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Ask Slashdot: Best Rapid Development Language To Learn Today?

indeterminator Re:Python (466 comments)

I expect server side JS to be about as passing fad as writing operating systems in C.

It's not great for typical cron jobs or admin scripts. What it is great for, is small server damons. The single threaded everything-is-asynchronous model works so well for that, you don't want to go back once you get started.

about a month and a half ago
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Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

indeterminator Re:What if you already make $14? (1040 comments)

I admit that your government's spending may be excessive, at least it seems to be driven more by partisan politics than rational thinking. The point I was trying to make was a different one: increasing the minimum wage to match actual minimum living costs won't be cause of hyper-inflation. The point I tried to make in my reply to OP was to present some counter-arguments for the unfairness he saw in raising the minimum wage. My view is that the status quo where people end up working on such a low compensation that their personal finance situation is unsustainable, is already unfair. When the market doesn't fix that by itself, someone needs to step up and take action. I'm not confident that a blanket minimum wage is the correct action, but it's an attempt.

Busineses escaping when their operating environment gets worse, is always a risk. Then on the other hand, it's been a while since the US has been the cheapest place in the world to do anything, so it seems that risk is there anyway. And for a local economy, people moving out because they don't earn enough to live there (or alternatively, get hungry in sufficient numbers to riot on the streets), is a risk also.

about 2 months ago
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Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

indeterminator Re:What if you already make $14? (1040 comments)

a) Congratulations, you're now more of a burden to your employer than you were before, and at higher risk of losing your job entirely when he/she decides it's no longer profitable to run a business.

What will the employer do after he shuts down the business, sit on his hands? I think he has to earn his living somehow, too. Entrepreneurs are not magic fairies (well, most of them aren't).

b) Um, inflation has to be managed, or else it wrecks the economy. Google Weimar or Zimbabwe hyperinflation and get a bit of an education on real world economics.

I didn't say inflation doesn't need to be managed. I said, inflation is inevitable. If you go to zero inflation, there's no incentive to invest. Money stops moving. Economy is screwed.

I know of hyperinflation. To get into one, you need serious economy mismanagement. A 100 million americans going from $10/hr to $15/hr is not going to have that effect. Assuming 40 hour working weeks, 52 weeks a year, the difference is about 1 trillion, or about 6% of the GDB of US (2012). Spread that over a couple of years, and you're well within "normal" inflation, and nowhere near hyperinflation.

c) Slacking in any job long-term doesn't help anyone. The employer gets less value, and the employee's skills don't develop. It's the formula for mediocrity, which you are advocating for gleefully.

Wait, what? Did you even read my post before replying?

about 2 months ago
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Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

indeterminator Re:What if you already make $14? (1040 comments)

If you have spent the past few years busting your ass at a job, and managed to make your way to $14/hr (say, you got promoted to a manager position at a restaraunt)... then what? Do you essentially go back to making minimum wage? Do you now make, as a manager, the same hourly wage as the dishwasher? Increasing the minimum wage is great for people that already make it, but I have always felt like it has screwed those who have worked hard to get a few raises over minimum wage.

(a) Congruatulations, you just got 7% ($1) raise with zero effort. Enjoy.
(b) Others got a raise too. It's not out of your wallet. Inflation is inevitable anyway.
(c) It's not like you can work hard to get raises, and then just start slacking off. In order to keep getting paid that rate, you still need to continuously work hard or smart, or most likely, both.
(d) The manager position you have earned through your hard work is in the long term much more important than the immediate compensation you're currently getting from it. Switching jobs (and yes, that will happen, there are no more for-life careers at single employer), you're likely to start off at similar (or higher, considering you can show ability to start from bottom and work your way upwards) responsibilities than at your current job, along with appropriate compensation level.

about 2 months ago
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Huawei Successfully Tests New 802.11ax WiFi Standard At 10.53Gbps

indeterminator Re:Nyquist (116 comments)

For data transmission rates, you'll want Shannon's channel capacity, which is not contradicted:
(a) SNR is a factor of channel capacity
(b) It applies for a single channel. With MIMO you have multiple channels (not independent from each other, but with smart channel coding you get gains over SISO).

about 2 months ago
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How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

indeterminator Re:Open source was never safer (582 comments)

You do realize that encryption is security through obscurity ... right?

No, it's not. The major difference is, that with a proper cryptosystem, if someone discovers your key, you can just switch to a new key and you're as safe as you were (not considering collateral caused by key leak). With security through obscurity, the once the genie is out of the bottle, you won't make it safe without changes to the design of the system.

As someone said, the ignorance runs deep here.

about 3 months ago
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How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

indeterminator Re:Good. (1037 comments)

Can god make a stone so heavy that he cannot lift it?

A god could make a stone that he cannot lift, and then lift it, should he want to.

No reason why an omnipotent being could not defy logic.

about 4 months ago
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Prototype Volvo Flywheel Tech Uses Car's Wasted Brake Energy

indeterminator Re:Safety issues? (262 comments)

Call me when you invent a car that the wheels spin at 60,000 rpm, I want to watch you drive it.

I just invented one. It needs very smooth road though, for its tiny wheels.

about 4 months ago
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Bitcoin's Software Gets Security Fixes, New Features

indeterminator Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (173 comments)

The nature of capital investment: getting in early gives you high profit expectation, with high risk of spectacular failure. Getting in late when things have stabilized, gives lower risk with low expected return.

about 4 months ago
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Snowden Says No One Listened To 10 Attempts To Raise Concerns At NSA

indeterminator Re:The tighter you clench your fist, Lord Vader... (273 comments)

"Seriously, if this is true..."

It's extremely unlikely this is true. Think about it...

He's a sysadmin at the NSA, which means he's supposed to be maintaining their servers -- not looking through classified materials. So if he were to report to his superiors about his concerns with any of these highly classified programs, he'd be admitting to looking at information he should never touch. If he did anyway, he would have been shit-canned immediately and investigated. So, it sounds like a complete pile of horseshit to me.

Either way, this kind of issues should roll uphill, not downhill. If the people in charge can let a Snowden slip, how many more have they let? How many more will they? Someone is trying to avoid their responsibility.

The fact that Snowden was able to get out with the info, suggests the thing is mismanaged. Why was he given access to all this super-classified information, and who's responsible? What was a contractor doing in a super-classified government organization anyway? What Snowden managed to prove, either from the leaked content, or from the fact that there was a leak, is that no one is watching the watchers.

It doesn't matter how you look at it, in the end, it's a complete management screw-up.

about 5 months ago
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Snowden Says No One Listened To 10 Attempts To Raise Concerns At NSA

indeterminator Re:Blaming the victims ?? (273 comments)

Here we go again, can't vote for them because they have no chance of winning.

You need to start voting for the third guy anyway, it's the only way to break the cycle. if no one votes the thirds guy, then no one thinks he has a chance. Enough people have to go first, and make it look possible.

The part where you're being played, is the part where they make you think that every election you fail to vote an established party, your country is DOOMED, forever. The best part is you keep falling for it every time.

The trick is not to have the new party to win (having a new party to assume total control is a bad idea), but to get them enough votes to scare the established parties to change how your voting works, so they get to keep a share of power relative to their share of votes, even if they would become the third party at the next election.

about 5 months ago
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Google Funds San Francisco Bus Rides For Poor

indeterminator Re:"Unfair"? (362 comments)

The Google workers who live in SF still pay their taxes in SF, right? I bet they also use local services quite a bit. Property price increase should be welcome to those currently living there, it's much better for them, and the economy as a whole, than prices going down. I admit that I don't fully understand the dynamics of the situation (I don't live in the U.S.), but most places would welcome wealthy neighbors.

If a point-to-point service makes an area so much more desirable, then maybe it was under-valued in the first place. I can't imagine the place being a slum, and then suddenly all googlers want to move there, because free commute.

There is a bigger problem behind all this: unequal wealth and/or income distribution. Fighting a point-to-point private commuting service is not going to fix that.

about 5 months ago
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Google Funds San Francisco Bus Rides For Poor

indeterminator Re:"Unfair"? (362 comments)

can get away with the continuing destruction of the neighborhoods where there is affordable housing

If a bus line "destroys the neighborhood", you have bigger problems than the bus line.

about 5 months ago
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Should programming be a required curriculum in public schools?

indeterminator Re:Long term will spell doom (313 comments)

Using Google?

Seriously!

I have came across many of using google type that can not write a single line of code without using google.

Yes, seriously. I spend a surprisingly lot of time googling stuff for others (I don't magically know everything, either, even though they seem to think that I do). If they knew how to do it themselves, they would save (a) their time (because I usually can't respond immediately), (b) my time.

about 5 months ago
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Should programming be a required curriculum in public schools?

indeterminator Re:Long term will spell doom (313 comments)

[X] No - it'll do more harm than good

I'll have to agree with this. Programming should be only taught to people who have already managed to learn the basics by themselves, using whatever methods available to them. They are the ones that will benefit the most from being taught, having already proved that both motivation towards subject and required reasoning capability exist.

Nowadays, there are plenty of self-learning resources available on the internet, both the tools and documentation are available mostly for free. The remaining obstacles for kids today would be motivation, and time. And let's face it, no one actually learns to program by doing school exercises (because the trick is not knowing how to implement all those complicated algorithms, but knowing how to avoid having to solve the complications in the first place... KISS).

Instead, I would put "using Google" to the required curriculum. Based on my observations, a lot more people would benefit from that...

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Trust Bitcoin?

indeterminator Re:As Frontalot says (631 comments)

forget hacking: what's to stop an exchange from just closing and keeping all the BTC?

Income from tx fees that they will lose when they're out of business? I'd say running an exchange seems quite profitable even without a scam.

And without the exchange you used to run (esp. when you're the last one), you'll have a hard time converting your stolen BTC into something you can use.

about 5 months ago
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More Bitcoin Exchanges Forced Out of Sync After Massive DDoS Attack

indeterminator Re:Don't we see this all the time? (135 comments)

True, just like a great time to buy BTC was during that brief window yesterday when they were trading for 100$.

I happened to be watching BTC-e on monday when the $102 dip happened. It was a result of someone (or more likely, someone's misbehaving bot) dumping about 6k BTC on the market, at once. It was back over $500 in about a minute.

Those few who had set ridiculously low bids (expecting crash due to expected MtGox bad news) or bots that didn't have a failsafe to just stop when something crazy happens, probably made a good profit on that dump.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should Developers Fix Bugs They Cause On Their Own Time?

indeterminator Re:It's called being an employee (716 comments)

Everyone and everything has an error rate. Software development is well known not to be a perfect process.

Building a wall (or a better analogy, designing the house the wall will be a part of) is no perfect process either.

I just recently thought about why software is so difficult, compared to physical engineering tasks. A big difference I found (aside from the obvious practicalities, such as lacking proper specification and resources) is lack of tolerance in how software is being built. When you're designing a supporting wall for a house, you calculate how much weight it needs to be able to carry. Then, you multiply that weight by a safety factor, adding tolerance. Similarly, when actually constructing the wall, the bricks don't need to be perfectly aligned, good enough is good enough, the final adjustment can be fixed with bit more or less mortar.

A lot of software is built with low tolerance. Part of it is cutting costs, part of it is just immaturity of the industry. There are already known good practises for increasing tolerance of software development process. Worried about buffer overflows? Use a language that makes them impossible. Data loss? Use a known good DB (and learn to use it) instead of inventing your own storage. Developers writing bad logic? Require proper testing and code reviews. All of the previous requested, but not happening? Bring in a competent project manager.

Then there's the whole other unique issue that software development faces, changing requirements. Construction workers will likely give you the finger, then go drink some beer and laugh about it, if you tell them that the garage they have built half-way actually needs to be a cathedral by the end of the month. In software, that's business as usual.

And then, every once in a while, walls collapse too. Sometimes they find someone who had not done his job properly, sometimes it's just written down as a sum of consequences.

about 6 months ago
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Why the Internet of Things Is More 1876 Than 1995

indeterminator "Reply to comment" (142 comments)

I think the smart fridge thing is more interesting for inventory management at your local grocery store, than for an individual person. It would be worth a lot to them to be able to track when people are going to run out of specific items, so they can have the right amount of inventory at right time.

OTOH, almost every time I go grocery shopping, I buy something I wouldn't have needed yet, simply because I didn't remember if I had it or not and get one just in case. So being able to check your fridge contents while at the store might also be useful.

Btw. Before trying it, I thought the beta hate might be just nerd rage, but I'm starting to understand.

about 6 months ago

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