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Comment: It's interesting what Cisco is becoming. (Score 4, Informative) 147

by tlambert (#48175127) Attached to: Cisco Exec: Turnover In Engineering No Problem

It's interesting what Cisco is becoming.

A decade, even half a decade, ago, Cisco was greatly admired for their ability to acquire without attrition. When a company acquired another company, you usually saw 10-12% attrition in the first 6 months, after the pay-for-stay for key personnel expired, and another 8-10% at the end of 12 months. That meant that between 18% and 22% of what you just bought had walked out your door in your first year.

Cisco's numbers were 2% and 5% for 6 and 12 months, respectively. Cisco knew how to do an "acquihire", and keep the talent that it bought the company for, and in acquisitions which weren't simply talent plays, it knew how to do that too.

It seems that this expertise has been lost along the way, or that in one of these annual "transformations", something broke. Either way, with the way they are acting like IBM Global Services these days, or perhaps the post acquisition EDA or post-divestiture Agilent, they are unlikely to be able to repeat their past successes in acquisition, since the trust has been lost.

Which is really a shame, since they were the envy of the entire tech industry for their capability in this regard, not just Silicon Valley. We used to have meetings at IBM about how we could possibly do what they did, with the numbers they got, and thus avoid killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Similar meeting took place at Apple, particularly prior to the acquisition of P.A. Semi (and much of the team deserted Apple for places like Google anyway, after the lockout handcuffs were removed so that the people who were there prior to the acquisition could cash out and skedaddle.

It's interesting what they are becoming, because it's not the old Cisco; it most resembles, if I had to pick a company and an era, the post Carly Fiorina H.P.; here's hoping it doesn't turn out the same for them, and that they can correct their course before the rudder falls off entirely.

Comment: Re:You have it wrong. (Score 1) 319

by tlambert (#48174655) Attached to: Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

Except that the school *did* tell the parents. (Probably while telling them that their kid is suspended.) And the parents grounded their little bundle-of-joy for a week, so obviously they agree at some level that their kid's a little shit.

Where they dropped the ball is that Little Timmy didn't have to go over to this kid's house and apologize to her face.

Ah yes. Making the asshole tormentor show up at her house to intimidate by his presence in person. That has generally fixed all my problems, knowing that the bully knows where I live, so as soon as the parents are not constantly riding herd on the little asshole, he and a couple of his friends can break into the house, shit on a plate, write a note, and leave it in the fridge.

Some people don't count as human beings, and despite the best efforts of their parents to program them to be human beings, the little psychopaths are unfixable. Yeah, that's also politically incorrect in this day and age where the fault is always external to the human exhibiting the bad behaviour.

Not to mention checking to make damned sure that the site was down. If Timmy had sprayed graffiti all over a house, you wouldn't ground him, but figure "nah, he doesn't need to actually clean it up", right?

You don't need to be computer literate to verify that paint is gone from a wall and/or painted over. You keep assuming that the parents are not only computer literate, that they are *more* computer literate than little Timmy, such that little Timmy couldn't pull a fast one on the old parents.

That's just not the case, in the majority of circumstances.

Comment: Re:How about... (Score 1) 348

by tlambert (#48174641) Attached to: White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

How about we first focus on the dangerous rouge states with large confirmed nuclear arsenals and the better part of a century of history of stirring up trouble all over the world. I'm speaking of the US of course.

If by "stirring up trouble", you mean "not allowing Arab countries who deny the right of Israel to exist as a nation-state to destroy Israel without giving Israel aid", how about we don't, and they instead just agree to quit shooting at Israel, and Israel agrees to quit shooting back?

Comment: Re: Heavier than air flight is impossible (Score 1) 342

by tlambert (#48174637) Attached to: The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real

And Lamarckism is still thought impossible

Maybe not according to the recent work done in epigenetics. Of course, everything is open to both corroboration and interpretation.

The problems with taking this article to mean what Lamarckism people would dearly love for it to mean are:

(1) It applies to memories, not to morphological traits; Lamarckism is specific to inherited morphological traits on the basis of environmental pressures.

(2) "it may give the sheen of respetability" - a "sheen" is not the same thing as actually being respectable, and "may" is not the same as "does".

