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Comment: Re:A win for medieval mentality (Score 1) 1324

by golodh (#47437111) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

Separation between Church and State means that you get to hold whatever "religious" belief you want in private

Nope. It doesn't. If the state required citizens to abondon their religious beliefs in public then that would be a clear violation of the separation of church and state. Have you read the constitution? It says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

I think you're turning the whole issue upside down and cherry-pick a quote from the constitution to support your argument. As I understand the constitution, free exercise of your "religion" can never allow *you* to encroach on other people's rights. No matter how strongly held your "beliefs" are.

you don't get to impose those religious views (or values) on others.

I agree with you. Nobody has the right to impose on the owners of Hobby Lobby their religious views.

Good you agree with me on the first point. I'd say the second point, about Hobby Lobby, isn't about forbidding them to hold whatever belief they like. It's about forbidding Hobby Lobby to force their belief onto their employees by riffling through their employees medical expenses and selectively disallow certain types of treatment with an appeal to their "beliefs". I really don't see how you can parlay that into curtailing Hobby Lobby's owners religious freedom.

Nobody is getting fired for buying supplemental insurance, buying their own contraception, etc... Just as you wouldn't want to be forced to buy your employees Bibles, the owners of Hobby Lobby do not want to buy what they consider abortion pills. It's that simple.

If abortion pills come with a presciption, they're legitimate medical expense. Permitting hobby Lobby to selectively exempt them from their medical benefits package is tantamount to allowing Hobby Lobby to impose its religious views on its employees. Not the other way round. And yes, you show that it's possible to dream up even more obnoxious abuse on part of employers (like firing employees who don't conform to their employers' religious views), but that doesn't mean this bit of abuse is justified.

Then work somewhere else. I don't agree with everything my employer does, but I choose to work there anyway.

The age-old co-out for all and any abuse of power that stops short of actually forcing people to do something at gunpoint. "Oh but you choose to work at ABC, so yes you expose yourself to XYZ and you have no right to complain. Don't like it? Then go work someplace else!" Taken to extremes (for which there are lots of real-world examples, both historical and contemporary) it would allow employers to dispense with e.g. health and safety rules, working hours rules, medical leave, minimum wages etc. etc.

Most advances in this area had to be legislated because employers wouldn't voluntarily adhere to any such rules (either because they callously decided it wasn't worth the money to them, or because they'd be driven out of the market by unscrupulous competitors). Your argument is an extremely tendentious one which can only be justified by an appeal to "the market" coming up with an acceptable solution. Unfortunately history and current affairs show that this isn't always the case. Hence the need for legislation.

It's beside point whether you do or do not agree with *everything* your employer does. The point is: does this employer encroach on one of your vital interests.

I don't think plan B is a medical treatment. It's elective. A baby is not a disease. I would argue that liposuction comes closer to a treatment.

And I think that's something between doctor and patient, and not open to an employer's arbitrary views.

Me too. Which is why I find it odd that you do want to impose your religious beliefs on business owners.

We've come full circle. I think you put the matter on its head. In this case it's Hobby Lobby that's doing the imposing, not people who want to curtail their ability to pass judgment on medical bills with the excuse of "religion".

Comment: Re:Why is this news? (Score 4, Insightful) 412

by gstoddart (#47434191) Attached to: The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

Cyclists ARE a menace, to themselves.

I recently saw a cyclist come from the sidewalk on my right, cross an intersection diagonally across me (between two left-turning lanes of north/south traffic), get back up onto the sidewalk, and then later get into the bike lane going the wrong way, at an alarming speed.

As a motorist and a cyclist, I was completely stunned. It's cyclists like that why motorists hate cyclists.

Nobody can avoid killing you if you don't even pretend to follow the rules of traffic. But many many drivers forget that they are required by law to not run over cyclists, even if they are inconvenient.

I have seen more cyclists do ridiculous things than I could count. I give them a wide berth, but, I have to admit, some of them seem like they're trying to get killed.

Likewise, a lot of drivers more or less don't give a damn and will practically run them over, or off the road, or door them. Sometimes buses don't even obey bike lanes.

I won't ride a bicycle on city streets anymore.

Comment: Re:First contact? (Score 1) 93

An extragalactic origin, if correct, would put the source likely millions of light years away. An artificial radio source detectable over that distance would take a truly phenomenal amount of power, on par with stellar events like supernovae or black hole mergers. Or it would need to be very narrowly beamed, in which case how does ET know to point in our direction?

Bear in mind that the entire RF output of our planet (radio waves streaming into space) would not be detectable by Arecibo even 10 light years away. Move the source to a million light years, and remembering the inverse square law, gives you a sense of how much more power you'd need to make an isotropic emitter detectable. It's hard to imagine why an ET would want to do this, assuming they could marshall the stellar energies involved.

Comment: Re:Sounds like a bad idea ... (Score 1) 248

by gstoddart (#47433441) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

Oh, I automate deployments, and I automate some monitoring. Don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to automation.

