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Comment: Re: Just let me do brain surgery! (Score 4, Insightful) 368

by krlynch (#47518593) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

Of course brain surgeons don't "just do" brain surgery .... in any surgery, there's a ton of pre-operative work, investigation, preparation, paperwork, practice, etc. No one just dives in and cuts open your head.... and just as no one administrator hovers over the scalpel's every move, no manager hovers over every keystroke, either.

Comment: Re:$18.7 billion?! (Score 4, Insightful) 208

by krlynch (#46944025) Attached to: Stanford Getting Rid of $18 Billion Endowment of Coal Stock

Endowments return significant operating funds in up years, and sales from the endowment assets smooth out what would otherwise be significant operating losses in the down years; they decouple university operating finances from the business cycle and local politics. They _stabilize_ finances. They can also used as collateral allow for much larger debt funded initiatives to be floated. I dearly wish my university employer had a large endowment....

Put another way: you don't eat your seed corn. The endowment is the seed corn. Selling off an endowment for short term, short sighted "it seems wrong to have so much money!" would be criminal

Comment: Re:or stop hiding... (Score 1) 377

by krlynch (#46237447) Attached to: Assange's Lawyers: Follow Swedish Law, Interrogate Him In the UK

It does, because he isn't ... as is pointed out every time this pointless story comes back to /.

"Contrary to popular belief, diplomatic missions do not enjoy full extraterritorial status and are not sovereign territory of the represented state."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D...

Comment: Re:Drinking from the firehose. (Score 1) 108

by krlynch (#45751159) Attached to: Neglect Causes Massive Loss of 'Irreplaceable' Research Data

It ain't the hardware ... it's the people. Who maintains the hardware? Programs it all? Who maintains the networks? Who is charged with tracking what's working and what isn't? Who backs it up, and updates formats, and catalogs it, and indexes it, and tracks the changing methodologies used in the collection? Who translates the old code, and operating systems, and storage formats, and hardware, and whatever else?

Hardware's cheap ... people (especially those of the knowledgeable and reliable variety) aren't. Digital data archiving and warehousing for the long haul are well understood to be huge problems for which we haven't found a very good set of solutions.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming

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