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The Moderately Enthusiastic Programmer

SirLurksAlot Strong and Barely Controllable Emotion (533 comments)

I feel this way about the current codebase I'm working on right now, but they only give me the nerf-type of weapons, so no one needs to worry.

about 8 months ago
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Google Doodle Remembers Computing Pioneer Grace Hopper

SirLurksAlot Re:COBOL (157 comments)

What would your programming language look like if the Pointy-Haired Boss had to be able to understand it?

Ruby and Cucumber (at least for your test code)?

about 10 months ago
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Winamp Shutting Down On December 20

SirLurksAlot Awww (400 comments)

Who's going to really whip the Llama's ass now?

about 10 months ago
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I wish my car could...

SirLurksAlot Do Something Useful... (443 comments)

I don't really care about being able to fly (As I don't know or want to know how to do that anyway), shrink, go subterranean, or any other ridiculous thing. I'd settle for the following in a perfect vehicle:

  • Run on a clean, cheap, limitless (or nearly so) fuel source.
  • Be able to carry as much cargo as I need to when I need it, but be compact and maneuverable when I don't.
  • Self-repair itself. If I didn't have to go to another mechanic for the rest of my life I would be perfectly happy.
  • Actually be safe, with zero chance of injury to passengers.

In my opinion these are way more important than the bunk listed in the options Can you imagine all the idiots on the road today, except that every single one of them can potentially smash your house flat from the sky?

about a year ago
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How Companies Are Preparing For the IT Workforce Exodus

SirLurksAlot Re:light, tunnel, oncoming train (248 comments)

Exactly how many IT workers do you know who will need Social Security when in all likelihood they've been in IT their whole lives making IT money? I don't know about you but by the time I turn 65 I plan to have some kind of nest egg built up. If you're in IT you're not exactly hurting for money (or you're doing it wrong).

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is an Online Identity Important When Searching For Technical Jobs?

SirLurksAlot Re:As a Technical Interviewer... (358 comments)

It's possible I've used the wrong word here, but when I talk about being passionate about your job I'm not talking about being "emotional" about your job.

What I'm talking about is going above and beyond the minimum required effort. The absolute minimum required effort is usually that the software works, it satisfies the client's requirements, it comes in under or at budget (this is obviously more at the project level and then individual developer level), and that it can be maintained. Above and beyond is about craftsmanship. It is about TDD, refactoring until you have made your best effort to get the code clean, and pushing back on ridiculous requirement to get to the true business need. It's about taking the time to learn new technologies off the clock, it's about giving back to the community that has given you so much (Do you, for even one moment, imagine that you got where you are because you learned and worked in a vaccum?). Whether this giving back mean you contribute to open source project, you maintain a blog, attend or present at user group meetings, etc is up to you, but if you're going to work with me I want to see that you're active and you give a shit.

don't think that I care more about your projects than my family or my personal obligations

As a family man myself I completely understand your sentiment. There is certainly a balance to be held. I spend time with my family and love my children, but I also know that nobody, noboby owes me a free ride and it is up to me to excel and continue to learn and grow as a developer outside of the 9-5. Clients almost never pay me to learn on their dime, and when I talk about being passionate I'm talking about understanding that you need to give enough of a shit to grow on your own and give back. I want to work with developers who are on that wave length and do more than clock in, write their 500 LOC/day, clock out and promptly forget about programming until 9AM the next day.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is an Online Identity Important When Searching For Technical Jobs?

SirLurksAlot Re:As a Technical Interviewer... (358 comments)

No problem, it is always nice to have a good conversation, not to mention being pleasantly surprised by a thoughtful and polite AC :-). Good luck in your career!

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is an Online Identity Important When Searching For Technical Jobs?

SirLurksAlot Re:As a Technical Interviewer... (358 comments)

Not with an attitude like that we're not.

If you're in it purely for the money you're in it for purely the wrong reason. Passion is is not stupid, or a sign of weakness. Passion is caring about the work that you do, and therefore about the work that others do because ultimately their work is what matters. IT is not an end unto itself, it is a means to accomplish other things. Being passionate shows you care about the quality of your work and the quality of others' work. If you come to the table and you can't show passion about your work and your overriding value is money then hit the road. There are thousands of others just like you who would love the chance to show they can do the job, and they may or may not charge your rate.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is an Online Identity Important When Searching For Technical Jobs?

