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Kids Can Swipe a Screen But Can't Use LEGOs

HeckRuler Re:Parents fault (353 comments)

Huh. Apparently slashdot has a lot of grandparents.

I get what you're saying, but think you could have stated that better. Here we go:

Wow, if my parents tried to tell me how to raise my kids in such an abusive manner like Lumpy did they wouldn't have much access to their grandchildren after that. You must have very understanding children.

My parents are great. My wife's parents have been pretty good so far. But if they ever tried to "give me an earful" for something that isn't even wrong, called me a "horrible parent", and swore at me about it, I wouldn't want that sort of negative abusive attitude around my child.

4 days ago

Kids Can Swipe a Screen But Can't Use LEGOs

HeckRuler Re:Parents fault (353 comments)

Historically, this would be siblings, cousins, and nephews. Family units had lots of kids and the older children would help raise the younger. If you go back further, family units stuck together like clans and everyone raised everyone.

These days you're lucky if one of your immediate parents are in the same town and can watch the kid. Times change. Nature's slow on the uptake. That motherfucker still thinks we should be screwing our brains out at 13 so we can raise the kids before we die at 30.

Yeah man, I REALLY didn't understand the term "staying close to family" until I had a kid. It's a loaded statement. It means free babysitting.

4 days ago

Bachelor's Degree: An Unnecessary Path To a Tech Job

HeckRuler Re:So it's the "tech industry", so what? (286 comments)

They're not losers, tech support is just a shit-job that nobody wants to do. I don't think you're going to be able to white-wash it as anything else.

I'm not sure that sysadmins, network engineers, and the other better IT jobs have to start out at the bottom rung.

Well maybe for you, but I graduated with a computer engineering degree and my first job out of school was developing software for embedded systems.

Yeah, well that doesn't sound fun to me.

It's ok. Like you said, to each his own. That was the oil&gas industry. Now I'm in military defense. Life support systems. OBOGS, if you're familiar with that stuff. It's still embedded software development, just with more paperwork. DO178 pretty much dictates the waterfall process, which... I have to say is indeed a little dull. But the bloody legacy systems are always on fire in some way so there's a lot of maintenance. And the codeshop needs overhauling (and a few people axed). But large corporations have such big bloody inertia.

But yeah, if that sounds like stroking the ego, it probably is. Sorry about that. But as someone who went down the college path, I've got to say it worked out pretty well for me. And I really didn't have to go through any periods of shit-work. I guess I had a stint as a SQL guy making reports at one point, but that was because I moved cities following my wife's career after the graduated at the bottom of the econopocalypse in 2009. Wasn't that bad except for the sexist boss.

I would say more to the point: there are lots of career paths where, regardless of education, you tend to start at the bottom and work your way up

Yes. That is true. And if you DO have an education, you typically start at a higher point in said path, end at a higher point, and have vastly greater chances of reaching the upper echelons than if you do not have an education. Depends on the career.

Because it's sounding more and more like you're just on a deranged ego trip to prove that you're better than helpdesk techs.

HAH that's adorable.

5 days ago

Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

HeckRuler Re:What the tax form should look like (416 comments)

Just to explain your modding into oblivion, lemme spell it out with you.

This is a flat tax. Everyone is taxed at 10%. (Yes, it's a percentage, and not, say $200 flat, but it's what it's called). It is not progressive (taxing the rich a higher percent) nor is it regressive (taxing the poor a higher percent). It's flat.

This has been shown to be a ludicrously bad idea. Not as bad as a regressive tax, but still pretty bad. It turns out that economies usually aren't fair and balanced and the gini coefficient isn't ever going to be zero. It's hard being poor. Consequently, it's easy being rich. Not only are they more powerful, they systematically control the game to favor themselves.

To offset that sort of imbalance, they are taxed in a progressive fashion that most of the world now employs.

Even the "fairtax" people don't want a flat tax.

10% of small income equals very small tax. What's the problem?

Because when your income is small, a small tax isn't so small. Indeed it's about the exactly the same proportion that the rich would pay.
Now, who would you say is more financially stable, you know typically: The rich, or the poor? Who can better withstand that sort of impact? Who is less likely to crumble and break due to the financial pressure of the taxation?

Sure, it's fair between the rich and poor, but only if you pretend the poor are just as powerful as the rich.

5 days ago

The Security of Popular Programming Languages

HeckRuler FLAME WAR! (188 comments)

But before we really get into it, this isn't really a measurement of the language somuchas how people use the language. For example: while VB6 was an abomination, VB.NET really isn't all that bad. But since the people who use VB.NET are the amateur noobs who make stupid mistakes. Hey, we all started somewhere. But it means I really wouldn't trust a project that's written in VB.NET for certain tasks.

These are sociological factors. Politics. Culture. And they matter, but they're not technical aspects. The size of the community. The maturing of the developers. How open the overlord megacorp is to people making tools that interface with their toys. How many developers got the hype-bug and wrote libraries for said language. How good those developers were at their job. It all matters, but it's not an aspect of the language itself.

Any Turing complete language CAN do the job. You've got to avoid Turing tarpits, but mostly the right tool for the job is a matter of fashion.

Why the flames? Why is this something that causes so much strife?
Because we all want to bet on the right horse, and who wins is largely a popularity contest. It really DOES matter what the community does. You can't just go off into the woods and code away in TurboPascel and hope to have a lucrative career. It's an inverse tragedy of the commons. Using the tools of your neighbor SHARPENS said tools. So everyone wants you to use their tools. Because their tools are the best.

And so the flame wars rage on.

5 days ago

Bachelor's Degree: An Unnecessary Path To a Tech Job

HeckRuler Re:So it's the "tech industry", so what? (286 comments)

I'm not sure what your point is.

Oh, sorry if that wasn't clear in the first one. Here we go:

The article is bullshit because it doesn't matter if you get "tech job". It seems to be treating tech jobs as a magical place that's simply better and they're trying to tear down the myth that you need a college degree to get those jobs.
They go on to show that you can get all these tech jobs without a degree.

Except those jobs aren't the sort that are simply better. They're conflating the good tech jobs for which a degree is helpful, with the shit tech jobs which do not need a degree. That false presumption turns the thrust of their argument from "you don't need a degree to get a tech job" to "you don't need a degree to get a shitty tech job". Which doesn't quite have the same inspiring message.

Not to be a class-ist asshole. For some people tech support would be a big step up. It's a good gig compared to breaking your back in a salt mine. But it's the bottom end of the tech industry.

It's worth pointing out that a lot of jobs, when you're starting out right after college, aren't very fun or lucrative.

Well maybe for you, but I graduated with a computer engineering degree and my first job out of school was developing software for embedded systems.

At the point, it's still something that you can make a decent career out of. You could end up being the Director of Technology or CIO of a business, or running your own consulting or MSP business.

Really? Are you sure you're not buying your own bullshit salespitch that you feed to new hires? Everyone I've known with the job has been desperate to get out, move up into managing others, or more commonly move "sideways" into development or sysadmin work.

Let's look at all the directors and CIO and techy business owners. Obviously since they're "at the top" there's going to be less of them then the workers. That's how heirarchies work. So the odds of getting there are slim already. But of the people that go there, what percentage have a degree? Do you think the ones with bigger paychecks in bigger companies are more common or less common to have a degree?
(Also, the director/CIO positions can be mostly management. They're about as technical as cable-pullers)

Now take your typical help-desk worker. Are you going to tell them that if they stay in this job they'll eventually get to be the director? That tech support is a career?
No. At best it's a stepping stone to something better.

I wouldn't say that a PhD is exactly overqualified, either, but there's a qualification mismatch

Whoahoho! That there's some mighty-fine management bullshit. I see what you're saying about different skillsets, but overqualified is overqualified. Call a spade a spade. A comSci PhD can be overqualified AND not have the skills for the job. "Qualifications" it's a word that means something.

I think I would sooner say that when you're fresh out of school, you're not qualified for much of anything at all.

That sounds like a pretty shitty school. Man, that reminds me of this poor technician. He was feeding money to (non-acredited) Kaplan University, trying to learn SQL. The teacher had to learn the topic right alongside the students. Tried to interview for a DBA position in IT to get out of tech support. Couldn't even join two tables. Damn shame.

All in all, I think the article is detrimental to society as college and education is still very much worth it, as long as you get a meaningful degree from a good school (and you're smart enough to be able to get it).
There is a shocking amount of college grads with bullshit liberal arts degree that are working help-desks or coffee shops when they graduate. But I don't see any such under-employment for STEM grads.

5 days ago

Bachelor's Degree: An Unnecessary Path To a Tech Job

HeckRuler Re:So it's the "tech industry", so what? (286 comments)

Sorry to be blunt about this, but tech support is the shit end of the tech industry.
"computer user support specialist" It's that one. Don't ask me why they gave it a funny name. They also call cable-pullers something weird. Maybe it's like "janitor" and has connotations.

Dealing with users, especially the typical sort that call tech support, is a horrible experience. You know, the PEBCAK sort. The ones which make for humors commentary if you didn't have to live it every day. Not something that people with options choose to do because they enjoy it.

If I were in your shoes, I'd avoid college (STEM) degrees, and stay the hell away from PHDs, as they'd probably just get bored/bitter. For as much shit as they shovel, I'd imagine most fortune 500 CEOs would do a pretty poor job of spreading manure. As much as the term "overqualified" stings, this is exactly the sort of situation it applies to.

So when you say that, as a guy hiring tech support workers, you don't look at education... that just kinda lends weight to my point.

about a week ago

Bachelor's Degree: An Unnecessary Path To a Tech Job

HeckRuler Re:Other than NY? (286 comments)


You have to pretty much double your salary to be equivlent to working in NY. The cost of living is twice as much.

So $37/hr is more like $18.5/hr here in the midwest. Which is still pretty damn good pay for the sort of work involved, but not what I'm making as an engineer.

about a week ago

Bachelor's Degree: An Unnecessary Path To a Tech Job

HeckRuler So it's the "tech industry", so what? (286 comments)

What jobs are they looking at here?

computer user support specialist
customer services representatives
telecom line installer
sales representatives
(With new york city wages)

So what you're saying is that people working in the shit-end of the industry don't need the same credentials as the people working the high-paying end of the industry?

Golly gosh-darn!
It's like manager at the local McDonalds doesn't need to have the same pedigree as the CEO of McDonalds corporate.

And maybe... just maybe... that night-shift manager has just about the same chances of rising to CEO of McDonalds as the help-desk wage-slave has of becoming the lead software architect.

about a week ago

Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

HeckRuler Re:Hulk hogan could code too (578 comments)

If only there were some sort of pipe we could feed into their house at a reasonable rate that delivered to them the grand sum of human knowledge and gave them the tools to educate themselves, learn meaningful skills, and become valuable.

I'm really sorry for the snark. It's gotta suck-ass being born poor in East Bumfuck. For a while I stayed in State Center, IA, that had about 10 city blocks to it's name, and 2 restaurants. I paid this neighbor kid to mow my grass, and his whole family just didn't have too many options. Friendly, but a habitual liar. His brother was nice, but full of piercing and tats that I know had to put him at odds with the majority of the town.

The Internet is there, and it's a great and wonderful thing, but you know what? The biggest barrier I see to it penetrating into the lives of people who otherwise have no options is their culture. Try as I might, that kid just would not believe that he could do meaningful stuff. It's not that he didn't want to be code monkey like me, or didn't want to have a higher paying job. He just didn't think it was going to happen. I couldn't get him to try. That sort of resistance is weird, and I'm not sure I have a solid grasp of it's root cause. But if I had to call it something, I'd say it's the culture of the poor.

about two weeks ago

Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

HeckRuler Ya code 16 lines, and waddya get? (578 comments)

Never before have I found a more appropriate use for this:

Some people say a man is made outta mud
A code monkey's got Mountain Dew for his blood
Dew in the blood and Cheeto bones
One bad back n' carpal tunnel syndrome

        Ya code 16 lines and whaddya get
        Another bug report and technical debt
        PM just told me vacations a no
        We got no life till we're shipping code

I was born one mornin' when the sun didn't shine
I picked up my laptop and I coded a line
I coded PHP and some Javascript
And off to Menlo Park then I was shipped

        Ya code 16 lines and whaddya get
        Another bug report and technical debt
        PM just told me vacations a no
        We got no life till we're shipping code

If you see me comin', better step aside
The Dew and Cheetos made-me a little too wide
A little too wide and a little too old
But for Facebook's perks my soul I've sold

        Ya code 16 lines and whaddya get
        Another bug report and technical debt
        PM just told me vacations a no
        We got no life till we're shipping code

Tweaks by by cold fjord (826450) (yeah, something useful came outta the NSA sock puppet, go figure)
Original parody by cervesaebraciator (2352888)
Original lyrics by Merle Travis, maybe.

about two weeks ago

Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

HeckRuler Re:Open source failed (445 comments)

We have no idea if someone exploited before it was finally fixed.

hmmmm. So this sort of phenomena only cropped up in the 80's right?
That's ~30 years ago. Shouldn't we start getting a bunch of retired end-stagers willing to divulge who was doing what with the zero-days in their pocket?

Death beds are a great place to learn the truth about what happened 30-40 years ago. For some matters, it's the only place you'll learn the truth. The field of computer security is reaching the end-life of their first generation. Where are the memoirs?

about two weeks ago

NSA Confirms It Has Been Searching US Citizens' Data Without a Warrant

HeckRuler Re:April Fools? (274 comments)

It already IS outlawed. Lying to congress is illegal. Really illegal. The sort of illegal that rich and famous people get thrown in jail for because they're breaking a law that pisses off other rich and famous people.

And yet Clapper isn't in jail yet.

While some people are trying. It doesn't look like it's going to happen. It doesn't even look like he's going to get fired.

So I'm going to have to go with "No, that won't stop it".

about two weeks ago

China Approves Microsoft-Nokia Deal, Gets Patent Concessions In Return

HeckRuler Wow (26 comments)

Is this feeling the same one that non-americans get when a major economic issue has to go to the US supreame court, or FCC, or FAA, or ICANN?

Because as an American, this feeling is weird.

about two weeks ago

One Person Successfully Removed From US No-Fly List

HeckRuler Re:Not alerting the terrorists (286 comments)

You tried pulling out the "well, I mean, there's this statistics thing, [blahblahblah]

What the fuck are you smoking? ...oh. Hey, would you look at that. Other people can't believe you're actually arguing this point and you're getting confused about who is saying what. Yeah, no, that wasn't me. I'm also not the one harping on the fact that people got murdered by this program. I spent my time just trying to show you the really bloody obvious double-think you have going on when it comes to cops selling guns to drug lords.

Who have we got here? sjames, Zynder, lgw, quila, firethorn. And me, I guess. Damn son, you've got a knack for some high quality bait. If this is just some massive trolling attempt you have won GOLD.

Seriously though, try reading the arguments made against your position before you spout out some random shit in your head. It helps sway the crowd.

If they repeated [Fast&Furious] a hundred thousand times, the most likely, near-certain result would be...

...that they get tried by the ICJ for supplying arms to an anti-government militant force in another sovereign nation like they did with Contras in Nicaragua. Seriously, at that point it's no longer a criminal investigation, it's unsanctioned military aid.

Jesus Christ dude, you're treating the scenario like a hard bedrock of immovable fact. That X guns will be bought by the Mexican cartels and if more than X guns are sold by anyone then nothing changes. Sorry, reality just doesn't work that way. If you flood or starve a market it has an effect. Not always the most obvious.

about two weeks ago

Raspberry Pi Compute Module Release

HeckRuler Re:How about a backplane? (51 comments)

One of the previous times that Raspberry Pis came up in conversation around here I heard of a guy who set up a Hadoop cluster running on a number of Pis.
It's possible, and educational, but the throughput is simply not significant to justify.

Sure, they're cheap. But putting a bunch next to each other won't give you all the processing power you've ever dreamed of.

about two weeks ago

How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

HeckRuler Re:Maintaining diversity * is * the goal (392 comments)

So you think they'll evolve a little and then their evolution will just stop?

about two weeks ago

One Person Successfully Removed From US No-Fly List

HeckRuler Re:Not alerting the terrorists (286 comments)

Well you're getting better, I guess.

You started out saying that:

that information wasn't really obtained at any expense

It's not a drop in the ocean; it's a non-impact

And now you're onto:

If you say, "People died because the mexicans got these particular guns", you are almost certainly wrong.

That's at least... you know... something.

Along the way there, you tried to veer off onto side topics like the nature of deterrents, and how cops are above the law. You also had a couple of shitty examples. Hookers, hackers, and gang-bangs? Dude.

But ultimately, you've got a contradiction in your argument that you just can't seem to fathom. I don't think I'm going to have any luck showing it to you. Good luck with that.

about two weeks ago

One Person Successfully Removed From US No-Fly List

HeckRuler Re:Not alerting the terrorists (286 comments)

Except you're confused about the negative impact of the two examples.

In your hacking example, the negative aspect to it is "damaging service, stealing sensitive information,". Which doesn't happen in scenario #3 because it's done by "professionals" who are presumably above that sort of thing.

In the selling arms to mexican cartels example, the negative aspect is selling arms to Mexican cartels. Who then go and shoot people. And that is happening whether nor not it's cops doing the selling.

Here, lemme show you. Let's say we were to take your hacking example and apply it to the issue at hand:

Scenario 1: Selling arms to mexican cartels isn't illegal. Result: Prices bottom out on weapons, the mexican cartels are well armed, and lots of people are shot

Scenario 2: Selling arms to mexican cartels is illegal. Result: What we have now. People that sell arms to mexican cartels are put in prison. When we find them. Presumably this drives up the cost of arming the cartels and makes life harder for them and in turn makes illegal drugs more expensive and less prevalent. If you believe in that whole free market thing at least, and believe the war on drugs has a prayer of working.

Scenario 3: Like scenario #2, but cops have an exception. Result: Just like #2, but quantifiably worse for every weapon that the cops sell. Because each one is going directly towards the negative impact.

Unlike your hacking example, where the negative aspect is a side-effect of people learning about network security, the negative aspect is EXACTLY what the police were doing. They are DIRECTLY CONTRIBUTING TO THE PROBLEM.

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: the State of Open CS, IT, and DBA Courseware in 2014?

HeckRuler Re:Translation (84 comments)

No, that's how it USED to be. "They want a degree, any degree, it shows that you can learn" is why we have so many liberal arts majors and why

These days companies don't want to teach you anything. They don't care if you can learn. They want to hire you, use you, and them dump you the moment that it's convenient. Teaching costs money. And there are plenty of educated workers overseas wanting in.

And hey, I think it's a reasonable request that the university that you just paid tens of thousands of dollars to give you some marketable skills. If you ask them to at least.

But if he already has the capabilities to crank out some code then he has value that companies want. Maybe a bullshit degree will open a couple doors that wouldn't otherwise be closed to him. But don't lend credit to the lie of the liberal arts degree.

about two weeks ago


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