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Comment Re:Languages are tools, not jobs. (Score 1) 581

To be fair, the GP said "competent programmer" and "maintain" (not architect). The broad range of concepts you speak of are covered in any reputable computer science degree. When walking into a maintenance job you don't need to remember the details because the algorithms are already carved in legacy code.

As someone with 30yrs experience as a degree qualified coder, I'd say that system/application specific business "logic" is more important, and harder to come by, than language skills when maintaining old code. In my experience a new hire on a medium sized legacy project ( 20-30 ppl) will take at least six months just to come up to speed on what the system/application is supposed to do, and that's assuming he has the relevant domain knowledge and language skills

Comment Re:Another great story (Score 1) 49

It looks to me like some foolish and greedy people were taken in by a scam.

That's because you are using imagination rather than experience. I contracted under a similar system for 12yrs in Australia (95-07), good money, no problems with payments. Here in Oz. large corporates rarely employ an individual contractor who is not represented by an agency. Most agencies are relatively small operations and use payroll companies to handle the payments. Basically, if you want to be an independent contractor in Oz you need these services to get your foot in the door. I only gave up contracting because my current employer matched the contract rate and then some to go permanent.

At the end of the day it doesn't matter if you are a contractor or an employee, US or AU. The little guy is last in line when the court appointed receivers turn up.

Comment Re: Bullying? (Score 1) 184

"Hard AI" actually refers to an AI that has consciousness, not just intelligence. It's a pointless distinction since there is no test for consciousness. It's the same problem that zoologists are confronted with when they try to claim great apes are conscious, intelligent, creatures.

If your definition of intelligence is so narrow that it only admits conscious human intelligence, then of course there's no such thing as AI, and there never will be. No matter how intelligent it becomes you will always be able to pull out the "it's just mimicking humans" card and can never be shown to be wrong.

Comment Re:I'll bet (Score 2) 130

Great story, but this year there is no el-nino, last year there was an el-nino.All 4 known bleaching events have occurred since 1980, 3 since 2000, the last two back to back. Also, Indonesia is several thousand kilometers NW of the GBR, so they are "close" in the same way alaska and florida are "close"

Comment Re:the first hit is always free (Score 2) 82

The problem that I see is that taser have a vested interest as to how taser equipment and cameras are perceived by the courts and the general public. Sure, give the contract for cameras to taser but give the evidence handling and image processing to a competent competitors. One company doing the whole thing from filming to court presentation is just corruption waiting to happen.

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