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On Slashdot Video, We Hear You Loud and Clear

chuckfirment Re:Good job, Slashdot. (263 comments)

I enjoyed the Diablo Three beta videos yesterday.

Good job, Slashdot.

more than 2 years ago
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Browser Emulation of 1975 Computer Runs First 16-Bit Home Game

chuckfirment WSAD (40 comments)

My WSAD skills are rearing up to harm me in this game.

W - Up
S - Right
A - Left
Z - Down

I can't imagine trying to play Player 1 and Player 2 at the same time.

more than 2 years ago
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A Look At One of Blizzard's Retired World of Warcraft Servers

chuckfirment For the...! (116 comments)

For the Horde, I mean, FOR THE CHILDREN!

more than 2 years ago
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How To Crash the US Justice System: Demand a Trial

chuckfirment Re:Uh, no (897 comments)

"Legalization leads to less abuse by youths, and less abuse overall, lower rates of addiction, and less overall harm."

Actually, the United States Prohibition against alcohol DID reduce alcohol consumption. Greatly. In fact, after the Prohibition was repealed in 1933, it took another thirty years before alcohol consumption reached pre-Prohibition levels.

Source.

more than 2 years ago
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Google 'Wasting' $16 Billion On Projects Headed Nowhere

chuckfirment Re:How is this a waste? (408 comments)

Driverless cars have been around for over thirty years - it's not a new concept. The DARPA Grand Challenge is a challenge event where people (typically students) create driverless vehicles and have them navigate a course. The winner receives a very large prize.

In 2007, the driverless car prize was $2,000,000 for first place, $1,000,000 for second, and a 'measly' five hundred thousand dollars for third place.

more than 2 years ago
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What Does a Software Tester's Job Constitute?

chuckfirment Re:You are going to be the one who knows the softw (228 comments)

There is no way that more complex systems - banking, Internet, manufacturing etc. would function without a highly structured approach including testing.

For the last few years I've worked in SQA testing a very complex piece of banking software. We use a lot of automation, but without extensive exploratory (or ad-hoc) testing, our software would be in bad shape. Automation is used to verify things are working as you expect them to - it typically takes a while to set up. Exploratory testing is a way to quickly check, "I wonder if the developer thought about THIS THING," then trying that thing.

I don't code automated tests to make sure _every_ single field has a field text input limit. But I have checked them all at some point manually just to see what would happen. Non-critical functions of non-critical areas don't get extensive automated tests - it's not worth the time/money. But looking at them once, ad-hoc?

"A test plan is", or "The job of a tester is"... Both of these have very different answers depending on what company you work for, and who in that company you ask.

more than 2 years ago
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What Does a Software Tester's Job Constitute?

chuckfirment I am a software tester who works on complex system (228 comments)

There is no way that more complex systems - banking, Internet, manufacturing etc. would function without a highly structured approach including testing.

For the last few years I've worked in SQA testing a very complex piece of banking software. We use a lot of automation, but without extensive exploratory (or ad-hoc) testing, our software would be in bad shape. Automation is used to verify things are working as you expect them to - it typically takes a while to set up. Exploratory testing is a way to quickly check, "I wonder if the developer thought about THIS THING," then trying that thing.

I don't code automated tests to make sure _every_ single field has a field text input limit. But I have checked them all at some point manually just to see what would happen. Non-critical functions of non-critical areas don't get extensive automated tests - it's not worth the time/money. But looking at them once, ad-hoc?

"A test plan is", or "The job of a tester is"... Both of these have very different answers depending on what company you work for, and who in that company you ask.

more than 2 years ago
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What Does a Software Tester's Job Constitute?

chuckfirment Re:scripts (228 comments)

I have to disagree. I've never worked somewhere like this, and I've been in SQA for many years at many jobs.

