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Comment: Re:How many other flaws (Score 2, Interesting) 173

It's not just the police and courts, it's the jury too. I was a juror a few years ago on a case based entirely on circumstantial evidence. Most of the jurors simply couldn't accept that a real world case doesn't always rely on 3D slow motion video of bullets piercing internal organs and perfect DNA matches. They didn't want to think about the balance of probabilities of all the pieces of circumstantial evidence and decide if someone was guilty or not. They wanted cold hard forensic evidence to do that for them. If someone presented DNA evidence then the jury would have decided guilt without deliberation.

Comment: Re:How would you promote job growth (Score 1) 238

Can you give me some sources for the 47% figure? That sounds round about the proportion of population I would expect to be underage, studying, unemployed, disabled, stay-at-home parents, caring for elderly relatives, retired, frail, incarcerated, dying, etc. Those naughty tax dodgers, how dare they!

Comment: Re: I'm gonna go out on a limb. (Score 1) 291

This "who you know" type of thinking might work in the short term, but in the long term it will bite you on the ass real bad if you don't also have "what you know".

My ex girlfriend was like that. Flunked everything she studied, got by on her personal connections, etc. Ironically, one day I introduced her to a buddy of mine I'd studied with who worked for a big government organisation. She used that connection to get a job there, then bluffed her way into a position earning double what I did at the time. Then she dumped me. So far so good. Problem is the job was *way* above her skill level. I warned her when she applied, but she ignored me and said she would learn on the job. OK, lets see how far this goes. At first she watched her colleagues and imitated them. If she got stuck she would ask one of her many friends to help or advise her, maybe under the guise of needing a "second opinion" or something. She had to rotate this task between friends often so her incompetence wouldn't become too obvious. If anyone ever made an issue of it, she would find excuses. If she fucked up, she would conceal it. This seems to work for a few years.

Eventually, one by one, her friends became fed up with covering for her. They had their own jobs to do. This is about the time when she really fucked up big time. She tried to cover it up of course. Unfortunately for her the customer got a layer, who then asked her top boss for compensation. This triggered an internal investigation which revealed she had covered up multiple big fuck-ups. She got the boot of course, plus a court case which dragged on for over a year, plus her name all over the newspapers and the internet. Now, every single time a prospective employer Googles her name, they get a screen full of bad press, and her CV is filed in the bin. Anyone stupid enough to vouch for her will be tarnished. I think she ended up giving "happy massages" to make ends meet. As far as I know she is still unemployed several years later.

If you thing you can get by with "who you know", and not "what you know", then you are a fool. Good luck to you. Just remember, eventually your reputation will catch up with you. When it does, who you know might not want to know you.

Comment: Not gonna happen (Score 1) 245

by RuffMasterD (#49444939) Attached to: 3D Printed Guns Might Lead To Law Changes In Australia
I RTFA. Don't worry, the proposal was widely shelved, in what seems like a rare moment of clarity in Australian politics these days. Any restrictions on 3D printing would be about as useful as regulating lathes because they could be used to make Owen or Sten guns. If current legislation is not sufficient to cover 3D printed guns then there are bigger problems to fix.

Comment: Re:Advanced is good enough (Score 1) 220

by RuffMasterD (#49428743) Attached to: How would you rate your programming skills?

The beauty of SQL is the way it lets you specify *what* to get, not *how* to get it. It frees you from the implementation details. To understand why that is so important you should read the article A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks by E. F. Codd. Written about 45 years ago, but still remarkably readable and relevant. The relational model has a very elegant mathematical foundation that ensures data integrity. No other data model before or since comes close to matching it. SQL tries to implement the relational model. One benefit, every SQL query produces a relation, which can itself be queried (subqueries).

Having said that, I work with SAS every day, which basically buffers one record at a time and does whatever I tell it, however I tell it.

Comment: Re:I do a lot of what I do for money (Score 1) 139

by RuffMasterD (#49378645) Attached to: IT Jobs With the Best (and Worst) ROI
Fixing the damage done by cheap fuckups keeps me employed and makes me look good in the process. But there's an optimal level, maybe one low level fuckup per company. Just enough to remind management that something needs money spent to fix, but not so much that everything collapses. If we do our jobs really well nobody will notice. It's like the sewage system. So without a few fuckups, management forgets why they pay us.

Comment: Re:definitions (Score 1) 181

by RuffMasterD (#49364131) Attached to: Commercial Flamethrower Successfully Crowdfunded
I was started to worry I was the only one who made improvised flamethrowers as a kid. I used fly spray and a lighter. A good can reached half way across the living room. Being a kid was fun. Now I work in injury research :-) The reverse vacuum cleaner idea above sound amazing. I wonder if that would make fly spray shoot further?

Comment: Re:Loose the FTC (Score 1) 269

by RuffMasterD (#49335363) Attached to: Developers and the Fear of Apple
I can't remember where I read it recently, but basically plenty of old fogies at FTC still remember the protracted and expensive cases against MS in the nineties and are weary of repeating that with other large companies. Large companies can afford good lawers who drag things out for many years, thereby draining limited FTC resources away from many smaller problems. Apple is one of the bigger companies out there, so they have more breathing space than smaller companies in this respect. Things have a get blatently criminal before the FTC will step in.

Comment: Re:Popup messages are completely ineffective (Score 2) 79

by RuffMasterD (#49312699) Attached to: MRIs Show Our Brains Shutting Down When We See Security Prompts

Doesn't help when software overuses such an annoying feature. A teacher at university actually insisted we respond to every user action with a popup acknowledging the action. User saves a file. Popup: "File saved". Well thank fuck you told me, because there is no way I would have noticed pressing the save button if you hadn't blocked me from doing my thing to show a popup! Or even worse: "Are you sure you want to action X?" where X is benign and completely reversable. Of course I fucking want to do X, I just told you I want to do X, why won't you do X already! I tried to explain to my teacher how I stop reading popups after the second one and how other people probably do the same, so it's better to use context based feedback. Disable the save button or something until there are changes to save again. Use popups only when it's absolutely critical to do so. But no, popups for everything. I see commercial software use this same braindead design. Needless to say, I ignore everything the software tells me, even the critical stuff.

In the backup scenario you present the users don't care. They pay someone else to care. But if shit hits the fan and they need a recovery, they will demand blood if they don't get what they paid for. Best to send warnings somewhere else instead.

The time spent on any item of the agenda [of a finance committee] will be in inverse proportion to the sum involved. -- C.N. Parkinson