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Comment: If that is true, OO-COBOL wil rule you all. (Score 1) 393

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49745365) Attached to: The Reason For Java's Staying Power: It's Easy To Read
COBOL was designed to have readability as an end goal, more than even performance. Those days there were countless stories of computer wizards stealing fractions of pennies per transaction and committing million dollar frauds. It was designed to have "functional analysts" who define the business rules, laws to be obeyed and regulations to comply with and the "technical analysts" who will supervise the coding teams. The aim was for the legal and financial expert to read the code and approve.

When the object oriented craze took off in 1990s, we were joking, next thing you know you would have OO-COBOL. And next thing we knew we had OO-COBOL.

All of us know the staying power and entrenchment of that language designed specifically for readability.

Comment: Great! There goes the air gap. (Score 1) 74

So we could spread viruses worms and browser helper objects from internet connected network to the safe air gapped internal networks. And, since these internal networks assume they are safe, they are much less lax in security. Good! Great help you are Google for the malware developers.

Comment: Re:You're dying off (Score 3, Insightful) 284

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49717901) Attached to: The Auto Industry May Mimic the 1980s PC Industry

When I was 18 I drove a Camaro with a kick-ass sound system and it was good.

When I was 35, I drove a mini-van with many screens to distract the kids and it was good

When I was 45, I drove a Camaro again, because I wasn't good.

When I was 55, I drove a Mercedes and it was very good.

So pretty soon you will be riding the Cadillac, with a Landau roof and a slanted integral sign as decoration, eh?

Comment: Loss of cash cows for the auto industry... (Score 2) 284

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49717837) Attached to: The Auto Industry May Mimic the 1980s PC Industry
There was a time auto makers would make their car radios in such a way after market car stereos would be too expensive and/or impossible to mount. Enjoyed nice profit margins there. Eventually the mounts and connectors were standardized and the automakers lost that segment. But they never lost that mentality. Build in a GPS system and demand 200$ or 300$ to upgrade the maps-DVD-ROM. Now a days I see a few four/five year old Benzes and BMWs with plastic iPad/smartphone holder on the dash. These auto companies are used to product cycles stretching into a decade and vendor lock on accessories.

Pretty soon nobody will buy a car if they can't swap in their own entertainment system, their own map/nav system. That profit center is gone, these auto makers have to wake up and realize it.

The auto makers are so averse to competition and openness. How old are wi-fi enabled standalone network file servers? Why didn't they build one in to the cars, as you drive into the garage it logs into the router, synchs playlists, music, pod casts, weather reports, map information and is ready to go out with the latest info saved in a had disk? They could have done it 10 years ago.

They hate electronics and hate electrical engineers. The petrol burning engineers seem to have a snooty attitude towards the electrical engineers. They could have removed the first gear ages ago. Just spruce up the starter motor to make it strong enough to move the car to 2 mph using amped up power from the alternator. Couple the wheels to the IC engine mechanically on the second gear. That would eliminate the low end torque requirement and they engine could be tuned differently for fuel economy, peak power at a different rpm etc etc. Much of the fuel economy of the Prius comes from having an IC engine that does not have to move the car from 0 mph.

Of course, I am talking with 20/20 hindsight. But I am not a professional auto engineer. It is their job to have thought about it ages ago. Railways were big in 1950s and 60s. General Electric made a killing replacing all the steam locomotives with diesel-electric locomotives in just one decade. So fast some of the gleaming steam locomotives made just one run, from Baldwin Loco Works, Philadelphia to the scrap yard. Seeing how the torque problem in the locomotives is solved using an electric motor they did not make the connection and try to replicate it in their automobiles. They only were interested in pissing contests involving the sizes of the engines. 4 liter engine, 5 liter, 6 liter. 8 cylinder, 12 cylinder... More and more complex transmissions, clutches, slip rings, torque converters... all pure mechanical systems. Could have been replaced by one clean electric motor. The diesel-engine-generator and electric motors in the locomotive are just torque converters. But no, they would not even think about it.

Comment: Re:Cost bigger issue than sonic boom (Score 1) 72

Thanks for the correction. I missed it by a factor 1000 in power estimate. But I also lowballed the area by orders magnitude. Plane at 6 miles altitude, sonic boom energy is spread over a conical surface of base radius 10 km, area of at least 300 sq km. Wind energy goes as the cube of velocity, (squared in the kinetic energy term, and linear in the mass flow rate term). So at most it will be compared to a breeze of 12 or 13 mph rather than 10. But that is about all.

Still feeling like a chump for missing the energy estimate by a factor of 1000.

Comment: Publicity stunt? (Score 0, Troll) 769

In some sense these Men's Rights Activists play an useful role. They openly state what many bigots believe without saying it loud. That gives the other side a chance to rebut the claims, question the assumptions etc. So to that extent they are useful. But calling for a boycott of some sequel of some B grade movie? One wonders if it is some sort of publicity stunt for the movie.

Comment: Cost bigger issue than sonic boom (Score 4, Informative) 72

To make supersonic flight possible over sea or over land, the cost must come down. Without reducing the cost it makes no sense to worry about sonic boom, or figuring out ways to show the pilot where it hits the ground and its intensity.

Also the sonic boom issue was more FUD by Boeing, Douglas and Lockheed than the real issue. Back in the 80s, before the oil crisis, these companies wanted to stop British Aerospace and Aerospatiale from establishing a bridgehead at the luxury travel sector using Corcorde and its derivatives. But thankfully the Arab oil shock stopped Concorde.

Think about it, the total energy of all the shock and sonic boom is equal to amount of jet fuel burnt. During cruise at Mach 2.05 each Olympus 593 was producing around 10,000 lb of thrust, equivalent to 36,000 horsepower per engine.[18] Two engines, 72000 HP. Or 54 kilowatt, or 54,0000 joules/sec. If all of it ends up as sonic boom, (neglecting skin friction) you are going to spread 54,0000 joules every second over several square miles. Compare this to peak solar radiation 1000 joules per square meter. OK that is purely thermal but this is mechanical. So let us take 10 mph wind. 16kmph. 4.44 m/s. Over 1 sq m cross section, mass flow rate is 4.44 * density of air/second. Air is 1 Kg/m^3. So it is 4.44 kg. 4.44 m/s velocity. Works out to kinetic power (power, not energy because we are using mass flow rate, not mass) of 0.5*mdot*v^2 = 22 joules/sec. This is per square meter. or 22 watts per square meter. 22 million watts per square kilometer. Let us round it up to a nice 100 million watts for several square kilometers. Compare that to 54 kilowatt, total maximum possible power output of those two turbojet engines. 100,000 kW for 10 mph wind vs 54 kW for Concorde. Our eardrums and instruments are sensitive enough to pick up the sonic boom over 10mph wind, but thats about it. Barely detectable. Sonic booms deafening people, cracking buildings and killing birds are all FUD.

But cost... That is no mean thing to solve. In supersonic flight the energy needed to overcome the drag created by the shock wave is so high, there is no easy way to reduce the energy consumption. Only way to bring down the cost is to bring down the cost of fuel. The only way to make fuel cheaper is for the world to switch to non-fossil fules in such a large scale the oil industry collapses and oil falls to something like 5 dollar a barrel ( 2015 dollar not 1978 dollar).

Comment: Re:It's not even that convenient (Score 1) 270

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49699837) Attached to: Here Comes the Keurig of Everything
Look at some one proud of keeping whole beans in a paper bag. Probably buys pre-roasted beans from some chain coffee shop. You got to roast your own bean buddy. And what about the bean? Some standard bean off some shrub? Won't cut it for the coffee connoisseur. It must be the beans recovered from the poop of a particular weasel. To be sure you raise your own weasel in a cage, grow your own coffee in the backyard, feed it the berries and collect the beans. That, mon ami, is the true coffee epicure. Others... might as well be drinking Folgers crystals.

Comment: How safe are Ipass accounts? (Score 1) 124

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49688117) Attached to: Hackers Using Starbucks Gift Cards To Access Credit Cards
I have Ipass with auto-reload, wondering if they are safe. I used to have only gift cards in amazon. Then got a little lazy and added a credit card. Then my friend told me about how it was very difficult to deal with Amazon when his account got hacked somehow. He caught a 4000$ order before shipment and tried to get it cancelled. He said he found Amazon very difficult to deal with. He traced the ship-to address to some warehouse on the west coast which acts as proxy customers to people outside USA needing a shipping address in USA. Still it was tough to make Amazon cancel the order. After that I removed credit card from Amazon. If and when I place an order I enter the card data and then remove it immediately.

Comment: So, let me get this straight. (Score 1) 150

They are not planning to do anything to reduce frustration of customers. They will train more low wage workers to bear the brunt of frustration. They will spend all this money to desensitize them to verbal abuse and angry calls. But they would not think, "mmm, our customers are frustrated. Let us find out why and make them happy".

Sooner or later these phone line workers are going to initiate a class action law suit for permanently damaging their emotional selves and making them insensitive to anger they have cause to their relatives outside. Such a law suit might not have any merit, but it is the fear of the law suit alone that reigns in the corporations, for now. Once they complete their purchase of all the three branches of the government, they would have nothing to fear.

Comment: So India Uber is no different than Call Taxi (Score 1) 34

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49681473) Attached to: Uber Drivers In India Will Start Accepting Cash
Some 15 or 20 years ago India introduced "Call Taxi" service. Before that all taxis (and autorickshaws) are the roaming type, or they wait in cab ranks. You luck varies with the driver and there was no reliable repeat-customer relationship to build. Once the cell phones became ubiquitous, this Call Taxi service started. You call the number, either from landline or a mobile and they dispatch the cab for you, it has a meter and you the meter fare. It is a big deal to be able to pay the meter fare and walk way. Invariably you get into argument with the cab driver over the "tips" in a non-call taxi. In USA this looks like a no-brainer, but it came to India only after the cell phone explosion that allowed the drivers to stay in touch with their dispatch centers economically.

This service is quite popular, since the companies want repeat customers, they enforce the rules of behavior with their drivers and things are pretty good in call taxi business. The only thing Uber is bringing in new is allowing part time drivers and casual drivers to work as taxi drivers. To become a "call taxi" driver, they pay a deposit to the cab company, paint the company livery at their own cost, maintain insurance etc. What can uber do differently? Other than relaxing the rules, deposits and lowering the bar on entry?

One thing people in the West do not understand is what is expected of the cab driver in India. They are expected to load the suitcases and baggage from the kerb to the cab and if they reach a residence, often expected to assist in unloading. People who have spare and and a spare car might like to moonlight as jitney drivers. But I personally know many who tried it and gave up. People who own cars find it infra-dig, beneath their status and station to load/unload baggage in cars as a menial manual laborer.

There is an untapped resource, but it is of questionable legality. Many Indians employ car drivers, who drive their bosses to work and sit idle all day in their cars while the bosses are at work. They might be willing to come in or their bosses may allow them to become uber drivers to pick some money. Other than that I don't see how uber changes/improves the call taxi system.

Money can't buy happiness, but it can make you awfully comfortable while you're being miserable. -- C.B. Luce