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Comment: Re:now! (Score 1) 649

by smooth wombat (#47515233) Attached to: Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

Windows 7 is notorious for always preparing to do something.

Preparing to download updates.

Preparing to install updates.

Preparing to restart machine.

Preparing to remove device.

Preparing to install device.

JFC! Just do it already. Stop preparing.

This is one of the most stark contrasts between XP and 7. XP didn't waste time preparing to do something, it just did it. In 7 you might as well go get lunch because it takes so long to do anything (or find anything for that matter because things are deliberately hidden.)

Comment: Here's what's wrong (again... still) (Score 3, Insightful) 82

These laws are toothless. "Must answer within 20 days"... or what? With no one held immediately culpable, the law is precisely meaningless.

Heard of anyone going to jail for this?

Heard of anyone paying a fine for this?

Even heard of anyone losing their job for this?

Compare: If you don't do something the government desires you to do, there will be consequences.

This is just like the constitution: "Highest law in the land" -- violate it -- as SCOTUS and congress have done over and over -- and the consequences? Nothing.

Just so you taxpayers know your place. The laws aren't for the government. Those are just laws "for show." The real laws are just for you. Because, you know, they care about you.

Comment: The octopus problem (Score 1) 77

by fyngyrz (#47488043) Attached to: Wearable Robot Adds Two Fingers To Your Hand

How many of us have tried to do something and wished we had (at least) a third hand?

I would pay a *lot* for a third hand, as I do a lot of my own construction work (building an interior into an old church we now live in.)

I can't even guess at the number of times I've had to wait until I had someone at my side to hold, turn, twist, drill, cut, brace, etc.

This stuff is great to hear. Love the idea of extra fingers.

Although it does put me strangely in mind of that scene in Heavy Metal where a robot, after having "done" a very sexy human female, spins his fingers around with a "whiiizzz", while commenting something on the order of "human woman love sex with mechanical assistance" lol

Comment: Re: Equating language to math is insulting (Score 1) 241

by fyngyrz (#47488015) Attached to: Math, Programming, and Language Learning

For most programmers, recursion seems to be a tool to completely -- but unpredictably -- blow out the stack. Cynical, I know, but that's been my experience.

Although I gotta tell ya, one of my favorite recursive things is a particular area fill routine for rectangular pixels. Simple and beautiful. Just elegant as all get out. Once I understood how it does what it does, it was like someone washed my mental windshield with Windex. That was a great day. :)

Comment: Re:I disagree (Score 1) 241

by fyngyrz (#47487987) Attached to: Math, Programming, and Language Learning

Yep. One of the things you discovered is that your school was one of the (many, many) schools that are horrible at teaching things, and in particular, math. Welcome to the real world. :)

So... how's your luck been in convincing employers (if you go that way) that your Coursera work is worthy of qualifying you for jobs?

Comment: That's not a toad, it's a frog. Or a butterfly? (Score 1) 241

by fyngyrz (#47487979) Attached to: Math, Programming, and Language Learning

I'm going to go with this:

The vast majority of programming is fairly simple manipulation of states and symbols, which are themselves a small subset of numbers. yes and no are 1 and 0, etc.

The way those manipulations work together quickly becomes very complex.

You can do a boatload of things with just that knowledge. Entire video games. Many types of process control and dedicated controllers. Most reasonable scripting jobs, most "webby" stuff, database stuff, etc.

But then adding some knowledge of math, in the purely technical sense, gives us more symbols to manipulate, and more ways to manipulate them, and this, like any major skills enhancement, definitely makes you a better programmer. Some mid-level math concepts -- very simple in nature, actually -- amplify what you can do so much it's just amazing.

I suspect -- I can't actually tell you because my math is only mediocre to fairly good, nor have I ever knowingly come in contact such a person -- that *really* advanced math skills combined with *really* advanced programming skills (which I can lay claim to) would combine to create a true monster programmer.


I think there's something about the essentially concrete nature of programming, and the incredibly abstract nature of higher math, that makes these dual-facet powerhouses the rarest of the rare. In my experience -- admittedly, just one person's career -- serious math heads tend to be pretty lousy programmers. Lots of bugs, poor structure, little to no sensitivity to shortcuts and loading. Then really great programmers seem to be only sorta capable with math (although what they can do with what they have tends to be quite surprising.) Just an IMHO based on my experience. Something I've found interesting enough to contemplate many times. Having said that, I sure would like to meet Mr. or Ms. combination-o-both. :)

Comment: Re:I guess they won't need any more foreign Visas? (Score 2, Insightful) 382

by smooth wombat (#47474915) Attached to: Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go
Programmers are massively underpaid compared to the skillset we need to do our jobs.

Considering the lousy end products I have to deal with on a daily basis, paying programmers more money won't improve the skillset. You want to be paid more money? Produce a better product.

As to the products I'm talking about, let's start with Oracle and SAP then move on to Microsoft itself, Apple, HP and Siemens to name the most used ones I deal with.

Comment: More like Captain Clueless (Score 1) 140

Well, let's see how "shocked" you are when the "well-reasoned, evidence-backed, meaty, professional arguments" result in your surfing becoming a lot slower, and any websites YOU decide to publish somehow don't get much traffic, because people won't wait on slow websites, as is well known. Yeah, I'll bet you'll just be happy as a clam with that, won't you? You won't see any evidence of the system being broken then, either, will you? Clearly, the problem will resolve itself you only just educate yourself a little more (presumably with what benefits the corps, and not you.)

Sure. Brilliant.

Comment: Re:No shit really? (Score 4, Insightful) 140

Yep. Just like the rest of the government. Citizen input is an illusion at best, and even then, only one that takes in the highly gullible and blindly nationalistic.

And to the mods: The A/C's comment was harshly sarcastic, but that is entirely appropriate in this circumstance. Modding the A/c (parent) comment down is stupid. It's topical, accurate, and to the point. Mod it back up. Mod mine down instead if you must mod something down just to vent your spleens, or whatever your problem is.

Comment: English. So much fun. (Score 3, Insightful) 552

by fyngyrz (#47457791) Attached to: The Last Three Months Were the Hottest Quarter On Record

When the word "globally" is used in context with a subject that directly affects the globe, it's not a metaphor for (local) completeness, it means "everywhere on the globe." This is basic English.

It's been a consistently cool and wet spring and summer in the northern plains of the USA. This data is relative to the region of the northern plains, and is comprehensive within that region, but not globally. This data cannot, by itself, be interpreted as a global indicator, regardless of if it agrees or disagrees with the global data. One would not say "It has been globally cool and wet" based upon data for the northern plains.

Global climate data (you know, for the globe) will include data from all regions of the globe in order to determine a global average weather datum of any kind -- temperature, rainfall, etc. Anything less is regional. "It has been regionally cool and wet in the US northern plains this spring and summer."

"You don't go out and kick a mad dog. If you have a mad dog with rabies, you take a gun and shoot him." -- Pat Robertson, TV Evangelist, about Muammar Kadhafy