Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires
With exactly the same "support is going to stop" warning plastered all over it.
MtGox Sets Up Call Center For Worried Bitcoiners
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.
How much time do you spend gaming compared to 10 years ago?
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.
The Neuroscience of Computer Programming
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.
WhatsApp: 2nd Biggest Tech Acquisition of All Time
Skype? Hah. Remember ICQ?
Ask Slashdot: Should Developers Fix Bugs They Cause On Their Own Time?
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.
If I Had a Hammer
My first thought too (posting to undo bad moderation on parent).
Inside the War For Top Developer Talent
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?
I wish my cell phone was...
Admittedly, even dumb phones track you, but they don't phone home with it.
I WANT my phone to phone home you insensitive clod!
Should the US Copy Switzerland and Consider a 'Maximum Wage' Ratio?
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.
Withhold Passwords From Your Employer, Go To Jail?
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.
Withhold Passwords From Your Employer, Go To Jail?
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.
Security After the Death of Trust
(in another country, no less)
You guys are unbelievably paranoid sometimes.
NSA Internet Spying Sparks Race To Create Offshore Havens For Data Privacy
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.
The Most WTF-y Programming Languages
IMHO, C++ is a simple, flexible, intuitive, and powerful language... IF (and only if) you know how to use it.
If you think C++ is simple or intuitive you haven't used it enough, and/or enough of it. There is nearly always some dark corner of the standard that does something which is at first glance totally illogical until you understand the way the compiler or history has had to deal with the construct in question. The most vexing parse, for example, or the fact that there are three char types (char, unsigned char and signed char are distinct types).
"Ballooning" Spiders Use Electrostatic Forces To Generate Lift
I sometimes tend to think the opposite: some of the evolution's achievements seem so precisely engineered that it feels more like a designer's product than test of time. Not that I would actually believe in intelligent design and all that stuff.
Most "precisely engineered" stuff that's actually engineered is still the product of large quantities of trial and error, at some level :)
Why Are Some Hell-Bent On Teaching Intelligent Design?
You cannot teach religion in school.
Not every religion believes in creationism, nor in intelligent design. Both are mainly espoused by only 4 religions.
All scientists believe in evolution. The facts are there to present in unbiased form.
You can teach the facts of religion, in unbiased form, perfectly fine. I know this, because I've witnessed it, in a Catholic (!) school in the UK. They covered most major religions and the differences between them, without claiming any of them was right or wrong. No, Catholicism didn't get preferential treatment in that class. Faith and religion are important factors in most societies and covering them (correctly) in school is probably a good thing to ensure well-informed individuals.
Flies See the World In Slo-Mo, Say Researchers
So, they can read the front page of the newspaper, before it squashes them. Handy!
By the time they've read it they probably *want* to die.
With XP's End of Life, Munich Will Distribute Ubuntu CDs
How do you snap two windows side by side in XP?
I move them side-by-side. How hard is that?
Shortcut-based or screen-edge-based snapping is several orders of magnitude faster than tweaking window sizes to actually fit two windows to each fill exactly their half of the screen. It gets even more fun when snapping on multi-monitor setups - which you can do on Win7 using the windows-key/arrow-key shortcuts. It matters. I do it hundreds of times a day when developing, debugging, or writing documents.
How do you utilize more than 3GB of your memory in XP?
XP supports up to 4GB of memory
The OS supports 32-bit systems with up to 4Gb of physical memory, but you cannot get more than 3GB of virtual address space for a single process in XP, and that is if you use the 3GB switch and the process was compiled to be large memory aware, otherwise your XP process is limited to 2GB.
The only reason people believe 7 is good is because it's the Service Pack for Vista which was so horrible. Of course 7 looks good when you use that comparison.
Dissenting opinion: I ran Vista Home Basic 64bit for a long time. No eye-candy (it's not in Home Basic), not that many system requirements (because all of the "cool stuff" I didn't want wasn't included anyway). It worked just fine. I never noticed much difference between Vista and 7, just some tweaks of features that were actually in Vista, and some small usability upgrades such as the task bar with pinning (which I like, it has uses). I think Vista just broke the ice in terms of the new driver model to support 64bit, and lots of people were annoyed at 3rd party manufacturers just not being up-to-date with their drivers.
I've got no real beef with XP, but it's not "magically perfect". I happily ran Win2K WAY past its sell-by date back in the XP release days because I disliked the default candyland look and feel and 2K was fine for my purposes. I have also recently installed a Windows 7 32-bit on an ancient machine with an Athlon XP3000+ processor, and it ran incredibly smoothly considering how old and "windows 7 unready" the hardware was. I understand the frustration at the EOL forcing an upgrade when what you have works perfectly fine, but I sincerely doubt there are real technical reasons for XP to be "better" that actually apply to many people beyond emotional responses to change.