Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:I have trouble seeing the point (Score 1) 138

by nonguru (#40060449) Attached to: Sidestepping Tactical Nuclear Weapons Limits With Strategic Bombs
This may have been covered in other postings, one of the drivers for reducing nuclear stockpiles is cost. Many nukes - tactical or otherwise - suffer from technical obsolescence and the consequent maintenance difficulties. Nuclear inventory reduction and turnover makes a virtue out of a necessity... (Of course what is a government to do with all that unused plutonium/enriched uranium?)

Comment: Re:Apple is going to be stagnant. (Score 1) 301

by nonguru (#39409121) Attached to: Apple to Buy Back $10bn of Its Shares and Pay Dividend
For all the people claiming degrees in finance amd masters degrees the insights are remarkably naif. A large pile of cash, not otherwise intended for acquisitions or for internal investment, returns about 1% domestically (USA). That is a failure of investment; better to return cash to the shareholders and let them decide where to invest it. (I'm sure savvy investors can get better than 1%.) Acquistions - and internal investments - can often be more about empire-building than good investment. And, at the end of the day, as companies mature their market value is ultimately dependent on the future cash dividend stream growth. High capital growth is not forever. (Even Apple occassionaly makes mistakes. Jobs' obssession with cash holdings came about from nearly going bankrupt, not prudent capital management.)

Comment: The idea is interesting but... (Score 1) 166

by nonguru (#39242861) Attached to: Did the Titanic Sink Due To an Optical Illusion?
Considering the fact that the Titantic was the only modern ship of the era to actually hit an iceberg while every other vessel managed just nicely in the north Atlantic, I think simplest explanations are best. There have been some articles to suggest that it was a misunderstood navigation order where the vessel turned into the path of the iceberg before trying to turn away again. Human error.... (Think Concordia switching off it's GPS systems, ignoring navigation waypoints and sailing off course to close to shore as possible.)

Comment: Jobs as music maestro (Score 1) 176

by nonguru (#39054077) Attached to: Steve Jobs Awarded Posthumous Grammy
OMG, that's so ironic. Through iTunes Jobs sets up an alternate distribution system that shafts Music companies - the Grammies being a front for selling more industry product. The Apple product is based off lossy music that sounds like crap on anything more complex than an iPod. To top it off, Steve Jobs is claimed to have preferred LP records. You couldn't get away with making this stuff up.

Comment: Re:representing everything that is soulless and wr (Score 1) 624

by nonguru (#37312826) Attached to: What Is the Most Influential Programming Book?
A manifesto is ultimately an opinion or philosophy, not a fact of life or immutable physical laws. My objections don't lie with the intent but rather the substitution of logic with belief. All religious creeds begin with a "manifesto" establishing common belief systems. I think Agile is another form of belief, not backed up by much more than anecdotes.

Comment: Re:representing everything that is soulless and wr (Score 1) 624

by nonguru (#37306642) Attached to: What Is the Most Influential Programming Book?
That's why I can't take the Agile Manifesto seriously. Any group that thinks a semantical term used and misued by many a fanatical political grouping (see where I'm going here) as a substitue for reasoned and nuanced thinking (there is no silver bullet) deserves serious scorn and derision.

Comment: Re:Lutz is dead wrong (Score 1) 487

by nonguru (#36716964) Attached to: Have American Businesses Been Stranded By the MBAs?
Toyota's Total Production System was about squeezing 'waste' (i.e. costs) out of the system, as well as creating a pull system from demand to supply. In many respects, TPS is pure Taylorism with more than a splash of Demming - every activity is subject to analysis and refinement. Managers set the targets; employees are responsible for the quality; everybody must eliminate waste. Lutz is attempting is rewrite history and most bloggers are engaging in MBA versus Engineering stereotypes without having a clue as to the specifics of GM's (many) failures. (I have an engineering degree and an MBA and worked in the automotive industry for three years, including product development for GM and others.) Interestingly one of the biggest factors behind GM's (and other US vehicle manufacturer's) demise was the rewriting of accounting rules governing corporate pension and medical liabilities. In Lutz's day those liabilities were hidden; GM managers could negotiate sweetheart deals with the various unions without having to account for them fully. When the rules were restructured, those liabilities had to appear on the corporate accounts resulting on a large increase in costs per vehicle.

Comment: Re:A link to the actual press release (Score 3, Insightful) 219

by nonguru (#36457412) Attached to: US Pays $2B To Develop Concentrating Solar Power Projects
I seem to remember a posting on Slashdot regarding "anti-intellectualism" amongst nerds. Not everything in life has to have a direct dollar value. Pure research may not have a direct practical outcome - ever - and when it does, it involves decades-long pay-off times, but I would not be arrogant enough to write it off totally. Some things have a 'utlity' value - it's valuable because we derive satsifaction from discovering new knowledge. (And I'm an ex-engineer having been involved in the most utilitarian of industries, i.e. telecoms switching, automotive electronics, airborne radar, etc. all of which rely on somebody else having done the basic physics covering electronics design over previous decades of research.)

Comment: Re:my Tolkien account (Score 1) 337

by nonguru (#35274938) Attached to: Tolkien Estate Says No Historical Fiction For JRR
That statement is grossly inaccurate. I think you'll find with a little checking that JRR Tolkien's sold the rights to the film over 40 years ago to settle a tax debt. The only thing the family have turned down is the opportunity to participate in the development or production (however they are happy to reap royalties based on the film). They have no control over any film rights associated with his writings and haven't had for decades.

Comment: Re:Stupid (Score 5, Insightful) 592

by nonguru (#35206198) Attached to: Common Traits of the Veteran Unix Admin
Not stupid at all. This guy is into root cause analysis as a process of understanding faults and finding lasting solutions. (See reference to "bandaids".) Covers up your tracks until the next crash. A fully functioning fault-free system working as designed should not require a reboot except for the cases outlined. Unless unix systems aren't as reliable as people like to assume...

Comment: Re:He's right on how it started, wrong on why stuc (Score 1) 229

by nonguru (#35100336) Attached to: Neal Stephenson On Rockets and Innovation
Didn't Arthur C. Clarke write about tethered space elevators as a substitute technology. (I think the original idea came from a Russian physicist.). I'm guessing the necessary materials or construction technology isn't available yet, not to mention the massive amount of capital to fund the infrastructure.

Human beings were created by water to transport it uphill.