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Dozens of posts in this slashdot thread about "It's easy. Just multiply your estimate X, by 2, or 3 or 4." Fine, but how exactly do you come up with X other than pulling it out of your ass?
Experience, my friend, experience. Unfortunately most programmers rack up lots of coding time but they never seem to get much better at estimating how long something will take. My educated guess is that programmers tend to be overly optimistic about their abilities and too eager to please. Believe it or not, my estimates (and I've made hundreds, if not thousands, over the years) tend to be quite accurate. But I realize I'm in the minority.
My odds of winning may be 1 in 175 million, but my odds of getting $337 million dollars any other way are 0 so it's not that bad.
Sure if I work hard and invest right I can earn a few million, but 175 million is just not going to happen any other way. I'm willing to spend a couple of dollars for that slim chance.
You could help out a homeless person who turns out to be a millionaire and shows their appreciation by giving you a large chunk of their net worth.
I never quite got why plea bargains are permissible in the first place. Either someone is guilty or he is not. It's one of the few things that are quite black and white, either someone committed a crime or he did not. Where does a plea bargain come in? Let's haggle over whether I did it partly or whether you want to punish me a little bit?
What's that, a court of law or the Turkish bazaar?
Even worse, isn't an offer of a plea bargain akin to extortion or coercion?