SirLurksAlot Re:As a Technical Interviewer... (358 comments)

if my best code I've written is proprietary, how can I show that to you?

This is why I look for recommendations and blog posts. I'm in the same boat that you're in, which is that my best code is proprietary. The solutions is to have others recommend your work and by writing about the things you learn. By this I don't mean that you post specifics about your code as it is the implementation of the concept or technique you have learned (not to mention posting chunks of proprietary code will get you fired or sued). It isn't the specific code that matters, it is showing that you have the skills, knowledge, ability to learn and care enough to share these things for the benefit of others.

Makes me be the question: you want someone who just puts stuff online to show off, or do you want someone with a track record of getting the job done?

So first of all you're looking at this the wrong way. You're not "showing off" per se. You're selling your services in most honest manner you can. You have to get over the idea that you shouldn't talk about yourself. You're in business, and in business no one will sell for you. You have to be your own champion, and that means being willing to put yourself out there, talk about what you've learned and show people why they should hire you.

To answer you question "getting the job done" is obviously the important thing. The trick is showing people who have no idea who you are or what you've done that you can, in fact, get the job done. When they are interviewing you they are trying to determine if it is a "safe bet" to hire you on, and make no mistake it is a bet. Chances are neither they nor you will know if it is a good fit until after the fact, but you can help them make that decision and put them somewhat at ease by talking about yourself and sharing your experience ahead of the conversation.

My job as the technical interviewer is to determine if the things you say you know and have done matches up to reality. You'll make my job easier if you can show me that concretely, and therefore make it more likely that I'll recommend you to continue in the hiring process.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is an Online Identity Important When Searching For Technical Jobs?

SirLurksAlot As a Technical Interviewer... (358 comments)

I pay scant attention to resumes, except as a starting point and a way to see if you can string words together in a syntactically correct manner. Not having an online presence won't hurt you necessarily. After the receiving a resume the first thing I'll do is to google you to see if you have:

  • Public code contributions (Github, BitBucket, SourceForge, Launchpad, etc). This is probably the most important bullet on this list. I want to see that you're passionate about software development, and that you're taking the time to grow and learn outside of your day job.
  • Any kind of technical blog. I don't care about your blog about your love of spaghetti, I want to see if you are capable of communicating technical ideas, and more importantly that you see the value of sharing your knowledge with others. I'm not interested in working with introverts or knowledge hoarders, I want to work with people who are interested in building others up, making an impact on the lives of others, and helping other developers to grow.
  • Recommendations on LinkedIn. I don't care about endorsements; they're essentially worthless as the endorser doesn't need to put any thought into the skill being endorsed and how well the individual actually performed that skill. They simply click the endorse button and move on. Recommendations are different as they require some thought on the part of the recommender and show that the work that you did actually mattered to someone. It also also fairly easy to weed out the true recommendations from the "cookie-cutter" recommendations.
  • A low profile on Facebook, or failing that a "clean" public profile. Twitter is fine, with the same caveat that the profile is clean. Technologists who don't know how to manage their public interactions make me wonder how they manage their professional interactions.

I use this information to prepare for the technical interview, and make notes to call you out on your experience and listed skills. If you walk the walk it will show through in your online presence, face-to-face and pairing interview.

Not having these things is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you're fresh out of college, but having them lets you tell your story. Not to mention that if you have any length of experience I'd be suspicious if you didn't engage in at least some of these activities.

about a year ago
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Linus Torvalds Promises Profanity Over Linux 3.10-rc5

SirLurksAlot Re:Well... (334 comments)

Non-critical doesn't mean trivial or unimportant. Simply because he doesn't see the changes at the same level of criticality (is that a word?) doesn't mean that they're not important to someone. The message he sent out on the mailing list goes on to say:

Anyway, the rc5 changes are pretty much all over: pretty much exactly half are drivers (networking, usb, gpu, mmc, sound..), with the other half being various other subsystems. Some arch updates: MIPS, arm, smattering of ia64, microblaze, s390 and some x86. And networking (non-driver), xfs, fuse, gfs2, jfs..

I don't know about you, but none of those things sound unimportant to me. How long have people been bitching about driver and network support in the kernel? And he's complaining that that stuff is getting fixed? Please. The fact of the matter is that he's annoyed because he refuses the let got of the reins and let someone else help out. If he is the gatekeeper than this is what he should expect.

about a year ago
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Linus Torvalds Promises Profanity Over Linux 3.10-rc5

SirLurksAlot Re:Well... (334 comments)

So, the great thing about an Open Source project is that developers have the ability to say "Hey, I think we can do this better." and then go off and actually fix it. They are not beholden to a corporate IT overlord that says "Thou shalt not commit code that is directly related with the task in front of you!" Telling a contributor that they shouldn't be submitting the code they worked on is a great way to kill creativity and drive people away from the project.

As far as Torvalds getting pissed off (as a feint or not) and talking smack about how when a developer's mother sat round the house she sat around the house he's brought this on himself as the gatekeeper for the project. This is simply the nature of an Open Source project. Furthermore there is nothing that says he can't simply reject a pull request and declare the RC closed for anything but direct bug fixes (which is what he is actually doing I suppose).

FWIW I don't disagree with you exactly, I just think it is important to keep in mind what kind of project and what kind of developers we're talking about.

about a year ago
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Linus Torvalds Promises Profanity Over Linux 3.10-rc5

SirLurksAlot Well... (334 comments)

Everyone has to have a hobby, right?

Seriously though, who the hell cares if the RC is bigger than the one before it, or whether the changes are scattered everywhere? If there were any number of concerns that needed to be addressed before the next release then it wasn't ready to go in the first place. Just test the hell out of everything, make sure nothing is broken, and make sure that each change was necessary and correct. In short calm your tits and keep coding.

about a year ago
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World's Biggest 'Agile' Software Project Close To Failure

SirLurksAlot Re:Agile doesn't mean that the project won't fail (349 comments)

Yes, Ken Schwaber basically said this at Path to Agility on Thursday. I think his exact words were "it was just a word that we thought was clever, but it probably has more of an impact than if we had used 'rigid', or some other word."

At the end of the day the Manifesto really says they support collaboration and getting things done over planning and following a process. It doesn't say a thing about any of the practices that have been implemented in Agile's name.

about a year ago
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World's Biggest 'Agile' Software Project Close To Failure

SirLurksAlot Re:Agile doesn't mean that the project won't fail (349 comments)

There's also a lot of gaps in Agile and IMO while Stories are great they are not a substitute for fully defined requirements analysis.

I hate to break it to you but "fully defined requirements analysis" is a pipe dream filled with rainbows and unicorns. I have never, not once, seen a requirements document that accurately captures exactly what the system will do. Even if it did it would be true for all of 5 minutes before the product owner/user changed their mind and redefined what they want. The whole point of stories is to do things in small, end-to-end slices to produce functionality quickly, let the product owner see it and play with it and then get a better idea of what they really want. I know what you're going to say next: "If they keep changing their minds then how does it ever get done?" Simple, you make it extremely clear that continuously changing their mind directly equates to more time and money spent and prevent other functionality from being implemented.

The key stakeholders either don't pay attention or louder voices who have really no relative bearing to the project somehow get suddenly important. These are often folks with something to gain by holding things up or creating confusion. That is always the problem in all projects but it seems more acute in Agile because "hey, we have a process that can allow for these changes."

You're right, this is true on all projects. Stakeholder involvement has to be managed just like any other aspect of a project. As for "we have a process..."; if you think Agile is about processes then you really don't get it. Agile isn't about processes, it really is about adapting to change and doing what works. If what works is having a daily stand-up and holding team members accountable for for their work then so be it. If it means not pair-programming, then do that too. There are no hard and fast rules.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To (or How NOT To) Train Your Job Replacement?

SirLurksAlot Same Way You Should Do Everything Else For Them (292 comments)

You do it well. You've obviously already determined that they're planning on cutting costs by getting an in-house developer to take over, and I'm assuming you know that means they're not planning on keeping you on that particular project forever. So rather than doing a half-assed job and leaving the newly-minted dev with the codebase, a handshake, and "good luck!" do them a favor and help them learn everything they should know to do a great job. You really have nothing to lose by training the new guy well; you've got other clients lined up, if you do a good job this client may have you come back in the future (when the economy has more fully recovered) and do more work for them, and you'll have built another relationship with a developer who remember that you took the time to help them out.

about a year and a half ago
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Real World Code Sucks

SirLurksAlot Re:School v. Reality (292 comments)

Don't bitch about the quality of the code (manager or academic) in the real world because there are almost no programmers in the corporate world that sit around thinking in O notation and figuring out the best and worst case scenario for every line of code. They bang out 500 lines in a few hours and then hit compile and hope to god it works on the first go.

