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Comment Sometimes it just works (Score 1) 614 614

Until January of this year we had the following running in an industrial environment:
AIX 4.1
Dos 6.x (highly customized to run a custom machine)
Novell 3.12
Arcnet network for machine control. (2 of them)
Windows 95 (last version of Windows that had arcnet drivers) Hardware was mostly Pentium 90 level or similar.
All of the above came delivered as part of a system from the manufacturer, and my predecessor claimed to have had no say in the matter

Several times over the years I was asked "Why not upgrade?"
Answer: New software/hardware did *exactly* what the old did -- no better, no faster and certainly not cheaper.

All of these old systems controlled machinery, and the machinery itself was the rate-determining step.
In the 15 years I ran the department, we lost less than an hour of production time due to computer failure -- and that was when our up-to-date SAN crashed.

So what happened in January?
They closed the plant permanently.

Comment Re:Seems like there's a simple middle ground solut (Score 2) 139 139

Do a timed release. Once the FOIA request is completed, the requester gets X months of exclusivity to publish, and then it gets released publicly.

Exactly this

This gives the journalist time to get his "scoop" and gives the rest of us the ability to check his work. Under the current system journalists can (and do) leave out information that refutes their bias, while reporting only that information that supports their own opinion. The rest of us need to go to the source in order to form our own opinions.

Comment Re:Talk to a lawyer (Score 1) 99 99

(I don't live in or do business in the USA. And I like it that way.)

Not to argue, but if you ever clicked an "I agree to the terms and conditions" box, you'll find that your non-negotiable agreement has a clause that specifies a jurisdiction whose laws govern the non-negotiable "contract"

The state of Delaware is very common in these acceptance agreements. Presumably because their laws recognize a checkbox click as acceptance of a binding contract.

Perhaps this is not exactly doing business in the USA, but the overarching greed of American corporations affects us all.

Comment Alarmist nonsense might happen (Score 2) 128 128

Although it is prudent to be aware of possible modes of failure, and although it is prudent to examine cultural biases that may affect our safety, this particular article seems more like clickbait.

So-called "news" has recently become over-populated with "might happen" sorts of stories, when entire pages are given over to what would amount to a paragraph in a larger article surveying all of the possible scenarios along with a relative measure of their likelihood.

It might also happen (and might not) for several other rather unlikely reasons, none of which this article mentions.

Comment Re:I have no problem with this (Score 1) 130 130

Where you use your credit card is already location tracked.
3 times in the last 10 years my card has been cloned.
The bank in question caught the problem as soon as the 1st bogus transaction was attempted because it did not fit my spending pattern

So why would I worry that about giving them the ability to protect me thus?

Comment Never pay for music at all (Score 1) 260 260

Learn to sing, learn to play an instrument, join a choral group, join a band -- have fun!
Paying for the commercialized schlock the record companies are trying to shove down your throats is crazy!

If everyone stopped paying for it, it would go away, and maybe, just maybe something worth listening to might emerge.

But in truth, that ship sailed long, long ago.

Comment Corporations never pay tax (Score 1) 342 342

They never have and they never will.
Corporations collect money from their customers, pay the necessary expenses and pass the residue on to their shareholders.

If the "residue" is not large enough to satisfy the shareholders, and expenses cannot be cut further, the prices go up.

Any attempt to tax a corporation results in increased costs to the consumer.

That is the way a consumer economy works.

This is why the so-called "Value Added Tax" actually ends up being more equitable. Money collected in a country stays in that country, and the corporation has no additional cost to pass on to the consumer, beyond that tax on the value they add.

Comment Your usage categorizes you (Score 1) 667 667

As an earlier poster so ably illustrated, if you talk like a gangsta, you will be thought of as one.

Similarly, if you talk like an uneducated idiot, people will assume you are one.

While I quite agree that the English language is -- and should be -- a dynamic language that grows and develops, it has backwaters and dead ends.

Newspapers -- and I assume that this includes the Wall Street Journal -- have a style manual that *is* rigidly followed, so there is nothing inherently wrong with rules -- at the very least they provide consistency. By teaching the rules of grammar to schoolchildren, they will at least have a chance of sounding like they know what they are talking about.
Inasmuch as a person has a choice they will choose the language style of the group that they identify with, regardless of how stupid they sound to everyone not of that particular group.


Comment Let's promote smoking (Score 1) 365 365

If smoking really does cause all that death, let's promote it.
It is a cheap eugenics program for starters.

Besides, if all those people die off early, we won't have to look after them when they're old.

But all that death-and-destruction scare mongering won't stop people from smoking. To get people to quit, just put hundreds of thousands of click-bait ads all over the intertubes that say, "1 quick trick to live longer, stay healthier and stay pretty longer".

Gotta run -- smoke break!

The steady state of disks is full. -- Ken Thompson