The Complicator's Gloves

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  • bob the dingo 2007-01-16 11:45
    this isn't necessarily an over-complication of things... well, at least not at first. hand warmers can make a difference even with gloves, why do you think they've become a popular accessory on snow-blowers? but yeah, once they got into the tubes around your midriff thing, that was a bit much, lol.
  • denz 2007-01-16 11:49
    It seems no-one found out that the human body is already equipped with a heat-transfer system using a liquid medium, pumped (through one-way valves) through flexible tubes, etc.
  • AbbydonKrafts 2007-01-16 11:52
    denz:
    It seems no-one found out that the human body is already equipped with a heat-transfer system using a liquid medium, pumped (through one-way valves) through flexible tubes, etc.


    LOL! My thoughts exactly. :)
  • anon 2007-01-16 11:53
    "Gloves" would be great on a motivational poster.
  • Rafael Larios 2007-01-16 11:55
    What a great story.... simpler solutions for any problem is what we need....

    This came just When I'm debbuging classes named AdminIntnlSecurityAuthorizationFactory3....

    Captcha: tacos.... mmm how appropiate.. it's time for lunch!
  • Logan Williams 2007-01-16 12:04
    It reminds me of Dean Kamen's story about the South Pointing Chariots. The very early Chinese invented these marvelous chariots, with analog computers inside them that would cause a stick to always be pointing south. And it worked, even though it was extremely complicated. However, the chinese had already discovered lodestone (magnet), and knew about it's magnetic properties!
  • sir_flexalot 2007-01-16 12:14
    you know, we actually have these hand warmers here for if you don't have gloves. Pretty much any gas station sells them, it's some chemical in a little bag, feels like it's got little marbles in the bag. When you open the container, it just gets hot and stays hot for hours. If you hold those and the handles at the same time, you don't need gloves, so there already is a non-gloves solution. The correct path to a solution: find all the existing solutions, if none of those are suited to you THEN you create a new solution. You don't create a new solution and THEN look around and get mad that you reinvented the wheel!
  • sir_flexalot 2007-01-16 12:18
    anon:
    "Gloves" would be great on a motivational poster.


    Done! "Gloves" (de)motivator
    http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/output/motivator3155329.jpg
  • SomeCoder 2007-01-16 12:18
    Also, if you really want heated grips, motorcycles have them. If you're talking about rigging a battery up to a bike for them, then you could just use motorcycle grips.

    A fairly weak IT WTF though....

    Captcha: ewwwwwwwwwww!
  • poss 2007-01-16 12:18
    Reminds me of the story about the millions that Nasa spent during the Space Race, developing a pen that could write in zero-gravity.

    The Russians just used a pencil.
  • sir_flexalot 2007-01-16 12:19
    poss:
    Reminds me of the story about the millions that Nasa spent during the Space Race, developing a pen that could write in zero-gravity.

    The Russians just used a pencil.


    Sorry to hammer with posts, but that's a common misconception. Graphite flakes off and gets in the equipment... Russians use something like a grease marker. Still funny though!
  • Franky 2007-01-16 12:29
    sir_flexalot:
    poss:
    Reminds me of the story about the millions that Nasa spent during the Space Race, developing a pen that could write in zero-gravity.

    The Russians just used a pencil.


    Sorry to hammer with posts, but that's a common misconception. Graphite flakes off and gets in the equipment... Russians use something like a grease marker. Still funny though!



    and yankees got tons of $ for inventing gel ballpens....
    captcha: alarm... yes, raise the alarm! complicators approaching!!! :P
  • Franky 2007-01-16 12:30
    sir_flexalot:
    anon:
    "Gloves" would be great on a motivational poster.


    Done! "Gloves" (de)motivator
    http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/output/motivator3155329.jpg



    Simply gorgeous... ^^

    captcha: quake... ummm let's play
  • Franky 2007-01-16 12:30
    sir_flexalot:
    anon:
    "Gloves" would be great on a motivational poster.


    Done! "Gloves" (de)motivator
    http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/output/motivator3155329.jpg



    Simply gorgeous... ^^

    captcha: quake... ummm let's play
  • danixdefcon5 2007-01-16 12:35
    sir_flexalot:
    poss:
    Reminds me of the story about the millions that Nasa spent during the Space Race, developing a pen that could write in zero-gravity.

    The Russians just used a pencil.


    Sorry to hammer with posts, but that's a common misconception. Graphite flakes off and gets in the equipment... Russians use something like a grease marker. Still funny though!


    In Soviet Russia, pencil writes YOU!!!
  • lynn 2007-01-16 12:40
    Gloves are simple. I like simple.
  • ruiner13 2007-01-16 12:43
    poss:
    Reminds me of the story about the millions that Nasa spent during the Space Race, developing a pen that could write in zero-gravity.

    The Russians just used a pencil.


    Not exactly accurate. The Fisher Space Pen was developed by Fisher at their own expense. NASA had simpler items they had used previously, but when Fisher showed them the pen, they happily took it (who wouldn't!). It was an experiment by Fisher, NASA spent nothing on it.

    Don't mean to ruin the moral of the story though :)
  • Mikademus 2007-01-16 12:43
    "Complicators", "This has to be the most idiotic discussion I've read since ... well ... last week, when you were discussing the architecture for the UND component.

    The reason that this "hand warming system" does not exist is because most people have found a pair of gloves to be a perfectly suitable way for keeping one's hands warm."

    This has to be the sorriest WTF posted here ever. Most sane and good developers successfully combine creativity with pragmaticism. Quoting from the Hacker's Dictionary, "Drudgery and Boredom are Evil", while we know that precise, minimal and functional solutions are elegant, we all harbour mad scientists within who loves super-elaborate solutions, not for their practicality but for their self-entertainment value. My wager is that none of the above quoted developers had any intention of building those over-engineered solutions to the silly problem, but nonetheless were gratifyingly stimulated by generating them.

    I doubt I'd enjoy conversing with the author of today's "WTF" or the party pooper quoted at the end.

    CAPTCH: ninjas; bah, this reply didn't require any guitar wailing, boners, massacres, or any other kind of real ultimate power.
  • anon 2007-01-16 12:47
    I've got poor circulation. In cold weather gloves don't work very well, my little finger freezes.
    Plus, gloves never fit me because my fingers are obviously non-standard and short - the ends always flap over which is annoying.
    Stretchy mittens, perhaps?
    Stuff that, I'll just drive in instead.
  • Anonymous Coward 2007-01-16 12:52
    Anywhere I can dl that schematic per chance ?
  • asfwefaw 2007-01-16 12:53
    poss:
    Reminds me of the story about the millions that Nasa spent during the Space Race, developing a pen that could write in zero-gravity.

    The Russians just used a pencil.


    Oh God. Please go to snopes.com every time someone tells you something, because you don't seem to possess any critical-thinking skills.

    http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asp
  • Corporate Cog 2007-01-16 12:58
    Great wtf, but the original problem does persist. No gloves ever created are adequate for even warm winter days in Colorado. Current winter excluded, you could ride a motorcycle during most winter days if it wasn't for the hands and knees.
    I always envisioned simply having some air ducting that would route air off the engine to the hands and knees.
    In the end, I opted for the simpler alternative; ditch the motorcycle and own only a car (mine doesn't use much more gas than a motorcycle anyway).
  • Tel Janin 2007-01-16 13:09
    sir_flexalot:
    Done! "Gloves" (de)motivator
    http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/output/motivator3155329.jpg


    Getting a 404 when I try to access...
  • batasrki 2007-01-16 13:17
    This is a cool WTF. I do understand that the discussion was probably just a way for people to kill boredom and thereby let their imaginations run a bit. But you have to ask yourself whether they do this while working, if they're bored of their current coding. I think that was the point.

    PS, I also found the image link broken
  • Blame 2007-01-16 13:28
    denz:
    It seems no-one found out that the human body is already equipped with a heat-transfer system using a liquid medium, pumped (through one-way valves) through flexible tubes, etc.

    Not only that, but one that reduces heat loss from the important areas by pumping less of said medium to the extremeties when they're cold. I'm sure we can override that safety feature, though.
  • snoball 2007-01-16 13:29
    I don't like using thick warm gloves because it's much harder to operate shifters and the brake levers. I think the discussion that happened would have been lessened if the original poster had raised this issue.
  • StabnSteer 2007-01-16 13:29
    I think the main idea here is not to toss out the whole idea of innovation - but to use some common sense when it comes to complicators, because we know they're out there and they have a tenuous grip on reality.