That's reality people -- you don't have the time, the resources, and if you took the academic attitude to work with you, you'd be cut up and used as shark food by everyone else for being so damn slow and pragmatic when they need things working tonight so they can go home after being there for 15 effing hours to make the latest milestone.

You're working with the wrong programmers then. See, you want the ones that write quality code and test-drive the crap out of everything so they don't have to put in 15 hour days to make the latest milestone. By the way if you're working 15 hour days it means you're mismanaging your manager and their expectations (and/or you suck at your job).

about 2 years ago
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Real World Code Sucks

SirLurksAlot In Other News... (292 comments)

Water is wet, the sky is (perceived as) blue, the world *did not* end, etc.

On a more serious note I wouldn't describe any of the code examples I encountered in school as perfect or "well-thought-out" specimens." Nearly every one of them was a trivial case which ignored most error cases and expected the client human/system/software to be well-behaved. I've often thought that Comp. Sci. students (3rd or 4th year) should be forced to pick up someone else's code and refactor it into something workable. I'm not talking about the disgustingly huge and unmaintainable messes that we work with out in the real world, but something big enough to give them an inkling of the kind of scope they'll be expected to deal with.

I also think that if you're not learning TDD in school these days you're not getting your money's worth, and you'd actually be jeopardizing your career by not learning this early, as it is a life-saver out in the real world.

about 2 years ago
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U.S. Election Day In Progress: What's Been Your Experience?

SirLurksAlot Columbus, OH Voter (821 comments)

I was in and out in about 20 minutes, so my experience was fairly quick. There was a Somali lady in front of me who might have had a more interesting time of it however. I made some small talk with her, and she told me it was her first time voting, as she had just married her husband, an American. I asked her if this was the "F - K" line and she nervously told me that yes it was, but kept repeating "This is the line, be careful, be careful!" as though they wouldn't let me vote if I accidentally got in the wrong line. She was both proud and afraid of the whole process. The interesting bit of this is that when her time came there was some activity, and I made out that she couldn't read the ballot, and wanted to know if her husband (who was also in line) could read it for her. I didn't hear the rest though, as it was quickly my turn at the polling station.

I haven't had a chance to look up the pertinent law regarding whether someone else is allowed to read the ballot or not, but I would imagine this same scenario has played out many times over (This isn't an argument for or against ballots in multiple languages, just an account of a polling incident).

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Rectifying Nerd Arrogance?

SirLurksAlot Halfway There (823 comments)

Congratulations! You're in the process of joining the human race by displaying a sense of self-awareness and an awareness of other's feelings! You've already solved half the problem simply by noticing that you're acting like an arrogant jerk. Next step: When you notice you're about to say or do something arrogant or jerk-like just invoke Wheaton's Law.

Where does it come from: As for where it comes from it is pretty easy to see. Most hardcore nerds spent their youth getting picked and teased for being hardcore nerds. Get them into a field in which most people still regard as Voodoo/High Wizardry (Come on, you have to admit that even though people in general are more familiar with tech now most of them are fairly ignorant of how anything tech-related actually works. This is not a dig against anyone, it is simply a statement that most individuals don't know or care how a given piece of tech works, just that it does.) and it is easy to see how a level of arrogance might develop.

Rectifying it (Issue status - Won't Fix): Luckily this is a self-rectifying problem. Once said arrogant jerks get out into the real world most of them will go through the post-grad school of hard knocks. No one wants to work with an arrogant jerk. A lot of them will either self-correct their behavior and try to play nice with their co-workers, family, friends, etc. The rest won't have enough self-awareness to see what is causing the problem in the first place and will quickly either be out of a job, spouse, friends, etc. Problem solved either way. I've seen both scenarios play out.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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Will Super Powers Give Us Super Problems?

SirLurksAlot SirLurksAlot writes  |  about 5 months ago

SirLurksAlot (1169039) writes "We've all imagined what it would be like to have super powers (I personally can't wait to have the strength of 10 gorillas!), but how often have we stopped to consider what the ramifications of having said powers actually are? How would society change if these abilities became, if not common-place, but real and available? From the article: "In reality, though, enhanced humans already exist ... and they don't look like Marvel characters. As different human enhancement technologies advance at different rates, they bleed into society gradually and without fanfare. What's more, they will increasingly necessitate discussion about areas that are often overlooked – what are the logistics and ethics of being superhuman?""
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Jim Weirich, Creator of Rake Has Passed Away

SirLurksAlot SirLurksAlot writes  |  about 7 months ago

SirLurksAlot (1169039) writes "News is beginning to circulate on Twitter and various sites that Jim Weirich, the creator of Rake, has passed away at the age of 58. He was an active developer (his last commit in the last 24 hours) and has made many contributions to the Ruby community over the years, as well as being a prolific speaker and teacher. He had a great sense of humor and was beloved by many. He will be greatly missed."
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Neural Network Learns to Recognize Humans, Cats, Spatulas

SirLurksAlot SirLurksAlot writes  |  more than 2 years ago

SirLurksAlot (1169039) writes "According to a recent article on IO9 Google X Lab has conducted an experiment in which they connected 1,000 computers (16,000 processors) in a neural network and taught it to recognize human and cat faces. They accomplished this by training the network with 10 million still frames from youtube. Interestingly, during an unsupervised (i.e. undirected) period of time the neural network learned about other concepts with less meaning from a human standpoint. From a Slate http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/06/27/google_computers_learn_to_identify_cats_on_youtube_in_artificial_intelligence_study.html">article: "For instance, they became intrigued by "tool-like objects oriented at 30 degrees," including spatulas and needle-nose pliers."

The abstract from Google can be found here."

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Media Fasts for IT Workers?

SirLurksAlot SirLurksAlot writes  |  more than 4 years ago

SirLurksAlot (1169039) writes "I recently came across an article from 2007 on the Washington Post in which the author asked a class of undergraduates to go 24 hours without any electronic media, including cell phones, MP3 players, computers, etc. The article details the experiences of the students during their 24 period sans technology, which ranged from dismay to a new-found sense of freedom. While the idea of media fasts isn't exactly new I wonder how they might affect IT workers. As a developer I often find myself bordering on obsessed when it comes to writing code, and nearly so with technology in general even though I try to strike a balance in life. Working in the corporate world makes the idea of a media fast doubly hard due to work responsibilities and on-call duty. So I ask you, Slashdotters, what is your experience with media fasting? Have you attempted it and if so what were the results? Is a media fast even possible for the average IT worker?"
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Walking Dead Comic Coming to Television

SirLurksAlot SirLurksAlot writes  |  more than 5 years ago

SirLurksAlot (1169039) writes "Wired currently has an article up which bears good tidings for all zombie fans. The popular comic The Walking Dead is shambling its way to television. For those who haven't heard about it The Walking Dead is an ongoing zombie survival comic by writer Robert Kirkman which follows a small band of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world. According to Kirkman: '"The Walking Dead is the zombie movie that never ends, essentially,"' Kirkman went on to say '"Most zombie movies are about a group of characters dealing with extenuating circumstances and extreme conditions, until the length of the movie runs out and then they hop into a helicopter and it goes off. Watching those movies, I always thought the interesting part is, 'What do they do next?'"'' While there is no air date as of yet The Walking Dead will be appearing on AMC."
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Reason for Motor Skill Memory Formation Discovered

SirLurksAlot SirLurksAlot writes  |  more than 5 years ago

SirLurksAlot (1169039) writes "According to an article on physorg.com scientists have discovered why motor skill memories form. The research team involved in the discovery was trying to understand connections between nerve cells and the cerebellum which enabled learning. Dr. Peer Wulff, one of the lead researchers, stated "What we were interested in was finding out how memories are encoded in the brain. We found that there is a cell which structures the signal output from the cerebellum into a particular code that is engraved as memory for a newly learned motor skill." This discovery could lead to significant advances in the area of prosthetics."
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H1-Bs Outnumbering Unemployed IT Workers

SirLurksAlot SirLurksAlot writes  |  more than 5 years ago

SirLurksAlot (1169039) writes "According to an article on Computerworld the US government is beginning to raise questions concerning H1-Bs and visa fraud in relation to IT workers. These questions were raised as part of a court filing against an IT firm known as Visions Systems Group in New Jersey. The firm has been indicted on charges of visa fraud, and the government has stated that those involved were "displacing qualified American workers." The government also issued a brief in which it stated that "In January of 2009, the total number of workers employed in the information technology occupation under the H-1B program substantially exceeded the 241,000 unemployed U.S. citizen workers within the same occupation," though it did not provide data to back up that assertion. Meanwhile the Department of Homeland Security is arguing that extending the duration of an H1-B visa from one year to 29 months is necessary to remain competitive."
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Freelance Developer Best Practices

SirLurksAlot SirLurksAlot writes  |  more than 5 years ago

SirLurksAlot writes "Due to the recent economic troubles my last employer (who is part of the foreign automotive industry) had to make a series of budget cuts, and unfortunately I was laid off. I have been on the job hunt since then, however in the mean time I have begun freelancing as a web developer. This is my first time in this role and so I would like the ask Slashdot readers: are there any best practices for freelance developers? What kind of process should I use when dealing with clients? Should I bill by the hour or provide a fixed quote on a per-project basis? What kind of assurances should I get from the client before I begin work? What is the best way to create accurate time estimates? I'm also wondering if there are any good open source tools for freelancers, such as for time-tracking and invoice creation (aside from simply using a spreadsheet). As I said I'm very new to freelancing, and any suggestions or insights would be welcome."
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Universal Acquires Wheel of Time Film Rights

SirLurksAlot SirLurksAlot writes  |  more than 6 years ago

SirLurksAlot (1169039) writes "According to Variety.com Universal Pictures has acquired the film rights to the Wheel of Time series. The price tag on the rights to the series was reported at seven figures. The films will be produced by Red Eagle Entertainment whom fans will recognize as the company which helped to produce the prequel, New Spring, in comic form. Readers may recall that the series' author, Robert Jordan, passed away in September of last year, and that the last book of the series is being completed by Brian Sanderson. As a fan of the series I am both excited and horrified at the prospect of the series making its way to the big screen, and I'm sure many other readers will feel the same."
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Best Buy Selling Ubuntu

SirLurksAlot SirLurksAlot writes  |  more than 6 years ago

SirLurksAlot (1169039) writes "It appears that Best Buy is now selling Ubuntu, both through its website as well as in its brick and mortar locations. Going by the release on the product page Ubuntu has actually been available for the low low price of $19.99 since May 6th of this year, and is being packaged as the "Complete Edition." While they don't specify what version they carry on their website, a quick call to a local store revealed it to be Hardy Heron, the latest Long Term Support version. One has to wonder how this development flew under the radar for almost two months without it being picked up by anyone."
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Arecibo Observatory Facing Massive Budget Cuts

SirLurksAlot SirLurksAlot writes  |  more than 6 years ago

SirLurksAlot (1169039) writes "Many supporters of the SETI@home project have recently received a message informing them of impending budget cuts for the Arecibo Observatory and asks them to show their support for the project by writing to Congress. The letter also informs supporters that there are currently two bills (Senate bill 2862 sponsored by Senator Hillary Clinton, and a similar House bill, H.R. 3737), which are intended to secure funding for the project. According to The Planetary Society the current plan for the Arecibo Observatory involves cutting funding by more than 60% from $10.4 million to just $4 million by 2011."
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Microsoft Applies for "Digital Manners" Pa

SirLurksAlot SirLurksAlot writes  |  more than 6 years ago

SirLurksAlot (1169039) writes "Ars Technica reports that Microsoft has recently applied for a patent for a technology which would attempt to enforce manners in the use of cell phones, digital cameras, DVRs and other digital devices. According to the article the technology could be used to bring common social conventions such as "No flash photography" and "No talking out loud" to these devices by disabling features or disabling the device entirely. The article also points out that the technology could be implemented in situations involving sensitive equipment, such as in airplanes or hospitals. The patent application itself is also an interesting read, as it describes a number of possible uses for the technology, including "in particular zones to limit the speed and/or acceleration of vehicles, to require the use of lights, to verify an indication of insurance coverage and/or current registration, or the like." While this technology could certainly be of interest to any number of organizations one has to wonder how the individuals who own devices which obey so-called "Digital Manners Policies" would feel about it."
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McCain and Obama on Net Neutrality, Privacy

