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Comment: Re:Cheap cooling (Score 1) 329

by luis_a_espinal (#46791195) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

The poor people would still be starving and living in squalor like they do now?

You are being facetious and spiteful. Yes, there are still hundred of millions of poor in India, but also, many hundred of millions have been lifted out of poverty because of the emergent tech/service industry.

In 2003-2004, the % of population in India living below the poverty line was over 37%. A decade later (meaning now), it is at 21%. This is a 56.75% drop in extreme poverty in a decade. Not shabby if you ask me. And if you consider that the population % living under poverty was almost 60% in the 1950s, then in 6 decades, poverty %s have been reduced by 2/3. Again, not shabby.

That there are still significant problems, like malnutrition, and a still vulnerable low-to-middle class? Of course. But to pretend or dismiss the significant advances that country has made just because they still have a lot to fix, that's disingenuous. It is equally disingenuous to pretend India made a fundamental mistake in investing in tech and education simply because that did not prove a 100% failure-free solution to all the significant problems the country had (and still has.)

Comment: Re:It's Not Really Oracle (Score 1) 157

by luis_a_espinal (#46786861) Attached to: Oracle Deflects Blame For Troubled Oregon Health Care Site

postgress or db2

The term "Oracle" is now more than the database. It is a fully-integrated business stack - BPM, OSB, Coherence, WebLogic, ADF, etc, etc, etc.

I mean, seriously, this is/was about a health care site, and people think the Oracle's technology involved in it for good or bad) was just on the database part?????? W. T. F? Whether that is good or not, that's another thing, and an unimportant one because if a system is designed like crap, it won't matter what stack (proprietary or not) you use. It will be crap.

Comment: Re:Left-Wing Propoganda (Score 1) 256

by luis_a_espinal (#46786773) Attached to: Criminals Using Drones To Find Cannabis Farms and Steal Crops

Dear You,

Please butt out of our domestic politics. It's none of your goddamn business, and yet foreign politicians know more about state-level politics in America than they do their own provinces.

As one American to another - STFU. Perhaps you are right in that other people should stick their noses in our internal affairs. But that does not change the truth of what the OP said (Dems and GOPers are pretty much right wing.)

That you chose to enforce the former instead of acknowledge the later, that is intellectually disingenuous to say the least. To kill the messenger is not supposed to be the American way.

Comment: Re:Hmm, not really. (Score 1) 310

by luis_a_espinal (#46778993) Attached to: Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk

"Capable of keep going under cold or heat in ways most animals would die"

Can't let you get away with that. My dog can go out when its below freezing quite happily. I need 2 layers of clothing plus a coat.

That would be a fine counter-argument if I had said that we were capable of keep going under cold or heat in ways all animals would die.. But I didn't, so...

I mean, c'mon. The context is clear, beasts of burden, cattle, foodstuff and prey, most of the stuff we compare against from the POV of being (or close to being) apex predators. Of course there are animals with better resistance to certain temperatures. Huskies and Polar bears >> us in the cold. Camels >> us in desert-like conditions.

But when you take the range of environments we were able to adapt since primitive times as a context, and we take the animals we domesticated and/or hunted/displaced, the generalization (from where I utilized the word "most animals") still stands.

As for heat, yes , we're slightly better adapted due to being able to sweat but that comes with a price - huge water consumption. Not very useful in a desert. Mr Camel solved the problem far better.

"We can survive bacteria, viruses and parasites and wounds"

So can most animals otherwise the most complex life would still be a sponge. And to use my dog as an example again - he can happily drink water from streams and puddles that would put me on the toilet for 2 days.

Don't get me wrong, I don't believe in ID anymore than anyone with an IQ greater than their shoe size, but as far as comparisons to other animals goes, the human body in the raw is pretty feeble. Even compared to our nearest cousin chimpanzees we're pretty hopeless physically - our muscles and bones are much weaker and they can survive falls from heights that would easily kill a human.

Comment: Technology is (and was never) the culprit (Score 1) 320

GoPro Project Claims Technology Is Making People Lose Empathy For Homeless

They can only make that claim if they have hard data that shows people in the past being more emphatic towards others. Without that, the claim is bogus.

There has always been compassionate people, before and now. And there has always been nihilistic, selfish people, before and now. Technology has nothing to do with it.

