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93 Harvard Faculty Members Call On the University To Divest From Fossil Fuels

MadKeithV Re:So how many of them are actually qualified (214 comments)

You can always recognize the shills and sycophants because they claim only climate scientists are important.

No, I'm simply applying logic - the statement you were refuting was "99.8% of climate scientists accept AGW". The paper you quoted has the following statement:
"Climate science experts who publish mostly on climate change, and climate scientists who publish mostly on other topics, were the two groups most likely to be convinced that humans have contributed to global warming, with 93% of each group indicating their concurrence.".

There clearly is dissent about AGW (in the details if not in the large), even within the science community, and the topic of "what to do about it" is even more thorny, but it remains that studies including the one you quoted repeatedly show that around 9 out of 10 people specialized in climate do think AGW is real.

about a week ago

New French Law Prohibits After-Hours Work Emails

MadKeithV Re:What the French call la dolce vita? (477 comments)

The French do tend towards language chauvinism.

Pah, they don't even have a word for entrepreneur.

about two weeks ago

Start-Up Founders On Dealing With Depression

MadKeithV Re:How I deal (257 comments)

Wow, is there anything else than productivity in your life ?

As someone currently coping with anxiety issues and possibly mild to moderate depression while in the start-up phase of my own company: I have tended to need productivity like a drug. The feeling of having failed if a day is not productive enough (in my own eyes) can set me off on a bout of anxiety. It's a problem (and that's exactly why I used the phrase "like a drug") - I put myself at serious risk of not allowing downtime, or feeling really guilty about downtime which then triggers the anxiety again.
And society marks that productivity as success ("the most successful people need little sleep!", "it's about quality time, not quantity time!", there are so many examples). When your head isn't on right, it's hard to remember that you work to live, not live to work, and that life isn't just about world-changing achievements.

about two weeks ago

Start-Up Founders On Dealing With Depression

MadKeithV Re:There's only one thing; (257 comments)

Man up is poor advice, but minor depression tends to clear itself up after a few months so it does have some merit (and the depressed person will hate you for saying it).

Man up is great advice, as long as you take it to mean "man up and have the courage to seek out help".

about two weeks ago

Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires

MadKeithV Re:I have your conversion right here... (860 comments)

With exactly the same "support is going to stop" warning plastered all over it.

about a month and a half ago

MtGox Sets Up Call Center For Worried Bitcoiners

MadKeithV Re:Regulation of currency (240 comments)

Bitcoin is still young. This is a time or risk and opportunity. Besides, if you really think anyone should invest money, for example in the stock market, without spending lots of time reading up on all sorts of stuff, I have a bridge to sell you.

Monkeys do better than people in the stock market - I'm sure they did lots of market research beforehand though.

about a month and a half ago

How much time do you spend gaming compared to 10 years ago?

MadKeithV Re:Not supprised (270 comments)

Nothing current will replace that experience and joy i had with Quake3, and the way games are going, nothing in my lifetime.

Sounds a bit like nostalgia isn't what it used to be. I started with Quake1, was part of a Quake2 clan for a while, and tried Quake3 but figured out my reflexes are worse than average so in twitch-multiplayer gaming I can't really hold a candle to those with better-than-average reflexes.
There are some really good games in a similar vein out there these days. I play a lot of Planetside 2 - FPS with lots of people, and the potential to co-operate smartly. It allows to use skills other than pure twitch-reflexes to outwit opponents, and it's just fun. It's still fun being faced with some of the nearly inhumanly good players that I met back in the Q2 days, and occasionally defeating them through better tactics than actual skill on my part. And obviously getting my arse handed to me when I don't quite manage to outwit them.
For pure twitch, Loadout seems to be pretty hefty. I'm unsurprisingly pretty crap at it, but it sure is fun to play.

about 2 months ago

The Neuroscience of Computer Programming

MadKeithV Re:Why? (161 comments)

English is universally derided among them for being the easiest to learn.

It's odd to deride a virtue.

Perhaps their command of the English language is a little less than their inflated multilingual egos make them think?
I consider myself quite bilingual - Dutch and English. I speak, think and dream in both of those languages quite easily. People here in the UK are sometimes surprised to learn that I'm not English and my first language is technically not English. I speak quite a bit of French, and have a reasonable grasp on understanding German, Portuguese, and by extension Spanish and Italian.
English is "easy" because it's almost impossible NOT to be exposed to an awful lot of English all the time. English language music, films (no dubbing in Belgium), English books, some English at school. Though I do believe as well that early exposure makes the biggest difference. When I was young there was a northern irish boy who'd come over for a month during the summer holidays (how are you doing these days, Niall?), and as kids you ignore the gaps and errors, and learn to use the language for what it was meant to do: communicate. As soon as you're communicating, imitation and learning will take over and fill in the gaps.
Knowing many languages is a bragging point. Being able to communicate with many people is a skill.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Should Developers Fix Bugs They Cause On Their Own Time?

MadKeithV Re:Guarantee (716 comments)

Programming without bugs is easy. It's just slow and expensive. so nobody wants it. It's cheaper and easier to write bad code and ship it, absorbing backlash, than to build it right in the first place.

Programming non-trivial things without bugs is very, very hard, and very often not cost-effective.

Just build clear bug-free pieces, and assemble them.

The combination of two bug-free pieces isn't necessarily bug-free. The glue code is where you typically end up with the subtle assumption and domain bugs.

Take the time and care with each line to verify intention.

What is the intention of 3rd party code? What is the *exact* intention of the code you wrote 6 weeks ago? You may have documentation. It may even be really good. It's unlikely to be 100% complete.

Use modularity and error handling.

Error handling and modularity in and of themselves do nothing to reduce buggyness, though they may make it easier and faster to find the more obvious and often-occurring ones. They are good practice though, and I strongly recommend them.

I'm sure I'll be called naieve, but at least should move the smallest error free program to a much larger size.

Sometimes being naive isn't bad - it often makes you aspire to better than the status quo, which isn't a bad thing. However, many "bugs" aren't even programming errors, they are communication failures somewhere between the customer and the developer. What the customer wants, what the customer asks for, and what the customer actually needs are three different things.

But none of that will work when given a timeline half what it should be, and inadequate budget.

A program that solves some of the problem now, even with bugs, is infinitely more valuable than a program that solves all of the problem (or more frequently, a small subset of the problem correctly) when it is too late. That goes back to the "cost effectiveness" - the solution that generates the most profit is the better one in a capitalist situation.
There are other situations, such as healthcare, or community projects (open source), where "cost" either doesn't factor or is subservient to other goals such as safety, but it's not the general case.
That still isn't a green light for cowboy coding, but if you're dead-set on bug-free you might find it hard to deliver.

about 2 months ago

Inside the War For Top Developer Talent

MadKeithV Re: Other things too (238 comments)

Agile is for Teams/projects without a clear goal, vast experience and wÃre nobody knows how to solve it directly.

So basically every project then?

about 5 months ago

I wish my cell phone was...

MadKeithV Re:50% dumber. (495 comments)

Admittedly, even dumb phones track you, but they don't phone home with it.

I WANT my phone to phone home you insensitive clod!

about 5 months ago

Should the US Copy Switzerland and Consider a 'Maximum Wage' Ratio?

MadKeithV Re:Yes. (1216 comments)

I never said that they'd perform worse, but that they would find other ways to make the money that they are capable of making, e.g. they could leave the area that makes such ridiculous laws.

Let them. There are plenty of others to take their place. The idea that there's only a tiny number of people that have the unique capabilities of doing these jobs is ludicrous.

And another possible hypothesis to test is that a pay cap will stop these jobs from attracting highly social manipulative psychopaths hell bent on just getting rich at the expense of everyone else, instead of actually running a company properly.

about 5 months ago

Withhold Passwords From Your Employer, Go To Jail?

MadKeithV Re:Seems fine with me. (599 comments)

If I had the only key to the server room and got fired but didn't turn in the key, I would expect retribution of some form, especially if the office had a steel door that took weeks to break down.

What kind of idiot budgets for a server room with a steel door that takes weeks to break down but doesn't include a duplicate key for the security office to hold? Why isn't that idiot the one in jail? What if you lost the key, would you still be OK with being sent to jail for not returning it?

If you were responsible for the key, and lost the key, you might very well be liable for the damages caused by having lost the key. If it was Terry Childs' responsibility under a reasonable interpretation of the terms of his job contract to ensure continued access to the servers (and it seems that's along the lines of what the courts have now decided) then he was in violation of his employment contract for actually doing so.
It was potentially naive for the employer to trust him with this much power, but it's equally likely they had no technical idea that this was the case. The only other option beyond trusting your highly skilled employees is to have at least two people for every job, and then hope they don't actually collude to cause trouble anyway.

about 5 months ago

Withhold Passwords From Your Employer, Go To Jail?

MadKeithV Re:Passwords are property of the employer (599 comments)

my contract ends with you the day you fire me.

The contract doesn't magically disappear into thin air - it ends under the termination terms of the contract. Those are almost certain to state that you are required to return all property, physical or intellectual, that belongs to your employer and you were granted access to for the purpose of performing your role. The passwords are quite obviously important intellectual property of the employer. The "getting hit by a bus" case is irrelevant in this particular case (even though correct planning for it would have prevented Terry Childs from holding the passwords hostage) - Terry Childs wasn't killed and didn't disappear off the face of the earth, he was fired and was still required to follow the termination terms of his contract.

about 5 months ago

Security After the Death of Trust

MadKeithV Re:Minimal Trust: (162 comments)

(in another country, no less)

You guys are unbelievably paranoid sometimes.

Um, dude.

about 7 months ago

NSA Internet Spying Sparks Race To Create Offshore Havens For Data Privacy

MadKeithV Misread the title.. (166 comments)

For a minute I thought the title was "NSA Internet Spying Sharks Race To Create Offshore Havens For Data Privacy". Those would have been some cool sharks.

about 7 months ago


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