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Comment: Re:From the pdf... (Score 1) 148

by pla (#47583155) Attached to: NASA Tests Microwave Space Drive
No, the best part is that NASA were able to prove 1000 times more accurately than the Chinese that the "engine" produced NO thrust and that there are some inaccuracies that they haven't eliminated.

...By arbitrarily ignoring the design used by not just the Chinese, but also the British, and coming up with their own entirely different and untested version. "Hah, we've proven that your Bugatti Veyron can't do 0-6 in under 2.5 seconds, because we tried it in our Ford Fiesta and it took over 9 seconds!".

Wee bit of "Not built here" syndrome, I wonder?

Comment: Re:Change management fail (Score 0) 158

by pla (#47580153) Attached to: Passport Database Outage Leaves Thousands Stranded
It is only simple because you speak English. You need to widen your cultural perspectives.

Sorry, which culture has come begging the other to employ them?

Maybe you should take that as a hint as to which of us needs to change their perspective.

And for the record, I vehemently oppose the indentured-H1B program (particularly while we have above-average unemployment and college-educated CS grads working as Barristas). I've worked with H1Bs before, and although skill-wise I've found them basically comparable to middle-of-the-pack Americans (not saying much there, but I wouldn't call them totally incompetent), the exact cultural barrier you describe made them nearly useless. They'd agree on a detailed spec for a printer driver, and three months later, proudly show off a photo editing suite. Okay, not quite that bad, but getting good work out of an H1B requires daily (or more) handholding and walking them through the same shit over and over and over. And at the end of the project, I could have just done it (and my own work) faster without the extra body in the way.

Comment: Re: Change management fail (Score 1) 158

by pla (#47578755) Attached to: Passport Database Outage Leaves Thousands Stranded
Sorry but DevOps requires you upgrade all servers at the same time very fast, with no regard to individual server ordering.

Did you mean NetOps? DevOps refers to a development paradigm. If your development paradigm risks actual user-impacting down-time, you need firing ASAP.
Assuming you meant NetOps, can they live with provisioning me at least four (dev, test, UAT, and training) clones of the entire production environment? No? well then, they can make their case to the CTO whether inconveniencing them or our end users will have more of an impact on the bottom line. If the CTO says "go", hell, I'll code right in the production environment - Oh, you wanted that mortgage payment to go through this week? Bummer!

Developers should never have the power to affect end users. If they do, it represents a failure not on their part, but on the entire IT corporate food chain, all the way to the top. Choosing customer-facing downtime over a few more terabytes and VMs amounts to corporate suicide.

Comment: Re:Change management fail (Score 1, Insightful) 158

by pla (#47578691) Attached to: Passport Database Outage Leaves Thousands Stranded
It takes two to fail to communicate. You should not be asking questions that require a direct "yes or no" answer. In many cultures, that is considered rude.

Sorry, what part of paying you to do a job requires me to give a shit about whether or not your failed third-world culture doesn't like answering direct fucking questions?

"Rude" does not apply. Breach of contract, however, does. I just wish more companies would catch on to this before they decide to outsource, rather than paying extra for literally nothing more than a built-in scapegoat for any and all problems.

Comment: Re:No matter how common you think it is... (Score 1) 201

by pla (#47577343) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: When Is It Better To Modify the ERP vs. Interfacing It?
Many of have absolutely nothing to do with Enterprise resource planning in our day-to-day lives. A lot of us don't care about a strategic business unit. Most slashdotters are in the field of making software, not babbling almost-but-not-quite-meaningless business jargon about software.

I agree with you in general, but in this case, if you don't know those acronyms intimately, I can safely say you have zero ability to provide a useful answer to the underlying question.

As for the question at hand - They seriously use Access and Excel as the interface? Fire them now. Access and Excel have their place, and enterprise level data access ain't it. Buy a working ERP package that meets your needs, and spend your in-house development time on integrating with something that meets 95% of your needs rather than trying to bolt functionality on to a piss-poor 50% solution.

Although you might at first prefer to work with the Devil you know, the biggest problem with extending what you have now will rear its head when you try to upgrade it to the latest version, and find that virtually all your customizations have broken. Even if you pay your vendor to make those customizations, you may have somewhere to point a finger, but you can still expect months of pain telling them which parts of their own damned software they broke and need to repair.

Comment: Re:Very original (Score 1) 171

He got similar results to a $1000 product, and told everybody how to do it.

I think the problem we have here comes from the comparison to a $1000 product as little more than a red herring.

He strapped a (replacement) HEPA cartridge - A well-proven technology for removing particulates from the air - To a fan. He basically made a "ghetto" HEPA filter. I have little reason to doubt it would work.

