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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Confused about three parents (Score 1) 199

by slimdave (#48979259) Attached to: British MPs Approve 3-Parent Babies

If you are concerned about the possible existence of beings whose genetic material is derived from more than two other beings, you should perhaps meditate on the meaning of having grandparents.

It may be an error to confuse scientific reality with newspaper headlines that are designed to stimulate sales.

Comment: Next steps ... (Score 5, Interesting) 121

by slimdave (#48977749) Attached to: Alan Turing's Notes Found After Being Used As Insulation At Bletchley Park

The notes will be restored and then popped into a glass display case with one or two pages visible, with a sort-of description of why they are important.

Pretty much all of Bletchley is like this, unfortunately. Stuff on display that you are not going to understand, such as copies of Turing's early mathematical papers with only the first page showing.

The problem with the whole Bletchley Park experience is that it was obviously extremely important, but is practically beyond all explanation for the ordinary punter. I think I might be able to intellectually struggle through an explanation of some of it, but the displays do not explain it in enough detail to help with that. Overall, my visit felt like a patchwork of different explanations of the same few concepts using poster boards, audio devices and video and interactive displays. It's padded out with various "wartime experience" bits here and there.

It probably seems like a very negative attitude, but a technical chap in his mid-forties with a couple of bright teenagers in tow ought to be right in the target demographic for Bletchley, but I'm practically embarrassed to say that I ended up drinking weak hot chocolate in the cafe and agreeing with my boys that it was all rather dull.

Special commendation for the rack of old bicycles at the end of one of the huts, with a hidden speaker to give you the authentic experience of what squeaky bicycle wheels sounded like in the 1940's. Or something?

Comment: Re:I read the Satanic Temple's page (Score 1) 1251

probably shouldn't have surfed to that URL at work though..... but their site actually comes across as quite rational and reasonable. Not what I was expecting at all.

It really comes to something when a website for a type of church can be considered NSFW. I understand though -- in my 10 years in corporate America I sure kept my atheistic head down. Nothing would have finished a career quicker than letting my screaming, wall-thumping, secretary-humping, second-wife-divorcing bosses know that I was not also a Christian.

Comment: Views, Materialized views? (Score 1) 165

by slimdave (#45623545) Attached to: Why Reactive Programming For Databases Is Awesome

The idea of embedding a calculation into the system that is automatically updated by underlying data changes -- is that not just a database view?

We use this sort of technique quite widely in a Ruby on Rails app I work on -- complex calculations such as for profitability and cash flow are defined as views in Postgres, and referenced by the app as read-only models. Thus we can: Profitability.where(product_id: 27).group(:month).sum(:value)

Performs monstrously fast, as is extremely flexible. It breaks the whole "for the love of gods don't put business logic in the database" separation of concerns idea, but we have a system to ship right now and we can't wait for RoR performance and flexibility to catch-up that much.

Comment: Not an issue ... (Score 2) 195

by slimdave (#45499609) Attached to: Project Free TV, YIFY, PrimeWire Blocked In the UK

Because only a trivially small proportion of the population cares. Few have even heard about these services.

If you care about free TV in the UK then you could start by not watching or recording live transmissions, and you then have no obligation to pay the TV license -- they only waste it on extra redundancy payments for senior managers, and politically motivated nonsense stuff like moving programming oop north.

I get by on BBC iPlayer delayed transmissions, streaming to my TV through Chromecast. Possibly ITV and Channel 4 have compatible streaming services, but sadly their programmes are not compatible with me.

Comment: Right in a kind-of way. (Score 1) 674

by slimdave (#45035187) Attached to: The Luddites Are Almost Always Wrong: Why Tech Doesn't Kill Jobs

At the last company where I worked, word processors and voice mail systems allowed them to have zero secretaries and receptionists, as software developers had to answer the door phone and type their own everythings. Of course this did double the number of software developers they needed because they all got fuck all work done, so I guess the article's correct.

Comment: Re:Who cares what the community thinks? (Score 2) 311

by slimdave (#44907777) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Does Your Work Schedule Make You Unproductive?

That is all true, but the days of "scientific management" are over, and research does not matter.

Managers believe that you achieve efficiency and greatness through gut feeling and tough talk and catchy slogans. They are not interested in learning otherwise, and 90% of them were never taught management, they just got promoted into it.

There are a few companies that will make sensible, evidence-based choices, but the only true fix is to work for yourself.

Comment: Re:Clinical records are hard (Score 1) 220

by slimdave (#44891885) Attached to: Abandoned UK National Health Service IT System Has Cost $16bn... So Far

I think that your response illustrates a very different approach and purpose -- in the US the computerised record is for billing, but in the UK the computerised record could simply be a description of symptoms and treatments.

There's no need for the UK to follow the medicine-as-a-profit-centre approach of the US.

Comment: Re:Clinical records are hard (Score 1) 220

by slimdave (#44885687) Attached to: Abandoned UK National Health Service IT System Has Cost $16bn... So Far

To the delight of many dubious business types, the shredding of paper is very easy though.

I was going to add that it should not be beyond moderately difficult to put in place a secure backup and audit trail, but these guys can't even get the basic system off the ground.

"Consequences, Schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich." -- "Ali Baba Bunny" [1957, Chuck Jones]

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