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Comment: Re:Not about ease, about authority (Score 1) 229

by gbjbaanb (#47904257) Attached to: School Installs Biometric Fingerprint System For Cafeteria

and possibly more importantly (to the parents) the kids can't go tot he local fast food joint and have burger and chip for lunch every day.

For £20k though, the school could have just asked the parents to fund a lunch account of roughly the amount each kid costs to feed. Then they wouldn't have to give them lunch money and the kids would get lunch without having to bother with money.

Comment: Re:unlikely (Score 3, Interesting) 195

by gbjbaanb (#47898409) Attached to: The Future According To Stanislaw Lem

not necessarily. That just applies to us, and its a fallacy to assume that others are like us.

Imagine an alien race so super intelligent that they consider they've already invented everything, they don't actually invent it until they have a need for it, and frankly, talking to the chattering money-boys on a distant planet just hasn't been something they need, strangely enough

Comment: Re:getting high (Score 4, Insightful) 195

by gbjbaanb (#47898353) Attached to: The Future According To Stanislaw Lem

your high is different to mine.

Some people might smoke pot, others get drunk. Some gamble and others fuck as much as they can.

And some have "making money" as their high, some have "screwing other over in power games" as theirs.

But there's also going to be someone who likes doing stuff as their personal meaning. Even in a society based on self-interest and personal abuse, there's going to be a few Crazy Eddies.

Comment: Re:Kickstarter's Problem (Score 2) 211

by gbjbaanb (#47891401) Attached to: Kickstarter's Problem: You Have To Make the Game Before You Ask For Money

ok, then Kickstarter's problem is that it doesn't strongly enforce these terms.

If some of the founder projects who basically hopped off with the cash were brought before court and made to explain where all the money was in a fraud case, then we'd probably have a lot more people ready to trust KS. As it is, I don't think anyone has been fully refunded for projects that failed. Maybe KS is expecting the backers to go legal themselves, but I see it as KSs responsibility - they do the leg work (and take the fee) so they should be much more involved in all these projects.

Comment: Re: a reputable team (Score 2) 211

by gbjbaanb (#47891287) Attached to: Kickstarter's Problem: You Have To Make the Game Before You Ask For Money

I guess many people don't recognise anyone's name except for a couple of really high-profile guys like Braben, Molineux or Carmack.

http://rtf.utexas.edu/faculty/...

He's not a complete duffer though, seems he has done stuff. That seems fair enough to me, even though I would like to see credit given for the rest of the team behind those games.

Comment: Re:How does MS get away with it in the US? (Score 1, Informative) 418

by gbjbaanb (#47890257) Attached to: Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

many new laptops come without a cd/dvd drive. ... how do you go about installing an OS on your shiny new os-free laptop if you don't already have an os to boot to to download your os of choice, or another computer to do the same, and no place to stick an install DVD?

off a bootable USB pendrive? Something that's been available and working for many years now.

Comment: Re:Holy shit! (Score 1) 198

from the post I was replying to:

Speaking at the Technology in Government forum in Canberra yesterday, the Department's chief risk officer Gavin McCairns explained how his team rolled an application based on the 'R' language into production to filter through millions of incoming visitors to Australia every year.

I did get R confused with a general purpose language, sorry about that (but not he general sentiment on 'hobbyist' programmers in industry)

Comment: Re:Partial consistency is... inconsistency! (Score 1) 198

by gbjbaanb (#47869927) Attached to: UK's National Health Service Moves To NoSQL Running On an Open-Source Stack

Its a confusing point, but ACID is only one way of ensuring the things you want. Yuo can, for example, use a form of check-it-worked-and-compensate-afterwards to achieve the same level of reliability without actually having an ACID system.

Most banking transaction, I'm told, use this instead of traditional ACID transactions. I suppose you could say its a coarser-grained version of ACID and therefore still ACID, but I think that would confuse most people who think ACID = relational DB with integrity checking.

Comment: Re:Complex? (Score 2) 198

by gbjbaanb (#47869899) Attached to: UK's National Health Service Moves To NoSQL Running On an Open-Source Stack

Given the application, I imagine most of the data stored is of the schema:

Patient NHS ID number
Patient data.

where the ID is the standard ID we all have, and the
"data" s a huge lump of XML. This is probably why it was easy to dump Oracle for a NoSQL DB - if you only store 2 columns in each table a migration is trivial.

Comment: Re:Holy shit! (Score 2) 198

by gbjbaanb (#47869875) Attached to: UK's National Health Service Moves To NoSQL Running On an Open-Source Stack

Whilst I'm all for open source in government, I can;t help thinking every time they come out with press releases saying "we used " describes a process where being different with the technology stack is an end in itself.
You could write an open source application in C++ rather than the much less mainstream R language and you'd have lots of people ready skilled to maintain it. Using R just seems like it was the choice of the devs who persuaded the agency to adopt their tools rather than an agency who thought about what they needed up front.

I wonder in 5 years if we see headlines "Immigration Agency dumps open source for Oracle. A spokeperson said,'we used a bunch of obscure languages and tools for the old system that served us well we had difficult finding people skilled in them, so we successfully outsourced the system to our new partners who will deliver increased performance and efficiency savings over.blah blah blah". If they'd done it "maturely" in the first place, this kind of nightmare scenario wouldn't happen.

(and I speak of experience - currently discussing details with a company that has a system "built with a mix of Erlang, Scala and Ruby on Rails". You know its been cobbled together by a bunch of hacks more interested in whatever language seemed coolest at the time.

Comment: Re:COBOL (Score 1) 380

by gbjbaanb (#47863459) Attached to: Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

Somewhere near you, usually funded by IBM.

See the computerworld article.

But some colleges are still providing Cobol training -- with help from IBM. The mainframe vendor has developed curricula in association with more than 80 colleges and universities ranging from Brigham Young to Texas A&M.

"We donate hardware and software, help with the curriculum, and they graduate hundreds of people every year," says Kevin Stoodley, an IBM fellow and CTO.

and this:

"They take kids from disadvantaged neighborhoods and provide them as consultants,"

"I is like your consultant, innit".

Comment: Re:COBOL (Score 3, Insightful) 380

by gbjbaanb (#47863359) Attached to: Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

That is what I love about COBOL - that the people who do it are doing it as a job, rather than a hobby where they get to play with new toys.

If you want to see what the future of programming looks like, as a professional industry, COBOL shops are the leader. I bet none of your guys has thrown a tantrum because he was asked to put some comments in his code, or had week-long arguments about implementing unit tests for every component.

Bringing computers into the home won't change either one, but may revitalize the corner saloon.

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