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Ask Slashdot: Professional Journaling/Notes Software?

ZeroPly What about security? (167 comments)

What you call "notes", the local prosecutor calls "evidence". Something you write that might seem totally harmless to you - "today I spent three hours daydreaming about putting bleach in my idiot boss's Diet Coke" suddenly becomes damning when presented out of context to a jury, after someone put bleach in your boss's Diet Coke and he wound up in the hospital.

I have been keeping a plain text log for the better part of two decades. They are just individual text files, one for each day, with titles like 2014-04-20_sue_party, a date and a quick description of anything unusual. The encryption mechanism has changed, but right now they are all stored on a Truecrypt volume. A vanilla search only takes a minute at most.

3 days ago
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Lying Eyes: Cyborg Glasses Simulate Eye Expressions

ZeroPly Re:authenticity (56 comments)

I don't know... I've been around a few people who are holding on to that last rung by their fingernails, and you'd be surprised at how little it takes for them to think that someone cares...

5 days ago
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Mathematicians Devise Typefaces Based On Problems of Computational Geometry

ZeroPly Old joke (60 comments)

A mathematician decides he wants to learn more about practical problems. He sees a seminar with a nice title: "The Theory of Gears." So he goes. The speaker stands up and begins, "The theory of gears with a real number of teeth is well known ..."

5 days ago
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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

ZeroPly Re:Militia, then vs now (1615 comments)

Sorry, but you're completely clueless about combat, and I suspect about firearms as well. Consider that the US Army has the best firepower money can buy, yet when I was in Afghanistan, our side was getting routinely killed by the Taliban.

A 14 year old with a AK47 is still a significant threat to an infantry platoon. Google "asymmetrical warfare" and learn the basics before you continue sounding like an idiot.

about a week ago
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Bachelor's Degree: An Unnecessary Path To a Tech Job

ZeroPly Re:If only (287 comments)

No, the useless timewasters like Facebook were built by college dropouts. Vint Cerf has a PhD. Brian Kernighan has a PhD. Dennis Ritchie had a PhD. Bruce Schneier has an MS in computer science. The people who drop out tend to build toys for the consumers. The guys who stay in academia build foundations.

about two weeks ago
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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

ZeroPly Re:Tradeoffs (581 comments)

To address one by one:

Moving the median wage up is the only solution in the long term. Inflation might be a short term problem, but only if the Gini coefficient is unchanged. If you can lower the Gini coefficient while raising the median, there is no reason to believe that inflation will become a problem. However, I tend not to put too much stock in economists, because they are good at explaining patterns in hindsight, but absolutely atrocious at providing useful information about the future.

There IS political intent behind all of this. Does "wealth redistribution" ring any bells? Income inequality is a pressing problem, but solutions cannot be discussed because conservatives automatically turn on their "socialism" wharrgarbl. None of the conservatives are willing to acknowledge that there is a problem when, as often cited, six Walmart heirs hold more wealth than the bottom 40% of the population combined. That's worse inequality than in most parts of Africa. As far as H-1B visas, there is a concerted effort by the major tech corporations to increase their number, even though the majority go to two Indian companies who are replacing American workers.

Unions raise costs, I will definitely agree with you there. So does paying overtime. So does health insurance. So does safety regulations. Why again are we trying to compete against China and Bangladesh, instead of slapping on tariffs, and protecting our own workers?

What do you mean by "skilled labor"? If I refer to you an 18 year old who's a high school graduate with no drug or criminal problems, can you get him a job at GM? Or is there fine print that he has to have twelve certifications, and speak three languages? Where are all the job wanted postings for these entry level positions?

about two weeks ago
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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

ZeroPly Re:Ability to design and write software... (581 comments)

Great, so we've traded the country's future for some cheap disposable crap. Additionally, how much extra do you think it would cost to produce an iPhone in the US? Being wildly pessimistic, it might cost an extra $50 per phone - that's assuming they are being assembled by $40K/yr workers with full benefits and pensions. What 22 year old has a smartphone, but can't afford an extra $50 to purchase one?

