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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

ZeroPly Re:Great one more fail (600 comments)

You carefully avoided answering my question of how many police officers keep their guns in a safe every night. Obviously you're not one.

It's nice living in your world of unicorns and rainbows, but in my world, there are battered wives who know from experience how useless a restraining order is, corrections officers who have had their home addresses publicized, and people living 30 minutes from police response. Having a gun in a safe is useless for home defense.

Try again, "dude"...

about a month ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

ZeroPly Re:Great one more fail (600 comments)

> How many people are "responsible",p> Many gun affectionados I know think your idea of storing guns in a safe is the start of the
> guvernment taking them away. Same for a trigger lock. All of those things slow them down if some thug comes into their house.

Why don't you ask your local police department how many of the officers keep their weapons in a safe at night? Or use trigger locks? Include the ones with kids. When you figure out why THEY don't want to do it, you'll figure out why the rest of us don't.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Phone Apps?

ZeroPly Re:What a stupid question (167 comments)

It is too broad. Asking nerds what apps are good is like strolling into a literature forum and asking "I haven't read a book in 15 years - anything new out that you think is good?"

about 2 months ago
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Silicon Valley Doesn't Have an Attitude Problem, OK?

ZeroPly Re:Wonder how Elon Musk (262 comments)

So you have a 10,000 core system. So what? Yeah, I can model a flying car with much less than that - in fact I think they did that in Halflife 2. If you traveled back to 1991 and told people that you had a lot of cores and a lot of memory, they would yawn in your face. The technology that you are working with today is fundamentally what a 1970's Unix guy would understand. What's the point in your web service that can scale indefinitely? To serve up more Youtube videos? We were supposed to have a semantic web by now at the very least. Instead, we're patching vulnerabilities in SSL which has been around since '94, and still worrying about running out of IPV4 addresses.

The extent of our machine learning has been to fake a conversation as a brain damaged teenager who does not speak English, to "pass" the Turing test. We're doing busy work in low earth orbit, when anyone in the 80's would have thought we'd be working in the outer planets by now. We still have to steer our cars and punch buttons for the elevator.

The problem is that everyone's doing incremental work. More gigs cheaper. No imagination beyond that.

about 2 months ago
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Silicon Valley Doesn't Have an Attitude Problem, OK?

ZeroPly Re:Wonder how Elon Musk (262 comments)

Except the Silicon Valley crowd just THINKS they're changing the world. We were supposed to have flying cars, space elevators, real AI, and spacetime manipulation by now. Not communication in 140 characters, and better algorithms to search for Kardashian articles.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

ZeroPly Re:Not this again. (637 comments)

Everything you are talking about is memory management from a programmer's viewpoint. Understanding how compilers allocate memory, discussing garbage collection, these are all things that a programmer needs to know. An undergrad in computer science needs to be able to understand something like this:

http://airccse.org/journal/jcsit/0202csit12.pdf

This is just a random paper I found, and certainly nothing earth-shattering. But my point is that someone trained in computer science should be able to skim through this in 5-10 minutes and understand what's being discussed. A programmer is not expected to.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

ZeroPly Re:memory management (637 comments)

CS should be different from programming. Back in the day when I did my undergrad, the programming was something you mostly figured out on your own time. When I took Operating Systems 1, we were studying memory management, Belady's anomaly, semaphores, etc, but we were also expected to become proficient in Unix scripting by the end of the semester. The exchange on the first day of class went something like this:

Prof: Homework for this week is to write a tcsh script that will set your environment variables when you log in based on a menu.
Student: What's tcsh?
Prof: It's one of the shells in Unix, you can write scripts using it.
Student: How do I learn to use it?
Prof: The manual command is "man" in Unix.
Student: How do I use the "man" command?
Prof: Use "man man" to find out how to use "man".
(whole class looks bewildered for about 10 seconds - not sure if he's joking or if Unix is really that insane)
Prof writes across the top of the board: THIS IS A UNIVERSITY, NOT A TRADE SCHOOL. RTFM.

If you can't figure out how to learn the mechanics of Java, Python, whatnot on your own time, you really don't have the brain needed to do computer science. The problem is that everyone and their plumber is getting a 4 year degree these days, so it's become the equivalent of a high school diploma in the 80's.

about 3 months ago
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Linus Torvalds: "GCC 4.9.0 Seems To Be Terminally Broken"

ZeroPly Re:I know you're trying to be funny, but... (739 comments)

I think a lot of programmers are overdue for an abusive tirade. Apparently the plethora of advice on writing good code hasn't been sinking in - from my perspective as an administrator, every time I turn around there are another hundred bugs I have to patch. If you're writing a compiler, and are this sloppy, you really shouldn't be expecting anyone to stand up for your delicate feelings.

about 3 months ago
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The Army Is 3D Printing Warheads

ZeroPly Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (140 comments)

Ok, let me get this straight. You're going to sue the United States Army over the technical details of a highly classified program, one that by any conceivable description fits under the national security umbrella? The only question is whether the judge would pass out from laughing before he gets a chance to throw out the case.

about 2 months ago
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The Army Is 3D Printing Warheads

ZeroPly Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (140 comments)

Oooh... and once GPLv4 prohibits it, the Army is going to stop using the technology in its super secret programs? Let me laugh even harder...

about 2 months ago
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Leaked Build of Windows 9 Shows Start Menu Return

ZeroPly Re:Fuck Tiles! (346 comments)

Hence my disclaimer - "But this is too complicated a UI task for Microsoft to get correct."

