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Comment Re:Why do you speak on behalf of the rest of socie (Score 1) 272

It shouldn't matter who the DNC leaker was. Blaming "the Ruskies" is just a diversion.

The question here isn't 'who leaked?', so much as 'if it's the Russians, what are they holding back?'

I'm a fan of leakers, but would prefer leaks from people who don't have a horse in the race. The age-old question 'cui bono?' (who benefits?) is a key element to establishing the value and completeness of a leak. I say this, by the way, as a professional journalist who has relied on leaks and whistleblowers for some big stories.

Comment Re:UBI will reach 100% of tax (Score 1) 1145

So what if the UBI reaches 100% of the federal tax?

I think the way that $3 trillion figure is formulated is more than a little disingenuous. Surely you don't just give $10,000 to every Tom, Dick and Harriet. Anywhere this has been looked at, it's been implemented as an income subsidy. In other words, you top up everyone's income so that nobody earns less than a given amount. Based on that calculation, and factoring in savings on welfare, food stamps etc., the idea actually looks quite attractive.

Comment Re:Arguing over the subjective (Score 1) 523

Perhaps you'll also learn not to take comments on Slashdot seriously.

Seriously though, it's hard to believe *anything* taught in schools at all would be helpful (without proper interpretation). Different problems require different solutions and different processes, and not every solution / process fits the problem. So far, all the crap floating around claims it's the best thing since sliced bread, but they don't really tell you the context in which their solution works (and they probably don't have sufficient perspective to tell you anyway). Your professor in school is probably clueless as to their differences anyways, anyone who is intimately involved in real-world software projects don't have time to teach.

That being said, before you dismiss the stuff in your textbook and lecture notes, be aware that a lot of the software processes are for *long term*, *medium-to-large scale* projects. Your weekend project doesn't have to follow those processes, and probably shouldn't. There is a difference between code monkeys writing "code" and somebody who understands the "software engineering stuff" as well. I wouldn't attempt to make serious distinctions between "programmers" and "software engineers" and what not. They're merely stupid labels. Most people fall between the extremes -- although these days, with everything becoming a software/data problem, people from non-software disciplines occasionally have to write programs, especially in the scientific/engineering fields. They might be able to cobble together something that works, but I wouldn't trust them to run a 10-man software project.

Comment Re:OpenBTS or WiFi? (Score 1) 37

It's OpenBTS, not Facebook's new project, that developed incredibly cheap 2.5G GSM service on cheap, software defined radio hardware.

Exactly. This idea has been around for yonks. Probably the most visible in international development circles was the Grameen Foundation's Village Phone project. This included small-scale GSM transmitter/receivers along with phones that would be shared on a commercial pay-as-you-go basis.

I met a few people working on a variation of this in Timor Leste, and tried to get some formal backing and traction for this in some Pacific island countries. The bottom line is that it's a no-go scenario, because you have inordinately high regulatory barriers, and the opposition of local telcos, who don't want anyone else hanging off their infrastructure, no matter how good it is for the bottom line.

That made some sense at the time, but today, why wouldn't you build your wireless network on WiFi instead?

Because at the end of the day, you still need to interact with local telcos. You can shim it any way you want, but if a person can't call or text their cousin in the capital, they're not going to pay to use the service.

But that's not reason to give up hope. You should give up hope because the telcos will never let it happen anyway, and even if they do, they'll find some new way to screw you out of accessing an affordable and open internet. :-)

Comment Re:Impossibru! (Score 1) 247

If you read what the GP said, it never said it was "all right". In fact, I think it's pretty clear that GP was implying that violating IP rights isn't something to be proud of.

Two wrongs make two wrongs, and it's just fair that both are mentioned.

It seems you're complaining that somebody is presenting the full picture. It might be irrelevant, but hey, you're not complaining about it being offtopic.

Comment Headline is wrong (Score 5, Informative) 92

Brewster Kahle said that sentence at a conference also attended by TBL. And the quote doesn't even appear in the article that the phrase is linked to.

The actual quote is in the New York Time article:

“Edward Snowden showed we’ve inadvertently built the world’s largest surveillance network with the web,” said Mr. Kahle

Congratulations on failing journalism 101. But then, this being Slashdot and all: Congratulations! You're an editor!!

Comment Re:Really? (Score 2) 515

But a large number of professional programmers didn't learn how to code in a formal school program, either because they're self-taught or because they learned on the job. Citation please.

In the early days, many people didn't have anyone to learn from. If you weren't enrolled in a University computer science programme, you probably had close to zero access to formal instruction.

For my part, a colleague of mine came by my desk, saw me struggling to handle a conditional with a macro, and showed me how to create a control structure in Visual Basic. Spent a few months playing and reading MS' Knowledge Base in text mode through a 9600 baud connection. Then I found Kernihan and Ritchie little book, and suddenly it all made sense.

Fast forward 6 years to the late '90s, and I was writing systems software for NOC services. The dot com boom happened, and Bob, as they say, was my uncle.

Comment Re:All in works (Score 1) 192

I've had my own intensive "eat sleep code repeat" cycles back in high school, which is more than a decade ago. That's probably when I went from being a shitty programmer (by adult standards) to an OK programmer. These days I mostly fool around random things when I'm not working, instead of being a beta tester for some bleeding edge software development stack (that's what I secretly think of developers who use RoR and node...)

The "eat sleep code repeat" cycle is probably quite effective initiallly, I just think there are diminishing returns to this approach. If you've done this thing for (say) 10 years already, you probably don't need another twenty years doing the same thing -- it either gets repetitive (which, especially in this field, isn't exactly a good thing), or you've managed to continue to innovate, but by then you've probably holed yourself into a tiny niche or something.

Not that I disagree with you though, the *intentional* breaks from actually programming, i.e. those that you force on people just because doing something other than coding "makes you a better coder" probably don't really work. I guess you just need to do coding a lot, and also somehow manage to squeeze other stuff into your life as well.

Comment Re:Let's just get the makers vs takers out of the (Score 1) 1116

This is the capitalist version of "let them eat cake." Because god help them if the proles feel like they deserve some of the money they're making capitalists.

That's truer than you realise. Marie Antoinette reportedly said, 'Qu'ils mangent la brioche.' Translated in the proper context, it meant that because flour supplies were so low, they should use alternate sources, in this case, the highly refined (cake) flour that was being saved off for herself and her family.

This was straight-up socialist redistribution she was calling for.

I think Marie Antoinette would have supported the idea of a guaranteed basic income.

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