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Comment: I'm calling bullshit. (Score 4, Interesting) 438

by nimbius (#47549443) Attached to: Suddenly Visible: Illicit Drugs As Part of Silicon Valley Culture
how do we get from prescription pain meds, to heroin abuse, and then back to Silicon Valley? this article is incoherent.

the pain medication abuse is largely impacting armed service veterans with chronic and debilitating ailments requiring decades of supportive therapy (including PTSD.) its increase is commensurate to the increase in injured veterans returning from 2 recent foreign wars and proportional to the level of service received in a privatized healthcare system. its easier to say "maybe you should just take pills forever" instead of prescribing cost-prohibitive specialists to diagnose and effectively treat the problem. Pills are also much more easily attainable than psychological and psychiatric counseling as every war we enter, ends with the military pretending PTSD and brain damage are new and exotic injuries never before seen.

The heroin epidemic is a byproduct of the housing collapse and unemployment, but arguably more tangible this time because we're not just incarcerating minorities. when you take everything away from someone, render them homeless and destitute without healthcare or shelter, and spend your evenings in the news media demonizing them then you arent permitted to question where or why this "heroin epidemic" came from. Its from the same culture that thinks ER visits are equivalent to healthcare for the destitute.

the silicon valley "drug culture" exposes what criminal justice and law enforcement have known for decades. narcotic use in low income and poor communities mirrors that of affluent communities. Arrest, sentencing and incarceration however are far easier if your target can only afford the public defender and never completed highschool. What San Jose and Silicon Valley are dealing with now is an epidemic of affluent drug convictions that will not just roll-over with an 11 year plea bargain and pound rocks at rikers to stuff the city treasury. These drug users have families, friends, participate in their community, and most importantly can afford to litigate disproportionate sentencing in order to force municipalities to retarget their efforts in a more fruitful direction. Namely, treatment, rehabilitation, education, and reform of existing drug laws.

Comment: still the vision of 9 years ago. (Score 4, Insightful) 137

by nimbius (#47548659) Attached to: Microsoft's Nokia Plans Come Into Better Focus
"thinking broadly about productivity" just means selling these things to business instead of the general public. Cobbling together a random conjecture about a common business technology, OCR, further serves to endow the commitment. Microsoft knows the only repeat customer for its services as the 21st century rolls along is going to be business.

But thinking that Nokia plays any part in this is rather odd. Microsofts purchase basically forced moody's hand to downgrade its bond status to junk only one year after the purchase. Windows phone was, again, a flop. Blackberry used Microsofts restructuring as a brilliant tactical strategy to make a comeback in the businessworld, when it should have been the other way around. So in the future most businesses will opt for blackberry in the field, and iPhone for the C-Levels. In response microsoft, as they have with Azure, will strap heavily discounted or free phones to business licenses which in turn will be purchased by management in an effort to maintain license discounts on what they do use; namely Windows. These phones will sit on IT workbenches and in random cubes until the batteries rot and the password is forgotten because what microsoft is offering is a solution to a problem that was solved almost a decade ago. Sales will increase, microsoft will pump their nokia stock until losses in other units become unsustainable again, and we'll all collectively groan as another wave of "restructuring" crashes to shore in an effort to convince investors the ship is still sailing.

Comment: the difference is in the definition. (Score 1) 147

by nimbius (#47546171) Attached to: Valencia Linux School Distro Saves 36 Million Euro

European governments can easily claim theyve saved money by switching to open source software, whereas its almost impossible for the american governments education system to do so. Why? because europeans consider employees a resource whereas american government considers its employees an expenditure or overhead.

extra IT and teacher training are considered an expense in america, whereas outsourcing to Azure cloud services means only having to pay the license. We factor pensions and holiday pay into the cost of an educational employee, and morosely enough consider excess vacation time a financial liability. that license fee represents avoiding the cost of all this, so while it might add up in the long term to larger costs, it wont cost nearly as much as 14 new IT staff and 11 new teachers..

Comment: putting OP's bullshit into context (Score 1, Interesting) 131

by nimbius (#47533663) Attached to: SLS Project Coming Up $400 Million Short
sure, the project is expensive but people need to understand there are immense differences between NASA's vehicle and the others. Not to mention all three companies are standing on the shoulders of a giant, NASA, and their projects are all dwarfed by what nasa is attempting to create.

