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Comment: Re:Bad programming (Score 1) 112

"Probably the best solution would be for the company to split up. The people who make the Xbox are probably weighed down by the rest of the company's ineptitude. I'd like to see those guys go their own way"

XBOX is running a version of Windows, which, is in many ways better than Linux. What's up for debate is its openness or lack thereof, but featureswise, Windows has lead Unix in a lot of ways.

Even Windows 3.1 had a better device independent rendering model than did the X terminals it competed against. And, ever since Windows NT, Windows has always had better APIs for threading while all many Unix's had (except for Solaris), was fork. DirectX is generally better than OpenGL. COM has its faults but in the long run proved to be the only binary object model that ever got used, and even the Windows desktop and shell has vastly better basic things like file dialogs than does Linux.

Visual Studio is still arguably the best IDE around and has been ever since Microsoft bought the Delphi guy over to write C#, and speaking of which, C# is a way better language than Java. Microsoft Office is still better than Open Office.

It's not that Microsoft has really sucked at the desktop, ever. They've just won so completely at it that they don't know how to do anything else right, although, I do think my Windows 8.1 phone is better than my iPhone 5s in some ways.

Comment: Criteria (Score 1) 283

by JavaLord (#47408287) Attached to: The World's Best Living Programmers
The submission sort of gets at this, but what should be some criteria for judging "the best" programmers?

Having discovered an algorithm? (Bonus points if it's named after you).
Created a programming language?
Written a book (on programming)?
Created a program that was somehow valuable or meaningful?
Educated other programmers?

Comment: Re:But people forget what MENSA concluded (Score 1) 561

by JavaLord (#47324725) Attached to: Match.com, Mensa Create Dating Site For Geniuses

the study revealed NO CORRELATION.

Zippo. Nada. None. Zilch.

Most studies have found an IQ to income correlation of 0.4 to 0.5. That is not particularly strong, but it isn't zero. The correlation is weaker for people with very high IQs. Someone with an IQ of 100 (normal) will earn much more than someone at 60 (mildly retarded). Someone with an IQ of 120 will do significantly better than someone at 100. But someone with an IQ of 160 (genius) will do little better than someone at 120, on average.

Higher IQ's likely get diverted into research and education which may not pay as well as something like investment banking. We should really start tracking sociopath scores and seeing if they have any correlation with income.

Comment: Re:Before you start complaining... (Score 1) 548

by JavaLord (#47283127) Attached to: Girls Take All In $50 Million Google Learn-to-Code Initiative

according to our social contract

Show me this "social contract". I think a big part of the problem here is delusional reasoning based on imaginary things that don't actually exist. I grant that there is cooperation in a society, it is an inherent and necessary component. But to claim that is a "contract", requires that the thing be voluntary and agreed to.

In any type of reasonable court the "social contract" concept would be thrown out due to Unconscionability. One side has grossly unequal bargaining power. Social Contract is a nicer way of saying "Ultima Ratio".

Comment: Re:Before you start complaining... (Score 1) 548

by JavaLord (#47283077) Attached to: Girls Take All In $50 Million Google Learn-to-Code Initiative
The flip side of that is that NO western job is worth the prevailing wage, except in ultra competitive fields with international mobility like movie or basketball stars. For all other jobs, cooks, engineers, doctors, street vendors, architects and bankers etc., you will always find some equally qualified individual in some developing country ready to work for (significantly) less.

If skilled workers were paid what their production was actually worth, employers wouldn't profit from the transaction and hiring them would be counterproductive for employers. Employment is an arbitrage game, where employers offer employees some stability in return for being paid less than the actual goods they produce are worth.

The fact that globalization, technology and the liberalization of gender roles has expanded the workforce and thus pushed wages down is predictable. It's somewhat interesting that the fields that still have a large gender gap (Nurses, Computer Programmers) have some of the highest wages...likely because of a lack of supply of workers. Nice to see Google is trying to "fix" that....

+ - CNN auto-play violates their own advertising standards

Submitted by xmas2003
xmas2003 (739875) writes "I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that I have CNN on my news' bookmarks, since while they offer a quick look at the current news, their increasingly sensationalistic reporting leaves a bit to be desired. I almost exclusively would just look at print stories as their videos reporting is long-winded fluff ... a very low bandwidth way of consuming news. Plus hosts such as Piers Morgan and Jeanne Moos are just grating to listen to.

A few months ago, I noticed that CNN's videos (and audio!) were auto-playing at the top of their print stories. ironically, this violates their own advertising guidelines which says "Must be user initiated by click ...No host-initiated audio is permitted ...... Audio must be user initiated by click ... Audio must be user-initiated by clicking within the banner"

The power of the mighty (advertising) buck accelerates their downhill slide! ;-)"

Comment: Re:WOW (Score 1) 142

by ArcherB (#47116363) Attached to: No, HealthCare.gov Doesn't Require 500 Million Lines of Code

You forgot to include lifetime costs for VA health care for surviving vets, who tend to have fairly difficult to treat injuries that would have killed people in prior wars.

This is why there's such a backlog in the VA.

