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Comment: Power (Score 1) 383

by DarthVain (#49751437) Attached to: What Was the Effect of Rand Paul's 10-Hour "Filibuster"?

The thing about power and those that wield it is, once you have it, you're loath to give it up...

To play devil's advocate a bit, a lot of responsibility comes along with that power. You know a la Spiderman etc... One might at the time of decision making balance the overreaching power with the ability to have the best and every source of information available to you in order to make said decisions, to which you will be ultimately judged and have to live with.

In addition, while the NSA may report directly to Obama, you are also assuming that they are giving him the whole picture. Every organization, probably NSA particularly, is going to have their own power struggles within it, and having access to information is likely one of those things that is pretty valuable particularly again when referring to an organization such as the NSA.

Comment: Re:Alternatives (Score 1) 224

Also there have been several launches of competing streaming content providers from both Bell and Rogers as well that offer additional options.

So far the a-la-carte packaging is a bit of a sham. I just signed up for cable and got it installed last weekend. I looked at the a-la-carte option, and they were not all that price competitive, nor very flexible. Many of the channels are not available either, only as part of larger packages, presumably because the content providers refused (AMC for example, and a lot of the sport channels).

That said, the actual legislative changes that come into effect actually do so in March 2016. So those that have offerings are really just testing the waters, or trying to get ahead of the ball for when the hammer really does drop. After March 2016, not only will they be *required* to do so, the way in which they do so, and the price points in which they do will change for the better. We'll see what the response is, they may try to sneak in more hidden fees, or contracts, or install fees, etc... or whatever end run they might make around the rules.

However one thing that does seem key that no one seems to have noticed, is that they are reporting in a percentage... of what? Instances of something being downloaded, or GB of volume. In the article it really only refers to bandwidth being used for piracy. That is key. As you say, movie quality may be down, however the big difference that anyone can tell you that has downloaded anything is the difference in storage needed, for say a movie VS a TV show. To get an entire season of something is going to be several magnitudes more than a movie. A movie in HD will be about 1.5 GB. The same quality TV will be like 20GB. So the BIG difference isn't so much that movies suck, it's that TV sucks. What I mean by that is that the best TV being produced now, is available on Netflix, House of Cards, Orange is the new Black, etc... Why bother pirating it? There are only a few exceptions to that rule such as Game of Thrones, which I am sure by itself makes up a fair chunk of the content they are actually describing.

I have no doubt that they are being intentionally misleading with their figures, as it wouldn't really reflect as a success on them, more of a failure of their clients.

Comment: Commercial Trucks! (Score 1) 827

by DarthVain (#49739327) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

Commercial Trucks should be paying their way, not personal transport. They are the ones that destroy the roads. It is just ANOTHER way corporations use tax money to make themselves more profit.

There is a reason why they are referred to as warehouses on wheels, and just in time delivery. It used to be that companies would have to have hubs, and warehouses, and keep product and stock on hand for availability. Now everything exists constantly on wheels, and those go over highways. Who pays for the highways? Taxpayers. Who increases their profits? Corporations.

It will never happen however because of: OMG! JOBS! You must hate 'Merica and Job creators! Making corporations pay more taxes will destroy the economy! Etc...

Comment: 100% This. (Score 1) 150

This this this!

I have run into this countless times.
They basically enact some draconian security policy regardless of any other consequences. It breaks stuff all the time. The response you get back is typically, too bad, this is how things are now, deal with it, it is your problem. They are a level above all IT that make arbitrary decisions, oftentimes ridiculous ones, and even going to the highest level of IT infrastructure, they are like sorry, nothing we can do, you'll have to take it up with Security.

Anyway as to answering the actually story about the survey, there are two points that are related.
1) Oftentimes, due to what we both just described, staff with no resources, sometimes have to get creative as to how to get critical systems and application to continue to function within the imposed framework. An example of this might be to get around a 1h mandatory firewall timeout, developers might put in a script to automatically do a small query simply to "touch" the DB behind said firewall just so your users connections are not dropped every hour of every day. If it every blows up in someone face, security will simply say, well we implemented our security policy, they are the ones that circumvented it, thus it is all their fault we hold no responsibility. Never mind they didn't consider the function of any applications it might break or what that would do to service, data integrity, or anything else. Another sore spot is locally imposed security policy making local backup pretty much impossible at any scale, however again, should something go wrong and data be lost, we'll we're the ones responsibility for local back up. Jerks.

2) As to why you don't say anything... Well apart from the obvious in that you really don't want to get in trouble, a lot depends on how that survey was worded. In many cases of a breach, either no one, or very few people know about it, and you want it to stay that way so as to avoid more breaches of the same. I doubt anyone really involved, wouldn't tell anyone, that is silly. However they may be very selective as to how they go about communicating the breach as they try to address it, usually as it may take a bit of time to do.

Comment: Wrong (Score 1) 1092

by DarthVain (#49735999) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

The company is worth a lot of money because they pay their workers minimum wage, while using its disproportionate size advantage to force suppliers to very cheap prices, while selling said goods cheaper than their competition. That is pretty much their business model. What is being said is that the workers of said company deserve some fair compensation for the accumulation of that wealth, which in the form of shares, is owned by a very few.

It is a pretty basic argument that has been around for a long time. It is pretty much how unions got started, and why Walmart fights unionization so fervently.

I bet you're the type of person that thinks the CEO that pays themselves a 1$ salary but gets 60$ Million in stocks doesn't make any income either.

Comment: "Trickle down" economics (Score 2) 1092

by DarthVain (#49735787) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

LOL! Wipes tear from eye. Wow. Just wow.

That is so wrong. This has been tried for the last number of decades. It absolutely does not work. This was justification for tax breaks for the rich. As it turns out the rich manage to pretty much stay rich by not spending their money. We see today more than ever before a disparity between the rich and poor. That whole 1% thing remember? They fact that you mention "Trickle Down Economics" and in the same breath call someone else "economic illiterate" is just marvelous. I bet you think that the invisible hand of the market solves all issues as well?

While you are right, in one sense, governments are pretty limited in what they can really achieve, they do have an important part to play in regulation, if only to try to prevent groups of people from gaming the system to further enriching themselves at the unfair cost of others. One can argue how successful they are in that, particularly in the USA, where the regulators are in bed with the industries they are supposed to be regulating, receiving monetary donations for favorable considerations.

As to the minimum wage increase. It has little to do with economics. It has more to do with the protection of the most vulnerable citizens. One might argue about the what the ultimate role of government really is, but generally speaking taking care of those people who make up the nation certainly qualifies. In a secondary way, it is also a cost saving measure if said government ends up having to pay for it one way or another, through welfare, or other programs. The whole story about the minimum wage workers at Walmart being the biggest food stamp users, where essentially Walmart is gaming the system for more profit at the expense of the general tax payer.

In summery: Trickle Down economics is complete BS, and you are either A) an idiot or, B) wealthy and it is in your best interests, and who cares about anyone else, the nation you belong to included.

Comment: Re:Why did they ditch the TV? (Score 1) 243

by DarthVain (#49735421) Attached to: Why Apple Ditched Its Plan To Build a Television

This has never been true. Last I checked, it still isn't. Apple charges a more for an equally equipped system. I bought a new ultrabook for my dad last year. I went with a Samsung, it was 800$. The Apple equivalent was 1100 or 1200$. That's a 3-400$ difference which isn't anything to sneeze at. The only difference was OS. Both had the same SSD, RAM, CPU, etc... It was at the lower end of the ultrabook spectrum. Perhaps at the very high end it normalizes, but from everything I have seen this is not the case.

Also The phones do not sell for as much. Again I bought the Samsung. There were a number of reasons, but it was also about 100$ less.

So Apple just started to make and sell the iPhone C, which is cheaper and made of plastic. So perhaps they are starting to enter the lower markets.

As to your comment about PC makers innovating? That is stupid. Of course they do not, they assemble parts, and stick an OS on it. Neither does Apple for that matter. They all use the same damn parts, and it is those companies that innovate.

Comment: Management Buzzwords (Score 1) 507

by DarthVain (#49692667) Attached to: Is Agile Development a Failing Concept?

Agile probably fails because it is the next Management Buzzword that somebody heard somewhere. Then try to use it, because it is the new best thing.

Like anything, it likely has it's place and time, probably mostly dependent on size and type of project being worked on. Having it misapplied because Management thinks it is a swell idea, then having people just try to make it work because they have to, well it might work, but if you are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole it may be difficult not to fail.

From what I have read, for small to medium sized project Agile can work quite well. However once you get to the large and gargantuan size projects it starts running into some fundamental problems. Sure you might be able to break it down into smaller projects, but that is not always reasonable or makes sense, or then you are adjusting requirements simply to fit your development process. Also those pieces need to be able to work together in a seamless and coordinated way, which requires some higher level planning...

Anyway when I hear about a very large system being done in an Agile manner, the first thing I think of is, enjoy that incomprehensible pile of garbage that is going to be the result unless you are very careful.

I think some like it for infinite job security, as you will just be constantly going back over and redoing and readjusting things for that application forever just to keep it limping along and running like some Quasimodo. Though in this example, perhaps Frankenstein might be a more apt analogy where you are trying to take a bunch of badly related pieces and building a single system out of it, zapping it with lightning and hoping for the best... The result? Fire and Mobs... Fire and Mobs...

Comment: Re:Battlefield Earth sucked (Score 1) 121

To be fair, they took a 1200 page book and made a movie that was an hour and 20 minutes long. How much can you really expect.

If you added up all the LOTR books together it is about the same size, and they made 3 movies that were like 12h long if you look at the extended versions.

I liked the book, the movie of course was disappointing. However as some pointed out, there are plenty of worse movies out there. However the real analysis of "Worst Movie Ever" has to be some index of Movie Budget VS Movie Suckage as many of the really bad movies out there are very low budget as well so that really isn't a fair comparison either.

I know Waterworld was thought of as a big bust and had a budget of 172M (1995) to Battlefield's 73M (2000)...

Here is a list of the most expensive... though a larger list would be better for analysis, though I see a few on there that were not so great:

Comment: Super Bees (Score 1) 220

Seems the obvious answer is to genetically modify some bees to be extra hardy, and toxin resistant. The possible side effects might include increased intelligence, gargantuan size, and a taste for human flesh, but we have to save the bees somehow.

I for one welcome our new super bee overlords!

Programmers used to batch environments may find it hard to live without giant listings; we would find it hard to use them. -- D.M. Ritchie