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Comment: "North Pole" is not the correct answer. (Score 1) 490

by jdharm (#49740243) Attached to: The Brainteaser Elon Musk Asks New SpaceX Engineers
The answer Musk is looking for is:

"Are these cardinal directions magnetic or geographic? Is the surface you are walking on completely flat for the entire distance? Is that 'mile' in statute miles, nautical miles, Roman miles...?"

If you pop off an answer like "North pole! Ha! That's so easy." you fail. He wants to know if you're the type of person that is going to worry about the details and isn't going to crash one of his rockets when you don't notice one software sub was calculating metric units and the other one was calculating in imperial.

Comment: Re:Yes, I agree (Score 1) 564

by jdharm (#49181391) Attached to: Why We Should Stop Hiding File-Name Extensions
Tools should get out of the way of the work. If you don't need it, put it away.

If you have no idea what to do with the data you've been given because you don't recognize what it is, then you do need those extensions. You are correct - if you don't need the tool, put it away - but the argument made in this article is that the decision was made that users don't need this tool and it is put away by default and the result is confusion...which is getting in the way of the work. The argument is that this tool is needed to eliminate the confusion which is getting in the way of your work.

I don't agree that users need to be educated regarding the significance of file extensions.

Yes, they do. Computers are not magic, they are tools. Tools a human uses to accomplish a task. The human needs to learn to use their tool properly.

Get over yourself.

Same to you, worker drone. You don't have a job out of the goodness of someone's heart. You have a job because it is cheaper to buy you than to buy the machine that can do your job. So quit your moaning about 'What?! I have to learn something? But I want to just push buttons like and ignorant chimp and get paid on Friday, why do I have to learn something?' and take some pride in yourself. Learn to do your job well.

Comment: My experience. (Score 1) 700

by jdharm (#48976565) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Pros and Cons of Homeschooling?
Pros: your kid may fare better with homeschooling because (may, not will)

1. Public school classes can only go as fast as the slowest kid. Not so at home. Your kid won't be bored because things aren't moving fast enough to keep their interest. Engagement = better learning
2. You don't have to put up with your kid struggling with the latest bureaucratic nonsense du juor handed down from on high for the education system. You can customize how you teach to your kid's particular mental processes to maximize uptake and understanding.
3. Because of #2 you have some extra room for teaching things that the school system doesn't have time, money, room, teachers, or interest in teaching.

Cons: your kid (and you) may fare worse with homeschooling because

1. Teaching is not a job, it is a personality type. Like "artist" or "engineer". If you are not a teacher you will find homeshooling a miserable experience. Your kid probably doesn't think like you and you don't understand each other's thought processes so explaining new concepts in a way they understand is an exercise in frustration. That's what teachers are good at - figuring out what the mind in front of them needs and adapting to it. If you aren't a teacher, it won't work.
2. While being a teacher isn't just a job, teaching is. A full time job. Don't kid yourself. If you homeschool you are committing to a full time job in your own home for no pay. If you intend to do it right, that is.
3. Homeshcooling requires commitment and fortitude on your part. You cannot half-ass it and expect a good outcome. You are talking about twelve freakin years of near-daily hard work for a kid that won't appreciate how hard it is on you. It will test your patience, stamina, creativity, sanity, and resolve. Be warned.

Could go either way:
1. No schedule. There's a lot of freedom in that. But then there is also a lot of freedom in knowing all your hellions will be out of your hair six hours a day for most of the week if they go to public/private school.
2. State requirements. Some are pretty onerous. It can get expensive. Some are so lax it's ridiculous and its easy to get complacent and slack off your teaching duties.
3. Higher education. Acceptance of homeschool education in universities is all over the map. Some are favorable, some are out-right hostile. Choosing a post-secondary path is a nightmare to try to negotiate at this point, but there's good stuff out there and its getting better. So, you know. There's that.

Comment: Wha...? (Score 2) 229

by jdharm (#44415697) Attached to: ASCAP Petitions FCC To Deny Pandora's Purchase of Radio Station

ASCAP also alleges that Pandora has no intention of operating KXMZ to serve the public interest, but is rather only interested in obtaining lower royalty rates.

A company wants to operate a radio station to make money?! Holy sh*t, this MUST be stopped!

No, not you Clear Channel.

Didn't mean you Entercom.

Of course not you, CBS.

You're fine, Cumulus.


Comment: MSE (Score 1) 294

by jdharm (#44295691) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Light-Footprint Antivirus For Windows XP?
Microsoft Security Essentials It's pretty heavy to install on a limited machine, but once you get it going you don't notice the performance hit and it's as good as any out there. Before MSE came along I recommended F-Prot. It is a subscription, but nothing I found could touch it on an old slow machine for low overhead AND effectiveness.

Comment: Re:what's torture? (Score 1) 768

by jdharm (#43938969) Attached to: Seeking Fifth Amendment Defenders

The Fifth Amendment only addresses the competency problem as it applies to one type of evidence, and still leaves courts dealing incompetently with every other type of evidence.

So since the 5th doesn't solve every problem, only one, then it has no value and should be thrown out?

If judges are really so incompetent that they don't understand how someone can become flustered...

Let me stop you right there. It could be argued that judges are, as a group, above average intelligence (*citation needed) and would understand this. The problem is that we all get trials by a jury of our idiot peers, who are by definition at least 50% below average intelligence. If we're tried by an bunch of intelligent, competent, fair persons then sure, make 'em talk. The problem is that we're being tried by a bunch of common people ("A person is smart; people are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, and you know it.") in circuses presided over by the most reviled members of our society (lawyers) and the ones of that cabal who fought their way to the top (judges).

In that environment, I'd like the right to keep my mouth shut, thank you very much.

Comment: Re:So do something about it. (Score 1) 525

by jdharm (#43330249) Attached to: Fighting TSA Harassment of Disabled Travelers
Amen. I haven't stepped foot on a plane in many years now. Amtrak picks me up in my home town, drops me off on the other side of the continent within a mile or two of where I want to go. Not once do I have to deal trying to get through a "security" checkpoint while trying feverishly to make sure I don't lose my kid, my bag, or my liberty, or all of the above. Like a victim of abuse, the first few times I traveled without the constant harassment I felt completely disoriented, waiting for the hand I didn't see to knock me down; I just knew the blows were coming at some point. That's just they way it is, right? Now, traveling is relaxing and enjoyable once again. I'd forgotten what it was like.

FYI, Amtrak has a pretty sweet rewards system; I haven't paid for cross-country travel since I left the airlines. Our family runs all our expenses through a Chase card that we pay off at the end of the month & earn Amtrak points (yes, I know, bad for the credit rating) and when shopping online - especially for work - I use vendors that offer Amtrak points on purchases (click-through referrals from the Amtrak site), many times multiple points per $. Google "amtrak guest rewards".

It's not so hard to lift yourself by your bootstraps once you're off the ground. -- Daniel B. Luten