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Comment: Make up your mind ... (Score 1) 254

by johnlcallaway (#49187883) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?

So which is it ... do we legislate GMO foods to make sure they are 100% safe before they are ever sold, or not legislate self-driving cars until crashes happen and we know what to do to make them safe.

Ah ,,, the hypocrisy and FUD in it all. The GMO group wants to outlaw things they don't want and deny them from everyone because they know what is best, while the other group doesn't know enough yet and wants to make sure no one stops them from getting what they want.

I sure as hell don't want the first batch to be driven without someone behind the wheel for a few years. And that person needs a regular driver's license and the ability to take over if anything either fails or the car can't cope with a situation.

As someone who just drove over 2,000 miles, some of it in snow, I would love to have some of the tech that self-driving cars are making available. But 100% door-to-door service with 100% accuracy?? I just don't see it happening anytime soon. The GPS I used sent me the wrong way twice, and I just updated the maps before I left. Once was not a big deal, it just picked a route that wasn't as efficient. The second failure took me to a non-existent gas station which appeared on the map to be in the middle of a corn field.

We do need regulations. Or do you really want to see a bunch of people killed by an automated car, and the heavy-and of the law come down then.

There is no overriding reason to rush these to market, the percentage of the population that really needs them is very small. For the rest of us, they are just a convenience factor. It's possible they could lower traffic accident rates. Or it's possible that they could increase them since in the beginning, only a very small percentage are going to be automated, so they will have to deal with the millions of bad drivers out there.

I do have one prediction though .. self driving cars are not going to be the market share everyone thinks. Why?? I can almost bet that very few drivers/riders will tolerate a car that follows all the traffic laws, such as not speeding and coming to a complete stop at every stop sign.

Comment: Re:just ban it (Score 5, Insightful) 365

by johnlcallaway (#49054625) Attached to: Smoking Is Even Deadlier Than Previously Thought

Yeah .. then we can ban alcohol. And Big Macs. And soda. Yeah .. that's the ticket. Let's put our health in the hands of the US government. Why don't we just remove all personal choices that slightly affect other people and let the government decide what's best for us. My mother died at 82 of a stroke. From what I can tell, she didn't spend any more on healthcare than lots of elderly people. Everyone dies eventually, and with today's practices, many suffer at the hands of extreme medical procedures because their insurance pays for it. Bring back caps on treatments and stop forcing non-profit hospitals to treat the terminally ill for free and a lot of these costs go away. Funny how making people responsible for their own debt can reduce the impact on society of such costs.

The reality is that many people enjoy smoking. I smoke cigars 3-4 times a week. It's very relaxing to sit outside and read with a cigar instead of being glued to the TV. Sure .. I could read without it. But I enjoy it. I enjoy a cigar or two when I'm out sailing. Or riding my motorcycle.

So .. to all those that want to ban cigarettes .. go fuck yourself. If you don't like it, don't smoke. Walking through a cloud of smoke outside is no more dangerous than driving to work for most people, so don't even start on that.

And don't give me all the bullshit about increased medical costs. If you weren't such a hypocrite, you'd also want ban marathon running and dozens of extreme athletic practices that drive up your medical costs. Then motorcycle riding. And cars.

The problem is, those that want it banned don't smoke, so it doesn't affect them. They are just self-righteous, selfish, useless idiots. They have no problem with taking things away from other people but would fight tooth and nail if the government took something away from them 'for their own good'.

Comment: It's not them .. it's you.... (Score 1) 809

by johnlcallaway (#49050471) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Portion of Developers Are Bad At What They Do?

Why would any senior developer/architect need to know the specifics of encryption? That is a specific skill, not a general one. And, if they need to know the specifics, it's a Google search away. Yes .. I do. Because I've had to do it before. Many years ago when I didn't know what it was and had to learn it. Now I can use it. Did you know everything the first day you started working at your company, or did you have to learn some of the things you are doing now???

Stop looking for specific skills and start looking for smart people. Your questions might find someone very skilled in what you need now, but what about next year when something new and improved comes along??

Someone who is smart can learn what you want them to know in a couple of days, encryption just isn't that difficult. Especially if you already know it and can sit down and go over it in the 30 minutes it will take for them to get the basics. Instead of looking for short-term solutions, look for long-term employees, people that are self-motivated to learn new things, and capable of learning new things.

