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Comment: Re:Correctly incorrect units (Score 1) 128

by spaceyhackerlady (#49545459) Attached to: I spend most of my time ...

If they used reasonable numbers of significant figures I wouldn't mind so much. Since the altitude is specified to three significant figures (FL350), how about 10.7 km? The Air New Zealand system only did metric, BTW.

A later flight (Air Canada) had the bilingual in-flight thingy giving U.S.-bastardized units in English, and metric units (with, as usual, too many significant figures) in French.

...laura

Comment: Correctly incorrect units (Score 1) 128

by spaceyhackerlady (#49540963) Attached to: I spend most of my time ...

I just got back from a vacation in Australia, and was annoyed that the in-flight display thingy insisted on displaying everything in "correct" units.

Showing the plane's altitude as 10,668 meters is all well and good, but is missing the point. Even a pilot from New Zealand (I was flying Air New Zealand) would have given the altitude as 35,000 feet. Flight level 350, strictly speaking, but few non-aviators would know what that meant.

Yes, I know they use metric altitudes and flight levels in Russia and China...

...laura

Comment: Illegal example (Score 2) 140

by spaceyhackerlady (#49398967) Attached to: Building an NES Emulator

I wouldn't have minded seeing an example of one of those illegal opcodes and how what it did was useful.

Brooks called such things "curios". Side-effects of invalid operations that people had started to use, and that had to be considered part of the specification.

My policy (seconded by my boss) is that I do not document such things. If a hack is documented people start to use it, then we have to support and maintain it.

...laura

Comment: Well past its Best Before date (Score 1) 662

by spaceyhackerlady (#49347751) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

Top Gear was enormous fun at first, but it's gotten stale. It's lost its way. Maybe it is time for a re-think.

Like just about everybody, my picks for a new co-host include Sabine Schmitz and Vicki Butler-Henderson. But they have to look very carefully at the show and decide if its worth continuing first. I'm not convinced it is.

The original Top Gear production morphed in to Fifth Gear, which is definitely jazzed up fro the old Top Gear it started as.

...laura

Comment: Did it the hard way (Score 1) 496

by spaceyhackerlady (#49328507) Attached to: Hacking Weight Loss: What I Learned Losing 30 Pounds

I lost 160 pounds a few years ago, and I too did it the hard way. Count calories, exercise. If you're not eating that much you have to eat well, and I'm now so healthy it's slightly stupid. I like it.

I didn't gain it overnight, and I couldn't expect to lose it overnight. It took a year and a half. No major skin sagging issues except for a residual flab roll, eliminated with a tummy tuck.

People often ask me what my secret was, and I tell them it's motivation: you have to have a reason. For me it was wanting to learn to fly, but I couldn't get the seatbelt around me.

...laura

Comment: Been there, done that (Score 2) 224

by spaceyhackerlady (#49308573) Attached to: Chevy Malibu 'Teen Driver' Tech Will Snitch If You Speed

In the noughties my employers set out to develop similar technology. We had GPS-based units that would record where a vehicle was and could be programmed to tell on you if you drove too fast, stopped for too long, went to somewhere you weren't supposed to go, and so on. They communicated over a 2 way paging network.

The technology worked. I did the mobile device programming and put together a test unit that used differential GPS. Instead of telling you which street you were on, it could tell you which lane you were in. :-) The marketing, on the other hand, didn't work. :-(

...laura

Comment: Incompatible with some situations (Score 1) 163

by spaceyhackerlady (#49150119) Attached to: Can the Guitar Games Market Be Resurrected?

I live in an apartment and a couple of years ago my neighbours bought Guitar Hero or something similar. They played with it for about two days. Then they stopped (and sold the hardware) when the building management gave them an ultimatum over the number of noise complaints they had received.

...laura

Comment: Spock made me who I am today (Score 4, Interesting) 411

by spaceyhackerlady (#49148721) Attached to: Leonard Nimoy Dies At 83

This one hits close to home.

As a child in the late 1960s I was inspired to my present technical life and career by two major influences: Project Apollo and Star Trek. I thought Spock had the coolest job in the universe. He played with techie stuff and figured stuff out. I wanted that sort of job too. And I got it.

...laura

Comment: Re:Use recursion when the problem is recursive (Score 1) 252

by spaceyhackerlady (#49018529) Attached to: AP Test's Recursion Examples: An Exercise In Awkwardness

Yes, they did.

In another job interview I was asked to write a program to generate prime numbers. I clarified a couple of requirements ("is memory usage an issue?"), and implemented the Sieve of Eratosthenes. It works, you know why it works, any idiot can read the code and understand it, and if testing shows you need something better (in some sense), you know where to start.

...laura

"In my opinion, Richard Stallman wouldn't recognise terrorism if it came up and bit him on his Internet." -- Ross M. Greenberg

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