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Comment Re:stop whining and... (Score 4, Insightful) 692

I agree. If a job candidate doesn't like the questions, I would expect them to react in a way that I could tolerate if I had to work with them. It is actually a good thing to pull a Kobayashi Maru in most cases as long as it seems like something that would be feasible. It is okay in the real-world to have a critical opinion as long as it is polite and constructive in the long-run.

I've been on the asking side of these questions several times now. (Not questions quite as silly as the examples in the article, but nonetheless...) HR said "pick 4 questions from this book and score according to this answer key." Obviously, the whole thing is highly subjective and the scoring is more about how a person reacts. Some of the questions are way too vague to be useful, but usually they allow you to gauge the behavior of a person. You basically want to find out how a person handles typical adverse situations that arise in a work environment. i.e. professional disagreements, impossible goals, annoying customers, etc.
I've seen many different reactions. It's okay if a person declines to answer maybe 1 out of the 4, but in some cases, people have claimed they never had an adverse situation. Not a good answer. Most people just try to answer the questions in a bland way with the 'expected' answer. So I need to hear something that tells me a person really cares, either by re-engineering the question, or having a really specific answer that would be hard to fabricate on the spot.

So you can be critical of these questions, but consider being in the shoes of an employer. You try writing questions for an interview that are not too vague, and can cut through peoples' BS'ing.

 

Comment Re:Open source? (Score 1) 215

That closed-source company may _want_ to stand on their reputation. But they can be ordered to backdoor the software against their will and in secrecy. This is no longer a hypothetical argument, and it _is_ harming the reputation of businesses.

This is a great time for competitors of US tech companies.

Comment Re:As immigrant in the US (Score 1) 383

I agree with the AC, the NSA snooping is fundamentally different (in the negative direction.)

The justification for Iraq was flimsy. Our healthcare system is what it is, and economic bubbles have been problematic. But these are just big fuzzy issues with many competing players. Basic human conflict.

Civilized society is fundamentally based at some point on a basic level of trust and openness. The USA is founded on the ability of the people to supervise and object to the actions of the governing people and agencies. Keeping the NSA snooping as a secret has violated a basic contract of trust that the people bestow upon individuals who operate the government.

How can the American people oversee the activities of big agencies if such agencies can lie to, conceal from, and even intimidate the people?

The NSA has been caught in one lie after another as new documents are revealed. People and corporations have been forced into silence.

I understand that confidentiality must exist when pursuing suspects, but that is completely different.

Why the secrecy? Was it really about tipping off the subjects of investigations, or was it simply knowing this behavior was unjust and thus had to be kept out of the light of scrutiny? This is what children do when they know their parents will say 'no.'

We cannot have a functional society if these basic tenets of civility are violated as a matter of routine.

Comment Re:Eheh and his mother was sane? (Score 1) 1719

The Colt AR-15 as it is generally known is basically the civilian version of the M16. This means semi-auto only, not fully automatic or burst mode. By exact definition, "assault rifles" are fully automatic rifles such as the M16, which are generally not obtainable by most US citizens. Therefore, not an assault rifle.

Furthermore, the "AR-15" by name is typically banned in state-level "assault weapons" bans, including Connecticut. However, many different manufacturers make similar rifles often with interchangeable parts. Since these are sold under different model names, they are not explicitly covered in these bans. The shooter in this case had an XM-15 made by Bushmaster, which actually is more like the military M4 rifle.
http://www.jud.ct.gov/JI/criminal/glossary/assaultweapon.htm

Comment Re:Not legal here. (Score 1) 286

On the highway, I especially don't need that tailgating idiot to zoom around on my right instead of just waiting for me to safely return to the the middle or right lane. Does he understand the counter productivity of that, or just not care? I promise I'm smart enough to not hog up the passing lane. This happens a lot when I'm in an interchange lane that merges from the left. I would love to get out of the left lane but I'm blocked by people passing on the right at 20MPH over the limit.

If I'm driving at the speed limit and someone tailgates me on a surface street, I just slow down more. I make up for his lack of judgement in stopping distance.

Comment Re:Style = Religion (Score 1) 479

The article had some good kernels of truth, besides the more pedantic text formatting questions. For instance, adding comment hints where program flow is less obvious in a case statement.

For the most part, style choices are personal. Unfortunately, people have opinions on everything and are poor judges to recognize when they are simply promoting one arbitrary choice over another without a provable reason.

Consider this example. In C, I get annoyed by code that uses conditionals without braces when there is a single statement in the condition. That works for the first line, but makes it hard to catch errors when a second line is added that falls outside of the conditional.
i.e.
if(foo==bar)
    doSomething();
I think this is very obviously bad, but I run across code like this, and people who are unapologetic about it. Am I unfairly judging this from my perspective, or is there merit to re-writing this style choice?

