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PHP 5.6.0 Released

pspahn Re:It's powerful, but.. (112 comments)

Sure, why not part of the core language? Think about it ...

Out of all the holidays that I'm thinking of off the top of my head, Easter is the one that stands out as being of significant importance as well as being rather awkward to figure when it occurs. If you couple this with the fact that PHP is a web language (an environment where knowing when Easter is can come in rather handy) I think it makes perfect sense.

I suppose if you're griping because there is no core method `ramadan_date` or `chinese_new_year_date`, then that makes sense.

yesterday
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PHP 5.6.0 Released

pspahn Re:It's powerful, but.. (112 comments)

Can you really not figure it out?

First off, would it be quite easy for you to tell me off the top of your head what the date of Easter will be in 2021? How about just next year? The date it falls on it fairly complicated and not exactly simple to write an algorithm for.

Ok, but who will use it? I guess it comes as a surprise that it is a fairly important holiday for religious reasons and that a number of other holidays' dates are intertwined with Easter.

If you really see no practical application for that, well I guess you're just not trying hard enough.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

pspahn Re:Pick a different job. (548 comments)

You must be looking in the wrong places.

Colorado is white-hot right now. The developer jobs will soon follow. I spoke with my dad last night and he mentioned business is up 30% over last year (he sells trees/shrubs/etc). That means people are moving here and buying houses again. Two neighbor houses in Denver were on the market for over a year each and both sold within a week of each other. Be damned if they didn't get what they were asking.

I just interviewed yesterday for a job and was told that the salary would be "quite a bit higher" than my previous salary from 2 years ago. Heck, with all the government agencies here, even the old dinosaur coders can still find work. I think it's a great place to work as a developer. Of course, those days are numbered as all these graduating kids from the East Coast move in and saturate the market with developers. Really, it hasn't been very difficult to differentiate yourself here in the past. There are generally more people interviewing for jobs that have no business being there than there are qualified candidates.

This also not to even mention all the newly wealthy pot vendors that are having to refine processes and invest in their own software tools.

about a week ago
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New NSA-Funded Code Rolls All Programming Languages Into One

pspahn Re:Programming language? (306 comments)

So in order to be a programming language it has to be compiled instead of interpreted?

Where does compiled PHP fit into your world view?

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should I Fight Against Online Voting In Our Municipality?

pspahn Re:Let's vote on it. (190 comments)

The irony is what made me click the article.

about a month ago
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How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

pspahn Re:I don't assemble computers. (391 comments)

In my case, the first time was roughly 1993. I had this old hard drive that kept making knocking sounds and was unreadable, and my first thought was, "Let's just go ahead and see exactly why that MOLEX connector should only go in one direction."

I shaved the corners to match the bevel of the other side, and fired that thing up. While I was happy with the result, I can't help but think it would have been a little more exciting if the drive was functional. Some pops and smoke is great, but I was hoping for annihilation.

about a month ago
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Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

pspahn Re:If you want to earn big bucks... (315 comments)

... which is basically saying the same thing as "Yeah, but then I'd have to work a corporate job!"

Some people like Texas, some people like other places. Some people like the start-up atmosphere, some people prefer being employee #499329.

That said, if you work at a start-up that is already funded, there's no reason you shouldn't be compensated well.

about 1 month ago
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Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

pspahn Re:Repeat after me... (315 comments)

It isn't now, but in the future (which is the point, right) it very well could become a language one might call a "programming" language.

Consider the rise of SASS and LESS. We have these now because they are needed modernizations of CSS. At someone point I wouldn't be surprised to see them become a core component.

about 1 month ago
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Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

pspahn Re:Keyboards (225 comments)

I don't think it has anything to do with being "remotely managed" but rather the simple fact that a tablet and a laptop are still two different tools.

I think people are starting to understand that using a tablet isn't just "using a computer with a touch screen." It's an entirely different experience, one that is probably better suited for certain tasks that rely on organic movement. Gaming happens to be one of those tasks but certainly not the only. Music and art are others.

