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Comment Re:Another benefit of low crude pricing (Score 2, Insightful) 93

The level of arrogance and ignorance in both your post and the grandparent would be astounding if it wasn't for the fact that it appears to be all-too-common. That "landlocked Asian minor country" has the largest coastline of any nation in the world. They are in the midst of rapid deployment of technologies to exploit the resources and opportunities of the arctic region including many new icebreakers in an effort to open a northern sea route (which may become very viable if the global warming predictions come true). Further, their current military campaign in Syria has proven remarkably effective, especially in contrast to the anemic actions of the United States and our western allies before they entered the conflict. They have demonstrated the capabilities of submarines being able to fire missiles while submerged to the effective use of some of their most modern fighters (as opposed to our failed F-35) and effective long range cruise missiles. They are growing increasingly capable while we appear to be stagnating.

It should also be noted that Russia has been signing major deals with some of the world's largest nations at the same time that we seem to be alienating our friends here in the United States. Far from being a needy border-line-third-world-nation, Russia seems to be showing us up time and again. Twice now the United States in the past few years, the United States has been forced to back down when Russia asserted their will in Syria, and despite economic pressure on Russia over Ukraine, they have not backed down at all. A lot of talk has been made over how Russia has a shrinking cash reserve and yet everyone seems to forget that _they_actually_have_a_reserve. Further, their foreign debt is currently decreasing at the same time our national debt has just reached $19 trillion. When one considers that our proposed defense budget is as large at the combined total of the next 8 countries and yet we have a fighter that cannot fight and a high-tech destroyer that cannot float, I don't think we have much room at all to speak of Russian corruption (though it almost certainly exists).

Given current trajectories, it seems to me that our country is more likely to face a future of irrelevancy than the Russians right now. Our press is very selective about what they cover, but reality has a nasty way of asserting itself and often in very painful ways.

Comment Re:Boulder/Denver, CO; Lincoln, NE & Bozeman, (Score 1) 464

Actually, no, Bozeman is technically a desert, so it doesn't get a lot of snow. It does, however, get cold in the winter. A typical winter has at least a couple weeks during which it never gets above 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Snow generally arrives around October, and while not a huge amount, it usually sticks around until March or April. However, the summers are absolutely awesome with lots of outdoor activities to do. There are also two really good ski resorts near town for the winter.

All that being said, Bozeman is starting to become an expensive place to live. But you are less than thirty minutes from being outside of civilization. (I went to school at Montana State in Bozeman, though I currently live in Kalispell, MT. It is a much better place to live, in my opinion, but it doesn't have the same job opportunities as Bozeman.)

Comment Re:Activity or productivity (Score 1) 165

It also removes some of the intangible elements of human interaction. Someone may not be as "productive" directly, but they are very good at helping others get their jobs done more effectively -- either through mentoring, improving morale, etc. When we start putting numbers on people instead of thinking of them as actual people with personalities, we lose the real value of the person and interactions of a team. Metrics can be helpful, but they must be kept in context.

Comment Khan Academy (Score 1) 315

My son is just about to turn nine, and he is really enjoying the programming section on Khan Academy. The site was originally designed as a math curriculum but is rapidly expanding into other fields. It is free, and it uses JavaScript with immediate visual feedback while teaching them the basic concepts of programming. There are step by step instructions and helpful hints to help guide them through the concepts, but having some occasional parental help is sometimes required. Overall, though, I have been pretty impressed with it.

One thing though: I would make sure they learn how to type first as that will greatly help their ability to program.

Comment Re:The retro bulbs look fantastic. (Score 4, Informative) 328

I am curious if they still have the property of not attracting insects. One of the things we discovered while in Texas is that LED bulbs were great for outdoor lighting when you didn't want to attract insects like a normal light bulb inevitably does. Apparently, it has to do with the LED lights not transmitting light at certain frequencies. With a warmer light, they may be transmitting frequencies now that will attract insects. It would be great for indoor lighting, but it loses the benefit when used outdoors.

