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Comment What a useless comparison (Score 3, Informative) 818

You can't compare "polls" or "studies" from the 1930's to 2010 because definitions and attitudes have changed so dramatically during that timeframe. For Christ's sake... LABATOMIES were still a standard and mainstream mental health practice at that time! Today pretty much anyone who's down in the dumps would say they feel "depressed", and anyone who is high-strung would say they experience "anxiety". Eighty years ago, however, they would simply say they feel "sad", or "nervous". It would be far less likely for them to REPORT such common feelings, and far less likely for the medical butchers of the time to label it as mental illness unless it were truly asylum-worthy.

It's preposterous to say that depression and anxiety are more prevalent today than during the Great Depression, and the worst war the planet has ever known. The only thing more prevalent today is our willingness to label those states of mind as such.

Comment Re:You have to be a very insane programmer for tha (Score 1) 623

Obviously with your comment and vague response, you are not really in the industry, but more of an outsider (and the fact that you quoted me saying how long I have been doing this as if that was the focal point of everything I said).

Umm... the reason I asked you to hang on to this post in order to look back on it down the road is because your inexperience WAS the focal point of everything you said.

I'm not sure if this makes me an "old fart" by your standards, but I'm in my mid-30's and have been doing this for a little over a dozen years. Your two years don't give you anywhere near as much perspective as you believe. How many different companies and environments have you actually programmed in during that short time? In some places, the contractors and younger guys do all the work while the established senior people are burned-out and lazily ride the paycheck. In other places, the senior people are the only ones with a clue and spend all their time cleaning up after substandard contractors or rookies. Some places are too rigid and inflexible, other places fly by the seat of their pants too much. Etc, etc, etc... every place is different, and that's why I asked you to hang on to this comment. Because several years down the line, when you've had a broader set of experiences, you'll read it again and chuckle.

Comment Re:You have to be a very insane programmer for tha (Score 1) 623

I have been in IT as a programmer for about 2 years...

It sounds like in another 2 days, you'll be in a clock tower with a high-powered rifle!

Clearly you've got some very specific frustrations at your current job, and are so obsessed by those feelings that they actually seem on-topic to you here. Still, do me a favor. Print out the comment above. Put in a drawer somewhere. Then take a deep breath, go get laid... and try to get some perspective on the fact that it takes more than a couple of years to rise to the top of the heap, and that there will always be people in every job with less passion yet more clout.

Then in a couple years, pull this printout from the drawer and read it again. It will be quite a shock!

Comment Dumbest Slashdot story ever (Score 2, Interesting) 623

NUMBER ONE: If anything, the pace of "new shinies" has INCREASED over the past decade. When I started out in the dot-com era, there was primarily C/C++ or Java if you were doing backend work... and Java, Perl, or ASP's if you were doing web development. The basic concept of building a web app with an MVC design was a "new shiny". There was no Github or even Sourceforge yet. Today there's a new framework or language or awesome end-user app to play with every time you turn around.

When the anonymous blogger in the original post remembers I.T. as "the place to be", he no doubt means that in financial or marketing terms. That is, we all thought we were going to be stock-option millionaires... and with the exception of some Googlers, that delusion of the industry has been dead for almost a decade now. I.T. is not the insane gold rush that it was 10-20 years ago, but relatively speaking it's still the best paycheck you're likely to get while still being free to fuck off on Slashdot half the day.

NUMBER TWO: There is NOT a "more pervasive technical culture" today. Having an Facebook account does not make you a web-developer, and having an iPhone doesn't make you a sysadmin. There is common perception among middle-aged and elderly people, that the younger generations are brighter or "more technical" because they carry lots of electronic gadgets and spend lots of time on social networking sites. The opposite is probably true... if anything they make people dumber. Regardless, while the number of consumer toys has grown exponentially... I would submit that percentage of society with any real technical interest or aptitude has remained constant.

