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Comment Twitter should shut down criminal speech (Score 1) 828

And that's the usual, threats, etc...

As for the speech we don't like? It's up to them. The First Amendment applies to the government. Twitter can do whatever it wants.

Personally, I like the haters using Twitter. It's making it very clear, very quickly, just who is who. Trump is making an International ass of himself. Glorious!

Also, the First Amendment does not contain a shield. The answer to free speech we don't like is more free speech. So, that means we don't or should not ask Twitter to shut Trump down, unless it's criminal. And that also means we simply use Twitter to tell everyone just how big of an asshole Trump actually is!

Passes Popcorn Bowl to the right. Crunch, crunch....

Comment Re:Well, that was surprisingly boring. (Score 1) 62

The narrative said at the top there was no return address, but then went on to say that he included a business card. So, the part you don't perform is the FBI investigation and the fingerprinting. You simply contact the person back via mail or phone using the business information and ask. It would be more appropriate for the Cash family to contact the letter writer back than the FBI if they were the ones who were concerned.

"If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large." -- William Wilberforce

Comment Re:Well, that was surprisingly boring. (Score 1) 62

Agreed, I read the whole thing and I am still looking for the threat. all this is is proof that the FBI pays its agents by the hour.

I read the whole thing and agree as well. No specific threat exists in those documents. There is 1) a narrative which interprets those documents as threatening or creepy, even when many other interpretations exist and no concrete proof of a threat exists outside of the FBI narrative. 2) Many positive statements, wishing whoever Merry Christmas and expressing love. 3) A text, that seems disconnected or vague in portions. Because those portions are vague, they can be interpreted threateningly, just as you could interpret a vaguely seen motion in a fog as threatening, but this should not be the default interpretation of anything that is seen in fog. In other words, the fact they they are vague does not make them threatening.

Politely asking the author the intent of the document would be reasonable. An FBI investigation wouldn't be.

Comment Re:Team Reviews are far superior (Score 1) 186

When I look at the list of 100 bugs found by a single tester in my team, who is not busy having review meetings and counting metrics, in a week, I laugh at these numbers.

If your tester is finding 100 bugs a week, you're doing it wrong. Your underlying quality is much too low. It's much more expensive to find a bug by functional testing than by code inspection. This is because all those bugs need to be fixed and retested. This usually requires a rebuild and other ancillary tasks that drive up cost.

Worse, it's usually a geometric progression with this kind of pattern in that for every hour spent bug fixing, there's a ratio of new bugs introduced that have to be removed by the process. This process repeats until the defect count is acceptable. Even with a relatively low co-efficient of bug introduction, the geometric series usually adds 20-30% additional cost to the development.

Sometimes I think a lot of software processes are held up as improving quality not because they actually work, but because the reduced productivity makes the quality metrics look better..

This comes back to my earlier point on people ignoring published research because they feel they know better. Do you know there's actually properly controlled scientific trials that actually establish the truth of what I'm saying? Why is your thought superior to this research? Why is this research defective?

Comment Re:Team Reviews are far superior (Score 2) 186

No offense meant, honestly, but your place sounds miserable to work at. It's not the process, but the ridiculous level of formalization and standardization.

Code inspections work best when they're formal with clearly defined roles and clear reporting steps. There have been large scale studies done that confirm this. The research fed in to the development of the Cleanroom methodology pioneered at IBM.

The less formal the structure, the less well it works.

One of my big bugbears with software development as a craft is our failure to really learn from experience. There were lots of studies done on the craft from decades ago that cleanly establish these basic principals. We choose to ignore them because developers feel they know better than published research.

The truth is that people suck at writing software. Even the very best developers in an organisation are not as a good a team of lower quality people that inspects their own output. Teams > individuals.

Honestly, it isn't as corporate as it first appears. Once the roles are defined, the work turns to inspecting the source. It takes a few seconds to cover off that part of the meeting and from there the real work begins.

There are other benefits

One is that everyone has read everybody's source. There's none of this "Only Bill knows that piece of code." The whole team knows the code very thoroughly.

Another is that relatively junior people end producing code just as solid as person with 25 years experience. They end up learning a lot on the way. Do not estimate the tremendous power of that.

My teams enjoy the process and they certainly enjoy not getting as many bugs coming back to bite them in the future when the feature is out in production. Once they're done, they tend to be done and are free to move on to the next feature.

The benefits of having a cleaner code base, fewer issues and more accurate delivery times has a huge affect on morale.

Comment Re:Team Reviews are far superior (Score 1) 186

Please mention the place so I never get into a mile of it. How would of Linus have created Linux without people like you? Didn't he understand the technical debt he was creating? He could have been finding bugs at a rate of 1.25 per applied man hour instead of actually creating something useful! Silly man. You process guys are useless.

I find this example really odd because Linux is built around a process of a huge amount of code review. They do it differently because they're a distributed team but they absolutely have a rigorous code review process.

Comment Re:Team Reviews are far superior (Score 3, Interesting) 186

You sound like a bean counter, and your organisation sounds like it is hell to work in. 1.25 bugs per man hour? Christ.

Well I'm the head of development at our place so I inhabit both worlds. Businesses like to measure return on investment. By being able to speak that language, I can generally frame activities developers naturally want to do in those terms. This leads to developers getting more of what they want.

You know what developers really, really, really hate? Having to work with technical debt and having no process to remove that technical debt because the program is now "working".

The best way around technical debt is not to put it in to the program in the first place. This process does a sterling job at that. So our developers are generally a pretty happy bunch.

Comment Team Reviews are far superior (Score 4, Interesting) 186

In our organisation, we have teams of six people that work together on their sprint. QA staff are included in this team.

On major features, the team code reviews the feature together in a special session. Roles are assigned. The author is present, a reader (who is not the author) reads the code. There is an arbitrator who decides whether a raised issue gets fixed. This arbitrator role is rotated through the team on an inspection by inspection basis. Finally, there is a time keeper role who moves the conversation to a decision if one topic is debated for more than three minutes.

This process typically finds a humongous number of issues. It takes us about 4 hours of applied effort to discover a bug in pure functional testing. This process discovers bugs at a rate of 1.25 bugs per man hour of applied effort. So if you have five people in a room for one hour, you have applied 5 man hours. You'd expect to find 6-7 bugs. If you include all the stylistic coding standards bugs, this is typically 10-15 bugs per hour.

So while on the surface it looks expensive to have all those people in a room talking. The net result is that it tends to accelerate delivery because so many issues are removed from the software. Better still, the review occurs before functional testing begins. This means the QA staff on the team can direct their testing at the areas highlighted by the inspection process. This further improves quality

It's true that about 50% of the ossies are stylistic issues. But usually we get 1 or 2 bugs per session that present a serious malfunction in the program. The rest could be problems under some circumstances or minor faults.

Team reviews are vastly, vastly superior to pair-programming. There really is no contest.

Science

NASA, NOAA Analyses Reveal Record-Shattering Global Warm Temperatures In 2015 (nasa.gov) 507

vikingpower writes: Earth's 2015 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Globally-averaged temperatures in 2015 shattered the previous mark set in 2014 by 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit (0.13 Celsius). Only once before, in 1998, has the new record been greater than the old record by this much. The British Met office also reports on the same phenomenon, even forecasting that global temperatures are very soon going to reach the one-degree-Celsius marker. According to Stephen Belcher, Director of the Met Office Hadley Centre, "We've had similar natural events in the past, yet this is the first time we're set to reach the 1 C marker and it's clear that it is human influence driving our modern climate into uncharted territory."
Technology

Help Is On the Way In the War Against Noisy Leaf Blowers 228

HughPickens.com writes: Perry Stein writes in the Washington Post that the fight against noisy leaf blowers is gaining momentum, in part, because residents are framing it as a public health issue. Two-stroke engine leaf blowers mix fuel with oil and don't undergo a complete combustion, emitting a number of toxins, like carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide, which their operators inevitably inhale. Municipalities throughout the country have moved to ban them. "You find two-stroke engines in poorer countries because they're cheap," says James Fallows citing a 2004 National Institutes of Health study showing that two-stroke engines on two- and three-wheeled vehicles in Delhi, India, account for a significant amount of air pollution. "You don't find them in richer countries because they're so dirty and polluting." In Washington DC leaf blowers can't exceed 70 decibels as measured from 50 feet away. (A normal conversation is typically about 60 decibels.) Haskell Small, a composer and concert pianist who is helping to lead the leaf-blower battle in Wesley Heights, describes the sound as "piercing." "When I try to compose or write a letter, there is no way for me to listen to my inner voice, and the leaf blower blanks out all the harmonic combinations."

But help is on the way. A new generation of leaf blowers is more environmentally friendly as the emergence of battery-powered leaf blowers takes us closer to the Holy Grail of equipment that is both (1) powerful and (2) quiet. Fallows supports the notion of a kind of trade-in program, where loud, old leaf blowers are exchanged for the less offensive kind. Ted Rueter, founder of Noise Free America, facilitated one such scheme. In the heat of his front lawn dispute with his neighbor, he offered a solution. "If you agree to use them, I will buy you two new leaf blowers," Rueter told his neighbor. "The offer was accepted and the noise level in his front yard was restored to a peaceful level," says Lawrence Richards. "When it comes to the balancing act of protecting landscaping jobs while reducing noise and emissions, it helps that someone was willing to pay for progress."

Comment Re:Pretty cool (Score 1) 197

There's this option, Forensic Anthropology: http://fac.utk.edu/default.htm...

I looked into this when crafting a living will. I want my body to go to science and have a use. This is one.

What happens to my body after it is donated?

Once we receive a body, we assign an identifying number and we place it at the Anthropology Research Facility (ARF), our outdoor laboratory. The body may be used in a decomposition project or not. Regardless, all of donations go to the ARF and are allowed to decompose naturally. Once the body is skeletonized, we recover the skeletal remains and clean them further. The cleaned bones are accessioned into the Bass Donated Skeletal Collection and are labeled with the identifying number. At this step, the remains are inventoried, measured and other data are collected. Once in the collection, all skeletal remains are utilized by researchers from varying academic and medico-legal institutions.

Submission + - Peak Oil Predictions Proven Wrong (battleswarmblog.com)

Nova Express writes: Remember how some economists and environmentalists confidently predicted "peak oil" sometime in the 2000s? (Slashdot ran numerous stories on the idea.) It turns out that those predictions of peak oil were wrong. Thanks to improved technology, fracking, shale oil, and declining demand, the world is now going through an oil glut that has prices down around $30 a barrel. "Once again the market has proven much better at adaptation than erroneous neo-Malthusian thinking. Anyone telling you they know exactly how things will unfold should be treated with severe skepticism. The future’s not ours to see."

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