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Bjarne Stroustrup Awarded 2015 Dahl-Nygaard Prize

ranton Re:Contribution? (120 comments)

I also find it hard to believe an award for pioneering work in object-orientation which started in 2005 just got around to awarding Bjarne Stoustrup ten years later. Since they give out two awards each year, I wonder what the other 18 guys did. Off the top of my head only Alan Kay comes to mind as being more deserving.

yesterday
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By the Numbers: The Highest-Paying States For Tech Professionals

ranton You do get something from high COL (129 comments)

I don't know about SV, but I live in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and have a significantly higher cost of living than most of northern Illinois. For instance my parents live an hour southwest of Chicago and have a 50% larger house for 75% of the cost.

But I am not just paying the extra money to be closer to higher paying jobs. I get better schools, better restaurants, better entertainment options, and of course better career options. I also live next to more affluent neighbors, which means my daughter will have more affluent friends, have better internship opportunities, etc. That makes a big difference. My high school techie friends from the same small farm town my parents still live in mostly have jobs as satellite dish repair men or something similar. My wife's high school techie friends from the northwest suburbs build robots for Microsoft Research or other similar jobs. Part of my high cost of living is paying so my daughter has the same head start in the "who you know" category that my wife did.

When you look at "self-made" millionaires and other outstanding success stories, you will almost always notice they came from highly affluent upper middle class families in areas that would give them more opportunities than your average person. The creators of the next Microsoft, Facebook, etc. are mostly likely already born in a place like New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Denver, etc, not the rural Midwest. And in a similar fashion, the next generation of C-level executives, big shot lawyers, etc. are probably also going to be mostly from these high COL areas.

Paying for that high COL in part helps increase the chance that your next generation has a chance of sitting at that table. And even if my children are not that ambitious, at least I enjoyed better food options and a better theater scene for my money.

yesterday
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Illinois Students Suspected of Cyberbullying Must Provide Social Media Passwords

ranton Re: (320 comments)

No - the Nazis were in favor of better pensions than that given to Illinois' public employees. Illinois is actually demonizing pensions as a way to excuse increased spending.

Illinois has the largest unfunded pension in the US, so demonizing their ridiculously high pensions is exactly what should be happening. They come in #32 out of 50 in state spending per capita, so out of control spending is not the reason the pensions are out of whack. Illinois comes it as #14/50 in total state and local tax revenue per capita as well, so the problem isn't that they aren't taxing enough either.

The pensions are being demonized because they are the problem.

3 days ago
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Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

ranton Re:The Dangers of the World (778 comments)

But if you are over thirty and don't take advantage of your parents experiences and knowledge, you are a complete moron.

While I don't agree with the post you are replying to, this is a pretty silly statement. I have friends whose parents are complete degenerates. One who beat his wife and kids and was regularly unemployed. He had absolutely nothing of value to teach my friend except for what not to do (which is not the same as taking advantage of his experience and knowledge).

My father in law was in a similar situation where he grew up in a very bad home with bad parents. He decided to let that experience shape his parenting by going the complete opposite direction and being a great father and excel in his career. If his father ever tried to give him advice on parenting or his career or basically anything, my father in law would probably just tell him to screw off (his father is dead now, but they didn't have a good relationship when he was alive).

Anyone can be a parent. Just being the parent of a 30 year old does not magically make your advice worth anything. My parents are wonderful and I eat up any advice they can give me when parenting my 5 month old or even pursuing my career, but not everyone is in the same position.

about a week ago
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Using Facebook Data, Algorithm Predicts Personality Better Than Friends

ranton Re:2015: Still using Facebook (80 comments)

Or maybe... just maybe.... your choices in this life have an actual eternal implication. That's a heckuva lot of responsibility, and I don't blame you for preferring to disbelieve in it, because it's dramatically easier to cope with.

If you are really worrying about the afterlife because your actions could damn you for eternity, any attempts are almost certainly going to be futile. There have been so many religions in the history of mankind, most likely you will sent to a land of ice because you never slaughtered a chicken at the beginning of the summer solstice.

There is nothing cowardly about thinking your actions in this life are unlikely to help you in an afterlife. It is just common sense.

about two weeks ago
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Chicago E-Learning Scheme Embraces Virtual Badges For Public Schoolers

ranton Re:Of course I scoff. And I'm worried too. (46 comments)

Some of my coworkers have kids who are have specialties like programming, robotics, cybersecurity, or pre-engineering.

While I see where you are coming from, classes like these are not about staring kids along a career path. They are intended to get children excited about learning.

