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Comment Re:Because that is how the rest of the world works (Score 2) 465

This was the whole fucking point of computer languages in the first place.

So that, not only would programmers NOT need to specialize. . . .
But also, so that a company that works in a niche technology would have a wider supply of workers who can easily adapt to that niche technology.

So that brings us back, AGAIN, to the main point of this discussion: HR and recruiters DO NOT UNDERSTAND TECHNOLOGY, or the workers, or the skills. Therefore, their job requirements suck.

Comment Re:What a nonsense post... (Score 1) 1030

we don't know for sure, but I don't want to find out the hard way, better to play it safe and not burn it all

There is no doubt in my mind that we WILL find out the hard way.
I think we may have had a chance had we acted on this in the 1970's. When we DID have the technology, and the understanding.

A billion people in the world are going to get access to AC and clean water over the next 50 years.

With growing loss of biodiversity, and ecological degradation, I would ask: what the fuck are these people going to eat? Who's going to employ them so they can afford AC and clean water? Where's this magical water going to come from - the exhaust pipe of a leaky nuclear reactor cooling condenser?

Comment Re:If they're concerned on picking winners or lose (Score 1) 1030

They DO have a thing called "winter" in Phoenix.

While, I do think that they could benefit from a lot more PV and solar thermal use (they're using incredibly scarce fresh water to cool that nuclear power plant in the desert), I can see why they still need clothes dryers.

The AC, IMO, is more a function of culture than necessity. Folks in these warmer climates DO tend to overcompensate. When I was in Illinois, people would crank them up full-blast in the summer, because it was so damn humid outside, and it felt so damn good to come inside from being out in it. But not so good to sit in the chill all day long, freezing your ass off.

Comment Re:50% dumber. (Score 1) 495

My data plan is only $240 per year (on top of a plan for just voice data that I'd be paying with a dumb phone anyway). If I really didn't want to pay it, I could rely on wi-fi networks or just use apps that didn't require the internet.

However, always having the internet with me is a far greater killer app than being able to be called everywhere as far as I'm concerned.

Comment Re:50% dumber. (Score 1) 495

Why the hate for manual transmission? Arguably I can do more with a stick shift than an automatic.

Stick transmissions are less convenient and don't really get much more than marginal benefits compared to modern automatics and CVTs in terms of fuel efficiency or power, especially since most drivers don't shift as efficiently as an automatic system can. Most drivers over-rev, and learning to drive efficiently is a skill that takes time and effort. A stick shift is more or less just the illusion of control.

Manual transmission is to car drivers what vacuum tube amplifiers are to guitar players. The only real advantage is cheaper maintenance.

Comment Re:It just keeps getting worse (Score 1) 415

I don't accept the level of government's (or business's) collection of data on people and invading the privacy of individuals. ... In the end I expect the general public to yawn and go about their daily lives. And nothing will change. So any high and mighty principal of 'changing the world' has failed.

Funny, for someone who supposedly doesn't accept high levels of data collection, you seem to mock anyone else who actually cares.

Both men voluntarily swore an oath to the United States. Both men voluntarily violated that oath. They could have found other ways to address their concerns that didn't involve collaborating with people who have sworn an oath to attack the United States. They chose not to because the other path was difficult.

And ineffectual.

We have whistleblowing protections, but in both of their cases, those protections do not apply. Government protection for government whistleblowers really only extends to financial fraud and waste and to workplace safety and other regulations non-compliance. It doesn't apply to officially sanctioned policies that are in legal gray areas, and it does not provide any exceptions (that I am aware of) for the release of classified data to the parties you are blowing the whistle to. Telling Congress or their superiors about acts they had no business knowing would have simply landed them in jail without any positive effect.

So what options do you speak of?

They could have found other ways to address their concerns that didn't involve collaborating with people who have sworn an oath to attack the United States.

To call them "collaborators" is somewhere between spin doctoring and malicious slander. They provided information to the public without any specific intent to collaborate with enemies. If such people also picked up on the information, then that's the breaks, but it should not make it illegal to tell the rest of us what is going on when the government is acting without accountability and in ways hostile to the public's interest.

Comment wrong on the breakdown comment (Score 1) 470

Your bog-standard disposable plastic shopping bag, (which DOES get re-used, at least they did in my household, before they were banned in my county), will degrade in about 2-3 years, when exposed to direct sunlight, (UV). When buried, it's a different story.

One of the really damaging plastics out there is large-scale plastic sheeting used for trapping moisture in farming. It's polyethelene, and it stands up to more UV abuse, and they come in sheets hundreds of yards long. When they get blown away or washed out to sea - they definitely cause harm to wildlife. Several beached whales have been found with this crap bunched up and blocking their digestive tracts. The thing is: for shorelines not managed by humans, that whale carcass will rot away, and that plastic sheeting will wash back out into the ocean, and threaten more marine life.

Comment Re:So we should ditch Ubuntu and then (Score 1) 346

Tried it.

"error loading firmwares" - - - having to go back and locate 1, 2, 3, (how many more) proprietary firmwares made installation a bit more painful than I had patience for. (after dealing with Legacy/UEFI boot issues).

Also: latest Debian kernel seems pretty old compared to what ships in the latest ubuntu release.

But I really feel the community drop-off in ubuntu, compared to a couple of years ago. And that's pretty important. They're going the way of Red Hat.

