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Comment Re:Mythbusters Died When... (Score 1) 187

If the show needed "girl-next-door fun-n-curvy hotness" to hold your entertainment, something was very wrong with it. Or maybe with you, but judging by the number of similar comments I'd say with the show.

You know, the show grew quite well from the "we don't have the budget for more weather balloons" early episodes before the production company wanted a second team and gave the build team trio some spotlight. While I'm sure that the production company was quite aware of any added appeal from her and Tori for their respective audiences, it's quite a stretch to say the whole show was held up it.

Your science doesn't seem particularly rigorous, but don't worry, the Mythbusters have tested that. Can the show work without Kari? Confirmed by the early episodes.

Comment Driverless (Score 1) 397

What is begin ignored is that some of the biggest real-world use cases are driver-less or have a driver-less component.

Drop me off at work, then return home for my family to use. Come pick me up at the end of the day.
Drive my elderly grandmother somewhere. Or me when I'm sick/tired/impared/got a good book.
Distribution, getting loaded at warehouses by their staff and dropping of at final locations, unloaded by their staff.

Comment Re:They'll invent "a compelling reason" (Score 1) 474

"Many ISPs meter your data. To save you money, we deliver only the parts of the article that you actually read. To continue reading past the lead paragraph, please enable JavaScript."

I've hit into this, both to load more data or to enable the javascript to remove the CSS fadeout/fuzz over the rest of the article.

I usually don't go to those places again.

Comment Ads delivered the same way as malware (Score 1) 474

Most people wouldn't use ad blocking if the advertisers didn't allow malware laden ads be served to their PC's turning them into mindless drones for a botnet. They could fix that problem easily by turning around and vetting ads. Or if the ads weren't so obtrusive and annoying either. Bet we'll see within 3 months that they're reversing this stance, or within a year it shuts down.

I allow ads ... but I block javascript and flash except for a short whitelist and don't have java for browser. That cuts out malware, but also happens to cut out a good amount of ads.

If the advertisers just put up a static image ad I would see it. If they want to use the same delivery mechanisms as malware I don't feel for them.

Comment Re:Odd thoughts: (Score 1) 285

Disagree "it's more readable" in all cases. If I'm chaining together a couple of commands, piping the output from one to the next, in *nix I can see them all in my terminal window while with long options from powershell the earlier parts of the line are no longer visible. And no, that's not a corner case, that a common use case.

It is more readable for scripting though.

The truncate option seems the worst of all possible worlds on the other hand. It breaks scripts when they add functionality, so -Rec is no longer unambiguous. Plus I do -R, you do -Rec, someone else does -Recurs, someone else types ti out the whole way. Ugly to maintain over time.

Comment Re:The amount of nines (Score 1) 570

I think I agree and disagree with what you say.

In the "traditional Unix" department, I'm strongest with AIX. It's IBM's flavor,a dn it only runs on their hardware. They do a LOT to make the HW and SW work hand in hand. They have a lot of options to prevent problems or reduce them to non-disruptive (for the end user). They have a lot of admin options that don't require reboots. For virtualized systems the default setup had "dual VIOS" (Virtual I/O Servers) so you can muck with them including rebooting while keeping your virtual machines ("LPARS") purring and happy. If you need big boxes, especially if you are scaling UP instead of OUT, they'll give you a level of uptime that's better than linux can. Becuae (a) less administrative disruptions, (b) less unplanned outages causing disruptions, and (c) only runs on dedicated hardware so it's avoiding all the extra issues that come with that.

However, if you're got an application that scales OUT, Linux can give you better total uptime simply because between hardware and OS licensing you can afford to have more of them. If I'm looking at 50 IBM POWER systems running AIX, vs. 120 linux blades or pizza boxes, and taking any one of them out still leaves your apps available with just a little hiccup to the users who were on that host, that's hard to beat.

These examples both assume that you know what you're doing. Anyone can muck up a machine, being more expensive doesn't protect against that.

Comment Re:Testing (Score 1) 297

It took me a few years for me to discipline myself to including testing and bug fixes in any estimate I made to managers. When ever I would say, "I'll finish coding by X," they would always assume that it would be in release condition by then.

Just give them a breakout like that in the first place.

Coding: X
QA/testing/fixes: Y
Techincal Documentation: Z1
User Documentation (or working with a tech writer): Z2
Training (train-the-trainer hopefully): +W

All of them broken down. You look professional, and they have no reason not to include those steps.

Comment Re:I guess I'm not an expert then.... (Score 4, Insightful) 297

I know I suck at doing development estimates.

A struggle is getting people to even agree on what a development estimate is:

Me: "That will take 2 months of development work."

[two months of interruptions, putting out fires and "prioritization" later]

Other: "Why is this not done? You suck at development estimates."

Then make sure you're not surprising them at the end of 2 months. If at the end of week 1 you go to them with "I go two days against the project this calendar week, we still have 38 more to go", they are in the groove for project time and calendar time isn't the same. And if they want them to be, they need to stop you from getting interrupted.

Communication. Verrrrrrry important.

