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Comment: Meet the new boss...same as the old boss.... (Score 1) 341

by erp_consultant (#49784083) Attached to: Obama Asks Congress To Renew 'Patriot Act' Snooping

to quote the prophetic lyrics penned by The Who. Obama has proven that he is just another greasy, lying, scumbag of a politician. Closing down Gitmo? Well, maybe not. Against the Patriot Act? Easy to say when you're not in power. The list goes on.

I don't agree with everything that Rand Paul says but I accept his premise that government cannot be trusted when it comes to the Patriot Act. The government will tell us that it's for "our safety". That is it protecting us "from terrorists". The fact of the matter is that all of this NSA data has not prevented a single "terrorist" attack. Just like the TSA charade playing out at every airport in this country. The fact of the matter is that random bombings and other acts of terror cannot be prevented - period. The Israelis have been dealing with this for decades and have been unable to prevent bombings.

The Patriot Act is a power grab, plain and simple. It gives the government the green light to collect personal data on every person in America without any probable cause or court order. Supporters say, yes but it's only the phone number and the duration of the call not the actual conversation. How long do you think it will take before recording of the conversations sneaks its way into the Patriot Act? Where does it end?

Comment: I smell a rat.... (Score 1) 181

This seemingly contradictory policy - asking for more H1B visas while promoting more CS education at home - has a sinister end game.

Either way, big business wins. More H1B's means an endless supply of cheap labor. More CS grads at home means that the market gets flooded with CS grads, thereby driving down the labor rate.

The real goal here is not to get more women into CS or get more people of color into CS. The goal is to provide a steady stream of cheap labor that places like Microsoft and Facebook and Google and the rest of them can exploit. It is nothing less than a sinister ploy to drive up profits.

The Clintons are already taking money from every tinpot dictator with a checkbook. Big business is more than willing to drop a few million here and there to make sure that favorable policies are enacted.

Comment: It showed a lot (Score 4, Insightful) 379

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) 241

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.

Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming. -- J. P. McEvoy