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Comment More than that... (Score 1) 98

I'd worry about their self-esteem - I mean, being lumped into the same conversation as a company that clearly values profits over honesty is bound to make any robocar flinch when unrelated topics try to occupy the same space at the same time. No wonder skynet went all wicked-witch on mankind.

Comment Re:Potato gun (Score 1) 225

I didn't think I had a story here, thanks for reminding me of my potato cannons!

In my intro to electronics course we had taken the flash circuits from disposable cameras and hacked them to trigger via a photocell.

I had another idea: take the ~300v from the flash capacitor, dump it through a car ignition coil then through a spark plug, and I'd get a much more reliable spark than could be had by a piezo grill igniter. My best guess is that I had a few hundred thousand volts at the spark plug. I put everything in a small plastic Radio Shack project box, put a button on each side, and wired the buttons in series to prevent accidental discharges.

It worked very well: in ~5 years of use I think I went through two C cells and it only failed to work when the first battery died. Whenever I'd show off my handiwork, my audience was invariably more intimidated by the sound of the circuit charging up than the actual potato cannon :)

Comment Re:Hubris and Self-Interest (Score 1) 252

If you actually have a problem that decomposes nicely into lots of little, neatly contained, problems it might work really well. It's just that if you have that, you are among the blessed and probably don't need any fancy consultants in order to do just fine. You'd need somebody who is actively capable of pulling defeat from the jaws of victory to screw it up.

The sticking point is whether or not snake oil can dissolve seemingly insoluble problems into lots of little, neatly contained, problems.

Comment Re:Not a hard and fast rule... (Score 3, Interesting) 252

I don't know how broadly it can be applied(if it in fact works as well as they claim at all); but it would appear that the whole point of these 'microservices' is to produce smaller 'projects' so that you have more room to scale before complexity eats you alive. It's not so much a disproof of the 'mythical man-month'; but an adaptation to cope with it.

Getting purely linear scaling without some sort of zero-latency hive mind is unlikely to be possible; but it seems fairly obvious that the amount of overhead you incur by adding 20 extra people to a five man project is going to be rather higher than adding a second person to a one man project(though the jump between 1 person and 2 people might actually be pretty big, if helpful in terms of producing documentation that somebody other than the 1 person understands). If you can break your projects down into smaller pieces, with complexity better contained, and well defined interaction between the pieces, you have teams small enough that you might actually be able to make them faster by making them somewhat larger.

If your project is already a screaming heap of interlocking complexity, there simply isn't as much work that can be done in parallel. Aside from people stepping on each other's toes, there will just be a lot of "Part X can't be done until the guy doing Part Y finishes".

Not so terribly different(if likely to be even less predictable because humans are involved) than deciding how a problem will scale if you throw more computers at it. If your problem is actually a large number of mostly unrelated problems, it'll scale nearly perfectly. If your problem consists of lots of somewhat interconnected problems it will scale; but demands on interconnect will become increasingly expensive. If it's a purely serial problem, and each step depends on the prior step, it may not scale at all.

Comment Re:Who actually wants this? (Score 1) 63

Well if it means we're going from small devices with small apps and small amounts of resources to suddenly making them full on desktop machines, I just don't see the point.

And that's totally fine. The point isn't what YOU want, it's what some private company wants to do and these actions will in no way, shape, or form negatively impact your life and thus getting all up in a huff about it is a little over the top.

Comment Re:Who actually wants this? (Score 2) 63

What percentage of Android owners even remotely want any of this?

Users don't know what they want until it is provided to them and, honestly, if you don't want any part of it, that's cool but perhaps it will really help developers port their work cross-platform and bring us to a completely different level.

I would love to see Android or iOS apps come back across the divide in some cases, so there's likely a market in reverse.

No sense in getting all fired up about CodeWeavers doing this.

Comment Sigh... (Score 0) 87

>this is a testament to the power we have as small groups of engineers to improve the world.

Why did you have to ruin your post with that kind of aggrandizement? Such a sweeping statement is pointless and by now you should know that doing good doesn't mean you need to crow about your deeds as part of the process.

Comment urrggg - no (Score 0) 229

>by somebody with an obvious love for NASA

I was with you up to that point. Nerds that 'love' NASA today are not worthy of being called nerds. NASA hasn't deserved anyone's love for several decades. NASA today is all about theater & FUD that begs funding so they can keep looking under the bed for monsters that don't exist. Your nerd is nothing but a shill, then. We won't get into what that makes you, but if you come to your senses, you might save your brand.

Comment Why all the desktop stuff? (Score 2) 141

I know that Solaris did have a workstation presence at one point; back when each vendor with a pet Unix had a line of workstations to run it, usually on their pet CPU architecture; but it seems very, very, strange that they'd be focusing on desktop features at all(especially if they don't have the resources to do them properly; especially with web browsers outdated and/or broken is worse than nothing).

You certainly hear about cool stuff that Solaris has; and others either lack or have only by virtue of pulling from Solaris(Dtrace, Solaris Containers, ZFS, probably some others); but 'desktop experience' sure isn't one of them. Especially when 'the desktop' also tends to imply needing workable support for a variety of desktops and laptops of various degrees of unfriendliness, it seems a strange place to put any resources.

Comment Re:Bacteria spread via the air (Score 4, Informative) 117

I'd be curious to know if the design of these cooling towers(unfortunately, results for 'cooling towers' tend to be heavy on the really big ones used by power plants, which aren't terribly relevant except sharing certain basic principles of operation) would allow for UV sterilization.

The idea that you can actually 'disinfect' something in the real world, outside of a cleanroom or high end operating room, for more than a few minutes to hours is mostly a polite fiction. Any sort of real world plumbing arrangment is going to be hosting assorted biofilms and other incredibly durable bacterial reservoirs more or less inevitably. As the massive success of modern sanitation systems has proven, you can get water 'clean enough' for the more-or-less-healthy to stay that way; but if you actually need to exterminate almost all the bacteria, you are picking a whole different fight.

If, though, you only need to ensure that the contents of the droplets emitted by the cooling system in operation are reasonably disinfected, intense UV in the outflow ducts might be able to do that, and UV isn't high energy enough to do too much violence to metal parts(plastics/rubber/etc. can be trouble; but you won't be commiserating with nuclear reactor operators over radiation embrittlement issues.)

We are Microsoft. Unix is irrelevant. Openness is futile. Prepare to be assimilated.