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California Legalizes Bitcoin

Flwyd Emperor Norton (162 comments)

Excellent!
Anyone know when Fry's will accept these Emperor Norton bills I have?

about 3 months ago
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California Legalizes Bitcoin

Flwyd Emperor Norton (162 comments)

Excellent!
Anyone know when Fry's will start accept these Emperor Norton bills I have?

about 3 months ago
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Cryptocurrency Exchange Vircurex To Freeze Customer Accounts

Flwyd Re:But there's nothing wrong with Bitcoin! (357 comments)

Bitcoin by itself has no intrinsic value. It only has value because people decide it should.
Money is just shorthand for people doing stuff.
Without people, there's no economy. Money is just a useful fiction.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Re-Learning How To Interview As a Developer?

Flwyd Practice. Listen. Think out loud. (218 comments)

Step 0: Have a friend do a mock interview with you.
Tell your friend to pick a question like the ones you've been getting.
Solve it on a whiteboard.
In addition to getting some scenario practice, your friend can point out if you're coming across in an awkward way.

Step 1: Listen
Listening is more important than talking in good communication.
I interview a lot of software engineers. Sometimes candidates get so excited about an idea they have that I can't get a word in edge ways to point out they missed a requirement or to suggest there's an easier solution. They may leave the interview saying "I cranked out some great sorting code," but in my notes is written "Implemented bubble sort."
Before diving in to code, verify that the interviewer wants you to implement something. If they say "How would you sort the data," you might not need to implement a sort algorithm.

Step 2: Think Out Loud
If a solution to a problem occurs to you, say it so the interviewer knows where you are.
If they ask questions about your thought, follow their line.
If they just acknowledge what you said, analyze it for a minute and see if it's a good solution, or if there are interesting caveats.

about 6 months ago
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Remember the Computer Science Past Or Be Condemned To Repeat It?

Flwyd All Mozart's Works are Open Source (479 comments)

You can learn a lot from Mozart because you can read all the notes he published.
You can listen to many interpretations of his works by different people.
We don't have the chance to read through 25-year-old Mac symphonies^W programs.
We aren't even writing for the same instruments.

about a year ago
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GMO Oranges? Altering a Fruit's DNA To Save It

Flwyd Diversify (358 comments)

Or they could, y'know, plant several varieties of orange trees to hedge against a narrow epidemic. Like, say, a parasite that his spinach really hard...

about a year ago
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Things That Scare the Bejeezus Out of Programmers

Flwyd Starving to death (641 comments)

Because I'm trapped in an output monad. Or stuck in an infinite loop.

about a year ago
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Unix Guru Evi Nemeth Missing, Feared Lost At Sea

Flwyd A Professor of Integrity (156 comments)

[previous post was accidentally anonymous]

I started CU at the tail end of Evi's career when she was, as she put it, "on sabbatical buying a boat." In five years in the classroom, I only got to hear one guest lecture from her. Yet through the passing interactions and from the smiles of respect every student gave her, I could tell Evi was a great person.

I remember an open meeting about improving things in the CS department. At one point, we decided to have a students-only brainstorming session for a while. "All the professors leave and come back in fifteen minutes. Except Evi, she can stay." That's the sign of someone with a lot of social capital.

Here's hoping a decade of sailing has taught Evi enough to get out of this jam. She's certainly taught many of us how to keep afloat in the cyber seas.

about a year ago
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Icons That Don't Make Sense Anymore

Flwyd Ideagrams (713 comments)

At a company where no one seemed to have any graphic design skills and our toolbars were a random collection of misappropriated icons from various open source projects, I suggested we just use Chinese characters for everything. Our users are gonna have to attend training to figure out what the button's for anyway

more than 2 years ago
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Fox News Brings Video Game Violence Debate To a New Low

Flwyd Competition (421 comments)

Shootings and rapes? Sounds like the news on my local Fox channel, followed by COPS. They're probably worried that people will spend time shooting imaginary people instead of listening to reporters tell them about shootings of real people.

more than 3 years ago
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Does Typing Speed Really Matter For Programmers?

Flwyd Re:How Absurd (545 comments)

When was the last time you ran a program where the WPM of the developer affected the quality of the code?

I type way fewer WPM on a smartphone or tablet than I do on a keyboard. I think if I tried to program on a phone, a general sense of oppression and hatred of my situation would express itself in an inferior software product that threw NullPointerExceptions at random.

