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  • Do your own thing
    detailed algorithmic and structural specifications dictated by management without any real input Software Architect An asshole Web Developer Easy programming in toy scripting languages for those who can t write C Alternatively Spiderman Systems anything CS graduates who can t program Anything Analyst MBAs who can t program Interaction Designer Floaty psychology dropouts who conduct expensive tests to determine that the software engineers suck at design Web Designer Finicky artists who don t understand how difficult that s going to be in CSS and refuse to budge from their pixel perfect PSDs What if I can program and design a decent interface What if I can design specify and implement good code all by myself Ultimately I hate being pigeonholed I m not just a programmer That s why I don t work at large companies I have multiple interests and don t want to do the same tunnel vision duty every day I have no idea what Marco org is It has switched between a discussion forum an advice forum a product review site a satirical news site a personal blog and a tumblelog Every time I d redesign it I would attempt to change what was I used to object to people calling it a blog since that used to be an insult but the definition of blogs has become so broad that it doesn t matter anymore Michael from 2blowhards recently described Marco org If you do make a complete website why be conventional about it Here s a guy whose website consists of a classic blog a Tumblelog a forum and an About page Although it s his site friends of his contribute to its contents too Unusual and fun Why get hung up on such 20th century notions as the individual author the fixed voice

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/261 (2016-04-30)
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  • Source code is worthless
    thirsting for a glimpse so they can copy it and kill your business Secret algorithms Given a reasonable amount of time any functionality can be copied by competitors Some algorithms are patented but patents are tricky to enforce A patent only covers a method not particular output If you can find alternate ways to get the desired result you re free of any patent lawsuits as long as you can pay to defend yourself Even without source code unique algorithms could be reverse engineered from assembly given enough time and effort This doesn t apply to hosted web applications since the source is never sent to the clients or executed on their computers except Javascript portions This is rarely necessary or justifiable But this is irrelevant You d never want to copy most code Copy what Most code is boring shuffle this data around and display it It would be faster and more reliable to write your own than to try to understand someone else s enough to copy it into your application Code usually depends strongly on other code in the project In a different codebase nearly all external code segments are useless and not worth copying What would you do with it The Facebook and Windows leaks were just segments of source code and neither contained anything interesting or useful outside of the rest of their codebase But what if they did What if you had the complete Facebook source code Even if MySpace got a copy of the complete Facebook source code they still couldn t make the press care about them anymore or get every Facebook user to go back to MySpace And the code would be out of date immediately with none of the original developers providing support bug fixes or new features What if

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/260 (2016-04-30)
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  • Who the heck is Fred Thompson?
    really the most accurate predictor of who will win an election Thompson is 6 6 He has sort of a Final Boss appearance to him He looks like he d be comfortable commanding thugs and if you somehow got past all the thugs he d take you on himself probably by throwing cruise missiles or something He s also serious about staying in Iraq His quote on the issue Right now we need to make every effort to make sure that we don t get run out of there with our tails between our legs Thompson supported the war in Iraq He thinks mistakes have been made since we went in but he doesn t think we should leave If you re an environmentalist you probably won t be a big Thompson supporter Fred Thompson in a recent radio address recently mocked the liberal shout that all the science is in on Global Warming On one hand there s no harm in a bit of additional research It may be that the global warming is a natural thing and at least he s past the stage of denying it On the other hand no scientist ever denied that the planet has gone through various warming and cooling phases In the past these have led to mass extinctions Whether or not the primary contributor to global warming is SUVs the consequences of global warming are still potentially disastrous Even Bush has grudgingly recognized a need to address climate change if we don t want to go the way of the trilobite Thompson s radio address was meant to be humorous and it was so I won t take it as a policy statement but I do hope that any future Presidential candidate can offer positive leadership on climate change rather than

