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Comment Unit tests (Score 1) 394

are very important. I work in the embedded field, and it can be quite a pain in the ass to throughly test something without having a set of unit tests. It helps to have a mindset of encapsulating modules or groups of work, and abstract out the platform (at build time) if possible. Then have a set of unit tests that exercise the code that can run on your desktop machine. Doing this lends well to code responsible for doing calculations, that is often bug ridden if not unit tested.

Comment Somewhere around $40K this year (Score 0, Redundant) 596

is probably the portion of the large sum of taxes I've paid this year that the US Government will claim to go towards helping others. Realistically, and sadly probably only $1K of that is going to reach people who need it.

Sometimes I wonder how much better off this country will be if there was more transparency about where tax money was going. I know Obama claims to be working towards this, but I think it's still the same cronies in charge.

Comment A double edged sword (Score 2, Interesting) 551

I think it's kind of interesting how the economics of this work. The supply of scientists and engineers is steady, but it seems like there are fewer who are good in the market. What this means is that if you are good and in the field, you are in extremely high demand and thus salaries can be lucrative for you. So, the field may only attract those who have a genuine interest and more likely to innovate.
Then again, money is a strong factor and may siphon away people. I work in the embedded software field, and I get paid fairly well for someone only a couple of years out of college. However, I often think how nice it would be nice to be making well into 7 figures and have a nice home and possibly a Lamborghini (I love cars) after going into lawschool instead of "just" 6 figures and trying to cobble together a 20% down payment for a decent home in Northern California.

Comment Uh, go outside? (Score 1) 1354

Seriously, you may be a geek, but that doesn't mean your life is limited to doing only geeky things. Go for a run on some trails, go to a bookstore and try reading some literature. Most universities have free talks and lectures that are open to the public. Through this, you meet tons of people. You could also, you know, talk to people at work about non-work related things.

I used to sit at home and do only geeky things, and frankly I wasn't happy. It was only when I started learning to cook, paint, running and seeing a live performance at a theatre that I became happier person. In addition, my GF and I got to know each other at work by talking about what we did for fun outside of work.

Just because you might spend your work days working with computers doesn't mean the rest of your life is limited to that, there is more to life than numbers and code.

Comment CS452 - Real Time Programming (Score 1) 605

CS452 at the University of Waterloo
Write a fully featured RTOS in 2 months, throw in HW accelerated graphics, sound, networking, a window manager from scratch, a model train tracking system service for a system with finicky switches in another 2 months. My team got very little sleep during that course, but it helped me learn to be independent and learn how to figure things out on my own (like the wonderful x86 architecture).

Comment Re:Your Bank and Insurance Companies (Score 1) 550

the banks make their profits off of knowing everything about the people they lend to

Hahaha, oh wait you're serious. Didn't we just throw several hundred billion towards banks that had lent money to people who couldn't pay it back? Granted, the bailout helped the banks out a bit, but I would say that most probably worse off than if they would have been if they had known a little more about what people could afford.

Comment This is retarded (Score 1) 525

Isn't the whole point of open source that you volunteer to contribute work? That's what makes open source great, and actually helps with a quality. Public radio is another good example as it seems to be the only thing worth listening on regular FM radio these days. People might say these are all very fiscally-left organizations, but I would say that these represent some of the ideals of being fiscally-conservative. That is, that volunteer-based things can often thrive and be great based on people making donations.

Comment Apple doesn't need a leader (Score 1) 405

The keynote on Tuesday showed an alternative that might work better than the "Fearless Leader" approach.

What we've been seeing more often recently are VP's and engineers themselves on the stage. Apple isn't just a company with one fearless leader and an army of minions. The public will get to see that there are innovators throughout the entire company. Just like seeing Randy Ubilios, I'm looking forward to hearing more from the other minds behind some of the developments at Apple.

Comment Re:Arab citizens of Israel (Score 1) 1067

Did you know that Arabs can be citizens of Israel? That they can vote in elections, that there are Arab representatives in the Israeli Parliament? That there are Arab generals in the Israeli armed forces? That there are Arab judges in Israel, even in the supreme court? That Israel has some Arab ambassadors in their foreign service?

That point is moot really. That land was effectively stolen from the majority Muslim population and a pro-Jewish government was put in place. It is no secret that the Israeli government wants the Muslims out. they could have done this by shrinking their borders (and lose territory), or "encouraging" Muslims to leave by putting up walls between their homes and schools, hospitals and farmland.

Mind you, I'm not saying a pro-Muslim government is any better in general than a pro-Jewish one.The problem however is that despite the government being oppressive to non-Muslims, going in there and replacing it with one that is oppressive to non-Jews isn't right. Being a non-interventionist I would say going in there and playing police will only get ourselves in trouble (like it has already). However, it should be noted that I favor a secular one that treats everyone equality, and that is the only long term solution for peace. However I have a feeling this is unlikely to happen any time soon as the Muslim majority is unlikely to give up their special privileges.

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