Comment Re:Give away your password... (Score 1) 836

I agree, I looked at the actual form too and thought the same thing, totally laughable.
They also want all sites past and present.... you mean like the pages full of jotted down passwords I have from 1998 for web sites that have been defunct for almost a decade?

On so many technical levels it fails too. Do they need all of the dumb-ass 'security questions' that I have to remember how I answered 3 years ago? Will my bank account get flagged and locked out if they try to log in from a different location and browser than I do? Will they suck messages off of a POP email server so I never see them? Do anonymous Slashdot postings count?

Maybe as a joke I would just give my Facebook login so that they can dig through 938 requests for 'lil green patch' and other pointless apps that I never even bother to delete.

If I had to fill out this form, I would simply leave those lines blank. If they ever came back and asked for more info, they would get a polite: 'I don't think so, you idiot' from me. I suppose they could later use that to dismiss an employee. Or this is some bizarre way to prevent anyone from getting hired..... If you don't put info down, you are a lair because everyone at least has an email account someplace. If you do put something down then I know the applicant is a security risk, and will end up giving out company secrets to the first lame phishing attempt that comes by.

Comment Re:Wrong Premise (Score 1) 1108

I don't see how great lakes water levels tie into global warming at all, no matter which side of the issue you are on. This is because the lake levels are 100% regulated by human civil engineering authorities. Canadian-US treaties and agencies regulate exactly how much water flows out the dams and locks in the St. Lawrence river(the final exit from the Great Lakes into the Atlantic ocean.

I live in the Rochester, NY area which is on Lake Ontario. Lake Ontario is the final lake in the chain. Every few months, some news article pops up about what the lake level should be set at. Hydro power and shipping interests prefer a higher lake level, and waterfront property owners prefer lower levels to limit erosion. The lake has an elevation of 243 ft. (74 meters), so it isn't tied at all to ocean water levels.

 

Comment Re:Qt (Score 1) 570

I'm from New York. What is this magical automatic fuel lever holder clip thingy?

But anyway, your point about human apathy and convenience is really where the problem is. This is why I like Python 10x better than Java or .NET. Python's runtime is relatively small and simple, and doesn't require tens of megabytes of dlls in system folders. I can write a Python app, package it up with py2exe and distribute it without harassing the end user with installing any runtime stuff. Only the required dlls and lib code is wrapped up into a folder that can run without any system file installs or registry entries. The end user doesn't even need to install Python because py2exe wraps this up for me.

This has always been the downfall of interpreted/managed languages.

VB: does everyone remember the error messages 'missing vbrun50.dll' It took a long while before these applications and Windows co-ordinate this activity to make these issues seamless.

.NET: the few times I've tried to run a .NET app, I've been sadly disappointed. I apparently didn't have the right version of .NET, or no .NET at all. I don't enjoy downloading hundreds of megabytes of runtime code to run a simple app.

Java: Same issue. Plus Java updater takes over my system and occasionally breaks apps that used to work. Do I have java 2.0, SE/EE, JRE/JDK xyz... who cares, don't want to know, just want it to work.

Comment Re:The reason for SI units (Score 2) 261

People should be doing everything from measurement to arithmetic in hexidecimal (base 16) these days. SI is obsolete in the information age. Although it might be nice to replace the abcdef numerals with something non-alphabetic.

Seriously.

You can draw all the same arguments that were made for the metric system and apply then to why we should switch everything to base 16.

Floating-point operations are generally performed on a base-2 representation of a base 10 number, so conversion errors are common. Base-10 floats or decimal types are possible, but less commonly used and generally don't have CPU hardware support.

Base-16 can represent larger values in a shorter space.

Computer memory is based on address lines that follow the powers of 2, so that a 'kilo' byte is 1024... of course people are just starting to collectively address this issue with the use of KiB.

While we are at it, why do we still have 24-hour days, or worse 12-hour half-days where the 0 hour is actually 12 and proceeds to 1. Why are there 360 degrees in one rotation? Arc seconds, arc-minutes... Why is a dozen 12 units?

Of course I'm just playing devil's advocate here. I know most non-computer science people out there would have their head spinning if they tried to understand anything besides base-10.

Comment Re:Some colleges are different (Score 1) 508

I graduated from RIT also. Quite frankly, as a private school they make plenty of money from tuition alone... There aren't very many grad students doing paid research there anyway. MY personal opinion is that if you are an undergrad paying tuition then your work is your own. If you are a paid (graduate) student then you are an employee and the same rules apply that would at any corporation.

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