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Comment: Re:Southwest Boarding Policies (Score 1) 305

That's interesting, but irrelevant. You don't fix disgruntled paying customers by humiliating them in front of a crowd. He tweeted about his initial experience; you think he'll meekly shut up about the follow on treatment?

He might've been acting like a pompous, entitled ass. If your job is serving the public, you have to get used to dealing with pompous, entitled asses in ways that don't make your entire organization look bad.

Comment: Re:Price of using scientists as political pawns (Score 5, Insightful) 129

Give me a break. This is all about climate change, something which has a solid scientific consensus. Conservative denial of this is just as bad as their desire to push Creationism and Intelligent Design into schools. These threatened researchers are not doing politically motivated work.

Face it, if these goons had their way they would be defunding anything that wasn't explicitly endorsed in the Bible.

Comment: Re:Price of using scientists as political pawns (Score 1) 129

NPR has been the whipping boy of conservative politicians for decades. They have been threatened with defunding many times. Because of this NPR has developed alternative sources of funds.

At present only about 10% of its revenues come from the Federal Government. NPR generally uses these attempts by Republicans to defund as a fund raising motivators.

I have heard some NPR employees say they wish the Feds would defund them. It would allow them more independence in their editorial content and would likely increase their income.

Comment: Re:Cost (Score 1) 421

by SQLGuru (#47524803) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

I get mine from Zenni Optical for a lot less than that.

But yes. Glasses only bother me when I'm sweaty (but I avoid that as much as I can). I like wearing glasses and like the way I look in glasses. I could go with non-corrective lenses for the look, but I think at less than $100 every few years, the ROI isn't really there.

Comment: Re:EVD (Score 1) 160

by hey! (#47523393) Attached to: Ebola Outbreak Continues To Expand

It's exactly as many syllables as "ebola" but carries more information, what's not to like?

Indeed, it carries MUCH more precision than just "Ebola", which can mean any of the following:

"Ebola River" is a tributary to the Congo River.

"Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever" was the name of a disease first discovered in people living in the remote Ebola River watershed.

"Ebola Virus" (abbrev. "EBOV") is the infectious agent that causes "Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever"

"Ebolavirus" is the taxonomic genus to which the "Ebola virus" belongs.

"Ebola Virus Disease (abbrev. "EVD") is now the more common name for Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever. We can call it that because we have definitively identified the infectious agent that causes the disease (EBOV). Changing the name pre-emptively differentiates EVD from other hemorrhagic diseases that might arise from the same area.

Laymen simply say "Ebola" and let their audience sort out what they mean -- if indeed they mean anything precisely. I once had this conversation with an elderly relative.

Relative: 90% of bats have rabies.

Me: That's hard to believe.

Relative: It's true! I read it in the paper.

So I went to the paper and found out that she had it hopelessly garbled. TEN percent of bats SUBMITTED FOR TESTING had positive SCREENING tests.

Comment: Re:EVD (Score 1) 160

by hey! (#47523131) Attached to: Ebola Outbreak Continues To Expand

I worked in public health informatics for many years, and it's a longstanding tradition to use three letter codes. I think this is the legacy of old systems which provided three or four character fields for codes, but it certainly speeds things along when you're keying data into a spreadsheet.

The tradition isn't formalized, and so it's application is somewhat irregular, but it's important in this case to realize that public health surveillance makes a strong distinction between a *disease* (a disorder of structure or function in an organism like a human) and an *infectious agent* (the parasite, bacterium, virus or prion that transmits the disease). That's because you can find the infectious agent without finding any cases of the disease -- for example in an asymptomatic human, in a disease carrying vector like a mosquito etc. Non-specialist use the same terms to refer to either the disease or the agent (this naming by association is called "metonymy", a word every system designer should be familiar with). So of course the abbreviations experts use seem nonsensical to non-specialists.