SpaceX: hopefully delivering the CST-100 version 2, but honestly hasnt contributed a whole lot other than a sexy brand to the effort. CST100 was delivered by Boeing.
Boeing: not sexy, just practical. a design ripoff of many other NASA firsts, it is restricted to suborbital and cannot carry cargo. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
Sierra Nevada: building what nasa did 30 years ago, this is designed for cargo and people. it is strictly suborbital. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

NASA SLS: cargo, crew, suborbital, and interplanetary transport system. SLS is to be capable of lifting astronauts and hardware to near-Earth destinations such as asteroids, the Moon, Mars, and most of the Earth's Lagrangian points. SLS may also support trips to the International Space Station, if necessary. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Comment: this is also known by a different name (Score 5, Insightful) 198

A tale of two cities who subsequently found their mayors and city council ousted in the next election by a multi million dollar political campaign whos donors coincidentally happen to be in "battled attempts to create community broadband networks." These cities later rescind their request, disband the municipal network, and offer local cable companies a grant for unspecified improvements. cable rates increase, another batch of phone support goes to india, and somewhere, in a tropical land far away, a man on a yacht begins a tireless and agonizing journey into the wineroom to select an elusive vintage that can pair with both lobster as well as filet mignon.

Comment: most efficient? stop using cars. (Score 1) 136

by nimbius (#47529927) Attached to: Will Your Next Car Be Covered In Morphing Dimples?
If this car technology comes to fruition, the initial cost will likely place it in the realm of BMW and Mercedes owners for at least the first 5 years. net gains from it may only be realized 25 years down the road, and its ability to reduce carbon emissions or fossil fuel consumption at whatever scale its adopted will be dwarfed in comparisson to easier, more readily available technologies like light-rail, bicycles, and busses.

Im geneally cynical about efficiency in automobiles mostly due to empirical reasons. Americans have far more pervasive culprits in fuel consumption and carbon emissions than just aerodynamics. Excessive speed, where we consistently drive 15 or more miles per hour over the speed limit on highways, needlessly wastes gas and endangers drivers. Long commutes and low fuel economy standards for our most popular vehicles, trucks and the universally-scorned SUV, also hurt our contribution to fighting climate change. small engines like lawnmowers and weed-eaters that have no emissions system, and motorcycles that have had their original exhaust and catalytic converter/oxygen sensors removed are another side of the issue. Our emergency vehicles and construction equipment largely operates with zero emissions control or fuel economy standard. Finally, a general culture of wastefulness contributes to long idles in parking lots and gas stations as we exploit our transportation as a personal entertainment/climate controlled cocoon in which we emerge merely to take advantage of this weeks savings at WalMart.

Comment: the problem is not coding, but coding well. (Score 5, Informative) 368

by nimbius (#47518169) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'
Anyone can write software, but to make it sustainable is a serious challenge. Ive worked at corporations where there was a coding standard that everyone "was expected to know" but it was never told to anyone on their first day (it turns out that was the oreilly perl best practices book.) Im currently working in a shop on a 15 year old application with a confetti development pattern that uses tomcat, jakarta, java, josso, struts, postgres and mysql, as well as a host of other malevolent and unsustainable technology with zero implementation docs and minimal code comments. I understand the love of coding, but as a greybeard i also understand the need for the managerial aspect of it as well so let me try to expound upon what it is we seek to do. im sorry if it comes across in an arrogant way.

standards, practices, limiting scope and clearly defining goals and objectives prevent redundancy and wasted human time, which lets me keep devs longer because im not constantly sandpitting them in your 'just let me code' app. competent documentation and a service framework with a specific workflow ensure your application can and is debugged in a timely manner when it breaks, meaning I dont drive you out of the company with mandatory 24/7 pagerduty. ITIL and SCRUM are designed to ensure you arent a permanent part of the application, and that I can rely on other teams to help support it if or when you decide to leave for your next job at $corporation. Status updates and progress reviews really dont help you though, they help me. I need this information because at my meetings I have to run defense for you, my star coder. I need to know dates, times, and what it is that you're doing because I translate that into simple english for people in charge of my departments expenditures. "hes just coding" is never an answer i can give to my superiors, because ultimately as a management droid im responsible for you. if something breaks, thats actually my fault. and it makes the entire team look bad, despite it just being your code. If there is an unexplained cancellation and I dont convey it to you, that is also my fault and i expect you to hold me accountable. We're a team.

I love creativity, i really do, because it means I've hired a good developer. Find a solution, write an application, code a system, but i fully expect you to design it and come up with a unique and functional way to make it the best. But unlike college, the things you do here will impact the company you're a part of for a long time. your code isnt just getting read-and-shred by the adjunct prof, its expected to perform a useful function for us and as such there are dramatically different standards and practices for how you need to code. im only sorry college doesnt teach this; it can be an uncomfortable awakening for many grads.

Comment: the evil they do is always front and center (Score 5, Informative) 190

by nimbius (#47517355) Attached to: The Department of Homeland Security Needs Its Own Edward Snowden
this is the do everything forever department created after september 2001 and designed to be an intractable part of the amorphous war on terror. to date its various wings include
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: so bogged down by congress it can barely stock the staplers and ink the stamp pads
U.S. Customs and Border Protection: charged with manning our immigration checkpoints that exist, paradoxically, nearly 100 miles inside our borders as well as directly upon them. congress pumps money into these guys, who cant seem to go more than a week without accidentally killing someone across the border.
Federal Emergency Management Agency: home of "secret death camps" for rabid neo-conservatives, and for the rest of us a red flag which completely exposed the bumbling incompetence of the DHS after Hurricane Katrina. their latest campaign has been telling people through billboards about the need to make an emergency plan. As if to tacitly admit theyre just as inept and meaningless as they were 9 years ago
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: packs undocumented immigrants into shanty camps, and really thats about it. Completely neutered after NAFTA for its customs enforcement, and just as paralyzed by congress. Arizona mistakenly began shipping their "illegals" to ICE facilities only to find ICE released them, as it isnt a magic button to get the sheriff re-elected.
Transportation Security Administration home of the freedom grope, these guys are highschool drop outs and police academy rejects itching for a reason to ruin your summer.
U.S. Coast Guard there is no conceiveable reason this agency should not be under control of the pentagon, or something more relevant to its mission, but this is the seventh department its been reassigned to since its creation and like the fat kid in gym class, it probably wont be very permanent.
National Protection and Programs Directorate purportedly does something with "cybersecurity" but its amorphous enough to land firmly in the camp of cabinet level private toilets designed to pitch federal tax dollars into. mostly a 2.5 billion dollar per year dole for government contractors.
U.S. Secret Service they guard the president and for some mind boggling reason, investigate counterfeit currency.

TL;DR: the DHS was designed with no one particular in mind. the first thing our president told us after 9/11 was to "go shopping" and in order to bolster that order from the commander in chief, the consumer confidence index in 2001 got its own department into which lands of home would ostensibly become secure as if by magic. its scope is so broadly defined and its mission so incongruent that it cannot possibly function in any meaningful fashion. Its not off-the-map like the NSA, rather, its largesse makes it incapable of escaping scrutiny.

Comment: you dont need biometrics for this at all. (Score 5, Insightful) 89

by nimbius (#47509781) Attached to: Researchers Test Developer Biometrics To Predict Buggy Code
When your developers cringe at a project, when they encounter a subroutine or callback that literally makes them groan, you've found exactly what needs to be refactored. if you find a python wrapper around a godforsaken class, or find explitives cursing a dead gods name in a forgotten universe, thats the code that needs your attention. Project managers, section leaders, whoever has direct line-of-sight communication with the dev pit needs to pay more attention.

the problem is 'refactoring' is a lie. as a DevOps (christ i hate that fucking word) engineer, I've been faced with rotting festering codebases for years in my career on a daily basis. the issue is business priorities interfering with good coding practices. I and 2 junior devs might want to go rip up a few thousand lines of horror-code to make everyone more productive, but we get denied. why?:

1. downtime is unacceptable for this application. this code controls so much, does so many things, and is so obscure (say it with me, payments processing subsystem) that to do ANYTHING to it is literally worse than pistol whipping the CEO's daughter.
2. New New NEW! we need to get in those swim lanes and stand up in those scrums nice and straight so we can deliver optimum ROI to our dear customers! who cares if the system crashes 5 times a month because this module is satans petrified asscrack, google just launched their new $app so our new $cloud_app_pro needs to go live NOW!.
3. we had the resources, but uber elite coders in our ranks were ganked to other projects months ago. they havent seen the code in 3 months, and we're sure they'll be along to help us again once they put in their 2 weeks and show up in flip flops for the knowledge transfer.
4. you were ganked from the refactor project and are now plugging away at an irritating new web 9.0 cash money matic piece of code that marketing wont stop skullfucking and your boss cant deliver fast enough. Catch this rabbit though and you'll be able to sit down and think through...wait....what was the refactoring project about again? oh christ is that CVS?

what this technology will get used for
efficiency sampling in your dev groups. eye tracking and biometrics will now subtly be included in SCRUM/ITIL/six sigma/devops/management wankfest.

