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Comment Re:Late-80s Development Process Failures (Score 1) 234

As with telephone switches, you end up needing a large fraction of your code to be monitoring the state of the system to make sure everything's working. But also, you don't get that kind of reliability by having systems that flake out for a few milliseconds - you end up with multiple systems in parallel, and you know failure probabilities of the individual systems and build the thing to try to eliminate common-mode failures. So Box A, Box B, and Box C are in parallel, and each one has alarms that detect whether the other ones are down and the backup needs to take over for the primary, so if Box A is down, Box B takes over while you fix Box A, and Box C is there to take over if Box B also fails (or was already down when Box A failed.) Or alternatively, you've got an A/B pair, and a C/D pair, and if A fails, the C/D pair takes over while you fix A, reducing the risk that B will fail before you've done that.

We were part of the project because we're good at systems integration and government projects, but also because we had processor chips that did trig functions really really fast (for late-80s definitions of fast.) Turns out that the data was all coming from sensors with 12-bit A/D converters, and the fastest way to do trig functions on them isn't a floating-point chip - it's a lookup table :-)

Comment Obviously the fault of Gay Marriage (Score 1) 286

All those gay folks getting married were clearly the reason 20% of the straight adults in the US were on that site, plus some number of gay people (not identified how many of them were married to people of the opposite sex, vs. single or "it's complicated".) (Though some non-trivial fraction of the customers claimed to be single, and just looking to hook up.)

As an old straight married guy, who was not one of AM's customers, I'd like to remind the Republicans that lots of their folks were, and maybe they were talking to the wrong people about the sanctity of marriage.

Comment Yup. Bush is Mr. Military-Industrial Complex (Score 1) 494

He's in bed with pretty much all the same advisors his brother was, and many of the same as his father was. He's the smarter brother, but Dubya's the older brother and may have spoiled it for him. The other likely candidates are Walker and Rubio, and just maybe Kasich will make it into the Final Four.

Comment Jeb ENTIRELY gets that (Score 1) 494

Jeb gets it, Walker gets it, Rubio gets it but has to deal with it a bit more, but the major candidates all know that they have to let the loudmouth right-wingers say all the nasty things that they'll pretend not to have been encouraging, because this is the part of the race for bashing Democrats and raising money and manpower from the angry people (as well as quietly raising money from the rich people.)

This is the part of the game they WANT Trump for, and Huckabee, and Cruz, and let them play off against Carson and Fiorina and Chris Christie and Rand Paul. He's playing to the GOP audience, and only secondarily to the National audience.

Comment GOP Party Machine's MVP (Score 1) 494

The GOP needs to keep all the right-wingers busy and angry and giving money and bashing Democrats at their state and local levels and in Congress so they can play the long game, in terms of sustained majorities and control or gridlock of Congress and state-level gerrymandering, and they don't want to lose them in the long time between now and when they pick their real candidate. Trump's job is to keep the troops entertained and get them engaged, insult the Democrats in ways the Party Machine Candidates can pretend were somebody else's fault, and kick off a year-long circus. It might end up like last election, with the Official Candidate getting far in the lead too early in the process and opening his mouth too often, or it might go down to the wire with the convention actually deciding between Bush, Rubio, and Walker, but for now they've got Trump to get everybody back bashing Hillary for as long as possible.

Comment Re:Trump will not be president (Score 1) 494

Definitely not Trump. It's either Jeb! or Walker or maybe Rubio. (We don't need an other Bush Presidency, and we certainly don't need another "Walker/Bush" either :-)

Sure, Hillary's no nicer than most of the Republicans, and we don't really need another Clinton Presidency either, but I'm hoping the country's dislike of the very dislikeable Republican choices will get her in, plus she really is an effective politician, and would have been President in 2008 if Obama hadn't shown up.

I'm a Libertarian, so I get to pretend to be neutral here, but the Republicans would be even worse than Hillary, and there were lots of reasons for preferring Candidate Obama to her, even though the President Obama who showed up to do the job was nowhere as good on policy as Candidate Obama. I'll vote for a Republican for some office higher than dog-catcher after they've cleaned up all the corruption of the Bush/Cheney/Rove/Norquist/Koch years, and that's not going to be any time soon. If my party can't get its act together enough to run a candidate, California's solidly enough Democratic that I'll vote for the Greens or Peace&Freedom or write in Joe Biden before voting for Hillary, but otherwise I'd hold my nose and vote for her the way I did for Walter Mondale (:-)

The nicest thing about the Alto is that it doesn't run faster at night.