    I know I've seen 'em before...my favorite brush with one came at a company many years ago where we had a corporate intranet where 80% of it was maintained by the individual departments and workgroups using flat HTML. Most of the folks enjoyed the control this gave them over the design and maintenance - to upload content they used a simple, but horribly flawed java upload system that came with the Netscape web server of the time (let's just say that it "didn't scale well").

    We decided that we needed to come up with a new way of having the clients get their content onto the server since the web publisher was too buggy - and it had to allow the clients to retain control of their HTML - something like the Tripod web manager upload system. This was outlined in a meeting at which point our (senior designer) complicator started off on the whiteboard proposing to develop a massive database-driven content management system with all the bells and whistles and form-input for content maintenance. We sat there listening for a few minutes before it sunk in that he was completely ignoring the initial requirements. We stopped him and told him we had to keep things as flat HTML since that's what our client really wanted and preferred. He blinked, our voices echoing inside his head for a moment, then continued talking about his content management system idea as if the requirements didn't register.

    We eventually ignored him and created a browser based app with perl. I do believe the perl system is still being used 5 years later with minimal edits. Happy clients!

    captcha: bathe - what every techie should do at least a couple times a week. Please.
  • Anonymous 2007-01-16 13:35
    Mikademus:
    Most sane and good developers successfully combine creativity with pragmaticism. Quoting from the Hacker's Dictionary, "Drudgery and Boredom are Evil", while we know that precise, minimal and functional solutions are elegant, we all harbour mad scientists within who loves super-elaborate solutions, not for their practicality but for their self-entertainment value. My wager is that none of the above quoted developers had any intention of building those over-engineered solutions to the silly problem, but nonetheless were gratifyingly stimulated by generating them.

    I doubt I'd enjoy conversing with the author of today's "WTF" or the party pooper quoted at the end.


    And I doubt I'd enjoy maintenance programming for your software, although it might prolong the contract somewhat. There's a difference between throwing around complex solutions for a laugh, and programming them for a career, and the article makes it apparent that the developers there do not know the difference.

    I'd argue that a good developer comes up with the solution that is most appropriate for the business requirements, rather than an over-engineered maintenance nightmare.

    Hardly a WTF because shameless over-engineering is a daily occurrence in IT.
  • kuroshin 2007-01-16 13:38
    Umm, I'd like to know more about the UND component. Is that some Universal Nincompoop Destroyer ?
  • OJ 2007-01-16 13:40
    Re: snoball

    The solution is simple and beautiful: fixed gear bike. No brake or shift levers to worry about. Also makes you work harder and thus increases heat output.

    Racing style handlebar is also nice in winter: The cork tape wrap is a good insulator and Campagnolo levers are quite easy to use even with mittens on.
  • Wil 2007-01-16 13:54
    This problem already has a solution.

    Lightweight heated gloves
    http://www.gerbing.com/heat/gloveslw.html

    Portable temp controller
    http://www.gerbing.com/tc/port.html

    Batteries & belt packs
    http://www.gerbing.com/acc/batteries.html

    I have a Gerbings jacket liner and a heavier version of the gloves, all powered off my motorcycle's electrical system. They've kept me toasty at ambient temps below 35 degrees F. Could have ridden colder, but it was time to stop for the night. It's kind of like wearing an electric blanket.
  • MrBester 2007-01-16 13:56
    ruiner13:
    poss:
    Reminds me of the story about the millions that Nasa spent during the Space Race, developing a pen that could write in zero-gravity.

    The Russians just used a pencil.


    Not exactly accurate. The Fisher Space Pen was developed by Fisher at their own expense. NASA had simpler items they had used previously, but when Fisher showed them the pen, they happily took it (who wouldn't!). It was an experiment by Fisher, NASA spent nothing on it.

    Don't mean to ruin the moral of the story though :)

    I've had one for years. Never written one character with it. When I dig it out after another decade and find it has depressurised it can then be thrown away...
  • bramster 2007-01-16 13:57
    poss:
    Reminds me of the story about the millions that Nasa spent during the Space Race, developing a pen that could write in zero-gravity.

    The Russians just used a pencil.


    Which was great until they had to sharpen the pencil.
  • Dave Wallace 2007-01-16 14:09
    When I was a High School kid in a small Australian town, we just poured hot water into the handlebars. Just gotta remember to drain before nightfall so that it doesn't freeze...
  • Carnildo 2007-01-16 14:10
    sir_flexalot:
    poss:
    Reminds me of the story about the millions that Nasa spent during the Space Race, developing a pen that could write in zero-gravity.

    The Russians just used a pencil.


    Sorry to hammer with posts, but that's a common misconception. Graphite flakes off and gets in the equipment... Russians use something like a grease marker. Still funny though!


    And to further shoot that down, the pressurized pen was developed by an independent company, without any assurance that NASA would go for it.

    The pressurized pen has other advantages, too: it can write while upside-down here on Earth, and it won't leak ink in a low-pressure environment.
  • eight days a week 2007-01-16 14:11
    snoball:
    I don't like using thick warm gloves because it's much harder to operate shifters and the brake levers. I think the discussion that happened would have been lessened if the original poster had raised this issue.


    Just use a track bike: no shifters and no brake levers!

    This reminds me of a discussion I had once with an engineer. He wanted to design a bike light that could detect an approaching vehicle and adjust the intensity of its brightness accordingly. It would use all sorts of sensors to calculate the distance of the vehicle.

    I told him he should get a reflector.
  • Anonymous 2007-01-16 14:15
    Hey, even the Soviet and Russian cosmonauts have used (and continue to use) the Space Pen. See: http://history.nasa.gov/spacepen.html

    captcha: cognac (as in I could use a swig of cognac right about now...)
  • LRB 2007-01-16 14:24
    When I was in high school I owned a motor cycle and had this problem. Since that was the early 80's and technological solutions were much less than now and much more expensive than now, I just used thick cotton hunting gloves with felt insulated lining. I would put them in the clothes dryer for about 10 to 15 mintues before leaving and it would last me the 20 or so minutes to get to school. This worked fine even on the day it got to below zero Farenheit.
  • RxScram 2007-01-16 14:25
    sir_flexalot:
    poss:
    Reminds me of the story about the millions that Nasa spent during the Space Race, developing a pen that could write in zero-gravity.

    The Russians just used a pencil.


    Sorry to hammer with posts, but that's a common misconception. Graphite flakes off and gets in the equipment... Russians use something like a grease marker. Still funny though!


    NASA didn't spend a dime on the development of the spacepen: http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asp.

  • Old and Cynical 2007-01-16 14:38
    I have an example of this I keep tucked away for when someone proposes some elaborate solution to a problem. It's not my example - it's one I kept from a magazine some years back.

    Assembly line had problems with the parts bins running empty and stopping the line. IT was informed of the problem and immediately started talking about light sensors that would trigger when the bins reached a certain level and would then page the supervisors on duty, etc. They were quite excited.

    Returning to the assembly line with their shiny solution they were amazed that the problem no longer existed. The workers on the line found a solution that worked. When they emptied boxes of parts into the bins they flipped the last box upside down and tossed it in the bin too. When they couldn't see the box any more it was time to add more parts.

    That little anecdote has kept me focussed for many years...
  • Konstantin Savenkov 2007-01-16 14:45
    The alike story has happened in quite famous russian hardware forum site (http://ixbt.com). There was a thread where one person put an interesting question: how to burn some picture on a CD. Many software solutions was proposed, with strong mathematical basis (e.g. formulas that describe how to project bitmap to polar coordinates and then to a position on a spiral CD track). There was even man who claimed they made such software. After 400+ messages (with more fine grained formulas and techniques) the thread was killed on a flight by some man, who posted the following message: "Why don't you just cut your picture from adhesive tape, applicate it to a CD and then burn ANY data over it?"
  • Its a Feature 2007-01-16 14:48
    I've always thought of this as "Thinking too hard".

    You think so hard, that your solution becomes an impossibility to implement--such that it actually becomes the problem.

    When you really should have just stepped back, taken a deep breath, and said, "Gloves will do".
  • akatherder 2007-01-16 14:53
    Ok, I feel like an idiot. Possibly because I am.