Comment: to a larger extent, this is culture war. (Score 0, Troll) 158

by nimbius (#47469811) Attached to: ChickTech Brings Hundreds of Young Women To Open Source
The largely patriarchal narrative woven into the fabric of the american dream is that women are caretakers of children and roasters of turkey during holidays. Whereas the soviet union in the 1970's boasted much greater equality in the workplace in terms of female STEM headcount, the US doubled-down on rhetoric, shuffled 'in god we trust' into the pledge, and made haste to forget rosie the riveter ever existed.

We have an entire party in government that literally see women as uselessly inferior to men. We cant even approach the idea that women are, in terms of sexuality, to be treated as equals to men. Womens healthcare at the local and state level is nothing short of an embarassing campaign to wipe the scourge of contraception off the map, at any cost. Colleges routinely hush up rape cases and take it upon themselves to redact student names and details of repression and reprisal. Its also sadly true that not a day goes by where a politician or religious leader claims to speak for reason when they ardently affirm rape can be 'legitimate' and its the womans fault. Our approach to womens education is inconsistent at best as women didnt get to attend military colleges until the 1970s, and it wasnt until 2013 that we decided they could not only participate in the military but actually serve a combat role.

so yeah, if we ask ourselves why the deficit exists its because we have tacitly and communally agreed that women are inferior, despite a thin veneer of nodding and applause for our insistent declaration that women are no different than men and can achieve anything.

Comment: a bit of legislative history (Score 2, Interesting) 148

by nimbius (#47469115) Attached to: US House Passes Permanent Ban On Internet Access Taxes
in 1998 there was a sizeable movement to declare internet access a 'basic human right' and as such, make it an entitlement. Since republicans and conservatives alike respond to the word Entitlement in much the same way as a microwave responds to a sack of paper clips, its safe to say this legislation was enacted to ensure your internet remains permanently comcastic. so how did this come to pass?
the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), following a proposal by the government of Tunisia during ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Minneapolis in 1998, approved Resolution 73 to hold a World Summit on the Information Society and put forward it to the United Nations. It cant be stressed enough that 1998 was clearly a better year for congress as is evidenced by the fact that legislators got wind of the WSIS and its strong position on internet as a basic human right. Much like affirming things like the kyoto protocol and the basic human right to water, the internet was sandbagged in america to ensure it would never amount to something as horrifying as a free service. amending it recently simply extended its reach to local governments. It did now however close a loophole being exploited by local municipalities in which the 'tax' for their paid services like WiMAX and municipal broadband was bundled under things like vehicle registration fees (something used by local governments that need to fund schools but have politicians who promise no new taxes.)

by shitting on the idea of a tax for internet service, congressional republicans have created a two-tier system in america in much the same way as education and housing exist. underprivileged or poor students and families seeking internet access are now relegated back to the library, and those libraries in turn forced to shovel federal dollars into the gaping maw of AT&T and Verizon for something that, yes, is increasingly more of a basic human right in the 21st century.

Comment: holy word salad batman (Score 1) 79

by nimbius (#47456103) Attached to: Led By Nest, 'Thread' Might Be Most Promising IoT Initiative Yet
This isnt an article summary, its a cry for help. Clearly op is choking on a viscous combination of scrabble letters and entropy from /dev/random
also...its Slashdot. im fairly certain the word "Ass" is probably the most welcoming explitive most of us will have the privilege of experiencing this afternoon.

Comment: except that it didnt. (Score 3, Insightful) 311

by nimbius (#47417589) Attached to: Tor Project Sued Over a Revenge Porn Business That Used Its Service
Tor isnt a service, its a technology and accompanying data protocol. There is no corporate entity or backer that "crontrols" the network or if there were, the federal government would have beaten this attorney to the punch long ago. Its like trying to sue LUKS deveopers for a hard drive that cant be read by the NSA.

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