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Comment Been there, done that, so true. (Score 5, Insightful) 462

Those of us born before 1985 or so can remember we LIVED WITHOUT INTERNET. We got by just fine. We went to libraries and subscribed to periodicals and bought books for information. We wrote letters on paper, used stamps, and waited days for mail turnaround. We read National Geographic for education and other activities. We survived, we liked it, we didn't notice much missing.
No 'net?
Been there.
Done that.
Was nice.
Don't wanna go back.
Pity the person who does.

Comment East vs. West (Score 1) 292

In the Kamigata area, they have a sort of tiered lunchbox
they use for a single day when flower viewing.
Upon returning, they throw them away, trampling them underfoot.
The end is important in all things.
- Hagakure (The Way of the Samurai)

Comment A solution looking for a problem? (Score 1) 248

Having seen enough similar "out there" products - at least when they were first conceived of - my reaction to your funny was "holy crap he's right!" and started wondering what could be done to bridge the gap from humorous absurdity to marketable product. The sound industry has long touted "1-bit digital audio" - similar concept awaiting for imaging?

Comment I teach intro CS. Sink-or-swim is good. (Score 1) 606

If you can't grasp the basics of variables, decisions, loops, functions and classes in 15 weeks then you are not ready for what comes next. I've had students who truly could not, and it would be cruel to let them continue on, only to get mired ever deeper and rack up more debt. If prerequisites, declared or implied, are not fulfilled then one is in no position to go farther. Those who take it again and struggle thru may pass (rare), but they have already shown that - aside from special cases and remarkable effort - they are just not equipped to compete in the complexity and speed of the subject.

If you can't grasp
class C { public: void d(int n){ for(int i=0;in;++i) cout”Hi! "; } };
void main() { C c; if (true) c.d(); }
in four months, you're not cut out for the career.

I get students who don't grasp the concept of variables. I mean they truly do not grasp the concept of x=3.
Maybe they can get it at some point, but they don't keep up.

If you can't play standard scales in 4 months, you're not up to compete against talented musicians.
If you can't dissect a frog in 4 months, you're not cut out to do surgery.
If you can't write a poem in 4 months, you won't be teaching college English.

Sure we can hypothesize special cases, or give contrary anecdotes. Building policy on that is like not driving to work because you might be killed in a crash. I know Einstein failed math; he overcame, and so can any special cases - it's not like one is forbidden from the subject everywhere for life.
If you can't grasp a bare minimum level of competency in four months of six hours a week lecture time plus up to all waking hours for assignments, take the hint - go find your talent, which isn't this.

Comment The flaw in FOSS (Score 1) 591

Hence my #1 general complaint with free open source software: developers tend to fix what they want to fix, not what must be fixed. Stuff which is hard to do, uninteresting, and little-observed (whether during development or in the bug report bin) tends to be passed over by those who have no incentive to do it other than in return for cold hard nasty cash.

Comment EDGE fallback? (Score 1) 277

Lacking 3G coverage, most areas have EDGE network available, and the 3G radio should fall back to that.
Yeah, it's slow - but at least it works (big difference between "slow" and "nothing"). 'tis rare that my iPad gets no service whatsoever, as most "middle of nowhere" areas still have EDGE at minimum.

Upshot: if your cell phone works, and you're not doing international roaming, it will at least function passably until you return to suitable civilization.

Comment Design != build (Score 1) 460

You are suffering the same confusion I'm trying to point out.

Software engineers (and their management) confuse the blueprint with the finished product. Your source code is not the final product, it is the complete detailed blueprint of how to build the final product - from which your compiler chain then builds the final executable (in a manner nigh unto instant and free).

This confusion leads to misapplication of processes, which in turn lead to silly assertions such as TFA. As build time approaches zero, so does the imperative to do correct design.

Comment Distortion: construction is free (Score 4, Insightful) 460

In most engineering disciplines, the process of actually building something is long, hard, expensive, and persistent. If the project is build a bridge, you spend a lot of time making sure the design is right; why? because the process of actually building the bridge takes months or years, costs many millions of dollars, and once built is not easily replaced. There is no room for error, so process is taken very seriously as a central part of ensuring timely cost-effective correctness.

In software, the process of actually building something is instant, easy, free, and transient. Type "make all" and go get some coffee; find a bug? tweak a couple lines and do it again. This distorts the development process; "process" gets snubbed as a costly distracting annoyance instead of the means of assuring that what gets delivered is correct, because it's just so dang easy to fix and rebuild in seconds ... losing sight of the long-term cost of not doing it right the first time.

Comment Small wonder... (Score 3, Insightful) 298

Small wonder they dropped the "unlimited flat rate 3G" plan a month after the iPad 3G was introduced.

Makes me wonder how far the gap between the wonder and the reality of "cloud computing" is. Sounds great to keep all your data/music/video in the "cloud", but throwing around that much data grinds any capped data plan into the ground.

(Advantage to the early adopters: some of us still have that glorious "unlimited 3G" plan. Yay! FYI: they're transferrable.)

Comment Should be a /. poll (Score 1) 697 that's what TFS asks.

My answer:
AppleTV ($99 flat) + Netflix ($13/mo) + Hulu+ ($9/mo).
Considering I'd have Netflix anyway, and will dump Hulu+ for inadequate content, that's cheap and makes upgrading the hardware easy (can upgrade to the latest ATV each year and still save 10 months' cable costs).

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