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Comment: Re:Advanced is good enough (Score 1) 220

by myrdos2 (#49425443) Attached to: How would you rate your programming skills?

I expect most of the "Experts" are people who have been doing it long enough to think they know everything but not long enough to realize that they don't know everything.

I'm surprised that people are putting such a high bar for being an 'expert'. Personally, I consider someone who can program in any language at an expert level to be, well, an expert programmer. I don't feel it means you must know virtually everything there is to know about programming in all languages.

In my teens, I came up with the definition I privately use: An expert programmer is someone who can read and write very complicated pieces of code. A master programmer is someone who can solve the same problems using simple code that almost anyone can understand.

Comment: Re:Risk (Score 2) 160

by myrdos2 (#49330607) Attached to: Energy Company Trials Computer Servers To Heat Homes

But putting a giant toaster in your basement to then circulate the heat around? I'm pretty much certain the laws of thermodynamics would say that's a terrible way of doing it.

No less efficient than any other central heating system.

For central heating, the existing solutions would work far better than inefficient electrical appliances generating hear.

There is no such thing as an inefficient electrical heater, unless you're venting the heat outside or something. Because all the waste energy is given off as.. more heat. Plus the heat given off by these appliances is free, since the server company is paying for it.

Free heat
It's hard to beat
Even with forced air
It works a treat

Comment: Re:seems about the same (Score 1) 320

A disturbing trend I've seen is the tendency for a conference or publication to ask the author's recommendation for suitable people to peer review the paper! This largely defeats the purpose of the review, since the author can cherry pick reviewers he knows will vote to accept. Say, a colleague or associate. I don't think the "cherry picking" isn't even conscious most of the time. I mean, who else would you recommend? Someone you don't know?

The justification given by the publisher is that they need someone with the right expertise to correctly review the paper, since it may deal with extremely specialized knowledge. But I've found that asking authors for "peers" seems to be the default for many journals, rather than the exception. So you end up with these low-quality journals that boast a full peer review process, but seem to be full of papers of dubious quality.

But in the publish-or-perish world, any publication is better than no publication, so these journals persist, soaking up rejected papers or low-quality work.

Comment: Re:Coming: Revenge of the junk fees (Score 1) 631

by myrdos2 (#49142475) Attached to: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules

There's an optimal pricing for most services. Take cable TV - lower the price and a few more people will buy in. But, not enough to make up for the lost revenue from lower prices. Raise the prices and you'll get more money, but not enough to make up for the people leaving your service. Your pricing can deviate around that "sweet spot", but not by a huge amount.

That's why companies instead try to make their services shittier, by inserting ads and reducing quality and so forth. People are more willing to put up with that. But if you legislate that they can no longer provide shitty service, it doesn't necessarily mean the prices will increase accordingly. Even if ISPs start lowering their data caps, people will likely perceive that as "paying more for less".

I can't help but see this as anything but a win for the consumer.

Comment: Re:It'll never happen (Score 2) 333

by myrdos2 (#48933407) Attached to: The discovery of intelligent alien life would be met predominantly with...

would of easily had enough time in the billions of years that have passed to colonize every single planet a thousand times over in the entire galaxy

I take the more pessimistic view: it means that interstellar travel is so difficult that no species has ever managed it.

Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition. - Isaac Asimov