  --- or ---

You need a better job description that specifies specific skills you want. And the balls to ask a few questions at the beginning of an interview, and then show them the door right away if they don't have what you specified in your request for applicants.

Either way .. it's your fault you aren't getting the people you need or want.

Comment: Re:Sounds like someone is getting old... (Score 1) 716

by johnlcallaway (#49028259) Attached to: Is Modern Linux Becoming Too Complex?

It's not the getting old part. It's the last part. Time passes, things change. Those unwilling to learn will be left behind.

I'm 55 and don't have a problem digging in and learning new shit. I gave up COBOL a couple of decades ago. Could still write it if I had to, but I didn't hang onto it like the last piece of chocolate cake.

In 2025, everyone whining about how hard Linux is will be regarded the same as COBOL programmers are today.

And stuck working on old shit that nobody else wants to touch.

Comment: Re:What do you mean, modern? (Score 4, Insightful) 716

by johnlcallaway (#49028227) Attached to: Is Modern Linux Becoming Too Complex?

Make of that what you will. And when you tell me I am at fault because I am unwilling or incapable of hurdling that learning curve, I will throw back in your face that a good product is also defined by usability considerations.


When Linux was less 'usable', it was simpler.

Increased usability means more scripts and automation, meaning more things are abstracted.

You can't have it both ways.

I know what the real problem is. I stepped away from Linux/UNIX for about 5 years because of a new job (Went from a Sun/Unix/Oracle shop to a Windows/SQLServer shop). When I got back to Linux, I didn't understand a lot of things, it had changed so much. It took a while to dig into it.

But .. know what??? It was all there. All I had to do was understand how it started up to find all the scripts and then read them. It wasn't that hard.

It just took a little effort. And enough intelligence to actually read scripts and Google things I didn't understand.

If you don't get it .. it is you.

Comment: Re:Focus all wrong though (Score 3, Insightful) 458

by johnlcallaway (#48943033) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

I am not opposed to reducing pollution to a level where I can safely walk outside and breath, and fish are reasonably safe to eat.

I am opposed to reducing pollution to zero and getting rid of all the modern niceties that cause it ... like this computer that I'm typing this post on and the server that is storing it.

Everything in between is up for discussion and probably has multiple supporters and detractors somewhere.

I'll wager that almost no one disagrees that reducing pollution is a good thing.

The discussion is how much are we willing to pay or give up for how big a reduction.

Comment: Re:most americans are idiots (Score 1) 458

by johnlcallaway (#48942983) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

Which is supported by the prior Slashdot post about how scientists and the general public are often at opposite sides of things. Those that took the poll need to reconcile their numbers with the numbers from the other poll that said most people don't believe in human-caused global warming. I find it hard to believe that if most people don't believe in it, they would only vote for politicians that supported it ....

Comment: Re:"Support" != actually sacrifice for (Score 2) 458

by johnlcallaway (#48942969) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

So you would rather shaft all non-solar users by forcing the electric companies to not pay wholesale for solar providers (like they do when they buy power from other power companies) or pay retail and at least ask those using solar to help pay for the grid they are using to connect with. Thus raising non-solar rates.

So you would rather force everyone to pay more for a car than the savings in the fuel economy??

So you would rather put a burden on the poor who can't afford to fix their cars or buy newer ones??

Another 'as long as I'm not required to give up anything' argument. Thanks for helping prove the point of the prior post.

Comment: Re:More ambiguous cruft (Score 4, Interesting) 514

Have you ever spoken to farmers?? The half dozen farmers I've talked with all say the same thing (I grew up in a small, rural community), most of them were older than 60 and had been farmers for decades. They don't have the time, money, or resources to collect, process, and store seeds, they always buy them. These guys LOVE GMO crops because of the increased yields and predictability.

It may be an extremely small sample and anecdotal, but it makes a lot of sense. I recall having small gardens growing up, and we always bought seeds every year. Plus, farmers want consistent crops every year and better yields if they can, they don't want some wild child of something they started growing 10 years ago when Monsanto has created a new product that makes more money for them.

I would think a sterile plant would be a good thing for modern farmers, who want's corn stalks popping up in a soy bean field. Farmers rotate their crops, I used to remember scenes like this growing up. I don't see them as often now.

Comment: Re:Biased Institutions FTW (Score 3, Informative) 784

by johnlcallaway (#48829143) Attached to: Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

In Japan they have something called "first errand". Young school children, say 5 or 6, are given a simple task to do such as go to the local shop and buy a specific item, then bring it home. The school organizes this and gets the parents to come in and help by watching the children from a distance. Adults are not allowed to help the children unless they get into serious difficulty.