Android

Video A 'Smart' Bathroom Mirror Powered by Android (Video) 71

Gone are the days of boring bathroom mirrors that only reflect what's in front of them. What you really need is a bathroom mirror that gives stock quotes, displays the local weather, and tells you the temperature of the water you are about to use to wash your face. Seraku Corporation is now in the process of filling that burning need and has gotten a bunch of press attention by doing so. A cynic might wonder why people who absolutely, positively must have Internet access while they shave or perform other bathroom mirror duties don't just make a wall-mounted holder for their tablets next to their pre-Internet bathroom mirrors, but that would destroy the fun of having the display built directly into the mirror, along with sensors that detect hand gestures so you can control your mirror (no doubt by asking, "Who is the fairest of them all?") without touching it with your greasy fingers. Note that this is technically not a smart mirror but a smart washbasin with a mirror attached to it. Either way, it's not available for retail sale quite yet.

Comment Re:The American Dream (Score 1) 629

At the same time young employees keeps repeating mistakes made already by programmers that were around in the 70's, 80's and 90's.

At some point in their careers, all programmers, after spending a month hunting down a heap corruption, or a race condition, or some other bug nasty like that, come to the realisation that they are spending more time fixing mistakes than writing code. At this moment, most, but not all programmers follow a very logical path of reasoning. They think to themselves, "well, if this code took me 1 week to write, then 4 to fix, that is five weeks, what if I spent 3 weeks writing it carefully, then it would be done right away and I wouldn't have to fix it, I could have been done two weeks earlier!".

From that moment on, this programmer becomes all but useless to their current and future employers.

"Why?" Seasoned veterans may ask. "It saves time in the long run! You are just focussing on the short term results, being distracted by smoke and mirrors and building upon pillars of sand!"

Well, that is occasionally the case, but not usually. What is more often the case is when something is implemented it is either not what we needed or not implemented how it should have been implemented. When something is more or less built, nomatter how badly it is built, it is so clear and obvious what we needed instead and how it should have been made. If you had done that useless feature badly in 1 week, it could have been thrown out and we could have moved on. Sure, your experience might have told you that this was a waste of time, great, could you have told everyone what we really need? Are you going to take the reigns and pull the project in the right direction, or are you just going to be content in doing nothing in preference to doing some useless task?

The thing is, sure, you might do the right thing, in the right way the first time and the twenty year old across the room probably will do the wrong thing, in the wrong way the first and maybe even the second time. However, are you so positive that you will be finished before that twenty year old has finished his third and correct solution? Are you sure that what you build will be better than what the twenty year old builds after two attempts? Is your stable and clean version so much more useful to your team than the twenty year old's buggy first attempt that they will be happy to go without even seeing it for another few weeks, when they could have continued using it as a prototype or placeholder for a less buggy version.

Anyway, a few general maxims to stay relevant as you get older: 1) bad code is not so hard to rewrite 2) useless code is even easier to delete 3) if you're stumped on a problem, just try something, if it's wrong, you'll find out very soon. 4) no amount of experience, no amount of guile, no amount of planning or foresight can compare to a little intuition, a flurry of activity and being willing to make mistakes.

Comment They reversed the age numerals (Score 4, Interesting) 331

I'm 61, not 16, and I prefer my eBook reader (my Android phone) for light fiction, especially when I'm trying to fall asleep or in a waiting room or eating a light meal in a coffee shop.

The price of Ebooks -- yes, way too high -- doesn't directly affect me, since my local library loans me eBooks. And then there's that huge public domain Gutenberg collection and others like it.

I'll pay for eBooks when they're half the price of mass-market paperbacks. Until then, I'll only read titles I can get for free.

Comment Re:50% dumber. (Score 1) 495

Whatever happened to phones that just made phone calls?

They're still out there, just like cars with manual transmission, typewriters, and LP record players. They have their passionate advocates, but most people with more functional devices that can do all that and more just shake their heads in confusion and mutter under their breath about old people and move on.

Comment Re:It just keeps getting worse (Score 5, Insightful) 415

Or it's all just a game. Really, what devastating info has come to light so far? Nothing that any country with their own intelligence agency didn't already know about and likely do as well. It has set up a soap box for political grandstanding, but has it really changed any relationships or policies?

The fact that you aren't horrified isn't so much a measure of how unimportant the revelations are so much as your own cynicism and willingness to accept a terrible situation as just "business as usual." Democracies can only die when the people accept oppression as natural and proper.

And this article would be more appropriately titled "NSA prepared to expose hypocrisy of porn browsing religious radicals".

Two problems with this:

1) The government has a history of pulling this against its own citizens when they threaten the status quo. See COINTELPRO and MLK.

2) Hypocrisy is offensive, but doesn't invalidate a person's argument of how people should act, even if they can't live up to it. MLK would be a great example of this. He was a religious man who had a message of tolerance and justice. He also may or may not have had extramarital affairs. (He at the very least had straying eyes.) Would revealing this to the public negate the truth of his message? Maybe not, but it would be an excuse to shout that truth down and stifle it from spreading.

Encouraging people to accept ad hominem attacks as legitimate, even when it's for people advocating beliefs you find abhorrent, is a dangerous game. It's short-sighted, amoral, and displays the "all that matters is the ends" mentality that has gotten our country into so many risky and stupid entanglements before. Pretty much all of modern politics can be traced back to "pragmatic" things done during the Cold War and the fallout from putting advantage over principle.

Not to downplay the treason of Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning, but it hasn't exactly been the end of the world.

These two people are heroes, not traitors. They saw a great rot at the core of our nation, and rather than sit silently and watch as it ate deeper and deeper, they put their lives and freedom on the line to let people know so that we could act. If their actions have been ineffective, it has been more because of the nihilists like yourself than because of flaws in their motives.

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