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Comment: most important question goes unanswered (Score 1) 473 473

What language will these girls be learning? If it's javascript, php, python, or ruby, that's great. If it's Go or Swift, then this immediately reduces to a novel form of corporate welfare as Google and/or Apple get the government to pay for training their next generation workers

Comment: dumb things to do with your phone (Score 1) 130 130

Some of the stupidest things you can do with your phone:
1. Enter your credit card number into it
2. Enter your SSN into it
3. Install your bank/mortgage co/car loan holder's app onto it
4. Access the web page of your bank/mortgage co./credit card co and pay your monthly bill.

If you never put any of your financial data into your phone or use your phone to pay bills or otherwise manage your finances, if you lose your phone all you will have lost is your phone. Do any of the above and lose your phone, and you will have lost an important part of your life.

Comment: Re:Insurance companies suffer? (Score 2) 389 389

No it doesn't, the government here just pretends that it does. The first time you get side-swiped by some idiot in a pickup truck who is too busy texting to pay attention, and then find out they don't have insurance and the court doesn't really take seriously at all the promise to be financially liable that everyone signs when they get their drivers license, your insurance goes up because the court orders your claim to be covered by your uninsured drivers rider on your policy. And the texting, jobless, insurance-less idiot gets to keep his license. He also gets to do some BS do-nothing community service hours with the Red Cross or the YMCA in exchange for paying the fine on the traffic ticket, which means there is zero incentive to have insurance if you cannot afford it. Or to be a good driver, for that matter.

New Hampshire does a lot of things well using the minimalist government approach, but auto insurance is definitely not one of them.

Comment: Unintended consequences (Score 1, Interesting) 236 236

My biggest fear regarding dying from an asteroid strike is not about the asteroid hitting me or the city I am in, but from unintended, extemporaneous consequences like someone in Russia or China panicking and launching a nuke at it, missing, and hitting France or the US or some other nuclear-capable nation and starting WWIII. Or an asteroid hit in Pakistan or India being intentionally/accidentally mistaken as a nuclear strike by its neighbor, and starting WWIII. Or an asteroid hitting a defunct Russian spy satellite, which was really a nuclear launch platform, and setting off the bombs, and starting WWIII. Or any asteroid strike anywhere being used as a convenient excuse by anyone to start WWIII.

So, in summary, the most worrisome unintended consequence of an asteroid strike is WWIII. Let's see the TFA's author gin-up some odds on that one.

Comment: love/hate view on agile (Score 3, Insightful) 507 507

As a system admin, I admire agile for the rapid proto-typing. Because as we all know, business users seldom know what they really want, but they all know what they don't like. However, I hate agile for being the universal excuse for turning project management into an exercise for "let's make it up as we go along", because then everyone expects me to work like that too. They don't want to acknowledge, let alone understand, that being a good system admin is about being organized and informed and having a more than 5 minute attention span.

Comment: Late advice (Score 1) 698 698

I know I'm late to the party here, but as a father I have a few things to share:

If she doesn't already, get her a savings account that she can manage, to learn about the value of money and preparedness. Tell her that she has free will, that everything not a fact is a choice, and that she has the power to chose, and that giving up that power is also a choice. So she doesn't need to buy-in to social "norms" or authoritarian stereotypes that are designed to limit her power because of her gender. If she can do that, she won't need to depend upon anyone else other than herself to make her way in this world.

On the other hand, she needs to know that no one is going to live her life for her, so she needs to have a plan, the will to carry it out, and the discipline to see it to the end despite the obstacles, hard work, or long hours. Anything worth having is worth working and fighting for, so she is going to need not just goals, but ideals, concepts she has enthusiasm and passion for to help carry her to her goals. As other have said, altruism, good morals, and a just being a nice person is going to help a lot. People are so much more inclined to help or at least be nice to someone who is polite and shows even the minimal kindness. Finally, explicitly tell her she needs to learn from your example, and to give of herself to others; family first and then on from there. To put another's need ahead of your own is one of the greatest acts of kindness we can manage, so it needs to be exercised judiciously, but sincerely.

I admire how you are handling this, and best of luck to you and your family making the most of the time you have.

Comment: SOX, HIPAA, SEC & other regs (Score 2) 385 385

There are a host of federal regulations regarding maintaining the privacy of data that necessitate the use of corporate VPNs. Were the FBI to hack a corporate VPN and expose regulated data to the internet or the public via documents in an open hearing, the circus that would ensue as the Attorney General would try to explain how the FBI is exempt from all of those regs would be both entertaining and horrific.

Comment: Re:PICK Basic Variants (Score 1) 242 242

I used to be a Pick programmer, but was fortunate enough to switch over to system administration just in time to survive the dotcom bust and remain employed, while some of my former coworkers who had jumped ship to various start-ups were now out looking for work. Then I discovered Python, which, unlike perl, java, or php, has gotten me to consider jumping back into being a full-time programmer again.

Comment: taxes, revenue, and budget (Score 1) 78 78

There is plenty of money to be had for NASA, Congress simply needs to do its job better to get it. Stop monkeying with the tax code and make corporations actually pay income tax and there will be plenty of revenue. Stop giving already profitable industries tax credits. Big Oil is going to get 20 billion in tax credits, deductions, and actual subsidized dollars handed to them. Take 15% of that and hand it back to NASA and they can fund, for example, any of the several proposed follow-on missions for Cassini and send an airship to Titan to do further and more detailed exploration of one of the more earth-like bodies in our solar system, and make use of the single window of opportunity we will have prior to 2050 to get there. Or create a corporate version of the alternative minimum tax so that no Fortune 5000 company gets to skate tax-free and then use those funds to begin a program of not just Lunar exploration, but the establishment of a permanent base on the moon. But most importantly, if we don't better fund the Near-Earth Object search, none of the other things will matter at all.

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