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Comment: Re:Is that really a lot? (Score 1) 274

by Reziac (#49148859) Attached to: Drones Cost $28,000 Per Arrest, On Average

No doubt so, but how about the cost of operations in rough country with poor access, where going in on foot is feasible (witness the illegals crossing it) but patrolling in ground vehicles is not?

Hence I think the real comparison should be: How does the cost of using a drone compare to the cost of using a helicopter in those same areas? I'd guess the drone is significantly cheaper.

Second, how long does it take a drone to patrol, compared to a manned ground vehicle in the same area? What's the total patrol cost per hour for drone vs 4x4?? (Don't forget to factor in the cost of the 4x4 as well as for the drone.) In rough country, a drone (or helicopter) can get an overview in a few minutes, but a ground vehicle might be forced to wind back and forth for an hour to reach the same point (and might still not get a view of the ravines). If patrolling a given area takes the drone ten minutes and the 4x4 an hour, which one is more cost effective?

How does it affect man-hours? The patrol is generally two men, while the drone only needs its operator.

How does all this affect insurance rates on their various equipment? Do reduced hours in use also reduce rates on 4x4s and such? (Certainly it will reduce maintenance costs.)

Lots of factors to consider, not just 'dollars per arrest'. We need to see spreadsheets and balance columns, not assumptions.

Comment: Re:Not-Good-Enough Syndrome (Score 1) 114

by Greyfox (#49148357) Attached to: Invented-Here Syndrome
Yeah, the quality of the open source programs that I look at is usually far superior than anything I've ever seen inside a corporation. Although... at one company I worked for, I had to audit the source code for the original AT&T C standard library. That was obviously done by people who knew what they were doing. I also recently submitted a pull request to the gnu flex maintainer on github. Flex seems to generate some pretty decent code, but the code it uses to do it is a maze of global variables. I did manage to tweak it to generate a C++ class that works for me without the #include fuckery that flex typically requires, but I don't know if the maintainer is going to actually like that change. Doesn't matter to me, I can just use my version from now on.

Comment: Re:About time... (Score 1) 114

by Greyfox (#49148297) Attached to: Invented-Here Syndrome
I'd be happy to just go into a company and write unit tests for their code, but in most cases that would require dictating huge design changes to a lot of their code. If I take over a code base, I like to start writing unit tests for new development and bug fixes (Write the test prior to fixing the bug.) Last project I worked on was an old C code base with hundreds or possibly thousands of global variables. In some cases there were multiple global variables for the same value, and they got used in different places and often had to be set to different values in order for the code to work correctly. It might not have been too bad to go through and make sure it was just passing everything it used, but it was a lot of code and it kind of all needed to be changed at the same time. Much too much of an effort for the team that was working on it.

Comment: Re:About time... (Score 3, Insightful) 114

by Greyfox (#49148259) Attached to: Invented-Here Syndrome
Or is just complex and unfamiliar. The problem with these frameworks is they work great when they work, but you only ever see them working because they've been published with the most trivial example. When you actually start trying to do things with them, you have to know implementation-level details of the framework in order to make it work for you. By the time you've invested all that time, you may as well have written something less generic that actually does what you want.

Oh and when I say they work great, I was kind of lying. I have a favorite example. A while back a developer I was working with wrote some Spring/Hibernate code to pull records in from the database and print a billing report. Soon as he handed it off to me, I thought "What happens if I throw 100000 records at this?" Well what happened is that it crashed. So I cut the number in half and it still crashed. Down around 30000 records, it started taking about half an hour and THEN crashing.

Turns out he was using the framework to pull all the records from a couple of different tables and doing the join in Java. The SQL join I wrote to test the code took a couple of minutes to run on a million records and returned the correct output. On a hundred thousand it was neighborhood of 10 seconds.

Now the Spring/Hibernate people will be quick to point out that you can edit some XML file or something and make the framework do a join for you, thus solving that problem. And that is true, if you know a fair bit about the framework. And you'd have to know a fair bit about all the other frameworks they used on that project, too. By the time you got done learning all the frameworks they were using to the level of detail where you could actually be that effective with them, you could have written the application they'd built 10 times over.

Fortunately this story has a happy ending. The team ended up deciding to run the original developer's code against the billing database several times a day so that it would never have so many records to process that it would crash, thus solving the problem once and for all!

Comment: Re:When will slashdot follow? (Score 1) 177

by rs79 (#49145083) Attached to: Facebook Puts Users On Suicide Watch

>facebook is mostly a teen phenomenon

Unlikely. FB has proven to be the most handy tool for collaboration worldwide between ichthyologists to ever happen. I can't speak or other disciplines but it's changed the face of this particular science.

Tumblr needs this WAY more tan anything else. Of course that would affect half the userbase.

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.