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'Just Let Me Code!'

anyaristow Complexity as a virtue (247 comments)

That's because in the 90's programming got more difficult, and programmers *liked* it. No more soccer moms entering the field because they heard it was a way to earn a decent wage.

Complexity makes programmers feel they can do things most people can't. So, they seek complex solutions. If it's not complex, it must not be the intelligent way to do it, since a lesser person could do the simpler thing.

They have it backwards, of course. The ability to reduce the complexity of a task is actually a higher skill.

40 minutes ago

VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

anyaristow too smart to go to college (141 comments)

This cultural indoctrination that you must have a degree must end. I've been programming for 30 years as a profession and I have never had a degree

And I've worked with enough people who were so smart at 18 years old that they decided they didn't need to go to college that I've decided the requirement of a degree has some merit.

Some of these people really are great at syntax and terminology, and a few of them are actually good at coding certain things, but mostly, they do things the hard way, they organize their projects around data when it is process that better defines what they're trying to accomplish, the write overly complex solutions to simple problems, they saddle their employer with unnecessary technology, and there are certain classes of problems that they simply can not solve at all. For one, why do they think it's funny that they don't know math, and that a solution involving guessing, approximation and unreasonable process limitation is an acceptable alternative to algebra?

In short, they suck at problem solving. That's not a surprise since the first adult problem they faced, they took a shortcut.

1 hour ago

Apple Announces New Programming Language Called Swift

anyaristow Second Life (636 comments)

Please provide a link to any mainstream working application for Mac OS X that uses Qt. I don't know of a single one because Qt's support for XCode is incredibly poor.

Second Life. They still make regular releases for the Mac (and Linux). It's open source, so you can grab a copy and see how they do it. Xcode not required.

about 1 month ago

Apple Says Many Users 'Bought an Android Phone By Mistake'

anyaristow Re:Whoosh (711 comments)

Watch starting at 45:00:

Clearly a joke.

Exactly. This was clearly a joke if you watch the keynote. And it landed pretty well too.

about 1 month ago

Apple Says Many Users 'Bought an Android Phone By Mistake'

anyaristow Re:It was a joke (711 comments)

I'll lend two more points of visibility to this. The humor may not be apparent in the transcript. Watch the video, starting at 45:00:

In case you didn't watch, they're missing some important punctuation there. It was tongue in cheek... targeted at the very Apple-friendly audience. Chill

about 1 month ago

The Singularity Is Sci-Fi's Faith-Based Initiative

anyaristow Not impossible doesn't mean inevitable (339 comments)

When physics allows us to do something, and we understand what it is we want to do, we have an excellent history of going ahead and doing [it]

*cough* fusion *cough*

Note that those projects are getting bigger and bigger. It may be that there aren't enough people or there isn't enough money to make a sentient AI. It may also be that there is something well short of it that will give us all the benefit we are willing to pay for.

There's a world of possible outcomes between physically impossible and inevitable. It isn't sure to happen just because it isn't impossible.

about 2 months ago

Apple Confirms Purchase of Beats For $3 Billion

anyaristow Only 110K people who have figured out how to... (188 comments)

...sign up.

I tried to sign up for the streaming service today. I pressed the prominent "free trial" button, read the terms of service and privacy policy, and filled out the web form, only to be told "username not reserved." WTF does that mean? Temporary trouble? Hit the sign up button again...username not reserved. Picked a different user name. "Email not reserved."

So, I read some of their support forum, where other people are asking, "wtf is username not reserved", and found you had to sign up through their mobile app before you can sign up for the free trial on their website.

I checked again and found no instructions to that effect.

Maybe there are only 110K people who have figured out how to sign up.

about 2 months ago

Author Charles Stross: Is Amazon a Malignant Monopoly, Or Just Plain Evil?

anyaristow Re:Amazon does do those things (405 comments)

The authors decide how many services to buy.

I'm guessing, "tell me if it's crap and shouldn't be published" isn't something they're willing to pay for?

about 2 months ago

Author Charles Stross: Is Amazon a Malignant Monopoly, Or Just Plain Evil?

anyaristow Amazon is the new consumer item search engine (405 comments)

Yeah a lot of people shop on Amazon, but they search with Google, BIng, and Yahoo.

For media content, and even commodity manufactured items like guitar pedals and toasters, I search at Amazon. It's the easiest way to get a description and picture of the item, and sometimes the reviews are even helpful.

When using a search engine, mostly what you get for media and consumer products is offers to sell it. That only adds a step in the search. Easier to just go to Amazon. Once I've found it there I can use my wishlists to remember it and camelcamelcamel to tell me if it goes on sale.

about 2 months ago

Author Charles Stross: Is Amazon a Malignant Monopoly, Or Just Plain Evil?

anyaristow Re:Pretty stupid reasoning (405 comments)

And you think publishers do that?

That Ready Player One got published indicates that they don't. That people seem to like it indicate that consumers aren't very discerning, and that the role of gatekeeper publisher may be obsolete.

about 2 months ago

Author Charles Stross: Is Amazon a Malignant Monopoly, Or Just Plain Evil?

anyaristow Re:Amazon does do those things (405 comments)

Amazon is responsible for createspace? Then they aren't doing those things very well. Createspace titles aren't exactly top tier offerings.

about 2 months ago

eBay Compromised

anyaristow Correction: Password length NOT shown (193 comments)

I was wrong. They are always showing eight asterisks. It's not the length of your password unless your password is eight characters.

about 2 months ago

eBay Compromised

anyaristow Password still not stored securely (193 comments)

The personal information screen shows me the length of my password, in asterisks. They wouldn't know how long my password is if they were storing it securely.

about 2 months ago

Finally, Hi-Def Streaming Video of the ISS's View of Earth

anyaristow Holy crap, look at all those scripts (97 comments)

How can it be necessary to run scripts from so many sites? And if you allow the ones on extremetech to run, it runs even more third-party scripts. Short of serving up obvious malware, this is about as hostile and risky as a webpage gets.

about 3 months ago

Consumers Not Impressed With 3D Printing

anyaristow I don't need trinkets (302 comments)

Until I can print something meaningful, like a house or a car or a TV or a pair of shoes, I'm not interested. I don't need trinkets.

about 2 months ago

Our Education System Is Failing IT

anyaristow the interviewer lacks problem-solving skills (306 comments)

A technical interview is mostly a sign the interviewer lacks problem solving skills. Jargon and syntax are easy to test. Pass one of these and you'll probably spend your days working on projects that are a mess before you even arrive. Your new co-workers don't know what's important, they probably value complexity because it makes them feel good about themselves, their code will demonstrate the hard way to do things, and your new boss will probably already be of the opinion that your salary is money shoveled into a hole.

Evaluating a candidate's work using a natural language is a lot like problem solving and requirements gathering. If your interviewer lacks those skills, then those things probably aren't done well at this potential employer. If the candidate lacks the ability to describe his work in a natural language, then he probably lacks those skills, too.

Maybe we would see more people in IT with problem solving skills / critical thinking if we stopped scaring them off with so many amature rote memory based technical interviews... all you will get with most of these silly test are people that are good at taking silly test.

about 3 months ago

Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

anyaristow Easier on paper (386 comments)

It's easier to do it on paper, using the PDF forms.

Last year was the first and hopefully the last year I did taxes electronically. To prepare, I filled out the government's PDF forms. Then I had to research the online filing options, picked one, set up an account and filled in all the info I'd already entered into the PDF forms, had it fail on me, picked another, gave personal info to yet another online account, had to enter all the tax data again, and then had it tell me it'd take two days to confirm acceptance, which if it had failed, would have made me late.

This year I just printed the damned PDFs I'd already filled out and snail mailed them on the way to work.

Just because it's "on the computer" doesn't make it any easier.

about 3 months ago

How interested are you in Virtual Reality tech?

anyaristow The killer app will be human-mimicking AI (202 comments)

The killer app for virtual reality is AI able to act like and interact with humans.

There's a strong Oculus-in-Second-Life effort, because it's the only non-game, non-trivial virtual world left. Virtual worlds keep dying because there's no killer app for them, yet. Creative people build pretty spaces in virtual worlds, but nobody will visit because they aren't engaging enough. It's not enough to have things to look at.

People are more interesting than things. Virtual worlds won't be engaging until there are a lot of people there. They won't have a lot of people until they are engaging. Chicken. Egg.

To make matters worse, virtual worlds tend to become larger than is useful. Too much space, too few people. They become ghost towns. Creepy, empty and lonely.

The solution is AI. Fill those spaces with AI people, or monsters, or whatever, and they'll be much more interesting. Visuals aren't enough, though. You have to be able to interact with the AI.

The challenge is that virtual spaces will become so large you won't be able to find real humans. You can reserve spaces for real humans, but if you got there through first making virtual spaces attractive with AI, then that AI will be used to fake humans in human spaces. Second Life already has this problem, though the AI is nearly non-existent. SL seems empty and creepy, despite being full of avatars, because most of the avatars are bots.

But if you can have an engaging time in a virtual world, interacting with bots, will you care that they are bots? The time will come when the people with the best stories and the best jokes and the best advice will be AI.

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Are 'Rock Star' Developers a Necessity?

anyaristow Somebody in the band has to compose music (356 comments)

I've knows some programmers who are awesome guitarists. They know the lingo, have awesome memory, both for syntax and the workings of their own code, and can type really fast and pound out working code quickly.

But the songs they write are mediocre. That is, they do things the hard way, they create functional but unintuitive interfaces (and APIs), they make organizations dependent on fly-by-night technologies, they meet stated objectives but can't fill in the blanks where users don't know what to ask for, and nothing they create is every attractive or compelling to users.

To be a rock star, somebody in the band has to compose awesome music. That is, somebody on the team has to know how to solve the right problems.

about 10 months ago

How Deadbeat Facebook Friends and Using ALL-CAPS Can Lower Your Credit Score

anyaristow Makes some sense because... (362 comments)

...what's considered normal in your social circles is contagious. Just like fat friends can make you fat. If your friends are poor managers of their money then you don't feel so bad about being a poor manager of your own money.

about a year ago



Customer Email Address Leaks

anyaristow anyaristow writes  |  more than 2 years ago

anyaristow (1448609) writes "Since the mid nineties I've used a unique email address for everyone I do business with and for every service or site I sign up with, so that if someone leaks my email address to spammers I know who did the leaking. Until this year I'd only had a few of these addresses compromised (including a national flower seller and a major music gear maker). This year I'm getting about one every other month, including a telecommunications giant and one of the three credit reporting agencies. There are no mailboxes or accounts associated with these email addresses; I receive all email to the domain. These addresses exist only as text I typed into a web form, and as header fields in received email. I'd consider a man-in-the-middle or someone gaining access to my mailbox as possible culprits except I haven't had communication with that credit agency in years, and I just yesterday started receiving spam to that address. That, and only a few of these addresses are compromised. Is anyone else seeing this, and can anyone think of a reason other other than lax security or the use of third-party email campaigns?"


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