  • I can easily see why a student would be more interested in learning physics and algebra when it is used to get a robotic arm to lift a ball for a robotics competition than it is having them solve equations.
  • The basic level of cyber-security you would teach a high school student is likely to be useful to any citizen, and is probably not intended to train them as a cyber-security specialist.
  • Basic programming that would allow students to write basic scripts, Excel macros, SQL queries, etc. are starting to become more useful to a wide range of jobs (basically anyone who would ever look at an Excel spreadsheet). My wife is a demand planning analyst with no programming training and is finding knowing SQL and VBA is very useful.
  • I'm not sure how Pre-Engineering would be any different than any other set of Calculus / Physics / etc. classes that an advanced student would take in high school, since even college Freshmen / Sophomores are usually just taking Calculus / Physics / etc. in their first two years of an engineering program.

These classes are more job-related than just taking Algebra / History / English, but are not any more career track focused than wood shop class. IMHO

about two weeks ago
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Chicago E-Learning Scheme Embraces Virtual Badges For Public Schoolers

ranton Re:Of course I scoff. And I'm worried too. (46 comments)

Through my exposure to my coworkers' children, I'm seeing career specialization being encouraged during early high school.

Considering my secondary education was 20 years ago, and I don't have close friends or coworkers with kids in high school, I am curious as to what career specialization you see in high school today. My experience from 20 years ago is that high schools were moving away from vocational classes such as shop or automotive and spending more energy into college prep-like classes. I would be very surprised to hear that high schools are starting to teach plumbing, electrical wiring, carpentry, etc. with greater zeal than they did in the past.

To me and I think to GP, the phrase "cradle-to-career" doesn't mean that my daughter will pursue a career, but based on some "tests" my daughter might come out of the cradle with a specific career path to pursue.

Nothing about "cradle-to-career" initiatives are centered on an over-emphasis on student tracking like they do in Germany. It is about the community taking responsibility for making sure all citizens in their early 20s have been properly prepared for a fulfilling career. I found this explanation from a publication about a local Crade-To-Grave initiative:

The goal of this work is that by the age of 23, all Evanston young adults will be leading productive lives, building on the resources, education, and support that they and their families have had to help them grow into resilient, educated, healthy, self-sufficient, and socially responsible adults.

about two weeks ago
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Chicago E-Learning Scheme Embraces Virtual Badges For Public Schoolers

ranton Re:Of course I scoff. And I'm worried too. (46 comments)

I found the phrase "cradle-to-career" particularly onerous.

Yeah, I know I am also horrified at the possibility my infant daughter might someday have to pursue a career. Will someone please think of the children?

about two weeks ago
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Chicago E-Learning Scheme Embraces Virtual Badges For Public Schoolers

ranton Re:Of course I scoff. And I'm worried too. (46 comments)

School is supposed to shape good humans and grow a decent generation. It's not a corporate-driven training ground.

Honestly, a corporate-driven training ground is exactly what school is. An argument could be made that post-secondary education is meant for expanding your horizons, but the goal of elementary and secondary education is to train a workforce. There is a reason why our schools are designed to create good factory workers and office drones. While I also would like school to change its primary goal, lets not be dishonest about what the main goal of public schooling has always been.

about two weeks ago
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UK Government Department Still Runs VME Operating System Installed In 1974

ranton Re:old != bad (189 comments)

Just because something is old, doesn't mean it needs replaced. In short, why not just upgrade the mainframe?

I have no idea how common VME developers are, but when dealing with legacy systems you do have to worry about being able to find qualified people to work on your software. Not only are the skills rare, but most people are going to be wary about pigeon-holing their career by focusing on such a obscure system. You will either have to rely on sub-par employees or pay well over market rates.

Hiring expensive employees / consultants may still be desirable over a risky migration, but the expense (either in salary or in low quality employees) shouldn't be ignored.

about two weeks ago
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Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

ranton Re:islam (1350 comments)

Marxism displays many of the key qualities of religion that frequently justify opposition to religion.

Chocolate has many of the key qualities that makes my wife want me to stop eating so much fried food, but I still don't think they are the same thing.

about two weeks ago
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Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

ranton Re:islam (1350 comments)

Marxism is a religion in a way

Marxism is not a religion in any way. It has similar qualities of a religion, just like you can find similarities between a truck and a wheel barrel, but they are very different.

There is a reason why faith and religion are different words in the English language. Just because something requires faith does not make it religious in nature.

Highlighting is mine. Penguinisto qualified his statement, which you willfully ignored.

Saying that a belief system is religious in a way is a meaningless statement if all you then need to prove is there are a few similar qualities between religion and the belief system in question. Since religion is a belief system, then every single belief system is religious in a way.

Since most people are taught religion by their parents, by using your argument everything taught to you by your parents would be religious in a way.

about two weeks ago
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Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

ranton Re:islam (1350 comments)

I would agree that Marxism is not a religion due to any aspect of faith, but it is a religion in the sense that it is an organized belief adhered to by many. It need not have any faith-based component or theology.

Religion loses a lot of its meaning if any ideology can be considered a religion. A religion requires either supernatural beings or at least the belief in some kind of higher order to the world. Marxism is merely a belief that the relationship between labor and capital fostered by capitalism is not a desirable one. Many economic, sociological, and philosophical theories are derived from this belief, but again I see no reason why that crosses over to religion.

I believe the theories derived from Marxism are flawed, but not ridiculous. While I can see why those who believe Marxism is ridiculous draw parallels between Marxism and religion, but not every ridiculous belief system should automatically be considered a religion.

about two weeks ago
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Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

ranton Re:islam (1350 comments)

Faith and religion are frequently used in a synonymous fashion. "People of various faiths" means the same as "people of various religions."

Just like car and convertible are frequently used in a synonymous fashion. "I am driving my convertible" means the same as "I am driving my car". But not all cars are convertibles just like not all faith is religious in nature. The fact that faith and religion have very different meanings and purposes is not changed by the fact that sometimes the two words are used to describe the same thing.

about two weeks ago
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Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

ranton Re:islam (1350 comments)

And they require supernatural agency as well, both to suspend disbelief about actual human behavior and to explain why things aren't working as expected (imaginary kulaks, counterrevolutionaries, capitalists, etc are always holding us back).

If all it takes to be considered supernatural is to have theories that haven't been validated yet, then I guess the wright brothers were starting their own religion before they got their first prototype working. I mean every other attempt to fly for thousands of years had failed so it was a pretty supernatural belief that humans could create flying machines.

about two weeks ago
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Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

ranton Re:Really? On Slashdot? (1350 comments)

Now we can have the obligatory "Islam sucks" conversation, which will lead to the inevitable "all religion sucks" conversation, both of which are infinitely more enjoyable than simply leaving it at "Crazy people suck."

I would hope our society is becoming advanced enough to jump straight to "all religion sucks" instead of having to dwell on criticizing a single religion as if today's terrorism is any different than the crusades. Its only the fact that the western world doesn't pay attention to our religions as much that makes our religions seem more enlightened.

about two weeks ago
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Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

ranton Re:islam (1350 comments)

Marxism is a religion in a way

Marxism is not a religion in any way. It has similar qualities of a religion, just like you can find similarities between a truck and a wheel barrel, but they are very different.

There is a reason why faith and religion are different words in the English language. Just because something requires faith does not make it religious in nature.

about two weeks ago
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Dish Introduces $20-a-Month Streaming-TV Service

ranton Re:And how much WITHOUT ESPN? (196 comments)

2. We're already paying for the games by watching the damn advertisements, so why should we have to pay for ESPN? Remove the ads and put on a radio announcer instead of the "color commentary" announcers and I'll gladly pay $5/game (= about $60/year to ESPN = $5/mo).

Just because you are paying something by watching advertisements, does not mean you are paying for it in full. Think of it more like the advertising is subsidizing part of your cable bill, not paying it in full.

about three weeks ago
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WSJ Refused To Publish Lawrence Krauss' Response To "Science Proves Religion"

ranton Re: Yawn (556 comments)

A Scientists view of GOD is no more valid because he is a Scientist. Neither is a Theologian's view of Science more valid because he is respected in Theology. Mind you, I haven't read either's article, because I think such arguments are silly, on both accounts :-P

The scientist in this case is making no assertions about God. He is only refuting scientific claims made by the previous author. He is clearly staying within his area of expertise. And regardless of any authority either side of the argument has, Krauss simply has the more well reasoned argument (not hard to have in this case).

about three weeks ago
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Professor: Young People Are "Lost Generation" Who Can No Longer Fix Gadgets

ranton Re:Dupe (840 comments)

My "actual data" would of course entail my relatives and friends, who indeed can "fix shit", while the current generation is mostly useless in that regard. Can't solder, can't crimp, can't change an oil filter or even headlight bulb, can't measure nor cut nor fasten lumber, etc. etc.

And for every millennial who can't change an oil filter or fasten lumber there is a 50 year old who can't program their digital clock or reconfigure their new cellphone without waiting for their kids to come home for the holidays. Different generations have different skills, and they usually align with the skills that were useful to them in their early life.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Microsoft Surface 3 Announced

ranton ranton writes  |  about 8 months ago

ranton (36917) writes "Microsoft has just announced the third generation of their Surface tablet. The most notable update is a larger 12 inch screen while still weighing less than the Surface 2. The announcement also went over various software updates to help make the tablet as productive as a laptop or desktop computer. The Surface Pro 3 goes on sale tomorrow starting at $799."

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