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Comment: Re:Repetitive (broken) OS abandonment (Score 4, Informative) 240

by RightwingNutjob (#47150405) Attached to: The Coming IT Nightmare of Unpatchable Systems
It's a two cultures problem in IT. The vast majority of Microsoft's, or Apples, or Oracles, or whoever's customers use their OS on laptops, workstations, or servers, where the consequences of bugs are fairly well approximated by "nuisance". The other culture of computer software customers are folks who use computers handle large amounts of money and control moving machinery (power plants, drones, etc), where the consequences of bugs and unintended features start at "oh shit, we've lost millions of dollars" to "oh shit, the crane dropped its load 200ft" up through "oh God, the power plant has exploded!" People in the second camp have a healthy suspicion of getting the latest and greatest upgrade from companies run by and for people in the first camp. And that dichotomy is why most embedded OS's come with source code that you get to debug yourself if it doesn't quite work for your application (VxWorks, QNX, Windows Embedded, RTLinux, etc).

Comment: orly? Portland ahead of curve, big open source hub (Score 3, Interesting) 83

by leftie (#47138029) Attached to: Oregon vs. Oracle: the Battle of Blame Heats Up

When Oregon’s new Chief Information Officer, Alex Pettit,was on our show recently, we asked him what stood out from his move from Oklahoma to the northwest. He said there were some expected cultural differences, but that in terms of IT he was caught by surprise:

        I was surprised that things like open source wasn’t as bigin government as it is in the East Coast, or in Oklahoma, where I was. I was surprised that transparency wasn’t a bigger issue. It’s certainly a big issue in Oklahoma, and it’s less so here.

This was striking because Oregon is known for its open source community — at Oregon State’s Open Source Lab, at the annual OSCON Conference, and among many programmers. And his comments came right before an Oregonian op-ed argued that open source software could have prevented the Cover Oregon fiasco.

The only mistake that may have been made by Oregon State gov. tech people was letting Federal officials talk into going outside Oregon for the website project.

Comment: Amazon's big screw-up - missed (Score 1) 405

Amazon big screw-up with the Kindle was completely missing the big takeoff of crowdfinding sites like

"Authors are choosing to crowdfund their work, and there are now options for them on which platform to use. The question is: Kickstarter, Indiegogo or Pubslush? To explore the pros and cons of those platforms, I interviewed a successful author from each of them to find out why they chose it and how they succeeded....

Amazon Kindle & DRM strategy needed to end up with authors completely dependent on the Amazon for their income. Amazon either missed the birth or takeoff of crowdfunding sites for as a new important revenue source for creative occupations.

Comment: Re:Putting people in an autonomous car (Score 1) 301

Well, if the cars only went on special roads, you'd be right, and just like the elevator, the people who are responsible for maintaining the roads are responsible for any accidents. But normal elevators don't pop off their rails and walk you to some arbitrary location on your chosen floor. My point is that autonomous cars should be considered like an airplane with a super-duper autopilot. Sure, the pilot just pushes a button and the plane does its thing, but the pilot is still responsible for a visual inspection and preflight check every single time.

Comment: Re:Putting people in an autonomous car (Score 2) 301

Well, yes and no. If you're going to let autonomous cars drive in the same environments where you let people drive cars right now, as opposed to separated lanes on a few specially designed and maintained roads, the human ultimately should be responsible. Like if the car crashes because you didn't clean the bird-shit off the camera, or you didn't notice that the radar antenna in the front got dinged by a shopping cart and is about to fall off, it is your fault when it falls off and the car crashes.

Comment: Re:diesel-electric? (Score 1) 160

by RightwingNutjob (#47023005) Attached to: Airbus E-Fan Electric Aircraft Makes First Flight
Jet engines themselves are a step back from high bypass turbofans and turboprops. One of the rules of thumb for aircraft engines is that a bigger fan spinning slower is more effecient than a smaller fan spinning way faster. But the the prospect of having basically all fan driven electrically without an obstruction from compressor, fuel handling, etc may swing the balance in favor of diesel electric (ie one turboshaft driving a generator running the fans) in some cases.

If you fail to plan, plan to fail.