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Comment: Re:A corrupt company stuggling. Boo hoo. (Score 1) 132 132

What's sad is that UOP really could have done it! If they offered actual counseling guidance, and curricula that didn't just suck, and made sure that their clients passed classes with rigor, they could have *easily* made a profitable college with good reviews and earned trust.

Instead, they violated that trust, and probably deserve to be shut down.

Comment: Re:Wifi saturation? (Score 1) 152 152

What I find fucks with wifi is big thick walls.

I just bought a house. One of the things I was initially pleased to find is that it was built with full-on, 3/4" sheet rock - quality construction!

That is, until I plugged in my wifi router and tried to connect from my bedroom. I don't know what it is about 3/4" sheetrock made in 1978, but it's practically a Faraday cage. I'm contemplating setting up numerous routers with 1-antenna per room so you can get decent access everywhere in the house.

A compromise position in the hall closet gets the bedrooms *almost* OK through the doors...

Comment: Re:Good luck ... (Score 2) 107 107

You make it sound *onerous* but it doesn't need to be. You can buy many home routers with a USB port. Plug in a thumb drive and enable webDAV shares!

We've been using webDAV for many, many years to create a distributed, "cloud based" storage accessible anywhere with good security. (Authenticated webDAV over SSL is approximately as secure as the password)

Comment: Re:If there are patent issues (Score 5, Informative) 355 355

Microsoft has always been fairly smart about courting developers with excellent tools and development platforms, and making it quite easy to build applications for Windows

Maybe you don't remember history the way I do.

Remember VB? An excellent toolkit that gained widespread acceptance in the Enterprise world for it's tight IDE, integration environment and easy forms. But then MS came out with which was about as related to VB 6 as javascript is to java. It was a horrible mess, everything had to be re-written to be compatible because it was really an entirely new language. Developers were left in the lurch, oh well, perhaps you shouldn'ta Microsoft, you know?

Remember Silverlight? The "Flash Killer", it was an excellent toolkit for writing distributed applications quickly. Performance was excellent. Many big names "bet the farm" on it. Until Microsoft walked away from it, too. Netflix will *never again* bank on a MS technology, I'm sure.

But that's not where it ends. Remember Windows Phone 7? The next big thing (tm) and they ditched it, for WP8, and all the devs were screwed. Again.

But that's not where it ends. Why is the XBox 360 not compatible with the original XBox? Why is the XBox "One" not compatible with the XBox 360? With every console generation, MS has been screwing the developers.

And so it goes. Over and over, the devs get the shaft any time they bet on Microsoft's newest, highly promoted technology.

What's next?

Comment: Re:STEM Shortage (Score 1) 336 336

The so-called "STEM shortage" is pretty much bullshit. If you take a look at the degrees that pay the best you find that standard STEM degrees dominate.

No degree is a guarantee of employment. If you can't be bothered to shower and show up, you're going to have a hard time. Degrees merely improve your odds of success significantly.

Comment: Re:Interesting person (Score 0, Offtopic) 284 284

I like how it's unpopular to point out that some traits of conservatism are undesirable. For example, looking at the map of the laws against interracial marriage and also gay marriage looks pretty similar to the standard red/blue map that seems to dominate politics.

But hey, it's not a "Republican Core Value" or something. Yeah. /s

Comment: forward looking design (Score 1) 557 557

The biggest complaint I've had about my homes is that they weren't built in a forward looking fashion.

All of the wiring was designed and installed in a fashion which requires the house to be gutted to upgrade it to code.
Some of the materials used were designed to be replaced or fail (eg. cheap orangeberg sewage utility plumbing), with difficulty in replacing.
No foresight was given to the durability of the structure (eg. having to replace the roof every couple years due to hail) in terms of costly maintenance and time.

So for my list:

* The structure would be a large monolithic dome, for durability.
* The entire structure would be built with 'false walls' between the living space and the exterior wall(s) to allow for easy access to eg. power runs.
* There would be a raised floor, to allow for easy access to...
* Heating, which would be run in a similar fashion as electric, eg. under the floor water heat, provided by eg. pex tubing.
* Since the structure is basically a large faraday cage, fibre would be run to an external structure to allow for outdoor wireless technology expansion.
* Solar would naturally be integrated, with the wiring put in place to allow for future expansion if necessary (both in the utility room via additional capacity on the fuse box, but also at wherever the power is generated). If Google can leave a large amount of their fibre dark to await capacity, I don't see why I can't do this with copper.
* Several additional sub-juncture fuse boxes would be placed throughout the house - one for the kitchen, one for the garage, one for the basement. Just something small. No point in having a purely single-star power topography.
* Solar concentrators windows/lights on the roof would assist by providing light to the house while at the same time powering solar.
* The house would undoubtedly leverage geothermal for power (hopefully) and heating/cooling, as heat exchangers are quite efficient and monolythic domes have notably low energy cost.
* Large windows (where appropriate) would have the newer panes which automatically dim the environment and/or can be used for projection purposes.
* Power outlets would be placed every 5 feet along walls and counters.

For security, I would likely install something like UniFi (ubiquiti) based cameras. I'm a fan of their power control systems as well, so those would also be used for lighting and such. I'd probably also consider using x10, simply because it offers a bit more flexibility and no lock-in.

But then, replacing eg. in-wall power outlets is fairly straightforward.

Comment: Re:Yeah, but can you stop the NSA (Score 1) 66 66

Just to be fair "perfectly secure" is probably overstating things considerably. It would pass "no known exploits" pretty well, certainly "commercially viable".

The only "perfectly secure" computer is off, unplugged from the Internet, and encased in 50 feet of reinforced concrete. And even then, there *are* ways to exploit it using *ahem* brute force...

Comment: Re:And what about the infrastructure issues? (Score 1) 294 294

It's easy to design something that people can do. It's tough to design a system that people can't fail at. And that's where there's a big, soft, squishy line that divides what people can generally keep up with and the things that people have to work at to get wrong.

As a software engineer, I require the first, and aim for the latter. It's tough.

My uncle was an BART engineer. He controlled BART ([San Francisco] Bay Area Rapid Transit) trains in the SF Bay Area for a living. The train had doors on both sides of the train and some stations opened on one side, or the other.

BART trains are frequently "up in the air" as much as 50 feet, where the expectation is that you climb a flight or two of stairs to the BART station and board the train. And, for passengers, the doors automatically opened on the correct side so that nobody got hut.

For passengers. But the engineers were expected to manually open the doors on the appropriate side when leaving their station. Now, it's not particularly difficult to look outside the door and see which side the station is on, and the doors for passengers automatically opened on the correct side.

This is where that big, squishy line starts to rear its ugly head. Because while passengers weren't expected to remember which side to get off, engineers were. And my poor uncle made a mistake one day, and opened the wrong side. It was a fatal mistake.

Answer me this: Why would we expect that passengers would never get it right, but engineers would never get it wrong?

Intelligently designed systems that account for and prevent common human mistakes is a design goal. It's tough to do because you have to predict what the end user will likely get wrong and account for that. Nonetheless, it's a hallmark of engineering advancement that we've designed something so safe and resistant to human error as a car that casually travels 100 MPH with as low a death toll as we see today.

"Floggings will continue until morale improves." -- anonymous flyer being distributed at Exxon USA