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Comment: Re:Who eats doughnuts with the doughnut men? (Score 1) 450

by jfengel (#48925677) Attached to: Police Organization Wants Cop-Spotting Dropped From Waze App

Oh, I certainly don't: there's a permanent speed trap there.

It's conceivable that there's a reason for it. The road as a whole should be a major arterial, but it's got an awful lot of stop lights. (This is just outside of Washington, DC, which has practically no proper arterials.) At rush hour, allowing people to go faster on this section than the overall speed of the road would be worse for traffic.

What's really needed is to substantially restrict access to that road and make it a highway, though I'm sure that the businesses and residences along that road would hate it. The problem is systemic: there are no arteries and nobody wants to turn their stretch of road into one. There are zero interstates, so the roads are under a variety of local jurisdictions. I'm sure plenty of people complained to the county and state about that segment of road, but it's just a disaster for the whole region to deal with. And so it isn't.

Er, anyway, that's kinda beside the point, which is really that what's needed is for the traffic engineers to design for steady flow and for people to follow it, even if they'd be more comfortable at some other speed, especially when lanes are limited. But it's easier said than done in a metropolitan area.

Comment: Re:CA requires commercial licenses for pickup truc (Score 1) 208

I can guarantee you that if the Govt. left it up to drivers to get the proper training and instruction on how to operate vehicles safely, people wouldn't do it.

Interesting claim - since it doen't work that way for guns.

Where the government requires training, most gun purchasers take the minimum required, then stop. Where it doesn't, most people start with the course recommended by the gun stores (which is far more comprehensive - and more focussed, with less time spent on political indoctrination B-) ) and also do substantially more range time, until they feel adequately competent. (Then there are those that get interested in shooting as a hobby...)

A similar effect is the reason police normally don't shoot at private ranges simultaneously with civilians. Most police are embarrassingly HORRIBLE shots and pistol-handlers - because they do only the minimum training and practice required by the department (which has lots of other stuff for them to do while they're being paid for their time), and almost never have to actually fire their gun during their work.

Comment: Re:physical access (Score 1) 266

by Sycraft-fu (#48925467) Attached to: Why Screen Lockers On X11 Cannot Be Secure

"Of course, this comparison is also patently unfair -- Windows 7 was written in the 2000s, X11 was written in the 1980s. Expecting them to be comparable in terms of security is pretty ridiculous."

Which could be a good argument for replacing X. It is rather old technology, perhaps it is time to update it to something newer, rather than clinging to it and claiming it is all one needs.

Comment: Re:CA requires commercial licenses for pickup truc (Score 1) 208

Ford F150 Lariat.

For the 5 1/2 ton towing capacity (which also translates to "won't blow the engine head gasket towing a loaded trailer up CA 88 like the van did" - turns out they designed that vehicle's engine with the cylinders too close together so this one pair had a very thin piece of gasket between them,..).

(No time to get the GVR before I have to get to work...)

Comment: Re:Levels (Score 1) 198

by rwa2 (#48922165) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes a Great Software Developer?

Yeah, you probably have it right.

My description of a Software Architect was mostly tongue-in-cheek... at most of the places I've worked they were the ones that determined "high-level" things, like what expensive commercial middleware everyone was going to have to integrate with and spend all of their time coding around its deficiencies. Architects rarely touched actual code. Maybe they had a PHd or something but more often not, but they did get to make decisions that involved the movement of large amounts of capital budget (which of course is completely separate from the labor budgets required to cope with them).

My description of a Software Engineer might have been closer to what's nebulously referred to as a Systems Engineer (which is more of a glorified term for SysAdmin these days). Yours might be closer to what companies refer to as a Software Development Engineer, which is the job code most big software companies hire under nowadays.

But yeah, there's really no difference between any of these categories other than HR labels. And pay grades. And social structure. And job satisfaction garnered from different skillsets and abilities.

Comment: Re: Honestly... (Score 1) 315

by jandersen (#48921935) Attached to: Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

On the one hand, the Greek people repeatedly elected governments that failed ...

I think you know the flaw in this viewpoint: no democracy is guaranteed to offer up candidates that ought to be allowed into public office, and you only get to vote for those that actually run for election. I think a lot of it has to do with education, especially what one could call 'moral' education - by which I mean secular, moral education; as soon as religious interests get into education, it tends to go the wrong way. Democracy and freedom work best if everybody understands and accepts concepts like fairness and human rights in the same way.

It's the same with the creditors.

I agree. What do you call a creature that passively feeds on what others produce? In biology the answer is simple: a parasite. Another lesson from biology is that parasites can bocome valuable to the host - if they are somehow subverted and made to work for the host. If one were to carry that line of thought over to society, then it is quite possible that all credit should be nationalised, so that it would work for the whole of society. BTW - you do realise that what you are saying implies the end of capitalism as we know it? I think that would be a very good idea.

I have no sympathy with any of them.

So, you are an unsympathetic person? I, by contrast, feel a lot of sympathy with the Greeks; I have been in a similar situation many years ago on a personal scale. When you are in debt, it can be almost impossible to find a way out, even if you are clever, honest and industrious.

+ - Disk array with 99.999% availablity for 4 years, without maintenance-> 1

Submitted by Thorfinn.au
Thorfinn.au (1140205) writes "As the prices of magnetic storage continue to decrease, the cost of replacing failed disks becomes increasingly dominated by the cost of the service call itself. We propose to eliminate these calls by building disk arrays that contain enough spare disks to operate without any human intervention during their whole lifetime. To evaluate the feasibility of this approach, we have simulated the behaviour of two-dimensional disk arrays with N parity disks and N(N – 1)/2 data disks under realistic failure and repair assumptions. Our conclusion is that having N(N + 1)/2 spare disks is more than enough to achieve a 99.999 percent probability of not losing data over four years. We observe that the same objectives cannot be reached with RAID level 6 organizations and would require RAID stripes that could tolerate triple disk failures."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Levels (Score 4, Interesting) 198

by rwa2 (#48919889) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes a Great Software Developer?

Yeah, there's probably a matrix of skills and abilities, depending on how much collaboration you need to do with customers / suppliers / other developers.

Great Coder: can make a computer do stuff. In code. No one else really cares how they do their thing. They just take a defined process and codify it to automate it or whatever.

Great Programmer: can write programs, presumably that other people have to use. Hopefully you still have this programmer around if you need to fix their program.

Great Software Developer: Now we're getting somewhere... they probably work together with other programmers as a team and start worrying about more of the stuff they learned in CS classes, like code reusability, refactoring, complexity, maybe some analysis of algorithms and pure math logic.

Great Software Engineer: Maybe less of the pure math and algorithms on how to do tricky things in code, but more of the practical stuff like defining code standards, test harnesses, and social aspects of code maintenance, like the discipline of setting up and maintaining the process through peer reviews, continuous integration, etc.

Great Software Architect: Solves problems before they occur by drawing pictures. But still gets blamed for all of the new problems anyway.

A lot of greatness involves managing complexity and making things as simple as possible for other people to understand and maintain. But no simpler.

Comment: Re:How are they rocky? (Score 2) 67

by reverseengineer (#48919285) Attached to: Kepler Discovers Solar System's Ancient 'Twin'

What's interesting about this star though, is that according to the paper, Kepler-444 is not some primordial supergiant, but a K dwarf (orange, of the same type as Alpha Centauri) with a smaller companion red dwarf (or possibly two companion red dwarf stars which are closely bound to each other).

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. - Edmund Burke