Ask Slashdot: How To Handle a Colleague's Sloppy Work?
Yeah there is software out there that will enforce things like tabs, naming conventions, whitespace and even comments.
Visual Studio and Netbeans both have built in "Code Analysis" tools. I'd imagine other IDEs have them as well.
Unfortunately there are plenty of bad programmers who write code that works but is on the whole unsupportable by anyone but them,
and no amount of formatting software is going to stop someone from writing crappy code.
Just stay at a company long enough and eventually you'll be supporting everyone else's code anyways
as your peers quit and move on to bigger and brighter futures. (i.e. places with free coffee)
Florida Supreme Court Rules Police Need Warrant To Search Cell Phones
That's kind of where I see this one going.
We're long overdue for a ruling protecting privacy of electronic devices.
I never understood why it's illegal for them to search your locked glove box where you might have a small book,
but totally legal for them to search your phone which could store THOUSANDS of books.
Next comes the bickering over what constitutes "locking" - Is an Android unlock pattern good enough?
Robots Help Manufacturing Recover Without Adding Jobs
The reason robots are cheaper than workers is because they result in a net loss of the need for human labor.
To some extent but reduced labor cost isn't the whole reason.
Robots can also speed up production time, reduce on the job injuries, and improve product quality.
Manufacturing plants overseas are using robots too, so if we don't automate on the domestic front then we're really behind the curve.
25000 Books Proofread By Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders
Yep, multiple rounds, and multiple levels of proofers and formatters
who have to earn the right to access those higher rounds
by completing hundreds of pages and passing a few tests.
Revealed: Chrome Really Was Exploited At Pwnium 2013
Chrome OS bug:
The CVE-2013-0913 hack was was a buffer overflow in the GPU for Chrome OS / Linux.
Chrome browser bug:
Last year's PinkiePie hack chained multiple Chrome (browser) bugs together to be able to get to the GPU.
They didn't release details yet, but odds are since it's the same person he probably used a similar method to hack the browser and get access to the GPU of the OS.
Lawmakers Say CFAA Is Too Hard On Hackers
they only way to change this is to get the hackers together, hire their own lobbyist and start paying off the government just like everyone else. And no, I'm not kidding.
Big problem there is that you need money to build up those Super Pacs, and the hacking community is largely decentralized and poor.
There are plenty of technical companies that have jumped in the ring like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, but they're usually more concerned about fighting for their own corporate gains than protecting the geeks that write their software.
Virtual Superpowers Translate To Real Life Desire To Help
FTA: "the final sample included 30 females and 30 males"
So one group of scientists tested 60 people, one time.
If this exact study was repeated multiple times by different scientists with different subjects it might show an actual correlation,
but 60 people is a ridiculously small sample size to draw any conclusions from.
Learn Basic Programming So You Aren't At the Mercy of Programmers
He should be telling them: "Ideas are a dime a dozen. The value is in the execution. If you cant execute your idea, then what are you bringing to the table?"
Hence why we have multiple social networks and search engines out there.
Multiple people with the same idea but different execution.
Even if you have the idea AND execute it, and maybe even spend millions (friendster, myspace, google+) that still doesn't guarantee your success.
I often hear the "I have a great idea for an app/site/company" line from full time working programmers.
My response: Oh yeah? If you programmed that, how much do you think you'd make every year in profit?
More than your salary?
There are plenty of people who take the time to implement great ideas for phone apps or websites, and make PENNIES, or even lose money.
Adam Lanza Destroyed His Computer Before Rampage
Who knows, he may even have had a slashdot account.
Of course he left a trail somewhere.
I'd say there's a pretty good chance he did have an account on slashdot. Or 4chan. Or reddit, Facebook, Twitter, Google+
SOMETHING that he used pretty regularly.
1337 h4xorz these days don't spend much time just messing around with their computer, they're all over the interw3bz.
Even the anonymous and lulzsec guys screw up sometimes and connect to their IRC channels without TOR.
