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Comment: Re:Been happening for decades already (Score 2) 218

by fdrebin (#46132667) Attached to: FCC Wants To Trial Shift From Analog Phone Networks To Digital
Remember party lines? We got one once, by accident. Very entertaining (!). (1960's)
Phone calls to my grandparents, even in the 60's: Call their neighbors, who had an actual phone, ask them to go get grandma, call back in 1/2 an hour (This was KY, neighbors weren't that close, physically). The neighbors and my grandparents were friendly, all right - 3 pairs of their kids married each other (one of them being my mother)

Comment: Re:Hate it (Score 1) 218

by fdrebin (#46132653) Attached to: FCC Wants To Trial Shift From Analog Phone Networks To Digital

Hate to break it to you, but most phone call trunking is VoIP already.

Yes, but not precisely. The trunks are not the same VOIP that you get when you use your MagicJack or Skype (Skype works pretty well for me actually). You essentially have a digital SVC (Switched Virtual Circuit) that is indeed digitized and compressed, sliced, diced etc. but the more-or-less dedicated bandwidth is 64k. Your cell phone connection is 3k-8k at best. And latency is indeed lower because AT&T set that stuff up back in the days when they actually cared.
Disclaimer: I used to work for carriers on the backend systems, so I had to take classes on all this, but it's been 10+ years since then and this wasn't my area of expertise. So I could have details wrong but the gist of it is correct.

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 4, Insightful) 218

by fdrebin (#46132625) Attached to: FCC Wants To Trial Shift From Analog Phone Networks To Digital
<rant>

The trend away from analog for the last mile is astonishingly stupid, but I suppose inevitable. Why do I say that? What happens when your power goes out and you have Charter-crap or Comcast-shite or UVerse-dung ? You're screwed. Got POTS? You've still got a landline as long as you have at least 1 PODF (Plain Old Dumb Phone)

I've had POTS service for going on 60 years with precisely 0 failures, ever. I also have and have had a variety of cell, wimax, voip & voip-like services, and even used to demo voip and billing thereof for the carriers. Terms such as "Reliable" and "Quality of Service" don't apply. (Well, 99.9% is great until there is an actual emergency)

</rant>

And for you young smart/dumb-asses who think I'm a cranky old fart (which I am) I also still make my living writing a variety of relatively smart software - networking, complex computation algorithms, 3D graphics, etc. So I ain't your grandma (though I might have curled her toes back in the day)

Comment: Re:Too Much Documentation (Score 1) 457

by fdrebin (#42563973) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Practices Impede Developers' Productivity?

Nothing kills progress than having to create documentation that will never be read or updated.

True, but...

  1. FDA
  2. FAA
  3. ISO

etc.
In other words, certain organizations are subject to regulation, and those regulator folks like nothing more than documentation. And every t has to be crossed, i dotted, and every single reference to t has to be linked, defined, version, cross-referenced, index, you have to define how you define everything, etc.
Really just every single last thing in your world has to be defined, and it's rather difficult to get it right. Guess who's in the middle of an FDA audit?

Comment: Re:Lets put it this way (Score 1) 776

by fdrebin (#42562681) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are Timed Coding Tests Valuable?
As mentioned elsewhere, this is to weed out the pretenders. If someone is so arrogant as to refuse to answer even basic questions, I don't want to work with them.
I've been interviewing a fair number of candidates. I usually start with "write a command line program to sum the command line arguments and print it out". If they don't remember how to call main() - not that uncommon - I change it to "write a function" where the arguments look like what main() would take.
Think of it as a tree - I ask a question, the answer defines which branch I'll follow next. I do NOT have an array of 20 trivial questions - if you can answer 1 or 2 of them, I'll move on to the next level so as not to waste my time, or the interviewee's. I would say that if you've proven yourself to be competent at a certain level,move on to the next level. If not, I'll ask a few more questions at the same level to see if I've just hit an odd hole in your knowledge, hoping to not discard an otherwise good candidate.

One guy I asked to answer the aforementioned question said "give me a day or two to research it and I'll be able to do it". This guy had a masters degree in EE and CS. THAT is why you get these silly questions.

I had an interview with Cricket Wireless a few years ago, and they asked me questions about the differences between SQL Server 2005 and 2008. I had said on my resume that I had experience with 2000 and 2005 but not 2008. I reiterated to them in the interview that I didn't know squat about 2008. The STILL kept asking me 2005-2008 difference and feature questions. I decided I didn't want to work with such boneheaded, narrow minded people. I think the feeling was mutual. I know a guy who had done some consulting work for them, he said that my boneheaded, narrow-minded view was pretty much on the mark.

We just hired a lady who hadn't programmed in years, couldn't correctly write much immediate code - but she was able to accurately describe what to do and how to do it, and demonstrated a strong understanding of the fundamentals, algorithms, data structures etc. We felt that we could afford to help knock off the rust. So far she's working out great.

We also hired an adjunct college prof. She is so arrogant that we get constant constant complaints about working with her. She knows her stuff technically, but no one can stand her. Interestingly, she interviewed great. You just never know.

Comment: Re:Oh I just love (Score 1) 475

by fdrebin (#41939877) Attached to: On Daylight Savings Time:
This.

I have it big time, due to a minor brain injury in my yourh, which also caused a wee bit of epilepsy.

The bright side, such as it is, is that jet lag means nothing to me!

The down side is as MozeeToby says, it's a royal pain trying to be coherent at the same time as most other folk. And very very painful/tiresome when you go days with little to no sleep.

I'd be happy to have a consistent wake/sleep time for some period, but it doesn't happen much. (But I do have a good excuse for having a cot in my office; it helps having a considerate employer) My physician says "take your meds at consistent times each day". I can only laugh at that one.

Comment: Re:But that's not the real problem. (Score 1) 1651

by fdrebin (#41525719) Attached to: To Encourage Biking, Lose the Helmets

The highway code explicitly says it's OK to ride bicycles two-abreast.

That's funny, the laws in virtually every jurisdiction I've ridden in - WI, IN, IL,GA,MO,CO,OH - pretty much all say ride single file. It could well be that according to state law it's OK to ride side-by-side in absence of traffic, but local regulations add additional restrictions. However if you're on a single lane road, a car is approaching from behind, and you're riding two-abreast, you're just an asshole.

Like any group, cyclists have great people, total assholes, and everything in between.

Comment: Re:Why are people still using this? (Score 1) 367

by fdrebin (#41179831) Attached to: Polish Researcher: Oracle Knew For Months About Java Zero-Day
I agree with AC who said it is possible to write beautiful, maintainable perl. I have done so, and worked on a team of 6 writing nothing but perl for 2 years, and our code was as clean or cleaner than most of the C & C++ I've been involved with over the past few decades

I will also agree that it is also possible to write perl that is practically indistinguishable from line noise. It just takes discipline.

/F

Comment: Re:Junk food is the problem (Score 1) 655

by fdrebin (#40018043) Attached to: The Mathematics of Obesity
Sadly, not always true.
I am substantially overweight.

I eat 1200 calories a day, or less. I exercise intensely ~90 minutes a day (bicycle to work and back with 500+ ft elevation change each way(rolling hills)). At that level I maintain weight.

To lose weight I have to go to below 1000 calories and increase the exercise.

BTW my diet does not include processed foods such as bread or pasta or donuts, nor does it include relatively high carb content foods like potatoes. (Try getting fast food. HA!)

My diet is principally fresh vegetables and fruit, some protein source (small amounts of meat or eggs). Nothing out of a can or a package

Agreed, though, that calories alone do not tell the tale.

Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly. -- Henry Spencer

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