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Comment: Re:Measurements (Score 1) 389

by lgw (#49624203) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

So which one is a "software development engineer"? It's all the same job, modulo seniority. Banging out code is the core of it, to be sure, but it's not what most of us spend our time doing, unless you throw in "design" and "testing" into "programming" - which is fine, but then we're back into people skills being part of it.

Comment: Re:They want to monetize it (Score 2, Interesting) 47

by Runaway1956 (#49623663) Attached to: Twitter Stops Users From Playing DOS Games Inside Tweets

Yes - and THAT would be a blatant copyright violation.

Back in the mists of time, it was understood that no one was guaranteed any profit from any publicized work. The idea was, that IF there WAS a profit, then the author(s) should get some of it.

Casual users playing around with the code is cool, in my opinion. Corporate users making a profit, however indirectly, is not so cool.

Comment: Dosbox in a browser? (Score 0) 47

by Runaway1956 (#49623645) Attached to: Twitter Stops Users From Playing DOS Games Inside Tweets

Do I REALLY want to run a dosbox in my browser? How long until someone comes up with an exploit? Yeah, maybe I have some advantages over Windows users, and maybe I don't. I certainly lose any advantages I might have, if I carelessly, and pointlessly allow unknown code to run. I already block javascript on all but "trusted" sites. I'm going to allow dos code to run? Nahhhh - I'll pass.

Yeah, I actually do like some of those old dos games. Why don't I just download them myself, and run them in a sandbox, or a VM? No need to get my browser involved, or to mindlessly click through some permissions dialogue.

Comment: Re:All aboard the FAIL train (Score 1) 543

by Shakrai (#49622777) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Announces Bid For White House

Please explain how civil strife in nation-states like Syria where there is little American much like the Secretary of State's influence are Hillary Clinton's fault.

Please explain how you can be so fucking obtuse as to wave away the example of Libya (which she enthusiastically supported) and her vote in favor of the Iraq War AUMF.

On second thought, don't bother. You have nothing interesting to say and are conveniently ignoring the points that don't line up with your world view.

Comment: Re:let me weigh in on this (Score 2) 136

It's only outdated if you don't want a dedicated device for time. Some of us do want or need such a device, preferably one that doesn't need to be recharged every 24 hours, do a bunch of shit we don't care about, and occupy half of our lower arms. A nice looking watch is also a fashion statement; I'm not talking Rolex level (although you can certainly do that), just something that looks halfway decent and goes with most of your wardrobe.

There's still a market for dedicated devices. What does a smartwatch give me? Don't need it for fitness, it will never compete with a decent runner's watch for durability and ease of use. Don't want it for time, my real watch is less cumbersome and has a battery life measured in years. Can't do anything productive (e-mails, shopping lists, etc.) with it that I can't do better with my smartphone. Directions? That might be an argument, but again, how is the watch better than my phone? I've gotten around foreign cities where I don't speak the local language using my phone and Google Maps. Where's the game changer in doing the same with my watch?

Comment: Re:At the same time (Score 1) 295

I thought we were talking about IBM?

If that meeting with Bill Gates never happened, IBM would still have found someone to provide an OS for their PC. Apple would have still produced the Lisa, ushering in the GUI era. Only an idiot would minimize MS's influence on computing, but let's not pretend that we would all be using carbon paper and typewriters... the PC market was very active when the IBM clone steadily gained prominence, with several vendors of mouse-driven GUIs.

Comment: Re:Defense of the Article (Score 1) 389

by eldavojohn (#49620497) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

So there could be two groups, those who look to improve their skill, who quickly distance themselves from the group that doesn't. Of course, there will still be wide variance in skill between the members of each group. I'm sure you can think of other ways it could happen.

No, I can't. I started out and I sucked. I got better eventually through experience. In order for it to be truly bimodal, people have to start in either camp A or camp B and end in the same camp they started in. Because if you transition from one to another over time, any point in time will capture a group of people in between the modes. Now, you can argue that people don't spend much time in between those modes but you haven't presented any evidence for that. What's more likely is you have geocities coders on one tail and John Carmack/Linus Torvolds on the other tail. And in between are people like the presenter and I. And since I'm not instantaneously going from bad to good, the reality of the situation is most likely some degree of a normal curve filled with people trying to get better at programming or even just getting better though spending lots of time doing it and learning a little along the way.

For all your attacks on the presenter, your argument of a bi-modal distribution sounds more flawed to me. I would love to see your study and hear your argument.

