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Wisconsin Passes Digital Download Tax

dthable Re:If it moves.... (327 comments)

Sadly I found that out too.

In 2007, I took a job in Seattle that paid more and offered better opportunities but because I lived 1/2 the year in WI I had to pay them taxes as if I earned my annual wages in WI. I think this year was the first time I actually enjoyed filling out my taxes just so I don't have to file a state return.

The only redeeming part of paying that last year in taxes to WI was being able to fill out their form on why I moved out of state. I just hope they don't mind seeing the work f*ck all over the form.

more than 5 years ago

Slashdot Turns 10 But You Get The Presents

dthable I'm way to old (636 comments)

Now I feel old and realize that my freshman year of college was 10 years ago.

more than 7 years ago


dthable hasn't submitted any stories.



[Python] What's with all the semicolons?

dthable dthable writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I'm looking at the /. journal extraction script written in Python and I keep seeing lots of lines that end in semicolons. Example:

        def getIndexItem(self):
                # create a summary of the entry
                digest = self.body[:self.DIGEST_LEN].replace('\n', '');
                digest = self.HTML_STRIP.sub('', digest);
                digest = digest.replace('>', '').replace('

When I learned about Python and started to work with it, I was told not to use the semicolons. In fact, I thought that was illegal. Is the parser just throwing them away? Does it have any purpose other than making those C programmers happy?


The /. Book Reviews

dthable dthable writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Is it just me or has every book review ended with "this book is useful for the experienced individual as well as the beginner. No geek should be without."?

What's the point of reading reviews if everything that comes along is great? Tell me what books also suck so I don't walk through a book store any buy one of those.

Book reviews - actually useful or marketing pimps on /.?


Java Is Dead. Long Live The Queen.

dthable dthable writes  |  more than 7 years ago

...or something like that. I read the following front page article on Java being a dead language. While I won't go as far to kill anything this afternoon, I do have to agree with Mr. Eckel that Java is unpleasant to C#. After working for 5 years in a Java environment, I actually found C# fun to program and always wondered why Java didn't have the same features.

I found myself envying three C#isms - type safe generic support, the "all data types are objects" mentality and C++ style code orginization.

The first to features do away with a lot of casting syntax. The damn java.util classes always manipulated elements as Object and for good reason. A list is generic. Give the list something to hold on to and it will. Yet, the lack of generics made this more error prone and just messy code. Cast an element coming out of a list and you get an exception. Type the expression into an IDE and it will tell you that you're getting an object, not a Widget.

I know Java added generics with Java 5, but it looked like it was more of a preprocessor than a fundamental design decision built into the type system. This creates a new issue where I have a SuperWidget and only want to create a list that can hold SuperItems. If I want to use generics I end up opening the list up for everything. If I pass things around as a SuperItem, I still have casting hell. This might seem too picky but think about how many times you have some generic process that should only be applied to a certain class of items. C# ends up implementing generics and keeps them type safe.

I also don't know how many times I've butted up against code that uses the primitive int type versus the class Integer type. Did you ever try to work with a Map using a primitive data type? I just hate having to type Integer.getInt(foo) into my code all the time.

Ok, the last one is a personal preference. I like to combine lots of stuff into one file. It just makes sense that I add a few loosely related classes into a single source file. Not close enough for an inner class but not separate enough for a new source file.

Just remember, opinions on programming languages are like a$$holes. Every one has one and they all stink.


I Swore I Would Never Do Long Distance Relationships

dthable dthable writes  |  more than 7 years ago

but here I am. Basically, my girlfriend got transferred to Seattle for at least 18 months. She leaves next week but I need to stay in town and finish up my education (graduate in May!).

To make matters more complicated, I've been working on a Wisconsin business plan competition. If I win, that means nice chunk of state funding as long as the business stays in Wisconsin. On one hand, I'd really like to win and work on this web application full time without part time work to get financing. But things would be easier if I just threw the contest and then move out with her once I graduate. It's starting to remind me of the first relationship I was in and I threw away some good things for something that didn't work out in the end. I don't want to make that mistake again.

I've been trying to be the strong boyfriend. I want to be the one there for her to lean on, cry to when things get difficult, and support her and this great opportunity that she has. Yet, I find myself growing depressed as that date grows closer. Tonight, someone is coming by our place to give her a moving estimate and it's going to be strange listening to them talking about what to take and when. Even my parents are worried that this is going to come between us and they really like her. It's just a lot to add into the rest of my life right now.

I just hope that I can make it.


JavaScript Is A Pain

dthable dthable writes  |  about 8 years ago

Does anyone have a good reference, book or website, that contains information on programming pages with JavaScript. All I can seem to find are references that want to explain what a variable is and don't touch on the different IE vs. NS api.

This is more frustrating than that time I tried to learn brainf*ck.


Ubuntu Is Installed & My Thoughts

dthable dthable writes  |  about 8 years ago

First, thanks to all who helped out with my grub problem. I finally let it loose on the MBR and everything still works. That solved a major problem because I could now boot into my new installation. After that, I had to solve a couple more problems:

  • WiFi and WPA - Ubuntu correctly installed and loaded the ipw2200 driver for me, which was great. I had a lot of problems when I tried Fedora. Fedora just didn't like something with my hardware. Yet, I struggled to find information about getting it to work with WPA. I finally found that I should get network-manager and gnome-network-manager. After a quick reboot, I had this wonderful applet control that let me select all available networks and even remembered the passwords. Why that doesn't ship as part of the standard install is stupid.
  • Bluetooth - I use a Logitech MX200 bluetooth mouse with Windows and it's a freaking nice mouse. Ubuntu installed the correct packages for bluetooth, but I couldn't figure out how to get the mouse to work. After hours of time with Google and the Ubuntu forums, I found that the answer is as simple as executing hidd --search. Duh.

Now for the complaining. If there are solutions, I would love to hear them. I'm not claiming to be anywhere near expert status.

  • Bluetooth - Why do I need to run the command by hand? And even so, why do I need to turn on the mouse and then run the search? I would rather see a daemon that scans every so often or handles signals from devices when they start. Kind of like Windows.
  • NTFS - I have a lot of data on NTFS drives and I need the information visible on both Linux and XP. I found very buggy methods (and none of them worked for me) for trying to mount a NTFS drive. For 100% compatibility, I need to go back to FAT32? It's not like Windows just broke onto the scene either.
  • apt - I get strange messages about packages missing yet I find them in the stable package catalog. Why?

That's it for now. I haven't given up but those are the biggies on my list preventing me from going to Ubuntu for development.


Why Can't I Get GRUB To Work!

dthable dthable writes  |  about 8 years ago

I've been trying to install Ubuntu on my personal laptop and dual boot with Windows (I still need those pesky business application, so don't suggest ditching Windows). I would rather use the Windows boot loader and I know this is possible if I don't install grub in the MBR.

My drives look like:

Primary 1: Main Windows Partition
    Extended 5: Data Partition
    Extended 6: Linux Swap
    Extended 7: Linux /

Do I specify (hd0,7)? I tried (hd0,6) and it didn't seem to work. What's going on with grub (or me)?


[PHP] Working with Arrays

dthable dthable writes  |  about 8 years ago

I've been working on this application that requires adding a key value pair to an existing dictionary. The quick solution I found was:

$one = array( 1 => "one", 2 => "two");
$two = array( 3 => "three", 4 => "four");
$new = array_merge( $one, $two);

Is there some way to just append without the merge? While array_merge works in this case, what if I just want to append a single item? Also, is there an OO implementation of an array? I'd like to be able to say $new->sort() instead of using a function.


[programming] Hibernate It Is

dthable dthable writes  |  about 8 years ago

Well, we decided to use Hibernate for our next project. The boss and I played with a small demo program and he was sold. Reasons:

1. We found our development staff to be less than stellar when it comes to writing SQL.
2. It's fast.
3. We can get support from Redhat in the future.

The last one is huge. I always laughed at people who bought support but then I had an issue with perl. I could have found the answer myself, but it was easier and faster to call ActiveState.

Now, where's are the best Hibernate docs and tools hiding?


[programming] Is Hibernate Worth It?

dthable dthable writes  |  about 8 years ago

I've got into a little debate/argument with a former boss over how to code up a new Java web application. I suggested looking into Hibernate (which I know very little about) to ease up on the developers. He thought we should take control of writing the SQL because there might be too much overhead. Does Hibernate, or any relational mapping library, cause enough slow downs to resort to writing SQL? Is Hibernate really going to make my database and application that much easier to maintain?


The Microsoft Interview Is Over

dthable dthable writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I've finally recovered from my Microsoft interview experience.

4 Questions:
  a. Design an algorithm
  b. Design a comprehensive unit test plan for the algorithm
  c. Design new features for a product.
  d. List selling points and explain to a customer why they should by your product from c.

It took only 30 minutes but that seemed like an eternity and just drained me. I was so out of it for some time afterwards. Maybe it was the lack of sleep, the stress release or the mental grilling that I just got. It didn't go as well as I would have liked (we had some technical difficulties with the phone connection) and if I had to guess, I would bet against me.

Hey, at least I got the interview.


I am evil?

dthable dthable writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I have an interview next week with Microsoft. I'm basically going for the position of a test software engineer for the xbox team.

What have I gotten myself into?

No sleep for the week while I try to study up on everything computer related. I'll start with compilers and .....


Slashdot Help Needed

dthable dthable writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I know I've been not reading as frequently as I once did, but how the hell do you reply to a comment with the new discussion system? Did the reply link move?


Anyone want to help a geek out

dthable dthable writes  |  more than 8 years ago I'm trying to gather survey results from anyone who owns or did own a rental property. Anyone want to help a geek out and take the survey for a whirl.

The Survey


Python vs. Ruby - Opinions Wanted

dthable dthable writes  |  more than 8 years ago

For web development. Anyone want to pitch their $0.02?


