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Comment Re:Close the f'ing borders already! (Score 1) 274

Over the last couple of centuries Britain and France (particularly) and latterly the US have ridden roughshod over national sovereignty and human rights in the middle east whenever it suited their political or economic purposes.

Do you imagine the MIddle East had liberal democracies before the US and Europe came in and destroyed it? The Middle East has been a totalitarian shithole for a long, long time. It never had "human rights" in the Western sense. And the whole point of many of these Islamic movements is to get rid of "national sovereignty" and restore an Islamic empire. And creating that Islamic empire isn't for the good of humanity, it is to take revenge for the fact that Europe successfully defended itself and kicked out the first few Islamic empires.

Now, I disapprove of the US and European governments meddling in the Middle East. It is clearly not very effective, it is very costly, and it just riles up the people who live there. But the West does not bear any moral responsibility for the plight of the people in the Middle East, and it isn't our responsibility to ensure that they have "national sovereignty and human rights". In fact, the Middle East probably has achieved more "national sovereignty and human rights" with US and European meddling than without, it's just that the price we are paying for it is too high for us.

You've just proved my point. The West has a history of supporting repressive regimes (like Saudi Arabia) because it's "good for business". The West talk a good game when it comes to democracy in the middle east but in reality they only want "friendly" regimes in place. They say they want free elections, but when there is one and the people use their votes to elect the "wrong" party there's suddenly a coup to restore the status-quo. Here's a recent article in this very topic from the BBC; Does the West want democracy in the Middle East? - BBC News.

Comment Re:Close the f'ing borders already! (Score 2) 274

Don't give up to the fallacy that Islam is the problem. The problem is that the middle east is a prime location for proxy wars and it happens that Islam is the dominant religion there. Should them have been Christians, Jews or even Buddhists that it wouldn't have been different.

This is exactly right. Over the last couple of centuries Britain and France (particularly) and latterly the US have ridden roughshod over national sovereignty and human rights in the middle east whenever it suited their political or economic purposes. People who wonder why there is so much anti-western feeling in the region need to read up on the history. If it was themselves and their families on the receiving end they would likely feel exactly the same way.

Comment Re:Seems legit (Score 1) 73

If you go to the infringing site you might get the impression that this is the Australian builder. It is not. Scroll to the bottom and the contact info is in India. The actual Simonds Homes is something else.

Looks like deceptive practice on the part of CHM Constructions. What can Simonds do to defend itself?

Yes, the CHM web site does look fishy. But this is _not_ a copyright issue. CHM (whoever they are) are claiming a business relationship with Simonds Homes. If no such relationship exists, Simonds Homes should be taking CHM to court under company law, not trying to get one small ISP to block CHM's web site.

This does appear like a stalking horse case for bending the new copyright law for other purposes.

Comment Re:Scrum Was Never Alive (Score 1) 371

If you have most of those prerequisites -- everyone agrees on a process, you have a good architecture, and the project staff are highly motivated and get along -- then basically any process will work. If you say that scrum only works when you have those, it does not speak well of scrum. The purpose of real engineering processes are to manage projects where not everyone sees eye to eye, you have a variety of per-worker productivity levels, and you probably have uncertainty about what you need or what is possible.

Well Scrum isn't a silver bullet. any process where all parties are not "on board" will likely fail. But Scrum (and more generally agile) does provide a good way to address the issues you mention.

The customer requirements are broken into "user stories"; a set of unambiguous features the solution must have. These are ranked in priority order by the customer. But they are also evaluated by the developers for degree of difficulty and likely effort. If there are genuinely impossible or really difficult requirements they are called out before any coding starts.

Subsets of the features are delivered in "sprints" lasting 2 to 4 weeks. At the end of each sprint the working code is demonstrated to the customer for feedback. This gives the customer confidence and ensures the team don't go too far off course -"fail fast, fail cheap".

Of course developers have differing levels of skill and experience. In scrum the team's "velocity" (the amount of work they can undertake in a given period) is determined by the skill and experience of the team members and is called out up front. If the customer wants top quality in the shortest possible time then he will have to pay for the A Team!