By that age, many Japanese children are already walking home on their own. Granted, Japan is much safer than a few parts of the US, but even so it demonstrates how in the west we treat children as far less capable than they actually are. It's not just respnsibilities and safety either, they consider children's emotions to be genuine and to be respected, rather than trivialized and ignored or even punished like the west does.

There .. fixed that for you. Don't believe what the media tells you, it's really not that bad over here. Children are more at risk from their family and family friends than strangers.

Other than that, I agree with the concept 100%.

Comment: Be patient, it takes time (Score 1) 464

by johnlcallaway (#48725231) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are Progressive Glasses a Mistake For Computer Users?

I had the same problem when I first got mine. I didn't wear them for almost a year. My optometrist convinced me to try them again, and within a few months I didn't even notice them. I have dual monitors at work and home, and while I do have to turn my head a bit, it's not that bad.

I think it takes a while for the brain to 'rewire' itself. At first, I really noticed the warping as I turned my head. Now, I hardly notice it at all. Twenty years ago, I lost sight in a small portion of my peripheral vision in my left eye, due to some type of blood issue in the eye. At first, it was very annoying because there was nothing in that area of my vision. It wasn't black, there was nothing there. I couldn't see my finger if I held it in that area, similar to the blind spot one has normally in the eye. It only took about a week for it to stop bothering me. I think the brain does something to adjust to these types of things, it makes things more normal.

For future consideration, this might be useful. I thought I would be financially frugal and just get a pair of single vision goggles for riding my motorcycle. Bad idea, I could barely read the speedometer. I keep them for a spare in the car, and one day when my glasses broke, I had to use them. Same problem, it was very difficult to read the speedometer.

Comment: Re:Police (Score -1, Troll) 139

by johnlcallaway (#48705639) Attached to: Doppler Radar Used By Police To Determine Home Occupancy

I'm so glad you are in favor in increasing taxes to provide more manpower to the police forces around the country. Please proceed to your nearest voting booth and vote in their favor the next election.

If you aren't in favor of paying more taxes to add more manpower, then shut the fuck up and let them do their jobs the best way they can with the amount of money a hypocritical population will give them. A population that is never happy with the crime rates and criticizes them at any failing, but is never willing to spend the money to enforce laws and provide better equipment and training. A population that is quick to judge based on what the media reports, but never accepts the results of investigations or court cases if it doesn't agree with their snap judgements based on anecdotes and personal experiences.

Comment: What pure, unadulterated BS. (Score 1) 420

by johnlcallaway (#48703837) Attached to: The Open Office Is Destroying the Workplace

When I started working in the 70s, my first three jobs were in open office areas. No partitions, Desks side by side. We ate our lunches in the break room, not at our desks. In fact, my third job did not allow us to have food at our desks, only drinks like coffee and water.

We got work done because we did our jobs. We had this thing called a 'work ethic'.

My current job has low partitions, and everyone seems to work just fine. We seem to also have a 'work ethic'. When people need to talk, they go to a conference room or the break room. Or speak quietly.

If people are not working, it's probably because they aren't doing their jobs, have a poor work ethic, or are just plain rude.

Not because they don't have partitions between them.

Comment: So .. how to find those exceptional programmers?? (Score 1) 552

by johnlcallaway (#48679367) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

Based on the skills of the foreign born contractors that work for my company and my experiences with my last job, it's very difficult to determine the skill level of someone with any accuracy without them actually doing work. How does Mr. Graham intend to filter out the just the exceptional????

You can't do it based on resumes, and it's difficult in an interview, I hired an white, female MIT grad who interviewed very well that was worthless when it came to coding. Her code was overly complex and she was reluctant to learn anything new. And my prior company hired an Indian chap who, based on few lines of code he wrote while I was there, didn't know how to code. Yet his resume stated he was a Sr. Java Developer, and supposedly had the job experience to prove it.

There are three Indian contractors on my current team. One is just an amazing programmer, one is just about average, and the third one we released. Yet all three had the credentials in their resumes for us to contract them, and the backing of their employer.

When Mr. Graham comes up with his method for finding the exceptional programmers and dismissing the rest, I hope he shares it with the rest of us. It will save the US economy millions of dollars in wasted wages.

Breadth-first search is the bulldozer of science. -- Randy Goebel