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Comment: Re:eh (Score 1) 390

by Jeremi (#49620957) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

But why did the third guy immediately recognize the problem (and put in place a very effective solution) without being prompted? Was that a "skill" he learned in a programming class?

It might have been that he was just a clever guy, but let me offer an alternate possibility -- the new guy recognized the problem precisely because he was the new guy.

Specifically, it's common for people not to think about minor annoyances they have grown used to. It's the boiling-frog effect -- a programmer who has been working on that app every day since the very beginning, as more image assets were slowly added, might not notice the gradual slowdown of the app's startup phase, because at first it was fast enough, and eventually he/she just got used to the slow startup because "that's just how it is with this program".

The new guy, OTOH, sits down with the app and because he's had little or no previous experience with the delay, finds himself noticeably annoyed and says to himself, "that is a problem... maybe I can find a way to improve that".

tl;dr -- a person with fresh eyes can often see problems that the old hands have grown too accustomed to, to notice.

Comment: Re:One (Score 1) 390

by Jeremi (#49620781) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

But he was a superstar, and last I checked he is now the CEO of the company, with 95% of the staff gone (and down to 1 or 2 developers), and he is credited with keeping the company afloat.

That's an ingenious way to accomplish layoffs without having to pay for any severance packages...

Comment: Re:Suicide mission (Score 1) 1050

by Jeremi (#49618313) Attached to: Two Gunman Killed Outside "Draw the Prophet" Event In Texas

With how all the anti discrimination crap going around, do you really think that the churches will be allowed to not marry homosexual couples in the future? I just don't see that exception remaining around with all the anti religious positions of the left...

There is actually a good precedent that will predict the answer to your question. 50 years ago, interracial marriage was in a position similar to the position of gay marriage now -- widely considered "unnatural" and banned by many states, but becoming increasingly accepted and the bans were increasingly being found unconstitutional.

So the interesting question is, 50 years later, are churches that disapprove of interracial unions being forced by the law to hold marriage ceremonies for mixed-race couples?

AFAIK the answer is "no"... but what's more interesting is that it's largely a non-issue, since there are so few churches that actually disapprove of interracial marriages anymore. My prediction, then, is that 50 years from now we will see a similar situation regarding gay marriage.

Comment: Re:Suicide mission (Score 1) 1050

by Jeremi (#49612155) Attached to: Two Gunman Killed Outside "Draw the Prophet" Event In Texas

The main problem Christians have with gay marriage is the co-opting of a religious ceremony.

The thing is, nobody is co-opting any religious ceremony. What happens (or doesn't happen) at a church remains completely up to the church. What happens at the marriage license office at City Hall, OTOH, is not a religious ceremony, it is the signing of a legal contract. It is the latter that gay marriage proponents are changing, not the former.

Comment: Re:Gamechanger (Score 1) 511

by Jeremi (#49593271) Attached to: Tesla Announces Home Battery System

2) Cloud... And the difference [between sunny-day production and cloudy-day production] is less than you'd think - it's about 90% of summer rather than the 25% or similar you might think.

That has not been my experience. For example, here is my system's output on April 25th (which was a cloudy day), and here is the output on April 26th (which was a sunny day). The cloudy-day output was about 10% of the the sunny-day output.

Comment: Re:Gamechanger (Score 3, Informative) 511

by Jeremi (#49593225) Attached to: Tesla Announces Home Battery System

What would make solar energy viable would be panels that didn't cost $30,000 to buy and install. [...] I just don't happen to have $30K laying around.

This game changer has already occurred in many places. There are many locations where you can get a home solar array installed without paying any money for it, because the installing company is willing to pay for the equipment and installation in return for selling you the generated power. This is appealing to consumers because they get a significant reduction in their monthly power bill, they don't have to pay anything, and they don't have to take on the risk of not getting the expected return on their investment.

The fact that solar companies are willing to take the financial risk on the customer's behalf indicates that the risk/reward ratio of home solar installations is already low enough to be economically viable, and it will only improve over time.

Comment: Re:Car analogy (Score 1) 125

Telling people they'll be okay once they know how to drive is the wrong idea.

The difference between driving and VR is that VR is supposed to simulate your being physically present inside a computer-generated environment. People already know how to physically exist in a location. If the VR system requires special training to interact with, then the V isn't doing a very good approximation of the R.

Comment: Fail the school. (Score 2) 355

by emil (#49571695) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class

My professors conducted research in areas that were only slightly related (on a good day) to the material that they were assigned to teach. These people carefully preserved overhead transparencies from previous teachers that were cracked and faded. They obviously had little enthusiasm for their teaching duties, and my fellow students mirrored the excitement.

Some became prima donnas that flew into a rage in the wrong circumstances. Some actively preened their students for (low-paid) graduate research (not entirely suppressing a greedy desire to exploit). And some simply took apathy to levels that I had never seen before.

I went through a real circus with a professor going for tenure (who did have basic problems with competence) that had to endure not only the stifled laughter of fellow faculty in our class, but video tape recorders documenting his poor teaching style.

School, at all levels, needs to put people who want to teach in front of people who want to learn, which is diametrically opposed to the structure of a research university. If you don't have both of these types of people in the right place at the right time, the results will be substandard, as indeed they have been for the past century.

Fail the school.

Comment: Re:The grid needs storage - not battery storage (Score 2) 329

by Jeremi (#49568889) Attached to: Why Our Antiquated Power Grid Needs Battery Storage

A used car battery won't hold a charge, or deliver current. That's why they are replaced after all.

I think you might have a misconception here -- it sounds like you are thinking of the engine-starter batteries used in a gasoline-engine car. The used batteries the previous poster is referring to are the (much larger) battery packs from an electric car. Those batteries are typically swapped out when their capacity deteriorates to the point where the car's maximum range is no longer acceptable. In that state, the batteries are still perfectly capable of holding a charge and delivering current; just not as much charge as when they were new.

Comment: Re:Not enough resourcees (Score 4, Insightful) 483

by Jeremi (#49560283) Attached to: Audi Creates "Fuel of the Future" Using Just Carbon Dioxide and Water

There isn't enough CO2 in the atmosphere to make this work.

That's okay, because they are unlikely to be taking the CO2 out of the atmosphere anyway. It would be much cheaper and easier to capture and reuse the outputs of an existing CO2 source (e.g. a coal plant) than it would be to suck CO2 out of the ambient air.

Comment: No need to overthink this (Score 5, Insightful) 359

by Jeremi (#49557801) Attached to: Google Insiders Talk About Why Google+ Failed

Google's social networking features remain marginal for the same reason all of the other social networking sites remain marginal: the value of a social networking application is proportional to the number of people who are already using it. And Facebook hit critical mass first, which means that anyone who wants to "socialize" online with all of their buddies is going to want to do that on Facebook, because that's where all of their buddies are to be found online.

Asking people to also sign up for a second social-networking service is a losing proposition, because it inconveniences them (now they have to check two sites every day) without providing any compensating benefit (why talk to their friends on site B when they could already do that on site A?).

Comment: Re:"Worth" (Score 1) 72

by Jeremi (#49524715) Attached to: I predict that by next Earth Day Bitcoin will ...

Bitcoin has no inherent worth. At least fiat currency, in physical form, can be burned for heat or used to clean-up after using the bathroom, or melted down and used for weights for fishing.

... and that's precisely why people turn to physical cash -- they never know when they will run out of toilet paper or kindling. No currency will ever be truly accepted unless/until it can also provide those vital services!

Receiving a million dollars tax free will make you feel better than being flat broke and having a stomach ache. -- Dolph Sharp, "I'm O.K., You're Not So Hot"

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