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Comment: Re:OT: ":Fine money should be burned (Score 1) 355

by TheRaven64 (#48195655) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected
Burning the money actually works reasonably well as an alternative. It reduces the money supply and therefore lowers inflation, resulting in a relative increase in the value of everyone's money. The counter argument is that rich people profit more, but generally if you have enough money lying around that the effect would be noticeable, you've invested most of it in things that have a much better return on investment than cash, so as a proportion of net worth if favours the people whose money is mostly money (predominantly poor people).

Comment: Re:It is a common thing right now in other cities (Score 1) 355

by TheRaven64 (#48195603) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected
That's fine, if late fees are for their original purpose (preventing people using a shared resource from impacting the quality of service for others). It's only a problem when they require them for revenue. Ideally, you want to completely decouple the revenue from punitive fines from the organisation that can set them.

Comment: Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (Score 2) 355

by TheRaven64 (#48195549) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected
And then those same elected officials are subject to calls to cut taxes, but keep public services the same. Want to be reelected? It's difficult if you voted against lowering taxes and your opponent promises that he won't. But no one notices when you make a decision that raises revenue at the expense of safety.

Comment: Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (Score 1) 355

by TheRaven64 (#48195487) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected
I've been in quite a few places in the US where the lights one way turn red at exactly the same time that the lights going the other way turn green. In the UK, there's always a few second pause between the two to ensure that the junction is clear. We like to mock drivers in the US for its high level of road accidents per driven mile, but a lot of the blame goes to the road and signal design, which is just dangerous in a lot of places.

Comment: Re:In time (Score 1) 139

by TheRaven64 (#48194083) Attached to: Doctor Who To Teach Kids To Code

My ability to put 'latex manuscript.tex' and 'dvi2pdf manuscript.dvi' into a makefile is not magic, it is basic automation

It's also redundant and likely not to do the right thing (ironic, given previous comments about libraries). Look for latexmk, which is part of the standard LeXLive distribution. Oh, and since this is not 1970 anymore, let's skip the DVI step and go straight to PDF with pdflatex (latexmk -pdf manuscript.tex is probably what you actually want).

Comment: Re:I am not going to convert (Score 1) 233

by TheRaven64 (#48193991) Attached to: Help ESR Stamp Out CVS and SVN In Our Lifetime
You can checkout a subdirectory if (and that's a big proviso) you structure your code in such a way that each directory is a separate git repository, referenced as a submodule. The submodule points to a specific version of the other repository. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of issues with this approach:

The biggest is that you have to think about what parts of the project you might want to check out individually before you start. For new (small) projects, it's sometimes easy, but typically projects grow organically and parts get factored out. There's no good way of turning a subtree in a git repo into a new repo preserving history (and no way at all that allows you to merge into both).

The second big one is that you lose atomic commits (the thing we all switched to svn from cvs for in the first place). If you only have one layer of submodules, it's quite nice because committing something to the submodule and updating the version of the submodule are independent. That means that you can make changes to a component, unit test them, commit, and then later update their consumers. Unfortunately, there's no way of atomically updating two independent subtrees simultaneously.

The third annoyance is the most embarrassing for a DVCS: the remote repository for upstream is identified by an absolute URL. You can do relative URLs, but they don't work very well, which means that if you want people to use a local version then it's quite convoluted. There's no simple 'clone this repo and all of the submodules in such a way that someone else can clone my copy and it all work sensibly'.

In general, the dire UI of git has been an unexpected advantage. No one can stand working with it, so people have been motivated to write nice GUIs that make it tolerable.

Comment: Re:Newton anyone? (Score 1) 81

by TheRaven64 (#48193681) Attached to: IBM Pays GlobalFoundries $1.5 Billion To Shed Its Chip Division
Freescale mostly sells PowerPC chips for automotive and similar applications. They already had the low power parts, but they didn't have them at the speeds that Apple wanted. Most of their customers use their chips for engine control or entertainment systems. They also made the chips for consoles. Their biggest weakness was that Apple was the cheapest supplier of a PowerPC system that you could develop on, and they were undercut by a long way by Intel machines. This is the same problem that Alpha had: it didn't matter that their Windows NT systems were faster than Intel's, they didn't get them into the hands of developers so everyone wrote software for Intel.

Comment: Re:Hold on a minute (Score 1) 183

by luis_a_espinal (#48192385) Attached to: Developers, IT Still Racking Up (Mostly) High Salaries

That would be fair to say, if we (Americans) were free to emigrate to the countries that H1-Bs are being brought in from. We're not. The markets for labor and capital are both far from free (see 'capital controls' regarding the later).

There is some truth is that H1-B influx puts a damp in job hunting. But, from experience, if a programmer feels constantly threatened by that influx to the point of seeing his salary (or even employment opportunities) nosediving, I would question said's person's skills.

The real good engineers in India either come here already in scholarships or transition very quickly from H1-B to resident status. And these are not the majority. The bulk of H1-B are just average/below average (with a good chunk being just atrocious coders) with very little work experience (most of it limited to web development), facing cultural barriers in communication and delivery of work.

This is not a diss or intended as an insult to them. It is just a function of many things that affect their society (and I suspect that the quality of work will improve over the decades.)

If you (the generic "you") are threatened by that, by the current quality of work presented by offshore/H1-B teams, then you are replaceable and possibly not that great at software/IT. Don't blame them. Blame your skills.

If you know your shit well, you will have no shortage of $$$ and work. That is a fact. Do the type of work that cannot be easily offshored/replaced/commoditized, and you will be fine.

Money will say more in one moment than the most eloquent lover can in years.

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