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Comment: Israeli defense company (Score 2, Insightful) 176

by msobkow (#47528137) Attached to: "Magic Helmet" For F-35 Ready For Delivery

An Israeli defense company, eh?

Well, no one is quite the expert at mass murder that the Israelis are, as they're proving in Gaza right now by butchering 4 civilians for every enemy "soldier" that they kill.

Can you imagine the uproar if 80% of those killed in Afghanistan by US forces were civilians?

Comment: Re:The price you pay (Score 0) 367

by msobkow (#47521815) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

No, you've hit the nail on the head about the problem with "agile" development. Agile is a team of programmers hacking at a code base without rhyme, reason, or structure. It presumes there are (usually non-existent) regression tests to catch any breakage, and makes no allowance for the fact that without some overshadowing "big picture", people who are new to the team will spend months just trying to figure out what the hell the project does and where to find the pieces of code that need to be tweaked when enhancements are requested.

As far as I'm concerned, agile is the lazy coder's answer to "I hate writing documentation."

Comment: Re:Who is stopping him? (Score 3, Informative) 367

by msobkow (#47520403) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

I believe he's bemoaning the complexity of frameworks and toolkits rather than the tools used to work with those frameworks and toolkits. Technically he's correct -- things are a lot more complex than they used to be for getting the most basic of tasks done.

But you know what? Business isn't interested in basic tasks any more. They want it secure. They want it scalable. They want a web front end, and a desktop client, and apps for Android and iOS. The days of the old "read billing file, produce accounting records" code have not gone away; those projects were just done 30-40 years ago and don't need to be rewritten, just tweaked from time to time to allow for changes in regulations such as tax law or liability.

Even the last company I worked for wasn't content with a mere rewrite and update of their core business with the new software -- they had a whole new plan of integrating another 5 or 10 vertical functionality features into the system (it was just an autodialer -- they wanted integrated CRM, push button customer calling, call answering, call forwarding, a full phone system with voice mail support and enhancements to the ever popular auto-answering system of branching menus and responses, and the ability to deploy the whole thing as a multi-client web service instead of deploying custom configured hardware to the client sites.)

The frameworks and toolkits have correspondingly become more complex in order to support those needs. Look at the transaction processing systems of old -- you'd buy a number of seperate products including a message queueing system, a report formatting tool, a database engine, and a transaction processor, each of which had their own APIs and documentation. Each tool was relatively simple, but getting them all coordinated and working together was hard as hell. Now you take JEE, buy just about any message processor and database you like, and it all largely works with the same API regardless of which vendor's tools you chose. So while the JEE framework is incredibly complex compared to a transaction processor of old, what it does in total is also saving you insane gobs of time integrating and debugging disparate products. So technically JEE is far simpler than things used to be, despite the ramp-up learning curve.

The same is true of every framework or toolkit I've used for over 10 years -- they tie together multiple vendors products consistently so that only small tweaks are needed to adapt to the vendor's products rather than whole-application re-writes if you decide to swap something out.

Hell, take a look at what I did with Java, six different vendor databases, and JDBC alone for http://msscodefactory.sourceforge.net. The differences between each of those database integration layers are not subtle, but nor are they particularly arcane. All of the products have virtually the same feature set; there are just differences in how you use JDBC and stored procedures for each database. Compared to "the old days", it was a cake walk to do that integration and customization over the past 3-4 years. And remember I worked on that code by myself -- it wasn't a whole team of programmers dealing with the complexity. If one guy can produce that using standardized toolkits in 3-4 years, how can you say things are more complex than they were when it used to take a team of 100-150 programmers 2 years to produce something similar for one database?

Comment: Re:As an ex. Commodore Service tech (Score 1) 192

by Bambi Dee (#47515297) Attached to: The Almost Forgotten Story of the Amiga 2000

there was also an A1200 which was a later version of a 500-type layout. I don't remember if that was US only.

I've got a mildly souped up German A1200HD next to me right now, built by a German company after the demise of Commodore. They also sold a tower version of the A4000. The A1200 is something like the keyboard-case counterpart to the A4000. OS 3.0/3.1, internal IDE connector, 68020, early PCMCIA slot, AGA graphics with 16.8 colours (not at the same time) and various crazy resolutions like 1024x1024 or 1280x512.

Comment: Re:Pft (Score 1) 952

by msobkow (#47512559) Attached to: The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

And have you listened to what those types of gamers say to everyone they play against? We're talking about mouthy juvenile delinquents of varying ages who've never evolved beyond that of the 12 year old. They're assholes to everyone and they threaten everyone with disembowlment, murder, and other such crap. The only "special" insult they make to women is rape, because they know that will piss them off. And that's all that sort cares about: pissing the opponent off.

Maybe the game industry is worse than others -- I don't know; I've never worked in that sector. But I have never seen women in banking, telecommunications, government, financial services, or the aeronautics industries be subjected to any more or any less jibing and insulting than "the guys" on the team were. Maybe there is just something about gaming that attracts demented juvenile delinquents, but everyone at work received about the same level of respect from their co-workers everwhere I worked over a 30 year period in the tech industry.

Then again, I've been out of the industry for almost five years now. Maybe society has taken this mad rush to the bottom in the intervening five years. If so, that's sad, because tech used to be one of the few industries where women and men were judged more on their skillz than anything else.

Comment: Re:The problem is addiction, not the use of drugs (Score 3, Insightful) 472

by msobkow (#47489139) Attached to: World Health Organization Calls For Decriminalization of Drug Use

Even addiction is not a problem. Back in the day when opium was legal, many people were addicted to it. But they had ready access to a cheap supply of their drug of choice, so they were able to function in society, hold down a job, etc.

Caffeine is another good example. Lots of people are addicted to caffeine, but function in society.

Even tobacco (evil though it is) has functional addicts.

The point is that it's not addiction itself that is a problem, but the stigmatization of addicts by society and the crimes they're forced to commit to feed black market pricing. Put an opiate addict on a methadone program, and they stop breaking into houses to feed their habit.

Addiction is not a *good* thing, but it should be a personal choice and health issue, not an excuse for ostracizing someone from society.

Comment: Re:Guest Workers (Score 1) 528

by xigxag (#47488837) Attached to: US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers

Why would corporations be forced to improve? As Hobby Lobby taught us, "corporation" is just shorthand for the will of the rich stockholders. And they don't give a whit about the plight of the average American worker when they have access to the world. If they can't move the Malaysian to the US office, they'll move the US office to Malaysia. Visa problem solved.

Comment: Paper tracked barter (Score 5, Insightful) 100

by msobkow (#47488771) Attached to: New Digital Currency Bases Value On Reputation

This sounds like paper-tracked barter, with a delayed payment on half of the deal. Which is kind of the key problem that money was intended to solve -- money can be traded for *anything*, not just what the issuer has that is of value. This ends up being a throwback to the days of "store scrip", only even more limited.

An interesting experiment, but ultimately futile and pointless.

Comment: "As it lays 18,000 off workers" (Score 2) 528

by xigxag (#47488495) Attached to: US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers

Seriously this is what it's come to, editors? "As it lays 18,000 off workers"? You can't even proofread the title?

Anyway, it's mostly non-American Nokia employees who are being laid off, and it has nothing to do with the H1-B situation. So bottom line Sessions is an idiot.

Earth

The Last Three Months Were the Hottest Quarter On Record 552

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the not-imagining-things dept.
New submitter NatasRevol (731260) writes The last three months were collectively the warmest ever experienced since record-keeping began in the late 1800s. From the article: "Taken as a whole, the just-finished three-month period was about 0.68 degrees Celsius (1.22 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 20th-century average. That may not sound like much, but the added warmth has been enough to provide a nudge to a litany of weather and climate events worldwide. Arctic sea ice is trending near record lows for this time of year, abnormally warm ocean water helped spawn the earliest hurricane ever recorded to make landfall in North Carolina, and a rash of heat waves have plagued cities from India to California to the Middle East." Also, it puts to bed the supposed 'fact' that there's been a pause in temperature increase the last 17 years. Raw data shows it's still increasing. bizwriter also wrote in with some climate related news: A new report from libertarian think tank Heartland Institute claims that new government data debunks the concept of global climate change. However, an examination of the full data and some critical consideration shows that the organization, whether unintentionally or deliberately, has inaccurately characterized and misrepresented the information and what it shows. The Heartland Institute skews the data by taking two points and ignoring all of the data in between, kind of like grabbing two zero points from sin(x) and claiming you're looking at a steady state function.

I took a fish head to the movies and I didn't have to pay. -- Fish Heads, Saturday Night Live, 1977.

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