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Comment: Re:Was it really so bad? (Score 1) 391

by Xyrus (#47957043) Attached to: Emails Cast Unflattering Light On Internal Politics of Healthcare.gov Rollout

To be fair... I have worked on many software projects in my life and have also worked with government software projects. A simple fact of life is that government funded software projects are only given to blood sucking leeches that intentionally underbid and lie their asses off about delivery schedules. Legitimate software houses who actually can plan projects and meet schedules are never evaluated.

I'll let you in a little secret. Plans and schedules mean exactly dick on government software projects. You'll have idiots and imbeciles with no technical experience making major changes a week before a deliverable. You'll get reports that your software doesn't work when deployed, and find out a week later that they didn't bother to inform you that they decided to move to a completely different environment. You'll get new requirements on the day of delivery. You'll meet deadlines and won't hear anything for days or even weeks until you get some angry email from somewhere asking why a problem that was never reported hasn't been fixed yet. You'll be forced to use their dev environments, but not given the privileges necessary to actually use them. You'll get countless technical decisions made...without anyone actually consulting the technical team. And I'm just getting started.

It doesn't matter how competent your team may be. If the government side of the project is managed by a bunch of monkeys on meth, you're going to have a bad time. Double that if your company is hell bent on getting their foot in the door that they're willing to bend over backwards just to keep them happy.

And guess who gets tarred and feather when everything goes to hell? I'll give you a hint. It's not that G15 manager who needs a Garmin in order to find where to put the Charmin.

A successful government software project requires competence on both sides. It is a rare circumstance when that is the case.

Comment: Re:Please describe exactly (Score 1, Insightful) 391

by Xyrus (#47956979) Attached to: Emails Cast Unflattering Light On Internal Politics of Healthcare.gov Rollout

I see you have a very selective memory. Please read the original plan and then follow the idiotic path of compromises that Republicans forced onto it rendering it into the watered down ridiculous mess that it is.

But then again, the democrats didn't help things either since they were so desperate to get SOMETHING through that they were willing to do just about anything without really thinking through the consequences of their actions.

And of course, the ones ultimately to blame are ourselves. Congress's successes and failures are a direct reflection of the voting population. It's not democrats or republicans. It's this bizarre us vs. them mentality that prevents anything useful or effective being done. It's not a fucking football game. The leaders we elect are supposed to get shit done, not to act like spoiled 2 year olds when they don't get their way.

Comment: It's not burnout.... (Score 0) 275

by Xyrus (#47952177) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

It's life. Family > Job. Health > Job. Life > Job.

You sound like you're still young, unattached, and naive. I'm passionate about what I do, but I'm not going to deliberately choose a course of action that will lead to 12 hour days for months at a time. Nor am I going to selfishly place my passions before my family's needs, or detrimentally affect my health and well being by being a continuously sleep deprived stressed out mess.

Comment: Re:Business (Score 1) 275

by Xyrus (#47952141) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

Umm... JSON is a pretty significant force behind modern Web design. Without it, the Web would still be a pretty static place.

Judging by the number of broken web sites I've seen lately, we could use a bit more staticness and a bit less dynamicness. :-}

...laura

Well what do you expect? Web technologies are a hodge-podge, organically grown mess trying to shoe-horn a paradigm into something that was never meant to handle it in the first place.

Comment: Re:Time for new terminology (Score 4, Insightful) 635

by Xyrus (#47912603) Attached to: Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

You jest but first it was global warming, then global cooling, than warming again and finally climate change.

The greenhouse effect was first proposed by Fourier (yes, that Fourier) in 1825. Way back before modern technology and computers he already figured out the basic relationship between heat trapping gases and planetary temperatures. From his paper in 1827:

"The establishment and progress of human societies, the action of natural forces, can notably change, and in vast regions, the state of the surface, the distribution of water and the great movements of the air. Such effects are able to make to vary, in the course of many centuries, the average degree of heat; because the analytic expressions contain coefficients relating to the state of the surface and which greatly influence the temperature."[

In 1864, John Tyndall furhter refined Fouriers work to show that different gases had different absorption spectra, and that water vapor, methane, and CO2 specifically were potent green house gases.

In 1896, Svante Arrhenius (considered the father of modern chemistry) put forth the first climate model and was one of the first to quantify the impact of CO2 on planetary temperature.

Since then, the science has only improved. We've gone from basic physics models to complex integrated global climate models. And they all show the same thing.

There was never any "global cooling". There were a handful of discredited papers in the 70's that tried to establish a possible cooling scenario. However the overwhelming majority of papers on the topic were all discussing warming and it's impacts.

And warming, while accurate, doesn't really define what the real problem is. Warming isn't the problem. It's what happens as a result of the warming that's problem. The additional energy into the climate system shifts the climate, which we, as a civilization, depend on. Also, warming gives the impression that every place on Earth is going to get warmer, which is not the case.

Climate change is a more accurate description of what's happening.

 

What it should be is "atmospheric CO2 level rise"

That is all the more we can really say in macro. All these attempts to predict outcomes have only damaged their credibility. Rational thinking people should still find it of great concern that we have ever increasing and never before seen (while humans have walked the earth) CO2 levels, and you follow that up with and their exist relation ships between solar energy retention, ocean currents, ocean acidity, and mean temperatures, etc with that.

