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Comment: Re:Umm (Score 1) 126 126

I did a Time and Attendance system in three months by myself, starting from scratch with a new technology (Powerbuilder). Deployed to 1000+ people in 16 divisions across the U.S in less than 6 months. It cost them $20,000 for time and another $20k for hardware and support.

Even if they delivered on time and on budget, they ripped off the city.

How many unions did it deal with? How did it handle Civil Service regulations? Would it scale up to handle 300,000+ employees in 100+ different agencies each with its own policies over and above the CS and union ones? Believe me, I'm not trying to justify the CityTime team, just illustrating some of the issues faced by NYC government trying to get a handle on its timekeeping. (My agency uses something that works quite well and would definitely scale up to deal with the things I asked above.)

Comment: Re:Numbers, numbers (Score 1) 410 410

OK, I'll play too - in my small group it breaks out as 5 iOS devices (2 iPhone, 3 iPod Touch), 2 Blackberries, 1 WebOS, 0 Android. As I look around the floor to other groups I see 1 Android, 15 or 20 iPhones, 3 or 4 more Blackberries, and a bunch of dumbphones and "messaging phones".

So YMMV, as always.

Comment: Re:And what does Microsoft get out of this? (Score 1) 131 131

Perhaps the city threatened to migrate some departments away from Microsoft -- like, for example, the computers that are used in the city's school system? I bet that would have gotten Microsoft to start begging.

Too late. (Unless you're talking about the computers in the school offices? Yeah, we're all on Win XP / Office 2007.)

Comment: Re:Yes, let's all focus on the iPhone apps... (Score 4, Insightful) 524 524

The intent behind it does, really.

The whole "well-regulated militia" bit likely intends to give citizens the right to be sufficiently well-armed to constitute a significant military force -- that's what a militia is.

As I read it, the 2nd Amendment directly refers back to Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 16, which states that Congress gets to arm the militia. Given that, couldn't you extrapolate that since you'd get your weapons from Congress, what weapons you're allowed to get would be decided upon by them?

Comment: Re:How is a Diebold machine like a Pakistani citiz (Score 1) 114 114

IMHO we were better-off with the old scantrons (mark your machine-readable ballot with a pen).

It has the advantages of electronic voting (fast, easy counting) plus the security of thousands of pounds of paper (hard to rig).

We just implemented this in New York State with this week's primary elections. To call it a disaster would be an understatement. No privacy (reports of poll workers seeing how people marked their ballots and commenting "Well, there's another one for Schneiderman!"); confusing ballots (why weren't the incumbents listed first?, type so small that each ballot marking station had a magnifying glass as standard equipment); poorly-trained poll workers who didn't know who made the scanning machines, how to set them up, or whether the ballots should be fed in face up, face down, head-in, or tail-in (actually any of the above is supposed to work) -- thank goodness this was only a really-poorly-attended primary and not something like a Presidential election. Bring back my trusty old mechanical lever machine!

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 594 594

it's worth noting that Doctor Jonas Salk, the guy famous for curing blue baby syndrome and first to perform open heart surgery, didn't actually do the work himself.

Probably because Dr. Salk wasn't involved with the first open-heart surgery. He was the guy who invented the polio vaccine. (See for yourself.)

A language that doesn't affect the way you think about programming is not worth knowing.