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Comment: Re:Can we stop trying to come up with a reason? (Score 0) 711

by SimonInOz (#48199821) Attached to: NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders

I started my Computer Science degree in 1973 (yes, yes, get off my lawn, etc ... but I'm still coding and quite well paid so there).
There were very few women - two I think, maybe three in a class of maybe 30. And they were terrible. I recall explaining arrays to one girl ... in third year. (Mind you, many of the blokes were equally terrible, but some were brilliant).

Over the years I have encountered few good female coders - not zero, but few.
I have encountered a number of female sysadmins - and good ones, at that.
But project managers - lots more women, and good ones to boot.

So maybe, just maybe ... different sexes tend to be good at different things. Just like our parents assumed.

Gosh. How about that.

Let the trolling commence.

Comment: Re:Diversity vs monoculture (Score 1) 123

by SimonInOz (#48098651) Attached to: US Remains Top Country For Global Workers

I left Britain fairly early on - first I went to Europe (Holland/Belgium), where there was money to be made, and anyway it was fun. Then, after a couple of years off, I tried the UK once again, but the weather drove me away (all the unpleasant stories about the English weather are true, unfortunately. Warming up a bit might improve the place a lot).
So I fled to Australia.
Decent climate, English spoken, high tech, in fact a decent country all round.

Thirty years later I'm still there.

This is how I chose ...
USA - the visa challenges repelled me (I don't fancy it these days, it seems to have lost/sold its soul)
Canada - too cold
India not my cup of tea,
China - wasn't on my radar at the time, and the language difficulties would have been formidable,
South Africa - no thanks
Various European countries - language problems
New Zealand - pretty, but cold

So I'll stay in Australia, thanks! Sunny today, with a very small chance of invasions later in the day.

Comment: Societal balance (Score 1) 425

by SimonInOz (#48078503) Attached to: Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

Would you like to enter a sweepstake on how many male soldiers, as opposed to female, die in action? I'm betting 100:1. Or maybe higher. But I bet any that do die will get huge coverage.

It's amazing, is it not, how appalled "society" is by violence against women, but violence against men is not only expected, but actively encouraged?

Our society is way off balance. We assume and expect men to perform all the dirty and dangerous jobs - soldiers, garbage men, oil drilling, you name it - and expect them to die to defend women under all circumstances.

But such responsibilities seem to garner no extra rights at all. Indeed, it looks like the reverse - divorces, for example, generally leave men poor (they usually lose significantly more than half the assets earned by the sweat of their brow - not their partners, and their future income is slashed ... even if the split was initiated by the female, as it usually is), utterly distraught - they usually lose decent access to their children (an event described by most people as "worse punishment than death"), and they are frequently accused of horrible crimes (claiming male on female domestic assault gets you free court representation in many places, so is embarrassingly common, with no vestige of punishment on the lying party should it be demonstrated untrue. Funnily enough, claiming it the other way (somewhat more common according to independent research [Harvard]) gets you nothing).

It seems to me, if we are to have a just and balanced society, either we perform ALL the same roles - nurse, teacher, CEO, soldier - and take the same risks, and are treated actually equally, or we should consider how else to balance things. (I love the "women get paid more than men" meme. Women control the spending of 75%+ of the worlds money - have you ever been to a shopping mall? Have you ever counted the number of shops devoted specifically to "women's stuff"? It's amazing).

One this is pretty certain, though. The mediaeval society seemingly sought by ISIS/ISIL/Daesh/wherever the heck these dopey folk want to call themselves this week is not a nice one. Especially for women. You'd think women would be lining up in droves to kill it off - but they don't, that's "men's work". Hmm, funny how that works out when push comes to shove.

So come on women - how about some SheForShe activity? Go fight the bastards and let the males take a break. Leave the kids - single fathers do a much better job in bringing up children anyway - lower rates of drug taking, teenage pregnancy, truancy, check the figures.
After all, that's what "society" seems to expect the fathers to do.

Comment: Re:Wow (Score 1) 134

by SimonInOz (#48078203) Attached to: Google's Security Guards Are Now Officially Google Employees

>> its not uncommon for a place to run there own guards. one are local hospitals have there own guards. they only used outside guards for when they where moving to a new building and the tare down of the old one.

Ok, try again ...

It's not uncommon for a place to run their own guards. For example our local hospitals have their own guards. They only used outside guards when they were moving to a new building and during the tear-down of the old one.