SirLurksAlot SirLurksAlot writes  |  more than 6 years ago

SirLurksAlot (1169039) writes "Ars Technica has an article up comparing the presidential candidates' views on issues which are near and dear to the hearts of most Slashdotters, including net neutrality, privacy, telecom immunity and their overall philosophy on technology. Concerning net neutrality, the two camps seems to have very different views. An adviser for McCain (Chuck Fish, who also happens to be a former Time Warner executive.) argues against imposing regulations on service providers while Obama's technology adviser (Daniel Weitzner, who is a computer scientist hailing from MIT) states that "Openness is more important than bandwidth," going on to say that "I'd rather have a more open Internet at lower speeds than a faster Internet that has all sorts of discrimination built in. We've lived with tiny narrow little pipes and done extraordinary things with them." I don't know about everyone else, but in this case I would like to have my cake and eat it too."
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Study: Telecommuting makes work worse for non-tele

SirLurksAlot SirLurksAlot writes  |  more than 6 years ago

SirLurksAlot (1169039) writes "A recent article on Ars Technica states that telecommuting may have adverse effects on those who stay in the office. According to the article researcher Timothy Golden "found that in-office employees took less satisfaction in their jobs and felt less of a relationship and obligation to their company as the number of telecommuting coworkers grew. In-office employees in his study became disappointed at having fewer and weaker relationships. They also got frustrated at a perceived increase in workload and difficulties that telecommuting can present to finishing projects and building strong working relationships.""
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FTC Issues Ad-Tracking Guidelines

SirLurksAlot SirLurksAlot writes  |  more than 6 years ago

SirLurksAlot (1169039) writes "According to an article on out-law.com (which can also be found here) the FTC has released a set of guidelines for the advertising industry regarding the tracking a user's online activities. From the article: '"Behavioral advertising provides benefits to consumers in the form of free content and personalized advertising but ... this practice is largely invisible and unknown to consumers," said an FTC statement. "The purpose of this proposal is to encourage more meaningful and enforceable self-regulation to address the privacy concerns raised with respect to behavioral advertising."'

The actual guidelines, which are also linked in the article, can be found on the FTC's website in PDF format."

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Congress to Probe FCC with Red Hot Questions

SirLurksAlot SirLurksAlot writes  |  more than 6 years ago

SirLurksAlot (1169039) writes "According to an article on Ars Technica it appears that Congress is planning to question the FCC on the way regarding how the commission is run. From the article: "The FCC — and Chairman Kevin Martin in particular — are in hot water with Congress over the way that the Commission is run. While Martin was at CES, telling all who would listen that the FCC will investigate Comcast's traffic-shaping practices, the House Energy and Commerce Committee announced a formal investigation of the FCC. The news couldn't be more welcome to the industries that the FCC regulates.""
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Australia National ID Plan Derailed

SirLurksAlot SirLurksAlot writes  |  more than 6 years ago

SirLurksAlot (1169039) writes "Australia seems to be big in the news lately regarding privacy and censorship, as previously discussed here. According to this article, the latest development down under centered around a proposed "Human Services Access Card," which would have contained personal information, and which have been stored in on an encrypted RFID chip.

From the article: "Had it been implemented, the Access Card program would have required Australians to present the smart card anytime they dealt with certain federal departments, including Medicare, Centrelink, the Child Support Agency, or Veterans' Affairs."

The plan has since been shut down by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd."
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Salaries Growing for Computer Science Grads

SirLurksAlot SirLurksAlot writes  |  more than 6 years ago

SirLurksAlot (1169039) writes "A recent study shows that Computer Science graduates are experiencing an increase in starting salaries. Despite (or perhaps because of) a reduced interest in Computer Science in colleges across the nation and the recent trend towards outsourcing, it looks like there could be a change of fortune for current Comp. Sci. graduates. From the article "A recent study of post-college careers from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (also noted by the Chronicle) found that computer-science grads saw their average starting salary offers grow by 4.5 percent last year alone. The new average salary for a job right out of college is now $53,051. That's the highest amount this decade.""
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