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Comment Re:Check out the Netflix documentary "The Irish Pu (Score 0) 537

... so many people are wrapped up in the Internet and electronics that they simply don't know how to just sit and converse.

They are sitting conversing with the dozens or hundreds of friends on the Internet that in the old days they would never have any chance of meeting at the boring old pub. Or better yet, telling all their friends: "This place is jumping! Come join me here!" Also known as extra business.

"Look at the kids engrossed in their phones, not talking to each other" is old timer speak for "Waaa! The kids don't want to talk to me! I'm so interesting! Why won't anyone talk to me?" Maybe it's because old timers are utterly boring?

Comment Re:Anyone spouting about the Internet of Things... (Score 1) 70

Short version: it's the latest stupid internet fad, interesting only to the circle-jerk of people promoting such things.

Thus speaks someone who probably doesn't work in industrial computing. Sure, the home coffeemaker doesn't make sense connected to the Internet. But the Coke machine in the waiting rooms of thousands of hospitals? Absolutely. "Phone home: Diet Cokes and Snickers are getting low and the cash drawer is almost full, send out a truck to restock". How about the protection switch on the power pole outside your home? You're the electricity company. When those switches trip during a thunderstorm, do you (a) want to send out dozens of truck crews to reset them all manually, or (b) send out a command remotely and only send a crew when that doesn't work? These devices may not be on the "Internet Internet", but they will be using TCP/IP on private networks or VPN's and need significant computing power to handle that. The IoT is a real thing. The problems with the concept are security-related - how to educate the (non-software) engineering world that you cannot just plug a raw device into the network go home. Those guys are used to "plug device A into socket B and it works" and it is going to take a lot of educating to get them to understand how stupid that is without good access controls in place. But it isn't going to stop them wanting to do it for efficiency and productivity reasons. It's happening - don't whine - be part of helping them do it right.

Comment Re:First projects should be celebrated even if min (Score 1) 662

So are we just ignoring the fact that the father is a Muslim activist and blames Republicans? He also shows up at churches with the Koran and disrupts. This was a clear provocation. Just like Charlie Hebdo and the Texas cartoon contest, a reaction was not only expected but inevitable. At least nobody died this time.

And my father is a Christian preacher. Seriously? Sins of the father? That's what you think is the most important issue to discuss right now? And not that the kind of people who judge based on the sins of the father are the actual real problem that caused this mess in the first place.

Comment First projects should be celebrated even if minor (Score 5, Insightful) 662

My first computer program was little more than 10 PRINT "HELLO WORLD", but young me was damn proud at the time of making a computer do something ... anything ... and would have loved to share that enthusiasm with others.

It doesn't matter whether Ahmed built the clock from scratch after forging his own components from rocks in a furnace or disassembled something else and made a small change. Who cares. We all had to start somewhere and a little encouragement goes a long way.

Don't let the know-nothings get you down Ahmed. Keep at it.

Comment Re:Stasi Tech? (Score 3, Insightful) 130

Why? Because voice processing and searching on the scale of some of the applications such as SIRI require centralized processing. Therefore your voice commands have to be sent someplace else and processed.

At the moment. As the technology improves more and more will be done client side because round-tripping audio is stupid if you could do it locally. If SIRI or something like it was completely local, then there would be no issue. Unfortunately there has been little or no work on practical on-the-spot voice recognition lately because the money is all in spying - be it for surveillance or ads.

It's not like appliance controls are complicated - there's only a handful of "TV: Change channel to ESPN" or "Kettle: Tea, Earl Grey, Hot" phrases that need to be trained in. But since the business models of operators like Nuance are predicated on licensing access to their huge server farms, no other option is even considered except the one that destroys privacy.

We need regulation - no server-side processing of client-side controls. If you could do it locally, then you MUST.

Comment Re:a historic relic no longer tolerated. (Score 4, Insightful) 461

strip clubs...they dont exist in Pakistan, Iran, or North Korea ...

Oh, you can be sure strip clubs exist there too. It's just that the average Schmoe is not rich enough or well connected enough to swing an invite. The same economic rules apply everywhere: money can buy anything and corrupt religious hypocrites can usually be found living it up in the local red light district.

Comment Don't collect information you don't need (Score 5, Insightful) 39

Note to Chad: The issue is not how accurate the information is or isn't. This issue is that a truly anonymous service has no need for this information.

If you are providing an anonymous service, then accept the incoming socket, provide the service, and then promptly forget everything about the session. If it is logged, those logs can be requested or outright stolen by the world's TLA's. Even performing a GeoIP lookup without logging it has the potential to leak information from your service that can be collected by mass surveillance and correlated with other information.

Do not collect information that is not relevant to the service being provided. Period.

Comment Re:Automated test in is a minimum (Score 1) 152

The next thing is you tell me to test getters and setters ...

You damn well better test the getters and setters. In my experience they are usually the buggiest part of a class. To save time, sooner or later you will cut-and-paste the previous getter/setter pair and modify the name ... while forgetting to update the variable name behind the API, leaving it side-effecting something else. Now you have a landmine waiting to strike on the rare occasion you set that field. And woe betide you if the setter performs verification on the value, which you will probably get wrong (in fact, I just fixed a verification bug in a setter that was found by a unit test not 5 minutes ago).

Comment Re:I just watched the video (Score 1) 65

Actually I know a little bit about this as I once interviewed for that project before they temporarily lost their funding. Traditional scanners need 2 or more LiDAR emitters on separate axes to build up a 3D scan. They also need to be physically mounted in a stable location which makes it hard to map buildings with staircases and hidden rooms. The purpose of the spring is to flop the scanner around so that a single LiDAR emitter can get a complete view of the environment as the holder walks around along all possible axes. It can also be mounted on unstable platforms like automated farm tractors. The rest is software.

Comment Visual Boxes Aren't Code (Score 1) 876

Because while programming by joining prefabricated boxes together with lines sounds awesome, it's what is inside the boxes that is important. If the box you need is not already written, then you need variable assignment, conditionals, and loops to write a new box. And then all of a sudden you are back to writing text code even if it is drag-n-drop "if" statements encoded in XML. At that point you might as well give the programmer a text edit window and get out of the way. The lines are the least interesting part of an application, but they are the only parts that even make sense to do graphically.

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