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Comment Re:Translation ... (Score 1) 145

That's not very good advice. What if there is a vulnerability discovered in gitolite or any of the underlying libraries or OS? Am I competent enough to make sure that I keep Linux always up-to-date? Do I stay on top of security news enough to know that I need to work around the newest hole in ssh?

Comment Re:Software Engineering as unskilled labor (Score 1) 145

Even when management can't do it, Visual Basic can cause trouble simply because they know about it. I was once paid to create a huge abortion of a personnel/resource tracking application inside of Excel, where the managers could each work on a sheet and then through the magic of VBA, upper management could combine all of the data, query Exchange for personnel data, and then make pivot tables. I tried to talk him out of it, but he insisted - so I made it.

He got fired, but the behemoth lives on. For a while I would get asked to help debug it, as it was delicate. Eventually they had me hand it off to this poor bastard in IT, but as far as I know they are still using it.

To my delight, Dilbert published this strip right in the middle of it all.

Comment Re:Drivers, not gov't are choosing to deny rides. (Score 1) 166

To be fair, they are technically in compliance with the law in most/many places. They push the law to the limit, though, and then adjust or lobby when ruled against. They are disruptive, but I don't think that automatically makes them "bad". Change bothers a lot of people - especially anyone content with the current system. Re-balancing the new system is going to have it's ups and downs, but I don't think the shrinking of the middle man is necessarily a bad thing if the law can catch up.

Comment Re:Drivers, not gov't are choosing to deny rides. (Score 1) 166

You are partially right - they certainly do keep the price down by dodging regulations to their best ability. However, the real draw of Uber is the nicer cars and prompt service. Local monopoly providers got too complacent and couldn't be bothered to upgrade their dispatching system, and individual car owners take better care of their vehicles than fleet drivers / renters.

Comment Re: For the love of donuts.. (Score 1) 348

He's an interesting mix between European-style big-government and libertarian-style individual freedom. I'm not sure that this would work out practically, as a large government is also harder to corral and keep in check. But he's definitely not fascist. The Republican he most resembles is probably Rand Paul. Take away Bernie's giant government checkbook and the two sound very similar.

Comment Re:American vs. European 'safety' (Score 1) 181

This is true - it's a reversion from representative democracy. If we insist on globalizing trade, the institutions should resemble those of a parliament or congress. The members can be directly elected or not, depending on the member countries' preferences. I think the move to knocking down the dubious notion of the "state" is probably a good one, but not it if means replacing it with corporate-backed committees.

Comment Re:American vs. European 'safety' (Score 1) 181

I thought the same thing, but in TFA:

Of particular concern to safety groups is the finding that passengers in a typical EU model are 33 per cent safer in front-side collisions, an accident that often results in serious injury, than those in a typical US model.

I suspect there is a bias towards driver safety in the US standards, since cars tend to have a single occupant.

One of the chief duties of the mathematician in acting as an advisor... is to discourage... from expecting too much from mathematics. -- N. Wiener