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Comment This is not the outrage you're looking for (Score 5, Insightful) 76

So $80M over the course of about 6 years is $13.3M/year. Out of an annual budget of $18.4B. That's 0.07% of the annual NASA budget. Okay, so somebody made a bad decision. Reprimand them, do what you have to internally to avoid such decisions in the future, and let's move on. It's not enough that anyone outside of NASA needs to get their undies in a bunch over. If you're looking for government waste to be outraged about I'm sure you can find something orders of magnitude higher than a failed R&D project.

Comment KNOCK IT OFF! (Score 1) 37

Access to a sensor, any sensor, enables information to leak. Microphone, camera, ambient light sensor, accelerometer, thermometer, battery level... These can all be used to glean some amount of information beyond what they're explicitly intended to gather.

Browser manufacturers, KNOCK THAT SHIT OFF! Quit giving websites access to everything. If there seems to be a good reason to give sensor data, average it over time or fuzz it to reduce malicious use. And give the user control over which sensors you report to which sites, with what degree of precision and accuracy. Too complicated? Too much for your users to handle? Then you should err on the side of privacy and just not give access to third parties.

Comment What evidence? (Score 2) 231

I read the article and complaint. Lots of allegations of wrong-doing, but I don't see a shred of evidence presented anywhere. Maybe the legal complaint is the wrong place for a technical discussion, but I'd like to see some sort of evidence of the app sending data back to the mothership. Anyone know where to find a good technical analysis?

Comment Re:Headline vs. Content (Score 1) 268

To save a bit of money, the content on open.gov is moving to whitehouse.gov.

Except, it won't be. It will be removed long enough for people to forget that it ever existed. Then there'll be no need to put it on whitehouse.gov. Problem solved.

This isn't just knocking Trump and praising Obama. I thought Obama's initial announcement of the site was disingenuous and it would be "open" exactly as far as the White House wanted us to see in and no more.

The galling part is that Trump's administration doesn't even have the respect to lie convincingly. "We're closing it to save $70K over four years." Yeah, bullshit. That's $50 per day, probably less than the White House spends on toilet paper. That $70K is literally less than the amount of money they wipe their asses with. They're not doing this to "save money".

Comment Favorite? (Score 1) 1222

"Favorite" is such a loaded word, and conditional on mood. I think any of these could be my "favorite":

Forbidden Planet
Great concepts and cinematography. Huge sense of wonder.
A Clockwork Orange
I absolutely adore the slang and Malcolm McDowell's performance. Plus Kubrick.
Star Wars
Came out in my formative years. What can I say?
Saw it at a midnight showing. Had to check the backseat of my car before I got in.
The 5th Element
A better Heavy Metal movie than Heavy Metal. Plus Gary Oldman.
The Martian
Science FTW!

(Geez, Slashdot, how can you screw up definition list formatting so badly?)

Comment End the secrecy, problem goes away (Score 3, Insightful) 312

Wage disparity would end almost overnight if we got rid of this ridiculous notion that wages should be a secret. If you knew what everyone else was being paid you'd immediately know if you were getting the short end of the stick. It would be obvious if there was any systemic bias in wages.

Really, why wouldn't you want your peers to know what you make? The only reasons I can only think of are, "I might be getting paid too little and they'd all think less of me if they knew", or "I might be getting paid too much and they'd take it away from me to make it fair".

Keeping it a secret only benefits unscrupulous employers. The ones who will give you a low starting offer and low raises on the grounds that you'll never really know how much better you could be doing if you went elsewhere.

Adam Ruins Everything - Why You Should Tell Coworkers Your Salary

Comment Re:Not Earth Like! (Score 1) 149

Yup. "Rocky and roughly the right size" is a long way away from "Earth-like". Let's reserve that term for when we find something that is, you know, like Earth. As an absolute minimum requirement I'd propose that an "Earth-like" planet must have conditions somewhere on the surface that allow an open pool of water to remain a liquid. Ideally I'd reserve the term to be used for a planet on which you could stand naked and take a deep breath without dying, but until we find a planet like that I'll go with "liquid water stays liquid".

Comment A wise commander named Ackbar once said... (Score 1) 422

This all sounds good on the surface, but I sense a trap waiting to be sprung. I have a feeling that the "best available science" and "reproducible" requirements are specifically designed to eliminate any policies related to climate change. "It's not the best science available because I can find one guy with a science degree who disagrees with it. And you can't prove that global warming is real or is caused by anthropogenic sources, either. Even if you could, you'd need another planet to reproduce such claims! Ha! Suck it, libtards! Drilling starts tomorrow!"

Comment Re:Perhaps a better method... (Score 1) 1001

The point of that is to see you implement a relatively simple algorithm, not for you to make something perfect.

Exactly this. We ask candidates to code a simple function. It's not to see if they know some trivia or if they can place all the semicolons correctly, it's to see if they understand basic programming concepts. Once they get the basic code down, then the interview can start. What's the algorithmic complexity? How does it handle edge cases? How does it handle malformed input? Does it scale? How would you test it?

Yeah, we know you're never going to actually code a toy problem like this on the job. But we only have an hour or two to explain the problem, have you code it, and discuss your solution. We don't have time to have you code anything non-trivial.

Later, when we finally got enough budget for me to be on the other side of the table, I was shocked at how many then recent CS grads (early 2Ks) failed at both.

Tell me about it. I've been to on-campus career fairs where by the end of the day I just want to say, "Pick a language. Write Hello, World." Because I've talked to graduating seniors who couldn't do it! Literally, they could not code Hello, World in the language of their choice. WTF, people? What have you been doing for the past four years?

I've been in the industry for just over 25 years. I've worked for start-ups and I've worked for mega-corps. My current gig has by far the best group of programmers I've ever worked with. I attribute this to our interview process, including the coding portion. No apologies for it. When done right it really works.

Comment Re:Paint me a picture... (Score 1) 128

The testing software takes over the computer ("securely" according to the instructional video, FWIW) and doesn't let you switch out to other programs while you are in the test environment. It looks like the TouchBar bypasses that restriction.

Oh, if there's any justice at all in the world all the exam software will do is pop open a window that reads, "You let someone else load software onto the same laptop you use to work on client cases? YOU FAIL!"

Comment Re:Multitasking (Score 1) 435

If I'm checking messages / emails / whatnots while watching a movie or tv program, the movie or program has failed.

Okay, I accept this premise. Most programs have failed. They are not sufficient to be the sole focus of my attention for an hour or two. But you know, sometimes they're good enough to have on in the background while I'm doing something else that's *also* not sufficient to be the sole focus of my attention. I can listen to an audio program while I work on chores or crafts. I can watch TV and mostly ignore the video. Or I can watch 3D TV and mostly ignore the video. But if I'm going to mostly ignore the video anyway I'd rather mostly ignore 2D video where I can just glance up to see the interesting bits, rather than mostly ignore 3D video where I have to find special glasses, put them on, and rewind to catch an interesting bit that's already gone by.

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