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Comment: It showed a lot (Score 4, Insightful) 360

by erp_consultant (#49747269) Attached to: What Was the Effect of Rand Paul's 10-Hour "Filibuster"?

Rand Paul, whether you agree with his politics or not, is the only one with the guts to stand up against the Patriot Act. I remember lots of Democrat outrage when it first came to be. But now that the Dems are running the show they kind of like having it. Makes life easier for the government if they can just collect data on everyone rather than having to go through the courts for warrants and other such inconveniences.

The fallacy, of course, is that the Patriot Act somehow makes us safer than we would be otherwise. It might be true if it were being administered by someone competent rather than these bureaucratic morons that can't get out of their own way. Every failure is met by cries for more money.

Obama, when he was a senator, was against the Patriot Act:

  He warned of possible abuses of power. But now that he is president he has changed his tune. Abuse of powers indeed.

Comment: Re:It's simple really... (Score 1) 243

by erp_consultant (#49735163) Attached to: Why Apple Ditched Its Plan To Build a Television

"This will be bought primarily for the functionality on the low end, and primarily as a "look, I have money to burn, and I'm cool," accessory on the high end." - And in Apple's eyes its mission accomplished.

Lots of big name celebrities will be seen wearing the expensive version. Just wait and see. The next "red carpet event" will have a bunch of celebs wearing the Apple watch. Sheeple, I mean people, will see this and want to copy them.

It's all about marketing. Love Apple or hate Apple, marketing is one thing they understand very well.

Comment: Re:It's simple really... (Score 1) 243

by erp_consultant (#49730025) Attached to: Why Apple Ditched Its Plan To Build a Television

Haha...good one. But seriously, all Apple products are status symbols of some sort. They are inspirational and part of the reason they give so much attention to detail. It's also part of the reason that they can get away with charging premium prices. Their customers believe that they are getting a superior product and are willing to pay for it.

Comment: Re:It's simple really... (Score 1) 243

by erp_consultant (#49729087) Attached to: Why Apple Ditched Its Plan To Build a Television

So do I. I'm not saying that I'm ready to run out and buy an Apple watch. But the Apple watch does things that the Rolex cannot do. For some people this might be reason enough to go out and buy one.

I fully appreciate the beauty and complexity of an automatic movement. Rolex makes a terrific long lasting timepiece.

Having said that, there are similarities. They are both status symbols. Both are well built. I'm not saying that an Apple watch is as good as a Rolex but it does have some things that will appeal to watch collectors.

Comment: It's simple really... (Score 1, Insightful) 243

by erp_consultant (#49728609) Attached to: Why Apple Ditched Its Plan To Build a Television

TV's are basically a commodity item. Thin margins, race to the bottom, etc. Watches, although many of them are very cheap, can be a high end luxury item.

I don't see Apply trying to compete with Casio in the $10 watch market. But I do see them competing with Rolex, Omega, Tag Heuer, Breitling, etc. in the very high end watch market. The profit margin in this market is quite high. You can also control the price, unlike the TV market.

The other thing about watches is that people that are into watches (like me) collect them. So even if you already have a nice watch or two you can always add the Apple watch if it has something you desire.

Comment: Re:Typical government response... (Score 1) 393

"First, PTC is not new technology. It has been around for a very long time." - I stand corrected. Thanks for the info.

"Second, it is not under "rush" deployment because it has been under deployment for a very long time." - Ok, so this system that everyone seems to be clamoring for is already in place? Which means that the only reason it is not operational is because of the idiots running Amtrak. The equipment has been bought and paid for. Once again, the problem is not lack of funding but lack of leadership.

"The only thing that I find super-shocking about this whole event is that Bush has not yet been blamed for it" - I'm sure that is coming

Comment: Typical government response... (Score 1) 393

Before any of the facts are in there is a rush to implement this new technology. So far the only thing we know for sure is that the train was traveling at TWICE the speed it was supposed to. The obvious question is why. Operator error? Some sort of malfunction?

Do we know with any degree of certainty that this new device would have prevented the crash? If so then why wasn't it put there in the first place?

This is what always happens...big tragedy and then the government rushes in to save the day with new regulations and costs. The problem is that often if you look deep enough you will find that government bungling is at least partly to blame in the first place. Just like the oil spills and the banking meltdown. Government fingerprints are all over it and yet none of the blame is.