Comment Re:I guess I'm not an expert then.... (Score 1) 297

I want to estimate conservatively, but project schedules don't allow for that.

Then your boss/team lead/project manager is doing it wrong. They need accurate information first. They may come back at a later point because they need to change the timing, but not letting you give them accurate information from the beginning doesn't bode well.

There's lots of methods out there to lead projects and software development. Let me focus on classic project management. To (over-) simplify, the idea is to get an accurate idea of how long each piece of the puzzle takes, what resources (time and materials), and what dependencies there are. One the project manager has that, they can chart out the critical path (the tasks that any delays will add time to the project). If that doesn't match what the stakeholders want, then something has to give. Commonly it could be more resources devoted to particular tasks, it could be lowering acceptable quality, it could be pushing out the timeline.

Really, if they've told you how long you have before you estimate it, they aren't doing their job of managing the project and instead are pushing it off onto you, without giving you the authority to fix more than your part of it. It's a recipe for missed deadlines. And it's all-too-common.

So you should be able to estimate conservatively, and then it's there call if they need that part faster. If they do, they need to be willing to put more resources towards it or accept a reduction in quality to get it done on time. Or to revamp the requirements. Or jigger other parts of the schedule so you can start sooner.

Other methods have entirely different ways to estimate. Planning Poker has adherents, and a big point behind that is that after listening to the story of a part, without discussions (and therefore influence), everyone puts out an estimation card and turns over at the same time. This allows everyone's estimate to be heard. From there you've got high and low estimates talking about why they think it will be long or short, and then go again until there is consensus. It's not trying to match a project plan, but come up with an accurate estimate in the first place.

Comment Re:Here's an idea (Score 1) 88

One of the recurring issues I see with spec is differing assumptions. When someone knowledgeable about some operational part of your business talks about a program doing "X", there's a huge amount of context that goes with it, which may not be shared by the development team (and in rarer cases your QA team).

As a perhaps too-obvious example, in the US if you're dealing with shipping weights you may not consider that you need to specify a field for units and be able to do lb / kilo conversions. Just that you're going to get "a weight" and need to calculate something at a "rate per pound". If it's not specified that the weight could be in other units, that's possible for a developer to me, but someone who dealing with import all day it's equally obvious that weights could come in imperial or metric.

Are things like this someone's responsibility to detail and catch? Of course. Can you assume that they will all be caught? Only if you believe in 100% uptime for computers, too.

I haven't seen a "perfect, one-size fits all" answer to specs. I have seen a wide range from "complete and unchanging" that ended up not fitting needs to very iterative that made it nigh impossible to determine costs (and therefore evaluate against ROI and make a business case to do anything). I can say that how I plan for things depends if we're trying to automate a known process which is more static, or new tools with new workflow that as they see what's it's capable of there will always be the next step of "oh, and f it can do THIS, could it do THAT as well"?

Comment Keep it on the content, not your complex (Score 1) 268

Hopefully it'll end up available on DVD eventually, for us poor GNU/Linux users who are not worthy enough for Netflix (or: to any Netflix engineers reading, make it work).

You know, I get netflix on a bunch of embedded systems in my house - one TV, two refurbished blue-ray players I got from Woot! I'd be surprised if none ran Linux. Oh, and my kindle fire gets it, it's Android, so ... Linux.

Really, you felt an article about a new show was improved with a "pity me, I'm persecuted because I use Linux" whine? It's like complaining that your electric toothbrush doesn't run Linux, but you hope Colgate will fix it. I love Linux, doesn't mean that I expect one tool to do everything. Well, Perl, but that's a different story. (And a quick search on CPAN shows WWW::Netflix::API. I'm scared.) Buck up, put out a good story, and if you're editorial doesn't add to it, leave it out.

Circling back around, I was just thinking about rewatching B5 again, it's been a couple of years. I'm looking forward to this, I wonder how long it will take to produce and when it will come out.

Comment Re:I doubt it (Score 1) 393

Wow, sounds like you've had a string of bad luck.

I'm a PC gamer too. I spend $600 every three or four years to get my desktop machine. I'm not super-high-end by any means, but I'm better than the consoles in terms of graphics, CPU and memory. I usually buy an existing system to get a new OS license and then upgrade the video and memory. I used to build my own systems but I don't have any good places near to get parts and shipping costs per part killed that over the internet. Ah, I wish I lived near a Fry's. Occasionally I'll extend my purchase out longer with some minor upgrades during it's lifespan.

I do have to patch windows ... but I'd be doing that anyway since I also do non-game stuff on my machines. I guess there's extra overhead in patching my video card as well I wouldn't have to go through, but that's not a common occurrence.

I can't talk about your dongle problems, but since you can't find anything on the internet about it, and we all know how people like to complain on the internet, I can't think that it's widespread.

With the exception of the Wii and the Kinect, for me I find that mouse+keyboard gives me more than any console controller out there. I'm sure that experience varies for others. On the other hand, I wish my monitors were as big as my TV.

Where my use of consoles exceeded PCs was where I had a bunch of people together and we could all do something together.

Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man -- who has no gills. -- Ambrose Bierce