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Suspected Ebola carriers in the U.S. ...

mjr167 Re:How about... (349 comments)

People are freaking out, quarantines keep them calm, so we go with quarantines.

I recall another period in US history where we took innocent people and locked them up out of fear... We don't look on back on that with pride. The AIDs quarantine proposed in 1980's in California didn't fly. We didn't quarantine symptomatic people with swine flu. We don't quarantine active carriers of HIV. Trying to quarantine non-contagious people just to make you feel warm and fuzzy is wrong.

about 2 months ago
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Why Military Personnel Make the Best IT Pros

mjr167 Re:Some would be well suited. (299 comments)

$140K a year for a defense contractor in the DC area (even 14 years ago) is quite reasonable. Down in DC defense salaries are highly inflated. Once you get your tickets (bonus if you are ex-military cause the govies love ex-military on the proposals) you can just jump houses whenever you think you aren't getting paid enough. One of my managers was down there interviewing a guy making > $140k who had done literally nothing but change jobs every couple of years and thought he deserved a pay boost.

about 3 months ago
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Nearly 2,000 Chicago Flights Canceled After Worker Sets Fire At Radar Center

mjr167 Re:The kinder, gentler terrorism (223 comments)

No one said terrorists are smart people... Probably cause smart people have better things to do with their time.

about 3 months ago
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To Fight $5.2B In Identity Theft, IRS May Need To Change the Way You File Taxes

mjr167 Re:Simplify Taxes (410 comments)

Or how about we get rid of all the stupid tax credits in exchange for a lower base rate... You are probably going to give your $1000 to the red cross anyways. If you pay a tax rate of 20% and you get a $1000 deduction, then the govt gives you back $200. You are still out $800.

Now you say that because the government won't give you $200 back, you will only donate $800. However, if the lower base rate gives you the extra $200 as disposable income without having to file the paperwork, then why wouldn't you give it to the Red Cross like you wanted to do before? If the answer is you are going to take the extra $200 and spend it on hookers and blow, then that's on you, not the government.

Personally I like the Fair Tax proposal. Consider this... do we really need to have an entire industry devoted solely to reducing people's tax burdens?

about 3 months ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

mjr167 Re:999 (600 comments)

Probably because he only bothered to put 3 digits on the display. And he's 17.

A new hire I'm working with that is a college grad asked me why I was making him validate the system input... Apparently there are some things that you don't learn until it bites you in the ass. I then let him do some XML parsing using string searches a couple months ago and now he is busy rewriting all his code to use the XML parser now that he has discovered how diverse legal XML truly is. I figured a good life lesson was worth it. He has spend the past few days muttering about how he was told the XML messages would never change...

about 3 months ago
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On 4th of July:

mjr167 Re:"Illegal" fireworks (340 comments)

If it was national blaring music day, I would suck it up :P But my neighbors would turn "National Blaring Music Day" into "National Music Blaring Month".

Seriously... they have been setting of fireworks since Memorial Day

about 6 months ago
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On 4th of July:

mjr167 Re:"Illegal" fireworks (340 comments)

Our neighbors set off "illegal" explosives in order to celebrate seditious men. We usually call the cops when they start setting off the bottle rockets in the middle of the night and waking up my baby. Before I bought my house the college students living in the apartment below me had a "illegal explosives" party all night long one night. It was a weeknight. After I went downstairs and yelled at them for making a ruckus, they decided to light up the rest of their stash. The next morning they had left all their trash all over the lawn. The landlord evicted them.

The hate is directed towards inconsiderate asshats blowing shit up when other people are trying to sleep. If a guy was standing in the middle of the street in front of your house at midnight blaring rock music, you would be ticked off. If a guy launches a bottle rocket into your roof and burned your house down, you would be pretty ticked off. No one gives a fuck about people having a little fun. There are plenty of fireworks, etc that don't involve burning down your neighbors house or waking them up in the middle of the night. Not to mention that if you really want to go blow up big stuff without ticking people off you can either do it outside the city limits or during a time when no one cares.

