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Comment Not about coding, about productivity (Score 1) 255

If you cannot automate tasks as part of your job, someone else who can will be more cost effective, or someone else will fully automate your job. Either way, I imagine being able to script some automation together will be an essential part of being able to gain work in the future, especially as so much of general work consists of repetitive tasks.

Sites like iftt and other introductions to scripting solutions, make this type of automation easy for the general population to get the building blocks of automation without the overheads of making a request to an IT specialist.

How many programmers work on mail merge or the many other office functions that have been solved many times over already? Yes, just as today, there will be some spreadsheets from hell and some vb messes, but the same productivity pressures will retain more of the capable ones than the mess generators.

Middle managers creating their own crap scripts can still have a huge impact on their productivity, and this is an area that some traditional IT departments have not supported very well other than to try to lock it down, albeit with some good reasons.

Submission + - State Dept Demands Takedown Of 3D-Printed Gun File Under Export Control Laws (forbes.com) 2

Sparrowvsrevolution writes: The battle for control of dangerous digital shapes may have just begun. On Thursday, Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson received a letter from the State Department Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance demanding that he take down the online blueprints for the 3D-printable “Liberator” handgun that his group released Monday, along with nine other 3D-printable firearms components hosted on the group’s website Defcad.org, while it reviews the files for compliance with export control laws for weapons known as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, or ITAR. By uploading the weapons files to the Internet and allowing them to be downloaded abroad, the letter implies Wilson’s high-tech gun group may have violated those export controls.

Of course, the files have already been downloaded 100,000 times and found there way to the Pirate Bay, so the State Department's data control attempts are likely futile.

Cody Wilson has agreed to take down the files from his website, but compares the move to the State Department investigation of Phillip Zimmermann for putting encryption software online in 1993, which was based on the same arms export laws. "It's PGP all over again," he says.

Submission + - Netflix to go HTML5, but not without DRM 1

FuzzNugget writes: In a recent blog post, Netflix details their plans to transition from Silverlight to HTML5, but with one caveat: HTML5 needs to include a built-in DRM scheme. With the W3C's proposed Encrypted Media Extensions, this may come to frition. But what would we sacrificing in openness and the web as we know it? How will developers of open source browsers like Firefox respond to this?

Comment Laws are just rules (Score 1) 496

(Laws | Contracts) are just a set of rules that may have been codified in a sloppy fashion which allows a number of implicit logic errors to slip through as there is no formal testing.

I have worked in areas related to encoding acts of legislation and regulation into chunks of DSL for processing by a rule engine. It was easier than I expected, but was not without challenges.

When compared to normal business process automation, at least laws have a specific definition(s) for every term already defined as well as specific outcomes; whereas the agony of throwing BAs at interpreting a business function that is poorly defined and without any specific outcomes can be a nightmare.

Imagine the first inroads are as supplementary tools to identify legal loopholes and gaps(the implicit logic errors when the rules are combined).

In terms of writing contracts, this has already been heavily automated; remember EDI, umm, trading systems, electronic purchasing?

Judiciary bodies already use software that highlight variations in sentencing whilst guiding judges and magistrates on a range of factors that determined previous sentence ranges(precedents).

Comment ban hammers from one hardware store (Score 2) 276

If I owned a hardware store and advertised hammers by displaying the use of the hammer in breaking into a house/safe whatever, then maybe there would be some not unexpected bad blood from people who experienced some damage from hammer wielding thieves, or were even just worried about the possibility.

Whether the recipient seemed like they deserved such treatment because they did bad things to kittens is moot, being seen to promote illegal activities as a positive use of your product is just a bit silly, even if you vehemently disagree with said law.

Arguing about the pros and cons of banning hammers in a particular store because in some cases the use is wrong but seems justified seems even sillier to me.

Comment Stop Press: Wikileaks has stopped the war (Score 1) 1088

Wikileaks have succeeded where all others have failed, simply by burying everyone in 91,000 documents looking for easter eggs!

Really, the amount of time spent trying to get a name out those docs before they died of old age, even with such helpful categorisation would surely be enough to completely disable any real activity.

It seems to be spin however tenuously tied to the truth to destroy the validity of Wikileaks and any info they receive that they then release which is in some way embarrassing.

Comment queensland is not part of oz (Score 1) 714

Queensland is NOT part of Australia, and any sort of intelligence fled during the Joh Bjelke-Petersen years when he kept telling everyone "d d d dont you worry bout that now!" in response to any questions from the media. Intelligent design is just the usual Queensland double speak dialect for being told to do and believe what you are told or face the consequences of just what happens with that there banjo.

A failure will not appear until a unit has passed final inspection.