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Comment Re:Professional programmer? (Score 1) 347

Professional programmer, noun, someone who has made programming their primary CAREER and has a recognized formal education.

There is no need to have a recognised formal education to be a good developer (although it sometimes helps you get your first graduate junior developer job). Far more useful is a few years spent contributing to open source projects and getting used to getting your code reviewed.

Once you have been programming professionally for a few years it is all about your previous roles, nobody gives two hoots about your academic background if you ace the interviews, do well on the technical tests and have at least 2 or 3 years solid commercial experience.

Comment Re:Very simple (Score 2) 347

They only have three hours in which to do this.

Personally, I'd suggest beating them over the heads with printed copies of man pages whilst trying to emphasize the importance of commenting their goddammed code.

But that's just me.

If code needs comments your probably doing it wrong. Code should instead be broken down into small units with meaningful method names and tests.

There are certain edge cases where you need to include a comment because you might be doing something strange then the comment can explain why you doing, for the most part though the code should be easy to follow just by reading through the method names.

Oh, and while we are on the subject, as soon as you use And in a method name really try and split it into two seperate functions.


function doThisAndThat(...)

function doThis(...)

function doThat(...)

Even if both of those methods will always be called together one after the other for the rest of eternity that it still far than the alternative which is that some fool after wards comes along and changes it into: doThisAndThatAndTheOtherThing(...)

Comment Re:Web developers (Score 1) 108

If by that you mean javascript bloat, then yes, developers have made a mess of the web. For example, a typical product page on Amazon is 1.8M of *minified* javascript.

The problem is that developers no longer answer to their bosses. They answer to web forums. They are so afraid of doing things other programmers wouldn't find acceptable that they'll code to please web forums rather than doing their job. That means using the heaviest frameworks available and writing the deepest, most complex code they can manage to understand themselves.

Actually the problem is that the idea of doing stuff on a web page, then clicking a submit button and reloading an entire page just for a few pixels to change is a clunky old way of doing things that deserved to die.

Javascript lets us create a richer, more responsive experience that most users prefer. We can provide instant feedback on a field within a form that will fail validation, we can instantly tell people their chosen username is already taken, we can guess ahead at what the might be about to search for and autocomplete for them in a more intelligent way, we can create graphs that track data in real time.

  The possibilities we get from intelligent use of JS open up so many things we simply couldn't do otherwise without native apps. Most users embrace this in one way or another, even if they choose to restrict it to sites they trust.

Comment Re:This is a technical malfunction, not surveillan (Score 1) 116

Adding a cookie to a web browsing session (which I presume is so that session is not subjected to such measures in the future) is hardly mass surveillance.

Not any more than any ad and analytics shit is mass surveillance ... you know, tracking people on a large scale.

You're right, it likely has nothing specific to do with Tor, but let's not pretend the assholes who are tacking everybody on the internet aren't essentially doing mass surveillance.

It worth remembering that these "assholes" are not going around hacking websites and forcing their tags onto them, website owners are adding third party tracking websites and ad networks to their site to cover the cost of running a website. Instead of bitching about ad networks, just stop using ad supported sites.

Running a website costs money, like everything else in this world.

Comment Re:AMD's opensource is good (Score 1) 63

hybrid Intel+Nvidia grpahics on laptop was such an exemple)

Sorry to rain on your parade but this is shit on AMD cards too. The closed source driver AMD just discontinued (or not updated so it can run on fedora 23) actually worked better on my work Dell E6540 laptop. Some people I work with who started just before me are lucky enough to have the Nvidia version of this laptop and this works better with Linux.

Comment Re:laid to rest? (Score 1) 63

requiring signed firmware is still open source unfriendly! if the firmware can be changed, we want an open source version of that too! we also want to be able to run our own code on it. signed firmware is a hostile statement saying that you don't want anyone else to be able to write firmware for this card.

