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Comment: Re:Good Luck (Score 4, Insightful) 279

by orasio (#49357197) Attached to: Amazon Requires Non-Compete Agreements.. For Warehouse Workers

In any case, you would need Amazon to actually enforce it.
While they do have more money for legal fees, they would risk a big PR issue if they tried to prevent some guy from working at Walmart after quitting Amazon. Also, the first guy with such a problem wouldn't have a lot of trouble finding someone to help them with legal fees, if only for the publicity.

This is probably just a scare tactic, to discourage people from leaving them, it is unethical, but not really enforceable.

Comment: Re:Good code (Score 3, Interesting) 247

by orasio (#49356481) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

For newly written code, things like readability, testability, and maintainability all can come in to whether it is "good" or not

For legacy stuff, Good code is code that works. Who cares how easy it is to read or test as long as it works?

The second one should also include "immutable". If it's hard to understand it will evolve easily to non working, and time spent on improvements can start to creep up very fast.

I have worked in very clever, solid code, but not easy to read. It was then maintained and extended by average, but competent programmers down the road, and turned into a big mess, only because it was so hard to understand.

In my experience, good code is easy to read, above all. That will make it easy to extend it coherently, find bugs and stuff. Also, if it doesn't work OK, it's easy to find out why. The single metric that saves time, money, and improves quality down the road is readability. Eveything else should be suject to that.

And, about the last point in the "article", "efficient", it's nonsense. Premature optimization is the root of all evil. You should _always_ follow the second rule of optimization (see http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?RulesOfOptimization ).

Comment: Re:Not being PHP (Score 1) 247

by orasio (#49356379) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

PHP can be good or bad, like any other code. Lately it's getting better.
As an example, do you think this looks bad? Looks pretty good to me.

  https://github.com/symfony/sym...

I have some awful, unreadable examples I could share in Java, PHP, Javascript and even C, but chosen language no longer forces you to write bad code. Maybe Perl, but I haven't seen it lately.

Google

"Google Glass Isn't Dead!" Says Google's CEO Eric Schmidt 141

Posted by samzenpus
from the I'm-getting-better dept.
lord_rob the only on writes "After Google stopped selling its wearable Glass device in January this year, many people speculated that the controversial gadget was on its way out for good. However, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt has said that the technology behind Glass is too important to throw away, and that the program has been put under the control of Nest's Tony Fadell to "make it ready for users" in the future.

Comment: Re:You Can't Fix It (Score 1) 133

An AC, very close to first post, and it is actually spot on!

Unless you can get management to sign on to a mentality of "it will be done when it's right" rather than "it will be done on Thursday" you have no hope of achieving FLOSS levels of success. I'm not saying you shouldn't try your best, merely that you should be aware of your limitations and from whence they come up front.

"OS" mentality is that it will be done when it's _done_. Not when it's _right_.
And it's tautologically true. You don't need management to change their mentality, only to _accept_ reality, and act accordingly. I know it might be too much to ask for, but it's not too much to ask.

While it does make sense to have a roadmap, release dates for new software are too often wrong. It's a good thing to keep yourself honest about expectations, and drive the development process, so you can get quality stuff, in reasonable timeframes, providing the greatest possible value.

Unrealistic expectations and pressure on estimates won't help you get there faster, or better. Being realistic will help your team improve estimations, and also help you complete stuff faster, and better.

Comment: Re:You Can't Fix It (Score 1) 133

You are right in your assessment, but there should be a solution for that.

Time and materials contracts can take care of the issues you are talking about. You can reject a pull request, but still pay for the hours.
It's a lot cheaper to pay for the hours than to fight over them. If it's an employee, help them get better, refine your specs, or maybe move them or replace them, if they are not fit for _that_ project. If it's a contractor, change contractors if they are bad.

If you are contracting software development, it's always better to assume some risks yourself, because that keeps your providers focused on helping you reach your objective, and not contract stuff. If you don't want to take risks, you shouldn't be developing software in the first place, but buying ready-made solutions.

.

Transportation

Man 3D Prints a Working 5-Speed Transmission For Toyota Engines 230

Posted by timothy
from the that's-awesome dept.
ErnieKey writes A man named Eric Harrell has reverse engineered a 5-speed transmission for a Toyota 22RE Engine, and 3D printed an entire working replica on his desktop 3D printer. Even though it is made up almost entirely of plastic, he says that it could function as a replacement for the real thing. In all it took about 48 hours of print time, plus many more in order to assemble the device. He has made the files available for anyone to download and print themselves for free.
Education

Ask Slashdot: Terminally Ill - What Wisdom Should I Pass On To My Geek Daughter? 698

Posted by Soulskill
from the f*#&-cancer dept.
An anonymous reader writes: I am a scientist and educator who has been enjoying and learning from Slashdot since the late 90s. Now I come to you, my geek brothers and sisters, for help. I've been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, which you will remember is what took Steve Jobs and Randy Pausch from us. My condition is incurable. Palliative chemotherapy may delay the inevitable, but a realistic assessment suggests that I have anywhere from two to six months of "quality" time left, and likely not more than a year in total.

