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Comment: Re:Depending on your interest in math -- Big Data (Score 1) 247

by unimacs (#49748129) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Career Advice For an Aging Perl Developer?
Python doesn't force you to declare variables but running pylint on your source files will notify you of common errors that declaration helps avoid.

For example, pylint will tell you when you've attempted to access a variable that never has had anything assigned to it.

Comment: Re:MRA vs WRA (Score 1) 768

Oh, and Aaron Clarey has a rebuttal video about this mess, which is being ignored as it doesn't fit narrative:

Ironic that in that rebuttal he's imploring people to read his original article before passing judgement while at the same time (in that original article) he told men they should boycott the movie without ever actually having seen the movie himself.

Doubly ironic that if he had gone to see the movie, he probably would have enjoyed it like virtually everyone else has. He had assumed that a movie franchise that had appealed to men in the past wouldn't anymore because of some strong female characters and because of who was involved in coaching the actresses. He was wrong. If he was a man, he'd just admit it.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 2) 507

by unimacs (#49693147) Attached to: Is Agile Development a Failing Concept?

met the original specifications

The key word here being "original" when discussing waterfall vs iterative development. Agile is not meant to deliver the original specification; it's meant to allow developers to adapt to a changing specification.

Unfortunately, it often requires the client to accept a product that was different from their original specification thanks to the dropping of features along the way.

Which is worse, not allowing a change in specifications because it puts the deadline in jeopardy or dropping some specifications to allow time for new specs that are more important to the customer to be implemented?

To me, meeting all the original specs is still failing if the end product can't be used by the customer.

Comment: Re:So when will this actually happen? (Score 2, Insightful) 372

by unimacs (#49635423) Attached to: Global Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach New Monthly Record
Note: Fortunately the world as a whole is making substantial investments in renewable energy while the US drags its feet. Of course the problem is that we will largely have to import solutions developed elsewhere. We are wasting an opportunity for more energy independence. While renewable/nuclear energy will be produced locally, we will have to import the technology from places that were smart enough to make the investment.

Comment: Re:So when will this actually happen? (Score 5, Insightful) 372

by unimacs (#49635331) Attached to: Global Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach New Monthly Record
The ozone was being depleted by chlorofluorocarbons. International efforts were able to largely phase them out, and the Ozone layer has recovered.

One of the first predictions of running out of oil was made in 1914 by the Bureau of Mines. They thought the world would run out in 10 years. There have been similar predictions since then. Why haven't they come true? Because huge sums of money have been invested in making sure we don't run out or at least to put it off as long as possible. Billions and billions have been spent on locating more oil, and figuring out how to extract the relatively small amounts of oil that are in places we already know about. Think about some the crazy stuff we do to get oil out of the ground even in the middle of the ocean.

One of the consequences has been that the price of oil has gone up over time. It's slumped back down for now, just like it did in the 90's but it rose after that and you can bet it will again. If in the early 90's you had told somebody that gas would cost almost $4.00 a gallon in a decade, they would have thought armageddon was coming.

In both the case of the ozone layer and oil supplies, the dire predictions didn't happen in large part because we did what was necessary to keep them from happening. Same thing with Y2K. A ton of money was spent updating computers and software.

And we could avoid the problems being predicted as consequences of global warming if we take action and be willing to spend some money. But for some reason, we'd rather just argue about it whether it's really a problem or not and in the meantime the solutions just get more expensive and likelihood of widespread consequences increase.

Comment: Re:So far so good. (Score 1) 211

by unimacs (#49589325) Attached to: Yes, You Can Blame Your Pointy-Haired Boss On the Peter Principle

Now that they mention it.. It's one our company ideals that we promote from within. I've seen a lot of good sys admins get thrust into management and fail or leave. I've also seen nontechnical people try to manage IT departments only to find their employees ready to drive them off with pitch forks when they are unable to understand what is going on.

I don't think "promote within" is a bad policy or ideal to have. It's only bad if it becomes gospel rather than guideline. There are people with strong technical skills that can also be good managers. There is also a risk in bringing in a manager to supervise a group of technical people whose job they don't really understand.

At my company it's pretty clear who has good leadership/management skills and who doesn't. Some of them currently hold technical positions. Further, being given a supervisory role in this organization isn't necessarily a promotion. One of my employees had a subordinate a decade ago. While he wasn't a bad supervisor, he wasn't particularly good at it either and certainly didn't relish the responsibility. So he doesn't have a subordinate now and may never have one again, but he was never demoted.

I will also add this. There are some people who seem to be natural managers, but other people can *learn* those skills if they are willing and put in the effort. There are benefits and downsides to heading down the management track, but being able to be both technical and managerial opens a lot of doors.

Finally, there are plenty of times it makes sense to hire outside the company. It's one way to bring skills into the organization that are lacking or missing altogether.

Comment: Re:The male gave consent... (Score 1) 374

by unimacs (#49579409) Attached to: Who Owns Pre-Embryos?

So the fact that she once consented to sex with him means he can fuck her any time he chooses, even now they've split?

Just that by your logic, they made an agreement and they must never change it.

Or can they?

She's not asking him to donate more sperm. She just wants to use the eggs that were fertilized with sperm HE ALREADY DONATED which he did knowing that they would probably not be in a relationship by the time she planned to use them. It is something he already decided. It is something he already did.

If she consents to have sex with him, she consents for that instance only. It doesn't matter if they are in a relationship or not. There is no obligation for her to have sex with him again. If they were in a relationship, he might decide to leave her as a consequence. The important thing to remember is that he is free to have sex with anyone else who is willing. By not consenting to have sex with him now or in the future, she is in no way preventing him from having a sex life.

