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Comments

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Using Handheld Phone GPS While Driving Is Legal In California

Yold Re:Dumb ruling (142 comments)

From the statute:

23123. (a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.

"Using a wireless telephone" is the part that is open to interpretation. I never said anything about any other object (map, etc.). The person had the phone in their hand. The vehicle was running and on a roadway (i.e. "driving"). I disagree that using smartphone functionality doesn't fall under the "using a wireless telephone" part of the statute.

about 6 months ago
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Using Handheld Phone GPS While Driving Is Legal In California

Yold Re:Dumb ruling (142 comments)

Read the article, there is a relevant clause of the legislation that is open to interpretation. This is why we have courts, so that the interpretation of laws can progress with changes to technology, society, etc.

How are police supposed to distinguish between drivers texting and drivers using their GPS? Texting requires hands-free operation, so should using a GPS.

about 6 months ago
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Using Handheld Phone GPS While Driving Is Legal In California

Yold Dumb ruling (142 comments)

I think that a smartphone mount should be mandatory so that the device isn't in your hand. Texting and driving is a huge safety issue, and I'd imaging that screwing around with a GPS (entering text) is similarly dangerous. It's unfortunate that the court isn't willing to uphold the spirit of the law here.

about 6 months ago
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More Students Learn CS In 3 Days Than Past 100 Years

Yold Re:Grammatical oversight (287 comments)

Well said. This is a positive aspect of H1B visas; it can (emphasis on can) allow for an elastic workforce that can filled in economic boom times, and scaled back during economic decline.

about 9 months ago
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Putting the Wolfram Language (and Mathematica) On Every Raspberry Pi

Yold Re:Blatant Shill (99 comments)

Woah, can't believe anyone else knows about Arc. I was one of the unfortunate few that had to use it for a regression class in college. The language is used in the textbook Applied Regression including Computing Graphics. Since the professor also wrote the textbook and Arc has strong ties to my alma mater, I figured they just had blinders on since the rest of the statistics world was already using R.

If you are interested in trying this (awful) software out for yourself, it is available for download here http://www.stat.umn.edu/arc/software.html.

about 9 months ago
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Acer Officially Announces C720 Chromebook

Yold Re:Questions (115 comments)

It runs OK (google Chrubuntu), but the WiFi and trackpad drivers were so finicky that it was a deal breaker. ChromeOS actually is a stripped down version of Linux, which means that you can actually run a full-blown linux desktop along side it via Crouton (using a chroot). If that sounds tedious, it is actually fool-proof to install.
Since the trackpad and WiFi drivers are still handled by ChromeOS (again, a linux kernel), it works great! If you are looking for a good linux laptop, I'd highly recommend it, especially if price and battery are your two main considerations.

 

about a year ago
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Acer Officially Announces C720 Chromebook

Yold Pretty darn useful little machines (115 comments)

I recently replaced my MacBook Air with a Acer Chromebook refurb I picked up for $150 on ebay. It is an awesome portable dev machine. Good battery life, and Crouton is incredible. You can run Linux and ChromeOS simultaneously (via a chroot); it makes switching between the a matter of two keystrokes. I never thought I'd actually like ChromeOS, but it's actually pretty slick.

about a year ago
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A Case For a Software Testing Undergrad Major

Yold Re:Specialization - sure. Major - maybe. (220 comments)

The lack of courses on testing is probably due to the immortal spirit of Knuth looking over the CS curriculum committee members' shoulders.

Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by him:

Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it.

about a year ago
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A Case For a Software Testing Undergrad Major

Yold Not what university education is about (220 comments)

Universities are not technical schools. Ideally, they provide a broad theoretical framework that allows people to develop a career over the next few decades following their graduation. What the article is suggesting is that people be forced to pay for narrow training, pigeonholing them into a career path which may or may not exist (or be practical) in 20 years.

University education is meta-education. It enables life-long learning. Businesses expecting fresh graduates to have received (and paid for) training in technology-dejour is a disturbing trend in the software industry.

about a year ago
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Most IT Admins Have Considered Quitting Due To Stress

Yold Re:Rapid change in IT is the problem (397 comments)

It's not a matter of maturity. Many organizations hide behind the disclaimer "we are not an I.T. company", despite having sizable I.T. departments. And despite having this sizable department, which offers mission-critical applications and infrastructure, zero effort is made towards working smarter. Problems are fixed with mandatory overtime, cutting staffing/costs, and "quick-and-dirty" fixes to long standing problems.

I think some companies are starting to understand that their project management methodologies are flawed, but most cannot connect the concepts of "software debt" to decreasing marginal output in their I.T. efforts. An hour of work today is less effective than in the past because you are paying "interest" on your previous bad decisions.

I think that the 27% is reflective of companies that can connect the longevity and cost-effectiveness of I.T. systems to proper project planning, management, and I.T. expertise. Whether or not this is an upper-bound remains to be seen, because a lot of organizations simply don't understand that inventing your own project management ideas dooms you to repeating the same failures that have happened over the last 50 years.

about a year and a half ago
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Objective-C Comes of Age

Yold Re:Yes but (437 comments)

it's impossible to do an Android app without using Java

The Android NDK lets you write code in C/C++. http://developer.android.com/sdk/ndk/index.html

Seriously Slashdot, bring out the nerds. There is so much incorrect information in this thread getting modded up. Hold the obligatory "you must be new here" jokes.

more than 2 years ago
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Objective-C Comes of Age

Yold Re:Yes but (437 comments)

Objective-C usage is based on Vendor lock-in

You can write Objective-C on Linux and Windows, it's fully supported by GCC. You meant to say Cocoa. There is no reason why you can't write a QT GUI, or WinAPI application using Objective-C.