    First of all I don't understand the assembly line and box thing. If you put the last box on top of the bin after filling it, it would seem the box would be in your way and make it even harder to see when the bin is getting empty.

    Secondly, what is putting a sticker on a CD and burning it going to do? Is this for labeling the CD or attempting to burn some design on the bottom or what?
  • ajp 2007-01-16 14:55
    i gotta say, when ever i see anything about glove i think of the juice.

  • NancyBoy 2007-01-16 15:01
    Mikademus:
    Quoting from the Hacker's Dictionary, "Drudgery and Boredom are Evil", while we know that precise, minimal and functional solutions are elegant, we all harbour mad scientists within who loves super-elaborate solutions, not for their practicality but for their self-entertainment value. My wager is that none of the above quoted developers had any intention of building those over-engineered solutions to the silly problem, but nonetheless were gratifyingly stimulated by generating them.

    I doubt I'd enjoy conversing with the author of today's "WTF" or the party pooper quoted at the end.


    The people that the hacker's dictionary (jargon dictionary, geek dictionary...) describes do seem to like to waste huge amounts of time and effort on masturbatory exercises like this. I think it's their substitute for being creative, which is next to impossible for them. Most of the time their efforts are confined to regurgitating Simpson's quotes though.
  • foo 2007-01-16 15:03
    I'd buy one.
  • Homer 2007-01-16 15:09
    I'm in the middle of an actual project that succumbed to this mentality. To call it hell, would be giving hell a bad name.
  • Franck 2007-01-16 15:20
    Wow, this one is real funny. But when I think about it twice, I can easilly imagine my co worker having this kind of discussion.

    But as some other commented, the original concept isn't bad; it does exist on snow-mobile too (ski-doo).

    I think the main point why it doesn't exist on bike is that cycling in the cold is a pain, with or without any "hand warming device".
  • Zygo 2007-01-16 15:30
    Frankly, my first thought was "these guys are crazy. No way am I going to sacrifice the kinetic energy for an electric warmer, nor am I going to carry the extra weight of sufficient batteries to power it for the up to 90 minutes I spend on a bike each day (not to mention the cost). But a kinetically powered fluid pumping system might be reasonable since it's not generating the heat itself, just moving it around, maybe it could be powered just by a small battery and wouldn't need a kinetic feed at all..."

    Then I thought "Hmmm. Point taken."
  • BitShifter 2007-01-16 15:31
    Franky:
    sir_flexalot:
    poss:
    Reminds me of the story about the millions that Nasa spent during the Space Race, developing a pen that could write in zero-gravity.

    The Russians just used a pencil.


    Sorry to hammer with posts, but that's a common misconception. Graphite flakes off and gets in the equipment... Russians use something like a grease marker. Still funny though!



    and yankees got tons of $ for inventing gel ballpens....
    captcha: alarm... yes, raise the alarm! complicators approaching!!! :P


    This is an urban legend, Fisher designed and built the pen using their own money. See: http://history.nasa.gov/spacepen.html

    Captcha: tastey Mmmm
  • dragonfrog 2007-01-16 15:33
    denz:
    It seems no-one found out that the human body is already equipped with a heat-transfer system using a liquid medium, pumped (through one-way valves) through flexible tubes, etc.


    I wonder how many of the people commenting roughly to this effect, actually bicycle any meaningful distance, in winter, in a place where winter means it.

    When you ride your bike, you put weight on your hands. This cuts off the circulation significantly; in addition, your hands are more exposed to wind. On a day when you might be comfortable walking with only very thin gloves, your hands on the handlebars will quickly become very cold and numb, even with thick gloves on.

    In fact, there's been a type of gloves recently designed, meant to be worn under snowmobile mitts (those ones with ultrathick insulation, that go most of the way to the elbow, and leave room for light gloves underneath) that replicates the process of blood heating your hands. A fluid moves by capillary action, bringing heat from the armpits and upper arms, down to the hands and fingers.
  • Zylon 2007-01-16 15:37
    Hey, has anybody pointed out that NASA didn't actually design the space pen yet?
  • akatherder 2007-01-16 15:40
    Zylon:
    Hey, has anybody pointed out that NASA didn't actually design the space pen yet?


    You may be interested to find that blah blah Russia blah blah Fisher pens blah blah snopes!
  • Mikademus 2007-01-16 15:47
    Original post by Mikademus:
    Most sane and good developers successfully combine creativity with pragmaticism. Quoting from the Hacker's Dictionary, "Drudgery and Boredom are Evil", while we know that precise, minimal and functional solutions are elegant, we all harbour mad scientists within who loves super-elaborate solutions, not for their practicality but for their self-entertainment value. My wager is that none of the above quoted developers had any intention of building those over-engineered solutions to the silly problem, but nonetheless were gratifyingly stimulated by generating them.

    I doubt I'd enjoy conversing with the author of today's "WTF" or the party pooper quoted at the end.


    Anonymous:
    And I doubt I'd enjoy maintenance programming for your software, although it might prolong the contract somewhat. There's a difference between throwing around complex solutions for a laugh, and programming them for a career, and the article makes it apparent that the developers there do not know the difference.

    I'd argue that a good developer comes up with the solution that is most appropriate for the business requirements, rather than an over-engineered maintenance nightmare.


    You most certainly did misunderstand me. Good developers are creative yet pragmatic. I attempt to find the cleanest, most elegant solution to a problem. When a new approach is necessary I put my creativity to use. If you are a fond of clear and elegant software with much time spent on architectural design you'd enjoy maintaining my code. However, good developers need creative outlets, and the discussion in the article seemed a fine example of that. Had they'd been debating a 42-tiered database abstraction to implement in their next mission-critical build, on the other hand, then you'd had my permission to drag them out to the back yard and shove ants down their johns.

    NancyBoy:
    The people that the hacker's dictionary (jargon dictionary, geek dictionary...) describes do seem to like to waste huge amounts of time and effort on masturbatory exercises like this. I think it's their substitute for being creative, which is next to impossible for them. Most of the time their efforts are confined to regurgitating Simpson's quotes though.


    Now that's a generalisation if I've ever heard one, though it is also a quite moot one: that breed is (unfortunately) a dying one, few Ents walk among us nowadays. The True Hacker, the ideal described in the Hacker's Dictionary, rejoiced in clean, efficient code and maintainability is a common theme. More indicative to their ideal of order is perhaps that mischievous creativity was generally delegated to forums like the Obfuscated C Contest but live code was kept clear and clean. I'd say that todays situation with a multitude of inept developers is a greater problem then was ever any "creative" hacker-developers of yore.


    CAPTCHA: bling - no thanks, not my style, doesn't go with the ninja theme of last captcha
  • Konstantin Savenkov 2007-01-16 15:47
    akatherder:
    Ok, I feel like an idiot. Possibly because I am.

    Secondly, what is putting a sticker on a CD and burning it going to do? Is this for labeling the CD or attempting to burn some design on the bottom or what?


    Well, if you want to make, er, artistic burning on a writeable side of the CD, you can either write a program that will control laser to make artistic burning, or (and it is a way easier) cut your "design" from a piece of adhesive tape, applicate it to the writeable side of the CD, then burn any data that will fill all disk, then remove your application.

    The result of two actions described above is the same. It should be noted, the original problem was "I want to burn some picture on my CD, what should I do?", that was not a discussion of buisness model for such software :-)
  • Rick 2007-01-16 15:53
    I frequently ride in the winter. On one bicycle ride, I came home with ice in my water bottle that I hadn't put there.

    Proper gloves are enough for me. My feet and legs do get cold. I believe the physics behind this is that the feet and legs are spinning and have more wind passing over them then my hands.
  • Malfist 2007-01-16 16:00
    eight days a week:
    snoball:
    I don't like using thick warm gloves because it's much harder to operate shifters and the brake levers. I think the discussion that happened would have been lessened if the original poster had raised this issue.


    Just use a track bike: no shifters and no brake levers!

    This reminds me of a discussion I had once with an engineer. He wanted to design a bike light that could detect an approaching vehicle and adjust the intensity of its brightness accordingly. It would use all sorts of sensors to calculate the distance of the vehicle.

    I told him he should get a reflector.

    You do know they make the thermalite stuff that's really thin but extremly warm, check walmarts sporting goods
  • Gus 2007-01-16 16:07
    sir_flexalot:
    poss:
    Reminds me of the story about the millions that Nasa spent during the Space Race, developing a pen that could write in zero-gravity.

