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Comment Re:I'm not too good for code reviews (Score 1) 495

That's incredibly myopic. Any system that yields an "ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure" is one that should be even more important to someone like you who's under tight time constraints. During any given day, you're not just spending time on the particular task at hand, you're spending time as a result of past decisions. If you're adding a new feature to the Widget class, the amount of time that'll take today is directly proportional to how well that class was originally written. If it was originally tossed together, to be just "good enough", but not readable or maintainable, then every feature you add will be more costly to implement.

Similarly, your work today may involve fixing a bug, that would never have surfaced had the code been properly reviewed 6 months ago.

You have to try to envision an alternate universe, where you were taking the time to implement those quality processes that pay future dividends (commensurate with their cost, of course). The question you should be asking is, "would I be further ahead in that alternate universe than I am today?".

It's just bogus to claim "schedule" is the reason you have to implement processes that forgo earlier, cheaper fixes, for later, more expensive ones. I know lazy coders use that excuse all the time, and managers frequently go along with that short-sighted rationale, but it doesn't make it right.

Comment Re:If code reviews are good... (Score 1) 495

Why are continuous code reviews great? Is a flood great because water is good?

People who don't like pair programming aren't merely antisocial, as you contend. There are very legitimate reasons why pair programming may be a bad idea. For one, logistics. Having pairs requires people to work the same hours, sit in very close proximity to one another, get interrupted when someone else needs to use the bathroom, it works poorly with telecommuting, etc, etc. There's something uniquely human about needing some space to work and think, that pair programming does not allow.

It's also pretty established fact that knowledge work (for many people) requires concentration, and the absence of interruption. Pair programming is horrible from this standpoint. You are constantly having thoughts, and then getting interrupted when your pair has a thought they want to share. You'll basically be coding, and trying to hold a conversation at the same time. Concurrency like that isn't helpful for many computer programs, and it's even less helpful for most human brains. It's like context switching on the order of seconds, rather than having an hour or so to work in peace and quiet, and then conversing with a coworker only on demand.

Personality also has an impact. If you have a dominant personality (driver), you'll often have them doing most of the actual coding, with the other person just serving as their typist (which is slower than if the person thinking just typed it themselves). The passive personality may be having trouble coming up with good ideas on their own, because their mind is being constantly re-routed by the aggressive personality.

You can argue all you want that impracticalities like the ones I've mentioned are just indications that the pair programmers need to get better at pair programming. But, that's crap. A good system is one that capitalizes on the way people actually are, not one that forces people to work in unnatural ways.

Comment Here's an Idea (Score 1) 651

Mr. Obama,

While it's nice of you to recognize the need for more engineers, it's hugely disingenuous of you to suggest that someone else needs to do something about it. Your policies have a huge impact on such things, and you've missed opportunity after opportunity to make changes that would help this issue. Instead of promoting technical innovation, you have participated in the largest giveaways in history to the financial and insurance sectors. Why would bright minds go into engineering, when you've continued to dump heaps of welfare into the laps of bankers, traders, and insurance salesman who simply leech wealth from those of us who actually invent and innovate?

Engineers don't magically appear out of thin air because you passed the largest and most irresponsible tax breaks in history. You need to actually enact major programs to foster things like IT development and green technology, instead of just paying lip service to them during primary campaign stops.

Comment It's Generally Called Conservatism (Score 1) 949

I know many of us just associate with other geeks, but this phenomenon isn't at all confined to the geek world. Don't overthink this one. Conservatism has had a nice little rebound in the last year or so, not to mention a trend in the US that really started in 2001 with the election of the quintessential anti-intellectual, George W. Bush. Modern conservatism is, at its core, anti-intellectual. It doesn't care about facts, degrees, experts, or reason. It's all about giving in to your fear, and what your gut tells you. The masses are most easily lured by this kind of philosophy, but geeks aren't immune to it, either. Geeks are humans, too.

Comment Re:Anti-groups are obsessed with what they hate (Score 0) 636

Why is it that atheists on the internet spend so much more time talking about god on the internet than people of faith...

We atheists spend time "talking" about it on the internet, because direct communication is how intellectuals share and evaluate ideas. Basically, we take all the time we save praying to entities that don't exist, and channel that into time spent talking, and writing to entities that do. Got it?

