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Satellite Captures Glowing Plants From Space

mcmonkey Re:Misleading Headline (40 comments)

Word.

The capture is from space, not the plants.

4 days ago
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Book Review: Bulletproof SSL and TLS

mcmonkey This person should be banned from book reviews (92 comments)

"If SSL is the emperor's new clothes, then Ivan Ristic in Bulletproof SSL and TLS has shown that perhaps the emperor isn't wearing anything at all."

Perhaps? PERHAPS??

If you're going to reference "the emperor's new clothes" then certainly the emperor isn't wearing anything at all. That is the very meaning of "the emperor's new clothes." Sheesh.

about a month ago
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Adobe's Digital Editions Collecting Less Data, Says EFF

mcmonkey Re:Piracy FTW! (32 comments)

So they are only spying on you when you read DRM'd books.

It is like the entire content industry wants people to choose PAPER BOOKS.

o PAPER BOOKS means no one else knows what/when/where and how long you read/watch/listen to something
o PAPER BOOKS means no worries about losing access to something you paid for
o PAPER BOOKS means no lock-in to single devices or single manufacturer "ecosystems"

Even if pirated content wasn't cost free and commercial free, all the other ways these guys want to fook me over for the privilege of paying them money is enough to drive anyone to pirate.

FTFY.

about a month ago
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Adobe's Digital Editions Collecting Less Data, Says EFF

mcmonkey Should be zero. (32 comments)

First, data is plural. Should be 'one datum point'. You wouldn't say you shot one elephants in your pajamas, would you?

Second, this system should be collecting zero data points, because no one should use it. You may laugh at the onion on my belt, but it once was in fashion, and no corporation or government knows when or what books I read, or to whom I lend them. Until the same can be said of eBooks or digital editions, such systems are broken and not fit for any use.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Single Sign-On To Link Google Apps and Active Directory?

mcmonkey Re:What the hell (168 comments)

"And what guarantees will you make against PHI disclosure?"

You can't fully diclose PHI = its an irrational number

    = ( 1 + 5 ) / 2

3?

about a month and a half ago
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Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

mcmonkey Re:just for comparison (546 comments)

this is an interesting discussion..

..if you think confusing computer science and software development is interesting.

Complaining about the lack of programming in a CS degree is like complaining that physics majors don't build bridges.

"the courses taught in virtually all computer science [curricula] focus on theory, and they only dabble in teaching practical programming skills"

Well, it's good to hear virtually all computer science programs are doing it right!

about 4 months ago
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Fish Raised On Land Give Clues To How Early Animals Left the Seas

mcmonkey Animals? Or vertebrates? (62 comments)

I've heard the same story as most...fish left the seas to spawn amphibians, reptiles, and other land animals.

Such stories never address invertebrates. If, as the headline suggests, all land animals come from fish who left the water, does this mean insects and other land invertebrates evolved from fish?

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

mcmonkey Re:AT&T DSL/Uverse Data Limits (355 comments)

And if you're using email to transfer a 10M file, you should be banished frmo the internet.

about 4 months ago
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California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

mcmonkey "immediate physical control" for current vehicles (506 comments)

If they're insistent there's a way for an occupant to take "immediate physical control", why do they allow current cars on the road?

I'm not sure about steering, but certainly for acceleration and braking there's no way for drivers to take physical control of a modern automobile. Anything we do with those pedals on the floor sends a signal to a computer. The computer then decides what actions to take--open the throttle or apply the brakes.

There's a person initiating those functions, but the person does not have physical control.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Good Replacement Batteries?

mcmonkey LMGTFY (131 comments)

On second thought, google it yourself.

Worst. Ask Slashdot. Ever.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

mcmonkey It's a lie. (548 comments)

The code groupies you hear about.

Not true. :(

about 4 months ago
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Samsung Buys Kickstarter-Funded Internet of Things Startup For $200MM

mcmonkey Re:How much do the backers get? (107 comments)

Is it pure risk for the backers? e.g. if they make a product, they get something they bought, but if the product flops, they loose their money.
And now if the product makes a fortune, they only get their product they bought.
In other words, is kickstarter just a pre-order sales website?

It's zero risk for the kickstarter backers. There is zero chance they will lose more than they pledged through kickstarter.

Product? They didn't buy any product. Kickstarter has been quite clear, it is not a pre-order service. Anything offered in return for a kickstarter pledge is essentially a thank-you gift. Like all gifts, you're shouldn't demand one or complain when you don't get one.

If a kickstarter campaign fails (that is, raises the requested funds, but never manages to complete the product), the backers get nothing and have no recourse. I don't see how it would be any different if the campaign succeeds, as it did in this case. (Other than for P.R. reasons)

So back to the question of risk, once the campaign reached its funding goal, that money pledged was gone. Not a risk, but a certainty. It's like asking, what is the risk if I drop $5 into a Salvation Army bucket? No risk--you're just out $5.

about 4 months ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

mcmonkey Would like to (550 comments)

But my secret identity relies on wearing glasses.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

mcmonkey Re:Only if... (427 comments)

I could make phone calls on it without carrying a separate phone. Beyond that and telling time, I can't think of any other use for a screen I'd want to wear on my wrist.

My first thought in response to the question was, "never".

But if a smartwatch was a phone replacement instead of just a remote control for something that is generally not out of reach, I might consider it.

Of course, I was never a big fan of wrist watches. I could never get comfortable with one. I prefer pocket watches. So I would buy a pocket smart watch. And being a pocket watch, it would be a little bigger than a wrist watch, with a larger screen.

