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Comment: Try the Non-Profit Sector (Score 1) 717

by conoviator (#48543553) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?
I suggest heading to a large city where there is more competition for IT professionals. In those cities, non-profit organizations have a difficult time competing for talent. You would likely have a better opportunity to resume your IT career in that sector. Then, once you have some stable years behind you working in IT, you can merge back into the general marketplace. Another good suggestion mentioned by another commenter is picking up jobs via Craigslist. Many of my own projects have been gained via that avenue. Good luck to you.

Comment: Re:Any of them make a good Hackintosh? (Score 1) 321

by conoviator (#45815215) Attached to: Chromebooks Have a Lucrative Year; Should WinTel Be Worried?
Before jumping into iOS development in a very big way, I stuck a toe in the OSX waters by converting my old Toshiba notebook into a Hackintosh. It's been a few years. As I recall, it worked pretty well; but, would sometimes crash at inconvenient moments. My primary computer is now a three-year-old Macbook Pro. There are enough used Macs on the market to make Hackintosh less useful.

Comment: Re:Cost center only? (Score 1) 156

by conoviator (#45805693) Attached to: Australian Dept. Store Chain's Website Crashes and Can't Get Back Up
I briefly worked for a small grocery chain a few years ago in Bellingham, WA. IT personnel were of a much lower caste. Never mind that the whole operation would have almost immediately ceased to function if the technology folks took a walk en masse. Grocery operations culture placed a very large value on antiquated rituals, rather than useful new industry approaches. I recall how the clueless CEO and his direct reports would gather every few days in the BIG MEETING ROOM to strategize about next week's coupons -- coupons printed in the junk mail flyers that most folks probably just tossed directly into the recycle bin.

Comment: MarkLogic's Pitch (Score 1) 334

From a slide that promotes MarkLogic's appropriateness for the health exchange's particular set of challenges:
  • - Highly complex data in many formats that change often and have varying quality
  • - Massive amounts of data at high velocity; highly transactional
  • - Highly structured data, but multiple and changing schemas

See: http://assets1.csc.com/innovation/downloads/LEFBriefing_MarkLogic_031512.pdf (slide 23)

My two cents:

  • When faced with a very complicated software project, use what's been proved to work.
  • Why would the CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) dictate this particular less common technology? Very strange.

+ - More backstory emerges about healthcare.gov project chaos->

Submitted by conoviator
conoviator (1991610) writes "NY Times has just published a piece providing more background on the healthcare.gov software project. One interesting aspect: "Another sore point was the Medicare agency’s decision to use database software, from a company called MarkLogic, that managed the data differently from systems by companies like IBM, Microsoft and Oracle. CGI officials argued that it would slow work because it was too unfamiliar. Government officials disagreed, and its configuration remains a serious problem.""
Link to Original Source

Comment: 'Real Flying' with a lot of help from Fly-by-wire (Score 1) 270

by conoviator (#45483341) Attached to: Airline Pilots Rely Too Much On Automation, Says Safety Panel
Sully may have been able to ditch successfully without it; but, William Langewiesche makes a strong case that the Airbus A320's fly-by-wire software was an important factor in the favorable outcome of the procedure. See http://www.vanityfair.com/style/features/2009/06/us_airways200906 and the expanded account in Langewiesche's excellent book, 'Fly by Wire: The Geese, the Glide, the Miracle on the Hudson.' I'm an instrument-rated private pilot who is in awe of both Captain Sullenberger and the Airbus engineering team.

Comment: Re:Experimental aircraft (Score 1) 116

by conoviator (#38923811) Attached to: Steve Appleton, Micron CEO, Dies In Plane Crash
During flight training, pilots are drilled very frequently in doing essentially exactly that. The instructor will suddenly decrease the throttle, then announce "Okay, you just lost your engine. What are you going to do?" In my experience, this simulation will only happen when "at altitude" -- safely high enough to disallow any real risk in case the engine fails to spin up again. Airline pilots are fortunate enough to have very realistic simulator training that can reproduce the situational context effectively. But, this isn't the case for primary flight training. So, no instructor is going to execute the above drill immediately after taking off when still low to the ground (the situation that led to Appleton's crash).

Comment: Re:Experimental aircraft (Score 2) 116

by conoviator (#38923039) Attached to: Steve Appleton, Micron CEO, Dies In Plane Crash
Classic stall/spin sequence. Given Appleton's apparently large amount of experience, it is sobering to pilots like myself to be reminded that even accomplished pilots can make fatal errors. As much as we drill on how to handle these scenarios, there is a powerful urge to return to the runway. A few weeks after I passed my PP check ride twenty years ago, a high school boy practicing for his own check ride encountered engine problems with the rental airplane that I flew for most of my training. He could have landed the airplane in almost any direction (very large and empty farm fields all around). But, no, he tried to crank the airplane around in a 180 to get back to the runway from which he had just departed. Toast. Complete waste of a life. Much of flying is about learning to overcome responses to crises that might be reasonable to land-based mammals, but are deadly when air born.

Dennis Ritchie is twice as bright as Steve Jobs, and only half wrong. -- Jim Gettys