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Comment Re:Cost of access is key. (Score 1) 328

0.01%? Some quick searching tells me that it costs $225M for a Soyuz launch with a full crew. Are you saying it costs somewhere near $22.5k to fuel up a Soyuz rocket? That's half the cost of fueling up a private jet.

And that's a pretty good comparison to use. If space travel were as affordable as private jet flight, which is far closer to Star Trek than it is to today's reality, it would still be only an amusement for the hyper-rich, unaffordable to the vast majority of earth's populace.

Comment Re:Cost of access is key. (Score 1) 328

There are only two developments that could lower the energy cost of a space launch significantly: 1: Practical fusion power, and 2: Breaking the laws of physics as we currently know them.

So for the foreseeable future, private space travel will never happen except as an amusement for the hyper-rich, due to the amount of energy required. See also: supersonic passenger flight.

Comment I buy my devices not the government (Score 1) 137

I don't think that Blackberry has ever fully understood that the end user is their actual customer. For years they have allowed IT departments and Telcos to cripple their devices. So it is basically zero surprise when they allow the government to cripple the device some more.

So after all these years let's check to see what their market share is: Oh look it is within a statistical margin of error of zero. Yup the one time king of the smartphone is so close to zero market share as to effectively be zero. I have visited a number of companies where BBs are still used and those employees are chomping at the bit to fire them into the toilet. I wonder if this news will somehow enamour them more, or will it just give them an extra reason to hate their phone.

Comment Ha ha ha haaaa ha; good luck with that. (Score 1) 192

I have worked with and hung out with people who have attempted this. I have even seen people who presented it as a defacto done deal, a complete new UI that was cool.

The only, and I mean only way that I have seen this work is that the marketing department saw it and lost their minds. They knew money when they saw it. Except that the higher ups within IT basically crapped their pants in anger. The last thing they wanted was some hero coming out of the ranks of their programmers. What next, a mobile friendly version?

So, assuming that you are not already a senior hoo haa then you can play career roulette; do a solid sample and show it to a few marketing people. Either you are their new best friend or the "product manager" will have set your corpse on fire.

BTW having new best friends in marketing can be very very powerful, but remember they are simplistic, irrational people. They want money and they don't want to work for it. They won't stick their necks out for you unless there is a buck in it for them. So when you show it to them hint that this won't happen without their supporting you. Then maybe, just maybe they will hoist you on their shoulders and carry you around the department. But they have the attention spans of a 5 year old so you have to pretty well drop one thing into their laps after another. No delays, no complicated stuff that requires explanation.

You want to do cool nerdy things, but the marketing department knows that cool makes them more money. Thus you must only look at it as cool things that make money. Leave the nerdy stuff out of it. When they ask, "Can you do it?" don't talk about code, APIs, legacy, or anything else, just say, "I will put some serious lipstick on this pig!!!" and then high five them.

If they don't high five you back then you are talking to the wrong marketing guys. Talk to the one in a midlife crisis who just bought a Harley. Remember you guys might have some vague notions that you build the product blah blah blah. But they are the guys who go out and hunt the big game, the customers. They are the guys who put food on the table so the cave women can make the pots. So when talking to them ask yourself, do I make pots, or I am I prepared to stab the bear with a spear?

As for this being a good idea. Making software intuitive and beautiful should be a no-brainer, yet so few so-called brains spend any time on it.

Comment Re:Tiny minded (Score 1) 285

Hiroshima and Nagasaki weren't nuclear *exchanges,* Japan didn't nuke anyone in return (not that they could).

The close calls happened when the threat of nuclear war was highest. The threat is quite low now, countries aren't staring each other down with their fingers on the triggers anymore.

I think a nuclear exchange in the future is almost impossible, with a one-way use of nuclear weapons being fairly unlikely. Not even NK is crazy enough to use a nuke, they just want to have nukes because it grants them a seat at the big-boy table of international politics. I think the only way a nuke would be used at all in the future is if some suicidal apocalyptic nutbags like ISIS get their hands on one, and I think a nuclear response would be extremely unlikely. The rest of the world would respond (heavily) with conventional weapons, like reasonable adults.

I think the best chance for a nuclear exchange in the forseeable future is if ISIS gets one AND there's an unhinged manchild like Trump in the White House looking for schoolyard retribution.

Comment Re:Before a human walks on Mars... (Score 1) 285

We're nowhere near being capable of having an off-planet colony that could save the species in case of an ELE. With current technology, they'd last about as long as the people on the ISS would without support from Earth, only they'd be years away from home and have nobody on Earth to help them when they land. If the last remaining humans die stranded at sea or in the wilderness of Kazakhstan it's not much help.

Until a fully independent self-sustaining colony is possible, the best bet for humanity surviving an ELE is with bomb shelters, which offer protection against the only disasters that could wipe out all of humanity rather than leaving millions alive. Any disaster that would kill people in bomb shelters would leave Earth uninhabitable anyway, again making an Earth-dependent colony pointless. You'd have a hard time sending more humans into space than the number of unprepared humans that would survive just about any non-planet-destroying ELE you could imagine anyway.

Comment Did they move their operations from the US (Score 4, Insightful) 130

Did they move their operations from the US and fire all their US developers and only hire ones from countries with the strongest data protection laws and the weakest spy agencies?

No? Then they are NSA compromised. Here is a letter from the DOJ ordering you to cooperate with the NSA or go to jail. You can't show the letter to anyone or you go to jail. If you want to contest it you will first go to jail and then you will have to contest it in a special court where you can't get any evidence that is in your favour. So you stay in jail.

If companies like Siemens are using Cisco equipment then they are fools.

Comment Gave the useless meaning in their lives (Score 1) 371

Basically I noted that a single type of person loved, as in passionately, absolutely loved SCRUM. This was someone who usually had some certifications or something extra on their degree such as an Masters in CS. These people had supplanted certifications and procedures for productivity. They would look upon ever growing spreadsheets and mounds of reports as equal or even more important to actually delivering a product. And delivering a great product wasn't even on their radar. They would use words like "Greatness" or whatever but they would also then point to some awkward technology or procedure and use undefended terms like best of breed.

Also I found that SCRUM was used as a leveller and credit taker. I watched many projects where there was clearly a single or small number of programmers who could produce a solid highly functional product on time. Usually they had an awesome track record until some SCRUM master would impose their process on an already working team. This way they could report how the project was going to higher ups and take pretty much 100% of the credit.

Seeing that I have seen SCRUM drive away the best programmers on many teams SCRUM could also then be used as a tool to redefine success. Instead of delivering a product of much value they would deliver beautiful reports and make it look like their efforts were heroic to get the product done. So when the product was a huge lump of crap it was despite their best efforts, and certainly not because.

There is only one place for SCRUM and that is in a highly boring development environment where the product is not measured by its actual value but by how well it meets the contracted requirements. SCRUM will make all kinds of claims to being able to pivot on client requirements but the reality is that about the only thing it can pivot on is if the salesman manages to convince the client to change the contract to include more money.

So as someone with well over 20 years of development experience where would I recommend that SCRUM be used? I would only use it in a large corporation where there was a department that I wanted to shut down and be able to lay off all the most useless managers and boneheaded programmers from that and other departments. Then I would use SCRUM as bait to lure them all to their career deaths. I would also insist that two join that department that you have at least two "industry recognized" certifications; preferably in something obsolete such as Novell.

If it's worth doing, it's worth doing for money.