Comment Huh?!? (Score 1) 239

I agree with the other response here. I'm running Ubuntu on a somewhat elderly laptop (AMD Turion, 2 meg RAM)... and it took approximately 3 seconds for Firefox 3.0.14 to sort your table. I don't know what your machine's issue might be.

Regardless, if you're unhappy with Firefox for any reason, real or imagined, then why use it? I think the whole point of this Google plugin is to "liberate" people who are trapped with IE due to company policy, or due to being too computer-illiterate to download an alternative browser. However, if a person is using Firefox already than neither of those two concerns apply... so there's no point in releasing a version for Firefox. If you like Chrome, and trust Google's handling of your data (this is the hang-up for me), then just use that and enjoy.

Comment Re:Longevity (Score 1) 277

Isn't it strange how computer software is both unbelievably ephemeral, yet also incredibly long-lived. ... I wonder what a programmer on something like, say, Madden, would feel, knowing that this thing they're working so hard on will be totally supplanted by the next version, next year.

I'm not sure where your career path has taken YOU over the years, but many (most?) of us reading this ARE that programmer you're curious about. Just about every major project I've ever worked on either failed due to a management reorganization or budget cut, or else was already planned for complete replacement by the time we finished. I've been in this industry for 15 years now, working for both start-ups and Fortune 500 companies, and I'd wager that the only code of mine to survive longer than 5 years has been small internal-user web apps or perhaps some Perl-driven reports.

I like new challenges, and new puzzles to solve. The chaos of this industry has a certain appeal. However, there is still a bit of emptiness and a sense that nothing you're doing really matters. Sometimes I do get a little tired of building sandcastles for a living.

Comment Re:My vision of the Internet... (Score 1) 202

I referenced Mafia Wars specifically because I find that it CAN'T be blocked. I have blocked it under my App preferences, as well as blocked and marked as spam its incoming notifications. At least in my case, the notifications still get through.

It's possible that Facebook's API is still half-baked and buggy. It's possible that I'm overlooking something. However, I've been in software development for 15 years now... so if it takes more than A COUPLE HOURS of time invested to figure out some feature of your website, then your website sucks.

Comment Re:Crackers, not hackers (Score 3, Insightful) 96

Sorry, but I think it's time to acknowledge that there are some "Wordsmith Wars" that have simply been lost. Moreover, lost about 10-15 years ago. The general public is not going to refer to "Linux" as "GNU/Linux"... not going to use licensing terms like "Libre"... and thinks of "cracker" as a silly racial slur for white people.

Comment My vision of the Internet... (Score 2, Interesting) 202

... is not being spammed with 200 goddamn "Mafia Wars" requests every time I log in. Seriously, Facebook is slowly approaching MySpace levels of obnoxiousness... and it hasn't gotten better as Facebook started trying to "out-Twitter" Twitter. I used to log in multiple times a day... now I only log in once a week or so to clean up all the annoying notifications. Zuckerberg should have sold back when the economy was booming and his company wasn't facing exposure as a mere fad.

Comment HD adoption in general isn't all that (Score 1) 685

Neither Blu-Ray nor HD-DVD make any sense on a standard definition television set. I know this is shocking to younger demographics with disposable income, but the older crowd (by far the statistical majority) hasn't been too quick to adopt HD televisions. I'll buy one EVENTUALLY, but probably not until my current SD set dies. Sorry, it's just not a big deal to me... and while that makes me boring to many geeks and marketing types (increasingly the same group), it doesn't make me a minority.

As for the relative weight of Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD, that's probably because of cost. The format war was heading in the same direction as VHS vs. Beta... where Sony's format was again technically superior, but not enough to justify the price difference. This time around though, Sony went kamikaze with the PS3 and movie studio deals to prevent history from repeating itself. I never got the impression that Sony legitimately "won" from the perspective of consumer preference.

Besides, I think this whole "format war" was a wasteful moot point anyway. By the time I get around to buying an HD television, I anticipate that we'll get most of my movies from on-demand streaming anyway.

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