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Comment Re: contractors add overhead and dead time due to (Score 1) 85

I have had similar idling experiences working for state government as well as private companies. In Illinois we employ a large number contractors because it is very difficult to acquire talent. The rules are such that when hiring a direct employee the posting must be made available first to current state employees. They have first dibs. Only when there are no demonstrably (on paper) unqualified state employees put in for the position may it be posted to the public. And in that case there is so much red tape and beurocracy to wade through it could take months to get someone in the door. Instead they can hire a contractor, while costing more short term, is immediately available and has a much higher likelihood of being qualified because she or he was selected by the managers needing the work done. They may cost more in the short term, but contractors are not entitled to state benefits and pension. So the state does not have to continue to pay that contractor after he or she retires.

Comment Re:What's so American (Score 3, Insightful) 531

And if the providers insist on a market where they have local monopolies, then let's regulate them as utilities. Otherwise what will happen? First, they will ensure that the barriers to enter the local markets will be so difficult to overcome they will ensure their monopolies. Second, once their positions are secure, the total cost of the service will rise while quality of service will decrease.

Comment Re:A stupid consideration (Score 1) 511

I also have to disagree with programmers who think learning a new language is just syntax, but for a different reason: Semantics. Sure, any programmer who knows a language could probably pick up the syntax of another language with relative ease. But knowing the semantics of a language is what separates the wheat from the chaff. Programmers who don't understand the semantics of the language are the ones who create the subtle, hard to find bugs. This is especially true with JavaScript: 2 == "2" (true), 2 === "2" (false), 2 + 2 == 4, 2 + "2" == "22", 1 (true), 0 (false), "1" (true), 0 == "0" (true), "0" (FALSE), "true" (true"), "false" (TRUE), [1, 2, 3] (true), [] (TRUE), I could go on. With the explosion of new web sites thousands of programmers began churning out crappy JavaScript because they thought," hey, I know (VB/C/Pascal/PowerBuilder/DreamWeaver/etc). Coding a website should be no problem!" Boom. Now this guy just wrote some crappy code which goes further to sully the name of JavaScript, which is not without its own warts but overall is a capable scripting language.

Comment Re: Well at least they saved the children! (Score 1) 790

No, it's perfectly fine. Look, Google is not the government and is under no constitutional obligation to respect your privacy. If you want to keep your photos and documents private, don't store them with a third-party service that freely admits to analysing your documents. Do not transmit them over the internet. Do store them on a non-networked device. Google did the right thing. This guy is a pervert and an idiot.

Comment Re: No (Score 1) 180

Mainly because nothing would be gained. Python and PHP are similar to JavaScript in that they are dynamic languages. The idea of dart and others is to bring static compilation and strict typing to the browser, enabling improved JIT code generation and to make code more maintainable. If you've ever worked on a large application in a dynamic language, you've experienced the pain of trying to change an API without the help of the compiler telling you what it breaks and which sources and lines have errors.

Comment Re: No (Score 1) 180

While I haven't seen any compelling reason to use a source to source compiled language (still cant change js symantics and js is expressive enough) after experimenting with TypeScript, coffeescript and dart, I can tell you haven't experimented with any of them. These compilers generate map files, which are akin to Microsoft PDB files. The JavaScript debugger (in Chrome at lease, probably FireFox too) will use this file to enable debugging in the original source that was compiled to js. If you had actual experience with these compilers instead of making uninformed assumptions, you would know this.

Comment Re: In the US they'd have been charged (Score 2) 378

No. I'm actually not concerned about the ATM company. I'm concerned about well-meaning hackers getting thrown in jail because they got caught hacking before they could prove they were just trying to help. If hackers are always punished for hacking regardless of the motivation, then there is no risk reward to hacking into a system with good intentions. You just wouldn't do it. However if there is a chance that the risk pays off, no one goes to jail and you get your warm and fuzzy, then people will take that risk. And some will inevitably get busted. I don't want good people to get thrown into jail or otherwise hassled by the authorities. Let's remove the incentive for engaging in risky behaviour.

Comment Re: In the US they'd have been charged (Score 2) 378

Sometimes comparing computers to physical things is apropos, sometimes not. Just because some people make these comparisons when they are not truly demonstrative of a situation does not mean that every such comparison is fallacious. I have a lock on my front door. You finding a copy of the key under a rock is not implicit permission to enter my house, no matter how stupid I may have been to leave a spare key out for anyone to find.

If you're not careful, you're going to catch something.