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Comment: Re:Amateur programmers not willing to learn (Score 1) 185

by shog9 (#37966498) Attached to: Analyzing StackOverflow Users' Programming Language Leanings

Yup...

But here's the concept:

Programmers seem to have stopped reading books. [...]

Instead, they happily program away, using trial-and-error. When they can't figure something out, they type a question into Google. [...]
-- Joel Spolsky, stackoverflow.com (several months prior to the site actually existing)

Does that scare you? Bother you? Leave you a depressed shell of a man, thinking seriously about that potato-farming slash fracking job you left behind back in Idaho?

Well, it probably should. But regardless, that's reality: and that's the audience Stack Overflow was created to serve. So that the apps we're using every day aren't being cobbled together by folks who think DynamicDrive.com and W3Schools are the last word in programming knowledge. If nothing else, this little chart indicates it's working...

Comment: Re:Good PR (Score 1) 77

by shog9 (#35196810) Attached to: HP Donates To WebOS's Major Hombrewing Group

And... So what? Enabling Dev Mode doesn't give running apps root access, it enables root terminal connections via the USB interface. Y'know, physical access.

The key difference is that you aren't forced to void your hardware warranty in order to reconfigure the software. Something also possible with Android devices, but sadly far from ubiquitous.

Media

Boxee Box Pre-Orders Start At $229 266

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the a-little-late-i-think dept.
Engadget is reporting that Boxee is taking pre-orders at $229 for their set-top box that is utterly guaranteed to not fit into any stereo component rack you might have. They also have switched chipsets from the Tegra 2 to the CE4100. I'm not sure about this thing, but I'd sure like to play with one as I lust for the day when every piece of media I have can be played from a single device. I suspect it'll never happen.

Comment: Re:see power point can cost you your job (Score 1) 194

by shog9 (#33399658) Attached to: PowerPoint Rant Costs Colonel His Job

Wait... So my choices are:

1) a poor public speaker
2) a poor public speaker (with subtitles)
3) a poor public speaker (with pictures and sound effects)

Shucks... Those all suck. But...

With #1, you can do your best to focus. Take notes, use a recorder or memorization tricks... You'll probably miss some portions, and misunderstand others, but with a bit of luck you'll manage to come away with the gist of it.

With #2, you can try to get a copy of the presentation and just read it later, so even though your time has been wasted at least you can still get the information. If you can print out a copy before hand, you can take notes in the margins, or just use the time to read it, thus avoiding some of the waste and potentially allowing you to ask questions.

With #3, you're screwed. There's no verbatim print-out, and now you have flashing images and sounds to compete for your attention span.

A good presenter uses the tools available - whether software, whiteboard, or merely his own voice - to complement the material he's trying to communicate. A bad presenter takes the same tools and distracts himself and his audience. The problem isn't powerpoint - it's thinking that sprinkling powerpoint on a dull, dense presentation magically makes communication happen, expecting that the same folk who couldn't manage to streamline their verbal communication will somehow manage to extract the key points when faced with a dizzying array of new tools for amplifying and emphasizing whatever garbage is fed into them...

Cellphones

Porting Lemmings In 36 Hours 154

Posted by Soulskill
from the first-in-line dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Aaron Ardiri challenged himself to port his classic PalmOS version of Lemmings to the iPhone, Palm Pre, Mac, and Windows. The porting was done using his own dev environment, which creates native C versions of the game. He liveblogged the whole thing, and finished after only 36 hours with an iPhone version and a Palm Pre version awaiting submission, and free versions for Windows and Mac available on his site."

Comment: Re:It's not "insightful" (Score 4, Informative) 192

by shog9 (#32554536) Attached to: Tearing Apart a Hard-Sell Anti-Virus Ad

It's the principle of the thing. You go to a doctor, and you expect to see him wash his hands and/or put on gloves before examining you. Never mind that it's unnecessary most of the time; it should be a habit for him, simply because sometimes it matters, and when it matters it matters a lot.

Seeing a security company take a cavalier attitude with your information - even when that information probably isn't terribly sensitive and probably won't get intercepted anyway doesn't inspire confidence in their dedication to protecting your information in the scenarios where it does matter.

Comment: Re:It's not "insightful" (Score 2, Informative) 192

by shog9 (#32554484) Attached to: Tearing Apart a Hard-Sell Anti-Virus Ad

I don't get it ... he's complaining that an e-mail shouts "Danger Will Robbins!" because his AV subscription has expired? On Windows that's a situation to be concerned about.

He's complaining that an email from the vendor of a AV product he tried three years ago is shouting assertions as to the status of his AV protection. This is just a little different from an AV vendor reminding you to renew your subscription - it's probably a safe bet that he's moved on to a different AV product.

...doesn't an expired AV subscription warrant some sort of urgency being conveyed in the message?

The day/week/month after the subscription expired? Maybe. But three years later? That's getting disturbingly close to those sketchy telemarketers who call up to warn you that the warranty on your automobile is expiring. Whether or not you have a warranty. Or an automobile.

Is it somewhat unrealistic to expect advertisers to reign in the hyperbole? Yeah, sadly, it is. But at the same time, it does speak rather poorly of a company that purports to be a legitimate vendor of security software, when they're using tactics very similar to those used by the producers of software they should be protecting you from.

He who is content with his lot probably has a lot.

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