If you could load your own firmware you would probably be a little bit closer to being able to bypass HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection). Chances are Nvidia have signed a crap load of agreements that prevent them from letting you do that. They could probably invest a load of time in letting you run your own firmware, but have the windows driver scan for that and disable HDCP in this case but even this may prove awkward if it made it any easier for you find a way around the HDCP in older cards (I bet they took short cuts on making their older cards as secure as they should have)

If HDCP on nivida was seen to be a weak link, then Netflix and the like would just bump old cards that were vulnerable off the list they approve for playback just to be sure (they probably have commercial agreements in place that would force them to do this). That would seriously hurt Nvidia as there are far far more people who care about watching netflix on their PC than there are who want to screw around with firmware or even drivers.

The reality is that modern hardware is just too encumbered by things like this, and a few guys who want to tinker running their own firmware is just such a tiny part of the PC graphics market for Nvidia to really care that much. Other companies like Intel probably have architecture that makes it easier for them to open source more of it by having trust chains built in at more levels, it would not surprise me if Nvidia keep this to a minimum in order to make sure graphics performance is always as high as it can be.

In light of this signed software is not a "hostile statement" it is just the embodiment of the Nvidia contractual obligations that custom firmware would have to be treated differently unless it was known to not pose a threat to protecting content owners content from digital piracy.

It is worth remembering that the US entertainment industry generates a huge amount of revenue and employment for many people and without these protections Russia would shaft the shit out of that industry (hey, they produce nothing anyone cares about enough to pirate anyway so why would they care).

Comment Re:Detecting weapons is NOT the purpose of TSA... (Score 4, Insightful) 349

This, and also the fact that they reinforced and lock the cockpit doors from now on.
The TSA has not stopped ANY attempts at bombing or hijacking airliners since 9/11. Various other methods have, but the TSA has been singularly useless.

Reinforced cockpit doors do sod all. Even without a reinforced cockpit door the crew could have kept them out of the cockpit if they wanted to using a co-pilots foot .

What has made us tons safer after 9-11 is that now there would be reasonable quantity of the passengers who would challenge the hijackers, as recently shown on a French train. Previously most air hijackings were about taking hostages and using them to plead for some worthless chum of yours to be released, as soon as it became clear that the hijackers were never interested in your survival or their own it made trying to subdue them the safest option, no matter how dangerous that seemed.

If you wanted to fly a plane into a building now you would have to steal an empty one first.

Comment Re:In all seriousness, (Score 2) 258

On the other hand, as long as the password exists only in your head, you cannot be forced by the state (at least legally) to divulge said passwords by invoking your right against self-incrimination (in the U.S.).

Here in the UK I can bet sent to prison for 5 years or something for not revealing a password or encryption key if a warrant orders it, which is why I answered "... if you send me a nice warrant first". I am not willing to risk 5 years in prison since I have a family to support.

This makes no difference to me though since I lead a pretty boring existence and nothing I use passwords for would be of any interests to the authorities anyway.

Comment Re:Online retailers (Score 1, Informative) 317

How does this work for online retailers? How do I get my own time pin out of the card? Does this mean you can't save a credit card anymore?

As someone in the UK where we have had chip and pin for years it does not change online purchases one little bit.

All chip and pin does is replace the bullshit signature with entering a pin. This is important because it prevents two types of attacks that used to be commonplace:

1) Have a friendly guy in the shop who didn't look too closely at your signature in return for a couple of quid.

2) Have a moron in the shop who didn't look too closely at your signature.

Both of these are pretty common place when you realise that working in a shop is basically a McJob with no real future. done by kids mostly paid barely minimum wage. Even if you get fired for repeatedly not noticing you took a stolen card you will get another job in some other shop in no time.

The reality is that you guys in the states have to start using chip and pin, or you can forget ever travelling to Europe where most of our terminals and moving to PIN only. Within a few years most retailers over here will have blanket bans on signature transactions, quite a few do already.

Oh, and I know it is not actually that much more secure, if it is at all as now the pin is stored on the card in encrypted format and not sent to the bank but that does not change anything. The attacks you can mount it are fairly high tech ones, which will always be an issue and not the banks priority. Chip and Pin is designed to beat the low tech, commonplace attacks I describe above that are done en-masse by thousands of chancers that cost banks a fortune (here in the UK banks are liable for this sort of stuff, unless that can prove you were negligent).

