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NASA Laying Foundation For Jupiter Moon Space Mission

Spugglefink Re:What's been the hold up???? (100 comments)

We just have to convince someone that water from Europa is a miracle tonic that grows hair and enlarges the penis. The funding will take care of itself.

about two weeks ago
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Linux Developers Consider On-Screen QR Codes For Kernel Panics

Spugglefink Re:Good idea (175 comments)

I have a couple of bad micro SD cards. Put one into a card reader on a Linux machine, try to read some of the files, and presto magnifico, kernel panic every time. Windows handles this corruption a lot more elegantly, incidentally, but the hardware is toast either way.

about two weeks ago
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The Neuroscientist Who Discovered He Was a Psychopath

Spugglefink brain scan? (241 comments)

Having learned that psychopaths are more attractive to women than guys who have good jobs and don't punch them in the face, I'd like to have a brain scan and see if I'm lucky enough to be a psychopath. If I am, maybe I can get laid!

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Attracting Developers To Abandonware?

Spugglefink Re:$40,000 a year (321 comments)

Curious, have you ever tried giving a realistic estimate to someone who's asked you to do something like that?

Yes. I've provided estimates I felt were very fair. I bill based on what a competent person ought to be able to do with something, and don't charge for the extra time I have to spend due to not being competent with some particular language or toolkit or what have you. If the project is in Python, I don't know Python, so I'm not going to charge for the time I have to spend reading up on the language.

In this case, the $40,000 estimate is realistic for me, simply because that's what I would actually have to have in order to endeavor to complete this task. There is more work there than I can get done while working 80 hours at a day job and having a little bit left over for a life, so if I'm taking on a project of that magnitude, I have no choice but to interrupt my regular employment. There probably isn't enough work in IceWM or whatever we're talking about to justify paying one guy to work on it full time for a year, but my regular gig is an all or nothing proposition where I either eat all the food on my plate, or I get none at all. That's what it would take for me, but obviously anybody actually hiring me for this job under these circumstances is a moron, and to that extent my offer is not especially serious.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Attracting Developers To Abandonware?

Spugglefink Re:$40,000 a year (321 comments)

What's wrong with, "Hey, if you (fix this bug|add this feature), I'll pay you $x. No rush, do it in your spare time, and whenever you get it done you'll get paid"?

In principle, nothing. In practice, $x is always a figure that's off by at least one order of magnitude relative to the amount of work involved in accomplishing the desired goal.

It helps if you already know the code, the language, and the toolkit intimately. The more you know ahead of time, the easier it is to accomplish some goal for hire. In practice, the more intimately involved you are with a project, the less $x will be. I've had people offer to buy me a six-pack of beer in exchange for what amounts to 50 hours of work to someone familiar with the code and able to get off and running quickly. Another time, I got offered $50 for a similar amount of work, which is much better, but still laughable. Sure, I know the code, but it still takes time and work to implement and test something. I work on that particular code for free, but if I'm for hire, I'm going to get at least minimum wage. Otherwise, I'm simply not for hire.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Attracting Developers To Abandonware?

Spugglefink Re:$40,000 a year (321 comments)

That's extreme, do you anticipate there really be enough work to maintain IceWM every single working day?

No, I anticipate there being enough work that I can't get it done and work 70 hours at my day job too. Let's say it only takes me four months of highly concentrated effort to get everything up to date and humming along, after which future maintenance will be much easier to manage. All I have to do is take four months off from my day job, which means I give up my seniority, my vacation pay, my sick pay, my experience pay, my bonuses, my health insurance, and I start over from square one four months from now when they rehire me. If they rehire me.

I'd like to do this badly enough to make some huge personal sacrifices, but one full year paid up front is the least I'll take in order to gamble everything and trade away all the benefits of staying with my nose to the corporate grindstone.

Indeed, if I could pull together multiple projects, everybody could pay less. Too many projects, and I can't get the work done though. Financing for such things is extremely unpredictable too, and I might get paid this year and never get paid again, so I have to go off and hunt up some other project to work on.

Hunting work takes time too. All in all, I'll just keep my day job until somebody meets my price. This means I will be keeping my day job in perpetuity, unfortunately for me, and unfortunately for all the FOSS I could have worked on, had I but time. Oh well.

