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Comment Re:This is news...? (Score 1) 247

It 2017 anything goes for news. I expect the Los Alamos National Lab is worried about its funding so will repurpose one of its old hypothesis and try to get it on Fox News so the president see it and decides to keeps it funding. These organizations if smart realize how manipulatable the president is, and just a few simple things can cause him to change his mind and course. Just as long as you stroke his ego you can do whatever you want.

I am sorry I didn't want to make this political, but we had a problem with bad science news for a long time, because the people eat it us, and they use it to keep their funding. Unfortunately for some areas such as climate change due to some early overzealous hypothesis created a situation of mistrust of science where the general population and politicians just don't get the scientific process and are unable to weed out what are strong results and poor results and the difference between a hypothesis and a theory.

Comment Re:How is this supposed to work? (Score 1) 382

Busses drive all day long every day. When are they supposed to recharge the batteries?

Bus stops. The clue is in the name. Especially the major bus stations at the beginning and end of routes where they already sit for significant periods between runs.

Thing is, busses drive fixed routes on a predictable timetable, in cities where they're never that far from electricity, so its straightforward to set up the infrastructure. That makes them much more practical for electrification than private cars (which have to cope with spontaneous road trips). I think its safe to say we're mainly talking urban busses here, not long-distance Greyhound-type routes.

Plus, who cares if they're not cheaper, or if you don't believe they'll stop polar bears from melting? This is still taking a substantial source of particularly nasty particulates off city streets.

I can't see cities jumping on the idea of busses that have to come back to the depot to be swapped out every 4 hours.

Why not? The drivers have to be swapped out regularly, too.

Comment Re:Until (Score 1) 374

A lot of this bloat we see in today's programs is actually future proofing the code vs just being lazy.
The systems of old on computers that were not as powerful didn't have room for for this and most developers didn't have history to realize what are the average changes overtime are. So they wrote tight code to do exactly what was needed. Today a lot of resources goes into hooks in code to allow to expand featured, change UI elements. With gigs of ram available some algorithms can work faster with more readable code using more RAM and less CPU especially on higher load systems.

Comment Re:Until (Score 1) 374

A lot of these performances features of language such as C isn't from the language but the compilers. The language itself is just a wrapper to the machine code being generated.
Sure there are some low level features that may allow assembly code but that is rather rare in today's coding methodology because we have with most compilers and OSs a big set of libraries to do most of the stuff we need.
That said compiling a language such as Python could have just as good performance as C over time as the compiler gets optimized.

Comment Re:Big blow to apple? (Score 1) 79

Why is a third party monitor having problems a big blow to apple?

(1) Because these displays were advertised (by Apple) as being designed by LG in close collaboration with Apple. They featured prominently in the launch of the new MacBook Pro.

(2) Apple's new policy seems to be not to produce their own displays, routers, back-up drives (they've stopped AirPort development, dropped their existing display) - this is a blow to that policy.

(3) Because Apple have staked a lot on the Thunderbolt 3/USB-C port by making it the only port on the new machines (TB3 has been around on newer PCs for a while, but always backed up by USB, HDMI/DP etc.). Having a single cable to a display that provides 5k, webcam, audio, downstream USB3 ports and can power the laptop is TB3's party trick - but the LG/Apple display is the only thing on the market that currently does that. There are a few 4k USB-C displays but they can only support USB2 downstream and don't typically supply enough power to do more than trickle-charge a MacBook Pro.

(4) Its early days for USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 and Apple has forced the pace with its new machine - we've had stories about cheap USB-C devices frying machines, incompatibility problems (didn't Dell have to drop their TB3 dock?) so, yeah, at this stage in the game I'd have a preference for buying USB-C/TB3 gear from Apple's list where feasible.

Also, its kinda likely that this was originally going to be an Apple-branded product - if you ignore the black plastic case, the restricted choice of ports and their layout is far more iMac/Apple Thunderbolt Display-like than other LG products. That would also explain the interference problem: if the electronics were supposed to go in an Apple-style solid aluminium case then who needs extra RF shielding?

Comment Re:Well of course VIM beat Emacs in a poll (Score 1) 145

Of course VIM beat Emacs. If you want to interactively and visually manipulate your text "directly" - there are plenty of great, modern editors around (with masses of extensibility and customisation potential) of which Emacs is just one, rather dated, example. If, instead, you prefer to modify your text by applying functions to it - with visual feedback and interaction playing second fiddle - then VIM/vi is the only game in town.

The mistake is people in the second group (who might well tend to over-represent the Sheldon Cooper end of the spectrum, shall we say) trying to evangelise it to people in the first group.

Personally, I loathe vi, but that's partly because (a) I spend a lot of time, unavoidably, using non-modal wordprocessors and editors and can't cope with the constant mental paradigm shifts and (b) I didn't learn vi when I was 15. That said, I still use vi more than emacs (comparing two very small numbers there), but only because it would never occur to me to type 'export VISUAL=/bin/emacs'.

Comment Re:A more basic question (Score 1) 720

Luckally money is a unit of measurement.
1. How much money did you use to tax the population vs how much you will need to tax the population now.
2. Find out if the average percentage of a persons tax per wage has gone up?
3. Factor in any government dept needed to be payed for the service.

Now if we find the side effect of a basic income is laziness then you will find that incomes will stagnant so your tax revenue will too if using a progressive income tax. If you find that people invest into this safety net to further education and take risks over time you should see a rise in income so to pay for the basic income would be less percentage of the taxable income.

Now I applaud counties for trying it out. However if it doesn't work then it doesn't work and we shouldn't get so suck on the idea.

Comment Re:Coffee (Score 1) 228

"How are you supposed to know the intricate details of another company's codebase and development process to be able to judge if they are really similar or not? You can only guess and hanging someone's job on a guess is pretty crappy."

I don't think the intricate details matter, I've worked for enough different companies to realise that the idea that some company is a special snowflake is an incredibly rare an unlikely thing. The odds of your company being in such a fundamentally different place that you're talking about drastic differences in delivery time, let alone if you take a number of samples is entirely negligible.

But apart from that many of the big boys actually do blog about their issues and state of their codebase, so the problems you describe are all incredibly well understood. You wouldn't realistically throw someone onto a project anyway and judge them immediately. There's always going to be a bedding in period with an employee and it's within this period that a lead will be taking on the issues within the team and the business, raising them and tackling what they can - few leads get to jump into entirely problemless companies and can attain maximum efficiency straight away. The question is how are they performing when those problems have been sorted, again, you're really conflating business issues with developer competence here, if you don't get business issues sorted then of course developer competence is going to be irrelevant.

"I fix code and I make users happy (because I fix the code and simplify their interactions), but that all costs time and pain and management typically just sees "not much movement"."

I hear you, I'm not pretending all business are perfect, but this wasn't about how do we survive in terrible businesses (hint: you don't, you leave them), it's how do we deal with problems of developer competence in general and my point is that we do that by having sufficiently competent and talented leads to weed out the bad, and help the good rise up.

"Welcome to the world of a real job working for a real company. Most companies have fucked up processes and policies."

I've worked in companies like those you mention and as I say, no amount of ability to gauge competence will help them - the fundamental problem you're talking about is not developer competence, it's about bad business practices, in that environment someone will always be looking for someone else to blame and even if they have an objective measure that you're the greatest developer in the world there will still be people who will ignore it because they don't want the latest failed delivery to be their fault. You can't resolve that as a developer, and being measured fairly wont fix or change it. A good lead might be able to change such a company but only if there are people in said company willing to fix problems, you're describing companies though where that's obviously not the case - as you said, "we hear you, but ...", in that case it's a lost cause until they either wake up to this or go bankrupt but realistically even if they wake up it'll be more than just a good lead dev they need to fix this, it'll be a good HR director, a good finance director, and a good CEO.

I learnt very early on in my career as a developer that you can't sit around in those companies hoping things will magically fix themselves - those companies aren't looking after you so you have no obligation to look out for them, don't feel like you have to stay for any degree of loyalty that they're not willing to pay back, and if you are talented as you believe you are then just move until you find a good employer. Then you can worry about measuring competence, because then you'll be somewhere that wants to get that right, and that's the company that needs the good lead.

Comment Re:Coffee (Score 1) 228

I think I've always been quite lucky in that respect, whether working at small companies or large, public sector or private, I've always found that development's opinion has at least been deeply respected. We've always been recognised as the money makers so there's always been an inherent fear about interfering with us unnecessarily.

I wonder what the difference is? I've worked as a developer in a few fields - engineering, defence, medical, and finance so I don't think it's a field specific issue. Maybe cultural or location based?

I've always looked on in disappointment when I've seen stories here and elsewhere that there is no shortage of companies that treat developers as disposable assets so the problem you describe is certainly an issue in a number of places.

I'm biased of course, but I've always figured that a company dependent on software treating it's developers as disposable assets is like a restaurant treat it's chefs or an army treating it's soldiers in the same way - a restaurant wont get far with no one to cook, and an army wont win any wars without any soldiers. It doesn't seem like a smart move if you're commercially dependent on a group of people to do anything other than do everything you reasonably can to help them do a good job.

Comment Re:Coffee (Score 2) 228

I don't disagree, I think this is where the problem with most companies struggling with development is - they just don't have the talent sufficient to judge whether they have the talent.

Time and time again the companies that I've seen excel at development have either found a 1 in 100 developer out of sheer damn luck who just happened to be looking for some aspect of the role in question (i.e. maybe it's a small town and they just wanted to live near their family regardless of career impact), or they've decided to think outside the corporate box of fixed salary bands and have paid for someone at that level even if that meant paying that person more than their boss.

But what is clear in my experience is that when you get past that point of filling those roles based on ability to blag, time spent at company as you point out, and other such nonsense metrics then the rest sorts itself out. The problem is that most companies like you say fail at this very first hurdle, and so we get questions such as in the summary where they're trying to fight the symptoms, not the root cause.

Comment Re:Coffee (Score 1) 228

No, I think someone's skill is based on how succesful they are at doing the job as demonstrated by their track record. What they tell you is irrelevant, what they've done, and what can be backed up by research, references, and a competent interview process is really what matters.

"In bumfuck, USA, there is nothing but small developers, even the ones that charge 6 figures."

I've no doubt, but how is having an effective way to measure competence going to help that? If you don't have the local talent available you either bring it in from outside by paying relocation, you relocate your business, or you open a satellite office for development. Just as you can't build a dev team where there's no talent to do so, you can't run a succesful fishing fleet in the middle of a dry desert. That is unfortunately the nature of reality.

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