Comment Re:tl;dr (Score 1) 51

They pretty much had to. From the comments section of their blog, it was pretty much 80/20 that people were going to dump their products if they switched to a subscription-only license. The only people who seemed to be for it were those who found it a lot cheaper [their 'toolbox' subscription, where you can use all their ide's is a lot cheaper than licensing all their apps separately].

I was going to dump it, but given the changes to their licensing scheme announced today, I'll probably stick with using the RubyMine ide.

I am not sure what RubyMine is like, but certainly for me I would have had to stick with PHPStorm regardless as there is just nothing that compares to it that I have found that runs under Linux.

Comment Re:Are we supposed to believe *everything* they sa (Score 5, Interesting) 317

It is The Guardian, beloved of the Left. You don't need to question them, it is unseemly and icky. Everything they print is true, because it agrees with the Left's pre-existing ideas. Anything contradictory is simply not printed in the first place. This is one of the big reasons the Left has gone off the rails into obsessed hate in the past 20 years, they live in an echo chamber and think that dissident opinions have no place in political speech.

I certainly do not agree with everything the Gaurdian prints, but it is worth remembering that as it is a UK publication they have printed this knowing that if they can't prove every word they would be sued into oblivion for liable under the strong laws we have in the UK. We also have a slightly more regulated press than the you in the US in terms of a body that overseas them and force retractions if they print anything that is utterly made up.

So with that in mind you can be fairly sure that there is a fair amount of substance to this story unlike half the crap that the right wing press in the US run with where your free speech laws allow them to just make stuff up. All you have to prove in the US is that although you printed a pack of lies you did not do it "maliciously". Since that maliciousness is almost impossible to prove in court the you can get away with far more.

Comment Re:Just a question on Jira stability (Score 1) 70

I've found Atlassian's products to be great, but the latency when used from Europe (at least Norway) is so bad that there is just no way for us to use it :-( It's not always slow, but at least for some hours of the day we're talking 4-20 seconds before a page refreshes. We have a confluence site up that nobody uses just because of this issue. I know we could host it ourselves, but I have neither the resources nor the patience (Jira seems to need a lot of tlc to keep running).

Here in the UK we don't have that same problem using their hosted JIRA, so probably this is local issue to you guys in Norway.

Comment Re:thank God they didn't have computers.... (Score 1) 629

Not in most states. People can reasonably expect to be able to walk up to your front door unless you have posted signs saying "no trespassing" or "no soliciting" or told the specific person that they are not allowed.

Pushing a photo through an open door isn't really trespassing either if you stay outside.

A piss poor password is not the same as an open door, it is actually more like a door with a shitty lock. And bypassing a lock without permission, no matter how shitty it is, is breaking and entering pure and simple even if you do not do any damage.

I am still very surprised this kid has been charged though. When I was at school most criminal offences on school grounds were brushed under the carpet in order not to embarrass the school. You could get even away with giving teachers decent wallop providing you didn't go to far and break their nose or anything. Likewise for hitting other students or stealing stuff.

Comment Re:The average person thinks they've above average (Score 1) 220

The only way to get past novice or intermediate at programming is to get at least 10 years experience under your belt, at least 5 of which should be paid professional work on large complex systems or something equivalent in academia like a doctorate (anything else is just too easy).

Ah, this myth again. No, time does not equate to expertise. According to hundreds of scientific studies, time spent engaged in the exercise of a skill is the least correlated factor with expertise: people who play piano a lot, who program a lot, who have spent tens of thousands of hours drawing, are not automatically fantastically skilled, and in fact time spent exercising a skill is horribly unrelated to development of the skill.

So how does it work then? some people are no doubt just brilliant at stuff due to pure natural ability even though they never practice? What utter bullcrap.

I am not saying that practice automatically makes people better programmers (you can practice for years in a lazy way and not get any better), but I do think that to be a better programmer a huge part of it is breadth of experience at solving different problems, facing different challenges and working around different constraints.

Being naturally gifted or having a way of learning that suits the topic may give some people a slight head start or advantage in terms of needing less practice, but ultimately everyone needs to practice a skill in order to hone their abilities.

Just look at the employment market for the most compelling evidence: Senior developers with at least 5 years professional experience command more money than people fresh out of college.

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