Nobody really knows what will happen at least not on a short ( 0-50 year) time scale. If they just would have been honest up front about the fact that human activity is radically altering the composition of the atmosphere and that there will be consequences but those can't be entirely identified because its a hugely complex interconnected system maybe it would be taken seriously.

Instead we got decades of alarmist and bogus predictions. its no surprise that so many folks are so dismissive now.

Incorrect. We can say quite a bit about the macro. There is quite a compendium of science out there. The problem is that people don't know the difference between a projection 100 years into the future about general climate conditions and the weather in their backyard. Ignorance is the problem, and there are those who hope people stay that way.

Comment: Re:It's getting hotter still! (Score 4, Informative) 635

by Xyrus (#47912307) Attached to: Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

slashdot today!? ... difference between North and South

There is a distinction between the two, of course, but it is without difference to the topic of this thread. Both ice-caps were supposed to shrink (with dire consequences for the rest of the world, of course).

One expedition set out to measure the loss of the ice, found itself stuck in it — not that it changed the leading professor's opinion about the global warming...

The Antarctic sea ice extent was not and is not projected to shrink in the near term. It was expected to expand as a result of the influx of fresh water from increasing land ice melt. As the planet continues to warm it will reach a point where the ice extent will start shrinking again (as the 0C starts pushing further south), but that isn't projected to happen until later this century.

Comment: Re:It's getting hotter still! (Score 1) 635

by Xyrus (#47912227) Attached to: Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

If you're going to troll, at least try to do a decent job.

1. Al Gore is not now, nor has ever been, a climate scientist.
2. His remarks were purely speculative and had absolutely zero scientific support. There is not a single peer-reviewed research paper anywhere that makes such a claim.
3. The AR4 and AR5 model ensembles show an ice free summers in the arctic around the middle of this century.
4. The article is talking about ANTARCTIC SEA ICE, which has absolutely nothing to do with the ARCTIC SEA ICE.

Climate model ensembles have consistently predicted an overall increase in ANTARCTIC SEA ICE in the near term as a result of increased freshwater runoff from the continent. The decrease in salinity allows for ice to form at higher temperatures, thus expanding the sea ice extent.

Comment: Re:Global Warming? (Score 2) 273

by Xyrus (#47755803) Attached to: Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor

All models are wrong. There is no such thing as a perfect model outside of trivial classroom models e.g. spherical cow. Modeling fluid dynamics for aerodynamic lift, structural integrity models for bridges and buildings, etc . all have errors. They don't account for all variables and it is impossible to do so.

Science isn't built on models. Models are built on science. As with any other branch of science models are used to help get a better understanding of the phenomena being studied. Models are TOOLS that are built out of the results of science.

As to GCM's in particular, there is plenty of information out there describing the models, their error bounds, what they account for, what they don't, so on and so forth. For a layman's summary the IPCC does a fairly decent job describing the models, what they're used for, and accuracy.

Comment: Re:why this article is nonsense (Score 3, Informative) 465

by Xyrus (#47728115) Attached to: Cause of Global Warming 'Hiatus' Found Deep In the Atlantic

An explanation why this article is nonsense:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/201...

WUWT is one of the absolute worst sites you can go to for any kind of "scientific analysis". They wouldn't make it through a first year statistical analysis course, let alone any sort of rigorous review process.

Comment: Re:Modern Day Anti-Evolutionists (Score 1) 497

by Xyrus (#47418975) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

None of your links are to peer reviewed research articles. Three of your statements refer to changes in trends BY THE END OF THIS CENTURY. Your fourth statement amount Britain never seeing snow again is just made up BS. That has never been stated in any research paper on climate.

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

by Xyrus (#47418815) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

No, it isn't.

Tools are simpler and easier to use than ever, and this guy is mistaking nostalgia and innocence for actual difference.

Developing anything other than a trivial web application requires in depth knowledge of several different technologies, along with a couple different languages, knowledge of browser quirks (no those big libraries don't always get them all), etc. Compared to traditional application development, web development is a bloated and complex mess, or as the original author wrote:

"The web is just an enormous stack of kluges upon hacks upon misbegotten designs".

This statement is absolutely true. The web was never intended for "applications". That happened later. And instead of going back and making the web more conducive for applications, we basically got the equivalent of bad case of technological diarrhea smeared across the web hoping that somehow it would just make everything stick together and work.

Well, it works somewhat. But it certainly isn't pretty.

Comment: Re:The Future's So Bright (Score 1) 415

by Xyrus (#47412391) Attached to: Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

But good developers make less mistakes in a language where there's less freedom...

Some of us like having the training wheels off our bikes.

Even the best bikers in the world end up going over the handle bars into a ditch every now and then. What will be your excuse when you and your team cost some company millions of dollars due to delays and bugs that wouldn't have occurred if you had simply ditched your ego and went with the safer choice?

Unless you know everyone on the project team beyond awkwardly greeting them once in a while by the water cooler, choosing the best technology to use on a project based on what let's you be a SUPA HACKA is not only naive, but will most likely horribly backfire. Always assume your team will consist of the muppets and plan your tools and technologies accordingly.

The Force is what holds everything together. It has its dark side, and it has its light side. It's sort of like cosmic duct tape.

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