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Comment: Re:WOW (Score 1) 142

by ArcherB (#47116363) Attached to: No, Doesn't Require 500 Million Lines of Code

You forgot to include lifetime costs for VA health care for surviving vets, who tend to have fairly difficult to treat injuries that would have killed people in prior wars.

This is why there's such a backlog in the VA.

No it's not. The majority of the people at the VA are mostly Vietnam vets with a few WWII and Korean War vets hanging on. Most of your Iraq/Afghanistan vets are under the age of 50, meaning they have their own health insurance through the company they work for. For example, ME! I've never been to a VA hospital. Never had to. I always had my own insurance.

As for the total cost, right now, it ranks at about $1.5 trillion for 14 years. Since the expensive part of launching million dollar missiles to blow up a $100 tent and fueling tanks that get gallons to the mile are over, the rate at which the cost is increasing is slowing substantially. It is unlikely that it will reach $2 trillion.

Either way, you said "wastED", meaning past tense. We haven't spent $2 trillion and won't for many years, if ever.

Comment: Re:WOW (Score 5, Informative) 142

by ArcherB (#47115281) Attached to: No, Doesn't Require 500 Million Lines of Code

Finance guys are so cute.
I was an IT guy so....

For example a retail bank needs two tables in it's accounts database. One for the account, a second to record the transactions.
The DB needs a customer table (name, address, phone, address, ect), transaction table, account type table, account table, interest rate table, payee table, payroll tables (complete with more account data from other banks, employee names, etc) etc. There's a LOT of data involved, and this still doesn't include the cutesie stuff banks throw in like customer preferences.

The database may be queried by other databases (ie: the guy approving loans), but it is not actually a part of those databases.
Actually, different systems maintain different databases. For example the Internet Banking side will maintain it's own database. the ATM side will have it's own side. Then there's the credit card system, ACH systems, wire systems, the core system itself and others. All of these systems must interact with eachother. For example, the a customer may log into the Internet banking side, which will have to hit the core to get the current balance, EOD balance from yesterday, unprocessed transactions, processed transactions, interest rates, any messages from the bank, and so on. It also has to be able to inject transactions such as payroll into the core system, wires into the wire system and so on.
Of course, all of these systems are different. The ACH system uses a flat text file. The core is usually an UNIX based system with a terminal interface. The Internet Banking is probably an Apache Tomcat connecting to a MSSQL system. Then, there is the bank end that is comprised of DB front-ends, screen scrapers, batch files, transaction injectors and so on.

You could probably convince a bunch of PHB-English Majors your database is more complicated because you have six different, totally unrelated databases in the same file, but don't try that shit in front of engineers.
Not just different DB's but completely different architectures. And, of course, different states have different laws. For example, all states that take income taxes have a different method to pay them. Then their are business taxes, both federal and for all 50 states, loan laws, interest rate laws etc.

And there is much much more, but this is getting out of hand. Suffice to say that you have no friggin' clue as to what you are talking about when it comes to everything a bank does, much less when it comes to tying all those systems together.

Compare that to the ACA system which involves user data, finance data, what companies are available per state, what plans available per company, and an interface system to communicate between the handful of ACA authorized insurance companies per state and the back-office system. Many states run their own system. The government has claimed that their system doesn't even keep the data!

Comment: Re:WOW (Score 1) 142

by ArcherB (#47114509) Attached to: No, Doesn't Require 500 Million Lines of Code does a lot of actual calculations itself. Once it knows your location it has to ask several other databases for your income level, at which point it compares that income level to the poverty rate. This is step one of determining your subsidy. Step 2 is to query a second database for a list of plans in your area. The second lowest cost silver plan is the "Base Plan" which is the second number used to calculate your subsidy. That's not just a database query, it's executable code.
Everything you described here can be done within a database engine, making essentially a database frontend that reinvented part of the wheel.