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/258 (2016-04-30)
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  • The new iPod Classic... sucks
    give us a 16 GB version for 249 It s pretty sad that if Tiff wanted to upgrade her 6 GB iPod Mini from 2004 to a brand new Nano three generations later she d only gain 2 GB of capacity iPod Classic Unfortunately the iPod Classic was extremely disappointing I wouldn t recommend it to anyone Its most significant problem is the sluggishness of simple actions The Nano and Classic both have an updated interface with photos and album art sprinkled around I don t like it it doesn t add any value but it clutters the screen and makes navigation more visually confusing Apple added many unnecessary new visual effects to simple operations such as track changes The iPod Classic stutters through every operation including Adjusting the volume Opening menus Browsing lists Changing tracks Seeking within tracks Not only does the interface lag and stutter but the music skips It s so bad that I assumed that the iPod I was testing was defective so I tried others in the store and got identical results The worst offender is the new Cover Flow view in the Nano and Classic Neither of them devote enough memory to caching the album art images so scrolling through them isn t seamless you re just shown massive sections of placeholder art as it loads On the Classic the music skips like crazy The Nano loads Cover Flow images much more quickly and I couldn t get the music to skip once While the interface navigation wasn t perfectly smooth simpler operations like volume adjustments and track changes were dramatically better on the Nano Because the Classic has a hard drive instead of the Nano s flash memory loading data is much slower My previous generation 30 GB video iPod is sluggish when

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/259 (2016-04-30)
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  • Incidents of Romney Rage on the Rise
    an epidemic Think pollen in spring time said one sufferer Now multiply it by a hundred and slick back its hair It s not exactly a psychological disorder said researcher Dr Earl Focht Most people suffer from some form of it Usually it takes a prolonged exposure such as listening to one of his speeches to bring on an attack In some cases it only takes a sound bite or even his name Scientists disagree on what exactly causes this reaction Some think it is a combination of smarminess and opportunism Others think it is caused by the interaction of disingenuity hypocrisy and very white teeth Dr Focht theorized that it might be caused by that haircut That damn haircut The most common victims of Romney rage are computer monitors and television screens Many are smashed by thrown remotes coasters or even armchairs Small children who tend to sit close to televisions are often hit by poorly aimed projectiles Some accidents previously blamed on snapping Wiimote straps seem to be attibutable to Romney Rage upon further investigation One sufferer who prefers to remain anonymous says that he has a litany he chants to calm him down after exposure to Romney It goes like this he says Who would win in a fight Romney or a Tyrannosaurus The Tyrannosaurus Who would win in a fight Romney or a polar bear The polar bear Who would win in a fight Romney or a steam roller The steam roller And so forth It s sort of like praying the Rosary but way more awesome Romney is not the first political figure to induce rage Cheney Rage apparently led Dick Cheney to avoid public events Think of it this way explained Dr Focht You see Cheney and you kind of want to take a

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/256 (2016-04-30)
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  • Weird fruit: Golden kiwi
    a tropical fruit salad was produced by the New Zealand Crown Research Institute HortResearch and is being marketed worldwide in increasing volumes Some wild vines in China have yellow fruit but are small and not commercially viable Here s the golden kiwi shown with and tested against a regular green kiwi Comparison The golden kiwi was excellent Golden Softer Sweeter Less tart Yellow Bald Fewer seeds Green regular More firm

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/253 (2016-04-30)
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  • iWork is not an Office competitor
    never used Keynote or PowerPoint Seriously I ve never used PowerPoint So I have no comparison there iWork is an attempt to solve similar needs for Mac users who don t want to shell out 400 yes for Microsoft Office for Mac Instead iWork satisfies people with lighter needs and lighter budgets at only 79 I ll have a full review after a few months of using the new programs But from quick initial usage iWork 08 has no surprises compared to previous versions it s prettier and simpler but with far fewer features and a far lower cost than Microsoft Office There s a significant number of users out there that don t need office software very often including me As a programmer I use the most souped up version of Notepad in the world the excellent TextMate and I would have happily paid more than its 39 cost The only times I use Microsoft Word are when other people email documents to me and even that s rare I use Excel a few times per year to make simple lists and budgets And the last time I had to give a presentation we were required to use note

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/252 (2016-04-30)
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  • R.I.P., 3.4 GHz of Love
    probably the video card It could also be the motherboard since I can t even get the Abit diagnostic LED to show a missing video card status code when it s absent It might also be the CPU or its heatsink but that s unlikely since this computer was frequently used for overnight video encoding 100 CPU usage for 6 12 hours and never had a problem with it I could fix it I could buy a new video card for 139 that s far better than my 6600GT that may have just died But this PC was one of the worst purchases I ever made I essentially spent 1100 for 2 months of Half Life 2 3 years of downloading TV shows and Linux ISOs of course 2 weeks of Supreme Commander I absolutely love PC gaming occasionally But I hate PCs I hate Windows drivers and crappy buggy hardware And I do everything except downloads and gaming on a Mac I have absolutely no desire to switch back to Windows Therefore I refuse to put any more money into this PC I ll save 3 of the 4 hard drives and sell the rest of the parts for

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/251 (2016-04-30)
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