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Comment: Re:Snowden (Score 1) 221

by bkmoore (#48233071) Attached to: When Snowden Speaks, Future Lawyers (and Judges) Listen

....They also moved off from computers to typewriters for some highly sensitive documents. If they already knew all that Snowden stole, why would they do that now? Why not earlier?

There's more than one way of looking at that. 1) by moving to typewriter, they were trying to protect their information from the Americans - your theory. or 2) they saw how easy it is for an insider to electronically copy a library of documents and leave the country. Personally, I think 2) is much more plausible based on that Snowden actually revealed. Secure Russian or Chinese communications would not have been a part of normal internet or telephone traffic that the US was monitoring anyway. Another point is it's actually a minor victory if the Russians and Chinese become so paranoid that they go from efficient digital communications to using mechanical typewriters and sheets of carbon to communicate. But I respect your opinion. Absent of additional information, I think we both have valid points.

Comment: Re:Snowden (Score 2) 221

by bkmoore (#48233021) Attached to: When Snowden Speaks, Future Lawyers (and Judges) Listen

Russia thinks so. China does too.

Can you be a patriot to more than one country?

I think it's highly probable that both Russia and China already had much of what Snowden took with him on his laptop. If there was any intelligence value for those countries, it would have been to validate their sources. On the other hand, the propaganda value was limited at best. Both countries are not exactly ruled by law and they aggressively suppress dissent. On the one hand, they can use Snowden as an example of American double speak, but OTOH they don't want their own citizens to be getting the same ideas.

Comment: Re:Question (Score 1) 275

by bkmoore (#48186665) Attached to: The Largest Ship In the World Is Being Built In Korea

If it floats, it will be neutral because it will displace as much water equal to its own mass. If it sinks, it will displace less water than equal to its own mass.

Only the mass of the object matters if it's inside of the hull of the ship. Shipping 1 ton of feathers is the same as shipping 1 ton of led, at least as far as displacement is concerned.

Comment: Re:I don't follow (Score 2) 370

by bkmoore (#48181231) Attached to: Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

So what's so "tomorrow" about change from Lucida to Helvetica, which impedes legibility, requires more screen space, and makes the GUI appear fuzzy? Is that the definition of "tomorrow" now?

Tomorrow, you will be one day older than today. Enough tomorrows and your eyesight will probably fade to the point where text on a computer monitor appears fuzzy. By making the font fuzzy today, Apple is providing their users with a taste of tomorrow. Next, Apple will probably shrink the keyboard to the point that accuracy suffers, as it inevitably does with old age.

Comment: Re:The essence of enterprise (Score 3, Interesting) 148

by bkmoore (#48175087) Attached to: Cisco Exec: Turnover In Engineering No Problem

...the very essence of an enterprise (any enterprise) is that it is a bundle of labour and capital whose essential structure and identity is independent of and more persistent than the labour it employs. The identity behind its labour component is no more important than the identity of its capital component...

Mr. Patel was misquoted in the header, FTA he did not explicitly say "Turnover in Engineering No Problem", but let's assume he did say so in so many words. He is about 33% correct, all engineers are replaceable, and that is the main reason good engineers always document their work. But the question that is often ignored by business school 101-types is how much money and time does it take to replace a competent engineer? Can your enterprise afford the Project disruption and late time-to-market? Will your development still be relevant by the time it finally launches?

You argue that "capital" and "labor" are essentially equal to the identity of an enterprise. In a lot of enterprises that may be true, where either the labor is totally unskilled (light-bulb turners) and requires no training, or the labor is "certified and trained" and perform a set of narrowly-defined tasks, e.g. truck drivers, shipping, railroad engineers, airline pilots, etc. In product development, this ideal model breaks down. Engineering has no standardised training, and every situation or development situation is a unique learning experience, both for the enterprise and for the labor. That's why we have "project management" and development in the first place. History is full of examples of enterprises that made the mistake of treating their engineers as fungible, interchangeable assets. Products started coming out "a day late and a dollar short". Eventually they reorganised, split, made a splash with some big announcements and then disappeared.

Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 253

by bkmoore (#48151897) Attached to: Facebook and Apple Now Pay For Female Employees To Freeze Their Eggs

As an added bonus, they can start having babies when they're 45!

Having children early and starting a career at the same time can be very rough, but there's a lot to be said for still having a life to look forward to once they're grown and out of the house. Added bonus is you'll probably be around long enough to enjoy grandparenthood and possibly even great-grandparenthood.

Comment: my rant... (Score 4, Funny) 323

by bkmoore (#48142089) Attached to: How English Beat German As the Language of Science
My Herrschaft, German really is such a Biedermeier language and and doesn't fit with the current Zeitgeist. It has a gestalt that is more suited for 19th century expression. After the English-language Blitzkrieg that has taken over most pop culture, any german-language expression is seen as just a lot of flak from a karabiner. I guess we'll have to replace classical german terms such as Herz, Eigen-vector, E-Modul, with a more english ideal; cycles-per-second (so much for brevity). But German is such a beautiful language an sich. I really had my Aha-Erlebnis when I realised that german expressions were no longer associated with übermenschen traveling in U-Boots or flying in Luftwaffe planes. Now the whole world can enjoy rooting for German Wunderkinder on the national team, and at home recreate the best parts playing foosball. Maybe the French feel a bit of Schadenfreude at seeing the significant influence of german Gedanken in the english language. Maybe someday they'll be a putsch and French will take over, but for now, I'm counting on a german-language encore.

Comment: Re:what they do, not should do (Score 1) 580

by bkmoore (#48119735) Attached to: FBI Says It Will Hire No One Who Lies About Illegal Downloading

I haven't been following this thread too closely, so maybe repeated somewhere else. I think we agree basically on following the law. What I was trying to say is for most people, downloading an occasional mp3 is the moral equivalent to driving 60 in a 55 mph zone. The problem is when the recording industry tries to turn a minor infraction of the law into a federal crime, on par with armed bank robbery. Or wants to treat all minor offenders the same as the few who actually run a warez site.

When I was in high school, my friends and I all built our music collections by dubbing each others cassette tapes. When I joined the military later on, I don't think anybody would have cared that I had a box of dubbed Def Leppard tapes, other than as an indication of poor taste in music.

Comment: Re:yes, they people who follow the law/ rules (Score 1) 580

by bkmoore (#48118467) Attached to: FBI Says It Will Hire No One Who Lies About Illegal Downloading

You can drop the "upper middle class" part, as this is about following the law. Full stop. The FBI and especially the intelligence services will tell you that they very much try to hire people who follow the law and other rules.

So they should never hire anyone who has ever driven faster than the legal speed limit? (55 mph in the not-so-olden days) People bend the rules all the time and usually aren't even aware they are until they're caught. That's normal human behavior. There are so many Federal criminal laws, nobody's even sure how many there are. We probably all violate at least one federal law in the course of a normal day.

Comment: Re:Some would be well suited. (Score 1) 299

by bkmoore (#48076807) Attached to: Why Military Personnel Make the Best IT Pros

On the other hand, bad former-military people were cogs in a machine, and don't see past their prescribed task at all.

It all depends. A 23 year-old veteran who did his four years and got out is more of a citizen soldier than a cog in a machine. Most are highly-motivated and trainable. They show up to work on time and do what they are supposed to do. The Cogs tend to be the Colonels and Generals who get out and use their military rolodex to make a living as lobbyists or consultants. You'll find those types at most major defense contractors, but they won't be working in IT.

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.