    The Russians just used a pencil.


    Sorry to hammer with posts, but that's a common misconception. Graphite flakes off and gets in the equipment... Russians use something like a grease marker. Still funny though!


    Not to mention graphite burns very very easily in high a high oxygen content environment... so break your pencil in an enriched or 100% oxygen environment and let it float into an electonic circuit or gather a bit of static electricity ... BOOM.

    http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asp
  • akatherder 2007-01-16 16:20
    Konstantin Savenkov:
    akatherder:
    Ok, I feel like an idiot. Possibly because I am.

    Secondly, what is putting a sticker on a CD and burning it going to do? Is this for labeling the CD or attempting to burn some design on the bottom or what?


    Well, if you want to make, er, artistic burning on a writeable side of the CD, you can either write a program that will control laser to make artistic burning, or (and it is a way easier) cut your "design" from a piece of adhesive tape, applicate it to the writeable side of the CD, then burn any data that will fill all disk, then remove your application.

    The result of two actions described above is the same. It should be noted, the original problem was "I want to burn some picture on my CD, what should I do?", that was not a discussion of buisness model for such software :-)


    Fair enough. When someone asks something that I consider to be difficult and useless, it's only natural to ask them why. You can usually generate an alternative solution or convince them of another approach.

    captcha: burned (how fitting)
  • gwenhwyfaer 2007-01-16 16:22
    Can the PTBs please fix the board so that I don't have to relogin every single time I comment...? "Remember me" doesn't.

    akatherder:
    First of all I don't understand the assembly line and box thing. If you put the last box on top of the bin after filling it, it would seem the box would be in your way and make it even harder to see when the bin is getting empty.


    I think the idea is that the box is quite big but shallower than the bin, which is mounted quite high - when the box goes into the bin it sits on top of the parts and protrudes from the bin; once the bin is depleted, the level of parts is down to the point where the top of the box can no longer be seen... which means there's room for another boxful of parts in the bin.

    (If this were USEnet I'd attempt some ASCII art to illustrate, but in this wonderful world of easy-to-use graphical software and spiffy proportional fonts... sorry.)
  • KattMan 2007-01-16 16:31
    akatherder:
    Ok, I feel like an idiot. Possibly because I am.

    First of all I don't understand the assembly line and box thing. If you put the last box on top of the bin after filling it, it would seem the box would be in your way and make it even harder to see when the bin is getting empty.

    Secondly, what is putting a sticker on a CD and burning it going to do? Is this for labeling the CD or attempting to burn some design on the bottom or what?


    Someone already answered your cd question well, but the answer to your bin problem I think was lacking.

    The peice you are missing is that this bin was an automated feed that feed the parts from the bottom of the bin. Put fill bin from top, turn empty bin over and place on top of parts. As parts are feed from bottom into the assembly line the level of the parts will drop, eventually hiding the upturned empty bin placed on top of them.
  • Benanov (can't login) 2007-01-16 16:33
    gwenhwyfaer:
    I think the idea is that the box is quite big but shallower than the bin, which is mounted quite high - when the box goes into the bin it sits on top of the parts and protrudes from the bin; once the bin is depleted, the level of parts is down to the point where the top of the box can no longer be seen... which means there's room for another boxful of parts in the bin.

    (If this were USEnet I'd attempt some ASCII art to illustrate, but in this wonderful world of easy-to-use graphical software and spiffy proportional fonts... sorry.)


    OP: Think "hopper" where you load from the top and pull from the bottom.
  • Drum D. 2007-01-16 16:33
    Hilarious!
    Saw something like this happening just yesterday.

    Is it higher education that makes people forget simple solutions?
  • themagni 2007-01-16 16:40
    dragonfrog:
    denz:
    It seems no-one found out that the human body is already equipped with a heat-transfer system using a liquid medium, pumped (through one-way valves) through flexible tubes, etc.


    I wonder how many of the people commenting roughly to this effect, actually bicycle any meaningful distance, in winter, in a place where winter means it.



    I bike year-round. I's how I lost a lot of weight. You may want to look at your seat. It sounds like you should consider a gender-specific seat and adjust it for your physiology. Funnily enough, numb hands are often caused by a poorly adjusted seat.

    I wear motorcycle gloves in the winter. They're waterproof, breathable, warm, and they're designed to be worn with the hand holding something. (For some reason, a lot of bike gloves fit best only when your fingers are straight, like normal gloves.)

    There are another reasons to wear gloves besides warmth:
    1. When you wipe out, your gloves will save your skin.
    2. They pad your hands a little so they don't go as numb.
  • worthawholebean 2007-01-16 16:49
    Wow. The ability of people to overcomplicate things is amazing.
  • vecctor 2007-01-16 17:00
    Konstantin Savenkov:
    The alike story has happened in quite famous russian hardware forum site (http://ixbt.com). There was a thread where one person put an interesting question: how to burn some picture on a CD. Many software solutions was proposed, with strong mathematical basis (e.g. formulas that describe how to project bitmap to polar coordinates and then to a position on a spiral CD track). There was even man who claimed they made such software. After 400+ messages (with more fine grained formulas and techniques) the thread was killed on a flight by some man, who posted the following message: "Why don't you just cut your picture from adhesive tape, applicate it to a CD and then burn ANY data over it?"


    The products to do this actually exist in the form of Disc T@2 ("tattoo") from Yamaha and Lightscribe from HP:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_T%402

    I have one of those yamaha drives, but I am sure Lightscribe is more useful because you can put the labeling on the non-data side of the disc.

    Incidentally, I don't think that is a great example of things being overcomplicated because the "paper and scissors" approach the guy described could never give you the kind of results that using the drive could. For instance, the Disc T@2 technology could lay down many shades by changing the laser power and so could essentially print black and white pictures on the back of a disc.

    The links off that wikipedia article have pictures.
  • Sander 2007-01-16 17:04
    Moreover, this system seems to work just fine on most occassions.
  • eight days a week 2007-01-16 17:04
    dragonfrog:

    I wonder how many of the people commenting roughly to this effect, actually bicycle any meaningful distance, in winter, in a place where winter means it.


    I don't know what winter means to you, but winter for me is usually 30 degrees F average with days as cold as 10 F.
    I bike to work every day and usually try to do training rides on weekends. Fortunately this winter has been pretty mild (no real snow yet).

    But you're right, I have a feeling that most people commenting don't ride in particularly cold weather.
  • SM 2007-01-16 17:15
    NancyBoy:

    Most of the time their efforts are confined to regurgitating Simpson's quotes though.


    Are we still talking about OJ? ;)
  • Francois 2007-01-16 17:21

    We'd simply use a thin inner-jacket (like a wind breaker) and run some flexible tubes from the tip of the sleeves to the midriff (which never seems to get cold). There'd be valved inlet and outlet water connectors at the sleeves to distribute the warmed water to the hands via a fine mesh of smaller tubes.

    The water would circulate due to the one-way valves and compressions of the device caused by walking/cycling movements.


    Wow, these guys managed to make a very good description of the human lymphatic circulation system from a 2-line requirement!

    Maybe there is something to that ID "theory" after all :-P
  • meshko 2007-01-16 17:27
    The real WTF here is that the original guy didn't know how to use Google! I'm getting google ads for "headed motorcycle gloves" all over story page!!
  • Jx 2007-01-16 17:28
    Reminds me of a requirements gathering session not too long ago. It is not that suprising that in a technical consulting firm the hammer for every nail is a web app.

    Requirements
    (1) Need a calendaring application that works like Outlook.
    (2) Needs to give reminders just like Outlook.
    (3) Needs a way to track contacts, like Outlook.
    (4) Need access to it over the web (like OWA).
    (5) Needs to integrate with Outlook.

    Q: Couldn't you just use Outlook since all the users already have it installed and are familiar with it?
    A: No, it doesn't meet our needs for this project.
    Q: So you want our (2 person) team to build a product like Outlook, but with more features for your project?
    A: Yes, but we need it in a couple of weeks.
    Q: What is wrong with Outlook, you could have that TODAY.
    A: It doesn't meet our needs, I can't describe why not.


    On another similar encounter I was asked to build an application to keep track of (I can't even remember what anymore).
    Requirements:
    1) Single user.
    2) Items to keep track of <50.
    3) Attributes of items to track 5-10.
    4) Use cases: Enter data, look up data.

    The requestor wasn't happy when I suggested Excel, or a legal notepad and pencil.
  • triso 2007-01-16 17:31
    Another tale of over-complication is in order.
  • Nobody 2007-01-16 18:04
    Home
  • Nobody 2007-01-16 18:05
    sdafsd
  • Nobody 2007-01-16 18:05
    asdfasdf
  • Nobody 2007-01-16 18:05
    The captcha is silly
  • Nobody 2007-01-16 18:06
    The captcha isn't even checked
  • Olie 2007-01-16 18:16
    Hey, can we get sir_[sorry, I forgot] to post a URL to a high-res version of that demotivator? I think I need it for my office :)
  • real_aardvark 2007-01-16 18:38
    asfwefaw:
    poss:
    Reminds me of the story about the millions that Nasa spent during the Space Race, developing a pen that could write in zero-gravity.

    The Russians just used a pencil.


    Oh God. Please go to snopes.com every time someone tells you something, because you don't seem to possess any critical-thinking skills.

    http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asp

    I'm guessing that asfwefaw is a pianist. Interesting little moniker; all left-handed, and has a trill on the first beat of the second 4/4 bar ... but I digress.

    First of all, let's not kid ourselves. 90% of everything on the Internet is crud (Sturgeon's law, and I've just verified the precise figure on, er, the Internet). This is in fact a conservative estimate with regard to the Internet, and misses out the huge amount of stuff that is not just crud, but also mind-rotting crud.

    I wouldn't go around recommending Internet sites as Ultimate Authorities if I were you. Not even snopes, which is actually quite thought-provoking and generally sane; so I looked it up. (See what happens whenn you provide a URL?)

    Right. Well, first things first. Snopes offers no evidence that "poss" is absent critical thinking skills. It doesn't mention him by name, it doesn't offer criteria for the judgement of such skills, and, generally, it doesn't really suggest that he's got the basic story wrong. And it's only a story, not an assertion.

    What snopes appears to do, to me, is to provide a decent summary of the origins of this particular meme. It's pretty non-judgemental (and therefore obviously not written by a software engineer), but it seems to support most of the comments, corrections, et al made under this current article.

    Or, on the other hand, one might just read the entry in snopes. With a view to "critical-thinking skills." (What's with the hyphen? This ain't German we're talking in, here...)

    My favourite part, for which I had to resort to opening up the original source, because the page is FUBAR, is this:

    "Because of the fire in <NOBR>Apollo 1,</NOBR> in which three Astronauts died, NASA required a writing instrument that would not burn in a 100% oxygen atmosphere. It also had to work in the extreme conditions of outer space"

    Well, that sums the case up for providing a usable escape hatch then. Not to mention not pumping 100% pure oxygen into the capsule when the astronauts are still on the ground.

    Incidentally, why isn't the Russian idea, ie using a grease-proof pencil, a better engineering solution?

    Oh, I know:

    Carnildo:
    sir_flexalot:
    poss:
    Reminds me of the story about the millions that Nasa spent during the Space Race, developing a pen that could write in zero-gravity.

    The Russians just used a pencil.


    Sorry to hammer with posts, but that's a common misconception. Graphite flakes off and gets in the equipment... Russians use something like a grease marker. Still funny though!


    And to further shoot that down, the pressurized pen was developed by an independent company, without any assurance that NASA would go for it.

    The pressurized pen has other advantages, too: it can write while upside-down here on Earth, and it won't leak ink in a low-pressure environment.


    Excuse me, I must go off and test this proposition. You're going to have to take my word for this (although you can look it up on snopes, if your critical-thinking faculties are sufficiently well advanced), but this seems to be true of a grease-proof pencil as well.

    My head is spinning because I just forced myself to write while upside-down here on Earth. I do have to quote my favourite comment here, because it's not the one that immediately occurred to me when I read the WTF, but it should have been:

    ajp:
    i gotta say, when ever i see anything about glove i think of the juice.




  • TheRider 2007-01-16 19:00
    Blame:
    denz:
    It seems no-one found out that the human body is already equipped with a heat-transfer system using a liquid medium, pumped (through one-way valves) through flexible tubes, etc.

    Not only that, but one that reduces heat loss from the important areas by pumping less of said medium to the extremeties when they're cold. I'm sure we can override that safety feature, though.

    Override the safety feature? Easy. Just drink a few whiskeys before getting on the bicycle.
  • eppydoo 2007-01-16 19:11
    effing brilliant. You savants who defend this sort of folderol make working in technology more painful than dealing with the ignoramuses who refuse to try to understand it.
  • Singletonitis 2007-01-16 19:32
    Jaaa. Now i got a alias for those with Singletonitis disease, jjaaa

    http://www.theserverside.com/blogs/thread.tss?thread_id=42116
  • Eirik 2007-01-16 19:38
    The real WTF is that the submitter and almost no one here understand that these guy was only kidding around. Just trying to come up with silly solutions. Anyone who isn't retarded understand that gloves is the obvious solution. The submitter seems completely clueless, I would hate to work with him.
  • nwbrown 2007-01-16 19:40
    sir_flexalot:
    you know, we actually have these hand warmers here for if you don't have gloves. Pretty much any gas station sells them, it's some chemical in a little bag, feels like it's got little marbles in the bag. When you open the container, it just gets hot and stays hot for hours. If you hold those and the handles at the same time, you don't need gloves, so there already is a non-gloves solution. The correct path to a solution: find all the existing solutions, if none of those are suited to you THEN you create a new solution. You don't create a new solution and THEN look around and get mad that you reinvented the wheel!


    In their defense, they did at least try a Google search before trying to invent something. And to many people out there, if five minutes on Google doesn't find something, it must not exist.
  • SomeCoder 2007-01-16 19:42
    eppydoo:
    effing brilliant. You savants who defend this sort of folderol make working in technology more painful than dealing with the ignoramuses who refuse to try to understand it.


    Well one thing to keep in mind is that there is an enormous difference in discussing something like this purely for the intellectual enjoyment and actually writing code based on it.

    I would gladly join in a conversation about a 43-tier application and how it could work simply for the intellectual stimulation (which assumes that you are having a conversation with someone who is intelligent enough to not seriously suggest such an architecture). Would I write said 43-tier app? No, but discussing wild ideas can and does lead to innovation and at the very least can be enjoyable.

    Note: I'm not necessarily saying that today's WTF fits the above category.
  • nwbrown 2007-01-16 19:43
    Eirik:
    The real WTF is that the submitter and almost no one here understand that these guy was only kidding around. Just trying to come up with silly solutions. Anyone who isn't retarded understand that gloves is the obvious solution. The submitter seems completely clueless, I would hate to work with him.


    Oh no, there really are people out there who would go through a huge process to invent a brand new product when something like a glove would work just fine. If you have never had to work with one, please tell me where you work so I can apply for a job...
  • poopdeville 2007-01-16 19:53
    Or you could just use a clicker shifter, like the one my Kona Dew has. Pull a trigger, and you go up a gear. Push a trigger, and you go down a gear.

    Fixies are nice, especially for riding on ice though.
  • bendydan 2007-01-16 20:07
    eight days a week:
    dragonfrog:

    I wonder how many of the people commenting roughly to this effect, actually bicycle any meaningful distance, in winter, in a place where winter means it.

    I don't know what winter means to you, but winter for me is usually 30 degrees F average with days as cold as 10 F.
    I bike to work every day and usually try to do training rides on weekends. Fortunately this winter has been pretty mild (no real snow yet).

    But you're right, I have a feeling that most people commenting don't ride in particularly cold weather.


    Exactly. Coldest we've had so far this year was -28c (=-14f), and that's still easily manageable. Big layered mittens work fairly well, but I have poor circulation in my hands at the best of times, and even when my fingers are warm my thumbs still get cold because they're not next to anything else.

    The secret is to get mittens with integrated liners rather than trying to layer, because even with no shifters to worry about I still need to be able to move my hands from on the brakes to not-on-the-brakes to get enough force on hills, and as someone else pointed out, the more extra flappy bits of glove there are past fingertips, the harder this is to do.

    I'm generally on a fixie or singlespeed, because there's so much gravel and salt put down around here (Calgary) that the deraillers get all bunged up, and phantom shifting is a real pain on hills. (and, yes, I have brakes on my fixie, because there's three solid blocks of steep downhill on my way to work with lights at the bottom, and I don't have enough leg strength to keep speed down without brakes).

    The worst days are after a big dump of snow -- 6 inches of fresh snow is tiring but possible, but 2 inches of lightly-packed snow (after one or two cars have been past) is awful, you can't ride over it, and it's a slog to get through it, even ignoring the tendency to slide around the place.

    -- dan
  • me 2007-01-16 20:08
    That "tubes for redistributing heat" system sounds suspiciously like "blood" to me :P
  • Leo 2007-01-16 20:49
    dragonfrog:

    When you ride your bike, you put weight on your hands. This cuts off the circulation significantly; in addition, your hands are more exposed to wind. On a day when you might be comfortable walking with only very thin gloves, your hands on the handlebars will quickly become very cold and numb, even with thick gloves on.


    Then the trick is not to put weight on your hands this way. If you cut off you circulation you are sitting somehow wrong (and thus bending your wrists too much).
    And if you are unable to adapt - buy yourself a nice device to rest your weight on your arms:
    http://triathlon.ksv-baunatal.de/Heiko-aufsatz1-web.gif

    And if you are still getting cold fingers/extremeties - a bodily function as some people pointed out - this might be a warning that it is really too cold to stay outside any longer. If the marvellous system you described saps out all energy from your body to warm your entire body ou might find yourself beeing cold rather sooner then later.

    I like the gloves - solution. Preserving the energy. Preserving the work time ;)
  • bob 2007-01-16 23:36
    RE: "good developers need creative outlets"

    Those should be called "hobbies." That's why it's healthy, and good for whatever project they are working on, for them to go home, every once in a while.

    WRT Gloves, http://www.hippohands.com/index.htm seems to answer most of the problems cited above by cold-weather biking enthusiasts.

    But I think I've reached that age where I realize I don't know it all and it probably has already been thought of so now, the first path I go down before crafting a peddle-powered-heat-transfer-hand-warming device is to do a little research and see what I can leverage. Taking out the rounds of rowsing design and refinment does make the job less envigorating, but I found that the job gets done sooner this way and can go home to my hobbies and put that energy towards something safer.
  • snoball 2007-01-16 23:55
    OJ:
    Re: snoball

    The solution is simple and beautiful: fixed gear bike. No brake or shift levers to worry about. Also makes you work harder and thus increases heat output.

    Racing style handlebar is also nice in winter: The cork tape wrap is a good insulator and Campagnolo levers are quite easy to use even with mittens on.

    Racing style handlebar when half your commute is covered in snow? I don't think that's gonna be safe. If they're used in addition to regular style ones, that'd be ok.

    Additionally, fixed gears are pretty impractical for people who need to do a quick (~20 min) ride to work. No gear is suitable for all speeds they'll encounter.

    Even these http://www.gerbing.com/heat/gloveslw.html deaden sensitivity too much, IMO.
  • slamb 2007-01-17 00:48
    sir_flexalot:
    you know, we actually have these hand warmers here for if you don't have gloves. ... If you hold those and the handles at the same time, you don't need gloves, so there already is a non-gloves solution


    Those aren't to hold; they're to put inside your gloves or boots when it's really cold. True when working, but doubly true when biking or skiing. Trendy expensive skiing gloves even have special pockets for them.

    Remember, if you're biking, you need to add 20 mph or so to the wind chill. Holding something warm in your hand while biking would not only be a really dangerous idea (good luck steering, supporting yourself, braking, and shifting while doing that) but just wouldn't help. The wind cuts through light gloves easily; bare fingers are unthinkable.

    I used to bike to classes and work every day in Iowa winter. I never used anything beyond a coat, lobster gloves, an under-helmet skull cap, and sometimes a face mask, but I wouldn't laugh at someone who wants more. The original idea was not that bad. Even their final idea might be something many of us would buy if professionally developed. Admittedly, I have doubts, and for a "hey, we can throw this together this weekend" project, it's hopelessly complicated. Not worthy of ridicule, though.
  • iw 2007-01-17 01:10
    akatherder:

    You may be interested to find that blah blah Russia blah blah Fisher pens blah blah snopes!

    Hey, that reminds me of this story I heard:
    Apparently, the American space program was looking to develop a pen that writes in space, because regular pens don't work in zero-gravity. They ended up spending millions of dollars developing it. The funny part is, the Russians had a simpler solution: they used a pencil!!
  • M 2007-01-17 01:41
    You lose grip when you wear gloves. Some people don't like gloves.
  • Xepol 2007-01-17 01:41
    My favorite part is that the design would ultimately have to include gloves. In fact, to improve system performance and reduce heat loss, they would probably even be insulated gloves.
  • slamb 2007-01-17 01:50
    M:
    You lose grip when you wear gloves. Some people don't like gloves.


    If you truly want to be The Complicator in a way these people were not, invent some weird wind shield device sort of like the air doors they have at casinos in Las Vegas. You'd pretty much be throwing "human-powered" out of the bicycle thing, and it'd be an unwieldy contraption, but whatever...

    If you don't want to be The Complicator, buy grippy gloves. I have some; they're nice.
  • Mooo 2007-01-17 03:05

    Proper gloves are enough for me. My feet and legs do get cold. I believe the physics behind this is that the feet and legs are spinning and have more wind passing over them than my hands.


    My wife has Raynaud's. She uses special gloves with built-in batteries and electric heaters. These heated gloves are available in regular department stores, usually with the ski equipment. So I imagine they're popular. They are a bit bulky, but not too awkward for cycling.
  • JarFil 2007-01-17 04:04
    KISS my gloves!
  • Anonymous commenter 2007-01-17 04:31
    I guess the whole story boils down to the fact that the problem was not expressed as a requirement ("My hands are cold when biking") but as a solution ("We need to heat the grips").

    As for software engineering, it is very often the case that customers would come up with a badly-designed homegrown solution to their problem and ask me to correct it. First thing I always do is go back to basics: what was the point of doing all that to begin with? What is your problem, sirs?

    More often than not, when the problem is clearly expressed in terms of needs, simple solutions come up naturally.

  • Tigress 2007-01-17 04:51
    Maybe I'm overanalyzing this, but it seems to me that, according to the last comment (the one about the UND component) this kind of design wasn't all too uncommon in that company.

    But, by all means, don't let me distract you from your discussions. I'm just here for my gloves.
  • MadMike 2007-01-17 05:19
    NancyBoy:
    The people that the hacker's dictionary (jargon dictionary, geek dictionary...) describes do seem to like to waste huge amounts of time and effort on masturbatory exercises like this. I think it's their substitute for being creative, which is next to impossible for them. Most of the time their efforts are confined to regurgitating Simpson's quotes though.

    Well, thank you for spitting in my face. I hope you know how big ass** you are beeing here.
  • ChrisD 2007-01-17 05:24
    Complicators... also known as solution problemers...
  • Flying Codeman 2007-01-17 05:25
    This is crap.
    Lets get back to programming stories.
  • SpComb 2007-01-17 05:55
    A couple weeks ago I was wondering how to implement a loosely-linked system in python, and came up with this thing that included modules that had lists of dependancies in them and then a module loader that recursively loaded these and let other modules access other modules. Until, of course, I realized that I could just use .py files and the import statement.
  • PC Paul 2007-01-17 05:57
    Xepol:
    My favorite part is that the design would ultimately have to include gloves. In fact, to improve system performance and reduce heat loss, they would probably even be insulated gloves.


    ...and I expect the final result would have worked too.

    Result!


    An alternative: A glove which uses a capillary heatpump to pass heat from the upper arms to the fingers.


  • Sindri 2007-01-17 06:50
    AbbydonKrafts:
    denz:
    It seems no-one found out that the human body is already equipped with a heat-transfer system using a liquid medium, pumped (through one-way valves) through flexible tubes, etc.


    LOL! My thoughts exactly. :)


    And gloves are simply added insulation to that system to increase it's effectiveness.
  • El Jay 2007-01-17 07:24
    ... but breaks a lot of RSS readers, including this one:
    http://syndicated.livejournal.com/daily_wtf/.

    Whenever there's a weird character in the url, the script breaks an gives an error.
  • DamnedYankee 2007-01-17 07:56
    denz:
    It seems no-one found out that the human body is already equipped with a heat-transfer system using a liquid medium, pumped (through one-way valves) through flexible tubes, etc.