So as long as you don't burn my house down or wake my baby up, I don't care how you celebrate :) Once you start doing one of those things, then I call the cops.

about 6 months ago
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Teachers Union: Computers Can Negatively Impact Children's Ability To Learn

mjr167 Re:Meatspace is losing to userspace (310 comments)

As a preschool app, it's not that bad a game. It helps her learn to spot count (looking at a group and immediately seeing 4 without needing to count each object individually) as well form problem solving skills. The primary problem is that it enforces the idea that once you find the solution to the game, then that is the only way to solve that particular problem and is discourages her from looking for other ways to solve the problem. Why should try putting 1 and 4 together when she knows that she will get 5 if she combines all the fish and then splits them?

I think you have found the primary problem with computer based games (or any game with rigid rules). The predefined rules rarely cover all possible scenarios and often overly simplify the world. How many times have you played a game where in order to advance to the next level you need to jump from exactly the right spot and then grab a vine even though you have a grappling hook in your backpack or some other such nonsense?

about 7 months ago
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Teachers Union: Computers Can Negatively Impact Children's Ability To Learn

mjr167 Re:Meatspace is losing to userspace (310 comments)

Computers are a tool, nothing more. Like a screwdriver, they can be used to fix things, take things apart, or kill people. It is not the fault of the tool if it is being used improperly.

My daughter (age 4) plays a game on the iPad where she is asked to do object based math. She is supposed to combine groups of 1, 2, 3, and 4 fish in order to form groups of 5 fish. The iPad tells me that she has yet to master this skill because her solution is to combine all the fish into one big group of 10 and then split the group in half, getting two groups of 5. The two groups of 5 fish merrily go off to get eaten by the whale and she completes the level happy, but the iPad will not advance her to adding to make 6.

The game is fun and helps her practice these skills in a easily reset-able environment thanks to the magic block fairies, but at some point she is going to need a person to tell her why the game doesn't like her solution.

about 7 months ago
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Programmers: It's OK To Grow Up

mjr167 Re:Buzzzzz word compliant. (232 comments)

Admittedly jumping from a C background into Java is not a huge leap, but in the end it's all just syntax. Programming principles never change.

Apparently people have trouble going from Java to C...

I'm currently involved in migrating a large legacy C/C++ project to new hardware and updating our external interfaces. They gave us a bunch of java programmers to help us out and they can't seem to wrap their heads around the fact that if the system isn't behaving the way legacy did, they are supposed to read the code and figure it out on their own. Apparently if Eclipse won't highlight the line or an error message doesn't get printed to the screen explicitly telling them what's wrong, they have no fing clue what to do. Maybe it's my developers, but none of them seem to be able to make the switch from Java to C and C++.

about 7 months ago
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Why Portland Should Have Kept Its Water, Urine and All

mjr167 Re:Get over it (332 comments)

And then Memphis dumps all their crap in the river and it flows downstream... New Orleans gets the river AFTER almost 2/3 of the country has dumped their crap in it.

about 8 months ago
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Why Portland Should Have Kept Its Water, Urine and All

mjr167 Re:Get over it (332 comments)

The city of New Orleans gets their drinking water from the Mississippi River...

about 8 months ago
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First Glow-In-the-Dark Road Debuts In Netherlands

mjr167 Re:Useless (187 comments)

I'm not sure what this obsession with street lights is... We don't have street lights where I live and it's nice. We somehow manage to not run over children and animals, though the deer do occasionally hit cars. Stupid deer dashing out of the woods and running into cars... (cars never hit deer, the deer always hits the car).

As a result we can look up and see the sky at night and we don't have street lights shining into our houses in the middle of the night.

about 8 months ago
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Federal Bill Would Criminalize Revenge Porn Websites

mjr167 Re:Freedom of Speech? (328 comments)

If we did accept your argument, then we would also have to accept that it would be a violation of free speech to film film young girls in a dressing room or to take covertly film women going up an escalator so we can see up their dresses. In both cases, this is not acceptable, and the former is is not only because of age issues.

Actually... Upskirting is apparently currently legal.

about 9 months ago
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Details You're Not Supposed To See From Boston U's Patent Settlements

mjr167 Re:Universities should have no patents (130 comments)

One of my coworkers is teaching a class at the local university. They are paying him $6000 for the semester. He has 30 students, each student pays the uni $2600 to take the class so the uni got $78,000 in tuition for this one class and had to pay the professor $6000. Where do you think the money goes?

It's an online class. There is no lab equipment, no building fee...

about 9 months ago
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They're Reading Your Mail: Microsoft's ToS, Windows 8 Leak, and Snooping

mjr167 Re: Bad summary (206 comments)

That actually varies by state to state... Some states require the landlord to provide notice, others do not. I had this problem at my first apartment. The landlord was constantly sending in maintenance and not bothering to tell me. They had to do work on the furnace, inspect the fire extinguishers, etc. At least once a month they came in and the only reason I knew was because I bought a security camera. It was ridiculous. In the end, I moved out. Legally there was nothing I could do and trust me, I was pissed and tried.

about 9 months ago
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Navy Database Tracks Civilians' Parking Tickets, Fender-Benders

mjr167 Re:1996 (96 comments)

Actually... yes... If you have a security clearance you are required to report traffic violations resulting in large fines. Until recently the limit was $150, but in the last couple of years they upped it to $300. Apparently the US government thinks that if you routinely drive 90 in a 50 you are irresponsible or something.

about 9 months ago
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More On the Disposable Tech Worker

mjr167 Re:Recycle! (323 comments)

We have a new hire going through our one project and fixing compile issues (we are porting to a new architecture and upgrading the compiler). He hit a series of errors about copy constructors being private. His solution was to just friend the class instead of asking us why the copy constructors were private. It was a database connection class and the destructor closed the connection. Those of us who knew what was going on, knew that this was Bad and we needed to fix the implicit copy that was happening with the new compiler, not just litter friend throughout the code to make it compile. Had we tried to run his fix, the system would have failed with closed database connections.

So yes. Experience is worth something.

about 9 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Re-Learning How To Interview As a Developer?

mjr167 Re:Drink more. (218 comments)

I once interviewed a guy who complained that he almost didn't make the interview cause he was still hung over from last night...

We didn't hire him.

about 9 months ago
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Getting Misogyny, Racism and Homophobia Out of Gaming

mjr167 Re:Disable player chat (704 comments)

Grand Theft Auto serves the same purpose that Naughty Nurses VIII serves. Not all movies explore the deeper aspects of mankind, morality, and story telling. Not all games will either. We produce a lot of crap in all industries. Not everything will be worthy of being called art.

about 9 months ago

Submissions

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Cell Phones Will Soon Control ATMs...

mjr167 mjr167 writes  |  about a year ago

mjr167 (2477430) writes ""Just like using a "remote control for the ATM," you will soon be able to log onto a mobile app, indicate the amount of money you want and receive it in seconds from an ATM. No debit card necessary — all you need is your phone, financial services giant FIS announced at the Money2020 conference in Las Vegas this week."

What could possibly go wrong?"

Link to Original Source
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Beware the Militant Millipedes

mjr167 mjr167 writes  |  about a year ago

mjr167 (2477430) writes "Millipedes in Australia have taken to the streets... er train tracks... in an effort to bring awareness to their plight as a trodden upon second class citizen of our planet. While the little guys have been throwing themselves in front of trains and cars for decades, they have finally managed to organize in sufficient numbers to actually have an impact and are now responsible for at least one train crash.

I bet you always thought the "How many millipedes does it take to stop a train?" question on your physics exam was a joke."

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Smart Guns

mjr167 mjr167 writes  |  about 2 years ago

mjr167 (2477430) writes "While most in the gun debate argue about minor details about availability of guns, there is one proposal to make guns that "know" if they should fire or not. The guns would somehow know if they are being to told to shoot a child and not fire when the trigger is pulled. How could this possibly go wrong?"
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Georgia School Math Assignment Teaches About Slave

mjr167 mjr167 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mjr167 (2477430) writes "A Georgia school decided that it would be a good idea to have a crossover between a social studies class learning about Fredrick Douglass and slavery and math. The resulting homework assignment asked students the following questions: “Each tree had 56 oranges. If eight slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?” and “If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in one week?” Apparently several teachers collaborated to put the assignment together."
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