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## Comment Re:I'll be first to say WTF (Score 4, Informative)700

Take a look at it through a fairly simple algebraic proof.

1.) 0.99999... * 10 = 9.99999... // decimal multiplication by 10 means we just shift to the left and the infinite decimal expansion isn't affected.

2.) 9.99999... - 0.99999... = 9 // the infinite decimal expansion is still a number and there's no reason we can't subtract it.

3.) 9 / 9 = 1 // if we take the difference from the above subtraction and "undo" the multiplication in step 1, we need to divide by 9 because we've just removed one of what we multiplied.

Therefore 0.99999... = 1. Q.E.D.

## Comment Decision? (Score 1)775

What does a 4-4 decision mean, anyway? TFA called this a "non-decision" but if that's the case, what are we reading about besides some remarks on the issue? Anybody got any clarification, because the folks at Forbes' sure don't.

## Comment Re:Read teh article. (Score 3, Funny)177

The spores germinate only in very alkaline environments... ...but the bases are nominally covered.

I see what you did there.

## Comment Re:Where's the USDS/W? (Score 1)236

we don't make enough software we ......?

... have to go outside for a change?

## Comment Re:We have BOFH (Score 1)327

We make the USAF look like wusses.

The Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, NYPD and Stokes County Volunteer Fire Brigade all say the same thing.

## Submission + - Leaving J2EE Behind

BrotherBeal writes: After three years of corporate development at one of the bailout firms, I've decided that it's time for a change. It's been a learning experience, for sure, but it's getting old and phrases like "manufacturing organizational transformation" are starting to make me nauseous. The place I work at was good for a while, but now it doesn't really have much to offer that would make me stick around. The bailout has frozen salaries for the past two review cycles, which is starting to suck. Management values years-of-service over technical proficiency, meaning that the place is very conducive to the "one year of experience ten times" problem and I frequently answer ?'s from people above me in the corporate food chain. Further, there's just not a whole lot of complexity to the apps we write — just standard J2EE plumbing between web forms and a database. It's not a great environment to continue growing as a software developer, and I'm not ready to "ride it out until retirement" just yet.

What I'm hoping to do is transition into a development role somewhere where I'm not just part of the support staff. Whether this is a "research" role at a lab or a job at a product-developing company, I feel that anything would be better than sticking around in enterprise development. My question is what can be done to get the stain of corporate IT off my resume so I can differentiate myself and get a job at a more technical company? I do plenty of coding at home, but it's mostly on personal projects (most recently an experiment using genetic programming). Has anyone made the jump off the corporate ladder and lived to tell about it? How'd you pull it off?

Thanks!

## Submission + - Ditching the Enterprise?

BrotherBeal writes: After three years of corporate development at one of the bailout firms, I've decided that it's time for a change. It's been a learning experience, for sure, but it's getting old and phrases like "manufacturing organizational transformation" are starting to make me nauseous. The place I work at was good for a while, but now it doesn't really have much to offer that would make me stick around. The bailout has frozen salaries for the past two review cycles, which is starting to suck. Management values years-of-service over technical proficiency, meaning that the place is very conducive to the "one year of experience ten times" problem and I frequently answer ?'s from people above me in the corporate food chain. Further, there's just not a whole lot of complexity to the apps we write — just standard J2EE plumbing between web forms and a database. It's not a great environment to continue growing as a software developer, and I'm not ready to "ride it out until retirement" just yet.

What I'm hoping to do is transition into a development role somewhere where I'm not just part of the support staff. Whether this is a "research" role at a lab or a job at a product-developing company, I feel that anything would be better than sticking around in enterprise development. My question is what can be done to get the stain of corporate IT off my resume so I can differentiate myself and get a job at a more technical company? I do plenty of coding at home, but it's mostly on personal projects (most recently an experiment using genetic programming). Has anyone made the jump off the corporate ladder and lived to tell about it? How'd you pull it off?

Thanks!

## Comment Re:Few teachers or recruiters in this crowd... (Score 3, Insightful)1142

One of these is more useful than the other.

I agree. All the logic and knowledge in the world is effectively useless if you can't ever get it out of your head. Logic may structure your thoughts, but you throw all that structure away by abusing whatever protocol you're using to communicate (e.g. grammar). You're forcing everyone else to recreate the context and subtleties of your ideas before they can even wrestle with the ideas themselves. Clear communication avoids this problem and saves everybody time if you want to get something done. The ability to operate as a specialist without isolating yourself from other specialists is a crucial skill in an increasingly fragmented and complex society. If you can't do your job and answer questions about it, then you are effectively not doing your job. Now, if you don't have particularly subtle thoughts (like most of America), or if you style yourself as an ivory-tower logician then this is fine and I wish you luck. But saying that proper spelling and grammar are orthogonal to skill in other disciplines is obtuse at best.

## Comment False Positive (Score 3, Insightful)347

I'm not a neuroscientist, but it seems to me that 4 out of 23 is a pretty low success rate, especially given the kind of indirection the researchers were resorting to in order to elicit the signals they were looking for. How do we know, for example, that a patient doesn't have some kind of spurious activity in the brain area they're using to signal "A"? For that matter, how can we distinguish between "no answer" and a deliberate "B" in the absence of such activity? How can we assume that the patient, who by definition has brain damage, is capable of understanding the question correctly and answering correctly? I agree, this is better than absolutely no communication, but I'm curious how they intend to control for factors like these.

## Comment Re:How do you know when it's decrypted? (Score 3, Insightful)186

... but I bet you could some how measure how disordered the data stream was and make a guess about weather or not it was encrypted. It seems that encrypted data should also have some level of order to it.

Encryption doesn't work that way, at least not good encryption. The goal of every encryption scheme is to transform a plaintext input into a ciphertext output that is indistinguishable from random noise. Your example of frequency analysis being used to attack ROT13 shows that it's a terrible encryption algorithm because it leaves so much information about the original message embedded in the transformed output. Every time you hear about an encryption scheme being broken, you're hearing about some way to recover information about the plaintext from the ciphertext. That information is what allows adversaries to beat brute-force decryption (although not always by much - a scheme with a keyspace of 2^n is considered broken if an attack is found that requires only 2^n-1 of the keys to be examined).

The OP brings up an interesting point, of knowing when your data is actually decrypted.

## Comment Re:Rules 1 through 7 of using a Cell Phone (Score 1)585

Why not just handle that the same way unlicensed drivers are currently handled in the U.S.? A cop isn't going to pull every car over just to make sure that the driver is licensed - the penalty is just much stiffer if you are pulled and found to be unlicensed. In your scenario, if a policeman sees a Porsche barreling down the outside lane and pulls it over, he'll discover that the driver doesn't have an appropriate license and then can take some sort of punitive action.

## Comment Re:As good as any time to make a change (Score 2, Interesting)444

She knows my feelings about minutiae in general, so I doubt that would surprise her. I could talk to her all day about her academic interests (prehistoric Japanese religion, specifically Shinto before the Chinese came over), but when it comes to centerpieces and flowers she has about thirty seconds to make her point before my brain starts the "smile and nod" routine.

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