A chromebook is a cheap and crippled laptop, basically, but it beats the heck out of any tablet for typing which pretty much anyone would agree, at least as of now.

So I guess if you're seeing a controversy between people clamoring for one item over the other, a reasonable conclusion to draw would be that one person thinks one type of education is better than another.

about a month ago
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Ebola Outbreak Continues To Expand

pspahn Re:Scale? (170 comments)

compare slow progressing sexually treatable disease

Do, go on ...

about a month ago
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Ebola Outbreak Continues To Expand

pspahn Re:Coming to a plane journey (170 comments)

All this.

This is why Ebola is dangerous. It doesn't matter how long it takes for someone to go from "sick" to "dead", as once they get sick, they probably won't be traveling. On the other hand, you have three weeks of incubation to traipse around the world and get somewhere quite distant from the original vector, then get sick, and now all of a sudden you have a handful of cases in Toronto followed by a handful of cases three weeks later in Mexico City ... and so on.

about a month ago
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Oso Disaster Had Its Roots In Earlier Landslides

pspahn Re:a question.... (64 comments)

Not just that, but the damage done to a forest floor after a fire will certainly contribute to water erosion. You think the folks in Manitou Springs are going to keep their sandbags at the ready for the next decade worth of Spring runoff?

about a month ago
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With New Horizons Spacecraft a Year Away, What We Know About Pluto

pspahn Re:Anyone have Cliff Notes? (128 comments)

I was fishing last week, and took some time to observe the fish behavior, as the water was especially clear and the ecosystem was especially healthy.

Something I noticed almost immediately was that the largest fish were swimming near the shore. I've seen this before, but in this case there were no small fry near the banks. It was only the large adults. Out toward the center of the lake was where you were seeing smaller fish rise to food on the surface. In the case of this small mountain lake, the prime locations for what these trout need (food and cover, mostly) happened to be near the banks while the less prime locations were out in the middle.

As they say, big fish eat small fish, and if those small fish want an opportunity to cruise a better location, they will have to fight for it.

The battle for food and shelter/protection is not something we only see in humans fighting wars. The vast majority of animal species on this planet spend the entire length of their lives in a constant battle for food and shelter.

about a month and a half ago
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The World's Best Living Programmers

pspahn Re:Github Followers (285 comments)

Funny you mention that. I was just looking over some gigs on Craigslist. I clicked an ad for a "Magento/Joomla Developer" and the first thing they list in the requirements is, "Strong Project Management Abilities".

I sort of feel like emailing them so I can ask why they want their developer to also be the project manager ... it's a rhetorical question since the ad is for a "boutique ad agency".

about 2 months ago
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Mayors of Atlanta & New Orleans: Uber Will Knock-Out Taxi Industry

pspahn Re:Threats? (273 comments)

That's fine and dandy and all, but what does Sony have to do with anything? Why is he comparing Uber to Sony as if they are analogs?

about a month ago
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Mayors of Atlanta & New Orleans: Uber Will Knock-Out Taxi Industry

pspahn Re:Threats? (273 comments)

I am utterly confused about that whole statement. Uber is worth more than Sony? People getting knocked out? I'm not sure what we're talking about right now.

I sort of get what the article is about based on the summary, but it is not appealing enough to warrant clicking on something (I have no idea where that link has been) that would explain the confusing summary.

about a month ago
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A Physicist Says He Can Tornado-Proof the Midwest With 1,000-Foot Walls

pspahn Re: Ridiculously stupid (501 comments)

I can see the physicist now, proudly standing on that wall ...

So much potential.

about 2 months ago
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4K Monitors: Not Now, But Soon

pspahn Re:Faggy GUI effects? (186 comments)

... clear giant work area for multiple windows.

All this.

There are way too many applications I use that fail to do anything useful for multi-monitor setups. There's a few useful features like being able to resize window panels to customize my view better, but I want to be able to tear panels off and put them on a different monitor. To me, that is so vastly more important than just increasing resolution.

I currently use two monitors. One in landscape and one in portrait and I use them exactly how you'd expect, documents on the portrait screen, video/games/etc on the landscape screen. If I use Photoshop, it's great because I can use the landscape screen for the image and the portrait screen can hold all of my panels ... nice and out of the way. Unfortunately, this is one of the few suites that supports these tear-off panels. I have yet to find an IDE/coding environment that makes me happy in this regard (while also making me happy in others). If I could stand to use Eclipse, I would ... I just absolutely loathe it.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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I'm Quittin' the Life, Vincent.

pspahn pspahn writes  |  more than 3 years ago

pspahn (1175617) writes "Let's say you had 12 hours to get up and leave your current life. No transportation, no cash, and only stuff around your house that you could carry (you can sell stuff). What makes the cut? Where do you go to, "walk the Earth"? What do you do?

Without any sensible regard for what you are leaving, how do you just up one night and start over the next day?"
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One incident exemplifying why Linux is not ready

pspahn pspahn writes  |  more than 3 years ago

pspahn (1175617) writes "Preface: I am typically a fan of Linux and what makes it great. That said... So I had decided to make a short video to submit to the next Survivor casting call. It's only 30-60 seconds, so I came up with an idea and started recording. I used my EeePc netbook running Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.04 simply because it has worked well for me before when recording short videos. Had I known the problems I would encounter, I would be sleeping by now. Yes, this is a bit of a rant, but the point remains, things should simply not be this difficult and time consuming.

Upon loading up Cheese, I am finding that it, for some strange reason, is no longer working as it used to. Choppy video, poor recording, all around strange. It had worked perfectly fine last time I needed it. I think maybe it's some memory thing, or my hard disk is going wacky, but after some looking around, I find out that a lot of things broke between 9.04 and 10.04. Ugh. Ok. I spend a couple hours getting things working adequately.

Now I have some video that I want to move over to my main machine running Win 7 to edit and polish. I assume at first that the .ogv files from my netbook will import into something (I had done it before, somehow). I find out I assumed wrong. I spend another hour or so looking around for software to convert it into something usable. Try a couple things, and end up trying to simply use VLC to convert it (on both ends, Ubuntu and Win 7). Movie doesn't play. I try other web cam programs, all had problems.

It's now about six hours later, and I have yet to record a video on my netbook and get that video loaded and ready to edit on my Windows machine (and play correctly). This is just ridiculous. I'm not saying that it can't be done, I know it can be done, I've done it before. The problem is that this is a task I don't do on a regular basis (at least on Linux), so just getting things to a point where I can function has taken hours. I'm sorry, but this is such a slap in the face that shows how primitive and unusable Linux is for a majority of end users. A similar situation in a commercial OS would have taken minutes to get going. I have to say, Linux can often be nothing but an endless search through forums, wikis, docs, etc. just looking to find the answer to why something isn't working, only to find out there's another problem that will occur subsequently."
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Ask Slashdot: Your online education experience

pspahn pspahn writes  |  more than 4 years ago

pspahn (1175617) writes "I am currently enrolled at a very well-known online school. I was hesitant when I enrolled. It is now more than a year later, and I am regretting my decision (not surprisingly, huh?) The main problem I have is that I am not learning anything. I have several years experience with web design, yet I was not allowed to bypass Intro to Web Design 1. Similarly, there are other classes on my list that will teach me very little I don't already know, yet will cost me money all the same.

Now, I do have a great desire to learn and to further myself academically, but I just don't see much value in continuing to take classes I could have aced in 9th grade. It is also difficult when fellow classmates clearly have very little intelligence and our online discussions remind me of an AOL chat room. What online education programs have /. readers been happy and successful with? I am interested specifically in Information Security programs, and while it is possible to simply attend a local school in person, I would much prefer an online environment as it seems like a more natural medium considering the content of my studies."
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Ask Slashdot: General Macro Recorder for Windows?

pspahn pspahn writes  |  more than 4 years ago

pspahn (1175617) writes "While I've never really needed a way to quickly change windows states, I was recently inspired by the thought. What methods can I use to quickly record and store the different states my desktop is in while doing different tasks? Between work, school, and life I find that I am often using several different "desktops" depending on what I am working on. At one point I might be writing a paper in OpenOffice, along with several browsers open to common research sites, my grading rubric, etc. At other times I will have Notepad++, Firebug, Inkscape, Aptana, etc. open. Then there's the chill out mode, where I have some music playing, a browser, or other meaningless things just to waste time.

I think it would be terrific if I could set my desktop to one state, take a snapshot, and then have a single icon to double-click that will restore that state when needed. Why I have never really thought of this earlier is beyond me, but I would imagine there are a bunch of ways /. readers accomplish this seemingly simple task."
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What is wrong with SSD servers?

pspahn pspahn writes  |  more than 4 years ago

pspahn (1175617) writes "As the process of launching our "best web site makeover, 2010" continues, I am now looking at who to host our new best digital friend. The development guys that are building our custom theme, in some discussions, recommend their own SSD hosting because of its lightning quick ability to perform transactions. At the same time, other discussions lean towards, "I don't know, there's something wrong with those SSD servers, they keep crashing."

Another hosting company tells me that they discontinued their SSD package because it was crashing too often.

Is there something fundamentally wrong with SSD drives in a server environment? It's not like these companies are using anything less than the best SSD drives money can buy. Are they simply wearing out or becoming unreliable too quickly in lighting fast environments?"
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Where is the academic Wikipedia?

pspahn pspahn writes  |  more than 4 years ago

pspahn (1175617) writes "Over the past year of my belated higher-education experience, one thing has frustrated me significantly more than any of the classes I have taken. Citing sources and the availability of credible information online. Yes, I do online school. Yes, they have an online library full of great articles. However, there is an exceptional lack of organized information available covering basic concepts. Wikipedia is often my jumping off point even when I have access to the same information in my class' text.

We have not yet arrived at the point when Wikipedia is appropriate to cite simply because there is fear in the academic community that the information is incorrect. In my experience, Wikipedia is nearly always accurate when dealing with non-political topics. If I want some basic information about the function of potassium in the body or a listing of selection control structures, why should I doubt what Wikipedia has to offer?

So I suppose I'm wondering, where is the academic version of Wikipedia? Okay, you might say it's at my local library, but is that acceptable in this day and age? I like to study at home most of the time, which is the primary reason I chose online classes. I routinely spend a disproportionate amount of time searching far and wide for a credible source of information (even basic facts) versus the time I spend actually learning and writing a paper. For example, a paper I just finished (and that inspired me to ask /.) took me about 3-4 hours to write, and roughly half of that time was spent simply searching for a source of credible text. I completely understand the need to have credible sources, but should it take that much time, especially when I already have the facts needed?"
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Ask Slashdot: How to Counter a Domain Squatter?

pspahn pspahn writes  |  more than 4 years ago

pspahn (1175617) writes "Recently, our small business has decided to finally put the "our website sucks" reality to bed. We are working hard on getting a modern, polished, and effective web site up and running. Today, however, it came to my attention that one of our local competitors (who has a history of stealing our innovations) has registered a domain name identical to ours except for "the" at the beginning. When arriving at their squatted domain, it implies to the user that we have gone out of business and then redirects them to their website (which is equally as crappy as ours).

After some brief research, it appears that there are two "legal" paths to follow. Hiring a lawyer or going through Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy. Both are somewhat cost prohibitive at this point, and it seems silly to have to fork over thousands of dollars to resolve something that has likely cost us plenty of business as it is. What alternative options do we have for resolving this? Can we send them a generic cease-and-desist? DMCA? Anonymous? Chinese flesh searchers? I'm hoping that we can employ some type of Barbara Streisand spin on this, as we have a long history of being an honest business that doesn't use these kind of deceptive practices to lure customers."
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Making sense of web development

pspahn pspahn writes  |  more than 4 years ago

pspahn (1175617) writes "I am working on getting a new website built for our small retail/wholesale tree nursery. I have spent time discussing our project with several local development firms, and am a bit surprised to find that every single one of them uses a different platform for building sites. One is developing their own CMS based on rails. One uses Expression Engine and Magento. One uses a proprietary CMS that incurs annual licensing fees (which includes other stuff like a sign package and plant photo database).

