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Spider-Man 4 Scrapped, Franchise Reboot Planned

tedrlord Re:Reboot how? (536 comments)

Indeed, if they breach his cannon, it will likely backfire the next time he tries to use it. He could be seriously injured.

more than 4 years ago
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Air Canada Ordered To Provide Nut-Free Zone

tedrlord Re:Shrimp free zone? (643 comments)

Good grief. I'm far more inconvenienced by the fat turds that take up half my seat but I don't get a special "fat free" zone.

Wait, seriously? Sitting next to fat people is more inconveniencing than having your airways close off and going into shock because the airline decided it was clever to serve the food item with the most potentially deadly allergic reaction in a small cabin with recycled air?

Oh, wait. You mean inconvenient to you. Right. I suppose other people potentially dying isn't a problem then. Carry on.

more than 4 years ago
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Should You Be Paid For Being On Call?

tedrlord Re:There seems to be some confusion here... (735 comments)

The difficulty with including oncall pay in the base salary of the position is that oncall time and difficulty can vary greatly depending on circumstances, and there's no way to reflect that in one's salary in a timely manner. If one member of the team gets ill and another has to cover two 24/7 shifts, he is not going to be happy if he's not getting compensated. Extra comp time would help, but that's more or less identical to paying a bonus, except that you're getting less productivity out of the department.

There are also longer term issues. If an employee is promoted, quits, or dies (it's happened =(), the oncall rotation can change a lot, and in addition to the extra work required of the team to make up for the missing position, it can brew discontent fairly quickly. People can talk about salaries and agreements and sucking it up and such, but if you have a good team they probably realize it as much as you do, and screwing them over with extra work that they were not expecting when they were hired and without appropriate compensation is not a good way to keep people around.

more than 4 years ago
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Are Quirky Developers Brilliant Or Dangerous?

tedrlord Re:Code comments as documentation (1134 comments)

Self-documenting code is ideal, as long as it also includes comments.

more than 5 years ago
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Are Quirky Developers Brilliant Or Dangerous?

tedrlord Re:brilliant or dangerous? (1134 comments)

Don't underestimate the power of the re-org. Someone moves into a position above you, decides everyone needs a fresher approach, and suddenly there's a contractor in, documenting the code for you, and you're replaced by a cheaper or more friendly face.

Watching it happen from the outside, the transition can be painful, but nobody is as irreplaceable as they think.

more than 5 years ago
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Are Quirky Developers Brilliant Or Dangerous?

tedrlord Re:brilliant or dangerous? (1134 comments)

Embedded programming is an entirely different beast, I'm sure. The way you talk about it, I think all programmers should be forced to write and maintain embedded code for a year or two before they're allowed to work on anything else.

more than 5 years ago
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Are Quirky Developers Brilliant Or Dangerous?

tedrlord Re:brilliant or dangerous? (1134 comments)

I agree that sometimes it's required, especially where performance is the main factor and the compiler isn't able to optimize well enough on its own. Hopefully, it's either part of the original design, or at least discussed by the team beforehand. In those cases it needs to be commented very well.

I was talking about cases where clever node is written for the sake of being clever, or because it was the most expedient solution to a non-performance issue. Those kind of things can really build up, and can ruin a codebase. I worked for a company where the only person that really understood the code was a developer they kept on as a consultant. There were years of cruft built up to the point where they attempted a re-write, which causes its own problems.

more than 5 years ago
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Are Quirky Developers Brilliant Or Dangerous?

tedrlord Re:brilliant or dangerous? (1134 comments)

Pleasant programmers are, on the whole, more valuable to corporations than good programmers, for certain values of good. A total genius that writes awesome code nobody else can read is a terrible asset to the company. If the software product is their main product, it could bring the entire company down. Assuming it's their own fault because nobody else is as "smart" is just hubris, and probably delusion.

An actual good developer, while needing actual ability and experience, also needs to be able to work with the rest of the team to write code that potentially any of them can maintain. The developer might quit or die, leaving everyone stuck, or he might just be on vacation when a P1 bug occurs. I know it's more personally validating for your manager to have to call you up because you're the only one that can possibly fix something, but it's really not valuable to the company.

more than 5 years ago
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Are Quirky Developers Brilliant Or Dangerous?

tedrlord Re:Lack of Documentation == dangerous (1134 comments)

It's called commenting. Proper commenting is just as good and often better than documentation. -Especially- when you're being rushed through a deadline, because that code is probably going to be badly planned and may bite you or someone else in the ass later.

more than 5 years ago
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Are Quirky Developers Brilliant Or Dangerous?

tedrlord Re:brilliant or dangerous? (1134 comments)

They may appreciate the clever implementation, but in the large scheme of things that is not efficient, nor awesome.

Whenever I hear the word "clever" relating to code, I cringe. I generally use it as an insult. In any professional project, clever code generally means "unmaintainable."

more than 5 years ago
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Locking Down Linux Desktops In an Enterprise?

tedrlord Re:What are you trying to do? (904 comments)

Custom kickstart with all the required configurations, and some basic configuration management software, makes it -extremely- easy to manage. The requirement is having an admin that knows how to set it up correctly in the first place.

Lock out root accounts, mount user home directories from a separate partition/disk/network share and you can even reinstall the base OS without touching their files. Any decent configuration management software (there are a lot of choices) would also allow IT to add rpms or make individual config changes on each user's machine by adding a line to a script or a file to a host-specific directory. Even easier to track who's running what, or who has a weird setup. And if the box explodes or they break something, it can be rebuilt to the same configuration in like 15 minutes.

Again, this is all with an admin that knows how to manage this. That's where you hit the problems, and that's why Linux is probably not appropriate for corp IT currently. There aren't enough people that can manage it well, and those that can will probably have better jobs than planning out desktop migrations.

more than 5 years ago
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Why Doctors Hate Science

tedrlord Re:that sounds like overgeneralization (1064 comments)

The difficulty, in my limited but frustrating experience as a patient, is which numbers to use for each patient. I have a certain combination of chronic health issues that seems to be unusual, so I get a lot of different opinions on what the actual problem is.

The end result is that I will visit my general practitioner, who will think that I should see a specialist in problem A, but thinks I might also have problem B. The specialist in problem A says that I can't have problem B because they often have similar general symptoms and are not comorbid. Then specialist in problem B will say that it actually looks like I may have this problem, and I should try this medication, which helps for problem B. Though the medication may exacerbate problem C, which wasn't much of an issue until then. Later on I will find that problem A and problem B are actually comorbid in a significant subset of people, but may have been excluded from studies due to misdiagnosis or existing conditions, and the treatments I've been given are actually incorrect in my case and have caused more problems overall.

So I go back to my general practitioner, who is very good, and he gives me an OTC medication and some vitamins, and the occasional short course of prednisone if I'm having a lot of trouble, and I'm feeling better.

more than 5 years ago
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Why Doctors Hate Science

tedrlord Re:If we're gonna have a medicine flamewar... (1064 comments)

Your average doctor visit without any coverage is often between $100-$200, maybe more. That would count as half a semester's tuition at a community college. Of course, taking in X-rays, follow-up appointments and specialists (soft tissue damage can be hard to diagnose), it could easily end up in the thousands. Personally I wouldn't let it deter me from an initial visit even if I didn't have insurance, but it does for a lot of people, especially those with very little income.

There are free or sliding-scale clinics that will provide care for less based on your income. They're often pretty stressed and quality of care can suffer, but it's far better than nothing.

more than 5 years ago
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European Crackdown On Skype "Loophole"

tedrlord Only Skype? (230 comments)

Somebody better tell them about all the other evil loopholes that criminals can use to talk over the internet. They'd better also be able to wiretap Yahoo and Windows Messenger voice, oh, and X-Box chat, and we're going to have to change the RTP protocol to send them a copy of all communications, of course. I'm guessing we'll have to hack all ssh clients to unencrypt VoIP traffic if somebody tries to tunnel it, too.

Or, you know, just get on Skype's case because authorities apparently have no idea what they're doing and seem to believe that Skype is the only way to talk over the internet. I'm sure the criminals appreciate the heads up so they can make sure to use more secure methods.

more than 5 years ago
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Tales From the Support Crypt

tedrlord Re:Curse of the Cursed Cursor (855 comments)

Back in my support days, I always used the "can you make sure the power cable isn't loose?" approach. Sometimes that was actually the case even when they had checked before, but usually it reminded them that it might not actually be plugged in.

Honestly, ignorant home users aren't nearly as difficult to deal with as java developers.

more than 5 years ago
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Survival-Horror Genre Going Extinct?

tedrlord Re:It's Evolving (166 comments)

Oblivion and Fallout are just Adventure with graphics.

more than 5 years ago
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Survival-Horror Genre Going Extinct?

tedrlord Re:It's Evolving (166 comments)

Fallout 3 is buggy, and it has its problems, but it's not as breakable as you say. I killed Burke before he could get a shot off on the sheriff, and Simms just walked out the door. When I went up to him afterwards, he thanked me and said he must be getting slower in his old age.

Fallout definitely has a lot of bugs (important people disappearing randomly like that) and annoying decisions (traders being mauled by Deathclaws because it's "realistic") but they did think it through somewhat.

more than 5 years ago
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Replacing Metal Detectors With Brain Scans

tedrlord Re:cuz nobody has EVER been able to fool that (327 comments)

The specific problems I thought of immediately were:

1) people who are afraid of flying/crowds/etc or just prone to panic attacks would most likely set this off far more often than terrorists. Not to mention the fear of setting this off causing people to be more nervous.

2) Actual terrorists would probably be organized enough to take this into account and pop a valium or two before going through the security checkpoints. I mean, c'mon. The circumstances are a lot less controlled than a polygraph, and are therefore a lot easier to alter.

Hell, the more seriously religious ones might just show up in a calmer state naturally, knowing they will be martyred for their cause. If you're the type of person that dedicated enough to blow yourself up for a religious sect, it's not that difficult to believe that your faith will protect you from capture. I know an otherwise seemingly sane guy that apparently never wore his seatbelt because he thought that God would decide when his time came anyway, so why fight it? He drove like a maniac too, relaxed as can be. I think psychologists call it "magical thinking," and I seriously doubt they're taking it into account.

more than 5 years ago

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