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C++14 Is Set In Stone

EMG at MU Why do we need Auto? (193 comments)

I liked a lot of the C++11 features. Lambdas, move semantics, std::mutex, and consistent initializers are all cool things.

Looking at C++14 I see a lot of expansion of the support of the auto type. I have not found a scenario where I perer auto, so I'm curious about such a large focus on it.

about two weeks ago
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The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

EMG at MU And Joe Schmoe wont care. (364 comments)

Everybody with an IQ above that of a jellybean knows the main job of the congresscritters is to bring back the pork. The blue guys do it and the red guys do it.

The reason they can keep doing it and no one really gives a shit is because once you explain to Joe Schmoe that cutting program X or agency Y's budget means he or his cousin or his drinking buddy could lose their job, well Joe can rationalize keeping that program.

Americans all want pork cut everywhere except their home district. We are short sighted, have short memories, and aren't willing to endure short term discomfort in the pursuit of long term prosperity.

Anyone candidate that would be for cutting this kind of corporate welfare isn't viable on a national ticket. Eisenhower was right about this all by the way.

about 2 months ago
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Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

EMG at MU Web programmers aren't the only kind!!! (608 comments)

He is speaking pretty specifically about web/app programmers and how there are a glut of convoluted and overlapping frameworks that seem to pop into existence overnight can discourage and confuse the average rube.

Just because thats where all the cool start up money is right now (see facebook, whatsApp, etc...) doesn't mean thats the only kind of programming. What about the people building this "internet of things", what about the people actually evolving the internet architecture, what about the people building the appliances to make sense of "big data"? None of those people should be "average". Joe Schmoe doesn't want to work on those things in his spare time.

Car analogy: out of all the makes and models of cars, this guy is talking about wanting Joe Schmoe to be able to build a backyard go kart. Fine, great, whatever. I suppose it would be cool if he could do that without goofy tools and processes.

There is nothing wrong with the "elites" building the BMWs though.

about 2 months ago
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Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

EMG at MU Will be the new credit score (353 comments)

With enough data these companies can compile a "Safety Score", kind of like how a few companies know everything about your financial life and give you a credit score.

Why wouldn't an apartment or condo community want to check your safety score? A lot of them do background checks and credit checks now, I can definitely imagine people wanting to live in communities where everyone has a safety score above some number. And I can imagine communities for the rejects. The more data companies compile on you the more they can begin to stratify their goods and services. If they do it right and it benefits more people than it hurts then it will work.

about 2 months ago
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The Internet of Things Comes To Your Garden

EMG at MU Plants grew fine without processors (66 comments)

I'm an embedded developer and also have a hobby garden. So when things got cheap enough I got really excited about building a contraption to monitor moisture, ph, amount of sun and to adjust fertilizer and water levels accordingly. Then I realized that for hobby gardeners this really defeats the purpose. We garden for fun, and at least for me, I don't like bringing technology to things that don't need it.

On the other hand, those guys out in colorado growing pot will love this kind of thing.

about 2 months ago
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The Security Industry Is Failing Miserably At Fixing Underlying Dangers

EMG at MU Make the companies pay! (205 comments)

I use to have a retirement account with a certain financial services company. They stored my password in plain text. To recover your password they would physically mail it to you. This kind of stupidity should be illegal. It should be criminal and the company should have to pay fines for being asshats.

Companies don't fix underlying problems because management doesn't see any value in doing so. They also see no risk in having insecure products. Until there are real financial penalties for blatant incompetence regarding security nothing will improve.

about 2 months ago
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Privacy Worries For 'Smart' Smoke Alarms

EMG at MU Need to change the paradigm (90 comments)

Smart devices are cool, the data they collect going to advertising companies and the NSA isn't.

It is obvious the paradigm should be changed. People love facebook, so why can't we make a distributed facebook where each member has a little roku type device sitting in their home on their network that stores all of their data? Each person that member connects with gets a key that is associated with contact so that you can form secure networks of friends and share data. Then as the owner of your data you can opt into sharing a limited set of that data with advertisers but only if they pay you to mine your data. That would be a positive paradigm shift.

I wouldn't mind having smart devices in my home, I just don't want them communicating to the public internet. They can communicate with a server in my home and I can control what the software on this server does. Smart devices don't have to all connect to the public internet, and we don't have to allow every smart device manufacturer to mine our data. Eventually there will be open source automation software for servers and open source software for the smart devices so we can control what they do (like tomato or ddwrt for home wifi routers).

about 2 months ago
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Botched Executions Put Lethal Injections Under New Scrutiny

EMG at MU Missing the point (483 comments)

Everybody is commenting "Why aren't we using Nitrogen, Why don't we just use chemical X, why is it so hard to kill someone?"

Comments like those miss the point. It isn't hard to kill someone. It is hard to find trained medical professionals that are willing to be part of an execution. Not everybody agrees with capital punishment, and there is a strong correlation with being highly educated (like doctors are) and being liberal (who are typically against capital punishment). I'm sure there are enough doctors who support capital punishment, but they still have to maintain professional affiliations and relationships with organizations who may be more liberal and may not support capital punishment. It just isn't worth it.

about 3 months ago
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Yelp Reviews Help NYC Health Department Find and Close Dirty Restaurants

EMG at MU "Social Incentive" (64 comments)

I think one reason people report poor conditions on Yelp a lot more than NYC's 311 number is because people get a sense of satisfaction reviewing things on yelp. You get little internet points the more reviews you make and you get to tell your friends (and annoy wait staff) by saying "I'm a big foodie, I have 173 Yelp reviews". This gives people an incentive to use Yelp that they don't have with calling 311.

about 3 months ago
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NSA Surveillance Reform Bill Passes House 303 Votes To 121

EMG at MU Distraction (208 comments)

Everybody wins here, a bunch of people get to say they did something in the fight against the NSA. The Executive branch and those in the house who support invasive domestic spying get to keep the majority of their surveillance programs, and most importantly there isn't much more meaningful oversight so who actually knows if the NSA is following the rules. The Executive still gets to hide themselves behind national security letters, "state secrets", and special secret courts.

However I do not feel like this caused any meaningful change. Hopefully the nation remains outraged at the NSA and this is just the first step in fixing our domestic spying programs, but I feel like we get a few meaningless bills passed and then this issue goes away until the next Snowden.

about 3 months ago
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Google Foresees Ads On Your Refrigerator, Thermostat, and Glasses

EMG at MU We should be making money from this (355 comments)

I really think consumers should own their own behavioral data / preferences. I'll agree to put smart devices in my house if I control the data, I control who I give that data to, and I would only give that data out if it benefited me.

Think about it. Maybe a national grocery store chain or two and GE want to get together and offer a subsidised smart fridge. I agree to let them monetize my spending habits and food preferences in exchange for the fridge being subsidised somewhat and targeted discounts for what I like to buy.

about 3 months ago
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The 69 Words GM Employees Can Never Say

EMG at MU Obviously because of lawsuits (373 comments)

This is obviously because when the company gets sued and the lawyers go through discovery they will look for anything that helps them show that GM knew of a problem. This doesn't mean that the engineers can't bring up problems, it means that they have to do it verbally or write it on a paper airplane and fly it across the room.

This is obviously unethical. However this is the state of the industry. I have worked at a company where we were told specifically not to write any invention related things down or anything that our competitors could use against us. We (company I worked for and competitor) would trade stupid lawsuits and each companies lawyers would get to read the other companies emails and although it is against law ethics to share proprietary information discovered in a lawsuit it happens every day anyways.

about 3 months ago
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Apple's Revenge: iMessage Might Eat Your Texts If You Switch To Android

EMG at MU Re:So this isn't revenge? (415 comments)

Haha I don't own a single apple device. I'm just saying this isn't the end of the world. It is a fuck up, sure, but it isn't anywhere as bad as antennagate.

Seriously how do you people deal with getting a new phone number? Do you think the phone manufactures should automatically have all your friends update their contact books with your new number? The iMessage app should fail over to SMS if it thinks the other endpoint is no longer on iMessage, but there is a very obvious work around until they release the patch.

Send MMS ,Add all contacts
Dear iPhone owning friend:
I no longer am one of you. I have forsaken my iPhone, my Siri, my coolness if you will. I now have a [insert phone manufacturer]. You can no longer contact me via iMessage. Please delete my contact and re add it or otherwise inform your iPhone that I cannot be contacted via iMessage. Your phone is currently too stupid to figure it out for itself.

I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience,
Former iUser

about 4 months ago
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Apple's Revenge: iMessage Might Eat Your Texts If You Switch To Android

EMG at MU Re:So this isn't revenge? (415 comments)

so you think this is a reasonable user experience? first off knowing which of your contacts use imessage, and then contacting all them and tell them to screw with their phone settings?

No, I explicitly said its a user experience fuck up, in the part of the post that you decided not to quote.

What I said is this isn't a bug nor a "a much larger problem" because there is a straightforward workaround.

