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Comment Re: I don't know the answer (Score 2) 392

Bill hasn't provided the answer - there would be too many ways to dodge it, as I am sure he knows. What he has done (probably intentionally) is generate enough interest in the topic that it starts to get looked at more seriously, so that hopefully we can start moving towards a solution.

If we don't find an answer, sooner or later there are going to be enough pissed off unemployable people that there will be serious social and economic repercussions, that historically has never ended well.

Comment Re:I could not agree more (Score 1) 1001

This is also exactly what I look for when interviewing people. In an interview, if I ask someone about an algorithm, I want to know if they have a basic understanding of the principles or concepts behind it - not for them to write it out by hand. I do like to know what kinds of algorithms a candidate has some passing familiarity with, because it lets me know if they are aware of some of the many already discovered ways to solve certain classes of problems efficiently, instead of reinventing it from scratch.
  Likewise with maths. I don't need someone to write out code to convert eulers to quaternions - I just want to know if the candidate has a basic understanding of what they are and how they relate to 3d graphics, so they aren't completely in the deep end when they start looking at a bunch of code that uses them.
The best use of the white board test is not to get someone to write lines of code - its to see how well they can communicate an idea or design concept to others in the team.

Comment Re: Sweet (Score 1) 360

Actually my wife bought the S7 for me - mainly because she knew I was interested in getting into VR - it came with a Gear VR. She knew I would prefer a Note, and if I didn't care about using it for that, I would have just bought a Note 4, which still has a removable battery. Unfortunately the NOte 4 is not compatable with Gear VR. Because of the battery problems the Note 7 was having, she got me an S7. I haven't had the heart to tell her how I really feel about the phone -
I thought I would get used to it, but that hasn't happened yet.

On a side note, the Gear VR has been interesting - and has a lot of potential to be really fun but I wouldn't recommend it for developing on - you have to keep unplugging the phone from the GearVR and plugging it back into USB to PC every time you want to do a build / upload - which is also pretty annoying - and even though the Gear VR has a USB port, it can't be used to passs data through to the phone - it's for recharging only. If they just corrected that, so that you could keep it plugged in and connected to the PC via USB, it'd greatly improve the whole development cycle and stop my USB port wearing out prematurely.

Comment Re: Sweet (Score 2) 360

I hate my S7 Edge - but the thing was too expensive to justify replacing it yet.
I also have a Note 2 which I love and would have bought an Note 7 except for the battery fiasco. I got an S7 edge instead and really regret it. The curved screen edge feature is bloody annoying - I constantly accidentally hit keys on the side when using the keyboard, from holding it, and yet find it really hard to hit the 1 key when trying to - it ends up miustyping as 2 - though that might be partly the fault of the curved screen protector I have on it. I also miss having the larger screen of a Note - it's harder to text on smaller screens. Wish I had gotten just a flat screen or mabey even another brand with a large screen.
It's bad enough they took the replaceable battery away.
If the jack goes, I'll never buy another Samsung.

Comment Re:Just what we need (Score 2) 107

Uber's whole business plan is based on people using ther own capital (ie. car) to drive customers from point A to point B for a low fee of which Ubse gets a cut without having to spend anything on maintenance and repair, - without Uber having to spend capital on buying, or committing to fixed cost leasing of vehicles.

Unless everyone starts buying flying cars, they will have to majorly restructure their business. Same goes for them having fleets of self driving cars. They lose their greatest business advantage - the lack of need to tie capital up in depreciating assets.

Comment Re:one in every home? (Score 1) 228

If the process is 60% efficient, there is instantly 40% loss even before you load the product onto a truck - let alone drive it anywhere.
If used in a heat engine then it's likely to only be about 40% efficient in the energy use there so if used to power cars, there's a total energy efficiency of 24%, and that's if you filled up your car right at the point where the stuff is made without having to deliver the fuel anywhere in a truck - compared to storing the power in a battery where the powerpoint to wheel efficiency for say, a Tesla is about 70%
Still a worthwhile technology pursuing though - especially if efficiency can be improved further - and congrats to the team for such a breakthrough.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 2) 370

It's just like what I say about calculus: it's important to understand the basic concepts of integration and differentiation but you are NEVER going to solve integral or differential equations in real life

Actually I have solved differential equations to replace code that was using numerial methods to calculate some stuff. Tee end result was code that ran a lot faster and gave a much more precise solution. It took a couple of pages of maths, and because I am not very good at maths it took me a while, but it was worth the effort.
I have also had to use the good old quadratic equation to solve equatiosn that were calculating acceleration or deceleration, and plugged in the resulting formulas to replace code that was using numerical routines to solve these as part of a robot path planner. In the original code the previous guy had at least left clear comments saying what the code was trying to achieve, and a note in the comments to say something along the lines of plugging in a better solution at some point in the future

This highlights both the advantage of good commenting practice, which made it easy for later programmers to see where improvements could be made, and the importance of being able to apply this kind of maths to problems instead of just going to the numerical toolbox.

Comment Re:Umm (Score 1) 203

A lot of villages got wiped out in WW1 - and I don't think the world would have known about every single one that got smashed.
As for the world being a better place - well I am definitely glad I was born into this century where the loss of 1000 soldiers is almost instantly in the news, considered a major catastrophe and would cause much soul searching by the population back home about whether the cost was worth it - compared to the hundreds of thousands that were pushed into the meat grinders of WW1, with the press keeping silent about the true scale of casualties.

Comment Re:Anything for work (Score 1) 239

I'll add extra intermediate variables, break up lines to make them as short as possible, and use extra verbose variable names along with explanatory comments of the logic of each object/function.

All great practice. These days I make sure I put enough doxygen style comments in the headers so that others (and myself in a few years time) can just browse through the doxygen generated documentation and be able to understand the purpose and function of the code.
For very maths oriented functions (say calculating the minimum time needed to decelerate something within velocity and acceleration limits) I might also include a few lines of comments that show the derivation of the formulas from the more commonly seen physics equations.

For something that is doing a lot of geometric manipulations using a lot of linear algebra operations, likewise there's usually a line or two of comments saying what it's trying to achieve - it gives me or others a chance to later look at what the code is supposed to be doing and evaluate if there's a better way to achieve the same goal.

Correct comments are just as important as code - and frankly, I type pretty fast so they really take next to no time to put in. I never did understand the obsession some people have in trying to cram as much logic into as few statements as possible - makes for less code to type, but the time it takes to type it is not the main reason programs take time to develop and debug.

Comment Re: What I want to know is (Score 1) 64

I still use LinkedIn in - but probably like every other product Microsoft has bought, it's going to either become more annoying or less functional.
I used to use hotmail - then Microsoft bought it. I ended up migrating to yahoo.
I have use skype on Linux for many years, but the product took a turn for the worse after Microsoft bought it - very very infrequent updates (for Linux) and now instead of being able to receive PDF's directly, I am being forced to go to the online version to download and view them.
I hope they don't screw linked in up too - makes me wonder about its viability as a professional networking tool.
I particularly feel sorry for any Microsoft employees that use it - now their employer will know every detail about if they are looking at other companies, recruiting agents, etc - even if they are only using it from home on their own computers.

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