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Comment: Re:Van Braun built weapons for Nazis (Score 2) 102

by radtea (#47579763) Attached to: Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

Then he came to the USA, and played the same con on Congress to fund his continued work here.

So in your view von Braun was an amoral, self-agrandizing liar who was willing to actively engage in the selection of slave labour working in death camps to build rockets that killed thousands of strangers just so he could play with cool toys? Because that's what you're describing.

I say "self-agrandizing" because everything that von Braun wanted to do would have been done without him, without the 12000 dead slave labourers, without the 9000 dead British civilians.

I've had some pretty extreme scientific and technical ambitions in my time, but have somehow been able to realize many of them without killing people, and have given up the rest because: killing people. So I'm willing to pass judgment on von Braun in this respect: if he faced a choice between following his dreams and not killing people I'd have to say the latter is the far better choice.

Comment: Large Databases? (Score 3, Insightful) 115

by TechyImmigrant (#47579055) Attached to: Passport Database Outage Leaves Thousands Stranded

The article tries to wow us with the hugeness of the database, like this is a reason for the issues.

Yet the numbers quoted are not that big. Any modern PC isn't going to get too upset handling 75 million things. A real data center is going to sit there wondering what to do with the remaining 500TB of storage.

I don't doubt that there is some horrible flaw in the way the system was conceived that rendered it fragile, but whatever it is, it's nothing to do with the enormity of the problem, because it isn't very enormous.

Comment: Re:Vendor vs In House (Score 1) 182

by radtea (#47577529) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: When Is It Better To Modify the ERP vs. Interfacing It?

One of the key problems I've run into, not only in regards to ERP, but in general, is that when you outsource all of your development your future is in the hands of someone who doesn't have your companies best interests as their primary concern.

Even in those cases where you get a good service provider (which will depend on the specific people you've got working on your project much more than the company they work for, so anyone who says "Oracle = good" is missing the point) you still run into one of the most fundamental human problems: we suck at communication.

When you outsource something the degree of clear, concise, validated communication required is many times what is required for in-house development (where communication can still be a major problem). Capturing user needs and implementing them in a useful and user-efficient manner is hard enough with a high-bandwidth internal-communications channel. With outsourcing it is almost impossible for the people designing and building the system to get the information they need from the end-users.

So one question I would ask the OP is: how often do your provider's developers talk to your end users? (not your end user's managers, who don't have a clue what the system requirements actually are). If the answer is "never or hardly ever" then in-house is definitely the way to go, because your in-house team will have at least some chance of building a system that will serve end-user needs.

Comment: I like the idea in principle (Score 2) 45

by JanneM (#47571821) Attached to: Google, Linaro Develop Custom Android Edition For Project Ara

I like the idea in principle. I do think it's really useful to customize a few specific parts - one person might want a high-performance (and large, and expensive)) camera module both front anb back; another prefers just a minimal camera and gets a larger battery instead; a third has a job where cameras are banned and opts to get none at all. A fingerprint reader, a headphone jack, or an SD card slot are other options people may want to add or skip.

But I do not think upgradeable phones are meaningful. After 2-3 years with a phone, it's pretty beat up. Screen is scratched and dimming, the case is scuffed and creaky, buttons don't quite work, connectors are getting glitchy, the battery is dying and both CPU and memory are getting old. I'd want to upgrade all of it - I want a new phone, not throw money at the old one.

Comment: Re:More money won't help (Score 2) 114

by TechyImmigrant (#47544409) Attached to: SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

They have excellent goals, mostly scientific in nature.

The moon shots were a dumbed down jock goal. Who's got the biggest rocket?

The problems in space science are almost completely different to the problems in education. In both cases, money could help if they spent it on the right things.

Comment: Re:Whelp. (Score 2) 139

by radtea (#47534355) Attached to: Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered

For me, the resistance comes when I look at the large reptiles of today which are descended from dinosaurs.They don't have feathers.

Which large reptiles are those? And which dinosaurs are they descended from? And how did dinosaurs, which were all killed at the KT boundary, manage to have descendents?

Dinosaurs are reptiles with their legs under their bodies. This makes them distinct from other reptiles (the kinds we have today, which are not descended from dinosaurs) which have their legs off to the side.

Mammals also managed the legs-under-the-body trick, and birds (which are descended from dinosaurs, unlike all modern reptiles, none of which are descended from dinosaurs, what with dinosaurs all being extinct without issue at the KT boundary.)

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths

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