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Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

Max Threshold "Rare talent" my ass. (608 comments)

Judging from the projects I maintain and the third-party libraries I've had to deal with, being a programmer doesn't even require knowing how to program.

That said, the author does make some good points. I cut my teeth on Java, and my standards were set by Sun's (mostly) well-thought-out APIs and comprehensive documentation. Now I'm an Android developer, constantly infuriated by Google's shitty APIs and half-assed documentation. Google's terrible design decisions have made Android is an incredibly challenging platform, and the industry's response to surging demand for Android apps has been to simply lower its standards for software quality. The author is right, it doesn't need to be this way.

about two weeks ago
top, Mensa Create Dating Site For Geniuses

Max Threshold Re:The 98th percentile is nothing. (561 comments)

Nobody's "deigning" to associate with anyone. For example, on my champion trivia team, I judge one person slightly my superior, two my equal, and two slightly my inferior. But we're all valuable contributors... and all vastly superior to anyone at the 98th percentile.

about a month ago
top, Mensa Create Dating Site For Geniuses

Max Threshold Re:The 98th percentile is nothing. (561 comments)

By force-fitting the distribution to a normal curve, we discover that performance follows a power law curve. So we could just start with the power law curve and use it as the basis for the distribution. Normalization is unnecessary.

about a month ago
top, Mensa Create Dating Site For Geniuses

Max Threshold The 98th percentile is nothing. (561 comments)

The distribution of intelligence follows a normal curve, but intelligence itself follows a power law curve. It's very steep at the high end. I test around the 99.5th percentile, and I judge all my friends to be at least in the 99th, else they wouldn't be my friends. But my arrogance is tempered by knowing that within that half-percentile above me -- well over a million people in the US alone -- are many who can look down on me as I look down on the 99th percentile. They are the real gods of our society. Even at the 99.5th percentile, I will never be more than a second-tier demigod.

about a month ago

A Physicist Says He Can Tornado-Proof the Midwest With 1,000-Foot Walls

Max Threshold No wind or rain, either? (501 comments)

Something tells me this idea wasn't very well thought out. And this guy has a PhD? I can also think of better things to spend that money on to save 500 lives a year...

about a month ago

Code Spaces Hosting Shutting Down After Attacker Deletes All Data

Max Threshold Could Amazon have handled it better? (387 comments)

Instead of trying to take back control themselves, shouldn't they have contacted Amazon and let them handle it? Perhaps they could have frozen the entire account, locking out both the rightful owner and the attacker, until things were sorted.

about a month ago

Virginia DMV Cracks Down On Uber, Lyft

Max Threshold Re:OP is an obvious shill. (260 comments)

Except that the Virginia DMV is a legal authority and Uber/Lyft isn't. If the DMV has been given jurisdiction over this domain, then their opinion is as good as case law.

about a month and a half ago

Turing Test Passed

Max Threshold Probability (432 comments)

What is the probability of this having happened by now if we simply repeated the Turing test with programs that previously failed?

about a month and a half ago

Virginia DMV Cracks Down On Uber, Lyft

Max Threshold OP is an obvious shill. (260 comments)

Whatever the pros and cons of ride-share apps, there is something seriously wrong when a corporation pledges to operate in open defiance of the law. That's far worse than regulatory capture. Corporate death penalty, anyone?

about a month and a half ago

Should We Eat Invasive Species?

Max Threshold Stray dogs and cats? (290 comments)

I kind of want to shoot the stray dogs that run through my yard, but I don't think I want to eat them.

about 2 months ago

Robbery Suspect Tracked By GPS and Killed

Max Threshold Re:ANOTHER DEAD BODY! SWEET JUSTICE! (450 comments)

See also: how to lie with statistics. More meaningful, but still not at face value the way you seem to wish, are the intentional homicide rates: 4.8 per 100K in the US, 1.2 per 100K in the UK. You can't take these numbers at face value because homicide is not uniformly distributed in the US. It's strongly correlated with poverty, which in turn is strongly correlated with certain races and neighborhoods. Eliminate those hotspots by addressing poverty, and the US homicide rate is comparable to the UK's. In fact, the US rate for all violent crimes except homicide is already much lower than the UK's.

about 2 months ago

Fixing the Pain of Programming

Max Threshold The problem is how programming is taught. (294 comments)

When it comes to Java, it begins on day one with the standard "Hello, World" teaching people to write a procedural program in the static context before they even understand what an object is. And then they learn about object inheritance. Years later, they read Effective Java and find out their entire CS education was a lie. Meanwhile, they've been churning out utter shit as a contractor in Hong Kong or Bangalore or San Francisco... and every company who's been using their horrible code has been paying dearly for it.

about 2 months ago

US Navy Develops World's Worst E-reader

Max Threshold I can't imagine the use for this. (249 comments)

I can see how a military e-reader could be useful. I was an avionics tech in the Marine Corps, and our technical library probably weighed a couple tons. It was absolutely mandatory to have the manual in front of you while working on something, no matter how well you knew the gear. But part of my job was to replace pages in these manuals as changes came down from on high. I doubt there are any standing orders that never change at all. An e-reader that can't be updated would be quickly outdated.

about 2 months ago

Court: Oracle Entitled To Copyright Protection Over Some Parts of Java

Max Threshold Re:GPL release that Sun did might seem to apply... (303 comments)

Exactly. Of course APIs are copyrightable. But this one was perpetually and irrevocably licensed. The only question is whether Google is complying with the terms of the license.

about 3 months ago

Free Can Make You Bleed: the Underresourced Open Source

Max Threshold And this differs from commercial software... (175 comments)

...where the CEO's idea of the time it takes to develop anything is off by a factor of five, and every developer is also an IT guy and half a dozen other things, how exactly?

about 3 months ago

In a Hole, Golf Courses Experiment With 15-inch Holes

Max Threshold I see the disconnect. (405 comments)

They lost me when they called golf a sport.

about 3 months ago

Heartbleed Disclosure Timeline Revealed

Max Threshold April Fools! (62 comments)

There's the trouble. Google's disclosure came on a day when nobody believes what they read on the Internet.

about 3 months ago



Giving physical reality to virtual particles

Max Threshold Max Threshold writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Max Threshold (540114) writes "In a vacuum, virtual particles constantly blink in and out of existence. Scientists at Chalmers University of Technology have succeeded in coaxing those particles to become real/a, with the aid of a virtual microwave mirror vibrating at a quarter the speed of light. So far they've only produced photons, but other particles might be possible with higher energy transfers. Star Trek replicators, anyone?"
Link to Original Source

Bug Reports: Ignore them and they'll go away?

Max Threshold Max Threshold writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Max Threshold (540114) writes "I've been using F/OSS for about a decade, and though I'm not much of a software developer, I pride myself on contributing what I can in the form of clear, concise bug reports. Over the years, I've started to notice a disturbing trend among higher-profile F/OSS projects: a tendency to reduce their open bug counts by brushing things under the rug. I've seen the severity of bugs that could potentially damage hardware arbitrarily downgraded to 'minor', and even seen confirmed bug reports closed without a fix because the users who originally reported them stopped using the software and did not bump them after a release... only to be reopened later when someone else came along to report the same issue.

Do others perceive this as a problem? And if so, what solutions would you offer?"


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