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Comment: Re:Change Jobs (Score 1) 249

by donscarletti (#47952033) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

It really depends on management style.

In democratic management styles, then what you said is correct. The manager is just a conduit for information.

But in authoritarian management or top down management, which is having an alpha male (or female) with a lot of talent and ego calling the shots and making the big decisions really works well when it works (and fails catastrophically when it fails). In this style of management, professional skills in whatever it is that the team is doing, which means technical skills in development teams, towers above management or interpersonal skills in important towards the success or failure of the team. Someone with good technical skills tends to make good decisions and someone with bad technical skills makes bad decisions. You cannot build success around bad decisions. Beyond that, the only thing really useful is a bit of charisma to keep the team happy and the ability to get most of one's meaning across. Mostly one just has to be 70% understood anyway, since a bit more latitude in interpreting orders is only going to be a good thing in giving workers room to move.

I've found, especially in Asia where a more paternalistic style is favoured, the outcome of a project is especially determined by the technical skills of a manager and little else. Guys who get into little fights, throw temper tantrums and rarely get their meaning across, but make good decisions tend to have better success than good communicators who don't quite understand the problem at hand.

Comment: Re: Free Willy! (Score 2) 441

by donscarletti (#47946833) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

Technically speaking, it is impossible for a Lord to sit in the House of Commons of even vote.

While the prime minister does not have to be a member of the House of Commons, or be a commonor at all, he is chosen by them and they are unlikely to choose anyone but one of their own, meaning no lord has been Prime Minister for well over a century. Walpole who founded the post three centuries ago was a commoner and most of his successors have been too.

Comment: Re:No, It Won't (Score 1) 313

by donscarletti (#47941891) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

The Chinese youth are divided 2:1 in favour of males, and the young females that survived the 1-child policy aren't too interested in being breeding machines, they're more interested in careers and independence.

The Chinese youth are divided 1.1:1 in favor of males. Given Chinese women demand the man they marry already own a house, regardless of their own desirability, this number will just reduce the number of spinsters (or "leftover women" as they are called). It's getting nowhere close to where it would have to be that an eligible bachelor today would be unable to find a wife in the next generation.

Chinese women also have the advantage that they can have a baby at 26, then go back to work fulltime while her parents or her in-laws care for it. A career does not influence fertility in China like it does in the west. Chinese career women are just as mindful of reproduction as any other, not to mention the fact that they will be nagged by family until they have a baby, but absolved from having to do anything but play with her child when she feels like it, after the baby is weaned or even can drink cow milk, so it seems an easy choice.

Comment: Re:A miracle of modern diplomacy (Score 2) 190

by donscarletti (#47939097) Attached to: On Independence for Scotland:

If Scotland votes to go independent, and England allows it, this would be the first peaceful independence movement in the history of mankind.

Apart from you know, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and pretty much every other former British Colony, apart from the 13 crazies of course.

Hell, even India got its independence peacefully, though the peace ended moments after independence.

Ireland left somewhat less gracefully, though it was separated after almost a millennium (rather than 307 years) of common rule.

Comment: Re:Linux-oriented? (Score 1) 33

by donscarletti (#47923115) Attached to: Digia Spins Off Qt As Subsidiary

Linux has uses it as a primary desktop toolkit

Don't get me wrong, it is extremely well used, but nothing close to universal.

Now that it's been LGPL for a while, possibly if it ditched moc and used standard C++ templates for signals and introspection it could be the primary desktop toolkit. Though to be honest plenty of Linux developers have no love for C++ either.

Comment: Re:So if I... (Score 3, Interesting) 363

by donscarletti (#47859421) Attached to: BBC: ISPs Should Assume VPN Users Are Pirates
Even in China where the vast majority of VPN use actually is solely to bypass legal restrictions on various websites, VPN is not considered by the authorities to be an inherently malevolent technology. I'd hate to see the "Land of Hope and Glory, Mother of the Free" take the first initiative here.

Comment: Re:If the Grand Ayatollah's against it.... (Score 1) 542

by donscarletti (#47799235) Attached to: Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"
Ah, but the book of Revelations was written in Greek, not Hebrew, so WWW must not abbreviated to Stigma Xi Chi, (possibly after a frat), otherwise the Antichrist cometh. P.s. damn Slashcode for its lack of Unicode, you're about 15 years overdue.

Comment: Re:Let's do what every other third world country d (Score 4, Interesting) 108

by donscarletti (#47740481) Attached to: Air Force Requests Info For Replacement Atlas 5 Engine

Let's just copy the RD180. I doubt it has any patent ecumberances.

They've already licensed the damn thing for domestic production from the beginning and had a good decade where they could have set up their own factory and had the Russians come in and willingly ensure they are being produced correctly and fix any detail not conveyed properly on the plans. In fact, I believe that the RD-180 is more of a work-for-hire specifically commissioned for Lockheed's requirements.

Now everything is sour and steps to remedy it look political, rather than just a way of giving jobs for American blue collar labour, which is how it would have appeared before.

The RD-180 is a good engine that provides staged combustion performance and efficiency at similar cost to American gas generator cycle engines. The only problems with it is that it was really hard to design, which is irrelevant when you have the plans anyway. It would be a shame for NIH syndrome to screw up America's capability to launch satellites.

Comment: Re:Too much good content is deleted at Wikipedia. (Score 2) 239

by donscarletti (#47726545) Attached to: Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

Notability is important for preventing a potentially slippery slope towards Wikipedia being expected to have an article on every shop, every street, every apartment complex, every popular teacher, and every creative work ever appreciated by more than 10 people.

However, there is something frankly awful about the way it is handled.

Deleting an article should be a grim and thankless task, carried out in the stoical way that a county bailiff would hang or brand a petty thief. Instead, it seems to be a matter of great pride and satisfaction to those who elect themselves to carry it out. These folks really seem to enjoy making up pedantic excuses to remove things, even when faced with strong opposition and enough evidence to at least raise reasonable doubt. When I have checked many of these editor's commit logs, I frequently find that they do little else but marking other articles for deletion, adding "citation needed" after junior highschool level facts and giving barnstars to other like minded nimrods.

If one has contributed in good faith to an article that has been marked for deletion or even appreciated reading one of these articles, it is hard to maintain one's passion for the project. Back when I was a regular contributor, I was creating articles for large international airlines and the like. Then when those were all finished, I made ones for well known video games, books, composers, etc. After those were done, there seemed like nothing remaining but the obscure. But at this time, it was so hard to be excited when one needs to justify each time why Wikipedia would not be better off if what you just wrote was erased, So for the last 7 years, I've pretty much just changed a comma or semicolon here and there.

Comment: Re:So no engineers? Scientists? Designers? (Score 1) 186

There has never been an Australian citizen in space.

Of the two Australian born persons who have been in space. One of them took American citizenship in order to join NASA's astronaut program, the other already was an American Naval Officer when he joined NASA.

The only British Citizen that has been to space went up with the Soviet space program.

To my knowledge, the NASA human spaceflight program was for Americans only since its inception.

Comment: Re:In London, Lyft/Uber are intelligence tests. (Score 1) 125

by donscarletti (#47659853) Attached to: The Fiercest Rivalry In Tech: Uber vs. Lyft

The other options to the Falcon 9 are the Atlas 5 and Delta IV, they are now sold as complete vehicles by United Launch Alliance (a consortium of the two) and were before 2006 sold as complete vehicles by Lockheed and Boeing respectively. Or one could use an Ariane 5 (Airbus) or Proton (Khrunichev), also complete vehicles.

NASA's policy of farming out to different contractors was only ever done for their megaprojects like Saturn rockets and the Space Shuttle and this was only because they were also designed to drive research and provide economic stimulation (or pork as one may cynically call it) rather than be practical solutions to mundane problems like Falcon 9 (as well as those other Rockets I mentioned) is designed to be.

If NASA, for the first time in its history chooses the Falcon as their man rated rocket of choice, this is because they have absolutely no other candidates. If Boeing wants to, they can choose a supplier of a capsule (RSC Enegia, SpaceX and others) and create a man rated Delta rocket to provide another option to NASA. At any rate NASA and Congress would do better at picking ready made vehicles to buy than they did in organising the Orion project.

Comment: Re:In London, Lyft/Uber are intelligence tests. (Score 2) 125

by donscarletti (#47654453) Attached to: The Fiercest Rivalry In Tech: Uber vs. Lyft

Really good post.

Until you got to the Beeching Axe and you started sounding like a nostalgic train anorak.

Then you got to Boeing and SpaceX of all topics and it just went worse from there on.

The Beeching Axe almost got British Rail back to profitability. SpaceX is just a competitor for Boeing Defense, Space & Security, which Boeing damn well needs, after acquiring all of its previous competitors like Rocketdyne, McDonnell Douglas and Hughes.

How many QA engineers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? 3: 1 to screw it in and 2 to say "I told you so" when it doesn't work.