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Comment: Re:Well someone has to do it (Score 1) 341

by Zak3056 (#49142595) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

I would not have finished the project (in two years) without his help, we hired him after a year, too.

First thought: your manager was a tool, and generally a waste of space--actually he wasn't even THAT useful, since he actively made things worse overall.

That said... the above quote is a bit damning. You claimed you needed two additional people, an empty task list, and two years. You did the job in two years, with other tasks encroaching on your time, and with a single new grad that you only had for 21 of those months. Either your project was a death march (not ruling that out, mind you), or your estimate was woefully off--maybe to the point that the dipshit manager, if you two had a history, simply didn't trust your ability to give him a good answer and modified it per past performance.

I'm sure there were many more factors in play than you mentioned above, which probably invalidate what I'm saying, but it might be worth taking a step back here and asking yourself if you made any mistakes you could learn from (other than working for Mr Clueless, of course).

Comment: Re:Calling everyone in Illinois (Score 1) 103

by davidwr (#49134313) Attached to: Argonne National Laboratory Shuts Down Online Ask a Scientist Program

Your point is well taken, but the Congressman and Senators who represent the people who live in and around Argonne are much more likely to have the informal political "pull" to get things done quickly without the need for formal action on Capitol Hill than other House and Senate members.

Other members to target would be those serving on or better yet those chairing the committees that do a lot of business related to Argonne.

Comment: Useful propogation over 50MHz (Score 3, Informative) 131

by davidwr (#49133873) Attached to: Developers Disclose Schematics For 50-1000 MHz Software-Defined Transceiver

50 MHz means 6 meters and above -- basically, nothing that has any regularly occurring usable propagation modes.

Moon-bounce and ham-sats occur regularly enough to be useful. Granted, hamsat passes are so short-duration and so sought-after that they aren't useful for much more than bragging rights, and moon-bounce is too technically challenging to be useful for routine communications, but they are there.

RF-based repeater networks on the 2m (~146MHz) and 70cm (~440MHz) bands are common in the United States. They offer communications over hundreds of miles without using anything but the airwaves. Ditto some mountaintop- and very-high-tower-based repeaters. A single repeater that covers a 50-mile-or-more radius is more convenient and therefore frequently more useful in an emergency than an HF-based NVIS net (NVIS is a way of setting up your HF antenna for "short range" communications of about a few hundred miles or less. Unlike typical antenna setups, they do not have any "skip", which is very useful in an emergency).

In situations where the Internet infrastructure is still up (which is almost always except during emergencies, and frequently during emergencies as well), repeaters that link to the Internet can provide worldwide communication on any band.

Comment: Calling everyone in Illinois (Score 1) 103

by davidwr (#49133777) Attached to: Argonne National Laboratory Shuts Down Online Ask a Scientist Program

Everyone in Illinois should write their US Senators requesting that Argonne invite other institutions to take over this project or at the very least become the custodian of existing data on the condition that it be maintained as a publicly-available resource.

Those in Illinois's 3rd Congressional District (where Argonne is) should also write their US House Representative.

Comment: Instilling values more important (Score 5, Insightful) 690

As important as it might be to encourage her geek talents, instilling and encouraging humanitarian values is far more important.

Make sure she knows she is loved. If you are religious, ask your wife to keep making it a priority to encourage those values in your daughter.

Make sure she knows that human beings have value and should be respected and treated well, just as you and your wife have treated her well.

Encourage her to use her talents and interests to make the world a better place.

Comment: Re:good bye to US datacenters (Score 1) 406

by davidwr (#49121783) Attached to: NSA Director Wants Legal Right To Snoop On Encrypted Data

they'll be moving to places with more sensible security policies

I assume you mean places with more sensible security polices and practices, and which are out of reach of foreign national intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

Let us know when you find such a place, but don't bother if it's within ICBM range of America or if it requires more than a month of space travel to get there.

Avoid strange women and temporary variables.