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Comment: Re:Race to the bottom (Score 1) 171

by Chrisq (#47464667) Attached to: Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

Why do we call it race top the bottom and we are sad when we are talking cost of software but we call it economies of scale when we buy hardware and we are happy ?

I think because economies of scale don't apply to software production. When designing some large system the overheads associated by having different teams working together increase (this is described well in The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering). The same is true of physical systems, producing the design and prototype of a new airliner will be a large project - and if you got each engineer to design a small "one person" project (an electric bicycle, a better toaster, etc) the output in terms of components would be much bigger.

In physical systems, however, there is then a production phase where the product is produced over and over. The larger the volume the better the economies of scale - when Ford produce a volume car they know they will be producing millions so they put a lot of effort in making the assembly quick and automating. For airliners it is less so, there will be much more manual assembly involved as they may be in the 100s.

With software, however there is very little in the production stage, essentially the copying and distribution costs are much lower than the design cost. This means the only benefit of volume is dilution of the original design cost.

Comment: Re:I expect this! (Score 3, Funny) 300

by Chrisq (#47456701) Attached to: Massive Job Cuts Are Reportedly Coming For Microsoft Employees

This is a normal cyclical occurrence in companies such as Microsoft, they'll have skimmed off the kids who can actually write C++ compiled binary and assembler software well, and thrown the rest out. I know from years of experience, you'll think you are in a room full of programmers but in reality there will approximately two brainy kids amongst 200. This is the nature of human intelligence, it's a rare commodity and MOST people are “wannabes.”

Then there's the people who can do it but spend all day on Slahsd... oh shit I'd better get some work done!

Comment: Re:I suggest... (Score 1) 244

by Chrisq (#47455355) Attached to: German NSA Committee May Turn To Typewriters To Stop Leaks

using secret ink so the paper blank until you hold it over a candle. We used to do that as kids.

I suggest, since they are going back to "old school tech" they should use the "Mission impossible" reel to reel taprecorder that catches alight once played. Maybe Apple are working on a digital version.

Comment: Re:Creepy? (Score 2) 106

by Chrisq (#47455091) Attached to: Seat Detects When You're Drowsy, Can Control Your Car

the creepy part is the car knowing your health and determining whether it would be more fit to drive than you.

In this case I disagree. The creepy part is that all those intoxicated and fatigued people still take their car. This kind of techonology should not be necessary but clearly it is.

I once knew someone who would drive 400 yards to a pub and quite seriously said that it was because he often couldn't walk properly when he came out, and that just driving down the road "wasn't a problem"!

Comment: Re:Cynically I expect (Score 2) 151

by Chrisq (#47447381) Attached to: Scotland Could Become Home To Britain's First Spaceport

But it's being pushed by Scottish politicians. I still think it's politics, but for the other side: It's a way for Scotland to demonstrate the have high-tech capabilities too, and are more than just an outpost of England.

It doesn't sound like it, from TFA:

Ministers want to establish the UK spaceport by 2018 - the first of its kind outside of the US.

Eight aerodromes have been shortlisted and Scotland has six of the potential locations.

Whoever dies with the most toys wins.

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