Here is my prediction:

1) Operator error will be ruled out. This accomplishes two goals: it protects union jobs and it opens the door to new regulations.
2) Finger pointing will continue over who cut funding for Amtrak.
3) More money - a lot more money - will be given to Amtrak
4) Ridership will not increase and Amtrak will continue to be a money pit

Comment: I believe it... (Score 1) 240

by erp_consultant (#49712577) Attached to: How Windows 10 Performs On a 12-inch MacBook

Up until Windows 8 I would say that OSX seemed a bit faster and smoother. I've got an old iMac (circa 2007). It has 4GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. When I run OSX it feels slow and sluggish. I have it dual booted with Windows 8 and Windows, much to my surprise, runs much faster. It consistently uses 1.5 - 2 GB of memory. It never crashes.

It runs well enough that it is my everyday home office computer. I can do everything on it that I need. Granted, most of what I do involves connecting via Remote Desktop to someone else's server so I don't need a lot of local horsepower. But it's good enough that I can't justify buying a new rig.

Comment: Re:The problem is not methodology... (Score 1) 507

by erp_consultant (#49692969) Attached to: Is Agile Development a Failing Concept?

Interesting points...and I do believe that Agile can work if it is implemented properly.

"AGILE fails because companies and or management do not adhere to it's principles. Unless workers are empowered to do all that they must do to accomplish a given task -- it isn't going to work" - Spot on. I think that often it is the empowering workers part that scares management. Control issues or what have you.

Comment: The problem is not methodology... (Score 5, Insightful) 507

by erp_consultant (#49690977) Attached to: Is Agile Development a Failing Concept?

it's management. When you get a good project manager its like a breath of fresh air. The best PM I ever worked for was a guy that used to be a developer and just didn't understand object based programming, after an honest assessment, so he decided to go into project management. He shielded us from all the corporate BS and just let us code.

Most of the other PM's I have worked for have no background in programming. Some of them claimed to and didn't, which is much worse than someone that just tells you they don't. They would insist on idiotic exchanges like the following:

PM: How long will it take to code this?
Me: I'm not sure until I get all of the requirements
PM: Can you give it a guess?
Me: Sure but what's the point? It won't be a very good guess.
PM: That's OK I just need something to put on the project plan
Me: *Bullshit radar is now on full alert* So you just want me to pull something out of my ass so that you can finish up your project plan? Is that it?
PM: Umm, well,'s not like that
Me: OK, fine. I'll give you numbers but they are going to be grossly inflated to account for the unknowns. It covers my ass. Kind of like what you are doing, no?
PM: *Grunts and walks away*

Most of these people look at project management as if we were building widgets on an assembly line. As if we know exactly how long each task is going to take. Well, software development is not not like that. Not in the least. The ones that understand that - the ones that are truly "Agile" as it were - are the successful ones. The successful ones understand that any number of things can go wrong and plan accordingly.

Comment: Re:Two problems (Score 1) 276

by erp_consultant (#49666063) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Future of Desktop Applications?

"It's not so much which is better and more reliable these days (it's certainly centralized control and storage, aka 'The Cloud'), but who controls that central point" - Which introduces a third point of failure. How do I know, with any degree of certainty, that the person administering the server(s) is competent? Or that their management is giving them the right tools and the right priorities to protect my data? The short answer is that I don't.

I'm not suggesting that you are not competent to do it or that all sys admins are not competent. That would be silly. What I am suggesting is that it is a leap of faith.

Comment: Re:Two problems (Score 1) 276

by erp_consultant (#49665343) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Future of Desktop Applications?

Good question. I'm talking about the cloud. All communication between your PC and the cloud based application occurs over TCP/IP/routers etc. which are not secure. They can be made secure if you are willing to go to a lot of effort and are willing to give up come conveniences.

Can a PC be compromised? Sure. The usual attack vectors are the internet and physical access to the keyboard.

My point is that you can more easily control the data on an PC. You can even, if you choose, disconnect it from the internet and shut down that avenue of attack entirely. I do this on an old virtual machine that I run sometimes. It runs on Windows 2000 server, which Microsoft no longer patches. I have it completely sandboxed. If you open a browser it will only connect to LocalHost, which is all I need.

Remember, UNIX spelled backwards is XINU. -- Mt.