Comment Is this a Java problem? (Score 4, Informative) 411

It seems like the Java ecosystem is fine tuned for producing a high signal to noise ratio as far as intent of code is concerned. So much of the ecosystem stresses templates, massive IDEs and other automated tools that make the production of thousands of lines of unnecessary boilerplate incredibly easy. Besides, isn't this the nature of Java anyway? It seems like it's designed to produce the most verbose code possible in the hope that if everything is explicit more bugs can be diagnosed since the compiler has more to work with. It's almost a troll article, seriously, it's like the guy is just tryiing to piss people off.

Comment Be a Good Listener (Score 4, Insightful) 214

I think one of the most valuable abilities for a good programmer is to be a good listener. A big part of that is also being able to ask good questions. You need to be able to fully understand the problem to be able to develop the right solution -- remember, the solution that customer actually needs is not always the one they think they want. Also, being able to listen also means you will be better able to learn new skills.

Comment Re:why start after the fact? (Score 1) 219

Technically the continuously overwritten ring buffer seems hardly more difficult to implement.

One big problem would be battery life. There was a fatal police shooting recently which the police officers' cameras apparently did not record. One reason I heard was that they have 3-hour batteries which are supposed to last for a 12-hour shift. At the very least you have to keep a charger and spare battery in the patrol car to make continuous recording work. Better if you could actually make a single battery last the whole time and take away any plausible reason for not having a recording.

Comment Re:Not a cargo ship (Score 2) 116

It sounds like the plan is for this ship to be the first of several, so the question is how much of that $20 billion investment is for upfront costs (design, shipyard upgrades, construction equipment) that will not be duplicated in subsequent ships. As it is, the first ship looks to probably at least break even or even make a decent profit (provided it works as expected) with bigger profits hopefully to follow. I am sure these numbers have been gone over very carefully. You don't make an investment this large on a whim.

Comment Texas and Montana (Score 2) 525

I have driven that stretch in eastern Montana many times, and I have also driven that stretch of road in Texas. One thing the article doesn't mention about that toll road in Texas is that it was very expensive -- over $5 if I remember correctly. I tried it once not knowing the cost, and it was a lot of fun to drive on. But for that price, I can see why so few people use it, especially since you have to go out of your way. I was on my way from San Antonio to Dallas, so I didn't mind skipping Austin.

As for eastern Montana, the countryside is very open with gently rolling hills and long stretches of mostly straight sections of Interstate. Very often, you will not be able to see a vehicle in either direction (and just as often, no more than one or two buildings either), so the temptation to cruise is very high. Any wildlife can be seen from miles away, and there are very few trees. My only concern would be raising the speed limit on the western side of the state where there are more mountains and forests. There are some highways with 70 mph limits with limited visibility (both on the road and in the underbrush around) that makes for dangerous driving. As long as they take these things into account, it makes perfect sense. Montana already takes over a day's driving. just to get across.

Comment Re:If the money is used to hire much better teache (Score 1) 143

You (The US) already spends the most on education per student then any other nation and yet have some of the worst test results.

That may be true, but it's not going to teachers!. (Link describes North Carolina, but I think the same is true elsewhere.)

I don't think "throwing money at it" will make it better. Sure, teachers will take home more money but the test results clearly show this doesnt improve the quality of education.

This study disagrees.

Comment Trying to get bought out? (Score 1) 110

It's common knowledge that nvidia is having a hard time of things. They cancelled their server chip and their mobile devices are going nowhere. Discrete graphics cards aren't the market they used to be; and certainly not a growth industry. Maybe they're trying to get bought by Qualcomm or Samsung... there aren't many companies that are big enough to be able to absorb them and have it make any kind of sense. I wouldn't be surprised to see them sue Intel also.

Suing the companies that might be able to buy you out is not an uncommon way to start the negotiations.

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