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Comment: Probabilities, Summation (Score 1) 800

by gjh (#46937457) Attached to: Autonomous Car Ethics: If a Crash Is Unavoidable, What Does It Hit?

Options would have to be costed. Many things would feed into that. The problem of course is that for all of those costings, probability multiplied by survivability does not produce a linear outcome of quality of life value; you could assign a value of harm to each individual present, but you could not get a meaningful figure by summation.

Comment: It didn't matter whether it was last year or next (Score 3, Interesting) 306

by gjh (#46823783) Attached to: ARIN Is Down To the Last<nobr> <wbr></nobr>/8 of IPv4 Addresses

It didn't matter whether it was last year or next...IP usage was accelerating into the wall anyway. The GOOD part about this is that now the US is out of addresses certain parts of the Internet industry are more likely to take IPv6 seriously.

Sadly, ISPs in other parts of the world have proven adept at further avoiding the problem by downgrading consumer connections to carrier-grade NAT, so we have another 5 years of eking out of old order before people REALLY have to take notice.

Comment: Monolithic vs. standards (Score 1) 220

by gjh (#44884605) Attached to: Abandoned UK National Health Service IT System Has Cost $16bn... So Far

Surely for a few tens of thousands of pounds, it would have been better to publish and API for storing and modifying the info on (secured) web servers locally in a way that could be indexed and catalogued separately. Then, incentivize private firms to make and sell software to surgeries and hospitals that provide the API. Why do people always go for monolithic top down solutions for these things?

Comment: Clearbooks.co.uk (Score 1) 571

by gjh (#42179773) Attached to: Microsoft Steeply Raising Enterprise Licensing Fees

http://www.clearbooks.co.uk/ - Completely cloud/web based accounting.

Sorry, I have no idea if there is a US version, and of course it it quite specific about taxes and so on. But it was the best day of my software experience life when I switched from SAGE to Clearbooks. Not only does it do everything we need, but it is the first accounts package I have ever seen that anticipates your needs - "this account isn't really suitable for this transaction, your probably want to use x instead". "This is a large capital purchase, so it's been added to your asset register pending approval". OMG it's wonderful!!!

Yes, I'm an evangelist. Most accounting packages are so bad that it's like night and day when you see a good one. It includes...
- PAYE (uk equivalent of withholding)
- VAT (EU equivalent of sales tax)
- automated monthly importing of bank statements direct from bank websites
- automated matching of statement items with purchases and vendors
- automated asset management and depreciation
- automated filing of govt tax forms for VAT, corporation tax and others
- multicurrency, + international transactions in line with tax rules
- quicky stuff like small business flat rate VAT, agricultural taxes, partnership tax rules, etc etc

I may no longer actually need an accountant. I could never say that with other software. With this, I am beginning to think that he adds no value whatsoever.

Comment: Code and extension trading...? (Score 1) 173

by gjh (#41899267) Attached to: David Braben Kickstarts an <em>Elite</em> Reboot

Tell you what I always wanted in a remake of Élite... nerd tools. An extension API, allowing scripts, GUIs/HUDs and possibly external connectivity. And the same facility to trade code and attachments that you see in something like Second Life.

Imagine....
- The universe really IS newtonian, but you can develop and trade control systems that make it appear otherwise and apply directed power to compensate for unwelcome inertia
- Bots, autopilots, combat aids
- Buy extra ships, develop swarm/formation flying control systems

What? Is this a desirable mash up? To me, it's the logical conclusion of real trading and real newtonian physics. Give the society the real ability to develop and create.

The challenge is to make sure that automated things don't dominate, and to create a playing society that can police the worst renegades. Rules are enforced by players, with bounties etc..

Comment: Ron Paul in Five Words (Score 2) 1797

by gjh (#37818460) Attached to: Ron Paul Wants To End the Federal Student Loan Program

There's a lot of clap trap in these comments trying to sum out Ron Paul by his financial policies. It completely misses the point.

Ron Paul is a constitutionalist.

He believes that the federal govt overreaches. Financially, yes, but also militarily, socially, and almost every other sphere of influence. I'm sure he'd be fine about individual states offering loans - or transport systems, or healthcare, or abortions, or ID cards, or gay marriage or whatever. But these are not the job of the federal government. It's not rocket science - he is simply the only prominent politician who takes the limitation to legislate only over "commerce among the several states" seriously.

In practise, this all means that he has the only plan that can save the USA, being as the first step to solving the financial hole is to stop digging. And that means cuts to spending. I personally hope that he would do it in such a way that individual states can take over whichever programs they want in a clean and managed way. But this man is your only hope. Vote for him.

Comment: AFP (Score 1) 182

by gjh (#37771914) Attached to: Entry-Level NAS Storage Servers Compared

My own AFP experience with QNAP was terrible, due to the dodgy FOSS stack - I forget which one - that was included. There was no useful way to authenticate (no OpenDirectory, no Kerberos, no way to automate user import). I ended up with iSCSI between the QNAP and the Mac OS Server (ATTO iSCSI) and serving AFP from there, with a 5x speed improvement.

Was I doing something wrong? It doesn't seem to match the AFP figures in the article. Anyone else have similar awful real-world AFP performance?

Comment: Fixing it... (Score 2, Interesting) 157

by gjh (#32097864) Attached to: Spam Causes Microsoft To Kill Newsgroups

Of course, it IS still just about possible for one of us to fix USENET. If we cared enough.

- A distributed ratings system that works, and allows matching of your preferences to people with similar preferences.
- A better standard for signing articles, and ownership of virtual websites where threads or subforums can only be started by the owner
- Standards for structured documents and so on.
- Incorporation and acceptance into multiple CMS's so that you can actually read existing forums through NNRP

So far, in the 15 years since this has been an issue, noone has cared enough to fix it. Pity.

Software

+ - Asterisk 1.4.0 released!

Submitted by
Russell Bryant
Russell Bryant writes "The Asterisk dev team has released Asterisk 1.4.0, the first in the 1.4 series. The Asterisk project releases a major version about once a year. This series includes T.38 Fax over IP passthrough support, HTML manager, a new version of AEL (Asterisk Extension Language), IMAP storage of voicemail, Jabber/GoogleTalk integration, a jitterbuffer for RTP, whisper paging, and many more other new features."
Power

+ - MIT: Plug-in Hybrid Cars Will Save the Grid

Submitted by
shorebird
shorebird writes "Tech. Review has a fascinating and suprising discussion of the implications of widespread adoption of the widely promised, and well-hyped, plug-in hybrid vehicle technology. http://www.technologyreview.com/Energy/17930/page1 /
          From the article's opening paragraph: "Major automakers and the Department of Energy are pouring money into research on plug-in hybrid vehicles... Although critics have warned that the vehicles could put too much pressure on an already strained electrical grid, experts are now arguing that rather than being a strain on the grid, plug-in hybrids may actually help prevent brownouts, cut the cost of electricity, and increase the use of renewable energy."
          Also from the article, according to the DOE's Pacific Northwestern National Laboratory, "there is enough excess generating capacity during the night and morning to allow more than 80 percent of today's vehicles to make the average daily commute solely using this electricity. If plug-in-hybrid or all-electric-car owners charge their vehicles at these times, the power needed for about 180 million cars could be provided simply by running these plants at full capacity.""
Programming

+ - Is Java Regaining its Lost Momentum From .Net?

Submitted by TampaDeveloper
TampaDeveloper (834876) writes "Perhaps a better question is; did it ever lose momentum?

A recent search on Monster.com reveals that in New York City there are 103 jobs for the keyword "C#" and another 22 jobs for the keyword "vb.net". Searching on "Java" returns 197 Jobs. Hmmm... Perhaps New York is an anomaly. Perhaps there's a link between financial institutions and Java. The obvious next choice to query is Silicon Valley/San Jose. This is much closer to Microsoft's turf, so it's sure to be a Microsoft world, right? Nope. In the valley there's only 4 hits on "vb.net". C# brought back 28 hits, for a combined total of 32 hits. A search on "java" brought back a whopping 122 hits. Just for kicks and grins, I tried a search in Seattle. There yielded 13 "vb.net" hits, 75 "C#" hits, and to my absolute shock, a healthy 137 hits on "java".

What this all means, I have no idea, other than that java is a safe career path, assuming comparable salaries. Anybody up for an average salary comparison survey? I bet Computer Week already did one."

"Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit!" -- Looney Tunes, "What's Opera Doc?" (1957, Chuck Jones)

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