The thing I'm wondering is, are the high and mighty gods of the tubes off scouring their own records for anything that looks like L4nzAd92?
And if they find it, would they offer it up to the cops, or seriously scrub the crap out of their data
so it was gone forever and they didn't get the big scary government breaking down their doors demanding copies of their backups?
If the po-pos released technical information like IP address, any usernames or emails he discovered,
I have to believe the internet geek squad would be hella fast at digging up all the online traces.
"Supertaskers" Can Safely Use Mobile Phones While Driving
The sample size was really small in this - 200.
Seriously, waaaay too small to jump to conclusions.
Plus the study needs to be repeated multiple times in different areas by other independent researchers before the results are dependable.
The odds are just as high that the area in Utah they surveyed is home to the ONLY 5 supertaskers in the world.
The Value of BASIC As a First Programming Language
Or as Atwood put it: You can write fortran in any language
Excellent and horrible coders exist no matter what language you choose.
The logic that a single language can spoil your mind would only lead to you experiencing fewer languages in order to avoid damaging your precious brain!
I'd wager that most of the top programmers in the world have written significant amounts of code in at least 10 different languages.
Another Study Attacks Violent Video Games, Claims To Be "Conclusive"
Actually watching that movie scared the crap out of me, and I had nightmares for years. The kid whose house I was at was a psycho and tortured animals, etc.
I wouldn't blame the movies for him being a psycho, I would blame the parents for not taking into account the maturity of their child and filtering content appropriately, and for neglecting their child in general.
Another Study Attacks Violent Video Games, Claims To Be "Conclusive"
As a parent I'm actually thankful for the ratings.
Not so much for me, I'm a geek so I know better than to buy my 5 year old the latest GTA, but for grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.
If I inform them when birthday time comes around to check the labels, then I don't have to go through the pain of returning games my kids shouldn't be playing.
Plus I can use that as a catch for the kids too if they go to a friends house, they are not allowed to play T or M games or whatever.
I don't honestly think it's a perfect system though, even if the ESRB ratings were made law kids would still get their hands on them.
I remember watching Nightmare on Elm Street when I was just a kid at my friends house who's parents didn't give a crap.
In the end I still say it's not the game that makes kids violent, it's the lack of parental responsibility and accountability.
How Do You Get Users To Read Error Messages?
Sounds like a variant of the dancing pigs problem
They will completely ignore every error message and try to find a way to get what they want.
I try to keep the error messages as simple as possible, and then have the system email out an error message.
If your company isn't gigantic it can work well, then when you get a call just check the email to see what the full message was.
What Knowledge Gaps Do Self-Taught Programmers Generally Have?
You could teach people all they need to know about big O and common algorithms in an afternoon
I would agree with that specifically on the "all they need to know" part.
I got my BSCS, and I can say that having a little knowledge about how the big O or big theta stuff works can help you understand what makes a chunk of code more or less efficient, but learning how to exactly properly calculate things like that aren't really necessary for 90% of the programming jobs out there.
Maybe if you're writing hardware level programs or something and efficiency is a big deal.
Lots of the CS degree is more focused on the science of computing, than on how to be a good programmer.
I've been a full time programmer for over a decade now, and I've never had to determine if any of my algorithms were turing compliant, or use BCNF for database design.
That doesn't mean there isn't a use for that knowledge, just that for the masses it will not make you a better or worse programmer.
Here are the things from my CS degree experiences that I would say have actually useful been useful to me in the business world:
- Programming Languages: we reviewed different types, from functional languages to OO, etc and what makes a language
- Networking: Learned a lot about the topic, and even wrote some TCP/IP programs
- Operating systems: Learn how different operating systems work and what's under the hood a little. Not super helpful as it was more theoretical than practical, but still interesting
- Non-CS classes: Honestly the BS classes that people complain about, like social studies and arts focused classes did a world of good for me. Improved my writing and presentation skills, and gave me a much broader view of the world than I would have had if I never left the podunk town I grew up in.
