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Comment Don't sell your interest short... (Score 1) 347

most of the courses I spend all my time on are far removed from the skills I need to succeed as a web developer. But on the other hand, I can't imagine another degree that would allow me to stay in a programming mindset. The fact is that web development has taken huge bounds in the last few years, and sadly most universities haven't caught up. Computer science is a field that overlaps with web development, but getting a computer science degree to become a web developer is like getting a zoology degree to become a veterinarian.

Once upon a time, I (and I think most "real" programmers) looked down on web development as "toy" development, the sort of thing a company's owner's "good with computers" nephew did as an excuse to put him on the payroll.

As you correctly point out, though, web development has very much become a form of "real" programming, in some ways more complex than doing native apps. Between communicating with a backend datastore (generally some form of SQL); controlling nontrivial UI logic and AJAX (or comparable) updates through several layers of code from native on the server to client-side Javascript; and now HTML5 has basically made the browser as close to a "native" environment that speaks Javascript as we could ask for - You very much do need a CS degree (or at least that level of understanding) to do any serious web development in the present world.

Aside from the variety of HTML5 demos Google has put together to show off its graphical capabilities, check out Fabrice Bellard's Javascript PC emulator booting into an actual 2.6.20 Linux (CLI, at this point) environment. When "web development" now includes potentially needing to write device drivers, don't think you can take a "CS Lite" degree and jump into a job. If anything, consider your specialty an extension of the core requirements for CS, not a stripped-down version.

Comment Re:Missing option: end the USPS (Score 1) 564

Not in the last 30 years they haven't.

So what do you call 3.4 billion a year for the next ten years, as approved in 2012 when the postmaster general asked to close branches and congress instead laughed at him and whipped out the checkbook?

They are being forced into keeping the prices down and handling the non-profitable routes though. All the responsibility and none of the benefits, really.

Now, in that regard, I consider you the single most insightful response to me so far. Cut the congressional reins and let the USPS actually reduce service, close branches, charge more, and switch to a 401k like the rest of the modern business world; If they can remain competitive, hey, I have nothing personal against them. We just need to stop bailing them out year after year after year, whatever you want to call it.

Comment Yawn. Savages reject modernity, film at 11. (Score 5, Insightful) 188

Yo dawg, I heard you wanted some violence with your violence, so I sent you a prophet!

Believe whatever you want in private, but the sooner we start considering overt belief in a sky-friend as nothing short of a disease, the better. Religion would count as no fewer than half a dozen major diagnostic categories from the DSM (v4, anyway - who the fark knows what else they screwed up in v5), except that it explicitly exempts religious delusions.

So no, you all don't actually get a pass any more. You chat with god? Take your olanzapine like a good little psychotic! There we go. Don't we all feel less like blowing up buildings and raping Western reporters now? Hmm, I wonder if we could get it added to their water...

/ And if you consider this trolling... Well, suffice it to say I wish I meant this as a sad attempt at trolling. Not so funny that we really live in this fucked up world.

Comment Re:Missing option: end the USPS (Score 1) 564

What is wrong with the USPS

1) My tax dollars subsidize it.
2) I get very nearly zero use out of it.
3) The only ones who do use it, use it to send me entire books of junkmail for far less than I can send a postcard to Grandma.
4) For actual packages, private shippers do it better and cheaper.

Admittedly, for postcards and #10 envelopes, you can't beat the price of the USPS - But then again, apparently they can't afford to send those for what they charge, either, sooo...

Why did Jefferson push to specifically command congress to create the USPS?

Because fast, efficient communication counts as an absolutely critical infrastructure...

What do you know that the framers didn't?

Well, "How to make a phone call" and "How to send email", as the two most relevant answers. But I could list things we all know that Jefferson didn't for the rest of the week and still not even make it up to "indoor plumbing".

Comment Why stop at just Saturdays? (Score 0) 564

Saturday? How about they do away with all delivery? In fact, how about we do away with the USPS entirely and let more efficient private competition do what it does best?

I get exactly one thing in the mail - Junk. I get life insurance offers, credit card offers, some sort of crappy "community" paper that contains nothing but ads, political ads, requests for donations, catalogs from places I've never ordered from...