Oh wait! I already have that. It's called, "my phone."

So never. My answer is never.

about 6 months ago
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GM Names and Fires Engineers Involved In Faulty Ignition Switch

mcmonkey Re:So Scott Oldham of Edmunds.com is a liar? (307 comments)

I'm not calling Oldham a liar. I'm saying, GM's story means either they are calling him a liar, or they're saying the engineer in the car with him on his test drive just happened to be the one engineer who knew about the issue. How else can they say only one person knew about the issue?

However, reading a bit more closely, we could be talking about different time frames. I.E. in 2002 only one person knew, as the GM statement claims, and only later in 2004 did other engineers become aware.

Of course none of that explains how one person gets a part changed without changing the part number and there's no oversight or visibility, and what happened between 2004 and 2014.

about 7 months ago
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GM Names and Fires Engineers Involved In Faulty Ignition Switch

mcmonkey So Scott Oldham of Edmunds.com is a liar? (307 comments)

According to this NPR story:
http://www.npr.org/2014/03/31/...

Scott Oldham of Edmunds.com had a test drive of the Cobalt in 2004, with a GM engineer in the car. Multiple times Oldham's knee hit the key fob and car shut down.

Also, a major factor preventing identification of the ignition switch issue (or at least providing plausible deniability) is the part number. GM had 2 sets of cars: one set supposedly had this issue, the other did not. Both had the same ignition switch, so if there was a difference between the two sets, the ignition switch was not it.

Now we know the ignition switch was changed, but the part number stayed the same, making it difficult to correctly identify the issue. We're supposed to believe a single engineer was responsible for changing a part but not the part number?

Not that it matters much to me. My car searches start with Consumer Reports reviews and reliability ratings, and so no GM car has been in consideration for a while.

about 7 months ago
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The World's Worst Planes: Aircraft Designs That Failed

mcmonkey Re:The Spruce Goose (209 comments)

What about the Spruce Moose?

Huge oversight missing from the list.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Joining a Startup As an Older Programmer?

mcmonkey Was that an interview or an audition? (274 comments)

Because what you describe sounds more like the Hollywood version of a tech start up than any of the actual start-ups I've worked for and with.

Not that there can't be issues from the cultural differences between established companies and start-ups or between 40-something married with children and 20 & 30-something single, but if I'm looking to join a company as a programmer and Burning Man is on my list of concerns, I would not be looking to join this company.

about 8 months ago

Submissions

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Career model for developers at a non-IS company?

mcmonkey mcmonkey writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mcmonkey (96054) writes "What should the IS career model for developers in a non-technical company look like?

I am a developer for a large manufacturer. 85% of our software is off-the-shelf, and primary support is either through the vendor or an off-shore consultant, with the remaining systems home-grown. Most of the folks in IS are business analysts and management-types. I would like to stick with this employer for a bit longer, but the lack of a clear career path for technical IS workers is an issue.

(This is not just an issue for me, but a recognized need. There is management support for major revision of the technical career model.)

For the few technical folks within IS, there isn't a clear career ladder or path for moving to positions of larger scope and higher responsibility. There is a career management document which is good for junior developers. It describes the progression from performing specific assigned tasks to leading small projects and working without immediate oversight.

But the career ladder--as documented and in reality--breaks down past that mid-career point. Past the 'expert with 5 to 10 years experience' there isn't any where to go other than in to non-technical management or out of the company.

Most of my career has been at smaller companies without a formal career ladder and promotion process. This was never an issue for me--I was changing companies every few years and was able to move in to positions of increasing responsibility (and compensation) without ever getting a promotion.

Now that I am looking to settle down, I would like to have an active roll in shaping the career model. But I do not have any first hand experience of a functioning technical career ladder or promotion process.

What should the IS career model for developers in a non-technical company look like? What steps should be in the career ladder? Can there be a technical career path for developers at such a company?"
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Ideas for an IT Masters thesis?

mcmonkey mcmonkey writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mcmonkey writes "I'm in a Masters program for IT with a concentration on computation and mathematics. Course work is going well, but I've got serious developer's block when it comes to a thesis topic. So I'm turning to my friends at Ask Slashdot.

What are your suggestions for a Masters thesis topic, or ideas to spark my own creativity? The project should be original, have a "significant programming component," and be appropriate for publication in an academic journal. But other than that, I've got pretty free reign. And I think that's part of my problem. Programming assignments and exams I can knock off with little stress. But given a blank piece of paper (or text editor) and say "fill this," I'm at a loss.

To anticipate some questions you might have:
"Why should I do your homework for you?" The thesis proposal is typically 15 to 20 pages, with the completed thesis 30 to 50 pages, not including source code. While your ideas are appreciated and are helpful, I wouldn't say one or two sentences counts as 'doing my work for me.'

"Why not go to professors at your school?" At my school it's considered very bad form to go to professors for thesis ideas. I do not know why. I can, and have, gone to profs for feedback on ideas I've had (and that feedback has generally been, "yeah, what else you got?"), but I can't go to office hours and fish for thesis topics.

"Contribute to an open source project, take over an orphaned app on Source Forge, etc." I'm in a computational, not engineering, track. A project that is programmatically significant but theoretically uninteresting won't do. Now something that uses a novel heuristic so solve an intractable problem would fit the bill.

"This is the worst Ask Slashdot question ever." There's been worse, and you know it."

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