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Comment: Re:Cost (Score 1) 167

by TemporalBeing (#47532403) Attached to: "Magic Helmet" For F-35 Ready For Delivery

Its main advantage is its ability to integrate sensor information from multiple sources. But this does not warrant building a hugely expensive fighter from scratch. Put the same system on an F18 and F16 and you will have even more capable fighter.

The F-35, AKA Joint Strike Fighter, is more akin to what happened to the Space Shuttle - it's a single aircraft that is suppose to meet the needs of all the different branches. This also why the Space shuttle was such a brick to fly, so costly, and had wings. Hopefully the F-35 won't meet the same end.

Comment: Re:Why ODF? (Score 1) 163

Exactly. The Office file formats are still extremely ubiquitous in the business world, and if you use something like LibreOffice to modify them, the formatting of the documents is almost guaranteed to go crazy, without you possibly not even knowing it, and ultimately losing customers. I'm sorry, but it has just been incredibly practical decision to just install the fucking Microsoft Office. Of course this UK Cabinet's decision is another step towards open standards, so I guess that's good.

Outside of bookmarks in Writer I find OpenOffice/LibreOffice to generate more compliant documents to Microsoft's tools than Microsoft's tools do. They're also typically smaller even when saved in the Microsoft formats.

Comment: Re:Question for someone with Legal? (Score 1) 275

Oh, hell. I have no interest in being interviewed by Microsoft. If the hiring manager decides to hire his drinking buddy, he needs to interview four other candidates before he can do that. I had five Microsoft recruiters pulled that stunt in 2005, leading me by the nose for a whole month before telling me that all the drinking buddies got hired. I'll hang up on any recruiter who mentions Microsoft to me.

I did a couple rounds with Microsoft a couple years back, namely to see how long it would take them to read the website linked to on my resume that had a big rant on the evils on Microsoft. No intention on working there, but was nice for a comparison; though I think what killed it was my Win2k laptop crashing in the middle of the interview.

That said, that was one of the only series of interactions I had for working at Microsoft that was not through a representative that was on the H1B or sounded like it. Almost every recruiter for them was from India.

Comment: Re: Not about leaks (Score 1) 275

The only reason any of this is problem is that we continue to stupidly tie benefits and retirement to employment. Nobody, especially higher ups, wants to have that conversation in this country.

If being a full time employee simply meant you work more hours than a part time employee and had nothing else associated with it, a good number of people would be better off having two or three part time jobs. Less burn out, more job mobility,and in particular less immediate consequences to getting fired or laid off from a particular job. THAT is the reason big employers are against a national or single payer insurance system and why they demonize the very notion of national retirement benefits even though those things would reduce their costs. They would reduce their power even more, and they just can't have that.

Forget about employers...I wouldn't want a national system. I don't want Social Security, yet I'm forced to participate in that told I'll get money that I'll certainly never see.

No, my retirement portfolio is entirely independent of any employer or the government. And I'd rather keep it that way.

Now what I would change is that I prefer to have the retirement portfolio be entirely subsized by post-tax dollars instead of pre-tax dollars. Why? Because with pre-tax dollars you have to pay the taxes on it when you take the money out, at the future tax rates; while the post-tax dollars are tax-free down the road because you've already paid the tax on them. However, my CPA wife uses both to get us the best tax benefits for any given year.

Comment: Re:Cost of physically implementing SHDSL (Score 1) 230

by TemporalBeing (#47504015) Attached to: Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads

What will be telling is if they do the same to the DSL customers in the near future as well.

DSL works over high frequencies in existing copper phone lines. Far more physical bandwidth is typically allocated to the downstream than to the upstream. Balancing this out would reduce download speeds in favor of upload speeds. Are you sure implementing SHDSL wouldn't require rolling trucks and mailing modems?

Except Businesses have had access to higher speed symetric DSL for a lot longer; though that's typically a dedicated line instead of one sharing its bandwidth with a voice line.