Oh, wait! I do get my electric bill in the mail. They keep asking me to sign up for electronic billing; I keep asking them to accept credit cards. Perhaps if they didn't have their sweet subsidized utility postage rate, they'd feel a bit more willing to move into at least the 1990s as far as electronic payments go, but until then, they can damned well send me a physical bill every month.

Ahem. I digress. The US postal system exists solely to subsidize corporate snail-spam. The sooner we abolish it, the better.

Comment Re:rrdtool & /proc/net/dev (Score 2) 114

And why should bytes that don't even make it to my machine count towards my usage?

Well, it works just like cars. For every thousand cars that pass QC, one or two fail and need to get recycled into parts. So when you buy one of those cars, if it ends up not working, you just eat the cost and shrug and buy another one.


Comment Get an internship. See if he likes it. (Score 2) 183

[...] Even though he is a self-starter I think he would benefit from [...]
[...] he has indicated that he'd like learn some introductory programming skills this summer [...]
[...] the CS101-type courses I've seen offered are too general to meet his needs[...]


No offense, but one of those things doesn't jive. Either you want him to waste his last summer of freedom learning something his uni will already present at a painfully slow pace... Or you over-estimate his degree of self-starting.

In college, I had two very distinct types of peers in my CS classes (no, I don't plan to make this into a "people who know binary" joke). Half of us already knew a few programming languages and casually discussed our latest projects (both in the "toy" and "real employment" senses). And half of "us" switched majors to Tech Writing (the "philosophy major" of STEM) after failing the first semester of Analysis of Algorithms (assuming they even made it past Intro to Programming).

Perhaps he really does have an interest in programming, perhaps you want him to have an interest in a moderately in-demand and well-paid field. If you make him spend the summer grinding to get a leg up on the other freshmen, though, you can pretty much guarantee that if he graduates in 4-5 years, he'll have a degree in French Renaissance Literature. ;)

More seriously, if he wants to figure out if he really likes programming, and wants to get an edge over his peers - Have him look for an internship (probably unpaid if he can't actually program yet).

Comment Yawn. (Score 1) 245

Or, just run Ghostery, which scrubs the whole lot of 'em. Anyone browsing the modern internet without at least an adblocker and a tracker/analytics blocker pretty much deserve what they get.

Comment Failure to reject the null hypothesis. (Score 1) 129

On the other hand, if the odds have shifted significantly in only one of those markets, that could be taken as a sign that that market was being manipulated.

Or, y'know, maybe it just reflects the fact that Americans have a teensy bit more input into who becomes the next president of the US than, say, Germans?

Comment Re:CowboyNeal Brings My Snacks (Score 1) 172

Keep it classy Dice.

No kidding... Could they make it a bit more blunt?

So far this year, we have:
At my current place of employ, snacks are ... on February 7th, 2013
For personal printing, not work, I usually use ... on February 4th, 2013
How Many Text Messages Do You Send a Day? on January 29th, 2013
How Do You Backup Your Data? on January 28th, 2013
My cumulative GPA, thus far: on January 24th, 2013
When Was the Last Time You Used a Landline Phone? on January 21st, 2013
I sit in front of a screen for ___ of my waking time. on January 12th, 2013

I half expect one of the next few polls to ask something "cleverly" disguised about how much below my industry-normal salary I would accept in the current crappy economy.

Comment Re:Forget about them (Score 1, Insightful) 187

Because of course SMTP administration competence of the company's (possibly hosted) email is directly proportional to competence in the field the company works in.

Yup, pretty much. If you walk around - alone - wearing an "i'm with stupid" t-shirt, I don't care if you make Stephen Hawking look like Forest Gump, people will steer clear of you.

Pull your head out of your arse - in the real world, businesses need to communicate.

Yes. Yes, they very much do. And if they don't take that function seriously enough to make sure their audience can hear them, do you really want to do business with them?

They also need to make pay their bills - Do you also overlook your customers just "forgetting" to pay you because they have their AP system set up poorly?

Unless, of course, your core business depends on a steady stream of "bigger idiots", in which case, just reverse the polarity of the SPFion flux.

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