Have you ever changed phone numbers? Mass text to your friends "hey this is my new phone number". Why can't this person mass text their contact list (or send an email) and say "I don't have iMessage, if you use an iPhone change your settings for me".

sheesh.

about 4 months ago
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Apple's Revenge: iMessage Might Eat Your Texts If You Switch To Android

EMG at MU So this isn't revenge? (415 comments)

What is this click bait bullshit title?, /. is supposed to be better than Reddit. This isn't a bug in the traditional software sense. This isn't a "much larger problem" unless you are a mindless drone that can't be bothered to use the settings menu of your pocket sized computer. This is nothing more than your run of the mill user experience fuck up.

Here is how to fix it: tell your iPhone to send texts to your non iPhone friend via SMS. Bam, done. Delete the contact and re add it or ask Siri to do it for you or whatever, this isn't a big deal at all.

about 4 months ago
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C++ and the STL 12 Years Later: What Do You Think Now?

EMG at MU Re:Meh (435 comments)

It isn't that the OS doesn't clean up. In embedded compact as I understand it, all the dlls loaded under a process share that processes' free store. If Driver.exe loads a dll (as is the case with kernel mode dlls) then that dll is using Driver.exe's free store and the OS won't magically free memory allocated to the dll when it is unloaded.

about 4 months ago
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Coding Bootcamps Already 1/8th the Size of CS Undergraduates

EMG at MU This is cool! (92 comments)

Why are we comparing coding bootcamps and CS undergraduate enrollment? There is very little overlap here. Apples and Oranges.

Seriously people, if you didn't get a CS or CompE degree take it from someone who has: you don't really learn to program in college. You don't. Most engineering disciplines take a CS101 intro to programming where you may learn the basics of Java, you might make some really basic programs where no one will teach you style, design, code reusability, architecture, anything. If you click run in netbeans and some numbers spit out in your output window you get a passing grade. Thats it. For the rest of your college career you are on your own. Most people graduating with CS or CompE degrees can't program professionally, but they have the tools to learn from others and teach themselves. From my experience in about 3 months with someone willing to be a sort of mentor/teacher they can stand on their own professionally.

So now that we understand that you don't learn "coding" in a CS or CompE curriculum, I am again asking: why are we comparing CS and boot camp enrollment? The headline insinuates that they are similar when they are very very different.

Now a message to practitioners (this may only apply in the embedded world, nomenclature varies drastically between embedded, desktop, web development):

Software Engineers: people coming out of bootcamps aren't going to take your job! You have to know this.

Programmers/Coders/Keyboard-Fu artists: well these people are going to compete with you for your job but I'm guessing you don't have a CS or CompE degree, and if you do explain to your boss that you can do software engineering and you're not just a human input machine turning someone's designs into code. If you are you never had a lot of job security anyways. (I personally don't believe in the "Engineer makes the architecture, coder implements the design" pattern, I and many much smarter and more experienced people insist that the designer/architect must code).

There is a lot of negativity around here directed towards the boot camps. I was sceptical too at first, but the more I thought about it the more I feel like these boot camps are very similar to community colleges. Unfortunately there are companies who insist that software engineers should make UML diagrams all day and then hand everything off to some poor sap that has to decipher incoherent nonsense and make a functioning piece of software. Thats where these bootcamp people fit in.

There are small businesses that need someone to write a basic shopping cart module for their website. Perfect for a boot camp graduate.
There are professionals and business owners who really want to learn how to do basic coding but don't know how to teach themselves, they are perfect candidates for boot camps.

If you think you are going to have a 35 year career with just a boot camp certificate alone you may want to rethink that strategy. Otherwise these things aren't bad.

about 4 months ago
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C++ and the STL 12 Years Later: What Do You Think Now?

EMG at MU Re:Very specific point answer (435 comments)

I would fire coders using naked pointers.

I think this really reflects the flexibility of C++. You can write bare metal code and you can write high level application code ini the same language. There are so many situations where naked pointers are superior to smart pointers and the other way around, and if you get the two camps in the same room there is a good chance they will kill each other trying to convince the other side that their way is the one true way.

about 4 months ago
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C++ and the STL 12 Years Later: What Do You Think Now?

EMG at MU Re:Using C++11 and STL in Embedded (435 comments)

Understandable.

I understand the smart pointers benefit when it comes to exceptions. However we don't use exceptions. We write kernel mode stuff and really haven't found a use for them yet. They are awesome in other contexts.

It would probably be beneficial for one of us to introduce smart pointers into the project for the other benefits, no one likes memory leaks.

We also don't hire people who have only used C# or Java.

about 4 months ago

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