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Comment: Re:Hmmm ... (Score 1) 379

by gstoddart (#49626023) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

From what I can tell, the only people who believe it have no other skills and are terrified that if the truth were known (that anyone can learn to program) then they'd no longer be special.

Well, then let's dispel with that piece of bullshit, shall we?

When I say "but many moons ago I was told by numerous profs that programming/CS had pretty much always been the bi-modal distribution" ... I mean tenured professors, with PhD's, with published books and actively teaching in accredited universities. Not just "I heard it from a guy".

You seem to be comfortable suggesting I feel my penis will be larger if I convince myself this is a true fact. Allow me to suggest this: You're acting like a dick and making an ad-hominem attack -- a sign of a moron or an asshole; or both.

I'm telling you what I've heard from professors, and what I've personally seen.

I marked both first and second year CS courses, I have personally seen graphs of the same course's grades for a trailing decade. And it was empirically a real thing.

I honestly have no idea the extent to which this is universally applicable, isolated, or purely random. But I have had it described to me by professors, I have seen it in courses I've marked, and been hearing this 'factoid' for ... well, almost three decades.

This doesn't come out of nowhere. It isn't a self inflating of ego. It is, in my own personal and exceedingly constrained opinion, an actual observation of reality. It is a thing, and I am curious as to what it really means.

If you think I have my personal identity wrapped up in being some special little snowflake who is unique as a programmer (something I no longer do, BTW)... well, either you're a moron, or you're just an ass who has no better reasoning skills than to fall back on the claims that I must be delusional and acting out of self interest in saying this.

I am genuinely curious if this is true, and would love to see definitive stats ... it has always baffled me, but I've witnessed it ... but if you think I'm saying this out of some mechanism of puffing myself up, then you can piss off.

But if you can state your counterargument without suggesting I need to justify my existence to you or anybody else, I might actually be interested in hearing evidence to the contrary.

Comment: Re:I hereby nominate ... (Score 1) 90

Bah! For a cheaper, faster, better mission with a modest initial budget it's been an amazing success. NASA put two functioning units on Mars for not all that much money (in relative terms) .. around $820 million dollars for the initial 90 days. Compared to military and other expenses ... that's chump change.

The on-board computers are tiny by most standards:

Spirit's onboard computer uses a 20 MHz RAD6000 CPU with 128 MB of DRAM, 3 MB of EEPROM, and 256 MB of flash memory. The rover's operating temperature ranges from â'40 to +40 ÂC (â'40 to 104 ÂF) and radioisotope heater units provide a base level of heating, assisted by electrical heaters when necessary. A gold film and a layer of silica aerogel provide insulation.

Operating from -40C to +40C is absolutely not a "cool dry place"; it's a hostile environment. Did we mention the dust storms? And the radiation?

We're talking about something which had to travel millions of miles, not miss the planet, not get destroyed on landing, and which has been there for 11 years and is still (to some degree) an operational unit. It's sibling keeled over five years ago.

You go ahead and wait for something else to be impressed with, me, I'll be impressed right now.

Because there simply isn't another thing which has ever existed which humans have made which has operated and traveled on the surface of another planet for anywhere near as long as this thing has.

Opportunity needs to be recognized as an absolutely amazing achievement, because it absolutely is.

Comment: Re:Home PCs are fast disappearing (Score 1) 123

by gstoddart (#49625047) Attached to: Microsoft: No More 'Patch Tuesday' For Windows 10 Home Users

However, Windows 8.1 is great on a surface or tablet

And, quite honestly, by the time you disable the Romper Room crap, get a classic shell, and set it up to feel like a more classic Windows desktop ... it's absolutely fine on a desktop as well. But 100% of the stuff they have for tablets is pretty much garbage on a desktop if you do actual work on your PC. I utterly loathe the metro interface, and gave basically turned it off. So all the money Microsoft is spending "innovating" seems like garbage to me.

and Windows 10 can do both and run ported Android and IOS apps

Honestly, that remains to be seen. They can make any damned claim they want now, but the proof is in the pudding. Until such time as it exists, and is shipping, it's a marketing bulled point. That's it. They still have plenty of time to say "wow, we can't actually do that".

But, generally I agree with you that there isn't a device which is going to be my smartphone and my desktop.

My personal desktop is a dual monitor setup with a KVM tying in my work laptop, and spec'd to last me the next 5 years or so (8 core CPU, 16 gig RAM, lots of USB ports, and about 8TB of disk space attached). Quite frankly, we're a very far way off from there being a mobile device to compete with that.

