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Comment Guns, guns, guns. (Score 1) 209

I've been amassing a decent collection of firearms. Some would call them toys, since I don't hunt. Target shooting is more my style, and they're mostly set up for that,

They are not toys, they're dangerous and worthy of respect, but they fall into the same category - something non-necessary that brings me great joy.

Comment Stupid, stupid, stupid. (Score 1) 361

You can either have open source or DRM - anything where the end user has control of the software can be broken, period. Trying to keep people from messing with your DRM is a losing battle, anyway - there are always more bored hackers that will break whatever scheme you come up with.

Beyond that, why would you bother with a browser-specific technology? It's yet another thing that looks shiny in the 'features' column but no one will ever use, because the market share is too low to justify it. Oh, and Microsoft and Apple will implement it differently, and Google won't bother. So, pissing off open source folks to implement a 'feature' that nobody will actually use?


Comment Burning Man was one of my preconditions actually (Score 1) 274

I don't work in the Valley, so the assumption that the odd ones disappear for a couple weeks in late August isn't built into companies in the East Coast. It's what I lead with when recruiters call, and it's amazing how quickly I'm not a "good fit for the culture".

My current job, I made it very clear that was my one non negotiable, and they were fine with it. But I passed on a number of offers from other companies where I couldn't get that concession.

So yeah, cultural fit is a really, really important thing. I'm 37, and a place like that sounds like heaven. But I'm also a year-round volunteer for Burning Man...

Comment Re:Hey, join the Exodus team and you get to help! (Score 1) 273

The thing about the decisions made by the various departments at Burning Man is that they are done collaboratively. People who want to be involved get together, and make those decisions, and they're made by people with years of experience.

Happens in every department. I work in DMV. BMIR is the same way. DPW probably makes decisions by knife fighting, or drinking contests, or something equally rough and tumble...

Those snark-free areas you're looking for are the mailing lists maintained by the BMORG for the various departments, and you can always contact the Volunteer Coordinators or Council for that department.

However, if they don't know you, as someone who cares enough to volunteer their time and see the problems you face out there, you will not get a very good reception. After a year or two working out there, you get understanding.

You want more hand sanitizer? Organize people to do it. Find out who sets the contract up with the port-a-john company and see how much more it'll cost to get the sanitizer increased. Then help raise the funds to make it happen. These things don't happen in a vacuum, and it's up to the participants (I. E. all of us) to either make it happen or accept that it's not perfect and stop worrying so much, and bring our own sanitizer...

Comment Hey, join the Exodus team and you get to help! (Score 5, Informative) 273

Speaking as someone who's gone for a few years, and now volunteer at the event, I can give you the perfect answer.

Join the Exodus team, help run the traffic outflow, and you'll get a better reception than some random dude on a web forum. We are a do-ocracy - do shit, and you'll eventually be in charge of it if you can handle it and not get burned out.

And also, fuck ePlaya - that place is full of trolls and assholes and burnier-than-thou cranks.

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 246

I never touch anything more complicated in math than basic algebra.

So you never program in an OO or functional language or use a database?

We don't bother with functional languages, and what do OO or databases have to do with higher math? We do billing and accounting, which do not involve quadratic equations or calculus.

Boolean algebra is about the only advanced math that makes sense to study...

Comment Yes (Score 5, Informative) 246

I work in a company writing online billing software. We use Perl and Ruby. We don't need people who know quicksort vs. bubble sort - we need people who understand browsers, and AJAX calls, and JSON, and business logic. I never touch anything more complicated in math than basic algebra.

Javascript, CSS, and something other than PHP are what you need to know, with a leavening of SQL and XML. Screw all that CompSci crap - we don't use it in 99.9% of our code.

Comment Re:The data is masked by the hiring delays (Score 1) 305

Yeah, I went through the hiring process (last year, didn't get it). The process is extremely long and drawn out - it took 5 months from the initial contact by the recruiter to the final "not at this time, we'll talk in a year" answer. I'll still entertain them if they call back like the recruiter said they would, but it takes months to go through it - and the hurry-up-and-wait can be a real bear to deal with. Plus, given the fact that I would be moving across the country, it's a stress inducer.

Still, all things being equal, I'd love to get a gig there, even though I'm mostly working in Perl these days and they are a Python and C++ shop. Silicon Valley is a hell of a lot nicer than where I live now, and Google takes care of their employees in ways it's hard to take seriously.

Comment Re:It'll still be a crappy CMOS sensor (Score 1) 171

Sure, if you want to lug that big thing around. a 3CCD setup in S35 format would be enormous. And cost an insane amount of money.

Even the Sony F65, RED Epic, and the Arri Alexa use single sensors. The 3CCD thing is really a prosumer thing, and a leftover from the olden days of vidicons and other vacuum tube cameras. I'd make a bet that the companies that have produced cameras that Academy award winning cinematographers used on those features know a little bit more than you do...

Comment Re:As opposed to actual Model Ms which are still m (Score 1) 298

Yup. I have one at work, and have been using it for 3 years with no discernable wear. The quality of the plastic castings isn't as good as a classic Model M, but it's built like a brick shithouse, and it's got USB, unlike the original Modle Ms which can have problems from time to time with some of the crappy PS/2 port implementations out there...

Comment We have a winner! (Score 1) 573

The higher tiers on Internet service have an appalling cost. You can get lots of bandwidth on FIOS or on Comcast here in Richmond, but you're looking at hundreds of dollars a month. Never mind that the FIOS infrastructure, at least, can handle hundreds of megabits per customer, they're going to continue to charge for bandwidth like it's going out of style.

Plus, even with the decent connection at work, I've run into lots of network congestion issues that keep you from using that bandwidth - literally the only times I've ever been able to saturate our downstream Internet connection is using Bittorrent to pull down Linux ISOs. Everything else is choked off, and we've only got a 20/7 connection.

Now, one of the things about the Google Fiber services is that it's all DHCP right now. There's restrictions on running servers in the service agreement, so there's perilously little you could do to saturate that link (short of Bittorrent to other people on your network), but what it does do is remove a major chokepoint for neighborhood-level networking.

However, there are good things. Offsite backups become retarded-simple, since you are now limited by the streaming capacity of your hard drives. Since you're guaranteed to have a top-notch connection to Youtube, HD videos should play much more reliably. Video conferencing. High speed VPNs to the Amazon VPC infrastructure. The list goes on.

Comment Yes - tests more than just coding. (Score 4, Informative) 776

I've done one recently - it also tests memory and grace under pressure. Some people just can't perform well under the gun, and in a high-pressure workplace where you may be dealing with outages that are hitting the tech press within minutes, and the global press within an hour, being ale to not fold under pressure is a critical job skill.

Plus, as my old business computing teacher in high school said, "You will be doing tasks that make no sense on obsolete technology for inscrutable reasons. If you have a problem with any of this, you should probably drop out of this class, since you do not have what it takes to be a programmer in the business world." Dealing with arbitrary requirements is part of working for any large company, and seeing if an applicant will go through with it, or if their ego is going to get in the way, is a useful test.

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