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Comment Read the opposition. (Score 1) 203

I read a lot of the usual suspects: this site; although it's probably
gone downhill over the years, there are still some interesting, insightful
or informative opinions/posts.

Other sites include:

El Reg. Always good for the latest government fuck-ups with IT.
The latest: 16 billion quid wasted trying to implement a new IT system for what is essentially a renamed social security benefit.

Our dishonest dick of a PM (David Cameron) said today:

"I make no apology for taking Universal Credit [the new benefit] at a deliberate pace."

"Deliberate pace"? It's been years (and it wont be ready for many more, if at all!). What a tosspot.

Another good site is:

FreeBSD Forums. A must read for all those using (or proposing to use) FreeBSD.

The icing on the cake:

The Daily Mail; drivel masquerading as news.

It's like The Onion, only funnier.

It consists of "news" about celebrities (I use the word loosely: most of
them I've never heard of). On a typical day there will be about a dozen
stories about the dreadful Kardashians. A tweet by one of those revolting
people constitutes Daily Mail "news".

What beggars belief though, is that the DM is one of the most popular sites
in the UK! People believe and read the trash they write, as the hundreds of
braindead comments attached to each story attest.

Who was it that said "You can't underestimate people's stupidity"? The DM
is living proof of the wisdom of that quote. Remember, that half the
population has an IQ < 100; I read the DM so that I know what that
half are thinking/being told to think.

I'm not the only one to read the DM. The government takes a keen interest
in what the DM and their imbecile audience has to say and it inevitably
informs part of their unashamedly populist government policy.
Eg. EU bad, people on social security are all scroungers, isn't
the Royal Family lovely?, immigrants are scum, BBC bad etc.

In short, they're hugely influential and I take it as a public duty to
stay informed of what these dingbats are up to. If I lived in the States,
I'd watch Fox News.

I used to troll the DM: post comments which caused a certain amount of
cognitive dissonance amongst the readers. But I got bored with it; the
dullards didn't really react. Maybe my trolling technique wasn't good enough.

We shouldn't always read stuff that confirms our own views/prejudices. You
need to know what the "opposition"/"mental defectives" (or in the States:
Republicans) are up to.

Comment Re:The title game (Score 1) 124

Absolutely, this doesn't just apply to software engineers in Silicon Valley. Looking through the data, I see the same thing for all kinds of engineers in the Midwest. There are "Senior Engineer Design" people making $93k ($73k prevailing), while a "Technical Specialist Advanced Systems Design" makes $80k ($66k prevailing). These are arguably the same position, but the "Engineer" title makes more money.

It is time that the title "Engineer" was stopped being abused by the IT

The fact is that any goon, whatever his/her qualifications (or lack thereof)
can apply for a job as a "Software Engineer" and can be interviewed and assessed
for the post by other "Software Engineers". Hence, the hideous state of a lot
of codebases.

Compare with a Mechanical Engineer. In the UK at least, first you have to do
your degree, then you have to get a job and be trained/handheld by a
Chartered Engineer for several years before you sit your professional exams.
If you pass those exams you then have the right to become a member of the
Institution of Mechanical Engineers, IMechE, and only then can you be let
loose on the jobsmarket and legally describe yourself as an "Engineer".

The same process goes for electrical, civil, chemical engineers. They all have
their own institutes and professional examinations.

Would you like your local bridge to be designed by a civil engineer who wasn't
Chartered? I think not. A Chartered Engineer is threatened with expulsion from
his institute and the end of his career as an engineer if he fouls up.

Yet the IT industry will happily take someone fresh out of university and let
them loose coding eg some banking application. When the crackers inevitably
break in, he/she might get sacked but they'll just move on continuing to
describe themselves as a "Software Engineer".

It's time that software developers had a professional institute that forces
them to do their time under a time-served, qualified engineer and then sit
professional examinations before they can call themselves "Engineer".

Once this happens, it will put an end to your H1B problem and the driving down
of salaries and hopefully improve the quality of software.

Hardware Hacking

Grad Student Invents Cheap Laser Cutter 137

An anonymous reader writes "Peter Jansen, a PhD student and member of the RepRap community, has constructed a working prototype of an inexpensive table-top laser cutter built out of old CD/DVD drives as an offshoot of his efforts to design an under $200 open-source Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printer. Where traditional laser cutters use powerful, fixed-focus beams, this new technique dynamically adjusts the focal point of the laser using a reciprocating motion similar to a reciprocating saw, allowing a far less powerful and inexpensive laser diode to be used. The technique is currently limited to cutting black materials to a depth of only a few millimeters, but should still be useful and enabling for Makers and other crafters. The end-goal is to create a hybrid inexpensive 3D printer that can be easily reconfigured for 2D laser cutting, providing powerful making tools to the desktop."

Comment Re:Oh good! (Score 1) 276

I don't give a rat's ass because Microsoft will never, ever go after an insignificant, individual end user like me for patient infringement.

Frankly, what you do to your patent's disgusts me. I hope Microsoft go after you with the full force of the law.

Comment Re:Mama don't take my Kodachrome away! (Score 1) 399

> This page [] at the kodak site shows about 8 different types of 35mm film which Kodak is marketing.

That page shows the negative film. Kodachrome is slide film and this page shows that kodachrome is being discontinued but some newer slide films remain.

I'm sad. I used to use kodachrome; it was nice film if a little slow for the English climate.


Submission + - Skype-Linux reads /etc/passwd and firefox profile! (

mrcgran writes: "Users of Skype for Linux have just found out that it reads the files /etc/passwd, firefox profile, plugins, addons, etc, and many other unnecessary files in /etc. This fact was originally discovered by using AppArmor, but others have confirmed this fact using strace on versions and What is going on? This probably shows how important it is to use AppArmor in any closed-source application in Linux to restrict any undue access to your files."

Submission + - 10 Reasons it doesn't pay to be "The Computer ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: has an article discussing 10 Reasons it doesn't pay to be "The Computer Guy." Reasons vary from the declining cost of computers to some less obvious but still valid points. The article begins with a familiar scene: a group of strangers take immediate interest in you after mentioning you work with computers.

Submission + - Comet Explosion Killed The Clovis Culture. 1

Haikuist_For_Hire writes: The NSF has released a study that strongly implicates a comet explosion over North America roughly 13000 years ago. Researchers at the University of Californina at Santa Barbara with the help of a National Science Foundation grant visited many Clovis sites around North America. The abrupt cooling trend of that time is known as the Younger Dryas or 'big freeze' and the collapse of the Clovis has been the subject of much debate over recent years. Samples from 12 Clovis period sites yielded high concentrations of Iridium, nano-diamonds, and buckyballs (fullerenes) that contain gases which indicate extraterrestrial origins. From the article: 'The team concluded that the impact of the comet likely destabilized a large portion of the Laurentide ice sheet, causing a high volume of freshwater to flow into the north Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.'

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