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Comment: Complexity (Score 1) 396

Nothing you do in school, no project, certainly not a "keystone project", can come anywhere close to the complexity of a real-life engineering, IT, or software project. All of the things like best practices and methodology you were learning in school were methods for managing complexity, and yet they could never actually show you real complexity like you're going to see in the workforce.

Comment: Why track with GPS? (Score 1) 837

by RobinH (#49736487) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

There's a lot of talk about the fact that this would mean tracking everywhere you went. Why not just track miles driven by your odometer? I don't know about Oregon, but here you report your odometer reading when you pay for your license plate. You could just also pay the estimated tax (you already tell your insurance company how far you're probably going to drive) when you license your vehicle, and then pay/receive the difference when you re-register it next year, plus when you sell it. Seems a lot simpler and less expensive than a GPS tracker.

Also, seems like there should be a per-distance tax for roads, plus a gas consumption tax just to cover the increased societal costs of using gas. Use the gas tax to build out charging stations.

Comment: Re:I'd like to see the environmental nightmare die (Score 1) 369

by RobinH (#49643763) Attached to: Keurig Stock Drops, Says It Was Wrong About DRM Coffee Pods
Yeah, no kidding. My wife wanted one for Christmas, so she got one (not from me). Thankfully it's a Keurig 1.0. I insisted on finding one of the good re-usable stainless steel filters and I just put regular ground coffee in it. Works great for me. She only cares about the convenience, and won't use the re-usable one. It's sad to me, but it's her choice. Honestly, how people can think throwing out all these plastic k-cups are a great idea is beyond me.

Comment: Re:Can't wait to get this installed in my house (Score 1) 514

by RobinH (#49594301) Attached to: Tesla Announces Home Battery System
I also live in Ontario and did a calculation for that based on prices of Chinese lithium ion batteries at the time (6 months ago). Back of the napkins said it would be greater than 10 years to get a payback, but the prices are still dropping. I'd say this kind of stuff is going to happen soon. I recently installed a whole home power monitor for interest sake, and honestly for $3500 even if it paid itself back to break-even over the 10 year warranty period it would be an interesting project to take on. Still I imaging the switching equipment you need to install along with this is pretty serious cost, and I don't think this comes with a charger/inverter either.

Comment: Unsurprisingly, no one bothered to read (Score 1) 356

by wiredog (#49519689) Attached to: 'Mobilegeddon': Google To Punish Mobile-Hostile Sites Starting Today

The original google post about this, which makes it clear that mobile friendly sites get a higher ranking when you search on mobile devices . This change will affect mobile searches. Mobile. Not desktop. So if you're searching from a mobile device then results that are more mobile friendly will be ranked higher, on the assumption that people searching from mobile devices would prefer mobile content.

Comment: Re:The third factor (Score 1) 385

by RobinH (#49502783) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

There is some truth to this. I am a "successful" programmer (in my opinion, since I get paid to do it and people are generally happy with the results). My job every day consists of a series of frustrating problems where the solution is not obvious, but I'm sure it should be possible to solve it. A 3rd party library causes a heap corruption about once a week, or customers refuse to send data files in a consistent format. The print spooler service keeps stopping.

People come to me with the *simplest* of problems, and they can't even be bothered to type their question into Google, let alone *read* the results that come up! Most people aren't even willing to try it or learn for themselves, just waiting for someone's permission, I guess.

"It just doesn't work" is such a commonly repeated phrase, right next to "the Internet's not working". What doesn't work? Did you try doing it like this? Did it work yesterday? Has it ever worked? Can anyone else get it to work? Don't you want to know how it works? Do you even want it to work, or are you just relieved that you have something external to blame for why you couldn't get your work done?

Seriously, the key to success is just not giving up when you know something's possible.

Comment: Difference (Score 3, Interesting) 254

by RobinH (#49501257) Attached to: The Upsides of a Surveillance Society
There's a difference between a "surveillance society" which is where a small class of people or organizations owns or has access to all the surveillance, or just a "public society" where lots of private individuals have cameras, phones, etc., and decent means of communication. In the latter case, it's the people (society) who actually have the power. It's much more democratic, i.e. "I'm publicly shaming this person because the vast majority of people feel their behavior is unacceptable." In the former, it's about centralized power, i.e. "Make this person's life miserable because they're a threat to my power." I'm all for distributed cameras and communications, I just wish people would keep the data local by default, and not provide it so willingly to 3rd parties to aggregate it.

What sin has not been committed in the name of efficiency?