Comment: Re:Why then Netflix didn't deal with Level3 direct (Score 1) 390

by TemporalBeing (#47503997) Attached to: Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

Well, NetFlix could also enter into agreements with ever backbone provider, thereby forcing Verizon to either do the same to everyone or start upgrading

This brings to the question of why Netflix has chosen to deal with Verizon instead of with Level3 directly in the first place ?

Even if Netflix didn't know of the existence of Level3 (which I find too ludicrous to be possible) that they had signed up with Verizon, they could have changed the situation right now by dealing directly with Level3, and why wait anymore ?

NetFlix has contracts with lots of folks - Level3 included. These are with respect to pushing content from NetFlix over the backbone into various networks.

NetFlix also promotes having a CDN end-point within an ISP's network to alleviate the need for as much peering; which is what I believe the NetFlix-Verizon deal was about, which Verizon may have (or may not have, we don't really know) charged NetFlix for installing in the datacenters/hubs/central-offices.

However, the fact that NetFlix has done that, which should IMPROVE speed on Verizon's network, and there are still major issues shows that there is something else wrong with Verizon's network. Of course, they might rely on the back bone having sufficient capacity to pull down the information over the CDN too; or it might be that NetFlix installs a direct pipe for the CDNs, we don't know the details. Most likely NetFlix has a contracted pipe with a Level3 interconnect to these, and that is why we're hearing all about it between Level3 and Verizon as Verizon doesn't want to increase their interconnects with Level3 over which those CDN systems are suppose to operate.

But that's just a bit of (educated) guess work as I don't know the details of the Netflix-Verizon arrangement or the network layouts or the NetFlix CDN provisions.

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 1) 608

by TemporalBeing (#47503955) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

If the mid-1980's is "the old days"...

No. Try the 1930's through the 1970/1980's. It wasn't until the 1960's that things started to filter down enough that you didn't need as much background in to the computer systems, and some where in the 1970's/early-1980's it became what you knew, namely as the micro-computer (aka PC, Macintosh inclusive) took over.

However, prior that - and even during the 1980's in corporate environments - most every programmer had to know a lot about the Electric Engineering of the computer. Most all of them had EE degrees; some had math degrees; a fewer had the new CS degree (started in the 1970's, but not really popular until the 1990's; I think the first CS program was late 1960's, circa 1968).

Comment: Re:So who pays who? (Score 3, Interesting) 230

by TemporalBeing (#47501815) Attached to: Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads

biggest problem with upload is you send it over free links with Tier 1 networks, or you pay them to take your traffic. with all the user generated stuff now like Twitch, flickr, video calling and other services where you want a fast upload speed that's a lot of data to be paying for.

with the current L3/Verizon dispute i wonder if they struck a deal where verizon will allow the connections to be upgraded for netflix to work on their network in exchange for L3 taking all their uploaded data for free.

Hmm...that actually makes for an interesting case.

So Level3 basically pointed out the issue with User focused ISP's - that they're asymetric and would never provide the ability for those ISPs to compete in the peering arrangements that back-bone providers have. So now if they go to being symetric, it would allow the users to do more and possibly try to combat what the ISP (e.g Verizon) thinks is a fallacy but they can only prove if they make all their links symetric.

Problem for the ISP is users don't really upload a whole lot any way. So it's not going to change anything for a while. It may get Level3 to drop the "symetric vs asymetric" part of their argument, but it won't change the amount of traffic going from the ISP to back-bone provider.

What will be telling is if they do the same to the DSL customers in the near future as well. Otherwise they are still primarily an asymetric provider as they have more DSL than FiOS customers.

Question is: Will Verizon only do this temporarily as part of an argument with Level3? If so, expect a change in the future when their plan doesn't work out. If not, then hopefully other ISPs will follow in order to "compete".

Comment: Re:Level 3 - start pulling cards (Score 1) 390

by TemporalBeing (#47485045) Attached to: Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

Find locations where you will hurt Verizon customers, and cut the cables. Do so publicly. Precondition repair on upgrades of Verizon's network as you direct. If Verizon doesn't want network neutrality, then punish their customers.

Well, NetFlix could also enter into agreements with ever backbone provider, thereby forcing Verizon to either do the same to everyone or start upgrading.

Just saying, there's multiple ways to skin the pig that is Verizon...and AT&T for that matter.

Comment: Regulation won't stop them... (Score 1) 435

by TemporalBeing (#47467973) Attached to: FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars
Honestly, the fact that they are even available for testing means that some criminals will use them, even if they are outlawed.
As to the specific points raised:

It discussed issues such as letting criminals shoot while the car drives (silly in my opinion, apparently they haven't heard of "partners" or considered requiring such cars have a police controlled "slow down" command),

Slow down command won't mean a thing when the criminals rip out the necessary parts to make it moot or reprogram it to do something - ignore the command, do the opposite, or even blow up the vehicle.

the use of such vehicles as guided bullets (safeties again should stop this), and loading it with explosives and using it as a guided missile. This last concern is the only one that I considered a real issue, but even that is not significantly more dangerous than loading up a regular van full of explosives with a timer, then setting the timer to explode before you leave the vehicle next to a school, etc.

True, aside from it being a "guided" missile - just set a target in the GPS and off it goes....again, the potential is there and criminals won't allow it to stop just because of a "slow down" or "stop" command. They'll figure out a way to override that before using it.

And again, if they really wanted to do it the technology is already out there and nothing is going to stop them from using it if they really wanted to.

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 1) 608

by TemporalBeing (#47449871) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

Software engineering has a tendency to enshrine ivory tower principles, that - although sound and logical, can end up making your project large, slow bloated and excessively encapsulated. I'm happy that NASA and the DoD both use it, those things need to be rock solid, but it just doesn't make sense for a lot of businesses where being first to market is more important than any code refactoring issues you might have 2 years down the track. Being slow to market might mean you don't even have a business 12 months from now.

Good programmers know when to lay on the engineering and when to pull out the stops and slap something together that does the job "just good enough". That's part of what makes it an art, not a science.

NASA/DoD does a form of Software Engineering based on Engineering principles from other disciplines, namely mechanical and electrical engineering. Much of what they do there doesn't really apply to Software.

What we need to do is define Software Engineering in a manner that is practical for everyone to do it such that no one has any kind of excuse not to do it. To me, it's a matter of doing software in a very discipined manner and has nothing to do with whether you've documented every function at 30 different layers for 10 different stake holders across 5 different organizations.

Comment: Re:galactic hyper-hearse (Score 1) 238

Pretty sure you're asking a facetious question but for those who don't know (like myself prior to Saturday night, walking through N4 with my brother): Hotblack Desiato is the name of a North London estate agent (Realtor for the merkins), which was adopted by Douglas Adams for the name of the frontman of plutonium rock band Disaster Area.

As is Ford Prefect, which was the name of a Ford car in the UK (1930s-1960s). It's not, as most Americans think, a purposeful mis-spelling of Perfect.

It was written for UK audiences, and poorly Americanized. Half the jokes in there only work in the UK because of cultural issues.

I'd rather it not be "Americanized"...yes, not all jokes transfer, but it's still good as it is.

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 1) 608

by TemporalBeing (#47427337) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

"Of course, all of this was done in software designed by people without any engineering experience at all...go figure."

You don't need to have an engineering degree to write a price of software that implements calculations and algorithms that are needed for an engineering project. Programmers turn math, algorithms, business methods, ideas and the like into code. That's our skill, understanding your needs and expressing it in a way a computer can understand.

I was just noting the irony. That said, I would personally put forward that people doing programming in the real world need a software engineering degree, not a computer science degree as you don't do computer science when writing real-world applications - you apply the principles of Computer Science in an disciplined/engineering methodology.

But then, software engineering as a discipline is in such poor shape that it is not really helpful to anyone but NASA and DOD as currently defined, and that needs to change.

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