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Comment Re:What if (Score 2) 522

All the responses to you so far have bragged about Androids... And make no mistake, I use both Android and iOS and am by *no* stretch of the imagination an Apple fanboy...


I have owned my current iPhone for roughly 3 years. And in that time, I have rebooted it exactly once, for an OS upgrade. I force-shut it down one other time only because I was in the middle of nowhere, basically lost, and wanted to save the last 5% of battery for a 911 call if it became necessary.

Put bluntly, it has never crashed. Ever. Period.

Comment Re:The commentary has a major flaw (Score 1) 188

Engineering (used to be) a profession. MBAs destroyed it. Programming has no control over entry, standards, or base education requirements. It is not a profession.

Again with these imaginary definitions! You need a dictionary, friend.

A "profession" is however I make my living. Prostitution (whether it be to a pimp or an MBA) is still a profession, even if you like to pretend that the fact you grovelled to Uncle Sam for permission to work somehow makes you better than the plebes.

I see you think highly of MBAs, though - So we at least agree on one point. ;)

Comment Re:The commentary has a major flaw (Score 1) 188

You're splitting imaginary hairs here. A "consultancy" is just a company that provides consultants.

And I never said anything about "easy". I said that experience matters. If it were easy, we wouldn't have a shortage of competent programmers, since it pays well and everyone and their brother that "knows computers" tries their hand at coding - And then they quickly learn they hate hate hate everything about it.

Comment Re:The commentary has a major flaw (Score 1) 188

Why don't all you old guys open a consultancy

An awfully lot of programmers do exactly that, but working as a contractor isn't for everyone. Personally, I do a bit on the side, but enjoy the stability that a 9-to-5 gives me.

I'm a EE, I have written hundreds of thousands of lines of code that are still in production

Then you of all people should recognize the difference between good design vs throwing "young people willing to gut out horrible code" at the problem.

but it isn't, and it never will be, until there is a force of law behind it.

What does the law have to do with whether or not something is a profession?

Comment Re:The commentary has a major flaw (Score 5, Insightful) 188

Maybe your amazingly robust website is not 2-3 times better, but only 1.2 times better and you should only be making a few dollars more than the 20 yo grad.

In programming, experience is worth drastically more than the pay differential for the same. A seasoned coder can crank out in a few hours what a recent college grad would literally spend a few weeks on; and it will be far more stable and maintainable.

Yes, I am conservatively some 50x more productive than my junior peers. A big part of that comes from knowing what to ask the customer up front, knowing what won't work, and knowing when to just build the damned birdhouse the customer requested rather than a 400 unit Gehry-inspired avian housing complex "just in case" the customer wants to upgrade in the future.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 238

OTOH you could always ask why they don't just push the electricity down the line they are using anyway to transmit the power to a point where they DO have a hill and build it on land where it's much cheaper to build and easier to maintain

Yeah, pretty much the first thing I thought of when half a dozen people all replied to me that ocean wind farms aren't near hills. :)

Storage doesn't need to have any geographic connection to generation; quite the opposite, it's far more efficient (all else equal) to store excess electricity near the point of use, because you're "discounting" the amount you need to store by all the line losses between the turbines and the end user.

Comment Why? (Score 1) 238

In what ways is this better than simply pumping water uphill into a holding tank or artificial reservoir? It sounds a hell of a lot more complicated, so must have some offsetting feature that would shift the balance.

Yes, I can see the obvious answer that the increased pressure means a higher energy density, but *so* much higher as to make it worth doing?

Comment The *real* question... (Score 1) 61

The real question here, which shouldn't even need to be asked but does...

Which of these plans is the least-limited version of "unlimited"? I've already discovered that Verizon won't offer their plan for 4G access points (even though I can buy a five year old sacrificial phone and tether to it 24/7). AT&T apparently doesn't allow tethering at all (which I thought the FCC had previously spanked them for, but, no surprise they went for a "Hail Mary" pass after this past January).

So, which of these plans really will let you use it as close to unlimited as possible? I have no delusion any of them will actually give me the upper possible limit of a solid 42.8Mbps for 13TB/month, but will any even realistically let me use 3-5Mbps sustained for a few hours a day, with 50+GB/month total?

Comment Good luck with that. (Score 1) 338

"I want a program that shows what our competitors' pricing will be tomorrow. Sort it so both name and price are always in ascending order. Email the output as plain text to the following 27 people, but only Joe and I should have the ability to edit it. Make the keyboard give a mild electric shock to managers in stores more than 10% more expensive than their regional competitors. And it should run exclusively in The Cloud, but not require internet access for any of its functionality."

I wish I was joking.

Comment Re:stay warm and safe in your bubble (Score 4, Interesting) 361

Which is why they want kids to "learn computers" in Kindergarten.

...And keep failing miserably.

No doubt, the earlier we expose kids to real programming (as opposed to the drag-and-drop programming equivalent of the old Radio Shack "hundred-in-one electronics projects" kits that keeps touting as some sort of mythical progress), the higher quality programmers we'll eventually turn out; but that doesn't mean you'll see a substantial increase in the number of people who can, and can stand to, code.

Early exposure might mean a few more people realize they have what it takes to code, but programming is hard, despite all the rose-scented farts Google, Microsoft et al keep encouraging us to sniff. The vast majority or people have neither the aptitude nor the patience to ever master the relevant skills.

Comment Re:The figure is meaningless. (Score 1) 114

How can he be absolutely correct that the figure is meaningless if you found a meaning to the figure?

Well, I know this is Slashdot, but some of us can read beyond the subject line... He said, "45 years spread over a bunch of drives without a failure doesn't mean that we can expect any individual drive to last 45 years". That statement is entirely true.

Going further, most people will, charitably, choose to infer a context that makes sense when reading something that could otherwise seem untrue. If you're in a theater that has "Cool Hand Luke" playing, and yell that title to your friend across the room at the ticket counter - Only a "special" few would choose to interpret that as complimenting the fingers of some guy named Luke.

Comment Re:The figure is meaningless. (Score 2) 114

You are absolutely correct. The trivial counterexample is a device that contains a semi-consumable substance, such bearings with an oil that slowly dries out; 100% might last a year, even if 0% will last two (not saying that is the case here, but just as a possibility).

These numbers do, however, suggest that you can expect a very low failure rate of those drives within the first year (less than 2.2%). And realistically, you'll probably get far more than that under similar conditions.

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