Comment all iOS 4 not created equal (Score 1) 194

I would have completely agreed with the premise of the topic when iOS 4.0 was released. It brought my 3G to a crawl. But, the majority of the sluggishness problems were fixed in iOS 4.1. Don't lump the current version in with the original release of iOS 4.

It obviously would have been better if Apple actually tested 4.0 on 3G devices, which would have immediately revealed a problem. They apparently didn't, or didn't care .. which is bad. But, the fix did come.

Also, a lot of the observed problems may actually have less to do with the OS version, and more to do with the fact that most users don't use the optimal method of upgrading their OS. If you just accept iTunes' prompt to upgrade when you connect your iPhone, you'll likely eventually wind up with a phone that's bogged down and sluggish. I've had much better results instead backing up my phone (apps, data, music, etc.), then using the "Restore" process to go to the new OS as a clean slate. You then, of course, have to restore from backup, after going to the new OS. It's an extra step, and probably shouldn't be necessary, but it gets better results than the basic "upgrade".

Make sure you're not confusing these two issues (OS suitability for older hardware, and the problems with direct upgrades).

http://www.enscand.com/roller/enscand/entry/upgrading_iphone_3g_to_ios4

Comment You Can't Teach Those Who Don't Want to Learn (Score 1) 945

Teaching the right about what Net Neutrality means is pointless. Conservatives don't make decisions based on facts. They make decisions based on their guts. And there's considerable behavioral research that indicates that when confronted with the fact that their existing views are contradicted by actual facts, those holding the views will actually become more convinced of their erroneous viewpoints (see climate change, Obama's birth, health care death panels, WMDs in Iraq, etc.) . So, in reality, the best thing you could do is just ignore them, and hope that their opposition remains at a relatively low energy intensity.

This is a sad statement about human nature, but if liberals and intellectuals don't come to terms with this simple reality, they will continue to be frustrated by the knuckle draggers among us.

Comment We Actually Have Data People (Score 1) 551

Why is it that conservatives and libertarians can never seem to draw from actual empirical evidence, and insist on clinging to unproven philosophy?

The hell with Adam Smith. Look at this issue in practice.

I live in Seattle proper, where we have a publicly-run utility company. We have the lowest electricity rates in the nation, and solid reliability. Sure, some of that has to do with natural resources in the area, but Seattle's suburbs have those same advantages. You literally go outside Seattle's city limits, and you have to buy electricity from Puget Sound Energy, whose rates are significantly higher, and whose service is worse. The public utility beats the private one hands-down.

For the other side of the coin, look at California's recent experiment with electricity deregulation. Enron jumped right in and screwed everyone over. The little detail of the market makers is always conveniently ignored by conservative theory. The entire west coast suffered because of California's naivete.

Electricity in this country is not expensive. It's cheap. Period. Americans just feel that God has given them the right to boundless consumption, so as long as energy isn't free, they whine like little babies.

Comment Re:Our advise is to place your funds somewhere saf (Score 1) 467

I'm not a fool, but I do still do business with BofA. Since you're apparently hip on using insults to get your point across, I don't feel bad calling you naive. Your little vote-with-your-dollars speech is quaint, but it completely ignores the fact that there is no "vote" to be counted.

There is no alternative here. All the banks are engaged in this bullshit. The state banks, too. Credit unions. Want to keep your money in some alternate investment? Great, you can be fucked over by companies like Vanguard or TDAmeritrade.

You also don't have a vote in the sense that these financial services companies don't need customers to be profitable. In fact, they're learning that it's sort of easier without the customers. Banks can stop managing other people's money, and get low-interest loans from the Federal Reserve, which they invest in commodities, stocks, or some other investment that is being propped up by the international finance cartel. So, taking your $100k out of the bank will make no difference to them.

What about just not investing in anything? Great ... do that, and your money will disappear before your eyes. Have you ever asked yourself why inflation doesn't average 0%, over long periods of time? Why does it always seem to be above zero? It's because that's the finance cartel's way of ensuring that you use their services, in one form or another. Over time, you'll still usually lose money, in real dollar terms. But, less than you would if you just kept your cash under the mattress.

(Please, no idiotic replies about how some stock index has outpaced inflation over time ... if you believe the validity of either of those published numbers, then you're a lost cause).

