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Comment: Re:Supremacy Clause (Score 1) 601

by tirk (#39139795) Attached to: State Legislatures Attempt To Limit TSA Searches
There is an argument that the Supremacy Clause only applies to specific Constitutionally mandated powers, and that anything else, is left to the states. The Supremacy Clause says - "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof. ..." One could interupt that to say the clause only applies to laws in pursuance of the Constitution and therefore leaves the 10th Ammendment ("The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.") in play for anything else, even in the case of a conflict. However, I wouldn't be suprised if the Supreme Court has at one time or another already weighed in on such a reading of the law and the effects of the 10th Ammendment on it. I didn't research it that far.

Comment: I telecommute but you can avoid this issue (Score 5, Informative) 275

by tirk (#38204576) Attached to: Does Telecommuting Make You Invisible?
As a telecommuter that lives in Oregon and works for a company in California full time I telecommute from my home office. Taking aside the needed disciplines of staying focused, you need some office protocol disciplines too. For one, we do weekly department head meetings and weekly staff meetings with a video conference set up or at minimum audio conference, and we all talk about what we are working on and what our goals are. This helps everyone know what everyone else is doing. I also send at least one week each email to all the people I've been doing projects that effect them, or need to stay on top and just ask if I've been able to make things work as they expect and if there are any other items they need or would like. This keeps them in contact with me. I also do a weekly meeting with my director and we discuss projects and goals. And finally I try to take at least 6 trips a year to the actual office staying through a week on each of those trips. I usually do more like 9 to 10 trips and sometimes stay a week and a half. I actually hate that part, living out of a hotel room sucks, but it's a small price to pay for having no commute time and being able to work in my pajamas. And you have to sometimes keep pushing for all those meetings and trips as the office will tend to let them slip otherwise. :)

Comment: More energy = bigger possible breakdown (Score 1) 277

by tirk (#38202838) Attached to: iPhone Auto-Combusts On Australian Airplane
While we should strive to make our batteries safe, the reality is that it is impossible to stop all defects or problems. As we develop more and more powerful batteries, more energy packed into a smaller space, the damage done from a sudden release of all that energy will become worse. The best thing we can do, and to my knowledge I'm not sure we have the material knowledge to do this yet, is to create a material that even in it's natural default state will only release it's stored energy at a slow rate. As long as the materials that store the energy in a battery have the ability of a catastropic fast release of that energy this problem will become a more and more a dangerous situation as we increase the available energy in batteries.

Comment: Why do the alternatives have to be prescription? (Score 1) 394

by tirk (#37497572) Attached to: EPA Bans CFC-Based Asthma Inhalers
OK, ban the CFC propelled inhalers, fine. But why do the alternatives only have to be prescription? What is in them that makes it that you still can't create cheaper over the counter versions? If it's a patent issue then I'd think the government would have the intelligence to release such a patent for the good of the people. But that's not going to happen since getting a seat in the government means taking money from corporations, one wouldn't want to upset your path into office. But then us sheeple just vote for the candidate that spends the most on advertising. How many people actually research candidates (not the rheteroic they produce, but the history of votes and actions they have done). Sorry, I'm getting off topic, my on topic comment really is just that the real issue isn't the ban itself, but the lack of inexpensive over the counter alternatives. Are there really just no other options then a CFC propellent for an over the counter inhaled propellent? Use nitrous oxide, let them enjoy the asthma medicine at the same time.....

Comment: Re:Total rewrite is always bad... mkay? (Score 1) 509

by tirk (#36705226) Attached to: Facebook Trapped In MySQL a 'Fate Worse Than Death'
"scrap and start over" should be a last resort, but I know from experience there are times it benefits. In the best world all development would be forward thinking and designed and written modular enough to handle future changes and growth without causing muddled and or patched code. However, in practice this is not always the case and forward thinking can't handle all the possibilities that might come along. Sometimes things become so tangled that a rewrite is the best option out. Not so much because you think you can do it better then the previous developers, but because you have a better definition of the evolved project that is now in use and can design the pieces to interact better now. If an application is static, it probably would never need a start over, but if it's dynamic and evolved over years a scrap and start over approach can sometimes save great amounts of time in the future. I will say though that I have found that most times the culprit of muddled and patched code is rushed development in trying to just get a result to the public as quickly as possible. This however has been an unfortunate side effect of doing business long before the computer age, if your competition beats you to the opening you'd better have something far better to even be noticed.

Comment: Clean vs. Unclean (Score 2, Interesting) 333

by tirk (#34380222) Attached to: Being Too Clean Can Make People Sick
I think it's interesting the arguments about whether being too clean makes one unhealthy or not. I realize the article really didn't answer that, but I think in general history tells us the answer pretty clearly. For most of human history we lived in our own filth, didn't bath and had many other unclean things about us. And we've learned that being cleaner has doubled or tripled our lifespans. And cleanliness especially plays a role when someone is not healthy for some reason or another. While I am not certain of this fact at the moment, and would love to research it if given the time, but I believe that during the medival period in Europe people in the cities had a shorter lifespan then people in the country. It wasn't that country folk bathed more often or did much difference in living, but the real difference was that they weren't constantly being contaiminanted by other peoples "dirt". So I think a kid digging in the dirt doesn't really need to rush in and clean off the bacteria. But I think a kid in the mall run his hand along all the places other kids run thier hands, playing in the playgrounds where other kids have played, and don't get me started on those plastic ball pits and what's in them... there, perhaps a dose of cleanliness afterwards is useful. I think overuse of antibiotic cleaners would indeed have several potential problems, but if used in context and looking at where true risk really is, I think they are useful.

Comment: Re:get a lawsuit (Score 1) 761

by tirk (#33885444) Attached to: Careful What You Post, the FBI Has More of These
Hasn't been to the Supreme Court yet - but - "According to the latest ruling out of the Ninth Circuit Court, it’s perfectly legal for federal agents to secretly plant a GPS locator on your car in the middle of the night, even if it’s parked in your driveway, and then use said locator to track your movements as they see fit. Even without a warrant."

Comment: Re:who hasn't burned out? (Score 1) 602

by tirk (#33416968) Attached to: Tech's Dark Secret, It's All About Age
I'm 45, well 46 in a month, and I've been programming since I was 17. I've worked in easily a couple dozen different languages from the lowly assembly code to the higher end object code. Sometimes I actually miss the control you had of the computer when everything was assembly, but on the other hand, the new languages really take a lot of the tedium out of the process and allow you to get to the important parts of your code. In any event, as I am moving on to iPhone development now and continue to learn new platforms, I certainly have not burned out and don't see myself doing so anytime soon. And I can say for a fact, all the mistakes I've made in the past have certainly made me a far better programmer even when working with a newer language. In the end, a computer is still a computer is still a computer and they basically do the same things now that they did then. Just far faster and with many more options. In my opinion the solution to not burning out,is to never let an employer use you as a commodity that they just use up and burn out. I've held my ground on never working constant overtime and making sure my employers know I have a life outside of work and I'm not their slave to be called in at their whim. And no, I've never been let go for holding my ground in this manner, while being flexible enough to come through for the company on a tight deadline. Just don't allow one tight deadline to follow another to follow another, etc, etc.

Comment: One question I always ask... (Score 5, Insightful) 453

by tirk (#32928104) Attached to: Measuring LAMP Competency?
I've hired a couple programmers in the past and there is always one question I ask that I have found sorts out some of the better candidates. The question - "I've just requested you to do some task and you find you really haven't worked out that type of task in the past and aren't fully sure the best approach. What do you do?" The answer I'm looking for is basically they'll let me know that's a new area for them, but that they'll go out and find examples of that type of task and research it and find out how to make it happen. If they say anything along the lines of having me help them, or ask to go to a class, or anything along that line it will automatically set up red flags. And of course, just answering the question "correctly" doesn't automatically mean they are good at doing that, but you can dig deeper into how they'd research it, etc. I've been a programmer for over 25 years now and while there are certain core things that a computer can do and some it can't, the actual processing of it is what matters and it's nearly impossible for you to remember every little detail of every language and system, the real power is in knowing where to look to quickly get your answer. And as a final important talent, a person needs to be good at understanding and conversing specifications from someone that is not technical. Just my thoughts on what I've looked for....

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