While any ecommerce aspects will not be used immediately, we want to plan ahead and make sure we will be able to turn that on once the time comes. We will be working with an existing .csv database (exported from an ancient HP-UX box) that we want to incorporate into a web product catalog. Blogging and news updates are also necessary.

I am adamant that we are allowed full control over what we pay for, and any type of licensing that will restrict our ability to take our site elsewhere in the future is not acceptable. I will also be taking over (more or less) full-time management of the site at some point once the groundwork is built.

Our budget, while not completely inadequate, should be sufficient enough to get us what we want or at least on the right track (about $5000). I am also willing and able to do much of the menial tasks like entering all the products, uploading new images, changing banners, etc.

Here's the big question. If for whatever reason the design firm we choose isn't around in five years, or we decide to choose someone else, how can we avoid being stuck with a website that isn't portable? Aside from that, what are some other things we should be concerned with when deciding on a CMS we want to incorporate?"
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Educational PCs - C7, Atom, Nano?

pspahn pspahn writes  |  about 6 years ago

pspahn (1175617) writes "Another school year has arrived, and with it more disappointing news about our budget. Our small special ed treatment facility barely has enough cash laying around to pay for new books and supplies, so forget about equipping our classrooms with computers and internet access. I have been looking into ultra low cost PCs for some time now, out of personal interest as well as professional necessity. With the emergence of sleek Linux distros and low power CPUs, I feel the time is nearing for a move to be made. I am planning on forking out a chunk of my modest salary on a new desktop for my class. My hope is that it will draw some attention, and that a cheap PC in every class would follow. I was planning on buying a gPC, but have noticed that there are some new options incorporating Intel Atom as well as some soon to be offered options utilizing the VIA Nano. Which of these CPUs fits best into our educational environment? Low cost is obviously the biggest concern here, though nobody wants to invest in computers that are poorly built and prone to malfunction. Are there any other options I haven't considered?"
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MMO educational opportunites

pspahn pspahn writes  |  more than 6 years ago

pspahn writes "I felt this was worth it's own thread, even though it's an idea I generated in a nearby thread. This is also a post meant more for CCP bigwigs to read, hopefully they do. I have spent a few years on Eve, on and off (which explains my terrible SP/month ratio), and in that time I have realized (along with everyone else) that Eve has a few very noteworthy life lessons to teach. How can an 'experience' like Eve NOT teach kids that trust is one of the most important aspects of life. Working in a facility that tries to teach these wayward kids, I have learned that trust is the main fundamental issue when it comes down to it. Kids don't trust their parents, who they see as purely authoritative, which they associate with teacher, and cops, and anyone else higher up on the food chain for that matter. If they were to become involved with a legitimate corp in Eve, with legitimate goals, don't you think that would help prepare them for the real world in more than a few ways? The fact is, Eve is a harsh reality in most aspects. There are people left and right trying to rip you off. There are people left and right who are genuinely good people. Then there are those (like myself), who are both. I honestly think that exposing some of these kids would be a true benefit to their life lesson plan. Not to mention, there would be a great excuse to keep them afterschool, teaching them about computers (which very few of them have). So, I suppose the question is, would CCP be interested in donating half a dozen accounts to some kids? It's as simple as that. I can worry about how to get them a decent computer and internet access. I'm sure there are many who disagree with this sort of 'method' of expanding the knowledge of our youth, but I can tell you, I work with them every day, and I think it could do a lot of good. I'm going to submit this to slashdot as well, because this really is a question/topic worth investigating."

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