Comment: Been doing it for a while, like this. (Score 1) 310

by luis_a_espinal (#46778485) Attached to: Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk

Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk

I started doing that a few weeks ago, and the benefits have been enormous. My setup is nothing fancy, just some props and books to elevate my keyboard and trackball, like this:

I got inspired by Marco Arment's DYI soda-can standing desk. I was struggling for a while thinking "what should I buy, how can do this". Arment's solution is so simple that inspired me to use whatever I had on my desk to put together a solution.

I'm thinking to build something similar with aluminum cans. But I do not drink soda, only beer, and I do not know if a standing desk made out of beer cans would be corporate appropriate :)

Anyways, my sciatica is not bothering me that much anymore since I started working standing. Once in a while I sit down (and I always sit down when I have to read a paper or report.) But I do most of my coding standing. The key part for me was to get a trackball for my set-up, to save elevated real-state.

In addition to the health benefits, I think coding standing helps me focus better. Entirely subjective of course.

Later, I plan to build a wood standing desk for my 5-year old daughter. I hope I can get her into the habit of doing more of her homework standing than sitting.

Comment: Weak? No, it is not. (Score 5, Interesting) 310

by luis_a_espinal (#46778439) Attached to: Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk

Even completely small things are unhealthy for the human body. The human body is absolute garbage, and it's yet more proof that "intelligent design" never happened.

I don't believe in intelligent design either, but you are reaching waaaay too far up your rear when building criticism against ID. Saying the human body is absolute garbage is as dumb as saying God created the world in 7 days.

A person can buy a Maserati, but i said person doesn't change the oil and let water and particulate go into the gas tank, the car will turn into garbage. The car wasn't garbage. The owner was a careless fool at best (and a f*tard at worst.)

Human bodies are actually quite resilient, tuned by evolution to be cursorial predators. Capable of keep going under cold or heat in ways most animals would die. And that was already a fact before we eve invented clothing. Put the mind next to the body (which is what makes us human) then we have clothing, and a whole new set of capabilities emerge. There are plenty of historical footnotes of soldiers going on long after their horses, donkeys and oxen died of exposure.

We can survive bacteria, viruses and parasites and wounds. We die of infections beyond a certain magnitude, similarly to most other Eukaryote organisms. If our bodies are garbage, so are the bodies of all Eukaryote organisms. I guess the only Eukaryote whose body is not garbage is Superman, but he is an illegal alien from Krypton so he doesn't matter.

Comment: Re:It's the surprises that get you. (Score 1) 457

by luis_a_espinal (#46774375) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

I've been unemployed three times in the last 15 years. Once during the dot-com bust (on and off for almost a year). Then in 2008 (6 days right before my first daughter was born) for almost 4 months, and then just recently (end of the year 2013) for three months.

I cannot imagine how bad it is to be unemployed longer than that, and I consider myself lucky that it was just a few months. But even if it is a few months, as you said, it is stuff like COBRA and other eventualities that get you.

On my last unemployment event, when I tally the amount of salary lost + expenses that I must pay no matter what (COBRA, children medical bills, food, housing), that pretty much tallied up to a $30K loss. My wife and I were very well prepared financially in terms of savings. But no matter what, $30K are $30K. It hurts.

Being out of work can pretty much amount to losing between $8K to $10K a month if we really analyze the situation. 12 months out of work is not unrealistic, regardless of talent, so I shiver to think at the very concept.

And the worst thing is that unemployment can (and will come) regardless of performance. In the job I lost at the end of 2013, it was just someone in accounting that cancelled projects at the closing of the year. Nothing to do with performance.

Shit happens, even in software, even if we have mad skills. Good thing that I learned my lesson during the dot-com bubble.

I've been living by a formula: expect to be unemployed one-to-two months for every year of continuous employment, and plan for it.

Now, I'm planning to bump it to two-to-three months per every year of continuous employment. The older we get the more that we have to bump that ratio, specially if we decide to remain technical as opposed to transition into management.

Comment: Dunning-Krugger Effect? Self-Selecting Bias? (Score 2) 457

by luis_a_espinal (#46774275) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

I downloaded the study by Chef (which amounted to a 3-page PDF), and there was no breakdown of the sample population by age, race/ethnic make-up, gender, marital status, location, degree and primary/secondary software skills. So, one has to wonder how much of a self-selection bias took place in this so-called study.