Team "velocity" should increase over time as members build up skills and experience. In my experience a relatively inexperienced developer who is motivated to learn and take on new challenges is better than a more experienced developer who won't step outside his comfort zone.

And people don't always see eye to eye. But in Scrum the team is responsible for delivery. So in a difference of technical opinion both sides make their pitch to the team and the team decides which one to go with.

If somebody just doesn't get along with the group, or isn't pulling their weight (which will be very obvious in an agile project), then that has to be addressed whatever project approach you are using. In Scrum it's the scrum masters responsibility to deal with issues that are making the team less effective.

Comment Re:Scrum Was Never Alive (Score 5, Interesting) 371

I can see where it might be useful in certain situations. However, when it gets used with other Agile fluff to simply produce a dirty snowball of design layers with no overall architecture produced, then it becomes a headless snake. It also tends to get misused by management who see it as a way to micro-manage developers thereby pissing off the very developers upon whom they are depending.

Well I've worked on a lot of successful scrum-based projects (full disclosure: I'm a certified scrum master). Done right it's a very effective and enjoyable way to work. But there are some pre-reqs if you are going to succeed.

  • Everybody has to buy into it; developers and customers. Some people like waterfall because you can fudge a lot in big rambling requirements and design documents! On an agile project the emphasis is on personal responsibility and accountability..
  • You need to have a basic usable architecture "blueprint" in place _before_ you start to code. If, on day one, everybody is scratching their heads wondering how they are going to build then you're in trouble. If everybody understands the blueprint then the discussion moves on to delivering the actual customer requirements. And you can always tweak the architecture as you go, if you need to.
  • You need a team of skilled self-starting developers (not coders, testers, analysts); there's no place for "that's not my job". In my experience good developers love the challenge and the ability of the team to self manage. Others just want to be told what to do.
  • Continuous build is essential. The two basic rules are, if it's not in Git it doesn't exist and if the builds (and test suites) are failing it doesn't work. There's no room for fudging; the build server's dashboards don't lie!
  • As a scrum master, one of your most important tasks is to keep traditional "management" out of the developers hair. If they want progress reporting, I point them at the online scrum board (user stories and burn down charts) and the build dashboards. That's actual progress that they can check anytime they want.

If you do it right, then you can be very productive and have fun doing it. Unfortunately, there are a lot people who have made half-assed attempts at "agile" and then rubbished it when their projects failed.

Comment Re:OS/2 is still alive? (Score 1) 262

I remember 2.0 back in about 92 or 93 and it was alright but not really special. And then it pretty much died. I can't imagine there are any significant projects still using it. Though I'll probably be told about several who never gave up on it. After all, there are still projects running Motif...

Well quite a few big companies bought into and built their own apps on it. And IBM of course continued to ship apps for OS/2. And there has also been a loyal geek user base which has ported a fair amount of open source projects to the platform. It is Posix compliant so porting isn't that difficult.

I must say, I liked OS/2 - especially Warp. It ran well on the hardware of the day and was way better than Windows. But IBM weren't as smart at marketing as Microsoft!

Comment Re: Revolt (Score 2) 418

It will be interesting if Google, Apple et al suddenly suspend service and sales in the UK. I wonder what the electorate would say.

Or maybe the British government will mandate that they can't cut them off? This would be reminiscent of when the Spanish government tried forcing Google to keep indexing the newspapers, when they had decided that Google was to compensate the papers for indexing them!? Maybe we need to have a hall of shame for "stupid tech laws passed by governments"?

You can't force international companies to offer services in your country. Remember when the British music industry body (BPI) tried to shake down YouTube for royalties? YouTube just blocked all traffic from British domains and the BPI backed down swiftly.

Cameron may think that he can dictate to multinational companies and legislate for the world. But obviously he cannot. Apple and Google may not pull out of the UK entirely, but they are not going to break their own products just for one market either. They will probably publicly say that they cannot offer some services (or have to offer watered down versions) in the UK due to new legislation. Cue massive revolt from iPhone, Android, Gmail, etc. users. Then Cameron will back down, blaming American companies (and the pesky US constitution which actually guarantees ordinary people rights) for not being able to implement the ban.

