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The Ethical Dilemmas Today's Programmers Face

russotto Re:Not a programmer's problem, a managerial one (178 comments)

Could it be that maybe a lot of people in the software world think like you? So in a system that isn't as corrupt as the country's government wouldn't it be likely to end up with a board on the association that actually does what you want?

Have you ever dealt with small-time politics? Professional associations, homeowners associations, clubs, etc? They're exactly as petty and corrupt as a country's government, they're just less sophisticated about it.

Clearly a professional association isn't the place for you. Prison maybe?

Thank you for making my point.

11 hours ago
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Skilled Manual Labor Critical To US STEM Dominance

russotto Re:LOL ... (337 comments)

If the skills are so marketable, why is unemployment in the trades so dismal? It's still at around 10% for plumbers and electricians. I think the much hyped tradesman shortage is as imaginary as the STEM shortage. It's not that there aren't enough, it's that wages are too high for the bosses' taste.

For machinists at least, I've heard they play the same purple squirrel game they play in IT. "Oh, I'm sorry, you've got 5 years working on Fujitsu equipment? We only use Hitachi here? The Hitachi Model 100? Sorry, you'll need 10 years on the Hitachi 220, never mind that they only released it last year".

11 hours ago
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NYPD's Twitter Campaign Backfires

russotto Re:Propaganda (133 comments)

To the NYPD, "community outreach" means a longer baton.

11 hours ago
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Aereo To SCOTUS: Shut Us Down and You Shut Down Cloud Storage

russotto Re:Prediction (299 comments)

Suppose there is one antenna on the roof of a building. At any given time, this antenna is being rented out and a work received on it transmitted to one subscriber. Is that a public performance?

Now suppose there are 100 antennas on that building, each owned by a different entity and at any given time a work received on each one is transmitted to one subscriber (per antenna). Any public performances here?

Now suppose a holding company buys each of those 100 antenna lessors. Does that make it a public performance?

11 hours ago
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The Ethical Dilemmas Today's Programmers Face

russotto Re:Not a programmer's problem, a managerial one (178 comments)

These associations are formed by members of the discipline and staffed and lead by people of those disciplines. A manager can't become an Engineering Fellow and can't be elected to a board, so why would you let some media cronies run your life? This isn't a US government election and *YOU* have the chance to help write the rules for how it would work.

No, not me. Those members of the profession who are good at schmoozing and politicking. They may have written code once; they're probably managers or worse now.

Of note is that no other professional association in the world has their code of ethics cover any technical stuff and DRM would be no exception.

The ACM has "respect copyright and patent" as one of the line items in one of their codes of ethics.

It's also typical of ethics codes to incorporate the entirety of the law by reference, making following the law an ethical obligation rather than a matter of acquiescence to superior force.

2 days ago
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The Ethical Dilemmas Today's Programmers Face

russotto Re:facebook, google, NSA, etc (178 comments)

Not everyone thinks that defense or the military is in itself evil. And no ethics code enforced by any governmental board of regulators will ever say so.

2 days ago
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Oklahoma Moves To Discourage Solar and Wind Power

russotto Re:Peak During the Day? (451 comments)

Right, it doesn't cost more to cool a hot house than keep it cool. However, unless your A/C is extremely oversized or you have really good passive heat rejection (insulation, cool roof, low heat gain windows), if you don't keep it running most of the day during the hottest days, you won't get it cool by night, so you might as well leave it on.

2 days ago
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The Design Flaw That Almost Wiped Out an NYC Skyscraper

russotto Re:Licensed Software Engineer new in USA. Ethics o (182 comments)

Texas licensed Software Engineers before there was an exam for such. The only way to get licensed was to get a waiver, which required the 16 years of "creditable" experience. Now you "only" need 8 with a non-accredited degree (CS degrees are not accredited), plus the two exams.

2 days ago
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L.A. Science Teacher Suspended Over Student Science Fair Projects

russotto Re:Sick Society (250 comments)

Ah,the circle of life. Somehow I always thought it would be larger though.

2 days ago
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The Ethical Dilemmas Today's Programmers Face

russotto Re:Not a programmer's problem, a managerial one (178 comments)

The fact that this comes up as a question at all is the reason CS needs to follow the footsteps of engineering, medicine, and other "professions".

And become moribund as a result?

We really don't need a bunch of largely-self-appointed old guys sitting around in a committee making choices for the entire field in the form of a "code of ethics", which the rest of us will then be bound by now and forevermore. It won't make anything better and it will make a lot of things worse.

2 days ago
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Cody Wilson Interview at Reason: Happiness Is a 3D Printed Gun

russotto Re:Don't be ridiculous (207 comments)

I'm using "unenforceable" in the same sense that Wilson is; that anyone who cares to break the law can, and in nearly all cases won't get caught.

3 days ago
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L.A. Science Teacher Suspended Over Student Science Fair Projects

russotto Re:Sick Society (250 comments)

They should love the sociology project I suggested, then -- feeding endangered species to members of oppressed communities.

3 days ago
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Obama Delays Decision On Keystone Pipeline Yet Again

russotto Re:Refinery (199 comments)

Thanks to the EPA and the power of NIMBYs, it's basically impossible to build a new refinery in the US.