For instance, I cannot see a way by which a sample population of single men in their late 20s working as developers (or founders) at start-ups in Silicon Valley will respond the questionnaire in a manner comparable to, say, a mixed gender sample population of developers in their mid-30s or 40s working at established companies out of, say, Austin.

Also, regarding age, someone starting up today should not find it impossible to become, literally, a millionaire as in "having earned a million" by the time of retirement. To effectively be a millionaire - meaning having net assets worth a million or more (at current purchasing power) counting inflation, that is another thing.

The thing that made me scratch my head the most is that 2/3 of the sampled population believed their profession to be recession-proof. That strikes me as naivete (or stupidity) of youth/inexperience/arrogance.

The software industry is not recession-proof. It is recession-resilient for those who actively cultivate their professional network.

But recession-proof? Not. A. Chance.

Either this study is seriously affected by the Dunning-Krugger Effect, or it is an exercise in intellectual self-pleasure, or somehow Chef managed to sample a population composed by truly elite multi-discipline engineers, owners of very hard-to-get skills (like building software for radar systems or something.)

Comment: Re:Parents fault (Score 1) 353

by luis_a_espinal (#46772763) Attached to: Kids Can Swipe a Screen But Can't Use LEGOs

Most parents today are horrible. They do NOT interact with the chile like laying on the floor and playing with them.

Sounds like parenting as always. Statements like X today is horrible imply that X was better before. Most of those statements are rather subjective, praising to some fabled (and false) good old days. Pretty stupid statements, but oh man, do they make a fine soap box!

Comment: Re:most lego's are a rip off (Score 4, Informative) 353

by luis_a_espinal (#46772709) Attached to: Kids Can Swipe a Screen But Can't Use LEGOs

We are talking about little kids. You tend to get them the Big Blocks instead.

... because little kids don't have the dexterity to use regular Legos. The reason two year old kids can use an iPad and aren't ready for standard Legos is because the latter requires more skill.

How did we go from building blocks for 2-year old kids to standard lego blocks? You know there is a difference, do you? If not, please STFU. Just to help you and those who sadly do not know the difference:

TFA claims claims that exposing kids to technology is causing our civilization to spiral down the drain,

TFA is not claiming that. You are claiming that it does, though.

but provides no evidence whatsoever, other than anecdotes and conjecture.

Anecdotes and conjecture are valid form of preliminary evidence with which to request further scrutiny of something.

Also, from personal anecdote (feel free to dismiss because ZOMFG anecdote!) kids at that early stage require specific stimulus to develop hand fine grained motor skills. Playing with sand, clay or building blocks (not standard lego blocks, but building blocks for toddlers) help do that.

Going into the (ZOMG!) anecdote: One of my nephews had a learning disability co-related to not developing hand fine motor skills, some type of proprioception problem related to ADHD/Asperger/Autism. He simply could not hold a pen without it falling off his fingers. Good fortune it was detected on time, and was put on specific corrective therapy to develop not just finger strength but the necessary coordination to do what he needed to do with his hands during that state of his body/mind development.

Feel free to dismiss this as you wish. Whatever gets your intellectual kicks.

With that said, I'm not against kids using technology. I was delightfully fascinated when I saw my older daughter (now 5) using my smart phone at the age of 2, and I'm fascinated how my youngest one (1.5 year old) fiddled her way into unlocking my phone (despite it being locked with a swipe-shape lock.)

But I keep my daughters away from technology if that precludes them from the other type of tactile-proprioceptive activities that have been developed over time to assist in their development: finger painting, puzzles, blocks, sculpting with silly putty, running around.

All those things are fun, but they are not just for fun. They have an evolutionary purpose.

There is a reason why kids play with soil instinctively. It is not just curiosity. It is the child mind and body instinctively seeking activities that trigger learning and development.

Comment: Re:Wonder how Ada 2012 would fare... (Score 1) 188

by luis_a_espinal (#46760703) Attached to: The Security of Popular Programming Languages

Well, for one thing, Ada compilers do not run on the same range of platforms C compilers do (I'm sorry to say).

Uh, you are conflating "general purpose" with "platform availability". C runs in far more platforms than, say, Java, but, from professional experience as a C/C++ and Java programmer, I would not call C more of a general purpose language in the same way I would do so with Java.

Replying to myself since we have no way to edit our previous posts - I would add that languages of the BASIC and XBase families (in particular VB and FoxPro) are/were more general purpose than either C/C++ or Java despite running in more restricted sets of hardware platforms.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas