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Comment: Re: No kid should be forced to code ... (Score 2) 292

Most kids are never taught to write well enough to later write a novel. That requires much more dedication and skill building. Heck, most people have trouble composing a cogent comment on Facebook.

  It would be great if we taught all school children to think logically and in an ordered manner such that coding were the next practical step. But ... have you ever been outside your own home? As it is now, coders self-select. We should not make the mistake to assume that a high level of success among a self-selected population would translate into a high level of success among the general population. And I can see why government schools may not be keen on teaching everybody critical thinking skills.

Comment: Re: Java is done (Score 1) 222

So you're not privvy to what goes on upstairs. Go find somebody in the know, get them drunk, and ask them about massive scaling and Google's patents on map/reduce.

In the meantime this seems like a good idiological fit. The surveillance-funded corporations will be taken care of while the USG destroys the software industry, which is too wildly successful for a completely unregulated market. Nimble big-name companies have already fled or are in the process of fleeing the jurisdiction, leaving work-a-day programmers to manage the leavings or find a different line of work.

Comment: Re: Why do this in the first place? (Score 1) 90

MoFo is expert at making excuses for architectural deficiencies that slay the UX but have 15-year-old bugs on them because "that touches a lot of code". And fostering an environment where that's A-OK. In the time that Mozilla's not been able to get async tasks out of the UI thread, Elon Musk has build a spaceship company that's gone to the ISS and landed a rocket back to Earth. It's either a lack of engineering discipline or absurdist leadership - hard to say which or both but no for-profit firm would tolerate such complacence.

Comment: Re:It showed a lot (Score 1) 383

by bill_mcgonigle (#49747889) Attached to: What Was the Effect of Rand Paul's 10-Hour "Filibuster"?

Right - but you know who didn't show up? Bernie Sanders (S-VT). He claims to be a civil libertarian but couldn't bother to join the other Democrats who came to support the issue.

I think we know where his masters are on this issue - he's deep into the F-35 fighter jet fiasco; MIC is where his bread is buttered.

Comment: Re:Bring Back Background Play (Score 1) 60

Perhaps now they can bring back background play for mobile devices, so I don't have to stay on the youtube app to listen to music/podcasts/etc posted there.

This was the #1 most-requested feature on the YouTube app since it first appeared. Google *finally* released it - and it's the most expensive in-app purchase ever - you have to pay $120/yr to get it.

At the same time they changed the YouTube ToS to forbid third-party apps from providing the same functionality and aggressively started pursuing legal claims against the developers.

"Don't be Evil", 2015 skin.

Comment: Re: *Near* the south pole... (Score 1) 494

by bill_mcgonigle (#49740091) Attached to: The Brainteaser Elon Musk Asks New SpaceX Engineers

That's right. If the story is even true, the point is likely to see how you approach it, not if you get the exact distance right. If somebody grabbed paper and pencil to work out the math and I'd asked this question that would be a serious demerit - he didn't bother checking for requirements. That's the difference between being a competent thinker and a nerd - I don't suspect SpaceX runs on nerds.

Comment: Re:I dont get why... (Score 1) 91

by bill_mcgonigle (#49734931) Attached to: Tweets To Appear In Google Search Results

If you want to know something that's happening right now, you go search Twitter. If you just want to read articles written about something that happened yesterday, you search Google.

Google hates "you go search NotGoogle". Their benefit is obvious - they sell ads for the same searches.

They should have done this five years ago - the old nimble Google of 2001 would have quickly indexed Twitter and Facebook, and every other silo of information. It's only Big Corporate Google that can't acknowledge another source of information for some sort of ego-bruising related reason. "Index all the world's information ... except if it's hosted by a company run by that guy down the street who drives that ridiculous 918 Spyder".

Comment: Government Printing Office (Score 1) 68

They figured out a long time ago that it was more efficient and gave better quality results to have one Government Printing Office than ten thousand printing offices - the same logic applies to IT. IT can be both commoditized and customized by qualified individuals - if the Navy needs something special, then the Government IT Office should have to acquire skills to meet the Navy's needs. Intelligence already has specialized IT systems, to handle classification transitions - hire those guys away to the GITO. The Navy should be building ships, not data centers - more Waste, Fraud, and Abuse.

One of the challenges we face is, in fact, internal IT systems and the power silos' automatic turn towards secrecy whenever oversight is required. See: IRS backups, State Dept. emails, SEC authentication, NSA everything, etc. The GAO could have their statutory power if the IT were centralized, which is why it isn't. Where's Rand Paul on this? Filibustering must be good for popularity, but it's not striking at the root.

MAYBE this is the best use of re-tasking the NSA's existing bureaucracy, if killing it outright isn't feasible. Though why would the Navy trust them after how they've behaved? But we don't need a General in charge of the Printing Office, so the IT Office may become trustworthy if it devolves to civilian with strong oversight.

Comment: Re: Cui bono? (Score 2) 71

by bill_mcgonigle (#49718613) Attached to: Apple Acquires GPS Start-Up

Apple is obviously eating companies and barfing up cash like a corporate NoFace at this point - there was a story here just the other day about calculating location to 1/3 meter using DSP on GPS multipath reflections which is good enough for anything but robotic construction. Iridium reception is going to just add cost - the overwhelming trend is cheaper sensors and more processing power.

Comment: Re:and dog eats tail (Score 1) 393

1) Unfunded.

Who cares? None of the Federal mandates on the People are funded. Amtrak can figure out a way to become more efficient and follow the law or the administrators can quit and get out of the way.

They have until the end of this year to get PTC up and running on all trains, or they should be force-marched to Federal prison, like the rest of the hoi-palloi. Live by the sword, die by the run-away train.

"I'm growing older, but not up." -- Jimmy Buffett