Comment Re:We need UNIONS in IT (Score 1) 636

With out them we can be replaced by contractors and it's the contract firm that is the one useing the H1B's

At the end of the day the customer always decides the demand. Not the other way around. In this case the customer is the employer and if he can find a way to find someone just as qualified for cheaper he should be rewarded for this. Are you really saying you do not have the skillsets as someone with no plumbing and language barrier issues who is fresh out of school?? If so the problem is you.

Companies hire Americans because we know more and are right there with better business processes and the employer is willing to pay extra for this. It is capitalism.

No, it is neo-liberalism.

The notion of "the market" as an impartial arbiter of price rests on the concept of "perfect competition"; that is where all players are essentially equal and none can unduly influence price. What neo-liberalism has given us is situation where a minority of wealthy players can distort the market to their own advantage. This is particularly true in the labour market, where outsourcing/off-shoring is being used (in countries like the UK, as well as the US) to create a cheap (and compliant) workforce. Quality is an afterthought, if it's considered at all.

Comment Re:Too late (Score 1) 156

That may be true with a small session, or a minimal number of open tabs. Yet, with a large session|many tabs, FF becomes unresponsive regularly (CPU Spikes) and there's almost nothing you can do to make it release RAM, except for closing the browser. FF's CPU usage also spikes on launch 30-50% on a quad core with a large session, even when only a single tab of a given window is loaded on launch. The CPU usage also spikes whenever you manage tabs (move|close).

Compared to almost any other Browser FF lags badly in terms of resource management, including IE11, and Blink-based browsers (Chrome, Opera, etc). It also doesn't seem to matter what branch of FF you use, they all are horrible at resource management (FF Nightly 32bit or 64, WaterFox/64bit, FF Dev 32bit (previously Aurora).

And yet there are lots of Firefox users, like me, who never experience the issues you describe. Firefox is my main browser. I use it heavily all day, every day, and haven't had memory or CPU problems in years. I suspect that a lot of the reported Firefox resource issues have more to do with the combination of extensions/plugins that people have installed than Firefox itself.

Comment Re:This ex-Swatch guy doesn't have a clue (Score 1) 389

The Apple watch presents no threat to such Swiss watches, any more than a Tesla car presents a threat to Porsche.

And back in 2007 you'd be telling us the iPhone would present no threat to BlackBerry. And before that you'd have told us that the iPod would pose no threat to other mp3 players. The sheer amount of fault predictions that Slashdot nerds have made about Apple are hilarious.

And back in 2007 few people had even heard of Android phones, which now outsell iPhones 5-to-1 worldwide. Who knew?

Comment Re:Everywhere (Score 3, Insightful) 247

I live in Luxembourg, Europe and last month we jailed a guy for 9 months for a Facebook rant.

http://www.wort.lu/en/luxembou... ---

(CS/mth) Two Luxembourg nationals on Thursday were found guilty of sending death threats to immigrant rights activists Serge Kollwelter and Laura Zuccoli, with one of the men sentenced to nine months in prison.

Well ranting and threatening to kill somebody are two different things. The former is not normally illegal. The latter is illegal pretty much everywhere, regardless of whether you do it on the Internet or not.

Comment Re:This is not a mindshare battle...at all (Score 1) 319

Agreed. Having read a fair bit on node.js I've struggled to find anything more than a lot of hype (mainly based on the flawed assumption that what works in the browser will work equally well on the server).

I found this article - The emperor’s new clothes were built with Node.js - an informative (and entertaining) read.

Comment Re:My lists (Score 3, Interesting) 353

A couple more for Firefox:

BetterPrivacy - Deals with "super cookies"
HTTPS-Everywhere - Transparently turns HTTP requests into HTTPS requests for sites that support it

TableTools2 - Sort, filter, copy, etc. table data, even if the web site doesn't support it
Vimperator - Not for everybody, but if you use vi as your editor this adds a lot of keyboard goodness to your browsing experience.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang