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Comment: Re:Can we stop trying to come up with a reason? (Score 1) 558

by russotto (#48201469) Attached to: NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders

No, that's nonsense; there was no "data entry" degree. A while back I checked to see if the gender disparity numbers for computer science were skewed due to a decline in "business programming" or any other computer related degrees; they weren't. The related fields followed the same pattern as computer science itself. And it was in the 1970s, not the 1980s, that the existence of a CS degree (rather than a specialization) become commonplace.

Note that the gender disparity graph for computer science is unique. If you look at NPRs graph (and don't listen to what they're saying, which doesn't match their own graph), you see that for a decade before the peak, the percentage of women in CS rose much faster than it did in other fields. Then you get that unique 1984 peak, a sharp decline, and a long slow decline followed by another sharp decline that was general.

The rise of the personal computer is certainly tempting to explain that peak. But it's a peak in degrees granted. IMO, it's a little bit too early if the problem was boys having early exposure to computers which was denied to girls; the personal computer barely started taking off in 1979, the year before 1984 graduates would have been entering college. But certainly there could be other reasons related to the personal computer.

Comment: Re:Hold on a minute (Score 1) 186

by russotto (#48192531) Attached to: Developers, IT Still Racking Up (Mostly) High Salaries

In rural Illinois you'd pay $500/month mortgage on a reasonable 3 bedroom home in a safe middle class neighborhood, in Dallas you'd pay maybe $700, in Albuquerque you'd pay $800, in Miami you'd pay $1200. So, the biggest gap there is $700/mo. That's $8,400 a year.

In suburban NJ you'd pay $2000. Plus another $1000 in taxes. In Silicon Valley you can double or triple that mortgage payment. You just haven't included the highest-priced markets.

Comment: Re:how do SSD's compare to HD's? (Score 1) 106

by russotto (#48180299) Attached to: iFixit Tears Apart Apple's Shiny New Retina iMac

Nobody argues that the adhesives aren't up to the task of holding the machine together. Just that they make repair and/or upgrade difficult. Obviously Apple deems it worth saving the few cents it would take them to use a more convenient fastener even if it costs them in warranty repair time. Economically they're almost certainly correct, but it still seems like something of a dick move to those few of us who still repair our own machine.

Comment: Re:how do SSD's compare to HD's? (Score 2) 106

by russotto (#48178805) Attached to: iFixit Tears Apart Apple's Shiny New Retina iMac
Many of the older iMacs you open with a plunger and/or suction cups -- remove the glass with the suction cups, then unscrew the screen. This sounds worse than it is. This one (and I think the previous one) is held together with tape; you have to use a cutting wheel to cut the tape from the side, then pry it apart. To put it back together you need to remove the tape remnants and put new tape on.

Comment: Does Nigeria have subways? (Score 2) 381

by russotto (#48157927) Attached to: How Nigeria Stopped Ebola

This disease can spread from surface contact with contaminated fluids (which Ebola victims tend to leak profusely). Indoors, even dried fluids can remain infectious for hours. All it takes is to touch the fluids and then touch your eyes or mouth (which you do all the time) Something like the NYC subway provides very good conditions for spread, once the first sick people take a few trips

Comment: Re:I don't get the rage (Score 4, Insightful) 238

by russotto (#48146101) Attached to: How Women Became Gamers Through D&D

Right -- there is no controversy about women in gaming. Not about women playing games, and not even about women making games.

There's a controversy about women (mostly two particular women) criticizing games and gamers on feminist grounds, and there's a controversy about one woman game developer who was involved in some rather public relationship drama involving game journalists. And there's a controversy about all their journalist supporters conspiring against gamers -- which the damn fool journalists went and set afire by proving their opponents right (on that point at least) by launching a coordinated attack in their respective publications.

Comment: Worse is better is better (Score 1) 240

by russotto (#48140051) Attached to: Fighting the Culture of 'Worse Is Better'

Without worse-is-better, you make sure the job is completely done before release. So, it takes years to make progress, you end up building an extremely complex system to cover every possibility. Because of that very complexity it is difficult to extend for new requirements, which become apparent after the system is specified and before it was built.

If you want to build a nuclear power plant control system or something equally as critical and unchanging, sure, go ahead and engineer everything out the wazoo. Otherwise, get things done, even if they are "worse".

Comment: Re:Systems perpetuate themselves (Score 1) 228

by russotto (#48136273) Attached to: Pentagon Unveils Plan For Military's Response To Climate Change

Global climate is changing, but if we stopped emitting CO2 within the next couple decades there's still a chance that the change would be short-lived and once the excess carbon has been absorbed

But the survivors wouldn't really give a shit, and anyway after civilization collapsed they'd go right back to burning wood and coal.

Civilization runs on energy, and stopping all CO2-producing sources would result in the collapse of civilization.

"Our vision is to speed up time, eventually eliminating it." -- Alex Schure