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Comment: Re:Customer service? (Score 1) 691

Only if you're lucky. Well, I think SW does that. No other airlines I fly do. I don't really care about kids. My ears have never really tolerated flying much, so I have to use the pressure relieving earplugs. Wearing noise cancelling headphones over them, I can barely tell the engines are running, much less screaming children. :)

Comment: Re:RUDEST PASSENGER EVER (Score 1) 691

Airlines can't leave a minor unattended on a flight through upgrades or moving the seating allocations around, but there's nothing requiring them to allow minors with different ticketing groups to their parents to board with the highest ticketing group on flights with non-allocated seating. Boarding priority is all down to the airline, so in this case the airline was correct - the bloke could board with the lower ticketing group because that would be his choice, but he couldn't bump the lower ticketing group members up to his group.

So in other words, the airline already allows for the minors to be attended by their parents, its the parents choice as to whether they accept it or not.

Comment: Re:Customer service? (Score 4, Interesting) 691

No, you really want them to board first.

For the last year, up until last month, I was barely able to walk. I still had to fly for work. I boarded flights with the kids and anyone else that needed help.

The parent doesn't just stow their stuff and sit down. They stow the kids bags, get the kids to sit down, shut up, buckles on, no you can't go to the bathroom, blah, blah, blah.

For me, it took me about 4x as long just to get down the airway. A guy barely walking down the ramp with passengers walking normal speed definitely held up the flow, no matter how much room I tried to leave. I still got held up by the parents with kids, and I didn't care. I'd just sit on the nearest armrest until they were done.

You don't want me, or the parents with kids slowing you down. People are assholes enough boarding planes.

If you wait for them to board last, now you'll have parents trying to stow bags in the last few spots (if there are any), trying to get the kids in their seats at the same time, and having the kid(s) climbing over other passengers.

For me, barely able to walk, if I had to take the window seat, that would mean everyone in the other seat(s) would have to move. Walking on a cane, I wasn't able to just squeeze by anyone, especially if there were no good seats available. It was still hard just to get *to* the window seat.

And before any of you complain, since surgery I can walk fine. The cane is retired at least for another 30 years.

Comment: Israeli defense company (Score 2, Insightful) 163

by msobkow (#47528137) Attached to: "Magic Helmet" For F-35 Ready For Delivery

An Israeli defense company, eh?

Well, no one is quite the expert at mass murder that the Israelis are, as they're proving in Gaza right now by butchering 4 civilians for every enemy "soldier" that they kill.

Can you imagine the uproar if 80% of those killed in Afghanistan by US forces were civilians?

Comment: Re:Cue blaming the contractor ... (Score 1) 133

And, now they'll say it was all the fault of the contractor.

Reading the story doesn't make it clear. Lockheed Martin was contracted in 2011. However, the project began in 2008.

So either it took SSA three years to select a contractor (entirely plausible,) or SSA started the project internally and then contracted it out for some reason.

In any case the cause seems clear enough; the analyst Congress made them hire can't figure out who is in charge of delivering the system. No one in SSA has taken responsibility — so it flounders on — the never ending zombie IT project.

Diffusing responsibility is job #1 for bureaucracies. It seems SSA has perfected their work.

Comment: Re:The price you pay (Score 1) 359

by msobkow (#47521815) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

No, you've hit the nail on the head about the problem with "agile" development. Agile is a team of programmers hacking at a code base without rhyme, reason, or structure. It presumes there are (usually non-existent) regression tests to catch any breakage, and makes no allowance for the fact that without some overshadowing "big picture", people who are new to the team will spend months just trying to figure out what the hell the project does and where to find the pieces of code that need to be tweaked when enhancements are requested.

As far as I'm concerned, agile is the lazy coder's answer to "I hate writing documentation."

Comment: Re:Who is stopping him? (Score 2) 359

by msobkow (#47520403) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

I believe he's bemoaning the complexity of frameworks and toolkits rather than the tools used to work with those frameworks and toolkits. Technically he's correct -- things are a lot more complex than they used to be for getting the most basic of tasks done.

But you know what? Business isn't interested in basic tasks any more. They want it secure. They want it scalable. They want a web front end, and a desktop client, and apps for Android and iOS. The days of the old "read billing file, produce accounting records" code have not gone away; those projects were just done 30-40 years ago and don't need to be rewritten, just tweaked from time to time to allow for changes in regulations such as tax law or liability.

Even the last company I worked for wasn't content with a mere rewrite and update of their core business with the new software -- they had a whole new plan of integrating another 5 or 10 vertical functionality features into the system (it was just an autodialer -- they wanted integrated CRM, push button customer calling, call answering, call forwarding, a full phone system with voice mail support and enhancements to the ever popular auto-answering system of branching menus and responses, and the ability to deploy the whole thing as a multi-client web service instead of deploying custom configured hardware to the client sites.)

The frameworks and toolkits have correspondingly become more complex in order to support those needs. Look at the transaction processing systems of old -- you'd buy a number of seperate products including a message queueing system, a report formatting tool, a database engine, and a transaction processor, each of which had their own APIs and documentation. Each tool was relatively simple, but getting them all coordinated and working together was hard as hell. Now you take JEE, buy just about any message processor and database you like, and it all largely works with the same API regardless of which vendor's tools you chose. So while the JEE framework is incredibly complex compared to a transaction processor of old, what it does in total is also saving you insane gobs of time integrating and debugging disparate products. So technically JEE is far simpler than things used to be, despite the ramp-up learning curve.

The same is true of every framework or toolkit I've used for over 10 years -- they tie together multiple vendors products consistently so that only small tweaks are needed to adapt to the vendor's products rather than whole-application re-writes if you decide to swap something out.

Hell, take a look at what I did with Java, six different vendor databases, and JDBC alone for The differences between each of those database integration layers are not subtle, but nor are they particularly arcane. All of the products have virtually the same feature set; there are just differences in how you use JDBC and stored procedures for each database. Compared to "the old days", it was a cake walk to do that integration and customization over the past 3-4 years. And remember I worked on that code by myself -- it wasn't a whole team of programmers dealing with the complexity. If one guy can produce that using standardized toolkits in 3-4 years, how can you say things are more complex than they were when it used to take a team of 100-150 programmers 2 years to produce something similar for one database?

Programmers do it bit by bit.