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Comment Debugging Gone Wrong (Score 4, Interesting) 285

Bug 1 (my fault) : Took over working on a financial application that took an identifier and enriched them with all sorts of useful data. The original programmer had left, and nobody at the company knew anything about how it worked. Soon after, we were troubleshooting an issue reported by a client that the output data wasn't consistent between runs. I grabbed a list of all the unique security IDs I could find (about 100k) and pushed them through a couple of times just to try and replicate the issue. HOWEVER... it turns out the application was actually using the Bloomberg "By Security" interface under the hood. That was a service where you drop a list of IDs onto Bloomberg's FTP server, and they would respond with data... for a fee of $1 per security. The client got an unexpected bill of nearly $200k that month, and I had the most awkward talk ever with my boss. Fortunately, Bloomberg forgave the charges, and it turns out they were actually responsible for the inconsistent data - which was fixed on their end shortly thereafter.

Bug 2 (not my fault) : A client/server application is returning odd responses to a particular query. Developer (we'll call him "Jason") inserts a switch into the code that dumps this query out to a hardcoded folder on the server. The code then gets checked into production WITH THE SWITCH TURNED ON. It went undetected for nearly a year because the query wasn't terribly high volume. But slowly and steadily, the query files built up over time. Our IT had lots of money to play with, so server space was not an issue. Unfortunately, the number of files was. Server performance went steadily downward every so often, until finally this query would make it crash every time. When we eventually tracked down the cause, there were millions of files sitting in the same folder of every single server in the group. It took nearly three days just to get the OSs to delete the files without falling over.

Comment Re:The real crime here (Score 1) 465

"Just like we don't spank kids anymore because it's pointless and counterproductive, we should also stop "spanking" non-violent offenders but put them to good use instead."

The fundamental flaw with that logic is the assumption that the offender is remorseful, and wants to be put to good use. While it is certainly true in some cases, it's almost certainly NOT true in others. Figuring out which is really difficult, because it turns out that people tend to lie when they get caught.

Comment Re:The real crime here (Score 5, Insightful) 465

the real crime is punishing a non-violent civil offender with violence (i.e. forced into a cage)

Would you feel the same way if a financial advisor intentionally stole all the money your parents had for retirement? That wouldn't be a physically violent act, but would seem to have consequences that merit punishment other than a fine.

Comment Re:Environmentalists eat your heart out. (Score 2) 211

As long as we are willing to include nuclear in that equation, than I agree.

Without a cheap storage mechanism, solar/wind/etc. cannot satisfy the baseline demand of the power grid. Yes, there are ways to do that. They also impact the environment and come with a steep cost.

Comment Security Through Obscurity (Score 2) 126

That memo is a wonderful example of why exposing poor practices is difficult. The terminology is so dense that only those on the inside can truly understand it without a good deal of research. Most times people probably give up because they fear looking stupid for not knowing the lingo.

Comment Re:Wasting Your Time (Score 1) 285

Let's try an experiment. We'll put 100 adolescent males in a room, and give them a choice of two gaming systems: One older "classic" system, and the latest high-tech thing available. We'll tell them "If you pick the older system, you'll be a better person someday", and "if you pick the newer system, you will regret it later". Would you care to guess what might happen? I don't know. I've not ever performed that experiment. But purely based on intuition, I suspect I know how it might go.

Go back to bed, grandpa, with your stupid "in my day" bullshit

Rather than debate something you disagree with, you turn to insults. You're a dick.

Comment Wasting Your Time (Score 2) 285

I agree with your goals, but here are some of facts as I see them:

(1) Kids of this age do not have the higher thinking skills to appreciate sacrificing something for longer term gain.
(2) If you force them use an outdated or substandard system, they will resent you, be humiliated with their friends (or more likely, lie about it to prevent that).
(3) You're not really teaching them anything useful in a practical sense. Yes, I love the Atari 2600 too. It is completely irrelevant to anyone born after 1990 except in a historical sense.
(4) Desire to learn history has to come from the seeker, not the purveyor of that knowlege. It can be encouraged, but not forced.

Genius is ten percent inspiration and fifty percent capital gains.

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