Come back with a multigenerational study that demonstrates a change in morphology (such as those Dr. John Legler was attempting, and failed to demonstrate, with Chelodina Longicolis in the early 1980's), and we can perhaps revisit the subject.

Comment: Re:You have it wrong. (Score 1) 319

by tlambert (#48167317) Attached to: Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

"They didn't control access to the computers in such a way as to prevent this kind of usage by students. In the case of an adult in the same situation, the school is guilty of, at a bare minimum, presenting an attractive nuisance in the form of a computer that could be used for this."

Absolutely fucking ridiculous.

No more ridiculous than blaming the parents, who were at work at the time, for what their kid was doing in the school.

It's interesting that the school, acting in loco parentis - "in place of the parent" isn't responsible, but the parents somehow are because they aren't remote mind-controlling their xyy asshole of an offspring.

Comment: Re:Robots First, then Humans? (Score 1) 348

Hey, if it was good enough for Columbus and the European powers in their colonization of America and Australia, "send robots first" is surely good enough for our colonization efforts for the moon and Mars...

There's a big difference between Columbus and space exploration. Columbus was going to a place with air, water, and life. It was already self-sustaining. Space is a much harsher mistress than the West Indies.

Are you sure there's going to be air, water, and life, after you sail off the edge of the world?

It turns out he *ended up* in a place with air, water, and life, but it's not true that there was a guarantee that that's where he was headed when he left port. When he got there, he actually assumed (incorrectly) that he'd gotten to a different place with air, water, and life than he actually ended up going to.

The point is that there was a risk of losing all three ships and their entire crews.

Throwing a colony onto the moon is much less of a problem than, say Mars, but given that people are willing to go to Mars, even knowing ahead of time that it's a one way trip, and that they'll get (at most) six months science out of it before they die there, should tell you something: your obsession with safety, and NASAs obsession with safety, is not shared by everyone.

If you want to send robots, fine: by all means, pay for it yourself. Or if you're so good at robotics, throw up a couple dozen robot factories in Detroit where land is pretty damn cheap, do a bunch of product manufacturing, and have the robots pay their own way. If you want to send people, and make it permanent, however, I'm happy to chip in on it.

Comment: Re:Robots First, then Humans? (Score 1) 348

by tlambert (#48165841) Attached to: White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

" send autonomous robots to various locations in space to create infrastructure using local resources with advanced manufacturing technology, such as 3D printing"

So we send robots to terraform and prepare a new habitat for humans.
Eventually, after many years, the robots send us a message that says "Everything is ready. We are waiting to meet you all for dinner."

Anyone see a problem with this?

Hey, if it was good enough for Columbus and the European powers in their colonization of America and Australia, "send robots first" is surely good enough for our colonization efforts for the moon and Mars...

Comment: Re:You have it wrong. (Score 2) 319

by tlambert (#48165233) Attached to: Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

If you want to understand if the school should be blamed, ask yourself, would the school be blamed if the person was an adult? No. Of course not, that would be silly. The School had as much to do with the activity as the ISP serving the school.

They didn't control access to the computers in such a way as to prevent this kind of usage by students. In the case of an adult in the same situation, the school is guilty of, at a bare minimum, presenting an attractive nuisance in the form of a computer that could be used for this.

But this is all hemming and hawing about "how can we blame someone other than the kid for the actions of the kid?", which is pretty stupid on the face of it. In any other bullying situation, such as assault and battery, you don't blame the parents; you send the kid to juvie, and they get to go to school there, with all of the other genetic sociopaths.

Comment: You have it wrong. (Score 2) 319

by tlambert (#48164629) Attached to: Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

If your kids happen to make money, parents control that money until they are 18. They should also suffer the liability as well.

You can't have one without the other. Either children are responsible or they are not.

You have it wrong.

The page was created on a school computer while the school was acting in loco parentis for the child. If anyone should be held responsible *instead of the child, whose fault it is*, it would be the school, with "contribution to the delinquency of a minor" by the "friend" who helped them create the page.

At worst, the parents are guilty of "contributory negligence" for not being software engineers.

Mirrors should reflect a little before throwing back images. -- Jean Cocteau

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