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Scientists Find Traces of Sea Plankton On ISS Surface

Sowelu Re:This actually makes perfect sense. (97 comments)

I would expect it's more likely that it picked the stuff up during launch. Water vapor in the air at low altitudes?

yesterday
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The Benefits of Inequality

Sowelu Can't leave (253 comments)

I don't know about "benefits"...even the abstract says that one of the main triggers to accepting leadership was that the populace had nowhere to go, or that it was too costly to leave.

about a week ago
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Writer: Internet Comments Belong On Personal Blogs, Not News Sites

Sowelu Re:Moderation? (298 comments)

I'm amazed at the noise that doesn't get buried. If you don't browse at 2+ or even 3+, there's an awful lot of juvenile trolling. Yes, yes, I know the normal Slashdot response, if you don't like trolling then you're too thin-skinned to live. But if I go to a nice restaurant, or hell even McDonalds, at the very least I don't want some nutjob banging on the windows flashing his junk at everyone. That's like...at least half the articles here, and it takes hours for those comments to get moderated down to -1.

about a week ago
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Comparison: Linux Text Editors

Sowelu My favorite dig on emacs (402 comments)

"Emacs is a great operating system, if only it had a decent text editor!"

about three weeks ago
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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

Sowelu Chalk up another one (544 comments)

I'm also desperately waiting for another model with a slide out keyboard. I moved from the Samsung Epic (truly great phone but the charge port is attached to the motherboard very weakly), to the Photon Q (unremovable battery is a big minus), and I'm not sure where to go from here. Maybe back to the Epic if I can find one.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Preparing an Android Tablet For Resale?

Sowelu Re:Two Steps (113 comments)

The poster said it won't boot, so they're selling it for parts. Some of those parts might still have data, and must be identified physically. Storage is awful tiny these days, so unless you know what you're looking for, you could miss a long term cache.

about three weeks ago
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'Just Let Me Code!'

Sowelu Re:Code the way you want... (372 comments)

Well, it's different in the ways that make a difference for me...which weirdly enough are "different syntactic sugar" and "a different IDE". It's not as different as it could be, but it does have the advantage of keeping me sharp in the same concepts Java uses as well. I don't have to yell at Eclipse when I'm at home, and I get legit excited when I can play with Linq. (What has my life become...) And that's enough to prevent burnout. But, projectwise, instead of writing backend server components for internet things, I'm writing one big program that decompiles an old retro game and extracts its map and graphics data with a nice graphical client. It feels too big for python. I guess at this point, "small projects" means "things that are not fifty-dev enterprise software things". Small enough that one developer can actually do it all.

I can say that being one dev in control of an entire hobby project makes me a better unit tester (seriously, what company actually follows its own internal UT guidelines) and is great for architecture experience, if you are a midlevel SDE on the rise.

There's probably something positive intellectually about having two languages with slightly different data structures; when you try to solve a problem the same way and are forced to make minor changes, you might find optimizations that are useful in both languages.

My hobby language used to be Multi-User Forth. That got tedious.

about a month ago
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'Just Let Me Code!'

Sowelu Re:Code the way you want... (372 comments)

May I also suggest that you make your work and your hobby /different languages/, so you can more easily separate them. When I've worked and coded-for-fun in Java at the same time, I'm miserable. When I started taking up C# at home (can the language hate, it's fine for small projects) I had a lot more fun. Work in the web industry? Write native apps for a hobby! You CAN code for work and for fun, but only if the projects are different enough that you can get in an entirely different headspace while having fun.

about a month ago
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The Department of Homeland Security Needs Its Own Edward Snowden

Sowelu Re:i bet (190 comments)

I guess she could run to Abu Dhabi instead.

about a month ago
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No RIF'd Employees Need Apply For Microsoft External Staff Jobs For 6 Months

Sowelu This is actually pretty nice. (282 comments)

As a former paid Microsoft shill (okay, contractor on like four different projects), I would wholeheartedly welcome this if I ever went back. Which I won't, but still.

One year was too little time. It takes months to ramp up; now you get a lot more productive time.