What's important is not how fast you can type words, but how effectively you can connect the problem-solving part of your brain to your code input method.

more than 3 years ago
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Putin Orders Russian Move To GNU/Linux

Flwyd Single Repository? (500 comments)

a single repository of free software used in the federal bodies of executive power

Part of the point of free software is that there are lots of repositories, and anyone who wants to create their own can do so. That phrase certainly sounds like a Soviet-style approach to a good idea about sharing.

more than 3 years ago
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Don't Talk To Aliens, Warns Stephen Hawking

Flwyd Out of Resources? (1015 comments)

If they're looking for resources, they could do a lot better than trying to take over Earth. Humans have depletion quite in hand, thankyouverymuch.

more than 4 years ago
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Facebook Retroactively Makes More User Data Public

Flwyd Re:What did you expect ? (287 comments)

once something hits the internet its out there, no privacy promise by a huge corporation is going to protect it.

BS. People send millions upon millions of email messages a day and have a reasonable expectation that their email providers and any SMTP hops along the way are going to keep them private. If a webmail provider suddenly decided that everyone's email address and all the addresses of all their contacts were to be public (unless you opt out), that would rightly be perceived as bad behavior and a violation of users' sensible assumptions. The path of least resistance opt-in flow for Google Buzz had the end result of publicly listing the names of some of folks frequent contacts (who'd also opted in). It created a big uproar and Google quickly changed the wording to make it clearer what would be public and how to keep it private.

I access my banking records through the Internet on a regular basis. I use this convenient system instead of paper and phone calls precisely because I trust the privacy promise provided by my bank. A bank that suddenly decided to make everyone's financial information available to the world on the web by default would quickly lose a lot of customers and get a big fine from the regulators. I don't think we need a Federal Department of Regulating Facebook, but I do think we have a right to expect companies to stick to their privacy promises and suffer customer-based consequences if they fail to live up to them.

One thing The Cloud can do better is give users control of their data. Google's Data Liberation Front is a good model: If a user decides they don't want to use a cloud provider's services for whatever reason, it should be easy to get all their data out of that company's control and import it in to a different cloud provider (if desired). Take it a step further: As a user of service A, I should be able to select certain information to share privately with my friend who uses service B. Like telephone companies and the post office, the service providers should transmit and present that information, but they should have no option to change the parties who can see it.

Caveat: Court orders and other legal actions can force a provider to reveal private information without the approval of that information's owner. This is true of banks, cloud providers, and internal IT departments. So yes, if you're planning an elaborate murder scheme on the Internet, don't assume it will only be seen by your co-conspirators. But if you're closeted at work and out to your friends, you have a right to expect your social network won't suddenly decide to make "Orientation: Gay" the first thing people see when they Google your name.

more than 4 years ago
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Here Come the Linux iPad Clones

Flwyd GPS Replacement? Hardly. (584 comments)

Kindle killer? Fine. But a tablet computer is an astoundingly poor replacement for a GPS device.

My Garmin device fits in my camera bag, takes 2 AA batteries, and is sturdy enough to drop off the side of a mountain into a brook. Tablets won't do that very well.

more than 4 years ago
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1Gbps Optical Wireless Network Might Replace Wi-Fi

Flwyd Re:Ah, and is it Useful? (200 comments)

Also conferences with a could hundred livebloggers in an auditorium.

more than 4 years ago
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The Environmental Impact of PHP Compared To C++ On Facebook

Flwyd Bad Math (752 comments)

... assuming CPU cycles are the key bottleneck and not, say, network communication and data access. I'd assume they look at performance pinch points and optimize those. So if the 10% most computationally-intensive code is written in C++ or Java, the savings in rewriting the rest in C++ might be 15%.

more than 4 years ago
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Tag Images With Your Mind

Flwyd Cost Effective? (64 comments)

Are brain scans really so cheap that it's cheaper to set up an EEG than to pay someone in a third-world country to do it?

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft Patents Sudo's Behavior

Flwyd Re:Much more specific than the summary suggests (657 comments)

Does the patent also cover being ridiculously annoying and not actually secure since it doesn't prompt for a password? If so, I say we grant it to Microsoft so nobody copies that design.

It would be great if they added sudo.exe so you didn't have to run the whole command shell as an administrator.

(I'm basing this on my experience with Vista; things may have gotten markedly better in Win7.)

more than 4 years ago

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