This is why it's impossible to pay somebody to work on your pet FOSS project, unless you have deep pockets, or a gigantic base of users with shallow pockets and the will to empty them. The best way to get FOSS done is to go do it yourself, and do it for free, out of love. If you can't code, and you can't pay, then you're just shit out of luck. Incidentally, while obviously somewhat over-valued, Ohloh.net lists IceWM as having an estimated commercial development cost of about $2,000,000 USD. $40,000 is jack shit. It's not even one real salary for a developer.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Attracting Developers To Abandonware?

Spugglefink $40,000 a year (321 comments)

As long as you pay me $40,000 USD a year, I'll continue maintaining IceWM for you in perpetuity. That would be taking a big pay cut to do something boring that I have no interest in doing, but it would be worth it to get to work at home in my underwear.

I don't know how many times I've been approached by someone who wanted to "pay" me to do work like this. Yeah, $60 isn't going to get you anywhere, Bunky. Sorry bud. You want me to do something that's going to eat all my time, then I'm quitting my day job, and guess who has to make my house payment and crap? Right!

about 7 months ago
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What Keeps You On (or Off) Windows in 2013?

Spugglefink Re:2001 (1215 comments)

Ooh, yes. Good old Windows ME. It did wonders in convincing people to ditch Windows!

It did indeed. I've been exposed to everything since then, except Windows 8. None of them are as bad as ME was, but none of them are especially interesting either. Windows is pretty bland.

My kids grew up on KDE. My daughter's Wacom tablet gave up the ghost, so I bought her a new one. There were no Linux drivers yet (score one for Windows), so I went out and bought her a brand new computer with Windows on it so she could use her tablet. She ended up crying. She tried to make a go of it, but she just wasn't comfortable with something alien and new. I ended up faffing about for days with experimental drivers until I got the thing working.

I guess where I'm at in life, if I wanted to use the tablet, I'd just leave Windows on the computer and go with the flow. That's why I bought the damn new computer in the first place; spend money, solve problem. Hardware on Linux either works flawlessly, or you my as well just grab a brick and start pounding yourself in the head with it. However, what father can stand to see his baby girl cry because you just handed her a steaming turd called Windows and took away everything she loves?

Come to think of it, that was a year or two ago, and I never updated anything on that computer. She's still using some ancient kernel with the old, experimental drivers. I guess they work, huh?

about 10 months ago
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What Keeps You On (or Off) Windows in 2013?

Spugglefink 2001 (1215 comments)

The last copy of Windows I ran on a personal computer of mine that I owned was Windows ME. I don't guess I'm ever switching back.

about 10 months ago
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'Smart Gun' Firm Wants You To Fund Its Prototype

Spugglefink Sawstop (558 comments)

Yay, the Sawstop of guns!

about 10 months ago
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Open Source Projects For Beginners

Spugglefink Re:All projects need your help. (212 comments)

I started that way, and ten years later I'm running the project I started documenting. I've never been a real programmer, but I have basic programming skills. You can go a long way if you're trying to accomplish something you really want to do. Then again, the majority of would-be contributors to this project over the years have been useless. I'm an outlier, not a common phenomenon. Getting the right mix of abilities and motivation and compatibility with the common project goals is actually really hard. Most people are like the guys who helped me plant trees one time, where I had to go back and plant all the trees again after they left. Volunteering to feel good about yourself for volunteering doesn't really help the project go forward.

about a year ago
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Google Reportedly Making a Smartwatch, Too

Spugglefink My smart watch... (196 comments)

My smart watch has little teeny gears that go round and round, and it tells you what time it is.

1 year,26 days
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Study Finds Universe Is 100 Million Years Older Than Previously Thought

Spugglefink Re:The difference between science and religion (245 comments)

I have heard the same bullshit claims about alteration, re-translation and rewrites over and over again. I am really bored and tired of it.

Uhhhh... You're blind? The only reason I study the Bible at all is to find amusing ways to get proselytizers to leave me alone. Even with just the most casual, basic comparative study of one version against any other, it's extremely and painfully obvious that one translation says one thing, and another translation says something else. This is especially evident if you compare versions in different languages, and I've read bits of the Bible in Spanish, French, Latin and ancient Greek, along with several different English translations. You don't have to look hard at all. Let's just take my favorite example off the top of my head, Exodus 22:18:

Do not allow a sorceress to live.

Thou shalt not suffer a sorceress to live.

Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

maleficos non patieris vivere

A la hechicera no dejarás que viva.

