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Comment: Re:2.5 billion transactions a day (Score 5, Interesting) 164

by qwijibo (#48818149) Attached to: The Mainframe Is Dead! Long Live the Mainframe!

Mainframes are like really big industrial cars where everything is hugely expensive. They're stupid expensive, but far cheaper than trying to do massive amounts of work with thousands of pickup trucks.

It's like the transporter they use to move the space shuttle with rockets and all ready to go:

It goes 1MPH, which sounds pretty wuss-tastic in car terms, until you consider how much capacity it has at that speed. It would be basically impossible to accomplish the same thing with any number of VW Beetles without spending years taking apart and reassembling everything each time you wanted to attempt a launch.

That's where mainframes make sense - problems which are really massive, but need to run on one computer. Any problem that can be broken down into smaller chunks can be solved much more efficiently with a network of smaller computers.

As the smaller computers continue to get more and more capable and the technology to break down problems and high speed interconnects become more common, the jobs that run better on a mainframe get more rare and networks of servers become more common.

Mainframes do have one cool thing going for them that is not respected on smaller machines - portability. There's code that's been in use for several decades on mainframes running in a stack of emulators. Each new mainframe gets an emulator to make it possible to act just like an an old mainframe. This means the customer needs to run their code on the emulator instead of having to tweak the code to work on the new mainframe. For jobs that justify mainframe costs, downtime is very expensive, so minimizing additional conversion efforts is huge. Also, it's entirely possible that the last person who knew how some mission critical code worked may have died 40+ years ago and business people aren't big proponents of hiring someone to figure out and rewrite legacy stuff.

Comment: Re:Enforcing pot laws is big business (Score 5, Interesting) 484

by qwijibo (#48633175) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

From my point of view any compromise in the belief that it is morally wrong to ....

This is why the states rights model makes more sense than overbearing federal laws.

Reading your position, I think you and the people of the bible belt would get along just fine. Nothing negative against you or them is meant or implied in any way. While I may not agree on this specific point, you're promoting personal responsibility, which I support completely.

However, I'm also positive that the people of California and the people of Tennessee have some pretty significant differences of opinion on several legislative topics. There's nothing wrong with either side, the people just need to respect that others may believe differently and not try to force it down each others throats.

If more laws were handled at city and state levels and fewer at federal levels, the discussion could be a lot more rational. i.e., there are people who use marijuana recreationally and there are people who carry loaded guns in public. Both of these groups are generally not going around hurting anyone, so I don't have a problem with either of them. However, those should remain two separate groups and it seems reasonable for people to choose one or the other, not both, just like we do with alcohol today.

The people who are bringing pot from Colorado into the neighboring states are committing a handful of crimes. Those states could pass laws requiring high restitution fees for those crimes to support the increased enforcement costs. Or they could decriminalize or legalize it. Each state should make their own choices and deal with enforcement accordingly. If it's not cost effective to prosecute people who have small amounts of pot and those people are generally not hurting anyone, a good business decision is to look the other way, just like with the other hundreds of thousands of laws on the books that are selectively enforced today.

Comment: Can't be done. (Score 2) 584

by qwijibo (#48520235) Attached to: Programmer Father Asks: What Gets Little Girls Interested In Science?

You're not going to change her interests. The best you can do is give her more diverse options, but she's going to have to choose her own path.

How do you know she's got the right personality/character type to be a scientist or engineer? She might grow up to be a legendary military sniper. That's a field that requires a lot of technical ability, understanding, and calculation, but isn't considered a scientific or engineering career.

Observe her preferences and talk to her. If you're trying to project what you want on her, that's not going to stick. If you can find a common interest and share it, that will be easy to develop.

Comment: Re:God! (Score 1) 52

by qwijibo (#48514141) Attached to: The Moment of Truth For BICEP2

No one said anything about god dying. The universe could simply be an excretion. The multiverse proponents might argue that each *verse is the god equivalent of taking a dump every day. That's why physics immediately after the big bang is so weird - after being bottled up for billions of years at a time, the release is simply amazing.

Comment: Re: What's with turkey anyway (Score 1) 189

by qwijibo (#48483819) Attached to: I prefer my turkey ...

I grew up with turkey being dry and flavorless. My dad always overcooked the turkey and it went straight from the oven to the table. Those two things destroy any potential for decent turkey.

To add flavor, inject with liquid infused with garlic salt, cayenne, anything else that you enjoy.

To keep it from drying out, when you take it out of the oven, wrap it in foil and let it sit for an hour. Out on the counter is fine, a turkey will not cool down a lot in that hour, but just enough to let the moisture settle in the meat.

Deep frying also helps lock the moisture in the meat, but it's still a good idea to wrap in foil and let it rest for an hour before serving. Deep frying is also much faster cooking, so it's important to get the timing right to avoid overcooking. And peanut oil is the best for deep frying a turkey.

Comment: Re:Naive optimism in headline (Score 1) 91

by qwijibo (#48311867) Attached to: Photon Pair Coupled in Glass Fiber

An intelligent, but insane friend used to rot13 the name of the information requestor, add vowels as needed and use that as the name provided. That made the source readily apparent. However, this was back in the 90's. I'm not sure if the post office would deliver mail to hundreds of different names now that the mail traffic is captured, or just flag you for reeducation.

Comment: Re:Naive optimism in headline (Score 4, Interesting) 91

by qwijibo (#48308131) Attached to: Photon Pair Coupled in Glass Fiber

We don't get to decide. There are no serious privacy oriented options left in the marketplace. Privacy is about as hopeless as buying stuff not-made-in-China.

However, if you find that to be offensive, feel free to create misleading information to poison the various databases about you. The nice thing about companies collecting and reselling information about everyone is that they're so gullible. Just be reasonable enough that the new data doesn't get flagged and omitted. If you're a "Fry Technician" at a Fortune 500 company's franchisee, you may want more than one hop between now and your aspiring Bruce Wayne persona.

Depending on how much free time you have, or how much you just like to game the system, you can do things from provide grossly inaccurate income information to those that ask, to having one or more businesses (or hobbies looking like businesses), or creating new people. The easiest, legal way to create fictitious people is "authorized users" on a corporate credit card account. Anyone willing to pay a yearly fee can open a corporate account, then add anyone they want with little more than a name. As long as you use your fake people for legitimate transactions and pay your bills, there's nothing illegal about it.

Back on topic, hopefully developments like this can later be turned into more secure communication technologies that can be used after the advertising&data-merchant economy collapses.

Mausoleum: The final and funniest folly of the rich. -- Ambrose Bierce