Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2008:May:01 Thursday <Wednesday, Friday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
 
WIKI | FAQ | Tech FAQ
http://csua.com/feed/
2008/5/1-5 [Computer/SW/Languages/Ruby] UID:49862 Activity:low
4/30    So I've done lots of C, C++, Java, Perl, and Python and may need
        to learn Ruby on Rails soon to build a prototype without any
        consideration for scalability. Which language is RoR most similar
        to and why is it such a big hype these days?
        \_ Is Ruby on Rails even a programming language? -clueless sysadmin
           \_ there's ruby on rails.  java on rails.  python on rails.
              perl on rails.  rails rails rails.
              \_ So rails is more of a development methodology then?
                 \_ It's a framework.
                    \_ What does that even mean?
                       \_ Look it up, sheesh.
        \_ Don't learn RoR.  Learn Ruby.  RoR will be easy to learn, but
           won't really teach you much about how to use Ruby efficiently.
           Ruby is pretty amazingly cool as long as you are willing to
           throw out a lot of what you think you know about programming.
           Read the source to a lot of Ruby low level libraries.  It's
           amazing how readable major changes to object behavior are
           because of how easy it is to do meta-programming in Ruby.
2008/5/1-5 [Finance/Banking, Politics/Domestic/President/Reagan] UID:49863 Activity:nil
4/30    Youtube video on $600 stimulus check costing you -$900/year for a
        $200K mortgage (assuming you're getting a stimulus check)
        http://www.tickerforum.org/cgi-ticker/akcs-www?post=42476
        \_ Don't worry, oil will be tax-free for a while!!! Americans
           rejoice!
        \_ This video is over 30 seconds, or 100x times over the threshold
           of an average American's attention span, and therefore, is a
           very ineffective message. Secondly, he's using 4th grade
           math, which is beyond the comprehension of 90% of the Americans,
           and therefore, this is a very ineffective message. Thirdly,
           he's trying to persuade people using logic instead of good
           looks and charm (Ronald Reagan), and therefore, this is a very
                            \_ JFK
           ineffective message.
           \- i watched about 2min of that video. it is stupid. he spends
              all his time on arithmetic rather than economics. the question
              is "what will be the macroeconomic effects of the 'stimulus'
              plan". why dont you look for something about this by brad delong,
              paul krugman, even that semi-evil, smug greg mankiw, CBO etc.
              paul krugman, even that semi-evil, smug greg mankiw etc
              [i am assuming in the latter 2min of the video he doesnt talk
              about velocity of money, balance of payments etc]. of more
              relevance to mortgages is the part of the bill relating to
              conforming loans ... but again, the actual effect of changing
              the conforming loan cap is complicated].if we take "well known
              borderline communist" lawrence lindsay's estimate for cost of the
              iraq war in 2008 [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Lindsey]
              it will add more to the deficit than the stimulus, if you use
              the CBO's estimate. And of course the 2009 cost of the one time
              stimulus drops dramatically ... you think the 2009 cost of the
              iraq war will be <$20bn? the interest on the debt is already
              more than twice the cost of the stimulus etc.
              about velocity of money, balance of payments etc.]
2008/5/1-2 [Computer/SW/Languages/Web] UID:49864 Activity:low
4/30    I just signed up facebook for the very first time. This piece of
        shit website is built using PHP. I can't believe it. How do they
        even scale at that size?
        \_ Isn't Yahoo using php?  It must scale a little.
        \_ What does the underlying language have to do with scalability?
2008/5/1-5 [Recreation/Dating] UID:49865 Activity:nil
4/30    John McCain's wife looks pretty good for someone of her age.
        I mean, she could be my grandma but DAMN that is pretty good
        looking grandma, for someone of her age. Good job John McCain,
        I may vote for you afterall.
        \_ It's good to have money, which she does. We're not only talking
           surgery, but also the ability to live a good life - cosmetics, spa
           treatments, organic food, personal trainer, gym at home, etc.
           Not to mention no real need to hold down a real job. Not that
           the rich live entirely stress-free lives, but being a trophy
           wife is a full-time job that most women don't have time for.
           I know a 65 year old woman who is filthy rich and she is in
           better shape/condition than most 40 year olds - certainly
           better than her own daughters who rebelled against mom and her
           "extravagant" lifestyle involving hair dye, teeth whitening,
           stylish clothing, and exercise. God forbid.
           \- for "what a difference a billion dollars makes" do a google
              image search for "JK Rowling is Getting Younger" ... diff
              between jkr-on-the-dole and jkr-with-a-blllion-dollars.
        \_ She's nothing compared to Fred Thompson's wife, Jeri "Minnesota
           Tits" Thompson
           \- samantha power, elizabeth kucinich >> cindy mccain >>> MN Twins
              http://www.mensvogue.com/images/business/2007/06/buar02_power.jpg
              http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikhaela/858708286
              \_ Samantha Power?  Yucks.
2008/5/1-8 [Health, Health/Disease/General] UID:49866 Activity:high
5/1     This quote brought up from below, context was systems programming:
        "but I am horrified by what recent CS grads do not know."
        I've heard this a lot, and to me it just sounds standard old man
        ranting.  How much can you expect a fresh CS grad to know? I did more
        systems stuff than average in college, but I was still ridicoulusly
        green compared to me 4 years later.  What do you think the average
        CS grad should know?
        \_ When I graduated in the 90s the old timers looked me down because
           I didn't know the MIPS instruction level and optimizations.
           When I got older I looked down on the new Cal graduates I
           hired, who were crazy about OO and thought OO will solve
           all the tough problems out there. However, they turned out
           alright and I embraced a subset of C++/OO. A decade later we could
           only hire Javaheads during the dot coms and they're probably the
           worst of the bunch. However, 1-2 of the kids who stuck around
           actually turned out alright. Nowadays, I can't hire anyone who
           isn't crazy about fucking Design Patterns that they think is the
           greatest thing in the world. I hope 1-2 of them will turn out
           alright. I guess I'm just getting old and picky.
        \_ I said this and I wasn't implying "recent grad" as in "fresh
           out" but in terms of "people with less than 15 years of
           experience". I do not feel that people with 25-30 years of
           experience". I do not feel that people with 15 years of
           experience will be adequately replaced by today's grads with
           5 years of experience in 10 years.
           5 years of experience in 10 years. This is true of some other
           disciplines as well like aerospace engineering where there is
           a tremendous brain drain waiting in the wings.
           \_ Wow, that is completely different than my experience at my
              workplace. Around here the young guys are great, very
              knowledgeable and proficient.  The old guys tend to be
              useless.  Possibly because all the good old guys left for
              places that pay more.
              \_ I think you are just witnessing that as people get older
                 they give less of a shit and have less energy. That's
                 true where I work. They are extremely wise and knowledgeable,
                 but they don't work hard anymore because they don't care.
                 That's not to say they are useless, even though people
                 like to call them dead wood. It's just that the young
                 guys think they know everything already and don't appreciate
                 the experience the old guys have.
                 \_ Do not confuse working hard with working effectively.
                    Working smart is much more important.  If you can work
                    hard -and- smart then more power to you but usually smart
                    is more than most jobs require to shine.
                    \_ Where I work most people work hard and smart both,
                       but as they age they don't tend to work hard
                       anymore. Not just physical and health limitations but
                       also the pressures of daily life increase and
                       people tend to rest on their laurels. I think it's
                       only natural when people start to approach (or in
                       some cases pass) retirement age. I think that people who
                       made significant contributions in the past should have
                       that reward, but I also think they are underutilized by
                       the young go-getter types.
                       \_ Retirement age... by definition they should be
                          retired, not working hard, yes?  How old are these
                          old people at your work?  I think what you're seeing
                          is not laziness or laurel resting but a deeper
                          understanding of their work environment where they
                          have learned that hard work is not necessary and not
                          rewarded or probably even noticed.  That makes them
                          smart, no?  Frankly, who wants to work 60+ hour weeks
                          for their entire life?  What's the point?
                          \_ Smart, yes. The best workers, maybe not.
                             \_ I'd rather have a smart guy who works 40 hours
                                than dans.
                                \_ I'd rather have a smart guy that works
                                   60 hours, which is what I was getting
                                   at by saying that many people work hard
                                   and smart both. Learning that hard work
                                   is not rewarded is definitely smart,
                                   but not the best for producing work.
                                   However, I do think experience counts
                                   for something because every once in a
                                   while there is that "new" problem that the
                                   old guys (let's say 65-70 years old)
                                   have seen before. The problem is then
                                   getting those older guys to work on
                                   your schedule instead of their own
                                   because they just don't have the
                                   urgency anymore.
                             \_ Depends on your definition of best.  I'd
                                rather have the lazy smart guy who writes
                                perfect code during his 9-5 than 10x guys who
                                crank out tons of broken shit in their 80
                                hours/week.  Which sounds "more best" to you?
                                Time invested != value.  Imagine if your car
                                safety belt, your dad's heart monitor, or even
                                your favorite video game was produced by piles
                                of 80hour/week clowns cranking out crap....
        \_ I did not say this, but I would want a recent CS grad to know
           approximately how fast it takes to access L1/L2 cache and cache
           latency times, memory (RAM) access times and bus width and enough
           about how hard disks work to understand why seek time effects disk
           latency. Some kind of clue about what kind of performance to expect
           from hard disks and network access, as well. Is this too much to
           ask? Does this even get taught at Cal?
           \_ L1/L2 cache effects, bus, etc is taught in CS152 and not
              CS150, hence it's optional. Today, 90% of the job is to
              write frontend using one of the BS scripting or worse,
              J2EE/EJB shit. All the interesting problems are solved
              (container, persistence, storage, horizontal scale).
              L1/L2 becomes irrelevant.
           \_ I'd say L1/L2 stuff is a bit unreasonable.  Also what is a
              recent grad doing where that stuff matters?  Seriously, if
              are giving a green engineer that kind of responsibility without
              the few days training it would take to explain you are just
              asking to fail.  Now if a  recent grad is not able to
              understand that disk and network access is going to be slow
              then yes you have a problem.  But really?  You expect some
              wet behind the ears 22 year old to write code that pays
              attention to on chip cache latencies?
           \_ Most of that I picked up here and there. 61c and 162 covered
              basics of cache latency and disk stuff respectively. -op
           \_ When I was coding, I was happy if the new grads knew some
              sql, c, perl, could write make files and shell scripts and
              knew their way around the common revision control systems.
              Mostly what I saw was that they were scared to death of c,
              make and anything that didn't come with a gui.
        \_ Even grads that go into systems need to know what NP completeness
           is.  Many don't. -- ilyas
           \_ I think if you ask them to do travelling salesman they will
              know it is NP complete.  The problem is a lot of engineers have
              a hard time seeing that what they want to do is pretty trivally
              reduced to TS/Knapsack/largest Clique finding/etc. and therefore
              NP complete.  (And from my experiance this is not the sort of
              knowledge people gain after working in the real world, if
              anything it's the sort of thing people forget.)
        \_ There has been a huge demographic change in EECS programs in the
           past 20 years.  When I first arrived at Cal, the people in the CSUA
           were, on average, seriously nerdly.  They were people who really
           dug technology and stayed up all night hacking for fun and had
           poor social skills and hygeine.  That's not what you see these
           days; these days kids are being pushed into EECS by their
           parents in the same way they are pushed into pre-med and pre-law
           programs.  This has resulted in a more mainstream population
           with less real technological aptitude and interest.  This
           also happens with people who graduate with pre-med and pre-law
           degrees; however, med schools and law schools have very aggressive
           sceening and selection programs, while the IT industry does not.
             -tom
        \_ There has been a huge demographic change in EECS programs
           in the past 20 years.  When I first arrived at Cal, the
           people in the CSUA were, on average, seriously nerdly.
           They were people who really dug technology and stayed up
           all night hacking for fun and had poor social skills and
           hygeine.  That's not what you see these days; these days
           kids are being pushed into EECS by their parents in the
           same way they are pushed into pre-med and pre-law programs.
           This has resulted in a more mainstream population with less
           real technological aptitude and interest.  This also
           happens in pre-med and pre-law programs; however, med
           schools and law schools have very aggressive sceening and
           selection programs, while the IT industry does not.  -tom
           \_ CSUA != EECS program.  How many classes have you taken since
              you graduated college and came to work at Cal?
           \_ While I agree, I don't really think more aggressive screening
              would solve any problems.  There just aren't enough really
              nerdy guys around to fill demand.
              \_ Lack of supply does not stop the screening in medicine.
                  -- ilyas
                 \_ I'm not sure there's a lack of supply of people wanting to
                    be doctors. There is a lack of supply of dedicated geeks,
                    though, even though salaries are high. Lots of people
                    just aren't interested or proficient in what I consider to
                    be skills much more specialized than medicine which is
                    lots of rote memorization. Aggressive screening will
                    raise salaries because all of the fakers will be out
                    of work, but I'm not sure it will help demand.
                    \_ It was unclear from your paragraph what job you think
                       requires rote memorization, but the majority of skilled
                       work in both medicine and high tech requires much more
                       than that. -- ilyas
                       \_ Medicine is rote memorization much of the time.
                          Maybe not radiology or surgery, but a lot of it is.
                          Doctors seem to be terrible problem-solvers in
                          general even though making diagnoses is a big
                          part of their job.
                          \_ yeah, because solving problems in a human body
                             is just as easy as solving them in software
                             engineering.  "Anything I don't understand
                             must be easy."
                             \_ I didn't say it was easy. I said it was
                                based on memorization. I'm sorry, but
                                figuring out why someone is coughing is
                                not really difficult in spite of what
                                shows like House make you think. I've
                                talked to some good doctors who *do* have
                                great problem-solving skills and they
                                would be the first to tell you that the
                                majority of their colleagues don't have
                                that ability. It's not really what medical
                                school is about for the most part. I do
                                think many more CS students could be
                                doctors than vice-versa.
                                \_ you're an idiot.
                                \_ You are an idiot.  Moreover you don't
                                   understand diagnostic medicine. -- ilyas
                                   \_ And you do, of course. I have been
                                      the victim of 'diagnostic medicine'
                                      and I did a better job of problem-solving
                                      than my doctors did. It got to the
                                      point where I just demanded the tests
                                      I wanted from various specialists
                                      because GPs were totally worthless.
                                      The specialists were knowledgeable
                                      in their own fields, of course, but
                                      most of them weren't too useful
                                      either when results came back
                                      negative. Finally, I found a great
                                      doctor based on some recommendations
                                      and *he* helped me by: 1) listening
                                      to me (most doctors don't do this
                                      and it's a big part of problem-solving),
                                      2) ordering expensive tests (doctors
                                      don't like to do this unless they
                                      have strong suspicions because then
                                      they have to battle insurance) and
                                      3) being smart enough to look at the
                                      reports written by other doctors. My
                                      doctor and I worked as a team to
                                      solve my health problem, but it took
                                      me trips to about a dozen (or more)
                                      doctors before I found one worth shit.
                                      So many doctors are just good at
                                      "take two aspirin and call me in the
                                      morning" but when presented with a
                                      real challenge they are worthless.
                                      My neighbor is a neurologist who is
                                      a very good doctor and he told me
                                      about a case where he suspected a man
                                      had a brain tumor but the teams of
                                      doctors treating him couldn't figure it
                                      out. They actually had him
                                      institutionalized. Only years later
                                      did someone discover he had a brain
                                      tumor. It was removed and the man is
                                      totally normal now. This is what
                                      these people you have such high
                                      regard for do. I am not saying all
                                      doctors are bad. Some are excellent.
                                      However, problem-solving is not high
                                      on the list of things the average
                                      doctor is good at. Lots of doctors
                                      like to write prescriptions until
                                      they find one that works. That's not
                                      good medicine. It can even be dangerous.
                                      \_ I am not sure what these anecdotes
                                         have to do with your original
                                         assertion, which is that medicine is
                                         rote memorization much of the time.
                                         If anything, these support my point,
                                         namely that diagnosis is a complex,
                                         difficult activity that requires
                                         skills an average doctor may
                                         not have.  If you want to rant about
                                         'the average skill level' in both
                                         medicine and high tech, I think you
                                         will find many people, including me,
                                         more sympathetic. -- ilyas
                                         \_ I think you misunderstand:
                                            1. Medicine should be much
                                               more than rote memorization
                                            2. Yet, medical school and the
                                               medical professional rely
                                               medical profession rely
                                               heavily on rote memorization.