It's a bullshit argument. Every time someone runs the numbers on how much labor costs would increase the final retail cost, it's not apocalyptic. People were buying US made electronics just fine before Walmart took over the country.

about two weeks ago
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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

ZeroPly Re:Tradeoffs (581 comments)

Yes, of course there will be low paying jobs as well. But we need high paying jobs to move the median up. Fifty years ago the biggest employer in the US was GM. Today the biggest employer is Walmart. It is not zero sum - creation of high paying jobs does not necessarily reduce the number of lowing pay ones, in fact it would increase them. If we put a 200% tariff on Chinese manufacturing and moved iPad work to the US, you would still need janitors and cafeteria workers.

Auto production gravitates to places with lowers costs, but the cheap labor conservatives are the ones pitting the states against each other, so that we are in a continual race to the bottom. Just look at the Tennessee story, where Volkswagen management wanted a unionized workforce, but the politicians said it would make them noncompetitive. Also, if you think you can get $20 an hour to work at GM, please put an application in, and let me know how that works out for you. There are still jobs at that pay level, but an 18 year old fresh out of high school has a better chance of going to Mars than getting that kind of money for an entry level job. Same with electricians, plumbers, and welders.

Conservatives seem to think that we have no choice in the matter, and that we just have to accept free trade as the new normal, and there's nothing we can do. So even as Zuckerberg's left hand is all about helping American programmers, his right hand is lobbying hard for more H-1B visas to keep pay rates down.

about two weeks ago
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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

ZeroPly Re:Ability to design and write software... (581 comments)

Additionally, this is a false dichotomy. A coal miner might not be interested in coding, or suited for it, but he might be great at putting engines into the new model Tesla. It's the TOTAL number of high-paying jobs that's important, and people tend to gravitate to what they like. I could never imagine working nine to five on an auto assembly line, but that's what people did 50 years ago at GM, for $20 an hour before the cheap labor conservatives came along and crapped in the punch bowl.

Focus on the important things. Tie the H-1B visa allocation to unemployment, so that if unemployment is above say 6%, the visa quota goes to zero. Put the screws down on trade with China and India. There will be plenty of non-coding jobs for coal miners. We've tried "free trade" for the last thirty years, ask a 22 year old on their 500th resume submission how well that's worked out for us.

about two weeks ago
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Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"

ZeroPly Re:Are programmers really this naive? (465 comments)

Uhh.... here's a clue, Einstein, a shill for Pepsi wouldn't call them "the epitome of a soulless American corporation". You'd think things like that would be obvious.

about three weeks ago
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An SSD for Your Current Computer May Save the Cost of a New One (Video)

ZeroPly Re:what the hell? (353 comments)

Yeah, total noob move. My first step is to replace all the fans with ones that have lights, then add some strip lighting to the inside. I also like to replace the case screws with the good titanium ones that are $3 a pop. Those reduce weight significantly.

about three weeks ago
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Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"

ZeroPly Re:Are programmers really this naive? (465 comments)

These were not "professionals". Any professional actor would know what a director's function is, and know how to complain when someone on the set is being a jerk. These were professional programmers who thought that their skills magically transferred to other fields, fields which they actually knew nothing about. No one has answered this - why was there not a single director in charge of this? Why didn't any of the programmers speak up about that?

about three weeks ago
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Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"

ZeroPly Re:Are programmers really this naive? (465 comments)

Again, that's for a 9-5 desk job. The rules on a reality show (or on television in general) are quite different. No one is suggesting that your boss "willfully misrepresents" your work to create drama while you're managing a SQL server at Edward Jones. No one is suggesting that your boss dictate what you can drink while working at Google. You are talking about something that you know absolutely nothing about. If you are so interested in improving the failure rate, then try working in the business instead of spouting off on the Internet.

about three weeks ago
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Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"

ZeroPly Re:Are programmers really this naive? (465 comments)

My original post went to +2 informative, and then moved between +1 and +3 informative. What generally happens on these threads is that a lot of programmers don't like to hear viewpoints that threaten their world view; f.e. "programmers are not engineers", and they mod down anything that hurts their ego. No skin off my nose - I've actually done sponsorship work for a living, so I'm not bent out of shape that a bunch of code monkeys are butthurt when someone explains reality to them.

