Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Are the newer generation of developers reliving past mistakes?

Though I doubt many agree, I have to say: the recent fervor behind HTML 5, CSS3, and JavaScript feels like a step in the wrong direction.

Let me explain:

I come from a time when web development made you want to cry.  I happen from a time when each browser you chose to support would require one to develop an independent set of hacked CSS rules, JavaScript, and often, HTML; and each of these browsers would require testing after each and every change.  I’ve come from a time when debugging in JavaScript meant inserting “alert” statements in dozens of places within the code and then hitting refresh in a browser.  I come from a time when large web applications would contain scores of redundant code, and scores more of unused styles and JavaScript, which would be destined to remain in the application as if they were naught but malignant tumors.

Don’t get me wrong: application development is my passion.  But doing what needed to be done to get a web application working wasn’t development… it was pre-ordained bug fixing.

But as time progressed, things became more hopeful.  XML gave us a flexible way to store data.  Then XHTML gave us a way to read web pages without concern for misinterpretation.  Then SOAP allowed us the ability to share data with others.  Then Silverlight and Moonlight gave us hope of finally ridding ourselves of the shackles that are HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, forever.  Then Windows Phone 7 arrives, promising the market share the world needs in order to take XAML seriously.  And even if you chose not to embrace XAML, you knew that the holy grail was just around the corner.

But then Apple slew Moonlight. (And I will forever curse you, Apple, for your proprietary spells have cast a gloom on us simple software folk.)

And then the masses began to talk of HTML5 as though they’d forgotten how his ancestors had ravaged our towns.

And now I can’t help but wonder, as we progress into the future: will future generations of programmers be forced to deal with the same crap that we had to deal with, over and over again?

Will the technologies used in application development prove to follow a cyclic pattern?  Clothing style does this… just think of how both the 70’s and 80’s styles have come around.  In said fashion, will one generation reintroduce hacker mentalities and force the subsequent generation to deal with the consequences?

Or will advancement be more like some technological tug-of-war between the heroic Architects and the evil Hackers… both alternately giving and then gaining ground as one seeks to build and the other seeks to destroy?

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Steve Jobs on Unions

There is some negative review on Steve Jobs statement regarding the state of school unions.  While I am not an Apple fan, I do need to agree with Steve on this one.  Being from Michigan myself, and seeing the recent loss of so many of our factories due to unions, his statement repeats what I have believed for a long time: Unions served their purpose years ago, but now, they’re out of control.

I’m not an economist, so forgive my common-man terminology and views.

Unions will increase the wages and increase wages to the point that people who’s job it is to insert part A into slot B will be making six times the amount of money as somebody who’s job it is to insert bun A onto meat patty B.

What’s wrong with union members making so much money?  I have a lot of factory worker friends, and of course I would love to see them make all the money in the world.  However, by them making all the money in the world, the products they are making, in turn, cost all the money in the world.

In order to compete with foreign factories, our own factories are almost being pushed oversees because of the incredible wages we pay our factory workers due to the unions.

Would you like a true example?  Here is one from Flint, Michigan.  Recently, Delphi gave its union an ultimatum.  Either lower the worker’s wages, or Delphi would be forced to move out of Flint.  Guess what the union did?  They stood their ground, and now Flint has no Delphi.  In Delphi’s defense, they told the union what needed to happen for them to survive.  The union cared more about the sweet cash they were raking in.

The truth of it is that there will always be a need for those who make less then you.  It’s a hard truth, but one we need to learn in order to keep companies in the United States.  I dream for the day that technology complete removes any pay gaps by doing all of our menial (low paying) work for us, but that day is not here.

So, in response to that article, the only reason teaching hasn’t been outsourced oversees yet is because we haven’t found a good way to do it.  Keep that in mind, teacher unions… you have been warned.

Vista Hold ‘Em Strategy

The new Poker Texas Vista Hold’Em game that comes with Vista Ultimate is a lot of fun.  However, I have spoiled it for myself by finding a few strategies that almost guarantee you win.  Basically, you just bully the computers into giving you their money.  They are very easy to bluff if you do it the right way!

1) If you do not have a good hand, just bet a lot!  They’ll fold almost every time.  Even if they have a good hand, they’ll probably still fold.  The key is to raise consistently.  It seems that the AI does have some bluff-detecting features, but unless the computer is sure, it won’t call you out.

 

2) If you do have a good hand, don’t bet until the last possible moment.  I know, this sounds crazy.  But if you just check and call until the very last chance, and then go all-in, and if the computer has a decent hand, it will think you are just bluffing, and call you.  Of course, you probably have it beat, since it’s setting its expectations low at this point.  With this little trick, I have taken out three computer players at once.  +$4000 gain in one hand.  🙂

In this screenshot, I started with a great hand, and flopped an even better one.  I checked the entire time, and then tricked Wojo.  It was too bad he was the only player stayed in, or I would have had them all out.

In the next screenshot, while I did not have a good hand until the end on this one, I checked the whole time… even after I got the pair of Aces, so the computer thought I had nothing.  So, it went all in at the end.  I just countered with my own all-in.  This tells me that the computer tends to have a “one hand” memory, and tends to think you don’t have anything if you check.

 

Summary

So basically, best exactly opposite to what your hand dictates.  Keep in mind that the other players may actually have good cards though!  So bet on vapor only if you know they’ll fold.

My Stats

I just mess around sometimes, like going all-in when anyone could tell you that’s stupid.  This, of course, brings my statistics down.  But with that in mind, here are my current stats:

Hello world!

Well, this will be my first blog post. You would think that somebody who loves technology as much as I would have started a blog years ago, but honestly, I just couldn’t think of a single reason to do so.

But, it is time. So here we go!