No it's not. The majority of the people at the VA are mostly Vietnam vets with a few WWII and Korean War vets hanging on. Most of your Iraq/Afghanistan vets are under the age of 50, meaning they have their own health insurance through the company they work for. For example, ME! I've never been to a VA hospital. Never had to. I always had my own insurance.

As for the total cost, right now, it ranks at about $1.5 trillion for 14 years. Since the expensive part of launching million dollar missiles to blow up a $100 tent and fueling tanks that get gallons to the mile are over, the rate at which the cost is increasing is slowing substantially. It is unlikely that it will reach $2 trillion.

Either way, you said "wastED", meaning past tense. We haven't spent $2 trillion and won't for many years, if ever.

Comment: Re:WOW (Score 5, Informative) 142

by ArcherB (#47115281) Attached to: No, HealthCare.gov Doesn't Require 500 Million Lines of Code

Finance guys are so cute.
I was an IT guy so....

For example a retail bank needs two tables in it's accounts database. One for the account, a second to record the transactions.
The DB needs a customer table (name, address, phone, address, ect), transaction table, account type table, account table, interest rate table, payee table, payroll tables (complete with more account data from other banks, employee names, etc) etc. There's a LOT of data involved, and this still doesn't include the cutesie stuff banks throw in like customer preferences.

The database may be queried by other databases (ie: the guy approving loans), but it is not actually a part of those databases.
Actually, different systems maintain different databases. For example the Internet Banking side will maintain it's own database. the ATM side will have it's own side. Then there's the credit card system, ACH systems, wire systems, the core system itself and others. All of these systems must interact with eachother. For example, the a customer may log into the Internet banking side, which will have to hit the core to get the current balance, EOD balance from yesterday, unprocessed transactions, processed transactions, interest rates, any messages from the bank, and so on. It also has to be able to inject transactions such as payroll into the core system, wires into the wire system and so on.
Of course, all of these systems are different. The ACH system uses a flat text file. The core is usually an UNIX based system with a terminal interface. The Internet Banking is probably an Apache Tomcat connecting to a MSSQL system. Then, there is the bank end that is comprised of DB front-ends, screen scrapers, batch files, transaction injectors and so on.

You could probably convince a bunch of PHB-English Majors your database is more complicated because you have six different, totally unrelated databases in the same file, but don't try that shit in front of engineers.
Not just different DB's but completely different architectures. And, of course, different states have different laws. For example, all states that take income taxes have a different method to pay them. Then their are business taxes, both federal and for all 50 states, loan laws, interest rate laws etc.

And there is much much more, but this is getting out of hand. Suffice to say that you have no friggin' clue as to what you are talking about when it comes to everything a bank does, much less when it comes to tying all those systems together.

Compare that to the ACA system which involves user data, finance data, what companies are available per state, what plans available per company, and an interface system to communicate between the handful of ACA authorized insurance companies per state and the back-office system. Many states run their own system. The government has claimed that their system doesn't even keep the data!

Comment: Re:WOW (Score 1) 142

by ArcherB (#47114509) Attached to: No, HealthCare.gov Doesn't Require 500 Million Lines of Code

HealthCare.gov does a lot of actual calculations itself. Once it knows your location it has to ask several other databases for your income level, at which point it compares that income level to the poverty rate. This is step one of determining your subsidy. Step 2 is to query a second database for a list of plans in your area. The second lowest cost silver plan is the "Base Plan" which is the second number used to calculate your subsidy. That's not just a database query, it's executable code.
Everything you described here can be done within a database engine, making HealthCare.gov essentially a database frontend that reinvented part of the wheel.

Moreover the database front-end is probably the most complicated database front-end in actual production anywhere.
No. No it's not, or at least it doesn't need to be. I would say credit card authorization databases would be the most complicated, followed closely by the banks. There are also several customer databases that are outright huge. You have parts inventories for large companies and databases used by engineers designing various components for bridges, air liners, jet fighters, combat vehicles, electric cars, etc. Of course, let's not forget the databases used by Internet companies like Google, government agencies like the IRS, census, and the Fed, and the multitude of databases need to run our phone and communication systems. All of these systems require front-ends. The frontend my bank uses for their online banking system is more complicated than HC.gov and deals with a more complicated system of DB's on the backend.
If this is one of the most complicated database front-ends in existence, that is proof that it is designed and written by incompetents.

it's querying multiple completely different databases, most of whom weren't designed to be compatible with each-other. It all needs damn-near-perfect security. It needs to deal with complex legal questions such as what happens when Louisiana decides some insurer has been cheating a bit on some legal requirement? Is the desired result under Louisiana law different then Ohio?
So, it's the type of system you find running every bank in America, minus the need for international transactions.

(disclaimer: I've worked in Internet Banking Systems and the defense industry)

Comment: Re:WOW (Score 0) 142

by ArcherB (#47114345) Attached to: No, HealthCare.gov Doesn't Require 500 Million Lines of Code

Exactly. Should have just implemented Canada's Single Payer National Healthcare for 1/20th the cost.

The resulting health improvement in the US would have saved Trillions that we could have wasted in IraqIranAfghaniPakistan.

First, the cost of both wars was less than $2 trillion, making the 's' on the word "Trillion" misleading and dishonest.

Next, we have a government run, single payer, health care system now. It's called VA. How's that working out?

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