Windows is not tied to a language

But the .NET managed code environment, which is essentially MSIL (a language), certainly is tied to Windows. Most new Windows applications are written in .NET, which creates the same vendor lock-in problem you are trying to bash objective-c for. Mono is too incomplete to count, I'd imagine it lacks support for WPF, WCF, and other emerging .NET technologies.

more than 2 years ago
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Objective-C Comes of Age

Yold Re:New features (437 comments)

You can always use MonoTouch (http://xamarin.com/monotouch), if you want to write C# on iOS.

more than 2 years ago
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Objective-C Comes of Age

Yold Re:New features (437 comments)

It's still too verbose

Fixed that for you. For the uninitiated, trimming a string is as simple as

NSString *s = [stringToTrim stringByTrimmingCharactersInSet: [NSCharacterSet whitespaceCharacterSet]];

The way the language functions is beautiful, but they seriously need to get rid of stuff like this.

more than 2 years ago
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IE6 Almost Dead In the US

Yold Re:A cheer goes up (335 comments)

With CSS, I have to constantly have a seperate page open containing the CSS, and its not inherently clear in the HTML how things are being laid out on the page.

Yes that is the point, to separate layout (styling) from semantics. Use a <style> tag if it bothers you that much.

I think CSS makes sense as a concept, but learning it is really quite annoying for the most part.

FTFY. I work with developers who share your sentiments. I also feel like bashing my head into my desk when I work on the mangled, crufty, mess of nested tables that has been globbered together over 7 years. I will definitely agree with you that CSS is a pain in the ass to wrap your head around, but it really doesn't take much more than a basic understanding of margin/float/display/padding to do about 90% of layout work.

I prefer tables as development time for a page was easily 20x faster for me

It cuts the amount of code required by at least a two-thirds. <table><tr><td>Foo</td></tr></table> is more typing than <div>Foo<div>

more than 2 years ago
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How Do I Get Back a Passion For Programming?

Yold There is actually a club... (516 comments)

"There is a club for people who don't like their job, it is called "EVERYBODY"; they meet at a bar".

-Drew Carey

more than 2 years ago
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Student Loans In America: the Next Big Credit Bubble

Yold Re:Who says there is a loss? (768 comments)

Interest is not purely profit. Interest is designed to offset inflation and the other ways you can spend your money. If I owed you $81,000 would you prefer that paid as a lump sum today or paid as a 0% interest loan over 25 years ($3,2400 /yr)?

So in order to make $100,000 today equal to $100,000 in 25 years, we need interest (at least to cover inflation). So for the purposes of this loan $100,000 (at time 0) == $181,000 (at time 25). In addition to the interest, you pay portions of the $100,000 you borrowed. Each payment of $687 is an uneven mix of Interest payments and Principal payments, the ratio changes as the loan approaches time 25.

So if you stop paying halfway through the loan, you may have paid in total $100,000 (combination of interest and principal). But $100,000 (at time 0) is less than $100,000 (at time 25), the lender loses money.

more than 2 years ago
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Student Loans In America: the Next Big Credit Bubble

Yold Re:Who says there is a loss? (768 comments)

(Disclaimer: I do not work in the financial industry but as a math nerd I am familiar with basic financial math)

5.5% APR with interest payable monthly
Loan of: $100,000
Payment: $687

Present Value: $72,000
Total Profit: -$28,000

I don't think your math is correct.

more than 2 years ago
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Student Loans In America: the Next Big Credit Bubble

Yold Re:Australia does a simple job here (768 comments)

Yea that's the way it works in the United States also... Student debts are not dischargeable through bankruptcy. Defaulting on student loans will make you ineligible for government employment, along with garnishments on wages, tax returns, and social security benefits.

I would be very interested to see what percentage of these debts are owed to for-profit institutions (e.g. University of Phoenix). Some of these colleges are owned by publicly traded companies, which provided ample incentive for unethical profiteering. There are colleges in my city that sell absolutely worthless degrees in media related fields, cosmetics, business, and healthcare that cost $60,000+.

If you can't make money, you can't repay debts (blood from a stone). It was a simple idea to follow in the U.S. until some schmuck decided to open for-profit colleges and game the system.

more than 2 years ago
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The Great JavaScript Debate: Improve It Or Kill It

Yold Re:Static Strong (482 comments)

How about a Javascript that's more Java-like?

Real private and public modifiers would be nice, but I wish people would take the time to understand why the LISP-like qualities of JavaScript make it awesome. I often find myself wishing that .NET and Java were more like JavaScript. To be an exceptional .NET or Java programmer, you need to know tons and tons of specifics about the language. To be a good JavaScript programmer, all you really have to understand are the concepts related to objects and scope.

I think Java and .NET are great enterprise languages for applications that are 10,000+ lines of code. But writing JavaScript in a message-centric fashion (think LISP or Objective-C) is very pleasing with it's terse expressiveness. The language is flexible, and works great for applications that are developed and maintained by one or two programmers.

But the end seems to be near for good-ol-JavaScript; I feel the same way that the LISP programmers must have felt when C and COBOL began to assert their dominance. I'm sad that this inefficient toy-language will soon be relegated as an obsolete and inferior language.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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$1.9 million RIAA verdict reduced to $54,000

Yold Yold writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Yold (473518) writes "In June 2009, Jammie Thomas-Rasset was found to be liable for $1.9 million in damages for downloading a whopping 24 copyrighted songs with KaZaa. Upon her appeal, a federal judge denied her motion for a new trial, but did however lower the damages to $54,000. Thomas-Rasset's petition to reduce the judgment to the statutory minimum of $750 per song was also denied. Thomas-Rasset has 7 days to accept the new judgment, or motion for a jury trial to determine damages."
Link to Original Source

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