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Comment: Re:I must be in the minority. (Score 1) 456

by quarterbuck (#46773493) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires
If your investment growth keeps tracks with inflation, then they balance out. If you can save 15K in 401(k) a year and put in an equivalent amount into a house, that is 30K a year and by the time you retire, should make you millionaire equivalent (zero inflation adjusted growth).
Add to this the fact that the profile of a millionaire is very similar to that of a Developer .
Average millionaire is educated with atleast college degree, earns about $100 K (which according to Dept of Labor) is what developers earn, own homes,work 40-50 hours a week etc.
Add to this the fact that most millionaires are very near retirement age and it makes it highly probable that a developer is highly probable to retire a millionaire.

Comment: Re:Hero ? (Score 4, Informative) 236

As usual the Slashdot summary is incomplete on the verge of being incorrect.
Reuters has a longer story that explains the background. Digrigio testified in the Senate that he did not know of the issue. Later senate dug up documents implying the opposite.Altman did something similar (but not nearly as bad) in front of a Jury.

Comment: Re:Right! (Score 1) 578

by quarterbuck (#46729557) Attached to: Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code
The problem is that we have many millions of people with NO useful skills.
Having vision and hand-eye co-ordination is a skill. People have it in varying levels (sportstars are You can take a below-average-intelligence person and have him pick cotton or harvest grains. When wheat are rice used to be harvested by hand, these people were very useful. Now that those jobs have gone to harvesters, these people are cannot be employed to run these machines. It is also far cheaper to use the machines rather than use the skills they have . They worked for some time in factories making stuff and exporting them to rest of the world. Now that has gone out too. US mostly exports software,tech and services now.
So the problem is not that they have no useful skills, but that they have no skills that are valuable. Alternately, their skills have been priced out of the market by machines.

Comment: Re:Status quo? (Score 1) 208

by quarterbuck (#46573239) Attached to: White House To Propose Ending NSA Phone Records Collection
I believe the big change is that there are individual orders required for each user.
So if an over-reaching operator tries to collect data on his ex-gf / political opponent etc. there will be a paper trail. I don't think this will be an actual court order, it might be an administrative one, but it is still an improvement.

Comment: Re:Lat / Long? (Score 1) 461

by quarterbuck (#46460129) Attached to: The $100,000 Device That Could Have Solved Missing Plane Mystery
This is standard on all commercial flights and all airplanes outside US.It is called ADS-B . In addition all aircrafts in US (except homebuilts) have transponders which transmit atleast part of the information (altitude, speed). You can even watch airplanes fly pretty much live on a webpage (These guys were the first to figure out that Asiana flight crashed in California).
The problem is not transmitting, it is tracking all of them real-time with accuracy. A minute delay in receiving/processing signals mean a 60 mile error in location, similarly a few feet error in altitude means big error in speed etc. In this particular case, atleast two radars had the airplane on their screens. They just disagree on where it was. Not to mention that the signal did vanish at some point when the aircraft shut down/disintegrated. The parts of the aircraft could well have continued flying after that. From the surface of the sea, there is nothing to be seen if the wings disintegrated in air (vaporizing all fuel and not forming slicks on the surface).

Comment: Re:Default Judgement then? (Score 2) 46

by quarterbuck (#46451057) Attached to: Court Denies NSA Request To Hold Phone Records Beyond 5 Years
No, yet another court order says that NSA has to retain the records for the purposes of a lawsuit. This one was filed by EFF, asking the court to stop the deletion of data as per the court order in this slashdot story. The EFF lawyer actually says that
The March 7 FISC ruling was “based on a mistaken belief that no preservation order existed for the material,” Cohn said.
This new order was in San Fransisco and not a FISC court.

Comment: Re:Win 7 (Score 1) 860

by quarterbuck (#46413063) Attached to: Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires
It's the equivalent of saying X model of car is absolutely horrible because you don't like the layout of the dash.
You'd say that until you get into a Saab and find that the ignition is by the gear lever or get into a Toyota echo and find the speedo in the center of the dash. I like both, but most people hate the arrangement.

Comment: Re:isn't it used on violent prisoners? (Score 5, Insightful) 326

by quarterbuck (#46363583) Attached to: The Science of Solitary Confinement
Apparently the prisoners do not get TV/Books in the cell, nor can they see what all the noise around their cell is. Fixing solitary does not mean allowing physical access.
Books/newspapers or TV would go a long way. A computer with internet would be even better. Plexiglass door and a curtain would also help a lot.
If a person is afraid for their own safety from other inmates, he should not have to choose between total isolation and physical harm. Similarly, mentally unstable should also not be punished with isolation - that just makes their mental situation worse. Even as punishment, I would think that someone locked up for more than a week should get at least a book to read.

Comment: Re:This is exactly the problem. (Score 1) 353

by quarterbuck (#45972721) Attached to: Programmer Privilege
However, he routinely intentionally didn't fix bugs so that he could make a big show of getting up in the middle of the night to manually run processes, and would get praise and rewards from the manager.
I think you are looking at this wrong (or being too negative).
1) What you described might actually be a great strategy in a job where mobility is low. But in a career like IT, where it is so easy to move up or to switch jobs. it actually works poorly. If you (ie the coworker) are seen as the only one who can get the job done, you are likely not to be promoted (because no one else can replace you). You may get raises for a while, but after a point your job is just going to get outsourced when they figure that an outsourced company (or often an app in the cloud nowadays) is cheaper than your salary.
2) You and your coworker get 24 hours in a day. If that guy comes in to office, sits around and then goes into firefighting mode in the night, he is just spending more time per day on the job. You should ideally be happy that you are so much more efficient and get to spend time with family/hobbies etc. while the other "panic man" does not. You work 8 hours a day and get paid 8*wage per hour. At the very best case, the other guy works 10 hours and get paid 10*wage per hour. Often the other guy makes less than average hourly wage on the time he spends in the middle of the night, eventhough rationally night wages should be higher than day wages. Pay rarely scales linearly.
3) Most people who act like your coworker I describe (in my experience) are not actually cynically causing problems to be a "hero". They more often are just procrastinating or being lazy. I know this because I often do this on stuff when no one other than me is involved -- I know there is a problem, I know how long it will take to fix, but the solution is not elegant/too hairy/causes disruption in whatever other cool stuff I am doing etc. Or sometimes I just don't know how to fix something and I don't know who to ask. So I put it off and then something breaks and I have to fix it in a panic in the middle of the night. Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.
Of course none of this applies if your job satisfaction depends on how are perceived relative to your coworker. Switching to an absolute measure for your personal goal ie ,I will aim to make 100K this year rather than aiming to be praised more than the coworker might help. (This sometimes works for me, not saying it might work for you) .Or try adding your hobbies or other uses of personal time into your career goals like "I will aim to be a better parent to my children while also ensuring that I earn enough money his college fund".

Comment: Re:About time (Score 1) 345

by quarterbuck (#45708717) Attached to: Judge: NSA Phone Program Likely Unconstitutional
Well if the supreme court rejects it (ie refuses to hear the case), the lower courts ruling stands.
If the supreme court hears it, but says metadata collection is legal, then it becomes admissible evidence in court. So FBI/DEA/local police etc. can legitimately request it.
I cannot think of a way in which this data is considered OK (ie data is public), but the aggregation of data is private and cannot be seen in any court other than one court. But then I am not a lawyer or a judge.
Supreme court has previously ruled that addresses on envelopes are legal to collect even if the contents of the envelope are private. This was one of administrations justifications for the data collection.

What hath Bob wrought?