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Comment: Re:999 (Score 1) 576

by mjr167 (#47902133) Attached to: High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Probably because he only bothered to put 3 digits on the display. And he's 17.

A new hire I'm working with that is a college grad asked me why I was making him validate the system input... Apparently there are some things that you don't learn until it bites you in the ass. I then let him do some XML parsing using string searches a couple months ago and now he is busy rewriting all his code to use the XML parser now that he has discovered how diverse legal XML truly is. I figured a good life lesson was worth it. He has spend the past few days muttering about how he was told the XML messages would never change...

Comment: Re:"Illegal" fireworks (Score 1) 340

by mjr167 (#47393747) Attached to: On 4th of July:

Our neighbors set off "illegal" explosives in order to celebrate seditious men. We usually call the cops when they start setting off the bottle rockets in the middle of the night and waking up my baby. Before I bought my house the college students living in the apartment below me had a "illegal explosives" party all night long one night. It was a weeknight. After I went downstairs and yelled at them for making a ruckus, they decided to light up the rest of their stash. The next morning they had left all their trash all over the lawn. The landlord evicted them.

The hate is directed towards inconsiderate asshats blowing shit up when other people are trying to sleep. If a guy was standing in the middle of the street in front of your house at midnight blaring rock music, you would be ticked off. If a guy launches a bottle rocket into your roof and burned your house down, you would be pretty ticked off. No one gives a fuck about people having a little fun. There are plenty of fireworks, etc that don't involve burning down your neighbors house or waking them up in the middle of the night. Not to mention that if you really want to go blow up big stuff without ticking people off you can either do it outside the city limits or during a time when no one cares.

So as long as you don't burn my house down or wake my baby up, I don't care how you celebrate :) Once you start doing one of those things, then I call the cops.

Comment: Re:Meatspace is losing to userspace (Score 1) 310

As a preschool app, it's not that bad a game. It helps her learn to spot count (looking at a group and immediately seeing 4 without needing to count each object individually) as well form problem solving skills. The primary problem is that it enforces the idea that once you find the solution to the game, then that is the only way to solve that particular problem and is discourages her from looking for other ways to solve the problem. Why should try putting 1 and 4 together when she knows that she will get 5 if she combines all the fish and then splits them?

I think you have found the primary problem with computer based games (or any game with rigid rules). The predefined rules rarely cover all possible scenarios and often overly simplify the world. How many times have you played a game where in order to advance to the next level you need to jump from exactly the right spot and then grab a vine even though you have a grappling hook in your backpack or some other such nonsense?

Comment: Re:Meatspace is losing to userspace (Score 1) 310

Computers are a tool, nothing more. Like a screwdriver, they can be used to fix things, take things apart, or kill people. It is not the fault of the tool if it is being used improperly.

My daughter (age 4) plays a game on the iPad where she is asked to do object based math. She is supposed to combine groups of 1, 2, 3, and 4 fish in order to form groups of 5 fish. The iPad tells me that she has yet to master this skill because her solution is to combine all the fish into one big group of 10 and then split the group in half, getting two groups of 5. The two groups of 5 fish merrily go off to get eaten by the whale and she completes the level happy, but the iPad will not advance her to adding to make 6.

The game is fun and helps her practice these skills in a easily reset-able environment thanks to the magic block fairies, but at some point she is going to need a person to tell her why the game doesn't like her solution.

Comment: Re:Buzzzzz word compliant. (Score 2) 232

by mjr167 (#47022501) Attached to: Programmers: It's OK To Grow Up

Admittedly jumping from a C background into Java is not a huge leap, but in the end it's all just syntax. Programming principles never change.

Apparently people have trouble going from Java to C...

I'm currently involved in migrating a large legacy C/C++ project to new hardware and updating our external interfaces. They gave us a bunch of java programmers to help us out and they can't seem to wrap their heads around the fact that if the system isn't behaving the way legacy did, they are supposed to read the code and figure it out on their own. Apparently if Eclipse won't highlight the line or an error message doesn't get printed to the screen explicitly telling them what's wrong, they have no fing clue what to do. Maybe it's my developers, but none of them seem to be able to make the switch from Java to C and C++.

Comment: Re:Useless (Score 4, Insightful) 187

by mjr167 (#46746253) Attached to: First Glow-In-the-Dark Road Debuts In Netherlands

I'm not sure what this obsession with street lights is... We don't have street lights where I live and it's nice. We somehow manage to not run over children and animals, though the deer do occasionally hit cars. Stupid deer dashing out of the woods and running into cars... (cars never hit deer, the deer always hits the car).

As a result we can look up and see the sky at night and we don't have street lights shining into our houses in the middle of the night.

Comment: Re:Freedom of Speech? (Score 0) 328

by mjr167 (#46666425) Attached to: Federal Bill Would Criminalize Revenge Porn Websites

If we did accept your argument, then we would also have to accept that it would be a violation of free speech to film film young girls in a dressing room or to take covertly film women going up an escalator so we can see up their dresses. In both cases, this is not acceptable, and the former is is not only because of age issues.

Actually... Upskirting is apparently currently legal.

Comment: Re:Universities should have no patents (Score 4, Informative) 130

by mjr167 (#46653709) Attached to: Details You're Not Supposed To See From Boston U's Patent Settlements

One of my coworkers is teaching a class at the local university. They are paying him $6000 for the semester. He has 30 students, each student pays the uni $2600 to take the class so the uni got $78,000 in tuition for this one class and had to pay the professor $6000. Where do you think the money goes?

It's an online class. There is no lab equipment, no building fee...

Comment: Re: Bad summary (Score 0) 206

by mjr167 (#46554039) Attached to: They're Reading Your Mail: Microsoft's ToS, Windows 8 Leak, and Snooping

That actually varies by state to state... Some states require the landlord to provide notice, others do not. I had this problem at my first apartment. The landlord was constantly sending in maintenance and not bothering to tell me. They had to do work on the furnace, inspect the fire extinguishers, etc. At least once a month they came in and the only reason I knew was because I bought a security camera. It was ridiculous. In the end, I moved out. Legally there was nothing I could do and trust me, I was pissed and tried.

Comment: Re:1996 (Score 1) 96

by mjr167 (#46553973) Attached to: Navy Database Tracks Civilians' Parking Tickets, Fender-Benders
Actually... yes... If you have a security clearance you are required to report traffic violations resulting in large fines. Until recently the limit was $150, but in the last couple of years they upped it to $300. Apparently the US government thinks that if you routinely drive 90 in a 50 you are irresponsible or something.

Comment: Re:Recycle! (Score 1) 323

by mjr167 (#46551943) Attached to: More On the Disposable Tech Worker

We have a new hire going through our one project and fixing compile issues (we are porting to a new architecture and upgrading the compiler). He hit a series of errors about copy constructors being private. His solution was to just friend the class instead of asking us why the copy constructors were private. It was a database connection class and the destructor closed the connection. Those of us who knew what was going on, knew that this was Bad and we needed to fix the implicit copy that was happening with the new compiler, not just litter friend throughout the code to make it compile. Had we tried to run his fix, the system would have failed with closed database connections.

So yes. Experience is worth something.

"Once they go up, who cares where they come down? That's not my department." -- Werner von Braun