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Submission + - How to work on source code without having the source code?

occamboy writes: Perhaps the ultimate conundrum!

I've taken over a software project in an extremely specialized area that needs remediation in months, so it'll be tough to build an internal team quickly enough. The good news is that there are outside software engineering groups that have exactly the right experience and good reputations. The bad news is that my management is worried about letting source code out of the building. Seems to me that unless I convince the suits otherwise, my options are to:

1) have all contractors work on our premises — a pain for everyone, and they might not want to do it at all

2) have them remote in to virtual desktops running on our premises — much of our software is sub-millisecond-response real-time systems on headless hardware, so they'll need to at least run executables locally, and giving access to executables but not sources seems like it will have challenges. And if the desktop environment goes down, more than a dozen people are frozen waiting for a fix. Also, I'd imagine that if a remote person really wanted the sources, they could video the sources as they scrolls by.

I'll bet there are n better ways to do this, and I'm hoping that there are some smart Slashdotters who'll let me know what they are; please help!

Comment GE Corprate is an IT Provider (Score 1) 123

I worked at GE on the same team as the Author a decade ago at the Toaster Division...err Consumer and Industrial.. Back then the company had distinct silos as to business units and it was a major pain just to move sites from one silo to another, we were directed to reIP and rename everything on a annual basis.

Teams in each division spent months changing IP schemas of whole divisions because of an accounting change. We brought in new companies and spun new companies on a yearly basis. I think we spun out to another GE division and brought in the same plant 3 times in 4 years. . We had ITIL, We had SixSigma, We had 3+ ticketing systems and we had some real TPS reports.

GE the IT provider now seems to provide data center services for the unregulated parts enterprise. I am sure there are some holdouts at GE Healthcare and GE Turbine/Energy/Aviation running something on local iron. Also no manufacturing plant is going to release the process control to the other side of network. Putting everything on a VM is nothing new for GE. Putting disparate systems in the same data center, no big deal. Putting two divisions under one roof. If you datacenters, their own IT, their data. look at their history GE built their own brand of mainframes just to account for their own enterprise. They finally have divested themselves of owning their own corporate jewels, the information is everywhere, the information is nowhere

The data that runs the company is in other peoples hands, not my cup of tea but GE has long gone past sensible and risk adverse. Seeing that the IT and network infrastructure is treated as a both a commodity and a infrastructure redefines IT role. At least they are no longer playing with IT as a profit center.

Comment Re:Database Scaleability. (Score 1) 272

If you have hit limits before (MySQL?) use a very mature platform that operates effectively when the DB does get larger than available memory for indexes or dataset such as DB2, Oracle and MSSQL and strongly type inputs and normalize your data set in the first place and use a language native data connector APIs, pointers and record locking. Just about anything important to the application needs to go through a Stored Procedure because database should not trust anything directly from the application to be suitable to a query at the data layer. As always set yourself up on a platform with service accounts that are RO and RW. In other words don't set yourself up outside the big data mainstream.

If your product is a unexpected hit you will have what seams like zero moments to fix the database and program design without business impact. And start with the DB and the Application/Web layer being VMs load balancing to begin with and the database in some sort of cluster.. Have the entire Apps platform packaged to go to a outsouced data center or Amazon on day one so that a 1000x user growth per day you have a plan. This is sort of Web Application Architecture and Design 101 as any code monkey can put data into NOSQL and hope to get it back through just the right query.

Comment Re:Projections (Score 1) 987

Scientist like Astronomers and Physicists laugh at the models of climatologists as having so many mystery factors and constants that are never described and just pushed around to get a chart that goes to a extreme a few years out so that surprise funding is assured. Data and Stats guys have issues with the models used to give a global tempetures up to 1950. Computer code guys have spaghetti code problems with the models, because it is all written by interns. We all have problems with the error bars assigned to all these predictions for the past 20 years. We are sitting below the error bars from just 5 years ago, we are crying foul and suspect the who AGW is being confused with the long term warming or cooling trend that is built into earths climate.

I am so unsure of the data and who might have last molested it I cant tell you if we are in a natural temp rise or fall since the time of Napoleon, Astronomers cant even tell you if the sun is releasing less or more energy than 200 years ago. see

Comment Re:What about the hill next to that one? (Score 1) 230

There is a 1:100 risk that a house will be destroyed in the next year with something so bad that the occupants may die. Most us citizens think one in a hundread is a long shot.... it is to common on the timescale of residential housing. I don't want my federal tax dollars spent rebuilding as I know a 1:100 event will happen again in 10 years with the darndest of regularity. Limiting our risk via building codes is the way out, or go ahead and privatize the role of FEMA and let the insurance companies hire geologist and let the red lines begin.

LA Foothills, New Orleans, Bolder, Matha's Vineyard, SFO 1:100

Any Salt water beach, Sandy Point, Omaha, Houston 1:1000

Chicago, St Paul, Denver, 1:10000

Phoenix Az. 1:100000

Comment Govement needs to Limit its risk via Permits. (Score 2) 230

As a libertarian with a localist bent this is a issue I think a lot about. But if America wants a Nanny State....lets go full Nanny State where the Nanny can be fired if the kids go to the ER with a yard dart sticking out the side of little marys head.

If government worked as promised once a area becomes known as a slide, avalanche, wildfire, tusnami, tornado, sinkhole, earthquake or flood risk where the chance of total loss of the property or the occupants is a real number, permitting of new residences and major external improvements needs to stop immediately and insurance switches to high risk private insurance within the decade (or post bond equal to the value of your property).

Commercial property know are owned by people who know how to manage risk. (man I sound like a 1%er) The average citizen has no idea of the risks of home ownership until FEMA is tagging their house with spray paint. This will be beneficial to all of us who built and live in sensible locations and FEMA will have funds for the real freak events. (Johnstown Flood, Texas City, Dust Storm that swallows Phoenix, Yellowstone Super volcano, New Madrid) The plains and Midwest land in flood plains is for farming as it is most fertile and cheapest for the purpose and the risk is only a few thousand dollars per square km. Land near the seas is great habitat for birds and multiuse use parks. .

If a developer wants to attempt to improve area to mitigate the risk he can set a bond in perpetuity to pay for the losses on the high risk community and make the cost of the land closer to the true cost for the community. Corrective action may be attempted by developers but they are taking on future risk not the local, state and federal government. New Orleans, Florida, the foothills of LA, Sandy point, Martha's Vinyard and thousands of miles of coastlines will all still have there risky homes to buy but will be clearly a risky buy with not only high insurance premium but a declining value. Building on the side of a mountain or hill without rebar cemented into bedrock needs to be in the building code. Redlines will be back and drawn by Geologists, Mortgage Companies and Insurance Companies.

Comment Re:Bitcoin (Score 1) 455

These local merchants (gas station and minimarts) providing a cash discount are one breaking the law and most likely are cooking the books, Owner pulls 10-30% of the cash sales out of the registrar each night and void the cash sales off the books in a orderly fashion, make the CC/Debit Card and 90-70% of the cash sales less profitable. They understate their cash sales and put the 'merchandise loss' as theft or spoilage. A select few small businesses cook the books to avoid both local and state sales and income taxes, and have 'big shrinkage losses' to offset there reported income. After servicing that industry for a while I can tell you the only correct accounting at your locally owned gas stations is the lottery tickets. Fountain drinks unless your looking at a very modern machine are on the honor system and are a place to hammer the accounting. You will note the locals are slowly disappearing because there is no skim to speak of now that we are approaching 70% CC sales at most stations but some enterprising individuals are using cash back from EBT 'purchases' (conversion) to fill in the gap. These businesses are sold/traded between foreign aliases every 18 months because state tax authorities are slow and lazy, and the locals are on the take or political fundraiser ticket buyers club.

Comment Perfectly good State Law and Rule Making (Score 2) 397

Kudos to Fish and Wildlife of Alaska. Drones are no different than shooting from a quad or using a helicopter or plane for wildlife spotting, It is fine to use that gear to scout the area the day before, but once sun rises the day of the hunt it is the one sport that for all practical purposes stuck in 1910 technology. It would be nice to have a regulation that you can search for a wounded animal with a drone as that is where a few hunters run out of steam, in the tracking or chase of elk or moose that didn't get hit with the hunters goal of a ethical mortal shot.

A drone in the back woods with 3 cans of bear repellant and 3 noisemakers would be a very ethical use of drones to keep bears and hunters apart. And we are fooling ourselves if we think illegal hunters and poachers wouldn't use a easy to fly drone to monitor police activity.

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Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson