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Comment Re:Giving it the old "college try" eh? (Score 1) 281

You imply that people who vote for Trump are stupid.

Maybe people are just sadistic (like myself) and want to see Trump win simply for the fact that if he does, it will become a watershed moment in American politics. An awakening, rebirth, whatever you want to call it. If Trump wins, we lose four years so that we can improve society in perpetuity. It's a small sacrifice.

Comment Re:Programming (Score 1) 616

This is precisely it.

There is a lot of work that needs to be done in this world that does not take a genius to do. It just so happens to involve dealing with code on a regular basis.

Asshats that proclaim, "You're not a programmer!!! You script kiddie!!" are doing no service to the IT industry as a whole. Everyone always likes car analogies, and the guy up above somewhere said along the lines of "it's like doing a little car work and claiming to be a mechanic". Well, not really, because I know loads and loads of people who are pretty average IQ and are terrific mechanics. You don't have to be a genius as "programmers" want people to see them as. There are very few "code mechanics" right now that are worth a damn. There's plenty of programmers, sure, but that's more of an engineering domain. The world needs more grease monkeys.

Comment Re: Programming (Score 1) 616

A project I recently worked on involved a retail site that allowed a user to customize the dimensions of the product they were buying. This was by far the most complex bit of math I've ever had to do in ecommerce website development.

Essentially, the product was sold in dimensions and was composed of several layers. Each layer was a different size and each had it's own pricing formula. The math required to figure all of this out was trivial. Essentially, L x W x $

At the same time, as a user chose different components and sizes, an image preview would display that showed the item in whatever (to scale) dimensions were entered with the various components in different colors, etc. The math for building the image preview was also trivial (though somewhat convoluted due to business requirements). It was nothing beyond high school geometry.

There is definitely a skillset required to do this kind of work that resembles one that requires a lot of math. I don't think they are necessarily the same.

Comment Re:I'm not mad about the subsidies (Score 1) 199

I don't know. They've been laying fiber around Denver for a little while now. Seems plausible they are upgrading the city and then they can roll out a bunch of services to all the northern counties (where the oil money has been drying up).

Plausible, I suppose, until you consider they are who they are. Maybe CenturyLink will be different than the rest, we'll see.

Comment Re:I'm spending 60% of my monthly income on rent (Score 1) 940

And if "another place to live" isn't within practical commuting distance of your job or of any employer hiring in the field for which you have trained, too bad.

I've been suggesting to my fiancee that she starts trying to diversify herself as an employee. She's a research scientist, and as a result needs to live somewhere (probably) where there is a good research school to provide jobs.

Now we're getting married and looking at the reality of staying in the area (Denver). Our current house's lease is now ending so the owners can do some much needed work and jack the rent to $3000+ (we pay $1250 now, an unheard of price in this area). We look for other places and you show up and there's 30 other couples there trying to get the same place.

Looking at all the realistic suburbs (yech) and it's much the same everywhere. At this point, I am seriously looking at purchasing some land for $200-300k and working remotely. In order to do this, she's going to need to figure out what to do for work. Maybe I can build her a remote lab or something, but the science she'd be doing would need to be more ag or geology based, and that's not what she does.

Locking yourself into a narrow career path where you will only find work in certain cities leads to this.

Comment Re:Theory says more efficient utilization, but... (Score 1) 94

This thing.

Think simply about the ongoing recent improvements to deployment strategies. In the web development world, you used to just load up Filezilla and copy files over to a server. Running a website required a single environment. When you wanted to launch a new website, you created a new server environment and that was it.

In 2015, there is now Docker, Vagrant, Jenkins, VCS, Ansible, Node, Bower, Composer, (and really this list just continues forever) ... It's not a matter of simply installing Apache and having a fine day. The infrastructure has grown in complexity to such a degree that every software component ends up running inside a container.

It's a total pain in the ass and it requires more infrastructure to support all this stuff. Why do people do it? Because it improves other business processes after N amount of time.

Comment Re:Shipping costs (Score 1) 107

I think there's a few problems with that.

First, consumers are already hard-wired to detest shipping fees. As a result, retailers will often simply add the shipping cost to the sticker price (or a reasonable estimation). On some items they lose a little, and on some items they get a little back. Doing this has its merits. One of them is that it greatly simplifies your shipping logistics. For complex catalogs composed of highly variable item dimensions, this is a god send. On the other hand, it does tend to limit you in what shipping options you offer customers.

Another thing is simply that USPS is late to the game. USP and FedEx have been operating their APIs successfully for quite awhile. They are integrated in many software packages already. USPS also has an API, but it I find it is less commonly integrated into various software tools. This leaves retailers with a series of tools, all of which support UPS or FedEx while a couple of the tools don't have USPS functionality. These tools are usually legacy and are just not practical to update.

On top of all this is the fact that APIs change over time and the service you used yesterday might not work today. In the past I have accessed several of USPS' APIs with little more than signing up for a key. Now, however, when I have gone to get new keys for the very same thing, I am rejected for one nebulous reason or another.

Comment Re: Think that's impressive? (Score 4, Interesting) 207

It's amazing how incompetent and lazy Web developers have become.

As a developer myself, I feel the need to stand up on this statement.

I have built numerous e-commerce sites. Every one of them performed well and care was taken to reduce HTTP requests, optimize images, minify assets, etc. I do this because it's the right thing to do and I take pride in building something that works well.

Then the site gets turned over to the client and gets managed by SEO and marketing people. I will usually check the site out or show it to a friend or something a month or two after launch. I am disgusted (but never surprised) to see the slow page loads and poor response times that are a result of all the additional tracking garbage they stuff in the header.

I see a lot of people blame web developers for sites that perform poorly. Every single time I have had a hand in building one of those sites, the developer was never the person responsible for that stuff.

Comment Re:Boeing Engineers... (Score 1) 200

Still, there's that one in a million shot that there is an exploitable flaw.

Of course, it's certainly much better odds than that if you're running a network simulation and have several ?'s on the topo for things running proprietary protocols you likely know not much about.

Is there a logical separation at the switch? Sounds likely. What about the switch, does it have an admin login/password? If that switch is crackable, then the logical separation of the network is hosed.

There's still the matter of crafting those packets so they are heard, and while I have little idea how to do it, it's not something that can't be done.

I don't think whatever hack Roberts came up with work work in the wild. In a simulation it works great because it's a damn simulation*.

"I may be synthetic, but I'm not stupid" -- the artificial person, from _Aliens_