So, until you realize that our societal tolerance of these finance leeches has led us to a position where we're essentially powerless to do anything, your market-based democracy is going to be utterly pointless.

Comment Re:Subjective perspective exaggerated (Score 2) 279

Brilliant. Let's all rely on nuclear energy, which, if it were the primary replacement for fossil fuels, would run out even faster than oil.

It's nice that France uses nuclear, and it is nominally carbon-neutral, but you cannot solve the climate change problem with nuclear power. Nuclear fuel is hard to make, and the raw materials needed to make it won't even last one human lifetime if we use it at the rate we use fossil fuels. At best, nuclear power is a transition technology that can help us get from where we are now, to an ultimately sustainable future energy mix. That's it.

Regarding the fact that there have been doomsayers before, and we haven't all perished yet: are you kidding me? That's like saying that you heard a couple guys in blue shirts make a prediction once, and they were wrong, so you're not listening to any more predictions from guys in blue shirts. Not to mention the fact that world resource consumption has only continued to go up with time. Unless you're arguing that the earth's resources are not actually finite, then that means that on average, today's resource "doomsayers" are speaking from an even stronger position that those from the 90s, 80s, 70s, etc. What about that is difficult to comprehend?

Are we living in the movie Idiocracy, where morons can make patently irrational suggestions like this, and get modded up to 5?

Comment Re:Yeah (Score 1) 186

Jesus, get over yourself already. Everything can't be represented as a 1 or 0. There are degress of everything. Just because you give a rip about the environment doesn't mean you have to kill yourself, and everyone else, who has ever consumed anything. Do you really have such a poor grasp of complexity that you can only see things as black and white?

The attempt at mangling logic in your last paragraph is pathetic. I happen to have made the decision not to have kids, and world overpopulation is definitely one factor that lead me to that decision. This isn't illogical, and is undeserving of your childish "WTF?". I do care about "our descendents". The apparent difference between me and you is that I don't refuse to include other people's offspring in the category of "our descendents". If I only gave a damn about people who were direct descendents of myself, then I agree that it would be illogical to refuse to procreate in order to make life better for my future (non-existant) descendents. But, here's the kicker ... despite the fact that you are clearly a selfish clown, I actually care about the well-being of the spawn you produce.

Hence, I care what we do to our planet today, even when it happens to conflict with my own immediate self-interests. You can decline to think this way if you like, but don't bash those of us who are responsible enough to think more than a generation into the future.

Comment Not to mention what's making us fat... (Score 1) 285

The weight of passengers is just one issue. The bigger issue is why we're getting fat. Because we stuff our faces with crap made out of high fructose corn syrup, and ungodly amounts of meat. The amount of greenhouse gas pollution created by raising livestock in this country is approximately the same as what's produced by all transportation put together! (almost 1/5th of the total)

Not the portion of transportation costs associated with our extra girth ... the whole thing!

Comment Re:The religion is now official (Score 1) 1657

It's not a religion if it's based on evidence. Proper religions ask you to believe in magic, and offer no actual evidence, requiring you to rely on faith. Climate change doesn't require your faith. Maybe you're lazy, and have chosen not to research the facts for yourself, but that doesn't make it a faith issue. If you gave a damn, you could get a science degree, and read the literature. There is no analogous action you could take to satisfy yourself that a god actually exists. Thus, not religion. Pick a different slur to mask the fact that you just don't want to be told that anything you're doing has adverse consequences for humanity.

Comment Re:Conditions Apply (Score 1) 635

This is the most braindead argument, and it continues to be left untouched. What world do you guys live in where solar power generates so much energy that we can't use it all on-demand? Storage is a non-issue, until solar produces a large chunk of our power. As grids get more interconnected, it becomes even less of a problem, with a larger user base spreading out the demand.

Any reasonable scenario being floated involves slowly ramping up solar power. It doesn't have to generate 100% of the power for the largest consumers of electricity in the world (USA) to be viable. A future energy mix probably involves 3 to 5 major technologies for creating electricity, each with different power generation profiles.

When people want to run cars on batteries, you neanderthals cry that it's useless, because the electricity will still come from dirty sources. When people want to add solar power, you cry that there's not enough batteries to buffer the output. Please unwrap your mind from around the mental axle you have driven through your own skulls.

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IN MY OPINION anyone interested in improving himself should not rule out becoming pure energy. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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