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Comment: I wrote about this in 1996 in BYTE (Score 5, Interesting) 485

by bfwebster (#47414679) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

The article was called "The Real Software Crisis" (BYTE, January, 1996); you can read the original text here. (BYTE's archives are no longer online). I wrote a more extended discussion on the subject back in 2008; you can read it here. One might was well write that "normal humans are effectively excluded from composing and performing music"; if you've ever known a music major in college, you'll know just how true that is (I believe Music to be a harder major than Computer Science, having dated a Music major while getting my own degree in CS). ..bruce..

Comment: Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (Score 1) 200

by Cyberdyne (#47392191) Attached to: The View From Inside A Fireworks Show

I say try because in a battle between a jet engine with the power to push 400 tons of steel into the sky VS a drone I'm going to put my money on the jet engine lasting long enough for them to turn around and land again.

You might want to rethink that after being reminded of jet airliners being brought down by birds - not an ounce of metallic content, just a few pounds of meat and soft lightweight bones - or the 747 which almost crashed after all four engines failed from ingesting some ash. (Fortunately, they happened to be relatively near an airport and were high enough to glide for over a hundred miles, which bought them just enough time to restart an engine while they had been preparing to ditch in the ocean, buying them enough time to limp to the nearest runway - although all four engines were damaged beyond repair.)

For that matter, the French Concorde which crashed in 2000 was destroyed by a single thin strip of metal, 17 inches long and just over an inch wide, less than four ounces: essentially, a slightly larger than average metal ruler. It didn't even go into an engine, it just burst a tire - violently enough that the ten pound lump of rubber ruptured the wing and number 5 fuel tank, causing the crash which killed everyone on board.

That was a single 4 oz strip of metal hitting a tire. A pound of bolts or nails will destroy the engine - or a metal drone engine that size.

Comment: Re:Annoying. (Score 1) 347

A business called "BT Wholesale / aka OpenReach"

Actually, BT Wholesale is a separate unit from Openreach. Openreach manages the 'final mile' services: all the copper wire, the local exchange buildings, and some but not all of the equipment in there. A few UK ISPs build their services on top of Openreach's products directly: TalkTalk and Sky, for example, went and installed their own DSLAMs in those exchange buildings, paying Openreach to connect the copper wires to them. BT Wholesale also takes those Openreach products, adds in their own national backbone and offers a service to other ISPs: they'll install a fast fibre backbone link to the ISP's premises/facilities, and connect the customers through that to the ISP.

This can cause problems; my own ISP is a BT Wholesale customer, so when I had a fault earlier this year they had to report it to BT Wholesale, who passed it on to Openreach to deal with. Openreach came out and tested their bit - my phone line, and the VDSL equipment on each end - and found nothing wrong there, so closed the fault. After six visits, BT Wholesale (or rather, BT TSOps and the Adhara Ops team at Adastral Park, where the fault got escalated to in the end) eventually found the problem was on their own backbone (a faulty router was corrupting traffic between certain IP addresses - one of which happened to be a core router at my ISP).

I agree with the overall approach, though, having a separate and regulated entity run just the local loop portion. (In practice, Openreach is still a part of BT - hence I got a sales pitch from at least one of the six Openreach engineers about BT Retail being a better option. Against all the rules - Openreach are officially supposed to be neutral - but could that ever really happen in practice while they're still the same company?)

Internet Explorer

Next IE Version Will Feature Web Audio, Media Capture, ES6 Promises, and HTTP/2 173

Posted by timothy
from the loyal-opposition dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft [Wednesday] announced it is developing at least four new features for the next release of Internet Explorer (IE): Web Audio API, Media Capture and Streams, ES6 Promises, and HTTP/2. The company says this is not an exhaustive list of what to expect in the next version, but merely what it is currently confident that it will be able to deliver. For those who don't know, HTTP/2 is a faster protocol for transporting Web content. It is based on Google's SPDY open networking protocol and is currently being standardized by the IETF. Web Audio is a JavaScript API for processing and synthesizing audio in Web applications while Media Capture provides access to the user's local audio and video input/output devices. Promises is meant to help developers write cleaner asynchronous code."

Comment: Re:You know what I want? (Score 1) 124

Others, because it still works and they have no reason to waste money on a new machine. I know at least two such people. Me? I have WinXP Pro in a Xen DomU, just in case I need something windowsy. It's always on, and I connect to it using RDP over an SSH tunnel. Sure, I rarely use it, but it's there should I need it and it's a better solution than having a XP VM on each of my Linux machines.

At work I have a Win7 VM in VirtualBox, it is horribly, horribly slow. The XP VM on the same VirtualBox host, is snappy and quick.

XP might be dead, but it's makes a rather well preserved zombie.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 4, Insightful) 310

You, as an individual, are not statistically relevant, even if what you describe is the actual truth. I say that last bit because infants, as soon as they are born, start sucking up language from their parents / caretakers, and I cannot really imagine you growing up in a total vacuum.

I do tend to agree most people learn best from people, because of the simple reason that there is so much evidence all around us that supports that claim. It is wired into us to mimic and learn from the people in our environment.

Comment: Re:Repeatable as Fuck (Score 1) 209

by jawtheshark (#47017181) Attached to: How Predictable Is Evolution?

You can have all the laws of physics explain how things move etc, but how will they ever explain this consciousness?

May I introduce you to the concept of "argument from ignorance". It might be well that it can be perfectly explained by natural laws, just you and me are not (yet) able to.

I can't even prove beyond all doubt that others experience this phenomenon and are conscious. And I can't prove my consciousness to others. I just have to take it by faith that these "imaginary friends" called "you" and "I" exist.

If you go the solipsism route, nothing is certain any more. Even those physical laws you say explain how things move (etc), become totally uncertain in a solipsistic worldview. After all, it could all be just your mind and nothing truly exists.

Comment: Re:About time! (Score 2) 306

by Cyberdyne (#46827511) Attached to: ARIN Is Down To the Last<nobr> <wbr></nobr>/8 of IPv4 Addresses

Others such as Eli Lily or the UK Gov Dept of Pensions really don't need so many addresses

Someone in the UK government pointed that out recently - it turns out that "Dept of Pensions" allocation is actually used across most of the government as some sort of VPN extranet with various external contractors. Apparently, since they all use different RFC1918 blocks internally, they can't all be VPNed into any single RFC1918 block: they needed a globally-unique block for that purpose.

British Telecom uses the 30.0.0.0/8 block for managing all their customer modems - that block is actually allocated to the US DoD, but they don't allow external access to it anyway, so there's nothing to stop you using that block internally yourself as long as you don't need to communicate with any other networks using the same trick. Better than wasting an entire /8 of global address space just for internal administrative systems - or a /9, like Comcast grabbed back in 2010.

My inner geek - who cares about efficiency - would love to see all the legacy blocks revoked. I'm sure the DoD could use 10/8 instead of 30/8 quite easily for their non-routed block; the universities could easily fit in a /16 instead of a /8, or smaller with a bit of NAT. Still, we should be moving to IPv6 instead now: give each university and ISP a /48, or /32 for big complex networks needing multiple layers. I just have a nasty feeling we're in for a long time of CGNAT spreading instead - where we currently have ISPs that don't offer static IP addresses, in a few years they'll be refusing to issue anything other than a NATted 100.64/16 address.

Not only is UNIX dead, it's starting to smell really bad. -- Rob Pike

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