Yep, the NIMBYs and BANANAs will scream "No, no, no, no dangerous pipeline, no smelly industries or farms, no ugly windmills or cell towers". Then in the next breath they'll be "Why are we importing all this food and energy? We should buy local. And why does my cell phone reception suck?" And they'll never make the connection, ever.

3 days ago
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Cody Wilson Interview at Reason: Happiness Is a 3D Printed Gun

russotto Don't be ridiculous (207 comments)

They're already unenforcable -- against criminals, who steal them (both wholesale and retail, sometimes even from police evidence rooms) and illegally import them.

If you're an enthusiast, they're already unenforceable in the sense they won't stop you from making one; if John Browning could build a machine gun with 19th century technology, and third world armorers can build them in primitive conditions, then someone mechanically adept with the benefit of all those past designs and 21st century tooling can build a gun, even a machine gun, without purchasing any restricted or even suspicious items. Modern ammunition is hard to make but easy to legally obtain, so the only thing stopping an enthusiast is the desire not to get caught and subject to the harsh penalties.

3 days ago
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The Design Flaw That Almost Wiped Out an NYC Skyscraper

russotto Re:Licensed Software Engineer new in USA. Ethics o (182 comments)

Frankly, getting a PE license is not difficult, provided you are not a totally shitty engineer.

Cut the bullshit. The Texas Software PE license required among other things "At least 16 years of creditable experience performing engineering work" and "References from at least nine people, five of whom must be licensed engineers." Note that "creditable" means "experience working under a professional engineer".

Fortunately, despite the IEEEs push, very few states require licensing of any sort to write or sell software. If they do, I suppose I'll be forced out of my career, which has included working on medical devices. Fuck them and I hope they all die; they're certainly trying to kill me. Also note that the ACM split with the IEEE over this very issue.

4 days ago
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The Design Flaw That Almost Wiped Out an NYC Skyscraper

russotto Re:Dupe (182 comments)

Only the New Yorker story where LeMessurier supposedly talked directly to a male engineering student directly conflicts with the others. Maybe the New Yorker made that part up for color.

4 days ago
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The Design Flaw That Almost Wiped Out an NYC Skyscraper

russotto Re:yes, I've used a Professional Engineer. also a (182 comments)

That's actually an interesting engineering ethics issue: Can you, as a licensed software engineer, in good conscience release software under any license with such clauses, without totally violating your responsibilities and duties as an engineer?

Why not? As long as you explicitly note that you are NOT guaranteeing it under your engineering license, and you aren't providing it under conditions where signed-off software would be required, why would it be unethical?

Ethics -- in general, not in the sense of a legislated code of ethics -- requires I stand by any guarantees I make. It doesn't require I always make such guarantees.

4 days ago
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The Design Flaw That Almost Wiped Out an NYC Skyscraper

russotto Re:Cost-saving is the key here (182 comments)

Clearly, the contractor was stupid and more interested in saving money than doing it correctly.

No. They had an idea to save time and money (to use bolts instead of welds for certain braces), and they submitted it to LeMessurier's firm, which approved it after some analysis, which turned out to have been done wrong. It wasn't the contractor's fault, they didn't have the expertise to evaluate whether the change would work or not, and they properly submitted it to those who did.

4 days ago
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Peoria Mayor Sends Police To Track Down Twitter Parodist

russotto Re:Why won't the vote this nut out? (168 comments)

Before we get all silly, please remember that the police had a WARRANT to search the guys house.

A warrant obtained from a rubber-stamp magistrate buddy of the mayor or through a falsely sworn affadavit doesn't turn a witchhunt into "rule of law".

5 days ago

Submissions

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US Software Developer Wages Fall

russotto russotto writes  |  about a year ago

russotto (537200) writes "Despite all the talk of "skills gap" and "tech worker shortage", wages for the software industry are falling, not rising. Wages fell 2% to $99,000 in 2012. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't basic economics state that if wages are falling, there must be a surplus, not a shortage?"
Link to Original Source
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Modern man result of interbreeding with Neandertal

russotto russotto writes  |  more than 3 years ago

russotto (537200) writes "It turns out Neandertal man could, and did, interbreed with modern humans. According a study in _Science_, 1 to 4% of modern DNA from Europeans and Asians comes from Neanderthals. So next time you call someone a knuckle-dragger, remember your great-to-the-Nth grandfather probably was one too."
Link to Original Source
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Man arrested for anti-cop video on YouTube

russotto russotto writes  |  more than 5 years ago

russotto (537200) writes "In an apparent attempt to prove that while we may still have the Second Amendment, that pesky First Amendment is obselete in the digital age, Philadelphia police arrested and charged a man for posting a video on YouTube where he says that he rejoices every time a cop is killed. He was charged with aggravated assault, corruption of miniors, terroristic threats, and harassment. YouTube, demonstrating its commitment to free speech, pulled the video for "terms of service violations"."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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russotto russotto writes  |  more than 5 years ago Wow, someone out there really hates me. Used up all 5 mod points to score my comments as "Flamebait", when none of them were (and 4 of them clearly weren't).

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