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Comment: Re:I wonder how long it would've taken NASA? (Score 4, Interesting) 49

by Hadlock (#47516507) Attached to: SpaceX Releases Video of Falcon Rocket's Splashdown

It's really hard to do this kind of landing burn (nicknamed 'suicide burn' as you run out of fuel as the landing feet touch the ground at 0 velocity, and miscalculation and splat or a nice bounce (elon called it the hover slam)) with a solid rocket booster, which we keep buying/making to prop up the ICBM industry with civilian dollars. The shuttle ended up with SRBs instead of L(iquid)RBs purely due to political reasons.
Actually, for the Saturn V, blueprint drawings do exist made by NASA of a cockpit on the side of the main booster tank with glider wings, to take it the 300 miles back to a safe landing site. Obviously that complication got scrapped in the mad rush to get to the moon in a decade.

Comment: Re:Wait, wait... (Score 2) 130

by Unordained (#47508933) Attached to: Exodus Intelligence Details Zero-Day Vulnerabilities In Tails OS

We can still break into the systems we "need" to break into, without keeping a full hand of all possible vulnerabilities. To reduce our overall exposure to risk, it makes sense to disclose most of these to vendors for patching, maybe some with a delay. Our government can buy up vulnerabilities from Exodus, then release them -- Exodus gets paid, we get somewhat better security all around, and the NSA gets a few last holes to work with.

Comment: Re:Plumber (Score 1) 507

by lakeland (#47462149) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

Accountant - agreed, my point was many people refer to 'accountant' where they mean bookkeeper. I do not see computers replacing good accountants - if anything it will make them more important as the better raw data gives them more ability to make a difference.

But I completely disagree on your description of what current accounting software can do. Computers are opening the post (email) for remittance advice, chasing short payments and reconciling the ledger. They flag over-payments but leave chasing them to a person - too much thought required on the communication. They also collate expense receipts and chase staff for the various tasks coded into workflow (singoff from immediate manager, tracking against budget and authorisation limit, flagging suspicious values to appropriate people, etc). Paper invoices are also handled - scan it and it's emailed off to manually assisted invoice creation (too much variation in invoices for risking automated loading). Oh, and all purchases are also directly exported to the bank where you can configure them to either just be paid or require final authorisation depending on how reliable you feel your setup is..

They already integrate with stock tracking systems and so eyes they do depreciate stock, handle damage and lost items. Stock isn't something I have firsthand experience managing, but I haven't heard any complaints. Timesheeting and payroll are also fully integrated and I know they both work well.

Current state... I see an opportunity to help someone out. I create a quote in the accounting software. I email that quote to them and if they decide to go ahead then they create a corresponding PO in their ERP system. That process automatically checks against signoff limits, obtains approval from direct manager, etc. That is then automatically emailed to me where the accounting software automatically matches it to the quote. I then deliver the work and get them to sign it off. Once that's done I click a button to convert the quote or the PO into an invoice, adjust if necessary and click send. Again now their system receives that invoice, matches it to the PO and emails my contact to validate the work was signed off as complete. Then it schedules it for payment and sends remittenance advice. That gets matched by my software which sets the invoice expected date. When the payment is made it reconciles against this invoice. If they don't pay then it automatically kicks off whatever workflow I choose to set up - friendly reminders by email with summary of outstanding and a note to me.

Sure, it's not perfect and there's still a need for bookkeepers. Someone screws up the reference code on the payment, accidentally double pays. Subcontractors who charge a different rate depending on which client they're working on, reversing out declined expense claims, client or supplier correspondence beyond simply sending out statements, etc. But compare it to say 5 years ago - I wouldn't feel very safe as a book keeper.


Comment: Re:Plumber (Score 4, Insightful) 507

by lakeland (#47460845) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

Computers _are_ replacing accountants. Or more precisely computers are replacing bookkeepers and a lot of so called accountants are actually bookkeepers.

Most of the drudgery is leaving the profession now. What's left will be much more interesting and valuable work, but I suspect there will be a bit of a glut in lower end accountants.

Comment: Re:Executive Branch (Score 1) 228

by darkonc (#47366791) Attached to: The New 501(c)(3) and the Future of Open Source In the US
It doesn't "prove" anything that the emails were destroyed. The legal principle is that it can be assumed that there was incriminating evidence in the emails. One of the questions, though, is whether due dilligence was done to secure the emails in question. It is quite possible that the drives really did all die. Manufacturers have bad batches of drives from time to time. It's possible that a bad batch was purchased by the IRS.

I haven't been following that particular escapade. All I will say is that culpability is suspected at this point -- but not entirely proven.

Comment: Re:Yes, maybe... (Score 2) 228

by darkonc (#47366777) Attached to: The New 501(c)(3) and the Future of Open Source In the US

So, let's say a company (IBM) "donates" code that allows an Open Source software package support some unique (patented) feature on their hardware.

Is that charity, or a marketing expense to help the company sell more hardware?

Suppose that I give a group money to house homeless people so that they don't have to huddle around my air vents in the winter. Does that then make the homeless support group a commercial entity?? Charitable groups OFTEN support purposes beyond their direct purpose. That doesn't make them non-charitable... I mean how much do broadcastes make by broadcasting NCAA games?

You're splitting hairs here -- Most people give donations to charitable orginaizations because it, in some way or form, supports their goals. Rifle manufacturers give to the NRA. Drug manufacturers give to research groups at universities (I think that some of those agreements are VERY directly commercial -- especially when there are limits on how the results of the research can be used/disemminated).,,, etc. etc, etc.

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