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Comment Re:Graduated College (Score 3, Insightful) 524

Yes, you will have less time and money if you have kids, but it's not an entirely fair comparison. You don't know how much happier or more fulfilled having kids will make you feel until you do (and isn't that a big part of why we do our hobbies?). For many of us (most of us, hopefully) the deal works out in our favor because we're happier than we would be if we had all that time and money to spend on our old hobbies. It's a net gain, but it's easy to present as a net loss because it's the unknown.

Comment code reviews, professionalism (Score 1, Interesting) 239

Code reviews. Make sure everybody on the team has seen everyone else's code and understands it. Do regular (monthly, bi-weekly, whatever) code reviews. Code quality will go up.

Egoless programming. Don't allow anybody to become a rock star or the only person who can read or write any bit of the code. Everybody must be cross-trained on someone else's code, at least. The team is responsible for the code, so make sure people are polite during code reviews. Polite doesn't mean downplaying problems. It means pointing out problems without being an internet jackass. Nobody "wins" at code review, but the code quality goes up. This works as well as any other software development methodology, with lower overhead, less dedication and no cargo cult behavior.

Professionalism. Foosball tables and other wank infantilize the staff. You're adults, you're there to write high quality code. Keep regular hours, understand that you're there to code, you don't want anybody pulling all-nighters or living in their office. Code quality will go up because it's taken seriously.

Encourage openness. Encourage experimentation. Allow radical changes once in a while. Good programmers want to be understood, respected, listened to and believed. They don't want to be pigeonholed into some kind of geek stereotype, they don't want internet fame and glory, they don't need you to do their laundry for them, they don't need to be coddled.

Reduce (but don't eliminate) time pressure. Code quality wants to go up. It's prevented from going up because management wants you to get to market as fast as possible. Everything you do that improves quality takes time away from feature development. Make it clear that moving deadlines up means fewer features *always*, lower quality *never*. Never sacrifice quality to satisfy a suit.

Comment Re:This Announcement Hot on Heels of Bilderbergers (Score 2) 759

+1. I haven't yet seen an empirical argument (as opposed to an argument from first principles) that biodiversity is necessary. I wouldn't want to throw it away, but in this world everything is a tradeoff, and the value of warm fuzzy feelings diminishes rapidly when lives—or simply ways of life—are on the line. When scientists warn of catastrophic species loss, the wooey green types are invited to imagine Bambi and her friendly woodland friends rather than the lichens and cockroaches with different colored dots on them that are what's being discussed. We can lose as many species as it takes to keep this species alive; an Earth without humans is absolutely meaningless and absurd. Let's see the proof, rather than conjecture and assumption founded on essentially religious notions of the "earth mother," that it actually matters before we decide to halt human progress in its tracks.

Comment Re:Turtles all the way down (Score 2) 325

Most programmers doing these kinds of calculations are using floating point numbers, which already have interesting rounding error failure modes that most programmers don't understand. This is going to exacerbate the problem.

Decreasing hardware intelligence and counting on programmers to make up the difference hasn't been a winning proposition in a long time.

Comment Re:Cold War (Score 1) 66

The Americans have thrown in the towel on theirs because they'd rather spend money on wars in the middle east and handouts to mismanaged corporations.

You must have missed the "Let's not start any mudslinging" portion of the parent post.

Comment Re:Mr. Wall, please sit down... (Score 1) 577

Juries have zero power and one responsibility: to determine based on the facts and testimony they've seen, whether or not the law has been broken. They may make a sentencing recommendation, which the judge is then free to ignore. They are not wielding some kind of absolute power. Additionally, death penalty cases are a rounding error compared to the bulk of cases.

Comment Re:Mr. Wall, please sit down... (Score 4, Insightful) 577

That is absolutely the most harebrained scheme I've ever seen floated on Slashdot, possibly the entire internet, and I've been here a while. Think harder. How exactly are juries supposed to remain impartial if they're on the hook for their decisions? Their purpose is not to invent the law or implement it. It is simply to decide, fairly, whether some party has violated the law. Punishing them for the outcomes of their decisions amounts to punishing 12 randomly selected people for making the mistake of having a public address, or the mistake of living in the wrong country.

Comment Re:Error My Ass (Score 1) 1005

As your average white guy, I tend to bristle when I feel the race card is being played, and you're right, the media is definitely intentionally making things worse, because it's better for ratings. But on the other hand, I have seen a lot of insane "I'm not a racist, but <insert racist thing>" going on lately, and not just racism, but sexism and all kinds of other bigotry. Even if there isn't as much outright racism in the country now, there is still a lot of unnecessary, unhelpful fear based on racial stereotyping, and that fear is great for escalating situations that really shouldn't be that serious.

It sounds very similar to the phenomenon Malcolm Gladwell discusses in Blink where both sides were primed to expect trouble, so trouble happened. In the book he describes a situation in which some cops gunned down an unarmed black kid because they thought he was reaching for his own gun, and not his wallet. In that situation, there was no reason to assume this kid was dangerous, it was just that the kid was black and it was late at night in a bad part of town.

Whoever is determined to be at fault for this death, it's clearly working as a great proxy for the overall distrust and discomfort between black and white America that most of us are aware of but don't like to talk about and like to pretend went away in the 80's. Depending on how it all shakes out, it could improve the situation, or it could just widen the divide.

Comment Re:Anything but (Score 1) 334

Do it with modern encoders and modern settings, and back it up with proof from actual ABX testing and not unsubstantiated boasting. Then we'll have something to talk about. Until then it's dreams and excuses.

I don't mind people doing irrational things. I use lossless encoding as much as I can too. It makes me feel good to know that I can have bit-for-bit accuracy of reproduction. But if you think your ears are actually good enough to sense bit-for-bit accuracy, you're delusional, and reckless crowing about your magical ears does nothing but perpetuate the mythology used by predatory "hi-fi" businesses to fleece neophytes and people who should know better. If you want to believe in that stuff, fine, but unscientific bullshit is exactly what enables bad vendors to sell gold-plated HDMI cables at a huge markup and bass-increasing green permanent markers to suckers who think they can hear quality differences that simply do not exist.

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