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Comment: Re:The book is always better than the movie (Score 1) 50

by ebyrob (#47349519) Attached to: Visualizing Algorithms

> Once you get familiar with the tools to make these kinds of visualizations, it can become very straightforward to develop one for your specific use case.

That's the thing, we need a Visualization for Understanding 101 class in comp-sci or something similar.

I guess I had scientific modeling in physics as part of EE but over half the focus was on how to gather/deal with the physicalities of real-world data, which isn't so important when you're modeling something which lives inside a computer to begin with.

Sure, various senior projects etc require a presentation, but generally that's a "sink or swim" kind of thing rather than help and practice building tools for presenting esoteric information in an illustrative manner.

Note: I thought it was obvious reading digital output as analog (or merely hooking together input to output on two sensitive instruments) is always going to cause a lot of artifacts and distortion. You don't chain 2 microscopes together and expect to get twice the magnification with no problems...

Comment: Re:Pretty, but misleading. (Score 1) 50

by ebyrob (#47332883) Attached to: Visualizing Algorithms

Hmm... Get much performance out of your systems that way? Procedural methods have a time and place, and have given us most of what we have now. Functional methods have given us... A pale, slow, anemic cousin of what procedural has done? (that can't fail in-theory, much like the titanic...)

Honestly, garbage collection did way more for the industry than any other sea-change... Here, was some scut work we could freely let the computer do completely for us. (At least when any kind of hard time-keeping doesn't matter)

I don't see how NOT understanding how computers work is going to make them better. Seriously. (I mean, if you want to skip steps from the design cycle, why not simply use genetic algorithms to implement everything, then you don't need design either and can go strait from requirements to testing and don't need to worry about anything else.)

Comment: Re:Visualize (Score 1) 50

by ebyrob (#47332695) Attached to: Visualizing Algorithms

I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm definitely this way. When I get to work in the morning I return to the massive subjective machano-city in my head where the repository lives and plug it in to the objective reality that is Mercurial. Much of bug-fixing is ferreting out the differences between the two. Reading code is removing the fog of the unknown in my head and writing is creating new streets, buildings, and even neighborhoods. (Well... You could hardly call it something so terrestrial, more like cogs of motility and points of inflection or something even more abstract but you already have the idea.)

Comment: Re:The book is always better than the movie (Score 2) 50

by ebyrob (#47332631) Attached to: Visualizing Algorithms

Actually, after reading the article, I'd call what he's doing extremely good basic engineering and model design/view. It's very cool for the problems he presents, but looks like a ton of work. To be generally useful, it seems he'd have to come up with rules of thumb and generalizations for what it is typically important to see/understand in a given algorithm and a way to identify *what* to model/visualize that isn't completely subjective.

He appears to make some great subjective decisions on what/how to do things, the problem in general is many developers are poor in certain subjective areas. The real gem will be how to reduce some of the less useful subjectivity and turn it into things that are more objective and better subjectively through practice of useful rules and guidelines.

Consuming this stuff is really just letting another engineer do the heavy lifting FOR you. ... like watching a movie and letting Hollywood do the imagining FOR you...

I mean, this is a great movie, don't get me wrong, I'm just glad I read the book first.

Comment: Re:change the secnario (Score 1) 50

by ebyrob (#47332545) Attached to: Visualizing Algorithms

It's ironic you post this on this particular article. It highlights how the placement of receptors in your eye effects how you see the world. What makes you think your own in-built bias (apparently culture-jamming) is any less than anyone else?

I drive many other programmer's batty because when they ask me for help the first thing I do is "survey the scene", the code surrounding their point of interest, rather than listen to anything they think or *know* about what is happening. Once I have my bearings, and a basic outlook of the subject matter, I'll hear them out. It may seem 5 minutes wasted, but I've solved many 4 hour problems in 10 minutes this way.

What makes you think I treat the media any differently?

Comment: The book is always better than the movie (Score 1) 50

by ebyrob (#47332247) Attached to: Visualizing Algorithms

I'm sure this is fun cool stuff to play with but... I'm pretty sure my imagination is still better than what a computer screen can show me. "Playing computer" is one of the first practices most new programmers learn, and if you're good at it, it is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal.