    Unless of course the originator of that idea was proposing that idea with tongue firmly planted in cheek. I have done exactly that sort of thing in the past as a way to get the other contributors to think about how stupid the conversation had become. Usually when you plant this type of seed, someone will hit on it pretty quickly and everyone walks away with a chuckle.
  • akatherder 2007-01-17 08:31
    Hammacher Schlemmer, Brookstone, and SkyMall all make a living on this kind of garbage. If you build it some poor sucker with nothing better to spend his money on will buy it. And probably a couple more as gifts.
  • Tigress 2007-01-17 09:41
    Deanonymized:

    This website, most likely the source of this story, post an article about a topic. The topic sounds simple enough. On the website forum, people discuss solutions to the topic, some of which which ends up being even more outrageous than the topic itself and far far more overdone and complicated.

    Finally, someone has enough and tries to point out the truth to the people arguing about the topic.

    ;)


    Captcha: gotcha
  • eight days a week 2007-01-17 11:59
    snoball:

    Additionally, fixed gears are pretty impractical for people who need to do a quick (~20 min) ride to work. No gear is suitable for all speeds they'll encounter.


    I ride a fixed gear to work every day. My commute is mostly flat though I do have to cross one bridge. The gearing may not be optimal but it's not impractical.

    Of course I've ridden centuries on a fixed gear so maybe I'm just a little nutty. But hey, it's a lot of fun!
  • bendydan 2007-01-17 13:07
    eight days a week:
    snoball:

    Additionally, fixed gears are pretty impractical for people who need to do a quick (~20 min) ride to work. No gear is suitable for all speeds they'll encounter.


    I ride a fixed gear to work every day. My commute is mostly flat though I do have to cross one bridge. The gearing may not be optimal but it's not impractical.


    Exactly. I have three blocks of steep downhill on the way to work, and three blocks of steep uphill on the way home. Solution: brakes for the downhill, stand up and work harder on the uphill. Voila. I wouldn't want to cycle across the Rockies on a fixie, mind you.

    Personally, I really like it for stop-start riding, because if I'm accelerating a lot of the time, the extra zip you get from no derailleur slack to take up and no chance of being in the wrong gear is great. It's on long rides where I appreciate being able to coast and take a rest.

    Plus it's very satisfying to always be able to trackstand until the lights change.. :)

    (captcha: tastey? Um... where'd the E come from?)
  • jim 2007-01-17 13:26
    Oh man.

    This article reminds me of my last job downtown. My PM was a guy that fell into programming but really had no business in IT. One of the other contractors working independently joined us after he became full time there, but he was really only an access clicker. Even Access was a bit too much for him.

    One guy in our department (of contractors) was competent. He wasn't a genius, but he kept his systems working well and didn't need handholding. He only rarely needed to ask for a hand and I only saw one application that he had to regular manually run a process.

    But the guy who sat right next to me, (Syed, if you are reading this, you know you need a good smack in the head) only handled one application. It was an Access survey submission system. He was contracted year-round, but the app was only used for 4 months of the year. The rest of the time he was supposed to be working on it.

    Instead, he liked to play with Meta applications. He did this even when the Access app he was supporting was bleeding and needed to be fixed and completely tested.

    I think he was just bored.
  • Arthur Davidson Ficke 2007-01-17 13:38
    Does anybody really believe this discussion actually took place? This was made up for inclusion here.
  • some guy 2007-01-17 14:31
    "It seems no-one found out that the human body is already equipped with a heat-transfer system using a liquid medium, pumped (through one-way valves) through flexible tubes, etc."

    Someone alert Senator Ted Stevens: The human body is a series of tubes!
  • JJR 2007-01-17 15:56
    Konstantin Savenkov:
    The alike story has happened in quite famous russian hardware forum site (http://ixbt.com). There was a thread where one person put an interesting question: how to burn some picture on a CD. Many software solutions was proposed, with strong mathematical basis (e.g. formulas that describe how to project bitmap to polar coordinates and then to a position on a spiral CD track). There was even man who claimed they made such software. After 400+ messages (with more fine grained formulas and techniques) the thread was killed on a flight by some man, who posted the following message: "Why don't you just cut your picture from adhesive tape, applicate it to a CD and then burn ANY data over it?"


    I remember that thread, but in that particular case software solution would be better.

    1. The adhesive tape must be non-adhesive or else you'll have glue on CDR after you pull it off.
    2. The adhesive tape must be centered perfectly when you apply it, otherwise it will cause rotational vibrations which will wear out the drive (not necessarily a concern if you have a supply of cheap drives to sacrifice).
    3. Adhesive tape does not allow you to print pictures of varying darkness, it can only allow you two colors - black or white, i.e. laser burned the surface or not. Software solution will allow you to burn images of varying shades of 'gray'.
    4. The adhesive tape must be thin enough not to touch the laser (remember xbox drives scratching media?)
    5. If you are going to burn image on the same side as data you will have to make sure you align your adhesive right, otherwise you're risking burning image over your data and thus rendering it unreadable (although this problem can probably be solved with some simple software control by using multisession CDs).
    6. Can you actually imagine how much time it would take to cut out any sort of design on an adhesive tape? I did similar sort of thing in high school where we transfered design onto a T-shirt that we designed using plastic tape with cut out design. Took me literally 2 hours for a simple design of 15x12 inches. I image you could get better with practice, but software solution is still much better in the long run.


    I'm sure there are other reasons why adhesive tape is a bad solution to the problem, but even these 6 are enough.
  • real_aardvark 2007-01-17 18:22
    JarFil:
    KISS my gloves!

    I believe you mean, "Smell The Glove."

    It would help if it had been mixed right.
  • Ron FOx 2007-01-18 09:20
    And when gloves are not enough, hunters for years have
    used the chemical hand warmers you can drop in your gloves.
    See http://www.littlehottieswarmers.com/ (no really this
    is not a porn site) for one vendor of these.
    Better living through chemistry)...and gloves.
    Ron Fox
    NSCL
    Michigan State University
    East Lansing, MI 48824-1321

    I'm interested in the fact that the less secure a man is, the more likely he is to have extreme prejudice. - - Clint Eastwood
  • Alan 2007-01-18 13:06
    > This reminds me of a discussion I had once with an engineer.
    > He wanted to design a bike light that could detect an approaching vehicle and adjust the intensity of its brightness accordingly. It would use all sorts of sensors to calculate the distance of the vehicle.

    > I told him he should get a reflector.

    Even has the added advantage of dimming when (and only when) the oncoming driver dips his lights.

    On the other hand if he wanted a light which was bright when the oncoming vehicle is far away but dims as it gets closer, because a light needs to be brighter to be seen far away, a reflector is the opposite of what he wants.
  • wgc 2007-01-18 16:58
    My most memorable brush with The Complicator was at a financial services company at the dawn of the internet age. A seperate group was writing a web app that was expected to scale to 4 million simultaneous users to start with. We came in to try to rescue them when they couldn't get above 20.

    We threw more hardware at it, but 40 machines later (including two top-end Suns and two top-end Alphas) throughput barely improved.

    We worked with the app server vendor to develop a new feature where the app engine could be separate from the app front end, but throughput decreased.

    We instrumented it out the wazoo, but there was no noticeable strain anywhere.

    How to describe this monstrosity ...
    - All web pages were https, even images
    - All web pages were dynamically generated, with photographic quality images
    - There were too many levels ...
    - load balancer
    - web front end with useless web app gui stub
    - load balancer
    - web app server engine
    - load balancer
    - transaction server engine at a different site
    - clustered database engine
    - clustered database member at a distant site
    - All levels were essentially stubs: it was all data driven and stored in the back end database so every item on a page was a call all the way through all the levels
    - Each page had many dynamic elements, each of which required a trip all the way back
    - Each level was maintained by a different business unit.


    "Gloves" we recommended, but they wouldn't wear include:
    - get rid of at least one layer, preferably two
    - make each layer do something: the front end should be able to render an entire page except the data
    - reduce the number of trips or at least combine them
    - reduce the resolution on the images and serve them over a non-encrypted http server
    - Make the home page static so that at least that most commonly served page will scale well
    - make one business unit responsible for the whole mess


    Their solution included:
    - upgrade network connections between sites
    - buy encryption co-processors
    - buy 50 high-end Windoze machines for better load testing.