Fixed that for you. I mean, really. And get off my lawn.

Comment: Re:But the good news is (Score 1) 130

by SimonInOz (#47805663) Attached to: Finland's Nuclear Plant Start Delayed Again

I put a software system into a nuclear plant in, oh, 1978. It was a pair of PDP-11 machines, had graphic colour monitors, multiple terminals, and a host of monitoring software, mostly written in FORTRAN, if I remember correctly.
It went in more or less on time, and seemingly behaved well.
This was in Holland - and the plant was the cleanest place I have ever seen (a lot cleaner than the hot strip steel mill I worked in some years later).
The project lasted about 6 months.

Why are they taking so long? The reactors are pretty much the same, the software is much more sophisticated, and the people are just the same.

Comment: Re:Land of insanity (Score 1) 421

by SimonInOz (#47740611) Attached to: South Carolina Student Arrested For "Killing Pet Dinosaur"

And in Australia ...
A while ago, my daughter, aged approx 14, wrote a rather scary essay all about grooming of girls for sex. It was a creepy story - about creepy people.
The school was shocked, called her in for counselling, and called me. After a while they settled down, came to the conclusion she was not writing about real life, and let the story stand.

No police, no arrests, sensible consultation. I think they did a much better job.

Scary essay though. Where did she get it all from?

Comment: Re:Agile can fuck off. (Score 1) 239

by SimonInOz (#47725107) Attached to: Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

Oh yeah. Agile is institutionalised micromanagement.
It's horrible. Nobody ever gets the opportunity to actually think, there is no global view, there are no innovations.
But big piles (I use the word advisedly) of code get written - and tested.

And "sprints" ... has any actual sprinter tried to keep doing "sprints"? Get a bit tired and inefficient, did they? Paint me surprised.

Comment: Re:Major application vendor headaches... (Score 1) 209

True, they are in it for the money. It looks great to management - they think they can outsource risk! And so they can at first, but at considerable cost, especially later, and they end up with all the IP of their company known, and held, by external parties.

And they will be held to ransom.

And I have to say, I'd never put Oracle very high on my list of good value suppliers. Big, certainly, capable even, rapacious, sure, but good value, never. And their idea of integration is not mine. Not even close.

On the other hand, Oracle did sponsor - and win - the most impressive America's Cup series seen to date. That has to count for something, right? (Yup, Oracle's team of Aussies just managed to beat New Zealand's team of Aussies. Strange world we live in).

(Yes, I've been into into sailing and computing for forty years - and can be a bit boring on either).

Comment: Later in life (Score 1) 550

by SimonInOz (#47526821) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

Laser surgery gives, in general, very good fixed correction. It is excellent for people under 45 with vision that needs correction. There are occasional failures, yes, but they are quite rare.

But what about later in life (hello, 50) when your lens hardens and you can't focus it any more? Laser surgery will achieve nothing. You are still stuck with reading glasses.

Well, I had -7 vision and was mightily sick of being blind without glasses, found contacts a drag, and it's all damned expensive. My vision with my (very expensive) glasses was excellent, with contacts acceptable, but it was all annoying.

So I got lens replacement surgery. It's the same operation as for cataracts, but voluntary. And expensive (AUD 10,000). The replacement lenses are not focusable, so I got lenses with three focus points - close (reading), medium (screen, and distance. A Zeiss trifocal implantable lens.
The operation was quick, but unpleasant (you are almost, but not quite unconscious - not nice). Recovery involved many, many drops for a few weeks gradually diminishing to none.

Result - daytime vision is excellent, both near and far. I can read, compute, play sports.
Night-time vision is not so good, you get some haloing and other artefacts. I can drive ok, but stargazing is not so great.

These lenses will not harden further so my vision should stay the same for the rest of my life, which is nice.

On the whole I am pleased. It's certainly a joy to go swimming without concern, see in the rain, and even water ski. Amazing after a life of really, really poor vision.

I researched the surgeons, checked the research, and balanced the results against the side effects and risks. In fact, the risk of actual permanent damage - ie blindness - are very low indeed. After all, they do these operations by the thousand in Africa (look up Fred Hollows) in what must be poorer conditions.

Laser surgery was not for me - that would indeed have corrected my main vision problem, shortsightedness, but I would have been unable to read or compute without reading glasses - and where's the fun in that?

It's amazing to wake up in the morning ... and be able to see.

We want to create puppets that pull their own strings. - Ann Marion