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Comment Is volume really the answer (Score 4, Insightful) 187

Is throwing quantity at this problem the right answer? If we train lots and lots of people in programming is it really going to help? Is it even going to be successful? How can people believe in this approach?

If someone opened a massive free school for training sculptors and enrolled 1000s of students no one would believe that they would end up with hundreds of Michelangelo's. They wouldn't get lots and lots of excellent sculptors. They'd be lucky to find a 1 or 2 really good ones out of every 1000 students. Then they'd find a few more fairly good ones and the rest would be mediocre to bad. Some would be able to create really elegant statues, some would be good at making blocks, bricks and tombstones and the vast majority would make gravel.

The only difference between this and the mass programming schools is that with sculpting most people could look at their rock based product and easily discern its quality. Not so for programming. That's why this industry is rife with gravel producing developers who try and pass their product off as statuary.

I think the public is being deluded about this.

Comment Based on past experiences (Score 3, Interesting) 220

That's just what we want. A company that took several decades to figure out that security and stability might have some value and that has a legacy of releasing barely beta quality software as commercial ship so that its customers could find the problems building the software that controls our cars. Anyone who has been stuck with a Ford Sync (sadly I am in that group) or MyFord Touch radio running the crap software MS built knows how bad of an idea this is.

Comment Stats always seem harder to me (Score 1) 908

I am skeptical. I understand that stats are not well understood and are easily twisted to correlate almost anything.
But as a graduate engineer with lots of Calculus, Algebra, Stats and Probability in my past, I personally found probability and statistics a lot harder than Algebra.
To think that people who can't handle 2x + 1 = 3x -1 are going to 'get' statistics is highly improbable to me.

Comment Re:Tesla enables Edison to win the endgame? (Score 1) 597

While HVDC might be more efficient (no impedance I guess) there are a lot of infrastructure folks who are not big fans of HVDC. Back in the 80's I was a transmission engineer for Ma Bell and a lot of time and effort went into trying to protect our facilities near high amperage DC installations (like subways.) A fault condition in those can cause significant electrolytic damage to metallic plant. Its inconvenient in telephone plant, painful in water pipes and a serious problem in gas lines. We were constantly checking bonding, placing sacrificial anodes, etc and we weren't the only utility out there doing it.

Of course, over time we put less metal into our infrastructure (plastic pipes, fiber optic cables, etc) but there is still a lot of metallic infrastructure in place that could be adversely affected by DC fault conditions.

Comment I guess my folks dodged this bullet (Score 1) 784

From the ripe old age of 7-11 I hopped on my bike everyday and rode it 2.3 miles to school in the morning and back home in the afternoon. In the summers I rode 5-6 miles out to the municipal airport to hang around planes and generally goof-off. From age 6 on, my friends and I trick-or-treated alone, camped out alone, etc...

I can't imagine the trouble my parents would be in now for allowing such behavior.

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