No dejarás con vida a la hechicera.

Tu ne laisseras point vivre la magicienne.

Tu ne laisseras point vivre la sorcière.

[Greek removed by Slashdot]

The word in bold is variously translated into modern languages as something like witch, sorceress, etc. and it's almost always in the feminine in translations. The word [Greek removed by Slashdot] is obscure and hard to translate definitively, but "animal" is a common translation, and the word is neuter in gender. Maleficos in Latin is masculine, and means something like "doers of evil" etymologically, and is translated as things like "evil, wicked, accursed ones." Greek and Latin are as far back as I can go, but there's nothing in either language to suggest the original author intended this to apply only to female wicked people, and yet that is how it has ended up in every modern language I can read. It even ended up that way in Latin eventually, changing gender to feminine in Malleus maleficarum.

So, to summarize, the only bullshit is believing that none of the countless people who have dipped their fingers into the Biblical pie over the centuries have ever let their personal views or the times they were living in color what they did with the text. Sure they have.

1 year,27 days
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Where Have All the Gadgets Gone?

Spugglefink More... (278 comments)

I own more electronic gadgets than I did in 2005, because I have an extra printer, and a smart phone. What's the point of the article? Besides, why does anybody give a flying rat's ass how many electronic gadgets you own? ZOMFG people have fewer gadgets teh wr0ld is ENDING!!!!!

about a year ago
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Too Much Gold Delays World's Fastest Supercomputer

Spugglefink Re:Off-topic but just FYI (111 comments)

Did you know that people in North America pronounce "solder" as "sodder"? I had no idea until I moved to the US and I still find it hilarious!

I did indeed know that, being from North America. However, I just learned that people elsewhere pronounce it differently. That's interesting. What, do you pronounce the L or something? Do you pronounce the L in "walk" too? Here "walk" and "wok" are basically homophones.

Uhhhh, you may now resume your regularly scheduled scheme to become jillionaires by mining computers for a few milligrams of gold.

about a year ago
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Is Daylight Saving Time Worth Saving?

Spugglefink Re: Morning sunlight is a waste (646 comments)

the free market Decides

and "don't" forget to put lots of "Quotes" on things too!

about a year ago
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Cherry's New Keyboard Switches Emulate IBM Model M Feel

Spugglefink Re:As opposed to actual Model Ms which are still m (298 comments)

I agree. Let's also get rid of the 1 and use the L key instead. Get rid of the 0 in favour of the O too whilst you're at it.

Seriously there are still secretaries who do that AND they use spreadsheets. Scary..

They learned to type the same way I did. Bang bang bang bang bang DING! bang bang WHACK!

about a year ago
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Cherry's New Keyboard Switches Emulate IBM Model M Feel

Spugglefink Re:Because it isn't ergonomic (298 comments)

If you write for a living, as I do, you need a decent keyboard, and by that, I do not mean an "ergonomic" one. If your wrists are that bad, I'm sorry for you, but you'll never be a really effective typist. With squish comes missed keys, double presses, constant backing up for errors and overall low typing speeds. If one is a "hunt and pecker", who mostly lives by the mouse (as many are) that's fine, but if you write all day, every day... it's just not.

I stopped counting how many words I'd banged out after I passed 10,000,000, and I've done the vast majority of it on Microsoft Natural keyboards of one flavor or another. I have no idea how fast I type in absolute terms, and don't care, but words flow out of my fingers as fast as I can think them, and I'm getting along perfectly fine with ergonomic keyboards. Put me on one of those old school rectangular brick things, and it's a completely different story.

about a year ago
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Russians Find "New Bacteria" In Lake Vostok

Spugglefink "Quotes" mean it's a "good article" every time (147 comments)

This "article" was clearly "no exception" to that "rule." The more things you put in "quotes" the better everything "is."

about a year ago
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'Download This Gun' — 3-D Printed Gun Reliable Up To 600 Rounds

Spugglefink Re:The World is not entirely filled with idiots (582 comments)

usually they do their research and have a pretty good idea on how far to push it. Usually.

You ain't went to the same range I have and saw Ol' Tater there sayin' "Fuck'at reloadin' manual. I jist filled that sumbitch with powder until it wouldn't hold no more. Here y'all, watch'is shit!"

Can anybody guess what happened next? The word is shrapnel, boys and girls. OK, OK, you did say, "usually," so you are fully disclaimed.

about a year ago

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