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Ugly Trends Threaten Aviation Industry

pivot_enabled Re: Cost (473 comments)

I don't buy into mindless conservative drivel either, but as a pilot with a plane I can tell you that it is not drivel in this case. From new medical requirements to odious maintenance regulations to new border crossing requirements the list of inane federal requirements keeps going up. For all of this the USA is still the best and cheapest place to fly but that isn't saying much considering how absurd it can be to fly in other parts of the world. One bright spot is the sport pilots license. I think many people are not aware of how inexpensive it is to obtain a sport pilots license, and how good some of those aircraft are.

about 8 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Deal With Programmers Who Have Not Stayed Current?

pivot_enabled Programming left me (509 comments)

Or as a friend says, "I didn't leave programming, it left me".

The goal of most commercial development efforts is, or should be, to solve a business problem in the most permanent and cost effective way. Cost effective is a combination of the initial effort, ongoing maintenance and the cost of hardware required to run the solution.

I haven't seen many shiny *new* tools that do that any better than the *old* tools did. When you have been in this business long enough and you see the same wonderful *new* ideas come around for the third time you get a bit jaded. You realize just how pointless this wonderful new thing is. You will solve the same problem but using MUCH slower development tools and environments and in the end the product itself will be slower.

If this new skill you are hoping they will adopt is as indispensable as you seem to think it is, then lead by example! Show them how quickly you can solve the problem and how easy the new code base will be to maintain. If you can do that and they are still not interested then they are simply in the wrong business. On the other hand don't be surprised if you find out they can do the same but much quicker with their own tools and possibly produce code that runs as much as 1000 times faster. Will you be able to swallow your pride and acknowledge that you are full of BS? I doubt it.

Writing for concurrency is far from a new concept and not being able to do that is not indicative of a faded skill set. That is an essential skill set which was never acquired. Revision control systems have been around for a long time. Most systems can be learned well enough to use properly in just a few hours and they are essential to effective team work. Again not what I would call a faded skill. This is a fundamental lack. As to code reviews those cut both ways. Their pride will recover quite nicely when they review YOUR code.

Are you REALLY interested in how to make this person productive? Team your one of your "old" guys with one of the "young" guys. They will BOTH learn a lot.

about a year and a half ago

Big Advance In Hydrogen Production Could Change Alternative Energy Landscape

pivot_enabled Yes! (340 comments)

I don't know why this seems to elude so many. We already HAVE a high density hydrogen delivery vehicle.

about a year and a half ago

What You Need To Know About Phone Unlocking

pivot_enabled It is not illegal (321 comments)

Anymore than it is illegal to write in a book you bought which contains copyrighted content. This is not about copyright, it is about private property rights and the Library of Congress has no authority in that realm.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Incentives For IT Workers?

pivot_enabled Happy ending day? (468 comments)

Or is that just the last few seconds of massage day?

about 2 years ago

Radio Shack's TRS-80 Turns 35

pivot_enabled The computer that kept giving (231 comments)

It must have been the best investment in history. I learned to write code on that machine (including assembly). It led to a still continuing history of nearly seamless gainful employment.

Thank you Tandy!

I still have it, In the garage, in a box.

more than 2 years ago

Google Killing Off Mini, Video, and iGoogle

pivot_enabled Ditto.... (329 comments)

So I start using a Google facility and then they kill it? I was happy to switch away from (got tired of yahoo constantly trying to add crapware to my machine) once I got iGoogle all set up. I guess I will search for a non-google replacement.

more than 2 years ago

DirecTV CEO Scoffs At Competition From Apple TV

pivot_enabled Happy with my Roku (264 comments)

5 years ago Directv shut off my newly acquired HD receiver after I had been with them for 7 years. Was it because I hadn't paid my bill? NO! It was because my phone line was not connected to the receiver so that they could charge me for pay-per-view which I NEVER used. When I called in and asked "What the hell?" and was told that the agreement required me to keep the phone line connected I told them that was fine, disconnect me permanently.

I have no regrets.

My Roku works great and I pay for what I actually want to watch, and if it is worthwhile I will gladly get yet another box to hook to my projector in the form of an Apple TV but I will NEVER go back to satellite or cable for TV.

more than 2 years ago

China Plans National, Unified CPU Architecture

pivot_enabled Can you say "Ada"? (240 comments)

This is brilliant! China should absolutely pursue this line of thinking in all area. I am projecting a strong recovery in the US labor market....

more than 2 years ago

How To Catch a Laptop Thief?

pivot_enabled Here is the first and MOST IMPORTANT step! (485 comments)

Find a well visited web site where you can discuss the details of your laptop's disappearance. This will not only enlist the aid of anyone who regularly follows that site but there is also very little risk because the Canadians are well known scofflaws and laptops disappear by the hundreds in Vancouver on a daily basis. There is no way that any Canadian could ever connect their shiny new laptop with your Slashdot post... I mean the odds must be less than like one in something...

And secondly...
      Just admit that that Sharks sticker on your Mac was there to goad any Canucks fan who walked by and that the loss of your laptop is a small price to pay for having escaped Vancouver with your life.


about 3 years ago

Self-Powered Microbial Fuel Cell Produces Hydrogen

pivot_enabled Re:Clash of tides. (58 comments)

I agree that there are problems with this idea, however one of those problems is not that "the world is running short of fresh water". Firstly this idea would not,in and of itself, consume any fresh water. This idea only works where fresh water is meeting the sea. Secondly fresh water is extremely abundant.... It just isn't always necessarily where we want it to be.

more than 3 years ago

Self-Powered Microbial Fuel Cell Produces Hydrogen

pivot_enabled Re:It is SOLAR powered not SELF powered (58 comments)

Yeah it's true. I was over reacting a bit to their use of the term "self powered". Also my BS sensors go off whenever anyone talks about using hydrogen as an energy source. First we need to use some kind of power to generate the hydrogen and then we still have the problem of packing it tightly into a fuel tank. The funny thing is that we already know exactly how to do that.... We call them hydrocarbons and they are a very efficient hydrogen transport mechanism. If only it weren't for those pesky carbon atoms polluting the environment.

more than 3 years ago

Self-Powered Microbial Fuel Cell Produces Hydrogen

pivot_enabled It is SOLAR powered not SELF powered (58 comments)

The freshwater doesn't magically appear and it isn't free. Solar energy create the weather that lofts all that freshwater into the atmosphere so that it can return as rain and enter a river and make its way back to the interface with that saltwater.... where we can create a system to turn it into hydrogen.... or we could just capture the solar energy more directly and turn it into electricity and use it!

more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Are You Streaming-Only For Home Entertainment?

pivot_enabled Dish Network made me switch! (697 comments)

I had subscribed to Dish network for about 7 years until about 6 years ago. That was when I decided to get my first Dish HD receiver. I hooked up my new receiver and upgraded my subscription and a couple of weeks later my service, which I had always faithfully paid was shut off for some unknown reason. When I called to find out what was going on I was told it was because my phone line was not hooked up to my new receiver. I pointed out that I had never had a phone line hooked up to the receiver and that I NEVER watch pay-per-view and they had some gall to shut my paid up service off. I was so disgusted I told them to shut me off permanently and go to hell.

That was a great day!

Netflix works just fine and what I can't get on Netflix I am happy to pay for from Amazon. I like voting with my dollars for what I actually want to watch instead of subsidizing a bunch of crap. I wish Showtime and HBO would get with the program! I am HAPPY to buy your content, but if I can't, I will get my fix some other way!

more than 3 years ago


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