Moreover the database front-end is probably the most complicated database front-end in actual production anywhere.
No. No it's not, or at least it doesn't need to be. I would say credit card authorization databases would be the most complicated, followed closely by the banks. There are also several customer databases that are outright huge. You have parts inventories for large companies and databases used by engineers designing various components for bridges, air liners, jet fighters, combat vehicles, electric cars, etc. Of course, let's not forget the databases used by Internet companies like Google, government agencies like the IRS, census, and the Fed, and the multitude of databases need to run our phone and communication systems. All of these systems require front-ends. The frontend my bank uses for their online banking system is more complicated than and deals with a more complicated system of DB's on the backend.
If this is one of the most complicated database front-ends in existence, that is proof that it is designed and written by incompetents.

it's querying multiple completely different databases, most of whom weren't designed to be compatible with each-other. It all needs damn-near-perfect security. It needs to deal with complex legal questions such as what happens when Louisiana decides some insurer has been cheating a bit on some legal requirement? Is the desired result under Louisiana law different then Ohio?
So, it's the type of system you find running every bank in America, minus the need for international transactions.

(disclaimer: I've worked in Internet Banking Systems and the defense industry)

Comment: Re:WOW (Score 0) 142

by ArcherB (#47114345) Attached to: No, Doesn't Require 500 Million Lines of Code

Exactly. Should have just implemented Canada's Single Payer National Healthcare for 1/20th the cost.

The resulting health improvement in the US would have saved Trillions that we could have wasted in IraqIranAfghaniPakistan.

First, the cost of both wars was less than $2 trillion, making the 's' on the word "Trillion" misleading and dishonest.

Next, we have a government run, single payer, health care system now. It's called VA. How's that working out?

Comment: Re:So many mistakes. (Score 4, Interesting) 250

by ArcherB (#47040733) Attached to: As NASA Seeks Next Mission, Russia Holds the Trump Card

The point of the ISS wasn't really to do science in space, but rather to learn the problems and solutions of long term habitation.

Right. And that is science!

I'm not disagreeing with you. The ISS is the only place to do that kind of science, which the parent you were responding to seems to think there is some cheaper way of doing.

Comment: Nice, but not everywhere neonicotinoids are used (Score 4, Informative) 217

Australia uses neonicotinoids and they have no bee collapse problems.

Yes, I know the source is a chemical company, but they have a point. Bee collapse is not a problem in Australia.

There is also this:
On the other hand, in Canada and Australia, there is no sign of Colony Collapse Disorder. ...
Despite the fact that neonicotinoids are widely used in Canada to protect canola from pests, Canadian bee populations have been largely unaffected and produce around 50 million pounds of canola honey. ...
For example, in upland areas of Switzerland where the pesticide is not used, bee colony populations are under significant pressure from the mites; and in France, declines in the bee population in mountainous areas (where neonics are uncommon) are similar to those in agricultural areas (where neonics are widely used).

Comment: Re:Knowledge (Score 1, Insightful) 1037

by ArcherB (#46676073) Attached to: How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

Think of God as a libertarian. He gives us freedom to make choices. If the only option is the "right" choice, are you truly free? Success doesn't exist without the opportunity of failure. Thus, God expects us to be responsible for our actions as there is no freedom without responsibility.

Comment: Re:Any connection between the F-22 and the F-35? (Score 2) 298

by ArcherB (#46557171) Attached to: Iran Builds Mock-up of Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carrier

Any connection between the F-22 and the F-35?

The F-22 seems finished enough, or so is my impression anyway. :) Could they possibly have shared the same budget somehow?

The F-22 is American only. It is by far the top air superiority fighter in the world on paper, although, it is too new to have been challenged by anyone or prove itself in combat. However, one did sneak up on some Iranian fighters unnoticed and send them scurrying home ( The F-22 is complete and operational as an air superiority fighter. A ground attack version is either on the way or functional.

The F-35 is a multinational effort. It is meant to come in various configurations and provide a variety of roles. It is meant to replace the F-18 for the Navy (aircraft carrier landing, air superiority/attack), the F-15 for the Air Force (air superiority, ground attack), and the Harrier for the Marine Core (vertical take off and landing, ground support). It is over budget and non-operational.

Obama has cancelled the superior, completed, and operational F-22 and directed some of the funds toward the incomplete, problem plagued F-35.

Comment: Re:We need to stop big tax dodgers useing loop hol (Score 1) 300

When you pay your plumber, it's income to the plumber and he has to pay taxes on it. Inheritance is not income. See my farm example above.

Personally, I want to see all taxes go and be replaced by a sales tax. Everyone is taxed, but only on what they spend. All money is spent.

Comment: Re:Winning the genetic lottery (Score 2) 300

We can assume they paid their taxes when they received their paychecks. Why should their heirs pay them again?

Because their heirs did nothing to earn the money unless we consider kissing ass a valuable skill. They essentially won the (genetic) lottery and they should be taxed the same as someone who won the Mega-Millions lottery. The source of the funds is irrelevant. If I gave you $1 billion today then you would owe taxes on it. Why should it be any different if we happen to be related?

So you are saying if someone should happen to get lucky that the state should take it away from them because it's not you?

It's not only the super rich that inherit things. Farms that have been in families for generations are being sold off to pay the taxes when the farmer tries to pass it to his children. These farms may have millions of dollars in the equipment alone so the state sees these kids as inheriting millions of dollars. These are not "lottery" winners. These are people that have worked a farm their entire lives only to have it ripped from their hands because of class-envy assholes like you think they are getting away with something. How 'bout trying to mind your own damn business for a change.

Comment: Re:We need to stop big tax dodgers useing loop hol (Score 2, Informative) 300

We need to stop big tax dodgers useing loop holes to pay no taxes.

We can assume they paid their taxes when they received their paychecks. Why should their heirs pay them again?

In this case, this life insurance policy isn't to stop anyone from paying taxes. The purpose is to pay the taxes rather than having all the assets sold off to pay them. For example, if I were to leave a taco hut family business to my kids, if they can't scrape up the cash to pay the taxes on what the state guesses the hut is worth, they would be forced to sell it to pay 45% tax, thus losing the business me and my family spent a lifetime building. A life insurance policy would allow them to pay the taxes in cash and keep the business. Unfortunately, this may not be an option for those who do not have "extra" income to afford an life insurance policy.

Comment: Re:why carry crude to in tanks on moving vehicles? (Score 1) 144

by ArcherB (#46439995) Attached to: Exploding Oil Tank Cars: Why Trains Go Boom

_It is true pipelines would transport oil using less carbon emissions compared to rail transport. But they also reduce transportation costs, thus allow more oil to be used and allow oil to undercut renewable sources of energy. So it makes sense to oppose the pipelines._

No. No it doesn't. You are intentionally trying to make oil more painful so people won't use it. This only makes sense when there are viable alternatives. Sorry, but wind and solar won't get the oranges from the groves in Florida to markets in Maine. All you are doing is making everything more expensive needlessly, benefiting the Chinese worker, punishing the American worker, and again, you are increasing the amount of CO2 that gets put into the atmosphere.

Somehow, this doesn't seem very smart.

_ Any single rail accident would spill far less oil than a spill or break in the oil pipeline._
Are you sure about that? Remember, that we are not just talking about rail, but also tankers that will take the oil across the ocean to China. Then, of course, the Chinese will refine it, using God knows what kind of environmental safeguards. Once it is refined, it will be loaded back into a tanker or pumped through Chinese pipelines. Still think this is a better idea than a single pipeline to US regulated refineries?

_And these accidents would create enough pressure to make the rail transport of oil safer._
But pipeline accidents won't create pressure to make pipelines safer?

Comment: Re:why carry crude to in tanks on moving vehicles? (Score 3, Insightful) 144

by ArcherB (#46439923) Attached to: Exploding Oil Tank Cars: Why Trains Go Boom

In all fairness, I haven't heard anything good coming from a pipeline. All the news about them have to do with spills and cover-ups. I'd be happy with a small headline announcing 5 years on a pipeline without a spill. Then we can talk about adding more pipelines. Until then, I'd rather the spills / fires be contained to the limited size of a shipping container.

There is about 100,000 miles of oil carrying pipeline in the US. If they ran a story every time one went 5 years without incident, there would no time to write about anything else.

"Indecision is the basis of flexibility" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.