If you want to be a low-paid button pusher, yes. Do the same thing over and over, all day long with no deviation. If you want to enjoy your job testing, test the software. Try to break it. Troubleshoot. Do things the developers wouldn't expect. (After all, who expects an apostrophe in a name field? "We only expect regular text, right Mr. O'Hanlon?")

The job of a software tester (tester, not button pusher) is to try to find all the defects in the software and report them to development so they can be fixed.

more than 2 years ago
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What Does a Software Tester's Job Constitute?

chuckfirment Automation or manual testing? (228 comments)

OP is correct - the job of a software tester is to try to break the software. I've enjoyed working in software quality assurance (SQA) for over a dozen years now. I get paid to break things all day, and when I do break it - I don't have to fix it.

SQA is very different depending on where you go and what you're testing.

Web Applications - you'll want programming experience so you can write flexible automated scripts. You can test manually for every supported browser/OS combination, but it's tedious.
Desktop Applications - Sometimes manual testing is enough. If the software is large, you'll likely want to automate.

Large companies that move fast will want automation. Small companies that move fast will want automation, but might not realize it. You can get away with manual testing at small slow companies.

You don't need automation skills to be a software tester. You do if you want to become a software tester with a high income.

more than 2 years ago
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Selling Used MP3s Found Legal In America

chuckfirment Auction time (281 comments)

All your base belongs to the highest bidder.

more than 2 years ago
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Tackling Open Source's Gender Issues

chuckfirment Some are harassed and attacked into leaving. (589 comments)

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area and working in software, I know many developers both male and female. I have a few personal female acquaintances that were (past-tense) previously active in the open source community, but left.

They were aggressively harassed by a very vocal online minority. This vocal minority would trash the ladies name on a large swath of online forums while using different names and accounts. Two received multiple anonymous threats of violence. This went on for years, and the ladies in question finally left the open source community.

This went above and beyond 'normal' flaming in online forums. This involved many forums, each cross referencing each other to lend validity to their (entirely fabricated) claims. And it went on for years, including insinuation that the female developer would come to harm at conferences.

It's very unlikely this happens in every case, but it takes more than a single nutjob attacking someone, or even many nutjobs attacking, to make someone leave the community. It takes good people like you and me to ignore the nutjobs, to not step in and say, "That's enough."

more than 2 years ago
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Why Fingernails On a Chalkboard Sound Painful

chuckfirment It doesn't bother you? Mid-range hearing loss. (176 comments)

If the sound of screeches on chalkboards doesn't bother you, you may have some mid-range hearing loss.

This is especially true if you have trouble understanding conversations in a noisy environment, like a bar or crowded party. It's not that you can't HEAR the sound, it's that you can't differentiate between varying tones and can't make out what is said. (It may unfortunately also be sensorineural hearing loss - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearing_aid#Indications)

New hearing aids can fix this by selectively increasing only a specific frequency range.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Choose a Windows Laptop?

chuckfirment Re:Quick version of the laptop buying guide: (898 comments)

My father waited an extra three years before buying a new computer *specifically* because he didn't want to reload and configure all of his programs.

You're right - this is very daunting for some users.

more than 3 years ago
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Linux + Sci-fi + Detroit = Penguicon3.0

chuckfirment Re:Novi is NOT Detroit (198 comments)

Actually, Novi was the sixth train stop, No. VI.

It's possible I'm wrong, but that's what I've heard from many people over the years and growing up in the area.

more than 9 years ago

Submissions

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Firefox to introduce click-to-play option to protect against dangerous plugins

chuckfirment chuckfirment writes  |  more than 2 years ago

chuckfirment (197857) writes "For those of us familiar with NoScript, blocking unwanted content is nothing new. However, this upcoming Firefox change may bring added security to the masses.

From the article: "Jared Wein of Mozilla blogged last month about a new feature he was developing for Firefox 14 called "click-to-play". The idea is to block the default loading of plugins like Java and Flash when surfing to reduce the memory footprint and provide protection against exploitation of plugin vulnerabilities.""

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