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Comment: Maybe because security people are dicks? (Score 4, Insightful) 150

At my nameless three letter organization, here's how security works.

"Oh, you didn't name your database server according to our specifications required by our lame monitoring tool that can't handle nonstandard system names? Rename your server. Oh, and if it breaks the database, that's your problem."

"We just patched all the servers for greater security. Too bad you can't use your software to control or monitor them anymore, but that's your problem."

"Due to a breach, everyone must change their password. Too bad it happened while you were off for a few days and needed to log in for an emergency, but that's your problem."

Security's motto: We break stuff, put ALL the burden on the users, walk away AND we get paid for it!

I don't know any other job where you can receive money for making stuff *not* work.

Comment: They need to be able to write effective English. (Score 1) 302

Most don't. Programmers tend to be particularly bad, particularly when they're trying to think up new jargon to describe their latest brainwave.

Microsoft, with it's culture rooted in 90's C++ techno-machismo is the worst. If I have to hear "Consume services" once more, I may puke. Want to download Powershell from the Microsoft site? Did you expect a file name like "Powershell 4.0 for 64-bit"? Well, peasant, screw you! You shall have decide if you want to download "Windows6.1-KB2819745-x64-MultiPkg.msu", or "Windows6.1-KB2819745-x86-MultiPkg.msu." Don't know your chip numbers? Tough luck, techno-illiterate. We expect you to keep up!

If I ran the world, every software developer on Earth would be handed a copy of this book: http://xkcd.com/thing-explaine.... Not that I think things should be written like this, but at least it would prompt the worst offenders to *think* before they wrote.

Comment: Behold! The power of capitalism and corruption! (Score 1) 87

By making drugs illegal, they become expensive and create a pool of dark money which can then be rerouted to:

1) Banks ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... )
2) Federal agencies and lobbyists ( http://www.thenation.com/artic... )
3) Three letter agencies ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... )
4) Local police ( http://my.chicagotribune.com/#... ) where traffic stops are now an entrepreneurial opportunity, as in "I had a thought about drugs, so give me all of your money."

Comment: If I hear this again, I may puke. (Score 4, Insightful) 386

If your C++ code is not good enough or Java code is painfully slow, it's not because the technology is bad - it's because you haven't learned how to use it right. That way, you won't be satisfied with Rust either, but just for some other reasons."

Gods, I wish we could force EVERY programmer to take some basic neurophysiology and at least one human factors course.

If the language is hard to use and makes it easy to make mistakes, the language design is wrong. NOT the humans. The humans, by definition *can't* be wrong. A language is like any other machine. In this case, it's purpose is to provide a highly granular interface to the system FOR HUMANS.

Machines, any machine, exist for exactly, and only one reason, to serve humans efficiently (i.e to reduce human physical and cognitive labor to a minimum while allowing them to accomplish their goals).

If a language accomplishes that, the language is well designed. If it doesn't do that due to obfuscated syntax, a lack of safety checks, over-engineering (It does so much) and under-design (What it does is almost impossible to understand and use), then the language is badly designed, and the language designers, incompetent, because they neglected to consider the human part of the system in their design.

Comment: They should, but young MBAs are idiots (Score 1) 429

by gestalt_n_pepper (#49642025) Attached to: Why Companies Should Hire Older Developers

Hire older developers, or even competent developers? That's a problem for the help. They're told to buy the cheapest labor by clueless MBAs and do their best.

Why? MBAs are idiots with degrees and high salaries. The worst kind. If it doesn't exist on a spreadsheet, and doesn't look like it'll get them next quarter's bonus, they simply don't care. Actual product development and sales mean nothing to these guys. They're looking to do something that *looks* impressive, wait for the inevitable every 18 month re-org, collect their money and leave the mess for the next guy to clean up. The next MBA fool makes it look like he's cleaning up and becomes a hero, and then gets his bonus. Win-win, from a management standpoint.

Welcome to America!

Comment: Just don't, until you get a functional biosphere. (Score 1) 156

by gestalt_n_pepper (#49633473) Attached to: NASA Will Award You $5,000 For Your Finest Mars City Idea

That's my suggestion. Biosphere 1 and 2 were both failures. We don't know enough to make sustainable closed biospheres work on Earth, much less in orbit or on Mars. When we have something that lasts 10 years, we might be on to something. Until then, practice, practice, practice... Baby steps. How about an L5 or two to start.

Comment: Congress is so *cute* thinking it has any power... (Score 1) 169

This law will somehow be magically passed. Congressmen will be bribed, blackmailed or both to make it happen. The transnational wealthy want it to happen, so it will and their little servants in congress will be brought to heel, one way or another.

Comment: As someone who's had to hire programmers... (Score 1) 425

by gestalt_n_pepper (#49620763) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

They seem to be all over the map, in good ways and bad. Geniuses who can't ever seem to finish a project. Good, solid, mediocre developers who churn out working, but unspectacular code year after year. Quite frankly, I prefer the latter. They can make you profitable. Eccentric geniuses? Not so much, and quite frankly, not worth the effort. If you feel it necessary to write a compiler in assembler, more power to you, but do it on your own time. It has no impact on our mundane, memory-inefficient, but maintainable C# apps.

Comment: Re:Biodiesel (Score 1) 486

'Low-head nondestructive hydroelectric power' isn't enough energy to provide a significant amount of power unless you're looking at powering a tiny village.

True, at the current scale. I think what all this points to is that we need better energy storage technology. Chemical storage is currently the most efficient (i.e. petroleum fuel), but in the long run, what's needed is better battery technology - something equivalent in energy density and price to petroleum. It's a tall order, but at least there's some progress.

The downside, of course, is that this isn't likely to happen soon enough to provide enough cheap power to run a global "just-in-time" supply chain. Transportation energy is the major problem, or at least it is if you don't want a lot of people to starve.

Logic doesn't apply to the real world. -- Marvin Minsky

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