (it's not always good for customers to have access to that, either). I don't know if bugzilla can do it, but what you really want is a way to mark bugs as internal or external, and allow customers (those who are registered and/or have a support contract) to search and view "external" bugs. If required, your sales and marketing folks can filter which bugs go from internal to external.

Cisco is a very notable example of this approach. Just about all bugs that might be seen by a customer are made available to customers who have an account with Cisco. Bugs found during development of new features and such are not exposed. Only a subset of the bug data is made available (not necessarily a good idea to expose names of developers, for example).

Comment: Gotta give them credit... (Score 4, Insightful) 243

by djchristensen (#47916891) Attached to: AT&T Proposes Net Neutrality Compromise

Even most of the posts here seem to miss the point that they are trying to keep the argument framed in terms of particular sites like Netflix. I think if they had said something like "allow individual consumers to ask that some applications, such as streaming video , receive priority treatment over other services", then it might be a reasonable attempt at a compromise. As it is, it's a sly bit of marketing to mask the desire to extract money from direct competitors. The last thing they want is the focus to be where it should be--content providers and service providers should not be the same companies.

Comment: Re:Huge? (Score 2) 108

by djchristensen (#47713447) Attached to: World's First 3D Printed Estate Coming To New York

I moved from a very small 1250sqft house to a very large (at least by the standards of this discussion) 4400sqft house (at about 1/7 the cost per sqft). I got more than three times the house (in purely sqft terms) at less than half the cost, so I tend to think of a 2400sqft house as not particularly big, but it depends very much on where you are. I paid in other ways, though, since I had to move from the CA coast to TX to do accomplish this.

In any case, I think the reaction comes from the description of a 2400sqft house as "huge" and part of an "estate". A slightly larger than median-sized home doesn't qualify as huge in that context, although it likely qualifies in the context of 3D-printed homes.

Comment: Re:c/c++, vi/emacs, make, ddd (Score 2) 240

by djchristensen (#47589759) Attached to: Getting Back To Coding

It's interesting how so many people seem to just assume that newer tools are needed for more efficiency/productivity. Assuming the same code needs to be produced, the important part is the knowledge required to produce that code and have it be efficient and of high quality. The tools have absolutely nothing to do with that aspect of the job other than to provide a level of comfort to the developer. That's a highly personal thing and necessarily prohibits any usefulness of a "my tool is better than yours" argument.

I greatly prefer emacs over a fancy GUI IDE for the largely same reason that I would prefer to do documentation in LaTeX over Word or LibreOffice. When the tool is largely invisible (which becomes true with enough experience), I can completely focus on the *content* that I am creating. That doesn't mean that I think my way is the best way for everyone, just the best way for me. It's where my experience has taken me. Not that I haven't tried newer tools or been forced to use them from time to time, but there's a high bar for them to get over to truly improve my productivity.

My only real problem with GUI IDEs is when using them precludes not using them. While I've managed to mostly avoid the MS world throughout my career, where it has impacted me has generally been painful. The tools there tend to assume that everyone uses the same environment and make little or no accommodation for other environments. Yes, I know this is not universally true, but true enough that I will continue to avoid that world as much as possible. I can use emacs, make, and gdb on Windows, OSX, Linux, and more. Can the same be said about Visual Studio? (Running Windows in a VM is NOT a valid argument.) The rise of Linux as a common base OS in the embedded space is making this easier every day, thankfully. I'm not really trying to bash MS here, it's just a particularly easy example.

Comment: A puzzle solver (Score 1) 172

by djchristensen (#46946765) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Beginner To Intermediate Programming Projects?

I recently had to refresh my C++ skills, so I decided to write a sudoku solver. The neat thing about this particular problem is that it can be as complex as you want it to be. There are a large number of techniques available to solve increasingly difficult puzzles (check the sudoku wiki if you aren't an avid fan of sudoku), and you can implement as many of them as you want as optimizations before resorting to brute force. You can further challenge yourself by setting different requirements. For example, I tend to work in the embedded space where memory resources are not plentiful, so I focused on solutions that were memory efficient.