    My solution ...
    - RUN AWAY
  • Xeno 2007-01-18 17:22
    I share the submitter's pain. I work in framework hell, and spend most of my time hacking the damn thing so we can comply with simple usability requests, requests I could fill in 5 minutes without the damn framework. But, you know, it's "powerful"; "powerful" being to programmers what "enterprise" is to managers.

    Unfortunely many programmers are complicators (and many are in these comments), and seem to think in spirals rather than straight lines. I hate them even more than users, who're just stupid-stupid rather than clever-stupid.

    The complicators reading this will have decided that I'm stupid too by now. Anybody who doesn't appreciate the power (mwahahaha) of their grand frameworks is obviously a fool, and probably has interpersonal problems.

    Munters.
  • 99 2007-01-19 10:20
  • Rich 2007-01-19 13:48
    iw:
    akatherder:

    You may be interested to find that blah blah Russia blah blah Fisher pens blah blah snopes!

    Hey, that reminds me of this story I heard:
    Apparently, the American space program was looking to develop a pen that writes in space, because regular pens don't work in zero-gravity. They ended up spending millions of dollars developing it. The funny part is, the Russians had a simpler solution: they used a pencil!!


    No, what NASA was really looking for was a pen that would write upside down so they could make it look like the actors were writing in zero gravity when they faked the moon landings.
  • underspecified 2007-01-20 08:22
    Great article. I'd really like a high-res version of the demotivator that I could print out and display in our lab so that nobody forgets this important lesson. Would its author be willing to provide one?

    -- underspecified --at-- gmail --dot-- com
  • J. S. 2007-01-22 15:54
    NASA didn't pay to develop special pens.

    NASA used mechanical pencils (with graphite) and felt markers, and the so-called space pen as well, which was developed by a private company.

    You can see the pens used in these first space flights at the Smithsonian.

    All this stuff about NASA not using pencils etc is urban legend.
  • Saltation 2007-01-23 12:52
  • Kuba 2007-02-02 10:38
    There was a thread where one person put an interesting question: how to burn some picture on a CD. [...] the thread was killed on a flight by some man, who posted the following message: "Why don't you just cut your picture from adhesive tape, applicate it to a CD and then burn ANY data over it?"


    That man obviously forgot that CD burners try to verify what they are doing and I just don't think they'll work if they loose the groove (obstructed by the "tape") while writing.

    I don't know when that discussion was held, but there are cheap CD writers right now that burn pictures on special CDs all right.
  • Kuba 2007-02-02 10:40
    Assembly line had problems with the parts bins running empty and stopping the line.


    A similar problem was in a canning factory, very long time ago (50s maybe) where some cans would get closed up, but the dispensing valve was stuck and the cans were empty.

    Some clever guy tried to sell a weighing system to the mgt. The fectory floor tech got a hose, hooked it up to compressed air, and it'd just blow the empty cans into a proper bin.

    Nice, IMHO.
  • dusoft 2007-02-03 10:24
    WTF is this?:
    http://www.heeters.com/snbgrips.shtml

    That complicating looser even doesn't know how to use Google:
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=heated+handlebar+grips&btnG=Google+Search

    Kick him back to school.
  • RT Cunningham 2007-02-04 04:35
    Awesome and true. Can I have a copy of the picture for my blog?
  • Pol Danilov 2007-02-06 06:54
    Personally, I think heated handle grips on a bicycle would be awesome!

    I've suffered from frost-bitten hands is a situation similar to the folk in England.

    Maybe gloves just aren't convenient enough?

    ...I mean, they're okay once you put them on. They can be a bit bulky and deny your sense of touch when you might want it..

    But, just carrying them and keeping them with you can be a hassle.

    Having heated bike grips would add one situation to the list of "things you can do that don't require you to change your effects according to season."

    If everything were designed in this fashion, then we would all be able to wear the same thing, year round, all day. Biking, swimming, flying, whatever.

    ...Wouldn't _that_ be great!

    >_>
  • Pol Danilov 2007-02-06 07:03
    dusoft:
    WTF is this?:
    http://www.heeters.com/snbgrips.shtml

    That complicating looser even doesn't know how to use Google:
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=heated+handlebar+grips&btnG=Google+Search

    Kick him back to school.


    Wow. Maybe this is a case of 'terrific product idea that was snatched up by a few and ranted on by many'. .... That store page certainly lists 'sold out' a lot. <_<

    Maybe those programmers that _"Mike"_ deals with should continue discussions so that a tutorial can be produced with instructions on making your own heated grips with a total cost of development significantly lower than the amount asked for purchase....... $130 !
  • Skizz 2007-02-19 08:45
    I just saw this on the BBC news site, it's the next logical step from the Complicator's Gloves - the Complicator's Bike. Here's someone (a software engineer no less!) who really needs the 'Gloves' motivational poster.

    Skizz
  • sospelotudo 2007-03-02 22:46
    after reading all of these replies i was left craving more info about the space pen, no, seriously, i mean it...maybe a website or something...do you people even read the posts you're replying to?
  • anony 2007-03-16 05:50
    There's already a proposed fix in the repository, but that fix can still be improved... better gloves
  • Zachary Palmer 2007-04-06 01:35
    Anonymous Coward:
    Anywhere I can dl that schematic per chance ?
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  • Anonymous 2009-03-16 15:36
    Actually, that's just a (false) urban legend -- NASA, or taxpayer dollars, didn't fund the development of Fisher's "Astronaut Pen."

    Please see snopes.com for more information:
    http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asp


    captcha: minim "the amount of research that people do before posting"
  • Rnd( 2009-04-29 13:34
    Hmm, why not build detachable windshields for hands, proper cup desing for decent wind resitance and maybe just fast cliping might do the trick...
  • Anonymous 2009-06-10 21:50
    Rick:
    I frequently ride in the winter. On one bicycle ride, I came home with ice in my water bottle that I hadn't put there.

    Proper gloves are enough for me. My feet and legs do get cold. I believe the physics behind this is that the feet and legs are spinning and have more wind passing over them then my hands.


    Then your hands what?
  • jeeny 2010-09-30 02:52
    video to flash converter千年后 video to flash converter累世 video to flash converter情深 video to flash converter还有 video to flash converter在等谁.
  • gcadmes 2010-10-21 14:40
    An even better "glove" picture:

    http://cid-e088706e10573b74.office.live.com/self.aspx/.Public/MONOLITHIC.png



    Addendum (2010-10-21 14:50):
    Link to picasa's Monolithic image, (aka: better glove pic)

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  • runescape gold 2011-05-05 23:52
  • tharpa 2011-09-12 10:42
    Seems a little harsh.
  • Robomarkov 2012-05-22 14:19
    I wonder if he sells gloves.
  • WHY? 2012-07-24 06:33
    Space pen, space pen, space pen, urban legend, space pen, NASA, Russians, space pen, not stupid really, spacepen, I don't read any other posts, space pen, not really stupid - I can Google, space pen.
  • Arun Bala 2013-01-02 18:09
    Superb... Neatly connected the dots!
  • cesoid 2013-02-19 14:18
    I think this article unwittingly highlights a second and somewhat opposite kind of problematic approach to programming: The Oversimplifier.

    The Oversimplifier often simply doesn't have the imagination to realize that there are other people on Earth who might be as pragmatic or intelligent as they are, thus believing that something as simple as "gloves" went completely overlooked, and furthermore, that they must be a good enough solution to the problem and that this doesn't need to be tested.

    No doubt, the Complicators in the story were living up to the name given them, but that doesn't imply that one step in the right direction (ie, gloves) is the desirable endpoint. It all depends on what you can gain by taking another step and how much that step is going to cost you. It is much more complicated to invent and build a car than to "just ride a horse" (apologies to horse breeders), but I have a feeling the car might have turned out to be a useful investment.

    Likewise, I've known people to want to copy and paste the same code hundreds of times rather than investing a little time into making something more reusable that will at some point hopefully save you more time and/or provide more value than it cost you.

    Having been confronted with both over-complication and over-simplification, my philosophy while working on billable projects is to suppress the urge to try to predict the perfect design by first building something minimal and -- only when I've found myself already repeating something -- consider (carefully) whether it might be worth it to abstract a little. I'm not saying that I practice this with the self-control of a monk, but I think it's a good target.

    My philosophy while working on projects that are just for fun is to do whatever is interesting, which is often completely reinventing the wheel. I think that's a good way to learn.