Xerox Sues Google, Yahoo Over Search Patents
So seriously, Xerox invented the GUI, then Apple and Microsoft stole it.
Now Xerox invented internet search, then Google and Yahoo stole it?
They must be smartest programmers in the world, with the worst marketing department ever.
Debunking a Climate-Change Skeptic
The biggest problem I see is that when the latest news comes out about global warming or climate change, people rarely actually read the full details of any report.
They get what I would call the "Google News" version, just that main headline without clicking into the full article (who does?), and then go about their day feeling like they know what's going on with the world.
When the international panel for climate change came out with their research claims that global warming was real, how many people actually went out and read the report?
Most people just said "See! I knew it was real!" or "That's all BS, they totally faked that"
When the hackers released those emails about global warming information being falsely reported, who actually read the full article about what was falsely reported and what was not?
Most people just said "See! I knew it was all fake!" or "That's all BS, the information is still accurate just a few people screwed up!"
And now that this guy is coming out to debunk Lomborg, very few people will read Lomborg's initial research or even the debunking.
They'll just see the Google News headline and say "See! I knew it was real!" or "That's all BS, that guy is lying about Lomborg!"
Why You Can't Pry IE6 Out of Their Cold, Dead Hands
You should really try working for a business that needs to actually, you know, turn a profit instead of upgrading to every shiny new system as they come out.
I'm surprised how many articles and comments completely disregard cost as an aspect here?
Cost of upgrading browsers on machines, upgrading images of base installs, etc.
A restrictive piece of software isn't always the issue for upgrading, especially web applications.
Fix the website and the changes are deployed to the whole enterprise.
For large LARGE companies, upgrading the browser can incur a huge cost.
Take GM for example. At a single given automotive plant, they may have 1,000 PCs.
Multiply that by every plant GM owns across the world, and then add in probably a few hundred thousand more for all of the PCs at the tech center and everywhere else and you're probably looking at upgrading browsers on a million boxes.
Most of these places are not set up with remote network installs for every location so you probably can't even automate the whole thing, and that means you have to have a warm body to go around and upgrade every single box.
The cost might be worth it in the end, but the task seems pretty daunting when the alternative is to do nothing and not lose any money.
Honestly I was at an automotive plant back in '99 and they still had somebody in the remote corner of the plant running Windows 3.1 on a token ring network.
How Easy Is It To Cheat In CS?
I think the group exercise is to teach everyone how to collaborate and share responsibilities, but it's unfair to a student to be responsible for a group member who completely refuses to perform. I think you have the responsibility to learn to communicate to your fellow group members when someone isn't pulling their weight, but if someone doesn't help at all no matter what, the teacher has the responsibility to provide a method for the students to communicate that.
In a few of my classes the teacher provided a private method for group members to communicate to the teacher who the good and bad group members were.
Sometimes it's ok if you end up doing all the programming, honestly in one of my favorite classes I did all the coding and left the powerpoints and cardboard cutouts etc to the rest of the group and the teacher was fine with it. I was confident that at least the rest of the group understood what was going on, but I was a lot faster at programming than the others so we each went with our strengths.
Honestly I think group projects work the best when the group members are from separate disciplines. It's pretty hard to cooperate when you put 5 programmers on a team and tell them to write a Hello World program together.
Oh, and I think most cheating happens because cute girls have to take programming 101 classes and nerds are easy targets. :)
Getting Company Owners To Follow Their Own Rules?
True, once an employee is at the executive level, they have ridiculous power, and often do ridiculous things with no recourse.
The theory is supposed to be that if you are an executive, you are held responsible for the actions of the people under you.
The reality is that executives are never held responsible for anything, even if they are grossly at fault.
Honestly sometimes it's better when the execs are NOT involved because when they are they get this idea about how they want to revolutionize the company by adding a checkbox on this web page, which leads to countless meetings and generally turns into a gigantic project for no actual company benefit.
Basically once you get promoted to royalty, the rules don't apply anymore.
Oh and by the way, feel free to cut IT staff, because they're just a drain on your bottom line.