I would, however, question how well that $1000 filter performs compared to a sub-$50 Holmes/LG/Honeywell/etc filter. If Talhelm managed to get the same performance from just a replacement filter for one of those strapped to a fan, I would expect "not at all" as the answer.

So we should certainly credit him for his real "discovery" here - That expensive consumer-targetted air filters don't do any better than the Wallyworld special. Anything beyond that amounts to marketing for his new company manufacturing something even crappier than those Wallyworld specials.

Comment: Re:Identifiers (Score 5, Insightful) 110

by pla (#47573629) Attached to: Countries Don't Own Their Internet Domains, ICANN Says
What's hard to understand about this, seriously?

The part where someone apparently doesn't understand the difference between a name and the thing itself, and that the thing itself doesn't always "own" its name.

Seizing Iran's TLD as part of a judgement against Iran makes exactly as much sense as seizing the assets of the Iranian American Society of Engineers and Architects, solely on the basis that it contains the word "Iran" in its name.

As TFA specifically points out, seizing ".ir" doesn't just affect the government of Iran. It affects thousands (millions?) of privately-owned subdomains. Imagine enforcing the same ruling against the US - Not just talking about ".us", but pretty much the entire set of legacy TLDs. Does it make sense that "" suddenly belongs to some litigious asshat because of the inadequacy of US foreign policy? And as TFA also points out, ICANN doesn't even have the ability to do this unilaterally (they only directly control root server L), and trying to do so could well trigger as schism.

Comment: Re:Decaying ratings (Score 1) 241

by pla (#47573435) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?
Last time I checked software did not age.

In a static world, on a static computing platform, I would agree with you entirely. We do not live in that world.

I remember back in the DOS days I had a wonderful programming-oriented text editor, named "Brief". It supported programmable macros, column editing, triggering external programs (ie, compile and run without leaving the editor). Completely blew away everything else available at the time.

I don't still use Brief, despite it still working just as well as it ever did, and despite still having a need for a solid programming-oriented text editor.

Comment: Re: Lockdown (Score 2) 98

by pla (#47573391) Attached to: "ExamSoft" Bar Exam Software Fails Law Grads
Sure a bunch of geeks with no legal training could use Wikipedia and slashdot. To pass a law exam. Maybe yahoo news posts for the constitutional parts.

...Or maybe just use any of an hundred searchable online testbanks of past Bar exam questions?

TFS mentions Wiki, but you'll notice that TFA did not, nor did I. No doubt, if someone seriously tried to do this, Wikipedia would fall pretty far down the list of places to look for answers.

That said, what the GGP and I jokingly pointed out counts as a much more serious issue for those borderline folks actually studying law. Sure, I would probably have trouble even figuring out the intent of some of the questions, and even if I didn't get stuck on the impenetrable jargon, I probably couldn't realistically look up the answers fast enough to finish it in the time given. Someone who (barely) made it through law school, however, would no doubt have at least picked up enough of the core skills to successfully (and quickly) make use of online resources, given the chance.

Comment: Re:Scale and proportion. (Score 1) 511

If you didn't already take the UN's word for it, then I have nothing that you would accept as any better, of course.

Kinda like this week's "defensive" move - Those 3000 people in a UN school, packed 80 to a classroom and having fled as directed by the Israeli government before bulldozing their neighborhoods - We both know they must have magically had a cache of rockets hidden up their asses - Right? Wink wink nudge nudge?

Comment: Re:Lockdown (Score 1) 98

by pla (#47573071) Attached to: "ExamSoft" Bar Exam Software Fails Law Grads
Yeah, that'll work, because nobody has internet capable cellphones, secondary machines or even Virtual Machines.

I had wondered about that myself... Do they seriously not require taking the Bar on controlled hardware? Hell, a bunch of geeks should take and "ace" the Bar just for the sake of making fun of it.

"Oh, JD huh? Yeah, I have one of those too, figured I'd just drop by in my spare time and take a go at it, and whaddya know, perfect score. Oh, sorry about all those 100 hour weeks of study you put in, but hey, I'll bet you can look back now and have a good laugh, right?"

Comment: Decaying ratings (Score 1, Interesting) 241

by pla (#47569859) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?
Subject says it all:

Don't allow a once-five-star app to rest on its laurels forever. After six months if you haven't inspired anyone new to rate you, your rating should decay to zero. Not only would this tend to favor new apps over old ones, but it would also effectively punish those developers who "fire and forget" app after app after app with zero support or updates for old apps.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?