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Comment: Military surplus to Cops. So handy. So profitable! (Score 2) 264

A militarized police is so handy! You can:

1) Get around that annoying "Posse comitatus" thing.

2) You can use them to fight the national guard, should they become unccoperative.

3) You can field them for both local OR national coups against EITHER the Feds or the State authorities (Texas, you wanted to secede? Your chance is coming...).

4) You can ramp up civil forfeiture (i.e. Theft by law enforcement) and take a cut!

They slice! They dice! You can even Julliane freedom fries! Militarized by military surplus cops. Whoo Hoo!

Comment: Of *course* it's the future of college (Score 1) 81

by gestalt_n_pepper (#47681183) Attached to: Is Remote Instruction the Future of College?

The decision is driven by economics. Don't want to go into huge debt? Need to live at home? Don't want to pay for a quaint archaic infrastructure of unnecessary buildings and offices for professors and administration? You'll go to digi-school!

It may only be half as good, but if it's 1/10th the cost, this is where students will go. Excellent students will excel anywhere, of course. This structure favors autodidacts.

Comment: Lay off testers? This is what happens. (Score 1) 179

by gestalt_n_pepper (#47672879) Attached to: Microsoft Black Tuesday Patches Bring Blue Screens of Death

Once again, Microsoft discovers what's obvious anyone else who's been in the business for 25 years or so.

You have to have manual and automated GUI testers. Unit testing is nifty, but that's like testing just the spark plug, or maybe the spark plug and the ignition timing. Not a bad idea, but listen. If you knew about a new car, but knew that nobody had ever actually *driven* the car, much less taken it out on the road on a regular basis, would you buy that car?

For that matter, would you fly in a plane tested that way?

Developers testing their little piece of code isn't ever going to cut it. Neither is unit testing. Thinking it will is just managerial fantasy, or an idea that lets you fire a bunch of testers so the books look better and some manager or bean counter. can get a one time bonus.

Comment: "Featuritis" in the whole computing ecosystem (Score 5, Insightful) 240

by gestalt_n_pepper (#47584021) Attached to: Getting Back To Coding

New languages. New frameworks. New IDEs. New magic procedures...

Some of it is good, surely. Who programs without classes these days? But every time I see someone come up with a magic new net language, framework, etc., I sort of cringe. I mean, do we really need another one? Do we need all the ones we have (I'm lookin' at you, Ruby...).

The elephant in the room here that Microsoft, et. al. seems happy to ignore is that it takes time to learn AND recode this stuff. Time is money. If you're a teen or a student, you have time to mess with the next Ruby, or Dart, or GO, or BrainFuck or...

As a kid, you have no money invested, and plenty of time. There's no risk.

Fast forward 25 years. You still code for a living. You have a house, a wife, kid(s), car(s). You and your spouse are paying for all of this. Suddenly, genius boy at Microsoft invents Powershell! and convinces a few PHBs to roll it out. Suddenly, all your clients want Powershell! Quite frankly, you haven't got the time or interest in learning Powershell!. You wanted .net features added to VBScript and/or Jscript. You wanted backwards compatibility with existing VBscript and Jscript code. You wanted something that added value, not something that subtracted value by forcing you to go back to the drawing board and recode perfectly functional tools to satisfy a corporate IT security requirement from the corporate PHB that says, "Use Powershell!" for which you may, or not be paid, depending on how well your contract was written.

Disclaimer: I like Powershell, but it was the wrong decision.

The problem, quite simply, is this: Change!=Improvement. Change!=Better. Sometimes you get lucky. At other times, not so much.

Comment: Well, I can't tell you how surprised I'm NOT. (Score 1) 1

by gestalt_n_pepper (#47550405) Attached to: STEM worker shortage is IT industry fantasy

There's a shortage of technically competent people who will work for Wal-Mart wages. That I'll grant. As long as technology continues to advance, however, you've got to pay to play. Upper management, of course, will deny this forever, and will never learn from past outsourcing mistakes.

Comment: So when can I buy a cape made of it? (Score 1) 238

As I recall, the protagonist in "The Shadow of The Torturer" wears a costume and cape made of a perfect black material so that all you see when he walks towards you is an irregular shifting black shape of perfect darkness.

With an axe, and eyes.

It was a good book. The rest of the series? Eh.

Comment: Cut the crap. What energy density/price ratio? (Score 1) 380

by gestalt_n_pepper (#47327537) Attached to: New Chemical Process Could Make Ammonia a Practical Car Fuel

Because in a world of capitalist systems, that's all that matters. At the moment, I buy 25 miles of transportation for about $3.45 cents.

I'm pretty sure that ammonia doesn't have anything like the energy density of gasoline, and that it costs more per unit of energy. Feel free to show me how wrong I am.

TL;DR: Another horseshit, "we're saved! There's never going to be an energy problem again!" article.

Too much is not enough.