                                               In my opinion many doctors
                                               do so because their own
                                               problem-solving skills are
                                               lacking.
                                            \_ Yeah, I am going to go with
                                               my original assessment of
                                               'you are an idiot.'  -- ilyas
                                               \_ I am guessing someone in
                                                  your family must be in
                                                  the medical profession.
                                                  Who is it?
                    \_ There seems to be plenty of supply (from India+China if
                       nothing else). As for being a real nerd or not, that
                       is less of an issue if there is screening. The non-nerds
                       just need a more directed education to teach them what
                       they need to know, instead of relying on ubernerds to
                       basically teach themselves.
2008/5/1-5 [Uncategorized] UID:49867 Activity:nil
5/1     DC Madam (operated home business from Vallejo) kills self.
        \_ Umm, why do I care? Link?
        \- Killed by Billary?
           \_ What for?  She had nothing to do with them.  Her customer lists
              were already made public.  Vince Foster, otoh....
              \- "just to watch her die"
2008/5/1-5 [Politics/Foreign/Asia/China, Transportation/Car/RoadHogs] UID:49868 Activity:nil
5/1     Humvee copycat in China: The Dong Feng EQ2050
        http://www.csua.org/u/le9 (http://www.chinacartimes.com
        Speaking of IP infringement ......
        \_ If you are stupid enough to copy the hummer...
           \_ As long as there is someone stupid enough to buy it ...
2008/5/1-2 [Uncategorized] UID:49869 Activity:nil
5/1     Happy May Day...hope none of you are working.  Good to see all the
        programming related talk on the MOTD again!
        \_ May Day!  May Day!
2008/5/1-8 [Finance/Investment] UID:49870 Activity:kinda low
5/1     Assuming a depreciating dollar, does that really mean foreign stocks
        would be more attractive? After all, the inherent value of any given
        company should be independent of the denomination -- if the dollar is
        worth less, the company is worth more dollars. And revenue goes up
        as prices go up. It would depend on whether there is something about
        a stronger dollar that the individual company depends on.
        \_ Value of foreign stocks and value of the dollar are not entirely
           orthogonal.  Any company that exports to the US would suffer
           from a stronger dollar.  Still, I would expect, and have observed,
                  ^ by "stronger" i meant "weaker".
           a general trend that investing in foreign stocks during a time
           of a declining dollar has limited the damage from the recent
           wall street bloodbath on my overall portfolio.
           \_ What bloodbath? The drops that happened earlier were not
              related to value of the dollar, but fears about the US and/or
              world economy, which is somewhat orthogonal to exchange rates.
        \_ If the US economy craters, overseas companies will take less of a
           hit than US companies, but they'll still take a hit.  Companies
           which rely heavily on US consumerism will be hit hardest, of the
           overseas companies.   -tom
           hit than US companies, but they'll still take a hit.  Of the
           overseas companies, those which rely heavily on US consumerism
           will be hit hardest.  -tom
           \_ I'm more asking about the inflation/exchange rate issue, not
              cratering of the US market itself. I saw a couple people imply
              that a falling dollar implies foreign stocks, which sounded
              like the way someone would advise moving into foreign currency
              instruments, but I think that's fallacious for stocks.
              \_ It depends on the company.  Owning stock in foreign
                 companies is a hedge against the weak dollar; my foreign
                 holdings have done very well since the dollar has tanked.
                 But there are also foreign companies which will have
                 business problems due to a weak dollar.  -tom
        \_ It is a good hedge against the dollar falling, similar to the
           hedge you get from foreign currency. Foreign stocks are demoninated
           in their home currency, I hope that is obvious. You also get the
           added effect of any stock market: more volatility combined with
           more potential for gain.
           \_ But my point is that stocks != holding currency. Currency will
              just go down because it has no other value than itself. But
              say, GE as a company has some real world value in terms of
              physical and intellectual property, and its products have a
              value independent of the currency (so if dollars were worth
              2x less, that refrigerator will cost 2x more dollars, basically.)