Here's hoping "kids these days" don't skip out on the importance of programmer's imagination over these new fangled tools.

Comment: Re:Wealth Inequality in America (Score 1) 1040

by Catiline (#47158709) Attached to: Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage
Please don't confuse "wealth" (i.e. cars, homes, and other assets) with "income" (i.e. wages and salaries). In fact, your video even illustrates this about 4:40 in: the top "1 percent" have 40% of the wealth and 24% of the income. Hell, even if the video producer hadn't done so, there's a reasonable shot the surveyed individuals did.

Or, if you'd prefer a video response, I found this one: "I'll just leave this here" indeed.

Comment: Re:Real problem but wrong solution (Score 1) 187

by ebyrob (#46998583) Attached to: Do Embedded Systems Need a Time To Die?


These things need to be built robust and secure in the first place or no amount of "remote management" is going to fix the problem.

Why is it so impossible that a product could be created and released, and still perfectly functional after 10 years with no need of a single software upgrade? Because we have no quality control of any value in the software industry. If a car (or worse airplane) suddenly died because it was 5 years old, the manufacturer would be out of business in a week.

Comment: Re:Can't Tell Them Apart (Score 1) 466

That sounds solid for a "take home" test, but I wouldn't trust that for an interview (it's too easy to get an answer from some website instead of doing the work), and as others have stated before me it seems far too hard for use in a live code exercise. (I consider myself quite the math geek, but never bothered to memorizing formulas for pi.) Personally, I've always preferred some variation on the simpler "fizzbuzz" test, like asking candidates to write the C library strcpy function, or a function to calculate m-of-n boolean logic (given n logic tests, write a function that returns true when at least m items are true). These tests actually allow you to check a candidate for several desired attributes at once:
  • Ability to read and follow a specification. For instance, for "fizzbuzz" will the candidate remember to print the numbers which fail both modulo tests, and not print the number when one of these test succeeds?
  • Familiarity with language of choice/test. The second example, as given, would require one to cold-recall the order of arguments (and return value) to a very common library function; properly coding the boolean logic example requires writing a variadic function.
  • Coding practices and problem solving skills. A test with multiple solutions (or at least, seeming to support multiple solutions) allows you to see the candidate's thought process.

As the parent poster stated: you probably can pass this sort of test and only be a 40%-skill programmer, and many 90%-skill programmers would fail at least one of the above tests. However, the how and why candidates 'fail' (did you ask for clarification, or just rush in? Did you mis-read the requirements, or not think the problem through? Does your code contain a fencepost error?) is just as revealing of desired skill set as any 'success'.

Comment: Re:BTC (Score 2) 548

by Catiline (#46906889) Attached to: Reason Suggests DoJ Closing Porn Stars' Bank Accounts
While that is the route the DoJ is currently pursuing, I'm pretty sure that they will find it rather impotent:

KYC rules require money-related services to be able to identify all their customers, and self report ‘suspicious activity’ that can be signs of anything from money laundering to terrorist financing. In the traditional financial sector, this makes money laundering much more difficult (although nowhere near impossible). This is because, in order to interact with the modern financial system and transmit money electronically, you need to use a third-party service such as a bank, which are easy points of regulation.

However, with bitcoin it’s an entirely different story. No one needs a third-party service to own, spend, or send bitcoins anywhere in the world. All that is needed is an open-source wallet, of which there are plenty available to download. ... The real problem is whether governments will accept this new reality and plan appropriately, or continue to fight it. Regulatory bodies can’t fit bitcoin into current regulatory framework. The two are simply not compatible, and that has nothing to do with any libertarian sentiments in the community. It’s fact.

The degree of oversight government now has in the traditional payments arena is impossible to replicate with bitcoin...

Source: Why Know-Your-Customer rules won't work with Bitcoin

So unless the DoJ wants to argue that is a "financial service" company merely for accepting Bitcoin, or that the businesses which do convert Bitcoin into traditional currency need to implement some sort of "Know Your Customer's Customers" third party regulation, the tightening of existing regulation will have virtually zero effect.

To understand a program you must become both the machine and the program.