If Microsoft forgets that some of us still need a desktop with some muscle behind it, and that we don't use them as toys for recipes, they stand a chance of producing something which is terrible for that use.

A device which wants to be dumbed down to the point it wants to feel like a tablet offers no utility to me on something which isn't a tablet.

Comment: Re:random breakage (Score 2) 123

by gstoddart (#49624791) Attached to: Microsoft: No More 'Patch Tuesday' For Windows 10 Home Users

Yeah, no kidding. I predict Microsoft is 100% guaranteed to mess up a LOT of machines. I don't trust *any* vendor's patches on day one, and Microsoft even less.

If Microsoft thinks they're not going to be pilloried by saying "fuck it, we're updating your machine and rebooting now" they're idiots.

If Microsoft just goes ahead and does them, they're going to create a support nightmare as they'll fuck up machines left and right.

When will Microsoft learn that there is a reason why we don't trust them?

Sorry guys, but I'll apply patched and reboot my computer when I choose to, not when some idiot in Redmond decides for me. it's my property, not yours.

Comment: Re:Fascinating (Score 2) 36

by gstoddart (#49623257) Attached to: Extreme Exoplanet Volcanism Possibly Detected On 55 Cancri E

Maybe. Maybe not. I'll be a wet blanket here and say that until we have the opportunity to test some of the conclusions that are coming out of the theories and scant data behind these announcements, we won't really know if we are getting it right. I think its cool that we are generating testable hypotheses, but we don't yet have a way to test them, do we?

Honestly, I'll take that you could have an actual question if we're interpreting the imaging of the exoplanet correctly as proof of my point.

At this point, I don't care if it's volcanoes, or if the planet is hatching to become a space alligator.

We're comparing data from observations spanning several years of an exoplanet which is 40 light years away ... you can wet blanket all you like, it's still freakin' cool.

I'm not qualified to defend the science. I'm here to defend the awesome. :-P

Comment: Re:The challenge of common sense... (Score 1) 133

Simple, the idiots who produce IoT products will simply suggest you have an open wifi so they don't have to solve the problem.

Mark my words.

Exactly like how web sites give you instructions to enable javascript, cookies, and turn off your Windows firewall.

They don't give a crap about security, so they'll just write it such that you can't have any if you want your IoT buttplug to be able to send tweets.

Comment: Re:let me weigh in on this (Score 5, Interesting) 133

Voice recognition is what comes to mind but some will say it's not private enough and they are right.

Dude, I'll tell you straight up .. if people start having voice controlled wearable devices, someone's gonna get hurt, and have their device stuffed into an orifice which wasn't intended to receive it.

Because it you thought people talking loudly into Bluetooth ear pieces was annoying, wait until some ass in the checkout line is trying to compose an email or bring up his calendar.

Now picture an office full of people trying to use this kind of thing.

No. Just no.

Comment: Re:let me weigh in on this (Score 1) 133

More broadly, I have no interest in some dorky gimmick which will have incompetent security, and which mistakenly thinks that my life will be some how improved by an internet enabled soap dish. It's technology for the sake of technology.

Honestly, it's a solution in search of a problem, and something for the marketing wankers to latch onto an say "now with more internet security holes".

Until corporations carry a penalty for being lazy/incompetent with security, you should assume these products are terribly written.

Because they probably are.

Comment: Re:let me weigh in on this (Score 3, Informative) 133

Yeah, no kidding. You'd be using a tiny little stylus to hit a square less than about 0.5mm or so (yes, that number came out of thin air).

If you're trying to cram a keyboard on a display that small .. you're probably doing it wrong.

Of course, if you're involved in the "IoT" you probably need to be smacked about the head with a tuna, as you're an annoying prat dedicated to making pointlessly connected devices with no security.

So, in that regards, I won't ever need to care about your keyboard. Because I think the IoT is a purely marketing term for crappy products.

Comment: Re:Hmmm Tasty Whale Tongue (Score 1) 47

Yeah, sorry about that, it was an attempt to use google translate for:

"LOL, no, it wasn't obvious that 'here' meant Iceland and that you were Icelandic.

But thanks to Google Translate, I can look like an idiot in two languages. Assuming of course Slash dot doesn't wreck the unicode. ;-)"

How the hell do you get the accents to work? As your signature points out, Slashdot's support for unicode is pathetic.

System restarting, wait...