And 90 days of downtime between jobs was awkward--it's hard to set up a 3 month contract that fit perfectly in those dates. Realistically, you'd find another 6-month job in the meantime, and not go back to Microsoft until well after the mandatory break, even if MS was the best job you could get at the time.

So yeah. This is better for employees' stability, and for managers getting more productive time out of contractors.

about a month ago
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New York Judge OKs Warrant To Search Entire Gmail Account

Sowelu Re:Unconstitutional (150 comments)

Let's not exaggerate about "no difference". Writs of assistance, and searches in general, back in the revolutionary days were highly disruptive to life and business. If someone copies out your entire gmail folder you probably won't notice it, it's not like they'll be taking up space and getting in your way and throwing your files around as you try to read it yourself. They were even used to gain entrance to a place and trash it under the guise of a search.

I'm not making a value judgment on the merits of this case or whether it's reasonable or not, but you are drawing a false equivalency. Seizing all of a person's electronics equipment or servers is a much closer analogy. Non-destructive copying with zero downtime is not.

about a month ago
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New York Judge OKs Warrant To Search Entire Gmail Account

Sowelu Re:Two sides to this... (150 comments)

Thing is, that's not actually so bad to me at all. If you could tell whether someone was lying or telling the truth about performing some illegal act--and be certain of it (big assumption)--I'd wholeheartedly support it. It would catch criminals a lot faster, and exonerate the innocent a lot faster, what on earth could be bad about that? As you're describing it, it doesn't sound like it's violating any privacy of yours, except for the specific fact "did you commit the crime". It's just a one-shot perfectly accurate truth serum.

It certainly doesn't violate the 5th Amendment. The "no self incrimination" is specifically to cut down on coerced, inaccurate testimony. If this thing was accurate, it's a completely different issue.

It seems to me that almost every Internet Anti-Government Crusader's true agenda is "protect my right to lie to the authorities", or "protect my right to not get caught". Doesn't get any of my respect.

about a month ago
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New York Judge OKs Warrant To Search Entire Gmail Account

Sowelu Re:Warrants are supposed to be narrow (150 comments)

God, it's nice to see someone on here who doesn't think the government is a literal force of primal evil. Having even a little faith in the system seems to be thoughtcrime on internet boards.

about a month ago
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Point-of-Sale System Bought On eBay Yields Treasure Trove of Private Data

Sowelu Re:meh, they're retail workers (68 comments)

or New York City for that matter...

about a month ago
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US House Passes Permanent Ban On Internet Access Taxes

Sowelu Re:This will die in the senate (148 comments)

In truth, this is also why Social Security has its problems. When it was established, it was "You likely won't live to use it, but if you do, you will be well taken care of". It was insurance against an uncommon and, in a way, kind of negative thing happening to you: Living to an age such that you could no longer support yourself. It was a luxury that not many people had, and it could absolutely be hard on your family. Of course, now almost everyone lives long enough to collect it.

No, it wasn't meant to be a replacement for savings, and you weren't supposed to get out what you put in. A small portion of the population was supposed to collect it, because most of them didn't live long enough to.

about a month ago
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My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

Sowelu Re: Dimmable LEDs (278 comments)

Uh, what else would you control it with?

(serious question, I guess? I've never seen a dimmer that wasn't a push-knob)

about a month ago
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What Happens When Gaming Auteurs Try To Go It Alone?

Sowelu So maps... (86 comments)

I don't know much about what he actually did at Epic aside from some of Unreal Tournament's best maps (it was pretty awesome that it showed the author name when you loaded a map) and I don't know what his job was the other companies at all. Was he a coder? Designer? Producer? Artist/art director? Nothing but level-design-o-rama?

about a month ago
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The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

Sowelu Re:Why is this news? (443 comments)

Cyclists ARE a menace, to themselves. I nearly killed one two years ago because he blew a stop sign coming down a hill, swerved in front of me, hooked his tires into a trolley track and fell over about 20' in front of my car. If I hadn't been driving below the speed limit he would have been street pizza.

Biking in hilly, high density areas (like downtown Seattle) should require a license. One that can be revoked.

about a month ago

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