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Comment oh, man. Prepare for another round. (Score 2, Interesting) 86

Last time it was the Sorbanes-Oxley act. The company security policies were changed by a committee mainly run by lawyers. These 300$/hr billing rate guys have never logged into anything, always had a bevy of flunkies who did all the access to the computer, who printed out emails and who typed back the responses scrawled on the print outs. The main intent was to show that they had strict security policy in court, rather than implement policies that will actually improve security.

Passwords must be changed every ninety days, it must have one upper case, one lower case, one numeral, one non-alphanumeric, and no reuse of passwords, no substring can be a word or date found in the dictionary. A bunch of uninformed jury would be impressed, that was all the point. That it would force people to write down the passwords in sticky notes and very cleverly paste it on the underside of the keyboard is not realized by the bozos, or if it did, it did not bother them. More like, "yes!, Exactly! this process would net us enough scapegoats and sacrificial lambs to be thrown under the bus! I approve!!" would be their response if they understood what would really happen.

Not all government agencies are like that. FAA and NTSB have a decent reputation. If they realize pilots are not following procedures or checklist they would try to understand why and try to make the procedures easier to follow. (I think they would perform even better if we remove from FAA's charter "promotion of air travel" and make it exclusively concentrate on safety of air travel. )

Comment Re:I don't think K-12 CS is a good idea anyway (Score 2) 183

Your frustration is due to some fundamental misunderstanding about the role of the schools. You seem to think the aim of the school system is to inculcate some deep love for knowledge, induce great free thinking, foster creativity, yada yada yada...

No sir/madam. The purpose of school system is to produce lots of people who would do boring, uninspiring, mindless things day in day out. Creative free thinking people cause trouble, question set ways of doing things and generally make things rough by rocking the boat. Yes, there is some need for creative thinking problem solving people. But a few that maintain their creativity despite the school system are enough.

This is what free market is thinking and this is how it has structured incentives and people and schools are shaped by the invisible hand.

Comment Not really sure what it shows (Score 1) 21

Cell phone movement patterns coincided with annual peaks of German measles (actually renamed Liberty measles during World War I anti-German frenzy in USA) in Kenya. Not sure what else would correlate with annual events. Rains, migratory animals, pollen, food prices, seasonal foods all have some annual rhythm. So there is going to be high correlation between all annual events. So I really don't get what this cell phone movement correlation withe G measles really means.

Comment Re:What, this is idiotic! (Score 1) 280

What? Germany follows the goblin rules of ownership? The goblin law: Maker always owns the creation, muggles and wizards who pay get a lifetime use license and the habit of wizards to pass goblin made objects from person to person without paying license fees to the goblin maker is considered a grave violation of goblin rights.

Comment Pagination incompatibility? (Score 3, Interesting) 314

MS-Word baked some incredible unscrutable cruft into its pagination and formatting. Its managers imagined WYSIWYG as the biggest feature over WordPerfect that had formatting codes. They took it to insane levels by changing the formatting when the printer is changed. Imagine that! Everytime the document is opened, if the printer has changed in the mean time it would repaginate. Later it killed WordPerfect by making every printer maker adopt to MS driver spec. Now the document is back in charge, telling the printer what to print. But the cruft that got baked into Ms-Word could not be backed out. Not easily, not without breaking its alleged allegiance to backward compatiblity.

It is so bad, its alleged "open" "standard" OO-XML has binary cruft in the spec. The spec basically says "whatever the old MS-Word did with this binary is the standard". Even Microsoft is not able to come up with a reference implementation that does not depend the ability to execute the original MS-Word6 binary buried under several layers of emulation.

This is the real way to build a cash cow. No one else can paginate the way old Ms-Word6 binary did. And if you inveigle your customers into incorporating that pagination as the essential part of their process, then you can laugh at them, tell them you are going to squeeze till they yelp, and they can do anything about it.

We can predict everything, except the future.

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