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Comment Good by Microsoft (Score 1) 360

One more of many reasons I do not plan to upgrade to Windows 10. In fact I have stopped at 7 turned off automatic updates and am dual booting a couple of Linux distros for evaluation. I don't need or want the stupidity of Windows 10 and I am telling everyone that will listen to me as geek in residence to avoid it. Since many of my relatives and friends have used me as a free PC service tech for decades I first ask what version of windows they have. If it is 10 I tell them sorry they will have to get help from Microsoft.

Comment Exponentially increasing incompetence (Score 3, Informative) 109

The level of incompetence in the State of Georgia government has been increasing at an exponential rate for well over a decade now. As a life long Georgia Resident and former employee of this State it is not news to anyone living here. The guiding principle of governance by the last two administrations (and to some extent the one before) has been to outsource anything and everything to the bidder that make the largest campaign contribution. Low bid, high bid, competence -- none of those matter.

The higher paying State Jobs that are supposed to be overseeing this outsource mania have been filled by politically correct incompetents that have no idea of what they are supposed to be doing --and it is getting worse. I was fortunate to escape when I did.

To clarify one point in the article and the comments. The voter data that is mandated to be public record by law is limited to the voter's name and possibly address. The screw up in this is that they included such things as the full social security number, driver's license number, and other sensitive personal information. The Secretary of State (Bryan Kemp) maintained that since there was no security breach, this didn't have to be reported as such under law. I guess that gives is a good clue as to his mental state.

Comment Re:So... (Score 5, Informative) 138

The Russian physics paper was very theoretical and derived the equations needed to show that this technology was possible. The equations could not, and probably still can not, be directly solved. However, this paper was translated by the US Air Force as were many such technical publications and circulated through channels to aircraft manufacturers, and others. It was an engineer at Lockheed who realized that you could implement this technology without solving the equations if you were willing to devote huge amounts of computer resources to doing numerical solutions, which, are great for engineers, but frowned upon by theorists. We had the computer power to do this and the USSR did not. Even then the F117, sometimes called the wobbly goblin, had to sacrifice much in terms of aerodynamics and flight characteristics to implement the first true stealth aircraft.

Comment Re:No, UUIDs won't help. (Score 1) 214

Exactly! Social Security Numbers were never MEANT to be secret. One alternative solution would be for the Social Security Administration to publish every persons name and social security number and for the law that says that social security number not be used for identification be given some teeth. I am a bit surprised that some enterprising young attorney hasn't made this point in court.

Comment Back in the day...... (Score 1) 214

Back in the dark ages (1976-1999) I worked on a large mainframe system that used the Social Security Number of virtually everyone as the primary key in the master database that included all employees and anyone applying for employment. We had about 80,000 employees and got over 100,000 new applicants each year. Duplicate social security numbers were fairly common and were not limited to any one group or class. Some were entry errors or mistakes on applications but at least a dozen or more each year were true duplicates with original social security cards.

We finally moved to a relational database with our own primary key and it stopped being a problem for me. Probably not for those with the duplicate numbers though.

Comment Fast Change from Analog to Digital (Score 1) 220

I graduated with a BS in engineering in 1970. In 1973, while stationed at Wright Patterson in the Air Force, I was able to take an "after hours" graduate level electrical engineering course at Wright State University in Dayton. When I went to the first class there were exactly two people (that's 10 people for those who think in binary) who had slide rules. ME and the PROFESSOR. Everyone else had a calculator by then.

Shortly after taking that class the first Texas Instrument scientific calculator became available in the Base Exchange for just under $100. I bought one immediately.

Another example of the very fast change from Analog to Digital happened where I worked. We had a problem that required an APPROXIMATE solution to a number of partial differential equations and the estimates for running it on the large mainframes available to us at that time were way out of our budget. However, we had access to a very nice and large analog computer that was just gathering dust and a few of us were able to set up the problem on it and run a solutions that were fine for our needs in just a few hours.

Finally, engineers who learned the trade on slip sticks had to have a pretty good idea if the answers even made sense or were way out of the ball park. As digital calculations, either on calculators or computers, replaced the three or four significant figures available from a slide rule the wrong solutions were often calculated with great precision.

Comment Re:Ethics reform passed (Score 1) 172

Unfortunately it was. That's how I voted for it. On one of the infamous Diebold touch screen machines from the early 2000's. Even with those machines it becomes a bit too obvious when the margin is over 90%.

Don't get me started on the voting machines since I fought them as hard as possible when they were introduced in a panic after the "hanging chad" fiasco in 2000. I retired in 2007 after 10+ years as a Network Engineer and the Security Officer for an agency in this state and thought they were a dumb idea then and I think time has shown that to be a correct assessment.

Comment Re:Not as efficient (Score 1) 50

In 50 to 100 years the practice of patient care today will be viewed in much the same way we view leaches and bloodletting and the concept that disease is due to the "humors" in the body not being in balance. Some very simple things could really go a long way to improving patient care and comfort.

During my late wife's final stay in the hospital she had to have what is called an NG (Nasal Gastrointestinal) tube inserted through her nose which kept her stomach pumped since peristalsis had shut down for her entire gastrointestinal tract. The connections between the tube in her nose, and the vacuum system keeping her stomach empty were crude beyond belief. Simple tapered ends to the tubes that were forced together. Disconnecting her for ANY reason was a major operation requiring at least one and sometimes two nurses. Even then there was almost always spillage of the fluids being pumped on her and others in the room.

I am an engineer (retired) and could see half a dozen or more simple and only slightly more expensive ways to connect two vacuum tubes together that would be easier, safer and cleaner to connect and disconnect. The nurses knew this too and we talked about it, but it is virtually impossible to get any changes like this made unless the equipment vendors and the hospitals can all make more money off of it. For NG tubes that is not usually the case since they are usually not used for long as my wife required and then they are gone.

Comment Re:What the frack (Score 3, Interesting) 350

Thank you Sir! Very well said. I am a 68 year old American engineer (retired) who learned his craft using a slide rule and trig tables. During my career I worked with almost every type of computer from Analog behemoths to microprocessors and the one thing I learned is that COMPUTERS WILL LIE TO YOU. You just have to know a bit more than they do to catch them at it.

Also, I wonder if this move is not so much about just loss of GPS but loss of a lot of our electronic infrastructure due to Electromagnetic Pulse, whether man made or from natural events on the Sun. I know of engineers in the US currently working with some of our electric power companies to make contingency plans for such an event. Should we expect any less of the Navy?

Comment How Very Strange (Score 3, Interesting) 245

I had the same problem with a manager back when the Internet was new and we were beginning to use it where I worked. He called me in one day and wanted to know exactly WHO ran it and how they could be reached if necessary. When I explained that there was no one person, organization or country that ran it an how it was a network or more or less independent networks he really couldn't get his head around that at all. I guess it was kind of mind blowing for him coming from a background in SNA ( IBM System Network Architecture). I guess I got off easy. I sure as hell wouldn't have wanted to be the one that gave that news to Putin.

Comment When Gartner predicts do the opposite (Score 2) 113

For over 20 years I would carefully study the prognostications that Gartner made and then try my best to convince the suits to do the opposite. My biggest failure in doing so was when my organization went completely Token-Ring and OS2. My best assignment ever came only a few years latter when I was given the task to rip it all out and replace it with Ethernet and a mix of Linux and Windows servers.

A rock store eventually closed down; they were taking too much for granite.