No, thought not. IMHO a classic - almost, in fact, the canonical - example of boring technology that's good because it's boring. Look at all the criticisms of Ada, and you will find that most of them boil down to, "It's not so much fun and doesn't make me feel so good". But that depends on what makes you feel good. As many qualified people have remarked, if you are flying in an airliner you really want the avionics to be written in Ada, not C++ or Ruby or Python. Why? Because you're a lot more likely to survive. Almost unbelievably, it boils down to a matter of professional pride. What gives you a warm feeling - coding something marvellously clever that you yourself won't understand in three weeks, or creating something that works reliably and does exactly the job it was meant to do? One is an amateur attitude, the other is a professional attitude.
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"...to get to outlook THAT way would take centuries even on the fastest computers we have".
Which would still be FAR FAR TOO SOON.
"How can a government department concerned with security not get this sort of thing right?"
When did a government department of any kind ever get anything right? Especially when it concerns computers. Triply when it concerns security. See for example:
etc., etc. passim.
The truth of the matter is that politicians and civil servants tend to be highly non-technical, and very much focused on high-sounding (but misleading) talk. This is the exact opposite of the attitude you need to accomplish anything with computers. But they are also very arrogant, and committed to the belief that - since they don't understand computers - programming and the like must be extremely easy.
Sounds like an imitation of the Inspector Morse episode "Masonic Mysteries", in which a criminal whom Morse has had imprisoned pulls a similar trick. And then the fun begins!
(known to the Christian churches as "The Apostate" because he tried to restore the official religion of Greece and Rome for the previous thousand years).
Educated, cultured, humane, civilized: along with Marcus Aurelius, a living proof that near-absolute power does not always have to corrupt absolutely. Sadly, he was murdered by Christians to prove that their religion (which mandates peace, forgiveness, and non-violence) was better than his.
Indeed. While technically stars beyond any doubt, they aren't exactly the kind of stars we are looking for at the moment. (IMHO).
Exactly when did Verizon begin to think they "own" the internet ?
Since they realised they can cut people off from it...
"...In 2012, it insisted that the very idea of Net neutrality squished its First and Fifth Amendment right..."
As a foreigner I'm probably completely wrong. But isn't the Constitution getting to look very much like a Bill of Rights for immense corporations to enrich themselves by any means they choose? Just asking.
It's funny that the summary starts with "One of the cornerstones of any democracy is its judicial system". That's true of all forms of society/government; it is absolutely not limited to democracies. So why bring democracy into it - except that it's one of the holy words of our society, a word that stuns everyone into instant acquiescence and worship?
One can make a strong case that justice is particularly hard to come by in a democracy, as opposed to a monarchy or a true aristocracy. The distinguishing feature of real democracy is that the people as a whole wield supreme power. So a majority can carry out any act, no matter how illogical, unethical, or downright disgraceful. Such as the execution of Socrates, for instance. Or the decision to execute the admirals of the Athenian fleet after the battle of Arginusae - which was rescinded the following day, when the people changed their minds.
You can see a similar pattern in the USA, where many prosecutors are elected by the people. This leads them to pursue popularity at all costs - and, in a populous society where most electors will never get to meet the actual candidate, popularity is usually sought by lighting up the media with sensational news. How many miscarriages of justice have been perpetrated because a prosecutor wanted to make a name for himself? And of course the prosecutor is not held responsible, because his job is only to argue the case for conviction. If someone is wrongly found guilty, that is the fault of the defence, the jury, the judge, the police who made up evidence or concealed exonerating evidence... and anyway, it's all forgotten the next week.
Probably the best place to start constructing a good judicial system is with a genuine concern for justice. It has been well observed that, in any country that has a Ministry of Justice or something similar, justice itself will be conspicuous by its absence. (Just as any corporation that has an "ethics committee" has probably forgotten what the word "ethics" means). Honest people know what's right, but given enough bureaucracy and laws - assisted by thousands of career-minded functionaries - we get today's situation where any lawyer can tell you that the law has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with justice.
"True, but only because Adobe never made an OS".
A man's gotta know his limitations. And they do.
Definitely bricked. It's axiomatic that your data is more valuable than your hardware - since you have it all backed up, you just buy new hardware and you are set. (Although you might want to consider changing your OS).
In fact, I have heard security professionals opine that a brick is the ideal secure IT system. It can't store any data, it can't do any computing, and it doesn't do you any good except as part of a wall (or something handy to throw at a politician). But it is VERY secure indeed.
This sounds completely consistent with 21st century business practices. Offer a service to do X, then accept money not to do X = without telling the people who are relying on it.
" At the core, sales & marketing are just con artistry".
When I was a bit younger - I'm really old and creaky now - I might have said exactly that. And I still feel that way, a lot of the time.
The thing is though, even if those skills are just con artistry, maybe they are necessary or even indispensable. In a perfect world, as Dr Sheldon Cooper might see it, everything would be decided by pure facts and logic. Everyone would have perfect information, and would instantly see all the consequences and ramifications of every fact.
Needless to say, your average human being (even Sheldon, actually) is not much like that. One of the greatest weaknesses of economics has always been its understandable inclination to over-simplify reality through entirely unjustified assumptions such as perfect information, perfect rationality, and a complete lack of empotions or any other motives than maximizing monetary property.
So salesmen and marketroids do fulfil a useful function - like dung beetles and bacteria, if you will - by partially compensating for our lack of imagination and logic. It would be far better if we could do without them, but sales would be a lot slower - causing manufacturing to slow down, workers to be laid off...
Jobs was truly innovative - but he thought in terms of applications, not basic technology. It's true that he didn't make any original technical inventions (AFAIK), but he was brilliant at finding attractive ways to market what others had invented.
That sort of creativity is extremely valuable, but it is slightly different from what I think we were discussing. To put it very simply, someone like Jobs could not succeed unless other people (mostly unsung heroes of technology) had previously done the spadework. On the other hand, their work would not have been nearly as fruitful without Jobs' clever marketing touch.
To my way of thinking, he could be compared (in a sense) with a brilliant Web site designer who produces a wonderful interactive site using the standard ingredients of HTML, CSS, scripting, etc. Everyone has access to the same palette of technology, but most designers do routine uninspired work, while some make a dreadful mess. And a select few have the talent to leave out whatever isn't essential, thus creating a work of art.