Comment: Re:convergence of wealth, lawyers, and arrogance (Score 2) 440

by djchristensen (#46621187) Attached to: Million Jars of Peanut Butter Dumped In New Mexico Landfill

"I've volunteered at the local food banks and base on what I've seen, Costco peanut butter is probably an upgrade to the various expired high fructose laden supermarket rejects"

The food banks I've volunteered at have very high standards and a big part of the volunteer's job is to weed out expired, leaking, or generally icky-looking packages and throw them away. I wouldn't be surprised if we threw out 25% of the stuff we inspected, especially on the frozen food line. Our instructions included something along the lines of, "if you wouldn't want it in YOUR pantry, throw it out." (It was understood, of course, that this applied to safety concerns, not palatability. As gross as I might think Lunchables are, they provide FDA-approved calories to kids who might otherwise go without.)

I know I wouldn't feed any of this peanut butter to my kids no matter how much testing it had received, so would it be morally right to feed it to the underprivileged?

Comment: Re:Case in point is worse than meaningless (Score 1) 281

by djchristensen (#46501509) Attached to: Eric Schmidt On Why College Is Still Worth It

More importantly, who thinks Zuckerberg would be where he is if he had gone to vocational school or straight to work out of high school? Not finishing college is a very different thing from not going in the first pace. I don't disagree that college is not the best choice for some, but holding up Zuckerberg as an example is just stupid.

Comment: Re:Heat related? (Score 1) 190

by djchristensen (#45491981) Attached to: Elevation Plays a Role In Memory Error Rates

That assumes that the rays tend to come down vertically. I don't know what the distribution would be, but I'd be very surprised if it was mostly vertical at any particular point on earth. So then it would depend on what the rays had to travel through to get to the memory chips. I'd further assume the computers were not exposed to the sky, so I remain skeptical of the cosmic ray explanation.

It would be easy to test though. Have a rack of servers with only the bottom one turned on. Then move that server to the top of the rack (again with the rest of the servers turned off) and compare error rates. That would eliminate heat effects (actually, it might reverse the heat effect if the server stays cooler when at the top of the rack) and allow for testing the shielding effect.

Media

Roku Finally Gets a 2D Menu System 80

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-look dept.
DeviceGuru writes "Many of us have griped for years about Roku's retro one-dimensional user interface. Finally, in conjunction with the release of the new Roku 3 model, the Linux-based media streaming player is getting a two-dimensional facelift, making it quicker and easier to access favorite channels and find new ones. Current Roku users, who will now begin suffering from UI-envy, will be glad to learn that Roku plans to push out a firmware update next month to many earlier models, including the Roku LT, Roku HD (model 2500R), Roku 2 HD, Roku 2 XD, Roku 2 XS, and Roku Streaming Stick. A short demo of the new 2D Roku menu system is available in this YouTube video."

Comment: Re:I'm not even a fan, but (Score 1) 1174

Bullshit. The US Constitution is supposed to apply to everyone equally. I'd argue that if 30 years ago "there was no right to gay marriage", then it was because the definition of "everyone" was wrong at the time. By your argument, blacks and women should still have no right to vote since the definition of "everyone" did not include blacks or women at some point in the past. It takes this country a painfully long time to release its predjudices, but at least we keep moving closer to "ereryone" really meaning everyone.

Comment: Re:I'm not even a fan, but (Score 1) 1174

The people who are against Card's politics/bigotry are not censoring his work. They are free to express their disgust and to make it clear they will not buy or sell his issue and possibly not buy other items from the publisher. The publisher then has to make a business decision as to whether or not publishing Card's issue would harm their profitability. Groups (religious and otherwise) pressure companies all the time in exactly the same way, and those companies go through exactly the same decision making process (JC Penney and Ellen Degeneres, Chick-fil-A, for example). DC has the right to decide what they publish and why.

I for one think the government needs to be OUT of the marriage racket.

The main point as far as I understand of the marriage equality movement is to gain equal recognition by the government of the rights conferred by legal marriage. It makes no sense at all to say that government needs to be "out of the marriage racket". I did not get married (to my opposite-sex spouse) in a church/Church and have no real interest in the religious aspect of marriage, but I have a significant vested interest in the legal institution of marriage. It provides numerous protections/rights for myself, my wife, and my children/heirs. I've always thought it was unfortunate that the government institution of marriage shares a name with the religious institution, which allows (in this case) religious groups to coopt the legal rights of those whom they do not agree with.

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