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Comment: Re:just for comparison (Score 2) 546

by mcmonkey (#47820667) Attached to: Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

this is an interesting discussion..

..if you think confusing computer science and software development is interesting.

Complaining about the lack of programming in a CS degree is like complaining that physics majors don't build bridges.

"the courses taught in virtually all computer science [curricula] focus on theory, and they only dabble in teaching practical programming skills"

Well, it's good to hear virtually all computer science programs are doing it right!

Comment: Animals? Or vertebrates? (Score 1) 62

by mcmonkey (#47774509) Attached to: Fish Raised On Land Give Clues To How Early Animals Left the Seas

I've heard the same story as most...fish left the seas to spawn amphibians, reptiles, and other land animals.

Such stories never address invertebrates. If, as the headline suggests, all land animals come from fish who left the water, does this mean insects and other land invertebrates evolved from fish?

Comment: "immediate physical control" for current vehicles (Score 1) 506

by mcmonkey (#47759069) Attached to: California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

If they're insistent there's a way for an occupant to take "immediate physical control", why do they allow current cars on the road?

I'm not sure about steering, but certainly for acceleration and braking there's no way for drivers to take physical control of a modern automobile. Anything we do with those pedals on the floor sends a signal to a computer. The computer then decides what actions to take--open the throttle or apply the brakes.

There's a person initiating those functions, but the person does not have physical control.

Comment: Re:How much do the backers get? (Score 1) 107

Is it pure risk for the backers? e.g. if they make a product, they get something they bought, but if the product flops, they loose their money.
And now if the product makes a fortune, they only get their product they bought.
In other words, is kickstarter just a pre-order sales website?

It's zero risk for the kickstarter backers. There is zero chance they will lose more than they pledged through kickstarter.

Product? They didn't buy any product. Kickstarter has been quite clear, it is not a pre-order service. Anything offered in return for a kickstarter pledge is essentially a thank-you gift. Like all gifts, you're shouldn't demand one or complain when you don't get one.

If a kickstarter campaign fails (that is, raises the requested funds, but never manages to complete the product), the backers get nothing and have no recourse. I don't see how it would be any different if the campaign succeeds, as it did in this case. (Other than for P.R. reasons)

So back to the question of risk, once the campaign reached its funding goal, that money pledged was gone. Not a risk, but a certainty. It's like asking, what is the risk if I drop $5 into a Salvation Army bucket? No risk--you're just out $5.

Comment: Re:Only if... (Score 1) 427

by mcmonkey (#47323869) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

I could make phone calls on it without carrying a separate phone. Beyond that and telling time, I can't think of any other use for a screen I'd want to wear on my wrist.

My first thought in response to the question was, "never".

But if a smartwatch was a phone replacement instead of just a remote control for something that is generally not out of reach, I might consider it.

Of course, I was never a big fan of wrist watches. I could never get comfortable with one. I prefer pocket watches. So I would buy a pocket smart watch. And being a pocket watch, it would be a little bigger than a wrist watch, with a larger screen.

Oh wait! I already have that. It's called, "my phone."

So never. My answer is never.

Comment: Re:So Scott Oldham of Edmunds.com is a liar? (Score 1) 307

by mcmonkey (#47181861) Attached to: GM Names and Fires Engineers Involved In Faulty Ignition Switch

I'm not calling Oldham a liar. I'm saying, GM's story means either they are calling him a liar, or they're saying the engineer in the car with him on his test drive just happened to be the one engineer who knew about the issue. How else can they say only one person knew about the issue?

However, reading a bit more closely, we could be talking about different time frames. I.E. in 2002 only one person knew, as the GM statement claims, and only later in 2004 did other engineers become aware.

Of course none of that explains how one person gets a part changed without changing the part number and there's no oversight or visibility, and what happened between 2004 and 2014.

Comment: So Scott Oldham of Edmunds.com is a liar? (Score 4, Interesting) 307

by mcmonkey (#47179871) Attached to: GM Names and Fires Engineers Involved In Faulty Ignition Switch

According to this NPR story:
http://www.npr.org/2014/03/31/...

Scott Oldham of Edmunds.com had a test drive of the Cobalt in 2004, with a GM engineer in the car. Multiple times Oldham's knee hit the key fob and car shut down.

Also, a major factor preventing identification of the ignition switch issue (or at least providing plausible deniability) is the part number. GM had 2 sets of cars: one set supposedly had this issue, the other did not. Both had the same ignition switch, so if there was a difference between the two sets, the ignition switch was not it.

Now we know the ignition switch was changed, but the part number stayed the same, making it difficult to correctly identify the issue. We're supposed to believe a single engineer was responsible for changing a part but not the part number?

Not that it matters much to me. My car searches start with Consumer Reports reviews and reliability ratings, and so no GM car has been in consideration for a while.

Comment: Was that an interview or an audition? (Score 2) 274

by mcmonkey (#46914565) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Joining a Startup As an Older Programmer?

Because what you describe sounds more like the Hollywood version of a tech start up than any of the actual start-ups I've worked for and with.

Not that there can't be issues from the cultural differences between established companies and start-ups or between 40-something married with children and 20 & 30-something single, but if I'm looking to join a company as a programmer and Burning Man is on my list of concerns, I would not be looking to join this company.

"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined." -- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_

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