The abbreviation "EVD" maskes perfect sense -- it is the *disease* caused by the Ebola Virus (EBOV). A non-specialist uses terms loosely and would say things like "They found Ebloa in Freetown." A specialist wouldn't use such loose language. He'd say "We found a human case of EVD in Freetown," or "We had a serum with a positive titer for EBOV from Freetown."

Comment: There's only one thing you need to know about H-1B (Score 1) 214

by hey! (#47522747) Attached to: VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

There's only one thing you need to know about the H-1B program to see that it's not about providing skilled labor *here*: after 6-10 years of working the visa holder is kicked out of the country to make room for a less experienced visa holder.

If H-1B led automatically to a green card, then we'd be keeping the *most* expert workers here, rather than replacing them with less experienced ones. Change that *one* aspect of the program, and it's be an asset to the US as a nation.

Comment: Re:Yay! Hopenchange! (Score 1) 214

by hey! (#47522677) Attached to: VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

I went back and got a degree after 25 years. It's not the *degree*, it's the *education* that matters, and I got a lot more out of the education than my younger peers. This was a new perspective on things I was already familiar with, and I was able to connect a lot of dots I wouldn't have been able to when I was eighteen. I could immediately see what stuff was good for, and I discovered a number of things that would solve commonplace problems I'd seen occur over and over again, even with personnel wit advanced degrees.

Then I got out and discovered that the world didn't want to hire a fifty year old who'd been "out of work" (going to school) for three years....

Comment: Re:~50% have no degree... (Score 4, Insightful) 157

by SQLGuru (#47522605) Attached to: For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

I've long said that the computing field is one where you can make decent money without a degree. I think a lot of that is due to how people in my generation started out tinkering in computers as a hobby and that mindset has still continued. Computer people value ability over certifications and degrees.

That being said, those pieces of paper open more doors (especially at larger corporations) than not having them. But it is quite possible to be gainfully employed at above median income levels without ever having taken any formal training in computer.

* I use the generic term "computers" to mean both the programming as well as the technology side. Whether that is coding in Java or Javascript or C++ or C# for programming, you can find someone that will hire you. For the technology side, it can range from desktop support to server admin or DBA. If you know what you're doing, other computer people will recognize that and respect you for it.

Comment: Re:Code the way you want... (Score 1) 353

by SQLGuru (#47522571) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

1) You assume I'm independent instead of working for a consulting firm.
2) You assume that I have no knowledge of project management even though my previous gig was as an employee of a company that followed project management processes.
2a) You also assume that the employed project management processes are optimal. Usually they are not because the money people hamstring any attempt at doing any sort of true agile process.
3) You assume that meetings are the only way to convey requirements instead of working closely with the subject matter experts in a more collaborative manner.

Comment: Re: Eh? (Score 1) 113

by IamTheRealMike (#47522441) Attached to: Internet Explorer Vulnerabilities Increase 100%

Did YOU look at the graph? The bars are comparing all of 2013 against the first half of 2014 (obviously, as the second half is in the future). So the fact that IE already matched last year's record is where the 100% figure comes from - it's another way to say "doubled". Unless the second half of 2014 has a lower exploit rate then the conclusion will be correct.

Comment: Re:Eh? (Score 4, Insightful) 113

by SQLGuru (#47521747) Attached to: Internet Explorer Vulnerabilities Increase 100%

Yeah, even reading the PDF ( didn't show any sort of "AAAAAHHHHH!!!! The world is ending!" type of numbers. They show IE decreasing the patch time since 2007. There are charts showing that Zero days are decreasing. The Appendix shows 3 more entries in the National Vulnerability Database. Reporting statistics in percentages without referring to what the percentage is based on is just clickbait.

All software has holes. Larger use base makes for a bigger target. Blah blah blah. These stories aren't going to chance what people use because the common person isn't reading them.

"If a computer can't directly address all the RAM you can use, it's just a toy." -- anonymous comp.sys.amiga posting, non-sequitir