              Well, I guess it depends if the dollar is worth less due to
              inflation or due to exchange rates... so US companies which
              sell stuff overseas seem safe enough.)
                  \_ You realize that NOTHING has a fixed "intrinsic" value?
                     Things are "worth" what you can trade for it.  If people
                     woke up one morning and decided they didn't want gold
                     anymore, it would lose nearly all it's "value".
                     That is perhaps not too likely to happen to gold, but
                     it happens to companies *all the time*.  All markets
                     and currencies are pretty much imaginary constructs.
                     And imaginations sometimes run away.
                     \_ Nothing you said here appears to conflict with what
                        I said.
              \_ It's a multivariate, chaotic system; you can't isolate one
                 variable like that.  There are fundamental problems in the
                 US economy which are leading to the dollar's fall; those
                 problems affect US companies more than they do foreign
                 companies.  -tom
              \_ The simple answer is: no that is not how it works. A company
                 that only sells products in the US, with no overseas
                 competition, is not going to be able to raise their price.
                 The dollar is worth about 1/2 what it was in 2001, but
                 prices are not double, except for the price of oil, which is
                 a fungable commodity. Most goods are only up 25% or so.
                 a fungible commodity. Most goods are only up 25% or so.
                 A bunch of stuff (mostly made in China) has actually
                 gone down in price.
                 \_ But the US company's revenue will not show a 50% drop, it
                    is denominated in dollars. The US stock might rise if it
                    becomes more attractive for foreign investors.
                    If costs go up (oil, inflation-hit production inputs) then
                    they can raise their price, because they have to and so
                    does everyone else. Foreign companies can't come in and
                    undercut the US company if the exchange rate cheapens the
                    dollar and oil prices are high globally. So I still don't
                    see why falling dollar and/or inflation is, in and of
                    itself, bad for US stocks. Economic slowness due to
                    related factors might be a reason.
                    \_ There's no such thing as a falling dollar "in and of
                       itself."
                       \_ Okay. But the associated factors are not clearly
                          bad for the US stocks either. For example:
                          low interest rates tends to devalue a currency, but
                          low interest rates tend to make stocks more
                          attractive.
                     \_ Okay, I agree with your reasoning. But you can see
                        how stocks in a foreign market would tend to outperform
                        ones denominated in a local depreciating currency,
                        right?
                        \_ Yeah, obviously if nothing else changed then you
                           are gaining the exchange rate on top of the stock
                           growth. I guess there are too many variables as
                           tom implied. I should look at how NASDAQ or the
                           DOW performed relative to various international
                           indices on a dollar-basis over the last 5 years.
                           But there have been many many variables besides
                           exchange rate.
2008/5/1-8 [Uncategorized] UID:49871 Activity:nil
5/1     No risk, no reward, right?
        http://csua.org/u/led
2008/5/1-5 [Recreation/Food] UID:49872 Activity:moderate
5/1     Is there a word to describe people who are intensively fond or
        desirous of good food?  Thx.
        \_ Epicureans?  Also, perhaps, glutton, but gluttony doesn't
           imply choosiness in the food.
           \_ epicureanism implies a love or knowledgeable enjoyment
              especially of good food and drink
        \_ how about gourmet?
        \_ Foodie
        \_ foodie
              n : a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment (especially
                  good food and drink) [syn: {epicure}, {gourmet},
                  {gastronome}, {bon vivant}, {epicurean}]
        \_ If they really know something about it, foodie.
           If they talk a lot but really have no clue, dilettante.
           \_ What's the word for people who will eat just about anything?
              \_ If "foodie" is the word you were looking for earlier,
                 how about "fattie"?
              \_ Megacoprovore  --  someone who eats lots of shit
              \_ Hungry.
              \_ In Cantonese we call them "trash cans".
              \_ Garbage disposal or black hole
        \_ Gourmand
           \_ This seems to be the best.  Thx.  -- OP
              \_ Best in what way? They are all synonyms.
                 \- you know "gourmand" is kind of a sarcastic word, right?
                    i.e. "it sounds french and fancy like 'gourmet' but
                    you really mean a 'glutton'". not a synonym for "gourmet".
2017/09/22 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
9/22    
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2008:May:01 Thursday <Wednesday, Friday>