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Comment: Something New (Score 1) 358

by jbohumil (#47946709) Attached to: U2 and Apple Collaborate On 'Non-Piratable, Interactive Format For Music'
Let's see what they can come up with. This is about music but so is going to a live concert. You can't pirate a live concert in the sense of completely recreating the live concert experience. Of course you can record the audio tracks, or video record it, but obvious you can't "go to the concert." What I am trying to say is sure, create something new, some cool multimedia thing or whatever. If people want to buy it they will, if not, so what.

Comment: The problem isn't COBOL it is bad management (Score 1) 345

by jbohumil (#44247131) Attached to: The Pentagon's Seven Million Lines of Cobol
The problem isn't COBOL is is bad management. I think that really says it all. You have to manage a project and that means you have to have support at a high enough level that the impacted departments get their marching orders in agreement with the master plan. Otherwise you are doomed if you have to fit the solution to the middle management tier's "requirements" because their "requirements" are that everything stays the same so their jobs and departments are unaffected by the new solution. That's not going to happen in a ground up re-implementation.

Comment: Re:Typical government efficiency... (Score 1) 345

by jbohumil (#44247069) Attached to: The Pentagon's Seven Million Lines of Cobol
Amen to this. Automating a system from scratch is much harder than tweaking an existing work flow. It is not at all unusual to see entire departments built around the failures of the automated system. In other words, lets say there is some inefficiency in an implementation. Because it is difficult to get the IT prioritized and modified to address it, another option is to hire someone to fill the gap and do the work that you might have been able to automate, but would require reworking the system. Now try to totally overhaul the work flow from top to bottom when jobs and departments on the line.

Comment: Re:Cobol is self-documenting (Score 1) 345

by jbohumil (#44247031) Attached to: The Pentagon's Seven Million Lines of Cobol
It depends. I've seen some Cobol systems where programmers created truly unreadable layers of code with all kinds of convoluted methods. IN some cases it almost looks like they tried to make it impossible to read the code. I once saw a simple date routine that for some reason was running forever, only to crack it open and find out that the program proceeded to build through the most complex and inefficient ways an actual calendar of every possible date within several decades - perhaps even the whole century, I can't remember, only to subtract one date from the next. It took forever. Another implementation of this might have been done in 20 lines of code. But because of really really bad programming, it took a thousand lines of really messy hard to maintain code.

Comment: Google's self censorship .. slippery slope? (Score 2) 154

by jbohumil (#44061945) Attached to: Latest Target In War On Drugs: Google Autocomplete
I was surprised. Yesterday I wanted to play John Lennon's song "Woman is the nigger of the world" for a friend who had never heard it. Google autocomplete shut off at the "n" and wouldn't show the song's title. Google has made their own bed here by manipulating their autocomplete for a variety of reasons already. They certainly can't complain that they can't do it, or that it is too hard. They are doing it, and for fairly trivial situations such as avoiding presenting a disturbing word to a search engine user. This opens up the door for all kinds of requests for censorship, whether the politically correct ones like preventing the dread "n word" from appearing without someone actually typing it, or this idea that people can be prevented from visiting questionably legal sites by manipulation of autocomplete.

As soon as they deciding to do all kinds of manipulation they left themselves open to this kind of thing, and it seems like they pretty much have to go along with it, don't they? I mean, do they really want to make the case that showing someone an offensive word is worse than letting people see dangerous and questionably legal activities?

How much protection do Google users need from the horrors of the raw unfiltered internet? Gradually this will reduce the effectiveness of their search engine.

Comment: Bigotry (Score 5, Insightful) 814

by jbohumil (#44018367) Attached to: Transgendered Folks Encountering Document/Database ID Hassles
I'm surprised at all the bigotry here on Slashdot. I hope you guys get a chance to know a transgendered person at some point, it might change your attitudes. I have, and it totally changed my misunderstandings on the subject. I suppose it is natural to be unbelieving in things which seem foreign to our way of thinking, but even if you cannot accept the idea right now, at least give people the benefit of the doubt rather than spew your ignorance as if it were facts. Why not have a look and see attitude? You might be surprised. I feel lucky to have met the transgendered persons I have known in my life, I hope you get the chance.

Comment: IR face masking (Score 1) 201

This is slightly tongue in cheek, but one insidious way Google could address the privacy concerns would be to equip all Glass headsets with a special IR signal beam that would instruct other Glass devices to obscure the face of the person wearing the IR enabled Glass when it was detected. People who were concerned about their privacy would buy Glass as a means of protecting their own privacy. Just switch on the privacy beam switch.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27