I am slowly coming to terms with my imminent death, but what bothers me most is that I will be leaving my wife alone, and that my daughter will have to grow up without her father. She is in sixth grade, has an inquisitive and sharp mind, and is interested in science and music. She seems well on the path to becoming a "girl geek" like her mother, an outcome I'd welcome.

Since I will not be around for all of the big events in her life, I am going to create a set of video messages for her that she can watch at those important times or just when she's having a bad day. I would like to do this before my condition progresses to the point that I am visibly ill, so time is short.

In the videos I will make clear how much I treasure the time we've spent together and the wonderful qualities I see in her. What other suggestions do you have? What did you need to hear at the different stages of your life? What wisdom would have been most helpful to you? At what times did you especially need the advice of a parent? And especially for my geek sisters, how can I help her navigate the unique issues faced by girls and women in today's world?

Please note that I'm posting anonymously because I don't want this to be about me. I'd prefer that the focus be on my daughter and how I can best help her. Thank you so much for your help.
Cellphones

Pakistanis Must Provide Fingerprints Or Give Up Cellphone 134

Posted by Soulskill
from the must-donate-kidney-to-keep-tablet dept.
schwit1 sends this report from the Washington Post: Cellphones didn't just arrive in Pakistan. But someone could be fooled into thinking otherwise, considering the tens of millions of Pakistanis pouring into mobile phone stores these days. In one of the world's largest — and fastest — efforts to collect biometric information, Pakistan has ordered cellphone users to verify their identities through fingerprints for a national database being compiled to curb terrorism. If they don't, their service will be shut off, an unthinkable option for many after a dozen years of explosive growth in cellphone usage here.

Prompted by concerns about a proliferation of illegal and untraceable SIM cards, the directive is the most visible step so far in Pakistan's efforts to restore law and order after Taliban militants killed 150 students and teachers at a school in December. Officials said the six terrorists who stormed the school in Peshawar were using cellphones registered to one woman who had no obvious connection to the attackers.
China

Tech Companies Worried Over China's New Rules For Selling To Banks 127

Posted by Soulskill
from the worried-all-the-way-to-the-bank dept.
An anonymous reader writes: China is putting into place a new set of regulations for how banks interact with technology, and it has many companies worried. While the rules might enhance security for the Chinese government, they devastate it for everyone else. For example, not only will China require that companies turn over source code for any software sold to banks, the companies building the software (and hardware) must also build back doors into their systems. The bad news for us is that most companies can't afford to simply refuse the rules and write China off. Tech industry spending is estimated to reach $465 billion in 2015, and it's projected for a huge amount of growth.
Mars

Lost Beagle2 Probe Found 'Intact' On Mars 130

Posted by Soulskill
from the so-close-and-yet-so-far dept.
New submitter Stolga sends this report from the BBC: The missing Mars robot Beagle2 has been found on the surface of the Red Planet, apparently intact. High-resolution images taken from orbit have identified its landing location, and it looks to be in one piece. The UK-led probe tried to make a soft touchdown on the dusty world on Christmas Day, 2003, using parachutes and airbags — but no radio contact was ever made with the probe. Many scientists assumed it had been destroyed in a high-velocity impact.

The new pictures, acquired by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, give the lie to that notion, and hint at what really happened to the European mission. Beagle's design incorporated a series of deployable "petals," on which were mounted its solar panels. From the images, it seems that this system did not unfurl fully. "Without full deployment, there is no way we could have communicated with it as the radio frequency antenna was under the solar panels," explained Prof Mark Sims, Beagle's mission manager from Leicester University.

Comment: Re:Great to see (Score 2) 152

by orasio (#48802529) Attached to: Chinese Spacecraft Enters Orbit Around the Moon

I don't know whether what he says is true, but beggars are not a typical sight in communism.
In a communist state, they would either not get much gain by begging on their streets (think Cuba, at least when foreigners are not involved), and or be thrown in jail by doing it (like what they say happens in North Korea)
Also, political leaders enjoying luxury goods and meals is the norm in most countries, communist ("real" or not) or otherwise.

Comment: Re: Satellite not needed (Score 1) 115

by orasio (#48651171) Attached to: Cuba Says the Internet Now a Priority

I find it quite believable, seeing how the Venezuelan govt simply issues orders to all ISPs to block the IP ranges of sites that make them uncomfortable; a famous victim is DolarToday.com, a site that tracks the black market currency exchange rate and now publishes unflattering news and opinion. I'd include a few traceroutes but I'm posting from my phone. Even pastebin.com was blocked for more than a year (haven't checked recently) because a list of URLs with leaked emails wad posted there.

Currency black markets are not "unconfortable", they are _illegal_. I'm sure there are examples of censorship in Venezuela, but that's not one.

People will buy anything that's one to a customer.

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