You need, at a minimum, the option to set a particular tile active or inactive. Someone who's in Office 2013 most of the time probably doesn't need their temperature monitor displaying six different measurements every time they go to the menu. On the other hand, a gamer might like that. If the amount of information on the tile can be configured, even better.

It's a nice idea, the real issue here is that Microsoft doesn't make their UI customizable. If you don't like tiles, why shouldn't you have the option to remove them?

about 3 months ago
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Leaked Build of Windows 9 Shows Start Menu Return

ZeroPly Re:Fuck Tiles! (346 comments)

The tiles are a nice idea, but are only useful if they are live. So if you go to the Start Menu, and the "Resource Monitor" tile is red, and shows 85% CPU use, sure - that's a good thing because you probably should click it. Or an email tile that shows high priority messages received. But this is too complicated a UI task for Microsoft to get correct.

about 3 months ago
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Phase-Changing Material Created For Robots

ZeroPly I once was excited... (35 comments)

... about technology developments.

But now I realize that 95% of new technology will only help build robotic exoskeletons for the Koch brothers, not help us working schlubs.

about 3 months ago
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Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

ZeroPly Re:"Rare talents"?! (608 comments)

No, it's not complicated, and I'm not a prodigy. Back in the 80's, we didn't fool ourselves into thinking it was too complex. You wrote a Hello world program, and then you wrote a simple loop, and then you played around, until one day you woke up and... wait for it... you knew how to program...

What exactly do you think is so complicated about "rudimentary" programming? Are you one of the new breed who tries to glorify the field by introducing seven layers of methodology? Like I said earlier, we have young teenagers who learn how to program in Android. Thankfully there are no people like yourself around to convince them that it's a monumental undertaking.

about 3 months ago
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Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

ZeroPly Re:"Rare talents"?! (608 comments)

I'm sorry - am I missing a huge demographic of people who have never touched a computer, but still want to learn how to program? If you seriously think that learning how to use a keyboard and mouse, open and close windows, download programs, and type, is "too complex", then I pity the incredibly low bar that you have set for yourself in life.

You need to expect more out of people. It took me 4 days to learn how to program in BASIC on a Sinclair ZX Spectrum in 1985. That was the first computer that I touched. If there's anything standing in the way of people devoting the time and energy, it's people like you who continually reassure them that it's way too difficult to do.

about 3 months ago
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Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

ZeroPly Re:"Rare talents"?! (608 comments)

Here's your thorough list:

1. Take a 101 class to learn how to use a computer and the web.
2. Download a beginner's guide on how to program in Python.

That's it. I started programming with Pascal and C in the 80's. We didn't spend 90% of our time worshipping the goddess of great readable self-maintaining agile code, we just wrote code. I used C++ in the 90's. Nowadays I use Python for scripting, and program in Haskell for fun. On a complexity scale, if understanding the Hodge Conjecture is a 10/10, Haskell might be a 2/10, and every other language is a 1/10. We literally have a class for 12 year olds to show them how to build Android apps.

Now, programmers are about the most predictable people on the planet, so your next step will be to claim that my list is not sufficient to be a GREAT programmer. But I'd like to remind you about your phrase "at its core". Resist the temptation to move the goalposts.

about 3 months ago
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Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

ZeroPly Re:"Rare talents"?! (608 comments)

My two year requirement would be for someone who is intending to become a professional programmer. That mirrors other trade skills such as plumbing and carpentry. It is simply unnecessary for a computer programmer to have a 4 year degree like a computer scientist has. As far as amateurs, the barrier to entry for programming is far less than for working with electricity. Which requires more training - writing an Apple Store app, or safely changing out the breaker box in your basement?

Programmers point to a handful of elite systems programmers to aggrandize their field. Programming is a trade skill, it is not engineering. And we don't need everyone on the planet to be able to write code, any more than we need everyone to be able to replace the toilet in their bathroom.

about 3 months ago
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Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

ZeroPly "Rare talents"?! (608 comments)

Those are jobs that involve a vanishingly small percentage of the general population. Programming is not. I couldn't stop laughing after reading this gem - "programming has become an elite: a vocation requiring rare talents, grueling training, and total dedication."

Does this egotistical idiot actually believe that?

Programming is not something that requires grueling training or rare talents. Algebraic topology, cardiothoracic surgery, and competitive chess require those. If you're writing code that requires elite skills, you're doing it wrong - no one is going to be able to understand it, and you will never be able to troubleshoot it. Someone with an IQ of 100 can become a perfectly competent Java or C++ programmer with two years of intensive training. Programming is more akin to a trade skill like plumbing or electrical work, than it is to engineering. And before everyone gets on my case that being a top 1% programmer is incredibly difficult, the same holds for a top 1% electrician.

about 3 months ago
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The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

ZeroPly Re:Management is becoming obsolete (162 comments)

Says someone who has actually been doing this for a living, and doesn't subscribe to the naïve twenty-something techie view that the world can be fixed through software.

about 4 months ago
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The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

ZeroPly Re:Management is becoming obsolete (162 comments)

You are conflating management with leadership. Expert systems can handle a lot of the logistics, but they can't determine that Billy Bob had a rough 4th of July weekend, and it would be best to have him do his paperwork today instead of working on the electrical junction box that has water damage.

about 4 months ago

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