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Comment: Re:Intelligence isn't always advantageous (Score 1) 102

by turp182 (#47440585) Attached to: Chimpanzee Intelligence Largely Determined By Genetics

It has to do with the survival pressures that are being experienced. If they are relatively static over time, rote learning (or instincts) can provide survival.

Homo Sapiens moved about and had varied survival pressures, to which they adapted. Higher intelligence was one of the adaptations, as was bipedal movement.

DNA expresses a variety of aspects leading to its own survival, be they sexual, defensive, or offensive in nature. DNA survives, the individuals carrying it do not.

Comment: A bit terrifying (Score 1) 169

by turp182 (#47434289) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

That's pretty scary to be honest, especially given the range. A sniper squad could very effective with quick extraction available.

I wonder if the system supports a remote spotter (fire in general direction, bullet waits to find it's tracking laser at the remote point, the bullet would have to be able to handle dramatically different angles, and know where the spotter is I would think), someone closer in could more easily track movement or switch targets on the fly.

It's cool though, that's for sure. They don't mention it, but I wonder what the specs on the optics are.

Comment: Re:No (Score 1) 177

by turp182 (#47420223) Attached to: Will Google's Dart Language Replace Javascript? (Video)

If Dart performance is better than Javascript on supported browsers then some will adopt it (surpassing JS performance should be pretty easy in my opinion, Google Maps suffers badly from JS lag and I would not expect that from Google).

If a converter allows other browsers to be supported, then hell yes!

Adoption will probably be mostly for new projects, I'm not sure how it would work with an existing JS heavy code base (I guess not well).

I openly admit that I'm not a web UI developer. JS is one of the reasons. And it's not about learning syntax, it's about the things JS will allow, it is a different beast at its core from my experience. For the record, I'm a C# developer most of the time.

Comment: Re:Consciousness (Score 2) 284

by turp182 (#47396505) Attached to: Consciousness On-Off Switch Discovered Deep In Brain

How about this?

The soul of an individual is composed of the direct and indirect memories people have of one, while living and after death.

Most people's souls last two to three generations, and then we are just geat-great-grand-father Jason with no stories (I don't even know the names of my family that far back), forgotten other than by name, if lucky.

Some people's souls live forever, those enshrined in history, such as Abraham Lincoln.

That's how I see things.

I'm around to have fun and provide for my family. And after a while I won't be. I really enjoy camping and playing guitar (mostly for myself, which is fine). So I bring my kids camping a lot and play guitar with/for them a lot (my 4 year old daughter requests Follow You Into the Dark, which I love to play). This is the purpose of life.

I'm not perfect, no one is, but keeping things simple (seek for happiness for you and those around you, the happiness of those around you should be a focus with significant others and children).

Anyway, the kids are in bed and the guitar is calling. Shameless self promotion, here's a cool video/song of my sunrise drive home on Father's Day this year (I asked for and received a day of solitary camping, it was fantastic):

Comment: Re:I watch the original Red Dawn (Score 1) 340

by turp182 (#47385729) Attached to: On 4th of July:

I'm not sure I understand your comment.

I'm referring to the 1984 movie (the first PG-13 rated movie). My friends and I were into the cold war (those evil Russians...), and it was our favorite movie for some time. HBO showed it constantly during 1985.

A few years ago, on July 4th, I realized the movie was sort of a blueprint for Al-Qaeda style insurgencies. Wars of attrition, with insurgents hiding and striking randomly. Today the scene where they gun down the townspeople reminded me of the bloodbaths in central Iraq of late.

It is a poignant movie. Relevant to our times.

Comment: Re:OR (Score 1) 578

by turp182 (#47369407) Attached to: Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

Back in 1991 in Illinois I had to take a driving class in high school if I wanted my license at 16 (I was already an accomplished driver thanks to farming, it was nice having an old 50's pickup I could drive in the cow field anytime). Otherwise you had to wait until you were 18. You had to meet time requirements for classes, simulator (it was stupid, but provided hazard training), and behind the wheel. There were very few dropouts through junior year, a lot of people dropped out right after passing driving class...

The requirements and license restrictions are even more strict now.

As you do, I always pay attention and adjust speed to conditions (in the fast lane I won't pass other cars at more than 5-10mph than they are moving).

Driving is dangerous, but most people don't realize that.

Comment: Re:I know why you are asking, you said "Legacy" (Score 2) 534

Another approach rather than in-place same-tech modernization is the Strangler Pattern, coined by Martin Fowler.

This involves building a new application (or applications, utilities can be important) "around the edges" of the existing one, rewriting functionality aspects into a new system; chipping away at the old system (give the users a better solution for some things and they will not mind working with two systems).

Here's Mr. Fowler's original article about such:

Comment: I know why you are asking, you said "Legacy" (Score 3, Insightful) 534

The key word in the summary is "legacy". This indicates that there is a large code base that the current developers are not too familiar with (deep knowledge, staff turnover causes this). This causes an organization to fear change due to the related complexity of changes and potential regression bugs. I'm going to guess that there aren't large, mature suites of unit and regression tests.

So I believe you have:
1. Complex code base without a lot of deep developer knowledge of the innards.
2. Fear to change things too much due to complexity and the possibility of introducing bugs.
3. Do not have effective, wide coverage testing implemented.

But, you also have good knowledge of Perl and the architectural elements that compose the system (server software, external libraries, etc.). That knowledge is very valuable and shouldn't be dismissed just for the sake of changing the base language of a system. And you have a working system. How many person years of development have been put into it? Are you willing to spend that much time on the replacement (do you think a replacement could be built in less time, and if so, why?)?

As well, rewriting large admin systems is very risky. I've personally seen two such efforts fail, a 100% failure rate from my personal experience (both had budgets over $5 million, one was over $40 million). Here's an article on this topic:

Consider keeping the existing system, but embarking on a long term (years) modernization/re-design/improvement effort to make the system more modern (ie. easier to work with). Focus on small, non-breaking changes that can go out with regular enhancement promotions (the modernization effort should be able to stop at any point, with any improvements to the system staying in place - this allows for tight budget control and financial risk mitigation). Hire a good application DBA to perform analysis and recommend changes to the data model. Hire a good software architect or bring in architectural consultants that can bring a different perspective to the understanding of the application, its goals, and how it could be improved.

Here's an article on approaching IT projects in a "Small and Simple" manner:

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.