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Comment: Re:Laziness (Score 1) 144

I think that HTML5 would make it far worse. Where do most of these bad programmers start? Where the barriers to entry are lowest-- javascript. You'd be making the problem worse, not better.

I do think that there's much improvement to be made with permissions on mobile phones. But that's a separate problem, and one a lot of the Android custom ROMs do well.

Comment: Re:Laziness (Score 5, Insightful) 144

Design guidelines are just recommendations. Frequently bad ones. A developer should design the best UI he can, not follow what Google says regardless of whether it fits. And most developer guidelines, Google and Apple both, are crap.

The problem is that the whole app movement has brought in a whole slew of crappy developers who's idea of coding is to search stack overflow or git for stuff to copy paste. They don't read it, don't understand how to use it right, and expect it to magically work. Worse half of the people writing that code fall into the same category, so its the blind reading the blind. If you pick a library off of github and assume it will work, you deserve what you get. Unfortunately your users don't.

These people have been around for a while (they used to be "web developers" and program by copy pasting big chunks of javascript). The problem is that on a phone they can do more damage. In a world where the number of quality programmers is fixed and far less than the demand for programmers, how do you fix it? Making it easier to program actually hurts, you end up with those crappy coders trying to do even more. Maybe its time to raise the barriers to entry for a while.

Comment: Re:No surprises here (Score 1) 119

by AuMatar (#47546699) Attached to: AP Computer Science Test Takers Up 8,000; Pass Rate Down 6.8%

Sure they are. My school had AP classes, but not everyone in the class takes the test- those who didn't think they would pass skipped it and save the 70 bucks. In each one the teacher suggested to a few people not to take the test because they didn't think they had the understanding to pass. In at least 1 case they talked someone into taking the test when they were borderline (I think he passed).

As for financial incentive- read the article. Google was paying teachers directly. It was going to the teachers, administrators not involved. With financial incentives I can easily see the teachers telling more/all of those tweeners to take it and see if they pass.

Comment: Re:FUD filled.... (Score 1) 212

It sounds like this transformer had its center tap grounded and was the path to ground on one side of a ground loop as the geomagnetic field moved under pressure from a CME, inducing a common-mode current in the long-distance power line. A gas pipeline in an area of poor ground conductivity in Russia was also destroyed, it is said, resulting in 500 deaths.

One can protect against this phenomenon by use of common-mode breakers and perhaps even overheat breakers. The system will not stay up but nor will it be destroyed. This is a high-current rather than high-voltage phenomenon and thus the various methods used to dissipate lightning currents might not be effective.

Comment: No surprises here (Score 2) 119

by AuMatar (#47539747) Attached to: AP Computer Science Test Takers Up 8,000; Pass Rate Down 6.8%

You tell teachers they'll be paid if more people pass a test. So they encourage more of their students to take it. Many of those aren't ready, they're just hoping they'll pass for a payout. So the pass rate goes down, as the majority of additional takers weren't capable. Yup, statistics work.

Comment: Re:call them (Score 1) 353

by AuMatar (#47534239) Attached to: Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

I don't have kids, but when I was one my parents were spending most weekends taking us somewhere to do something. Watching movies was not on the agenda, at least not at home (maybe the occasional trip tot he movie theater). Why would you waste prime family time on movies? You do those on the weekdays because there's fewer entertainment options and most of them are closed by the time you get home from work.

+ - Letter to Congress: Ending U.S. Dependency on Russia for Access to Space 1

Submitted by Bruce Perens
Bruce Perens (3872) writes "I've sent a letter to my district's senators and member of congress this evening, regarding how we should achieve a swifter end to U.S. dependency on the Russians for access to space. Please read my letter, below. If you like it, please join me and send something similar to your own representatives. Find them here and here. — Bruce

Dear Congressperson Lee,

The U.S. is dependent on the Russians for present and future access to space. Only Soyuz can bring astronauts to and from the Space Station. The space vehicles being built by United Launch Alliance are designed around a Russian engine. NASA's own design for a crewed rocket is in its infancy and will not be useful for a decade, if it ever flies.

Mr. Putin has become much too bold because of other nations dependence. The recent loss of Malaysia Air MH17 and all aboard is one consequence.

Ending our dependency on Russia for access to space, sooner than we previously planned, has become critical. SpaceX has announced the crewed version of their Dragon spaceship. They have had multiple successful flights and returns to Earth of the un-crewed Dragon and their Falcon 9 rocket, which are without unfortunate foreign dependencies. SpaceX is pursuing development using private funds. The U.S. should now support and accelerate that development.

SpaceX has, after only a decade of development, demonstrated many advances over existing and planned paths to space. Recently they have twice successfully brought the first stage of their Falcon 9 rocket back to the ocean surface at a speed that would allow safe landing on ground. They have demonstrated many times the safe takeoff, flight to significant altitude, ground landing and re-flight of two similar test rockets. In October they plan the touchdown of their rocket's first stage on a barge at sea, and its recovery and re-use after a full flight to space. Should their plan for a reusable first-stage, second, and crew vehicle be achieved, it could result in a reduction in the cost of access to space to perhaps 1/100 of the current "astronomical" price. This would open a new frontier to economical access in a way not witnessed by our nation since the transcontinental railroad. The U.S. should now support this effort and reap its tremendous economic rewards.

This plan is not without risk, and like all space research there will be failures, delays, and eventually lost life. However, the many successes of SpaceX argue for our increased support now, and the potential of tremendous benefit to our nation and the world.

Please write back to me.

Many Thanks

Bruce Perens"

"Falling in love makes smoking pot all day look like the ultimate in restraint." -- Dave Sim, author of Cerebrus.

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