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Comment The most important part of this system... (Score 1) 111

The most important part of this system is the issue tracking feedback, as it provides positive reinforcement to the reporting party, and it provides incentive to not just blow off the report to the city.

Systems such as this, but without the feedback loop, exist in many cities; without the feedback loop, there's no way to detect the difference between an ignored report and one which is scheduled for a fix (including a "cable TV guy" style estimate as to when).

Comment Then they are using the wrong technology. (Score 1) 111

Then they are using the wrong technology.

They should have cold temperature relief valves, and use PEX piping, so that it can freeze without damage. The building itself should be equipped with an excessive flow shut-off valve, such as the Dorot 100FE (which is an entirely mechanical design, mediated by water pressure differential over time).

Then they could leave the water on, and not have a problem.

BTW: if they had excessive flow shut-off valves throughout the system, the broken water lines would never have risen to the level of a problem in the first place; the first they would have heard about it would have been complaints of not water.

The reason that a fire hydrant doesn't freeze is that there's no water in it; it's called an "anti-siphon valve" and it's located below the frost line. When water is shut off, the valve drains the water out of the plug; the same thing should be employed in structures so that when the excessive flow cut-off triggers, the water drains out of the system, and it's protected against freezing.

You could literally abandon a properly equipped building for yeas, it'd get close to the freeze point, and the entire plumbing system would protect itself.

Such systems are common in areas where a power failure could result in a loss of heating; I've seen them used in Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Minnesota, and Wisconsin (among others) for apartment complexes and horse stables. You'd think that Detroit, having so many mechanical engineers at one point, would have adopted this into their building code already.

Comment Re: Um. (Score 1) 111

There is some truth to that. Republicans hate children. Just look at what they want to do to WIC.

Is this why they are such strong supporters of Planned Parenthood?

Seriously, quit ascribing properties to the right wing nutjobs that are even nuttier than reality, or no one is going to believe you when you cry "Wolf!" and there's actually a wolf there...

Comment Um. (Score 2) 111

Just because the Demicrats rule here doesn't mean that the Republican's aren't the ones behind the curtains pulling the strings. Republicans are the real rulers of Detroit and have been for more than 100 years.

Um. Is this your opinion because you know how well Republicans and Labor Unions "get along" (e.g. like matches and gasoline), or because of some other reason, like "Eat your broccoli Johnny, or the Republicans will come out of your closet and eat you while you're asleep"?

Comment Correct treatment? Radioactive iodine abalation. (Score 1, Interesting) 126

Correct treatment? Radioactive iodine abalation.

If only they had some radiation with which to treat those cancers... particularly radiation in shell fish, given shell fish are a common source of iodine.

Isn't it more likely that avoiding eating fish would account for the difference (assuming there is one, after you control for "suspected cases", and you compare to a relatively unexposed genetically similar population of children elsewhere in Japan, I mean)?

Comment Re:If I was Microsoft, here's what I'd do. (Score 1) 90

I think either yours or my idea or even both would be a good move to add more Windows Phone users.

Realize that I don't necessarily believe that more Windows phones are automatically a social good; I just believe that if that were Microsoft's goal, the way to achieve it would be for Microsoft to encourages developers to target them as a platform. This would incidentally benefit Microsoft by having developers target their code to Microsoft's IDE, rather than X Code or Eclipse.

Again, this is only about Microsoft's best interests in regard to establishing market share, and not about what I believe is necessarily a social good.

Comment Re:If I was Microsoft, here's what I'd do. (Score 1, Insightful) 90

I'm not sure if this is legal or not, but if they made an iOS and Android emulator so you could run both iOS and Android apps on the Windows phones, some people might get a Windows Phone then who'd otherwise be getting one or the other because they figure they get all types of compatibility.

This would be the third worst tactical blunder of all time. The most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line"!

The correct thing to do is build Windows emulators for iOS and Android, rather than the other way around.

This will cause developers to target their development for Windows, rather than targeting iOS or Android. This get Microsoft native apps, and at the same time, detracts from having those same apps native on iOS or Android.

FreeBSD made the mistake of building a Linux emulation layer for FreeBSD, instead of a FreeBSD emulation layer for Linux, which would have had developers working on FreeBSD native code, rather than Linux native code.

Comment Re:Documentation is rarely valued as a contributio (Score 1) 688

I can't speak for other people, but personally I do value documentation. Not that I want to spend all my time documenting someone else's work, but when I need to learn about something, documentation is invaluable. No, it isn't as fun as writing code, but that doesn't make it useless. If someone else wants to contribute to FOSS and isn't a coder, but can do tech writing, I for one would appreciate their contribution to documentation.

I value documentation as well.

The problem is that the people changing the code out from under the documentation, so that the documentation quickly becomes out of date, or, worse, incorrect and misleading, is those people who are doing that to the code *not appreciating* the documentation effort.

At worst, there needs to be an agreement that things will stay the same for a while, or for at least a major version number, before the documentation goes out of date. And as you've noted with git: when things grow organically and incrementally, it's going to be near impossible to keep the docs in lock-step with the code -- particularly if the only way to make them match up is reverse engineering the code until you know enough about it to document it accurately and completely.

At one point in time, I wrote a rather complete internals book on FreeBSD; but the OS changed out from under the book too quickly, and so it was inaccurate, except for a particular major revision. And even then, there were sufficient differences even in the point releases (to the odd minor version number) that, unless I'd included a CDROM set or DVD with the book itself, there was no way that it was going to be useful for its intended purpose as a college textbook.

So yeah, documentation would be nice, but it's only going to get there as a divided labor effort if we agree to write design documents up front, and then follow a cathedral model for both the docs and the code that come out of those designs.

I think one of the major problems is that when you make something understandable by documenting it ... it makes it a whole lot easier for someone to step in and know how to "improve" things, until the docs are out of date again. At least, that has been my personal experience.

Comment Documentation is rarely valued as a contribution. (Score 2) 688

If women don't care about making code faster and more compact, maybe they should work on other aspects of FOSS. For instance, most of it could use a lot of help in the documentation department.

Documentation is rarely valued as a contribution. We specifically had to go out of our way to hire a technical writer for Mac OS X to get the man pages covered for the UNIX Conformance requirement. And those were just command line commands, Libc, and the kernel interfaces that had coverage requirements.

It's definitely not valued nearly as well as code. The most common comment with regard to it is advice to "RTFS" and some variant of "If it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand". This is seen in the tools, as well. For example, git is written in such a way that you pretty much have to understand all of it to use any of it. This steepness of the learning curve appears to be intention, and viewed as a merit badge for when someone gets their head around it and Groks it. In the same way that you can do anything in Perl in half a dozen or a dozen different ways, the same is true of git.

Also, your verbal vs. visual thinking bias is showing. Personally, I process software in the same part of my brain that does auditory processing of music (meaning I have a hard time coding if I'm listening to music, as verified by FMRI of the dorsolateral frontal cortex and inferior frontal gyrus, Broca's, and Wernicke's areas, among other areas). Language centers tend to be common for processing both sound and software in many coders.

Ironically, if you are good with languages, you tend to be good with code as well, assuming you have a number of computer languages under your belt to generalize from. But if the tools have a crappy learning curve, then it takes a bit of OCD to be willing to invest the time necessary to overcome it. Staying overnight in a computer lab so that you can get time on the machines is not something most people do these days.

Comment Re:What kind of dumbass company... (Score 1) 142

Port it? are you really that completely clueless?

You simply fucking compile it with the same compiler flags you used for the first version. Compiling android 5.1 for a 4.4.4 phone is absolutely trivial.

You obviously do not *get* how Android partner companies deal with porting android. Most of the bits for various phones do *not* get integrated back into the main line sources.

Any given android version on any given phone is generally a stable snapshot of whatever was top of tree when the work on the phone started, plus local additions for device support.

Internally, Samsung treats each new phone as a one-off porting job. They've got an entire group that does nothing but one-off ports of whatever is a top of tree to the new phone hardware they are coming out with.

I know you'd love for this not to be the case, but it pretty much is the way things are.

Comment What kind of dumbass company... (Score 1) 142

What kind of dumbass company is going to spend money porting a new version of an OS to an old platform, with no payday for doing so?

Mobile phone vendors make their money selling new phones. You want a new Android, get a new phone. Your contract will be up in 2 years, and at 18 months, you will be offered a new phone with early renewal, so just wait until the contract is up, re-up the contract, and get the new phone with the fix.


Comment There are actually 4 options... (Score 1) 182

There are actually 4 options... buy outright, buy financing through them, lease with an option to buy, buy power (lease, no option to buy, lower cost).

And yeah, they told me about the no panel upgrade and that bothered me as well. I have some shade in the area, and it moves around, and in order to get off the grid entirely, a 13% increase in panel efficiency for a given area would fix it. But they will not upgrade your existing panels when more efficient panels become available.

So that sticks me with a 20 year contract with no way to get off the grid.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.