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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:Which Apps??? (Score 2) 192

They need to publish that list, as I would uninstall any app that did this.

I'd bet real money that Facebook's suite of apps are on the list. The /. crowd may be willing to uninstall them but the rest of the sheeple will get outraged, share that outrage on Facebook (#irony), and forget all about it in a week or two.

There's a reason why I refuse to install the Facebook app (m.facebook.com in a private browser tab works for my needs) and deny Messenger/WhatsApp access to all requested permissions. I'd just as soon do without the Facebook ecosystem altogether, but that's easier said than done if you've got friends scattered across the globe. *sigh*

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:Update: Testing EnergyStar by GAO resulted in: (Score 1) 273

GAO submitted a few non-existant products to test the EnergyStar program. Some notable results:

Gas-Powered Alarm Clock: Product description indicated the clock is the size of a small generator and is powered by gasoline.

Product was approved by Energy Star without a review of the company Web site or questions of the claimed efficiencies.

I'd buy one of these. :D

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"

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