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Comment: wrong direction (Score 1) 257

by samantha (#48492279) Attached to: The Driverless Future: Buses, Not Taxis

Driverless allows high efficiency very small people movers. Buses are per person mile very inefficient in energy use, pollution and especially convenience. They are only efficient in the first two when full to capacity which they are only during major commute rushes. The future of self-driving vehicles is highly flexible, electric powered, on demand minimal vehicles for the job. Anything else is nonsense.

Comment: Don't care about crime??? (Score 1) 407

by samantha (#48172835) Attached to: As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal

Bullshit. We don't care about thinks that never have been called "crimes" in the first place. If it doesn't involve any form of initiation of force against another person or their property or of negligent harm to another person then it is not a crime in a sane society. As much of 80% of prison population is is for such non-crime. Many of the longer term prisoners are there for committing a non-crime 3 times back in the three strikes and you are out days. Let people out of cages that committed no real crimes and never put anyone in for such again.

Boo Hoo there are not enough prisons. Tear them down and celebrate while doing so. At up to $40,000 per prisoner per year we are saving a lot having less prisoners.

Comment: no thanks. Better, cheaper and far more flexible (Score 1) 97

by samantha (#47553635) Attached to: Oracle Offers Custom Intel Chips and Unanticipated Costs

Oracle's pricing is predatory nonsense. Anyone worth their salt has moved to MySQL, postgresql and most importantly NoSQL databases. Only old school IT is likely to put up with 23K per processor in today's multicore and highly distributed environment. And the last time I worked with Oracle RDBMS it still had a large number of the same warts I hated in their product way back in the 80s.

Just say NO!

Comment: wait a sec.. (Score 1) 224

by samantha (#47227685) Attached to: Interviews: Bruce Perens Answers Your Questions

"There is always going to be a conflict of interest between a company's needs and your needs as a user or customer. Who has control? It should be you, rather than the company that made the software or a government that tells them what to put in it as the U.S. Government did with RSA Security."

Why should I have any conflict of interest with my customers? I make software of type X that I enjoy making and am good at. My customers who want this type of software buy it from me or subscribed to some SaaS arrangement. Where is the conflict of interest? We have largely the same interest. I want to produce this software and keep them as my customers by satisfying their needs and desires for this type of software.

Why should my users control what I produced? I understand it far better than they do after all. Not to mention that I created it and should get some say in its continued existence, form and evolution. If the users could produce and control this software then they wouldn't need to buy it from me in the first place. They would just have done it themselves.

Governments telling producers what to put in their products is indeed a very large problem. But it is not solved by claiming the producer has no rights and that once a product is offered at all then the consumers should have control over it in contradistinction to its producers.

Comment: yes but (Score 1) 339

by samantha (#47126387) Attached to: The Energy Saved By Ditching DVDs Could Power 200,000 Homes

DRM and other content whoring practices limiting the effect of the computer age on us all LOVE streaming. You never own the bits. There is no danger you will rip that DVD. You may be able to rip the box if your are clever enough with whatever encryption protocols are on the stream. And if they don't want you to have anything you have bought they just remove it from the cloud or remove your permission to see it. I love streaming in some ways, don't get me wrong. But I think it has a dark side.

Comment: Re:Lets be honest here.. Experience ==cost (Score 1) 232

by samantha (#47022411) Attached to: Programmers: It's OK To Grow Up

I have actually had hiring managers try to claim they want people with no more than 5 years experience because that codes for how up to date their skills are. No, it doesn't. Some colleges teach little but Java for instance. If the first job or two after was mandating and existing Java stack then it is guaranteed the developer is no more up to date than a more seasoned developer that has seen more environments and has had to learn many more new things. With greater breadth learning new languages and APIs is easier, not harder. You understand more general patterns and abstractions that can be applied to the next thing to learn.

And yes, after a couple of decades proving myself (multiple times) in the trenches of Silly Con Valley I am not going to work as cheaply as a person without as much experience.

But the managers read the latest buzz feed and thing it looks easy and as long as they get a young person who hasn't learned better they will get their project done in super record time with said latest buzz. After a while you have seen that pattern repeat over and over again. With silver hair you have deflected a lot of silver bullets until you no longer expect them to be efficacious.

Comment: Re:Short Sighted (Score 1) 232

by samantha (#47022377) Attached to: Programmers: It's OK To Grow Up

It very much depends on what it is you are learning. There is no way you are going to be a reasonably proficient scala programmer in less than 3 months. Frankly I find that until I work with a language full time for a year I certainly cannot claim to be expert in it. Also there is time needed to learn the new gig software stack and its history which is non-zero. It usually takes 1-2 months depending on body of code to have some idea what one is talking about. People that say they can do it faster almost never can. They cut and paste what the find on google and hope the hell it doesn't blow up too badly.

Comment: Are you kidding? (Score 1) 274

by samantha (#46914801) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Joining a Startup As an Older Programmer?

You are in your forties? When I was 45 I joined the most interesting start up and did some of the best work of my career. They were much smaller too, only a bit over 40 people in total. I was probably the oldest there at the time. It was absolutely not a problem. 40s is nothing. It is very common is the valley. Including many start ups started by people in their 40s and 50s. Why on earth would you even worry about it. Be yourself, kick butt, take names.

Comment: uh, wait (Score 1) 288

by samantha (#46875425) Attached to: Decommissioning Nuclear Plants Costing Far More Than Expected

First, are we talking inflation adjusted dollars? Second, a large part of the problem is the continued ever since the 70s anti-nuclear power hysteria. This has greatly inflated costs, danger estimates, required procedures and so on. It is also why we have no spend fuel repository although we no several ways to create a quite good one. And it is also why all forms of breeder reactors, even those not good for making weapon grade materials, were killed. That move means there is around 20x more "nuclear waste" than there would otherwise be as 95% of it would have been used in a breeder. Lastly it is why we can't build any more modern designs that are much safer and more efficient. Even though nuclear with the antiquated designs has a three orders of magnitude better safety record in terms of number of deaths per TwH generated than coal and two orders of magnitude better than oil and gas.

So don't let this railroad you to the wrong conclusion.

Comment: data ownership needs to change (Score 1) 226

It is data about a person, in many cases it is literally the documents, calls, emails, tweets, IMs of people to people. That clearly belongs to the persons themselves, not to some company that wrote an app used to interact with that data or the companies providing the pipes for it to travel across. So that it is an American company really has nothing to do with it if we see it from the logical point of view of who the data belongs to. If it belongs to a European then it is government by European law. People are also confused about cloud storage and data center storage of information. Storage is not ownership.

"We shall reach greater and greater platitudes of achievement." -- Richard J. Daley