Comment: Re: Proxy? (Score 1) 295

Our previous "IT Guy" couldn't do a disk image. I tried to explain it to him, he acted like it was over his head, so I dropped it. We could have saved SO MUCH money, just by having disk images for welders and other computer operated equipment. Disk dies, grab another similar disk with similar architecture, image the thing, plug it in, and the welder is ready to work. Two hours down time, if I play grab-ass along the way. Instead, a disk dies, we call the vendor who sold the machine, the vendor promises to have a guy out to us within the week, the repair guy shows up with the wrong damned disk image, so it's another day before he comes back with the right one. Meantime, every hour in a 24/7 plant, that welder is costing a few hundred dollars because it's not running.

The new IT guys actually get stuff done. Not my way, but they get things done.

Comment: Re:Measurements (Score 3, Insightful) 389

by lgw (#49619867) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

Further, he's perpetrating the myth that the most talented programmers "drive away others, but you have to put up with them", which falls outside the definition of "talented" that most people would accept. Sure, you do very rarely hear about that cliche - the guy who you only give solo projects, but he's hyper-productive - but that's maybe 1 in 1000?

The truth is, for most companies with full-career technical tracks and VP-equivalent top technical pay grades, the more senior you are, the less you code (though hopefully it never goes to zero), and the larger the organization you must have technical influence over. Since you have to build that influence yourself through a combination of leadership skills and writing code everyone uses, you'll never make it if you "drive people away".

OTOH, you don't belong in this industry if you take code reviews personally. Every day the compiler will call you illegal, invalid, and wrong, and you co-workers might say the same about your code in CR. If you start taking that as personal criticism, you're not going to last. We're not writing opinion pieces here.

Comment: Defense of the Article (Score 1) 389

by eldavojohn (#49619837) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

This guy doesn't know how to measure programming ability, but somehow manages to spend 3000 words writing about it.

To be fair, you can spend a great deal of time talking about something and make progress on the issue without solving it.

For example the current metrics are abysmal so it's worth explaining why they're abysmal. I just was able to delete several thousand lines of JavaScript from one of my projects after a data model change (through code reuse and generalization) -- yet I increased functionality. My manager was confused and thought it was a bad thing to get rid of code like that ... it was absolute dopamine bliss to me while he felt like our production was being put in reverse. KLOC is a terrible metric. But yet we still need to waste a lot of breath explaining why it's a terrible metric.

Another reason to waste a lot of time talking about a problem without reaching an answer is to elaborate on what the known unknowns are and speculate about the unknown unknowns. Indeed, the point of this article seemed to be to advertise the existence of unknown unknowns to "recruiters, venture capitalists, and others who are actually determining who gets brought into the community."

So he doesn't know......programmer ability might actually be a bi-modal distribution.

Perhaps ... but that would imply that one does not transition over time from one hump to the next or if they do, it's like flipping a light switch. When I read this I assumed that he was talking only about people who know how to program and not "the average person mixed in with programmers."

If he had collected data to support his hypothesis, then that would have been an interesting article.

But you just said there's no way to measure this ... how could he have collected data? What data set could have satiated us? The answer is quite obvious and such collection would have been a larger fool's errand than the original article's content.

Comment: Re:At the same time (Score 1) 295

Done what, exactly? Created a command-line personal computer? There was a healthy marketplace full of those - some affordable, some expensive. Within a year or two of release of the Lisa, there were a bunch of windowing environments - some quite competitive like the Amiga, some terrible like Windows. I don't mean to dismiss the level of prestige that IBM brought to the table as far as businesses were concerned, but it's not as if businesses would not have eventually adopted PCs. Visicalc was already making PCs common in the business environment.

+ - Recent Paper Shows Fracking Chemicals in Drinking Water, Industry Attacks It->

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes: A recent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences turned up 2-Butoxyethanol from samples collected from three households in Pennsylvania. The paper's level headed conclusion is that more conservative well construction techniques should be used to avoid this in the future and that flowback should be better controlled. Rob Jackson, another scientist who reviewed the paper, stressed that the findings were an exception to normal operations. Despite that, the results angered the PR gods of the Marcellus Shale Gas industry and awoke beltway insider mouthpieces to attack the research — after all, what are they paying them for?
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Not exactly a hack (Score 1) 78

by Jane Q. Public (#49618437) Attached to: Hacking the US Prescription System

I heard where pharmacies are sharing prescription data with each other and with doctors to stop people from going from doctor to doctor to get more meds. More prescriptions than any one doctor would let one patient have. It might be required by law in my state.

We have a state pharmacy database which does that. However, the data is not supposed to be commercially available, AND it most definitely is not supposed to be hooked up to any kind of Federal system.

Receiving a million dollars tax free will make you feel better than being flat broke and having a stomach ache. -- Dolph Sharp, "I'm O.K., You're Not So Hot"