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Comment Re:iPad?!?!?! (Score 1) 366

Once upon a time, there were the DC-8-61 and DC8-63 which were stretched several over 36 feet to a length that looked ridiculous. They put a hardpoint under the tail which could drag on the ground if the pilot overrotated, which was VERY common on that bird. (Also, sitting near the rear in turbulence was sphincter tightening as you could see the fuse was wobbling at least 6 feet sideways in random directions.)

I flew in one to France in 1973, and it dragged the tail *hard* on takeoff: There was no damage because of the hardpoint.

So if tailstrikes are a problem, quit screwing around and put a hardpoint there to protect the aircraft. If it worked on a DC-8 40 years ago, it can work on a piddly little 737 now, FFS.

Comment Re:Offer paid support? (Score 5, Insightful) 213

Because business NEEDS to have the illusion that they "have a neck to choke" when something goes wrong, so they need to have a "contract" with a "company". I've heard this from the C-suite for years. (That is what Red Hat is selling, and why they're successful!)

It's nuts, really: Anyone who reads common software company contracts/EULAs knows that they have NO recourse if something goes wrong, but if they think they can somehow hang blame on a vendor if they have a problem, then that makes them feel safe.

In truth, the OSS model means that if something goes wrong and the vendor tells you to f**k off or goes bankrupt, you can find someone else to help you. If a closed-source vendor can't/won't help or goes under, you're screwed much harder.

Comment Yeah, that's not true. (Score 2) 568

"But fifty years' worth of attempts to turn software development into a legitimate engineering practice have failed."

Nobody has really tried to do this: There's more money to be made by keeping programmers as fungible low-level serfs and pumping out piles of "good enough" code, so all the pressure is against the creation of a proper professional practice.

Why are engineers professional? Because the failures in the past of unprofessional engineers killed a lot of people. (I'm thinking pre-Brunel, not recently.) So societal pressure pushed engineers to self regulate and/or be regulated, and that pressure forced a profession to emerge.

When a LOT of people start dying from bad software, then you'll see people wake up to the dangers: Hopefully you'll see a grassroots push to start to force liability on the producers of software and see some heads roll. That may lead to a push to regulate and control the standards that software needs to meet, and that may lead to some sort of professional software and ITSec organisation that will serve to raise the devs above serfdom and into a professional practice.

IMHO, Linus Torvalds is a heck of a lot closer to a "software professional" than anyone at Microsoft.

(If you take my tone as being critical of engineers, don't. I have the highest respect for engineers and I only wish that software developers and IT security people had the same level of professionalism!)

Comment That's horsecrap. (Score 4, Insightful) 307

The problem with TV is that the amount of advertising is increasing to the point where watching in real time is too frustrating.

Of course people are turning to other sources where they can watch without the constant interruption of yet more and more and more commercials. The channels are starting to run certain ads more than once during a single ad break: Why would anyone want to watch that?

Without a PVR, TV is simply unwatchable.

Comment Part of a much larger problem, ISTS. (Score 3, Interesting) 373

"- is it time for the government to roll out legislation that will enforce safety standards for car computers as well?"

Which would be covered under *any* sort of "product liability for software" legislation.

Seriously: You can't buy food without the producer going through FDA checks, you can't buy a car without all the right safety and functionality checked by a gummint agency, you can't trade stocks without oversight by the SEC, so why can software vendors continue to peddle insecure crap with no liability?

Comment Re:At least there's an LTSB option... (Score 2) 193

'...a suite of middleware that relies heavily on some of the internals of Windows. Changing out anything is a risk that the product doesn't work as expected. '

You need to FIX that. ITSec researchers are seeing more and more threats going forwards. Any product that locks an end user to a specific configuration with no updates allowed is a security nightmare waiting to happen.

Devs have to accept and adjust to a world where every library and tool (Java, Oracle, Adobe, M$, etc.) is going to be updated at short notice as part of the enterprise need to have secure systems and meet regulatory and contractual obligations. The days are OVER where lazy businesses and devs can assume they will be on the same IE 6 and Java JRE 3.1 forever and ever because security is Someone Else's Problem.

Comment Re:Long time *NIXer considering switching to Windo (Score 2) 193

The enterprise is going to be interesting with this stuff. If MS sends PII from Windows 10 to Microsoft, and an enterprise in the USA or Europe "upgrades" to Windows 10, then how can that enterprise continue to claim "Safe Harbor" certification?

I suspect that Microsoft is going to have to rip out all the privacy-destroying stuff before it can sell to a company that needs to be "Safe Harbor" certified.


Comment Re:School me on well water (Score 4, Insightful) 328

The problem there is that when the well is contaminated, it's WAY too late to do anything. Even if the responsible company immediately stops fracking completely, the well will continue to provide polluted water until the aquifer gets cleaned out somehow. That may be anytime from years to millenia.

I think it's more reasonable for the landowner to be able to force the fracking company to "fix what they broke" and to ensure the landowner has a supply of clean water equal to their current well production available to them for free until the well runs clean again. Or the frackers pay for all the land at pre-fracking market value.

Yeah, I'm a dreamer.

SCCS, the source motel! Programs check in and never check out! -- Ken Thompson