Like all programmers, I'm lazy and would rather code it once instead of doing it by hand many many times.

That doesn't mean I'd walk away from it and leave it unattended. To me, that's just asking to get bit in the ass.

These days, anything which is low risk maintenance is stuff I do during the daytime because it's not Production. For our Production environments, everything is considered high risk because the systems are mission critical. Any change at all is high risk, because if it breaks, it costs the company large amounts of money to be down.

You have to understand what your threshold of risk is, and what your actual risks are before you do any automation. Some systems you can play fast and loose with. Others, not so much.

Comment: Re:Good for the Goose (Score 1) 248

by gstoddart (#47432813) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

Your best is to get out of Managed Services and into Professional Services. You just build out new environments / servers / apps and hand them off to the MS guys. Once its off your hands, you never have to worry about a server crashing, maintenance windows, or being on call. Plus, you are generally paid more.

In my experience (personal and professional), those people do a half assed job of building those systems, have no concept of what will be required to maintain them, and are then subsequently unavailable when their stuff falls apart.

They're hit and run artists.

But, they sure to get paid lots of money.

Comment: Re:Raises the question (Score 2) 248

by gstoddart (#47432749) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

This raises the question of why people don't just avoid the pedantic bickering by saying "raises the question".

Because, generally speaking, pedants are tedious and annoying, and nobody else cares about the trivial minutia they like to get bogged down in because it's irrelevant to the topic at hand.

At least, that's what my wife tells me. ;-)

Comment: Re:Slashdot is a Bad Place to Ask This (Score 1) 248

by gstoddart (#47432629) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

Everyone here is going to tell you that a human needs to be there because that is their livelihood.

No, many of us will tell you a human needs to be there because we've been in the IT industry long enough to have seen stuff go horribly wrong, and have learned to plan for the worst because it makes good sense.

I had the misfortune of working with a guy once who would make major changes to live systems in the middle of the day because he was a lazy idiot. He once took several servers offline for a few days because of this. I consider that kind of behavior lazy and incompetent, because I've seen the consequences of it.

If you consider "doing our jobs correctly, and mitigating business risk" to be job security, you're right. If you think we do these things simply to make ourselves look useful, you're clueless about what it means to maintain production systems which are business critical.

Part of my job is to minimize business risk. And people keep me around because I actually do that.

Comment: Re:Sometimes the reasons aren't technical (Score 1) 248

by gstoddart (#47432555) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

BUT if the maintenance gets botched and services are still down or under-performing through normal business hours, nobody outside of IT will notice

Then you're maintaining trivial, boring, and unimportant systems that nobody will notice. If your job is to do that ... well, your job is trivial and unimportant.

The stuff that I maintain, if it was down or under-performing during normal business hours ... we would immediately start getting howls from the users, and the company would literally be losing vast sums of money every hour. Because our stuff is tied into every aspect of the business, and is deemed to be necessary for normal operations.

Sorry, but some of us actually maintain stuff which is mission critical to the core business, and people would definitely notice it.

As one of the technical people who does cover after hours maintenance ... if a technical person suggested we automate our changes and not monitor them, they wouldn't get a sympathetic ear from me either.

There may be systems like you describe. And, as I said before, if that's the case, do your maintenance windows in the middle of the day.

Comment: Re:Automated troubleshooting? (Score 1) 248

by gstoddart (#47432381) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

I'm seeing this increasingly often......misuse of the phrase "begs the question". Why don't you look it up?

There are now two distinct phrases in the English language:

There is the logical fallacy of begging the question.

Sometimes, an event happens which begs (for) the question of why nobody planned for it.

You might think you sound all clever and stuff, but you're wrong. They sound similar, but they aren't the same. The second one has been in common usage for decades now, and has nothing to do with the logical fallacy.

Comment: Re:Prepare for failure (Score 1) 248

by gstoddart (#47432325) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

Some of us would argue that doing maintenance unattended is preparing for failure -- or at least giving yourself the best possible chance of failure.

I work in an industry where if we did our maintenance badly, and there was an outage it would literally cost millions of dollars/hour.

If what you're doing it so unimportant you can leave the maintenance unattended, there's probably no reason you couldn't do the outage in the middle of the day.

If it is important, you don't leave it to chance.

Comment: Sounds like a bad idea ... (Score 4, Insightful) 248

by gstoddart (#47432095) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

You don't monitor maintenance windows for when everything goes well and is all boring. You monitor them for when things go all to hell and someone needs to correct it.

In any organization I've worked in, if you suggested that, you'd be more or less told "too damned bad, this is what we do".

I'm sure your business users would love to know that you're leaving it to run unattended and hoping it works. No, wait, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't.

I know lots of people who work off hours shifts to cover maintenance windows. My advise to you: suck it up, princess, that's part of the job.

This just sounds like risk taking in the name of being lazy.

I took a fish head to the movies and I didn't have to pay. -- Fish Heads, Saturday Night Live, 1977.