Why do some people go from 0 to jerk in less than 10 seconds

dthable dthable writes  |  more than 8 years ago This sounds lame, funny and strange all at the same time. About a year and a half ago I wanted to send an article to my girlfriend without using my real name or email address. Why should those morons know who I am just because I want to use their email feature. (Never mind that I sold my girlfriend out...I didn't think about that one.) So, I used the name Smoochy Bear and the email address smoochy@bear.net. Completely stupid and something random I picked up here. Well, I sent her a greeting card today using the same info and it turns out that someone actually reads the email to this domain in a catch all account. He decided to send her an email containing the following:

bad <bad@bear.net> wrote:

Whoever your "smoochy bear" is, tell him or her that they are a fucking
asshole and to stop using our domain name to sign their fucking emails.
We don't appreciate the SPAM that their scummy actions cause us.

If they don't have the balls to identify who they are, why even bother
reading their stupid ecards?

Oh, and if they continue their fraudulent ways, we will take legal
action against them, please pass that message on to them.

Now, this is kind of harsh since this is the first time we got anything from him about emailing this stuff. She responded (maybe not in the best way but):

To: Bear

It must be awful that you have been burned so bad in your life that you have to throw dirty words at total strangers, just because you get a few annoying emails. I will pass along your comments to the love of my life, and let him know that his cute pet name is bothering some lonely soul that has a stick up his butt.

I apologize for the inconvenience, and I really hope you find some place to displace that anger. And I hope you find someone that will love you as my smoochy bear loves me!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Now things are strating to get interesting since he comes up with a reply. Not only sending it to her but also to the abuse emails at Gmail.

Hey loser,

It must be awful to not have anyone to sleep with other than a criminal - after all, forging an email address is a federal crime. So instead of getting him to do the right thing and stop his criminal activities, you lash out at us? That says way more about you then us. I suspect he is the same one that is signing up for the various porn sites we have received emails from in the past week under that same name. So while maybe he is the love of your life, apparently you are not the love of his life. and of course that he just 'randomly' choose this domain is unlikely, I suspect when the database is back online I will find a profile from him advertising for sex with another man.

Got to love how people attack the messenger when they are the ones that do something wrong. I frankly don't give a shit about his pet name, as long as he stops committing a CRIME (look it up bitch) by forging an email address. If bedding a criminal is your idea of fun, then go for it.

To gmail/google:

This asshole is pissed because we sent them an email telling them to inform the loser that is sending them ecards using a FORGED email address at our domain. Their response is below. As to their so-called (scum) love of their life, this person has apparently been forging this email address for a while causing multiple emails from various websites and mailing lists to be sent to us. Frankly, we don't feel she has any reason to be pissed at us, considering it is someone SHE knows that is committing a crime by forging emails.

Maybe this dipshit needs to have her email account terminated - oh and the scum that has been forging the email address has also sent us a threatening email. Kind of makes you wonder what kind of people they are.

Nothing he accused in his message is true but he still decided to commit liable anyways. What's the next step to get this idiot to just drop the issue. Per his request, nothing else will ever go to that email address or anything at bear.net. Yet, he continues to believe that I have it out for him and have nothing better to do other than sign him up for different accounts.


Suddenly Everything Has Changed

dthable dthable writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Flaming Lips. Good song. Good band.

I'm not entering with a grand procession nor am I trying to gain attention. This is an explanation of my journey of sole seeking in the world and looking for something I never had before - a definition of who I am, for the curious.

Thomas Freidman says that the only way to survive in the new economy is for countries to stop living in memories and start living in dreams. Don't think about how great you were; start pushing for the next big thing. It not only applies to countries in the new economy of the 21st century, but to life.

Starting on September 5th, I'll be returning to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee full time to finish off the undergraduate portion of my education. In one year, I can stand on stage and know that I finally have those degrees in computer science and business. I'll finally have reached a dream I've only had for the past 9 years.

Of course, this means that I had to quit my job. I gave notice two weeks ago and they're going to keep me on so I can document and because my boss wants to help me out on this endeavor. While I was giving my notice, my boss and I got into a discussion about my career. After some discussion, we both knew that my job as a programmer didn't make me happy. It's entrepreneurship that makes me happy. It's writing the documentation. It's training people and providing secondary sales support. I now have my new direction in life.

I've also started to embark on setting up a company. I'd tell you the details but I don't have that many NDAs. I'd like to use this journal to share that adventure. Right now, I've got the graphic designer working hard on the logos, business cards, etc. I've been spending so much free time on this project and I'm so excited about it.

I won't say running off into this unknown isn't scary. It's damn scary but I'm not going to live only in my memories. I'm going to start living in my dreams. I don't think I could have done this without learning to accepting my disease, learning to live with my disease and learning to love my disease*.

- Dan

* I don't want some people to know so I'm leaving it a little cryptic. Maybe you'll remember from earlier. If it's really killing you, email me.

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