She can not have a baby with anyone else's sperm. This is the only way she can have a child that's a biological descendent. If it were possible to have somebody else's sperm fertilize these eggs then I think that he'd have every right to legally prevent her from implanting these eggs as they are. But he went in to this knowing that this would not be possible and he has to live with the consequences.

Yours is just not a relevant analogy.

Comment: Re:The male gave consent... (Score 1) 374

by unimacs (#49578159) Attached to: Who Owns Pre-Embryos?
An important aspect for me is that he didn't do this with the express intent of being a traditional father. Both of them were aware that their romantic relationship may not last, though they did have a long term friendship.

He did this as a favor to her, not because they were sure they wanted to raise a kid together. So as far as the issue of property is concerned, he gave his sperm to her so that the eggs could be fertilized. It's too late to take them back now. He really was a sperm donor. He just happened to be involved with the mother at the time of the donation.

I understand that any woman who he might get involved with in the future might have some issues with this. I suppose that is true of anyone whose donated sperm. It does have the added twist that he was friends with the mother and had a short term fling with her. He thought he was doing a good thing but didn't think about the potential consequences. It's too bad.

Comment: Re:The male gave consent... (Score 1) 374

by unimacs (#49578043) Attached to: Who Owns Pre-Embryos?

So what if he wanted to take the eggs and have a kid with another woman - what would your stance be on that? The combination of the two constituent parts should surely mean that if he wants to use them without her ongoing consent he would be allowed to just as much as she does now...?

Too many people here are jumping to the conclusion that the fertilised eggs are solely the property of the woman even though they are the result of two donations - why should the mans contribution matter less in these cases?

I kind of explained that. The difference is that she never consented to have the eggs implanted in another woman, while he did consent to have the eggs implanted in her (at some point down the road).

Let's say the situation had been reversed and this guy had a medical condition that made future sperm production impossible. And just like the woman in this article, he specifically chose her genetics vs someone else's. If this woman allowed her eggs to be harvested to be fertilized with his sperm so at some point down the road he could have a biological child, not necessarily with her, then yes I would say he had the right to use them.

I'm not viewing the eggs as property whose ownership must be decided. I'm viewing this as a contract.

Comment: Re:The male gave consent... (Score 1) 374

by unimacs (#49577003) Attached to: Who Owns Pre-Embryos?
Another note. Apparently they only harvested 8 eggs which is not many. They could have only fertilized half with his sperm and froze the rest unfertilized but knowing that the results from unfertilized eggs aren't as good, the dude said to fertilize them all. Had he not said that, she would have had the option of having the remaining eggs fertilized by someone else.

Comment: Re:The male gave consent... (Score 2) 374

by unimacs (#49576877) Attached to: Who Owns Pre-Embryos?

That entirely depends on the jurisdiction - a similar case went to court in the UK back in 2000 - 2007 and the man won his case.

The woman appealed all the way to the European Court of Human Rights and lost her case completely.

The issue is that the man withdrew his permission for the embryos to be used - up to the point at which they are implanted in the woman, they are jointly owned and cannot be used without express permission of both parties. Embryos are also not legal entities, and as they are not yet part of the womans body, she does not get automatic final say over their use.

Would your argument work for you if the man was able to take the fertilized eggs and have them implanted in a surrogate who brings them to term? Surely the woman should have some say in that?

Since the legal matter is still being sorted out, I'm trying to look at it from an ethical standpoint. If she had agreed to have her eggs fertilized knowing that they might be implanted in another woman so that a friend/boyfriend could have a biological child in the future, then I think that it would be true that she already gave consent.

If you read the article, you'll find that the couple had been friends for a decade before they started dating and neither seemed to think their romantic relationship was going to be a long term one. The decision to freeze her fertilized eggs resulted from a 7 minute conversation. Even after the relationship ended, email correspondence showed that he was OK with the decision to freeze the eggs and would do it again.

It wasn't until after a later relationship of his went sour over the issue that he attempted to prevent her from using the eggs.

Given the above I look at it this way. He consented to do this as a friend to help her out, not because he wanted to raise the kids that might result. He knew that he may not be in the picture down the road. The problem is that he didn't think through the potential consequences it might have on his future relationships. That sucks for him, but in my mind it is too late to withdraw consent. If she had known he might later change his mind, she could have gone the sperm donor route instead.

Comment: Re:1000 times (Score 1) 622

by unimacs (#49543327) Attached to: Cheap Gas Fuels Switch From Electric Cars To SUVs
by your own article (US sales):

number of EVs sold in 2010 - 2011: 17,500
number of EVs sold in 2014: 123,000
Growth rate: 600%

By comparison overall car sales:

2011: 12,778,000
2014: 16,500,000
Growth rate: 29%

So it would seem that the growth in sales of EVs is far outstripping the growth in sales of automobiles as a whole. EVs are still a small fraction of total car sales, but back in the early 1980s cellphones represented a small fraction of total phone sales. Look at what's happened since. It took a few decades but improvements in battery technology have helped make mobile phones ubiquitous.

The are sooo many industries dependent upon and investing in battery technology that the range and cost of EVs will almost certainly improve dramatically in the next 5 years and continue to improve after that.

Another thing to consider is that regardless of how you may feel about global warming, California has some very aggressive goals for emission reductions by 2050. They likely won't meet them. However, to get even close, substantial electrification of transportation (including personal vehicles) is practically required. California represents a huge market for automobiles. There will be a continued push for improvements in EVs from a number of directions.

Don't hit the keys so hard, it hurts.