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Comment: Re:Manhattan project was the same thing (Score 1) 370

by slimdave (#49422201) Attached to: How the Pentagon Wasted $10 Billion On Military Projects

At least the Manhattan Project was possible according the the laws of physics, and represented mostly an engineering problem. Modern procurement seems to be a bunch of engineering trying to do what the laws of physics disallow -- like detecting over the horizon objects with straight-line signals.

Comment: Re:Manhattan project was the same thing (Score 1) 370

by slimdave (#49421583) Attached to: How the Pentagon Wasted $10 Billion On Military Projects

The top officials in the Pentagon have little personal incentive to discriminate between what will and what will not work, when they can arrange massive contracts for companies that will then offer them a senior position when they retire on their 100% government salaries.

Comment: Re:No one promises pork (Score 2) 370

by slimdave (#49421191) Attached to: How the Pentagon Wasted $10 Billion On Military Projects

It would be wrong to characterise this as entirely the fault of politicians, beach the electors also do not care if it's worthwhile or not.

It works for the politicians to do this because their local electorate recognise that the cost will fall mostly on other tax payers, and each of the tax payers is trying to screw as many as the others as possible, and they'll vote for the candidate that will be complicit in the scheme.

Comment: The common denominator ... (Score 1) 370

by slimdave (#49421035) Attached to: How the Pentagon Wasted $10 Billion On Military Projects

Is there not a principle that offence always beats defense?

Many of these vast military overspends appear to be based on an assumption that the potential opponents will never adapt to the new technology. I'm no expert, but is part of the analysis of a new system or strategy not, "how would we adapt to this if the enemy had this system, and does it therefore make sense to do it?"

So here we have a system designed to tackle some number of incoming missiles. Even if it's perfect, the enemy adapts by using slightly more advanced decoys, more missiles, different trajectories ... and the new defensive technology is a military failure (granted the shareholders and C-levels have made enough money to buy their own remote island). I'm sure there are many more examples -- stealth aircraft that are visible to radar with a longer (less "modern"?) wavelength?

You also have to question the motivation of people who will spend billions to avoid a slight chance of a large number of war deaths, but are unwilling to spend money on a continual stream of preventable medical deaths.

Comment: Confused about three parents (Score 1) 199

by slimdave (#48979259) Attached to: British MPs Approve 3-Parent Babies

If you are concerned about the possible existence of beings whose genetic material is derived from more than two other beings, you should perhaps meditate on the meaning of having grandparents.

It may be an error to confuse scientific reality with newspaper headlines that are designed to stimulate sales.

Comment: Next steps ... (Score 5, Interesting) 121

by slimdave (#48977749) Attached to: Alan Turing's Notes Found After Being Used As Insulation At Bletchley Park

The notes will be restored and then popped into a glass display case with one or two pages visible, with a sort-of description of why they are important.

Pretty much all of Bletchley is like this, unfortunately. Stuff on display that you are not going to understand, such as copies of Turing's early mathematical papers with only the first page showing.

The problem with the whole Bletchley Park experience is that it was obviously extremely important, but is practically beyond all explanation for the ordinary punter. I think I might be able to intellectually struggle through an explanation of some of it, but the displays do not explain it in enough detail to help with that. Overall, my visit felt like a patchwork of different explanations of the same few concepts using poster boards, audio devices and video and interactive displays. It's padded out with various "wartime experience" bits here and there.

It probably seems like a very negative attitude, but a technical chap in his mid-forties with a couple of bright teenagers in tow ought to be right in the target demographic for Bletchley, but I'm practically embarrassed to say that I ended up drinking weak hot chocolate in the cafe and agreeing with my boys that it was all rather dull.

Special commendation for the rack of old bicycles at the end of one of the huts, with a hidden speaker to give you the authentic experience of what squeaky bicycle wheels sounded like in the 1940's. Or something?

Comment: Re:Automatically Holding Up (Score 1) 195

by jgarry (#48437949) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Hackable Car?

2001 bug has it.
2008 Chrysler has it. It stopped working, would go halfway up then detect "interference" and go back down, took it to dealer, dealer replaced something on other side. Then when I pointed that out he fixed it.
2008 Edge has it, drivers side only. Also has it for up or down of hatch, though it sometimes false-positives interference on the down.

But you can still slam your finger in any door.

I wouldn't want to hack any of those. When I got a new battery for the bug at Batteries+, the listing said "Do Not Even Attempt To Install This For Customer." Installer ignored that, no problem.

I once had a Fiat 128 with a different engine swapped in. The schematics didn't agree with what was there or had been there. In Italian.

Comment: Re:Key question (Score 1) 108

by jgarry (#48154917) Attached to: Oracle Database Certifications Are No Longer Permanent

Actually, so far...I've not found any jobs that required any Oracle DBA certification as a requirement for work. Maybe for starting out, but for me, job resume experience is what sells you.

I've never been certified, I've taken the classes in the past, but never got around to taking the actual exam, and I've never found it to be a job requirement, nor pay amount factor.

I'm pretty much contracting only these days, so maybe the more beginner W2 jobs value this more, but for now, I find that in general, Oracle Certs are about as worthless as MS certified engineer credentials. You just don't need them really.

Oracle Partners jobs require certs. This is of course all marketing, but marketing is lucrative.

Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Mother Nature cannot be fooled. -- R.P. Feynman

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