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Comment Re:Mickey Mouse copyirght extenstions... (Score 1) 173 173

Hundreds of cartoon characters were created in the early and mid 1900s. Only a few became successful and one of them was Mickey. Why should Disney make that asset available free to the public because the luck, creative and technical skills in pulling off a creative masterpiece is a lot?

Indeed. And why shouldn't the heirs of the people who invented the tales of Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Jack and the Beanstalk, the legends of King Arthur and so forth not be getting paid royalties because someone else (for example, say, Disney) has made use of them?

Comment Re:Wait Wait Wait... (Score 4, Funny) 210 210

I thought they ran out last year, until I saw the report of them running out last month.

I thought they ran out last month, until I saw the report of them running out last week.

I though they ran out last week, now I see they'll run out tomorrow.

Perhaps someone should start reporting facts rather than what ever you call all these reports.

Xeno's IPv4 Paradox.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 1) 879 879

At least that is my hope. The concept of car ownership is archaic. I look forward to the offloading all the associated penalty costs of car ownership in favour of a service model.

Back in the Good Old Days, the "service model" was called a chauffeur.

Comment Re:Top secret data accessable from Internet. (Score 1) 123 123

I have to ask why was such sensitive information able to be accessed from the internet? Doesn't the government have leased lines or some other really secure backbone?

And retribution towards China. I think a one trillion dollar fine would be in order. Freeze some of their cash, make some of their US Government Treasury bonds worthless ....

And if they did, then how would all of the web-based services that use this data get to it?

Not every database exploit comes from some dimwit leaving port 1433 open to Internet access or a SQL Injection attack. You can do even worse damage if you pwn the webservers and start working your way back up the LAN.

Comment Re:No (Score 5, Insightful) 318 318

The irony is that these days if you let your little darlings wander physical streets unsupervised, they'll come and arrest you and take away your children leaving them traumatized because the police hauled Mommy and Daddy off to jail and the Social Services people told the kiddies that their parents were horrible abusive creatures who deserved never to be allowed to see them again.

For doing what everyone thought was natural 20 years or so ago.

Comment Re:Swift (Score 1) 352 352

Logic is one thing. The real trick is to anticipate, plan for, and handle the unexpected things that turn an "All You Have To Do Is..." into something that takes months to complete.

Software design has been likened to creating a contract with the Devil. For the same reason. Anything you don't allow for will send you to Hell quickly.

But most people aren't fool enough to show up in court without a lawyer.

Comment Re:bad metrics (Score 1) 245 245

You want to really screw a good thing up, set up a set of rigid metrics.

Once everything gets in the hands of the bean counters, anything that cannot be quantified as a bean gets summarily discarded, whether it's good, bad or indifferent.

And it's truly appalling how many systems get set up to measure the quantity and quality of the bathwater and ignore the fact that there's a baby in it.

Comment Re:Easy trumps security (Score 1) 65 65

It's a vicious cycle though, because on the other end you have users that don't really care about security or taking the time to educate themselves to use technology responsibly. Management could push having a robust and secure product, but by the time its built, someone else will have grabbed most of the market or the market will have changed enough that your product has no where near as much potential.

A popular myth that justifies being hasty and sloppy.

Which product defined the PDA? Apple's Newton or the later-arriving and more realistically-designed (for the limitations of the day) Palm Pilot?

How about tablets? Microsoft was doing a tablet years before Apple.

Anyone remember those big-name forums that predated Facebook? I don't.

If you are lucky, being first-to-market will gain you some income, but somebody better can come along and sink you like a stone. You'll get some nice cash for a short period, they'll get a massive revenue stream for many years.

That doesn't mean that every pilot product has to be perfect, but it should mean that your plans for long-term success should incorporate the development of a professional product capable of carrying the load.

And if you're a continent-spanning bank or other long-established "respectable" business, it means that you have absolutely no business at all going for the fast-and-cheap.

Comment Re:Easy trumps security (Score 2) 65 65

I'm afraid that the appearance of working is all that people really care about.

You can sell "pretty" over functional any day, and "quick" over both, with "cheap" trumping all.

Developers cannot fix this. Not unless they get far more organized than they are now. As long as developers do what management tells them and management's values are as previously described, insecurity and unreliability are going to be the hallmarks of software.

And unreliable software is almost guaranteed to be insecure, so kiss all your private data goodbye.

Comment Re:Truth (Score 1) 91 91

Instead of "bug fixes and new features", why isn't software ever delivered with the simple truth? "Lots of new bugs."

Because it's not simply "lots of new bugs". It's a rearrangement of bugs.

All joking aside, metrics over the years have indicated that once a software product reaches maturity, the total number of bugs on file for further releases will be relatively constant.

Comment Re:There is no cure for absolute fucking stupidity (Score 2) 232 232

There is no cure for absolute fucking stupidity.

Yes, but are there any wiccan spells that can do the trick?

This is worse than useless. Computers, copiers, traffic lights, all electrical, electronic, and mechanical devices all operate because they are possessed by evil spirits bent on the frustration and injury of human beings.

Whether you employ wiccans, African witch doctors, Catholic priests or Indian medicine men, exorcising the evil that lives inside these devices will make them non-functional.

Then you'll have to call in a repairman to install a new evil spirit.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein