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Comment: Re:Just doin' business (Score 1) 247

by Registered Coward v2 (#47710815) Attached to: Comcast Training Materials Leaked

Wait so this is similar because when you go to a store, whose employees sole job to sell you something, it is like when you go to technical support, expecting someone whose sole job is to support your issue? They are 2 distinct types of employees. When I go to a store I expect to be upsold. When I contact customer service for a problem I do not expect to be sold something.

You may not expect it but many companies, that sell to customers as opposed to those who manufactur a product and sell through retailers, expect anyone who regularly deals with customers to try to upsell. Some are low key and others pushy. Airlines for example ask if I need a hotel or car at my destination. When I say no there is no they say thanks have a nice flight. Trying to camel SiriusXM was a nightmare of "no I don't x free months. Just cancel it" before the retention guy cancelled it.

Comment: Re:No surprise here (Score 4, Insightful) 170

Anyone who thought that Germany's protests over surveillance was anything other than hypocritical bullshit is an idiot. All countries spy on all other countries. They always have and they always will.

True, and in general it was dealt with in a low key manner with the occasional low level diplomat getting expelled and then a bit of tit for tat. Both sides knew the game and had no desire to escalate the situation.

With the germans, I'd guess domestic political considerations necessitated a stronger response, spiced with a bit of schadenfreude, while at the same time the very same politicians were thinking, "Mein Gott I hope we don't get caught as well."

Comment: Despite its limits, this machine has some (Score 1) 215

by Registered Coward v2 (#47704653) Attached to: New HP Laptop Would Mean Windows at Chromebook Prices

potential. Although it may not perform like a potent end notebook at its price point it can be very compelling in a number of scenarios:

1. As a standalone device to run a specialized program. I use several programs to trouble shot car problems and a $200 laptop means I would not have to risk busting my expensive laptop in the garage and still have portability vs a desktop.

2. Similar to 1, schools and other organizations would have a low cost machine that could be used in large scale implementations and would run currently available Windows software, unlike Chromebooks.

3. It offers a lower price point for a Windows machine for students or others for whom a more expensive machine is a stretch.

Of course, MS, if they follow past practices, will figure out a way to cripple the OS so the machine turns out to be an expensive paperweight.

Comment: Re:I'm not so sure.... (Score 1) 170

by Registered Coward v2 (#47703991) Attached to: Why Chinese Hackers Would Want US Hospital Patient Data

All the medical service providers I use now require I show photo ID which they then scan.

This theft has no particular utility when it comes to stealing medical services.

Unfortunately an aceptable ID such as a drivers license is easy to fake, especially since the admittance clerk is just looking for something to scan and not a cop trained to spot fakes.

Comment: Re: Business decisions (Score 1) 371

This happens just as often from the other side. Decision makers like to make decisions and they will do so regardless of how well they understand the problem. Instead they bring vague contradictory language to the engineers and expect them to sort out what the business ACTUALLY needs to make the decision maker look good. Managers are good at communicating their successes and often little else.

Which is why good two way communications is essential to success. the engineers need to clearly understand what is needed and the managers what it will take to deliver that. All too often both groups make decisions in a vacuum which leads to problems.

Comment: Re:Real people just don't like dealing with Hipste (Score 2) 371

Preconceptions about business attire are based on social conventions that are utterly arbitrary!

You wouldn't ever catch me in a fedora (it seems little more than a uniform for them much like a suit is to your so called "businesspeople") but people who judge someone's professional competency based on that attire and equate professionalism with collars and suits are being as stupid and bigoted as the hipsters that you are describing.

True, but they control the purse strings. You can either bang your head against the wall while complaining about the unfairness of it all or adapt, get inside, and begin the make changes. Generational shifts occur, after all hats used to be the norm for men at work, as were suits and ties. However, the reality is those making decisions at the top have a set of norms and you need to adjust to those norms if ou want to be taken seriously. Sure, there is the occasional genius who can do whatever they want because they are so good but there are far more people who think they are that person then there ar etaht person.

Comment: Re:Business decisions (Score 2) 371

The biggest problem I run into is that the management assumes that the engineers are completely unable to talk to customers and look at outside non-technical specifications. I have found that engineers tend to be better at it than managers and all but the best business analysts.

I think that the generalization has gone too far both ways. There are certainly engineers that are very good at talking to customers. There are some that absolutely should not be talking to customers...

I've been on both sides of that equation and the biggest issue I've seen with engineers is they often cannot communicate effectively. They may be great engineers and able to fix a problem but they have trouble explaining why the problem matters in a way to get decision makers to act. They can tell you it's a problem, what the technical details are and what needs to be done to fix it but fail open on why it is a problem and its implications. Those that can do that tend to be the ones listened to and moved into managing roles.

Comment: Re: Pinch of salt needed (Score 1) 226

Are you suggesting that the goals scored in BPL games are choreographed? Because otherwise there is no artistic element to their "performance" that could qualify for copyright protection.

Goals, no. Dives, maybe but that's another story. A performance doesn't have to be choreographed in order to qualify for protection, at least not in the US. If they record it then they have a copyright on the recording at a minimum; the question is the underlying game merely an uncopyrightable set of facts or an expressive interpretation? The EU court clearly says the game play is not subject to copyright. I could see someone, in the US at least, arguing because teams develop their own unique playbooks and then execute the plays they've fixed the performance (the playbook) and now are merely performing it in an impromptu but scripted manner. Personally, in the US at least, I'd guess they'd go after the use of team trademarks and contractual violations since that probably is an easier way to remove a video or prevent its use.

Comment: Re:Alter the phone so standard tools won't work (Score 2) 82

by Registered Coward v2 (#47688047) Attached to: EFF's Cell Phone Guide For US Protesters

A phone with wireless charging is really good for this. You can remove or break the USB port and still charge it up. Ideally you need to sabotage it in a way that is impossible to repair.

While nothing is impossible to repair I'd go with corroding or breaking the terminals and then epoxying the port closed. That would prevent them from using many of the systems now available for grabbing phone data. the challenge s how do you then get data off the phone and out to the world? You'd still have to leave a path into the phone that can be exploited.

Comment: Re:Not entirely new (Score 1) 142

by Registered Coward v2 (#47688029) Attached to: Delays For SC Nuclear Plant Put Pressure On the Industry

There's some AP-1000s about to go online any day now in China. I know I've been writing that for about 3 years but the expected commissioning date in the press has always been vague.

It'll be interesting to see how they do. They started as the AP-600 design but were uprated for China while the US market always had the 1000 as it's target.

Comment: Re: Pinch of salt needed (Score 1) 226

Not being allowed to do something because of some Ts&Cs does not mean you are not entitled to your copyright. As you said, they can take civil action over your breaking of their rules, but they don't get to use copyright law for getting it taken down.

They do since the underlying work would be covered by their copyright and thus your work is an unauthorized derivative work, in the US at least. It's no different then me taking a picture of some artist's work and selling the picture or videoing a movie in a theatre. I may own the copyright to my picture but I cannot distribute it because of the underlying copyrighted work. Again, IANAL and realize copyright law is very complex but simply because you created a work doesn't mean you have the rights needed to distribute it.

Comment: Re:The question should be, what is causing delays? (Score 1) 142

by Registered Coward v2 (#47688013) Attached to: Delays For SC Nuclear Plant Put Pressure On the Industry

True, but the idea behind the combined operation license was to allow construction and operation to continue while license issues are litigated. The delays in plant Vogtle and in SC are from the challenges with actually building the plant since much of the equipment has never been built before so they must building, testing, and constructing while they are trying to create a commercial plant on a tight schedule.

While there are very real concerns about the lack of construction experience as well as longer term engineering and operational support, these delays seem to be self inflicted, from issues with concrete pours to assuming brand new designs can be built on a very tight schedule where many of the components have never been built or used before.

Read more about the the Vogtle rebar issue. It is not fair to dismiss it as self-inflicted, when the regulator insists upon perfection and is unresponsive to circumstances. The rebar was installed to current building standards, rather than those in place when the design was approved. It was a small deviation and eventually the NRC allowed it with minor modifications. The problem is that such a minor issue can introduce a 6+ month delay when interaction with the NRC are required.

While all I know about the bear issue is from the news I'd still lay most of the responsibility on the licensee and architect engineer. The regulator is not insisting on perfection but rather on the licensee complying with the COL. The COL was intended to limit delays through litigation so it is important to ensure you meet all the requirements to the letter lest you get sued later on the grounds you are not compliant with the COL. While many deviations truly are trivial, the NRC still must ensure it follows the law to avoid problems later. As a result, engineering analysis is needed to ensure the design provides the same level of safety as the original. Since the licensee failed to meet the COL or take actions to amend it prior to pouring concrete then it is pretty much, IMHO, a self inflicted wound.

Regulations should be focused on safe designs, not on libraries of paperwork certifying safety. It is silly to require an N-stamp on every last nut and bolt (even in non-safety related systems) rather than using off the shelf parts where suitable. Certificates can be forged, and even if they are genuine, nothing is perfect. Safe designs make allowances for imperfect materials. Such a “cost is no object” approach is not useful in the real world, The oppressive regulatory regime only mires any progress and ensure that we are burdened with ancient, yet "approved" designs.

The question then becomes, what is a safety related system and at what level of defense in depth do you switch to commercial grade components? I can see an argument being made for systems on the secondary loop but not on the primary side. Of course, many secondary systems do not need an N-stamp anyway under current regulations.

Concurrent with that is what level of testing is sufficient to ensure a safety system will respond when needed?You can test so much the testing degrades reliability and drives up maintenance costs as a result. Since AP-1000 is designed for passive cooling in the event of an accident are annual DG tests appropriate, for example.

Comment: Re:The question should be, what is causing delays? (Score 1) 142

by Registered Coward v2 (#47686487) Attached to: Delays For SC Nuclear Plant Put Pressure On the Industry

Typically the endless lawsuits and anti-nuclear activism are the source of delays for nuclear construction.

True, but the idea behind the combined operation license was to allow construction and operation to continue while license issues are litigated. The delays in plant Vogtle and in SC are from the challenges with actually building the plant since much of the equipment has never been built before so they must building, testing, and constructing while they are trying to create a commercial plant on a tight schedule.

Another source of delay, is the lack of nuclear construction for decades, leaving the construction industry and supply chains to languish. Neither cost is inherent in nuclear construction, and both can be corrected. Delays of any large construction project are very expensive, and this is the primary means employed by anti-nuclear ideologues to drive up the cost. The submitter (mdsolar) may or may not have participated, but clearly has an axe to grind and the willingness to exploit the situation to peddle his ideology

While there are very real concerns about the lack of construction experience as well as longer term engineering and operational support, these delays seem to be self inflicted, from issues with concrete pours to assuming brand new designs can be built on a very tight schedule where many of the components have never been built or used before.

Comment: Brand new designs (Score 3, Interesting) 142

by Registered Coward v2 (#47685899) Attached to: Delays For SC Nuclear Plant Put Pressure On the Industry
The AP-1000 is a brand new design and apparently they are having troubles building many of the components, as well as with the in place fabrication techniques. In theory, once they fix those problems follow on plants should be able to be built faster because the teething problems would be solved. the reality is it will be hard to convince people to build them because of the delays.

You can measure a programmer's perspective by noting his attitude on the continuing viability of FORTRAN. -- Alan Perlis

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