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Comment Re:Programming is a trade (Score 1) 300

There are certainly fundamentals to programming that apply in many areas. If you know the basics of programming surely you are better equipped to handle that complex Excel spreadsheet in an office job, the configuration file as an IT engineer, or running a simulation as a scientist. That should be part of a Computer Science curriculum rather than just "programming" however.

What i find interesting is that you will see one story here about how WhatsApp supports billions of users with 50 engineers. And then this one about how everyone is going to become a programmer. Something doesn't add up...

Comment Re:Anything for the children (Score 1) 231

Although filtering the internet is futile if you want total coverage (otherwise known as unplugging the modem) it does have an effect on ease of access. There is something to be said removing the "I want porn now!" impulse that can be fulfilled with and the like in a 30 second page load.

Contrary to popular belief there there are a limited number of free on demand sites that provide a usable "service". With those gone one has to look elsewhere which likely requires more time and effort (torrent downloads etc.). The "unblock" sites are pretty useless with something as high bandwidth as streaming video. I'm sure a VPN would sort out that problem, but then you have to be subscribed and paying for one already.

Comment Re:Cashless adoption! AH! (Score 2) 294

In my experience (limited mainly to Germany i confess) cash is still very common for daily transactions, far more so than the UK.

Most staff in a European restaurant/small shop/kiosk will give you an annoyed look if you mention "credit card", and often i have had to make my way to the one till in the establishment with a card reader connected to pay without cash.

It's pretty much the opposite in the UK. If you don't have a wireless card reader expect lost sales.

Comment Re:Pick one (Score 1) 446

I agree the primary reason for gender inequality in a profession like programming is that broadly it appeals to men more that women. There will be other factors, for some a male dominated field will be a barrier, others may have been biased by their parents. But really, apart from actually forcing women into a job they haven't chosen to meet some quota I dont see a solution there.

I believe a women should have the same potential as a man to succeed in the profession SHE chooses HERSELF. It maybe a harder task becoming a coder than going into nursing or teaching, but I think that would be clear to anyone seriously considering it.

Personally i have seen women fit well into roles that require more people and management skills than pure coding. For example the "Scrum Master" role for any agile team (sorry for the buzzwords) bridges the coding-people skills gap.

However i think there is a major factor that seems to be overlooked in these discussions -- gender equality in politics. If there is any area where women should be encouraged to participate it is here. After all they are 50% of the electorate and more representation here would give the real instances of inequality a stronger voice.

Comment Re:What's the value proposition? (Score 1) 342

I see nothing foolish, my taxes provide, a police force, heath care, education, public transport and roads, energy, water, etc. all of which contribute to a stable society where were business can flourish.

Google takes advantage of the police force, health care (by default fair enough), education, public transport and roads, energy, water and a society that enables enough wealth for people to have a disposable income.

They are quite welcome to move their operation to the Congo or Syria and see how well their corporate HQ runs. I'm sure they will get a great tax rate. Here they can pay tax the same as me.

Comment Re:An election's coming, apparently (Score 1) 342

It's quite simple, the money is made at the point the product is consumed, we are living in a consumer society after all.

Everything else falls apart when the consumer stops buying (or looking), if Starbucks or Google want the favourable tax agreement from Luxembourg to stand, then that counts only for profit on sales made to the people of Luxembourg.

Comment Re:I love my Oculus Rift DK2 (Score 1) 164

I'm not so sure, you can reduce travel sickness to almost zero by gradual exposure. For instance, many years ago I went without watching TV or even looking at an electronic screen for 2 weeks or more. When I returned TV made me feel distinctly travel sick for about 1 hour. I expect the VR effect will be worse, but with enough exposure i believe you can train your brain to stop the sickness.

A bug in the hand is better than one as yet undetected.