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Comment: Re:Never mind the quality, feel the width (Score 1) 206 206

by ascari (#34614612) Attached to: RubyGems' Module Count Soon To Surpass CPAN's

Yes! I was just going to say the same thing. Please mod this man up, I don't have points!

On the other hand, perl is a "mature" language it's likely that many modules already exist and are in widespread use, thus pace of new development is slowing down. Ruby is on the up ramp of its life cycle, and consequently a lot of stuff has to be developed for it. Revisit in five years and I'd guess both repositories will have about the same number of modules.

Comment: Re:Wait a sec... (Score 1) 398 398

by ascari (#34043760) Attached to: Most Americans Support an Internet Kill Switch
The technical term is Scorched Earth Strategy and has been deployed quite successfully on many occasions, for example by the Russians during WWII, the Napoleonic wars, during the Gallic wars in the Roman era, in Scotland by Robert the Bruce, in Saxony against the Vikings and so on and so forth. History has shown it almost always works, so why the hell not?

Comment: Familiar story (Score 1) 72 72

by ascari (#33673746) Attached to: UK Goverment IT Chief Backs Open Source Suppliers

Ho hum. It seems like every three months or so we receive reports that the [insert name of favorite country, state, city, municipality, department or government agency here] pledges to 1) award more contracts to small business and 2) give preference to open source products. The end result is almost invariably the same: Large contracts go to large companies, allegedly because small companies can't prove they can "pull it off", and the usual closed source suspects get all the significant contracts based on some small or insignificant feature of their products that's missing in the competing FOSS product. (Sometimes it's something as blatant as "share point compatibility required", but mostly it's more subtle than that. In a few rare cases the purchaser openly admits that financial incentives beyond the reach of small / open source companies were part of the decision equation.)

Pledges won't change this state of affairs. The only way to break the pattern is to mandate reasonably-sized, neck to neck proof of concept implementations with focus on delivered functionality as part of the bid process. In the few cases I've actually seen that happen small and open comes out on top.

Comment: Single rule solution (Score 1) 870 870

by ascari (#33571666) Attached to: Preventing Networked Gizmo Use During Exams?

My professor had a simple rule. You could use a calculator or just about any other electronic device - if you already had an A average. People with B or below had to do it the hard way. Win/win: The extra motivation/practice led to quite a few A students. Laziness is such a wonderful motivator for techies.

Comment: Sooo (Score 3, Insightful) 100 100

by ascari (#33567868) Attached to: US Gov't Makes a Mess of Classifying Sensitive Data
From the comments so far one would think the article was about SSNs. If you RTFA it's about procedures and bureacracy surrounding classified information including sometimes conflicting classifications used by different fedarl agencies. SSN was just an example for gods sake.

"Ninety percent of baseball is half mental." -- Yogi Berra