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Comments

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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 a month and a half 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 a month and a half 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 5 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 5 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 5 months ago
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Getting Misogyny, Racism and Homophobia Out of Gaming

mjr167 Re:Disable player chat (704 comments)

If we are to claim that games are an art form akin to books, movies, poetry, music, and painting, then we have to accept that art often is designed to make us uncomfortable. Often, an artist calls attention to an issue by exploring it. For example, you have a gay protagonist who struggles with his own inner lack of acceptance and self-confidence as well as fears of how society views him. You include a scene where the gay guy gets beat up because he is gay. A successful artist would establish empathy between the character and the player, causing the player to question the moral implications of the scenario. Maybe he was ok with beating up gay guys before, but now he has established a bond with this character and thus becomes uncomfortable with the scene and questions long held beliefs?

It is not about turning the games into something like Sesame Street or Magical Friendship Land where we watch everyone get along. The stories that resonate the deepest with us are the stories that hit the closest to home. It is ok to portray the struggle of social injustice. To try to pretend that it does not exist is foolish and will not send a message other than "look how PC". Instead it is about creating a story that feels real, causes us to empathize with the characters, and thus question our own personal prejudices.

about 5 months ago
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More On the Disposable Tech Worker

mjr167 Re:Recycle! (323 comments)

But if we have the correct Processes in place then all the people just become interchangeable, unthinking cogs that blindly follow the all powerful Process!

If you are having trouble with your people not knowing how to do things or having trouble coming up to speed, then clearly your Process is broken and we need to pay 10 managers to take a week long trip to Hawaii in order to revamp the Process.

All the workers need to know is how to look up the correct Process and follow their check list. The Process will cover all scenarios and situations imaginable and should never be deviated from.

about 5 months ago
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U.S. Aims To Give Up Control Over Internet Administration

mjr167 Re:Internet should go where it should go (279 comments)

Are they actually moving the root DNS servers? Cause otherwise nothing has really changed except the US is no longer regulating ICANN. ICANN is still physically located in the US. If the root servers are still in the US nothing prevents the NSA/FBI/whoever from walking in and turning them off.

about 5 months ago
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Engine Data Reveals That Flight 370 Flew On For Hours After It "Disappeared"

mjr167 Re:What about radar? (382 comments)

I blame TV. Apparently everyone thinks we are actively tracking every single object flying through the air everywhere, every second of every day...

about 5 months ago
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New Jersey Auto Dealers Don't Want to Face Tesla

mjr167 Re:Why dealerships get a free ride (342 comments)

I find it hard to believe that dealers are stocking parts for every single model and year ever made. Can you really walk into a dealer and pick up a part for a '94 Honda right now?

I have an 07 and have been told "X is broke. We need to get you a new one and it's going to take us Y time." Fortunately most parts are standard so you don't need to special order an oil filter. Things like oil filters, control arm brackets, and hoses don't exactly change much year over year.

There are also a number of shops and mechanics who somehow have parts and can fix cars without running an entire dealership. When I needed the rear half of my car rebuilt, I didn't go to the dealer. I sent to a body shop and they somehow managed to get parts. I'm guessing they called the manufacturer and ordered half of a car :P

about 5 months ago

Submissions

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Cell Phones Will Soon Control ATMs...

mjr167 mjr167 writes  |  about 10 months 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."

Link to Original Source
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Smart Guns

mjr167 mjr167 writes  |  about a year and a half 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?"
Link to Original Source
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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."
Link to Original Source

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