Any post that dares suggest that programmers are not on a social par with structural engineers and cardiac surgeons tends to approach -1 asymptotically.

about three weeks ago
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Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"

ZeroPly Re:Are programmers really this naive? (465 comments)

I'm sorry, I'm not a lawyer, but what exactly does "willful misrepresentation for the sake of drama" mean to you? Of course the person from Pepsi was trying to create drama. It was part of the contract. If you don't want "willful misrepresentation", then don't participate. Don't sign a contract where you explicitly agree to "willful misrepresentation", and then get all high and mighty when the misrepresentation actually happens.

This was a case of some technical dorks thinking that all that boilerplate on the contract doesn't matter, and people will be nice to them just because. They completely overestimated their value in the grand scheme of things. Sorry, better luck next time.

Additionally, this rambling mess of an article was written by someone who's clueless about how TV shoots happen. Where was the fucking director? Oh wait, the Pepsi guy was the "loudest" director - implying that there was more than one director. When you have a problem on set, you bring it to the ONE director who's contracted to shoot the piece. This was a complete lack of leadership during production. My ten year old niece would have realized that, but apparently these programmers are unable to, and just sat there with their thumbs up their butts trying to fix the problem in software.

about three weeks ago
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Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"

ZeroPly Re:Are programmers really this naive? (465 comments)

Yes and no. The marketing guys usually decide what product they want showcased. They might have signed up for this whole deal to showcase the Mountain Dew drinking programmer who's so into the code that he doesn't sleep. If they were sponsoring a yoga class, they might want Aquafina displayed. But generally they're going to have fairly rigid requirements on product placement, based on direction from far up the corporate food chain.

about three weeks ago
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Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"

ZeroPly Re:Are programmers really this naive? (465 comments)

What $400,000? The writer heard "someone" toss around the 400,000 number. There was no attribution, and not even any clarification if that was Pepsi's money, or the entire total, much of which would have been spent by the producer. So who exactly is "somebody"?

about three weeks ago
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Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"

ZeroPly Re:Are programmers really this naive? (465 comments)

I don't think you even need to do that much - just talk to anyone who's ever been involved in this type of production. This is from the article:

"Somehow, he had ended up as the most visible director on set, as well as what was described to me as a “Pepsi Consultant.” "

What the fuck is "most visible director"? There should be ONE director. The consultant talks to that ONE director. Anyone who has a gripe talks to that ONE director. If anything, this enormous rant is about how no director was put in charge, and everything fell apart due to lack of leadership.

about three weeks ago
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Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"

ZeroPly Re:Are programmers really this naive? (465 comments)

I read the 20,000 word meandering rant by someone who has never heard of "editing". Unless I am reading something incorrectly, every single developer who committed to this knew that Pepsi was the main sponsor before they even bought a plane ticket. Am I not understanding that correctly?

From the article:

"Another clause allowed for willful misrepresentation for the sake of drama, something that could sink the developers’ careers."

And the participants agreed to this. Yet they have the nerve to claim that they didn't realize it was a reality show. I realize that most programmers are not knowledgeable enough to understand what a "director" does, and go to the director when someone on the set is becoming a problem. But when you agree to "Willful misrepresentation", shouldn't that be a big flashing warning sign?

about three weeks ago
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Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"

ZeroPly Re:Are programmers really this naive? (465 comments)

From the article - "Four hundred thousand dollars, someone quoted. Four hundred thousand."

"Someone" - yeah, that's some top notch reporting right there. Has anyone contacted the Pulitzer people yet? I don't see a single mention in the article of how much Pepsi is on the hook for. This might be shocking to you, but they probably wrote the contract so that actual results would be expected.

about three weeks ago

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