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Comment Re:Wow, 3% = doom? (Score 1) 609

"People just don't get it. The US government does not need to cut its budget by 3%. It needs to cut its budget by 50% or more."

We are in a recession/depression. Hundreds of thousands have lost jobs, lost their homes, lost businesses, their children their hopes of college, etc. In this financial state we are cutting down on government spending, thus causing thousands to loose jobs directly and suppliers to fire workers. It's been working so well that (snicker) that many want it expanded. This will result in more foreclosures, etc. But don't worry this is the road to prosperity; Greece and Spain, for instance, have had fiscal austerity forced on them and are watching their economy spiral down the drain. We should follow this model?

Governments role is to try to preserve jobs during fiscal downturns; if cutting government spending is needed it should be done in good times when the effects of this economic poison is diluted.

Comment Re:[shrug] (Score 1) 226

I work for a US Federal Agency and our notebooks were all encrypted about two years ago. I know that some problems arose from that but in my major problem is that it takes 10 or, more often, 15 minutes from boot to have a usable machine! We will soon need to insert a "LinkPass" card in our machines to be able to use them (we have had the passes for a few years), we must wear the cards in the facility, and they will be used to unlock exterior doors, too. It's going to be difficult to remember to take the card out when one leaves the vicinity of the office/cubical.


Submission + - Secession petitions flood White House website (politico.com) 1

RNLockwood writes: Political.com reports that several petitions to secede from the Union have been created at the White House site, We The People, for many states; all since Obama's re-election. Texas and Louisiana lead the list with Texas needing only 7,000 more signatures to qualify for a White House response, probably less now as more Americans have become aware of the petitions. (Probably there is no mapping to post election racist tweets Post Election Racist Tweets Map )

If the petitions spark the state legislatures to petition congress and the nation agrees to allow Louisiana and Texas to secede the we will save a LOT of money. For instance the Corps of Engineers will no longer be spend tax dollars to prevent flooding in Louisiana. Think of the savings if all the Federal buildings, bases, and facilities in Texas are closed! The residents of those states can take charge of their problems without federal interference at last. Since the citizens and businesses won't be paying Federa taxes, money saved will be used to create jobs, prosperity will follow, and show how just right Romney and Bush really were.

IMHO this is an experiment worth trying!! Slashdotters, get busy and sign as many of those petitions as you can.

Comment 73 and still coding. (Score 5, Interesting) 317

I did my first coding at 37 on using punch cards and coded for cash the next year. A couple of years ago I had to switch from C/C++ and Windows to Java on LINUX and have learned Java and some LINUX. When my Raspberry Pi arrives in a couple of weeks I'll start on Python! Mostly my job descriptions have been Ecologist with some coding. I look at most of the coding I've done as problem/puzzle solving.

Comment Re:Use your stero (Score 1) 474

Try this alternative. Join the military, shoot a lot different weapons, work in very loud enclosed spaces, don't use effective ear protection (there was none). That's what I did; consequently I don't hear a lot of street noises and what's there is kinda covered up by the constant ringing in my ears. At least I wasn't shot and didn't get malaria so I'm not complaining.

Comment Re:Good for a lot of reasons... (Score 1) 186

A trip to L2 is said to take longer but be cheaper per kg than that to L1... http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1808/1

I think that the energy (and mass of fuel) required to launch from L2 is a lot less than L1 since l2 is on a gravitational "tether" of about 450,000 km (more or less). launching at a particular spot in the orbit means it has a considerable initial velocity.

Comment Programming is first and formost problem solving (Score 2) 767

I've been programming on ond off since 1975 and I came to realize that it was the problem solving that I liked. I think some one stated explicitly that programming was problem solving in the blog "Coding Horror" recently. Of course to be good at problem solving takes practice. After a while one remembers a similar problem that one solved. (That's a lot like math.) Perhaps some version of that technique might be suitable or one realizes that the first technique could have been better and the improvement could be used for the current problem. An inquisitive mindset and the ability to reduce the problem to its essentials helps, too.

It helps to know one's tools well, too. I've heard a musician say that they could finally make good music when their instrument no longer came between them and their music and I think it's the same for programming. When use of the languages and IDE are second nature one can concentrate on the problem solving. I've never worked in a shop where someone handing me detailed design, though. My work assignments have been some thing like: "This is the input and we need these features". Or "this is the output we need (to feed to some other software) design the input and data gathering protocol". So perhaps my "world view" is a bit insular.

So the answer to the question, IMHO, is "no".

A mathematician, Chris, needed to boil some water and found that the kettle was on the table. After some thought Chris took the kettle to the sink, filled it with water, placed the filled kettle the stove burner, turned on the burner, and waited for the water to boil. The next time the kettle was on the counter. Chris thought about this new situation, placed the kettle on the table, and proceeded as before.

Comment Why? (Score 3, Insightful) 307

Why would one want all kids to know programming? We don't require all kids to know automotive design or repair, nor manufacturing techniques for flat panel displays, nor cellphone antenna design, etc.

Programming uses math? Well some arithmetic, surely, but usually not much else.

Perhaps some sort of a fun introductory course might be good as it might spark interest in programming for some students, though.

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I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman