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Comment Re:This is stupid (Score 1) 122

If the coder struggled but the result turned out great then the method will still flag the code to be likely to be bad. The method will also completely miss buggy code caused by the programmer not realizing that the problem is tricky and going for a way too simple solution.

I agree that these factors mean that the test cannot be reliably used to just identify potentially dangerous parts of code. But I think the results could reveal some interesting information about the programmer.

As you said - if we have data showing that a developer struggled with a particular area of code, but that area ends up being of high quality - then we can see that the developer likely has a great attention to detail, and is being thorough with his design and testing. That's good information to know about a developer.

Another possibility is that the developer moved quickly through the area of code without stressing. But the code quality ends up being crap. This tells us that the developer is likely sloppy, lazy or just not very good. This may help identify an opportunity to coach a newer developer - or just to identify developers who we can't trust.

Now, I'd agree that in terms of yielding actionable data - this isn't as valuable or useful as if we were able to simply get a reliable indication of code quality. But its still something interesting to consider.


Google Self-Driving Car Might Have Caused First Crash In Autonomous Mode (roboticstrends.com) 410

An anonymous reader writes: While driving in autonomous mode, a Google self-driving car was involved in an accident with a public bus in California on Valentine's Day, according to an accident report filed with the California DMV.The accident report, signed by Chris Urmson, says the Google self-driving car was trying to get around some sandbags on a street when its left front struck the bus' right side. The car was going 2 mph, while the bus was going 15 mph.Google said its car's safety driver thought the bus would yield. No injuries were reported. If it's determined the Google self-driving car was at fault, it would be the first time one of its cars caused an accident while in autonomous mode.

Comment Re:Who still uses pagers? (Score 2) 307

Paramedic here. We still use VHF pagers. They are simple, but reliable and rock solid. They work pretty much everywhere, and a charge will last for days. We have a complementary iPhone/Android app that will receive info when we get dispatched, but that requires an internet connection, and a series of interfaced software products to all work correctly. The pagers are maintained as a fail safe - all they require is a radio and a means of generating the tones required to signal the pager to open the squelch. In a disaster scenario, the necessary equipment can be run reliably off batteries and generators. That's just not the case with smartphone apps right now.

Comment Re:Can't take the heat? (Score 1) 688

On the occasions when Linus has responded to criticism that he's an... asshole? It basically seems like he says, "1) This is my sandbox and I can do what I want. 2) This communication style solves more problems than it causes." Linus may be correct on both these points. Linus is certainly an important enough person on an important enough project to probably be able to get away with some stuff that others might not. And its often pointed out that the people on the receiving end of these kinds of rants "had it coming" for one reason or another. That may be true as well. On the other side of the coin, though - I see participating in an open source project as a kind of volunteer work. What you stand to get out of it are mainly intangible rewards. And, if you reach a point where the stress and BS you have to put up with as a volunteer outweighs the intangible rewards, then by all means, step away and do something else with your time. In my own life, I was formerly a volunteer for a certain project (not software-related). Some parallels could be drawn between our head honcho, and Linus. Our guy had years of experience. To be fair and objective, the guy was smart, a hard worker, and his heart was in the right place. A lot of stuff got done, that wouldn't have otherwise gotten done if not for him. The guy, however, was simply an asshole. Just rude, arrogant, insensitive. I worked with/for/near/around this guy for a few years, because I believed in what we were doing, and was trying to find some admirable or redeeming qualities about this person. But, after a few years, it just got to the point where I grew tired of trying to deal with this guy, on top of my actual responsibilities, which were difficult and time consuming in and of themselves. So I walked away from this organization, which was a painful and frustrating decision because there were certainly things about it that I did enjoy and get a lot out of. But, it just wasn't worth being treated poorly by an asshole. Now its entirely possible that I should have grown a thicker skin, or that the asshole was smarter/better/righter than me and I somehow "deserved what I got" or whatever. But, fuck it, eventually I realized, 99% of my interactions with my fellow human beings were more pleasant than dealing with this guy. So, I walked away, and sunk my efforts into something similarly rewarding but without a bunch of intolerable BS. So if that's all that's going on here... then godspeed.

Comment Re:Hyde Park, Chicago (Score 2) 330

I was going to mention something along these lines - this concept really isn't that unusual. I worked in the public safety sector (EMS, though, not law enforcement) in the Cleveland, Ohio area for a few years. I was amazed at the number of distinct law enforcement agencies that had overlapping jurisdictions. In addition to the individual municipal departments, county sheriff, and state agencies, here's a set of a few I remember, just in the Cleveland area:
  • University Circle Police - a private department funded by the businesses they serve. University Circle is a neighborhood housing many significant educational, medical, cultural and historical facilities, which is bordered on all sides by very high-crime neighborhoods
  • The Transit Police, which I believe may be the largest department in Ohio - polices the public transit buses, trains and terminals
  • CMHA Police - serves the public housing projects in the county
  • CMSD Police - serves Cleveland's public school district
  • Cleveland's three largest hospitals, Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and MetroHealth, each have their own police forces (though apparently not web sites)
  • Metro Parks Rangers - basically park rangers with police authority
  • Most of the colleges and universities in the area (even the small schools and technical colleges) have their own campus police forces

That's obviously in addition to all the private security services that lack full law enforcement authority. And I'm probably leaving a few out in my list above - it's been a few years since I've lived there or payed real close attention. But the point is, it's by no means unusual for a private organization to form it's own full-fledged police force.


Painting The World's Roofs White Could Slow Climate Change 712

Hugh Pickens writes "Dr. Steven Chu, the Nobel prize-winning physicist appointed by President Obama as Energy Secretary, wants to paint the world white. Chu said at the opening of the St James's Palace Nobel Laureate Symposium that by lightening paved surfaces and roofs to the color of cement, it would be possible to cut carbon emissions by as much as taking all the world's cars off the roads for 11 years. Pale surfaces reflect up to 80 percent of the sunlight that falls on them, compared with about 20 percent for dark ones, which is why roofs and walls in hot countries are often whitewashed." (Continues, below.)

Comment Re:Wow... (Score 2, Insightful) 629

How about this: I'm a paramedic, I work on an ambulance. One of the cities I work in has red-light cameras (that will also get you for speeding) setup along the main roads leading to two of the largest hospitals in the state. In ambulance, when we are running lights and sirens, the law permits us to proceed through a red light after stopping at the intersection, and confirming that other traffic is yielding to us. However, if one of our ambulances proceeds through a red light with a camera, we will automatically receive a ticket in the mail. So far, we've been able to get it dropped by mailing in a copy of our run report, and explaining that we were in an emergency response, but that's still a hassle for our office staff, and then there's the issue where we're being ticketed for an offence that is not even against the law! I'm not entirely opposed to red light cameras; however, I'd like to see a more accurate process for issuing tickets.

Submission + - How to erase your Facebook data?

0ffTheGr1d writes: My 'mate' found something and now needs to drop off the grid. I have searched far and wide, for a method to remove 'my friend' from Facebook. Is a time machine required?

I am not the only one to see that if you need to be found, your presence on facebook will make it very easy to be found/targeted by anyone with means. Any privacy statement counts for very little in this day and age. Never mind the fact that this opinion exists.

Or am I just paranoid?

Submission + - Implementing OOXML: One Developer's Nightmare (arstdesign.com)

Just Some Nobody writes: "While Microsoft likes to play up just how well-documented the 6,000+ page OOXML specification is, the independent developers implementing it don't have things so easy. Stéphane Rodriguez, one of the top non-Microsoft experts on the binary Excel file format, has been documenting the difficulties in working with the new OOXML format for Excel. It seems that one of the biggest difficulties is that Excel-produced documents don't even conform to Microsoft's own OOXML standard, ECMA 376."

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