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Comment: Re:See it before (Score 1) 276

Wish I could find the link, but a couple of days ago I chanced upon a site that described a Python library that would build the gui automatically just by defining some very simple hooks in the body of the code. It was totally ugly utilitarian stuff for science labs, but it meant that even the Fortran refugees could make guis. Anyone know what this was?

Comment: Re:installer installer installer (Score 1) 420

by occasional_dabbler (#49658769) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Moving To an Offshore-Proof Career?
I was responding in particular to the comment

at 40 it's pretty much over

because it quite clearly doesn't have to be if you're sensible.

That said, training for a 3-hour marathon at age 49 took a heck of a lot more out of me than it did at age 30; entropy has its way in the end, you're right about that.

Comment: Re:Project Managment (Score 1) 420

by occasional_dabbler (#49655321) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Moving To an Offshore-Proof Career?
The Boeing 787 shows the pitfalls of outsourcing in aerospace. We are way more conservative now in any outsourcing; it has to be 'monkey' work following very strict processes that we develop and debug on site before hand. The key thing is that all the creative, IP generating work is kept in Europe and only the really mundane stuff goes offshore.

There is always the unvocalised issue that any IP sent to an Indian outsourcing company will be stolen.

Comment: Re:Security clearance (Score 2) 420

by occasional_dabbler (#49655235) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Moving To an Offshore-Proof Career?
The US take this very seriously. I designed a system that is part of the F-35. My UK company with it's US partner set up a critical test at a Boeing facility and I was sent over to run it. I arrived on site to be told I didn't have clearance to even watch the tests because I was not a US citizen and it would take six months to get me clearance. Boeing said that if I I was caught I would go to jail and they could be shut down.

Comment: Re:Have' HERE' won't travel (Score 2) 45

by occasional_dabbler (#49654959) Attached to: Uber Wants To Buy Nokia's Mapping Services
One of the reasons that Nokia took pretty much the whole market for Windows Phone was the Here suite of apps; turn by turn navigation, public transport routing, live traffic, downloadable maps and local discovery and all of it integrated into the OS. Very slick. The other reason was the cameras, of course.

Comment: Re:Enterprise Turnover? (Score 1) 199

I honestly can't remember the last time I had a problem with a device driver in either Windows or Linux. Maybe I got lucky? Back in Ubuntu Warty days I remember it being a major project to get a scanner to work, but for the last few years Simple Scan on Ubuntu has *just worked* even for networked scanners. With Windows the print function worked but it had to install a Metro App to run the scanner (which it did automatically) I wasn't sure I was completely happy with this behaviour, but at least I didn't have to install the, always hideous, HP bloatware suite.

Comment: Re:Substantiate "biggest vendor" (Score 1) 110

To be fair they have never made any excuse about this, which makes sense when you think that their investors are going to want to know why the f*** they are giving away an asset paid for by their money FOR FREE. This is Microsoft adapting to work within the current business environment to the best advantage of these same shareholders. They have a legal obligation to do this or they go to jail.

Comment: The reason that aeroplanes are safe... (Score 1) 270

by occasional_dabbler (#49496057) Attached to: FBI Accuses Researcher of Hacking Plane, Seizes Equipment because there is a century of the best engineering behind them, with levels of failure and fault identification and mitigation that most people would find obsessive and arcane. Throw in a Swiss cheese like WiFi access and you have a serious disruption and a non-trivial influence that I for one, as an engineer designing aircraft safety systems, do not particularly want to see, It's nice that I can read my Kindle during take-off. That's enough.

Comment: Re:Fight within a platform, not between platforms (Score 1) 179

by occasional_dabbler (#49489163) Attached to: Cyanogen Partners With Microsoft To Replace Google Apps

I am somewhat surprised to say how much better I find the Windows Phone UI to be over Android and iOS. I am guessing individually downloaded apps will matter less and less and integrated services more and more in the future, so Microsoft may very well achieve the same thing in the mobile world as they did in the PC world.

Yes, my thoughts too. I think the shift to W10 running on all devices with the UI kinda intelligently morphing to be appropriate for the size will help Microsoft long term as people get used to it, forget how bad W8 was and get on with their lives. (Try the previews). Despite being something of a Microsoft enthusiast I still find I use my favourite apps, Skype and OneNote, on my Nexus 7 far more than on the phone and hardly ever on the desktop. I think Microsoft are making a pragmatic and sensible move.

Comment: Re:100mph? (Score 2) 74

by occasional_dabbler (#49450865) Attached to: Amazon Gets Approval To Test New Delivery Drones
I'm posting AC because I have mod points tonight, but my handle is "occasional_dabbler" with ID 1735162. I wanted to alert you to this Bill because I mostly agree with your posts. The FAA are under intolerable pressure, Their prime function is to ensure that aerospace activities are safe for EVERYBODY and EVERYTHING; MY HAMSTER is protected by the FAA. They are not being as "obstructive as politically possible", they are desperately fighting a rearguard action against the FUCKING IDIOTS who want to fill our skies with random death machines.

I strongly suspect they have had their balls crushed to make this one-off allowance and they have their entire field team watching with prejudice ready to down the machine as soon as it twitches,

Commercial autonomous drones are not going to happen. At least not until we trust AIs. We can just achieve an acceptable mission success rate in military environments with military drones (which have ALWAYS more human pilots than any physical aeroplane, just not co-located.)

The only time in your entire life when you have been 'safe' to the FAA's satisfaction was when you were strapped into an airplane seat.

In case of injury notify your superior immediately. He'll kiss it and make it better.