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Comment: I need to call Metro.... (Score 1) 175

by whitroth (#47966135) Attached to: Washington DC To Return To Automatic Metro Trains

I relocated her in '09. This is the least friendly subway system I know of... and I lived in Philly, and Chicago, and am familiar somewhat with NYC, and a little with Boston's, and have even done the BART a couple of times.

For no known reason, they'll wait anywhere from 5 to 40 seconds *after* they come to a complete halt to open the doors. I presume this is some pseudo-Saftty thing (also, presumably dreamed up by someone who's never ridden a subway). Then they don't seem to be looking - it's close the doors.

And they're sealed cars, so if the HVAC isn't working, it's sweltering... unless they just block off the car.

And I have NEVER, EVER seen so many trains taken out of service, and forcing everyone onto the platform. *Maybe* I can remember it once or twice in 30 or 40 years of riding subways; then I got here, and I can't count the number of times I've had to gett off the train, and squeeze into a massivly overcrowded one.

Automated is fine at an airport, with small, small crowds or groups. In a real city, with hundreds of thousands of people riding every day? You need human decision making. AI ain't there yet, not for this.

                  mark "we won't talk about the broken elevators, and stops with *no* stairs"

Comment: If you want someone who *did* compromise security. (Score 1) 182

by whitroth (#47937381) Attached to: Snowden's Leaks Didn't Help Terrorists

How 'bout Dick Cheney? There *were* news stories (rapidly not followed up) when he leaked to the reporter that Valerie Plame was CIA, that a number of covert intellegence agents she personally was running disappeared, presumed dead.

Oh, that's right, no one was ever convicted of leakiing that, just one for "obstruction of justice".

                        mark

Comment: ROTFLMAO! (Score 1) 270

by whitroth (#47928415) Attached to: College Students: Want To Earn More? Take a COBOL Class

A COBOL programmer, in 1998, is utterly beyond fed up with dealing with code for the upcoming y2k, and has himself put into cold sleep until after the year 2000. Something gets screwed up in the records, and he's left to sleep away millenia. Finally, they wake him up. He's appalled to learn it's the year 9998, and everything and everyone he knows is gone. On the other hand, he's *really* in The Future, and is looking forward to all the amazing things we've done.

"Just one question", he asks the team that woke him up, "why now?"
The leader answers, "Well, we're about to roll over the year 10,000, and your records say you're a COBOL programmer...."

                  mark

Comment: Re:Tricky proposition (Score 1) 64

by whitroth (#47918595) Attached to: Funding Tech For Government, Instead of Tech For Industry

Yes, and unfuck you, too.

Oh, and your infantile "union-y" - your damn GOP have outsourced a *lot* of the government, so they can claim to have "cut the size of government" (and prevent people from joining unions). It's saved *so* much money... NOT. For example,
I, personally, am a sysadmin for a federal contractor, and therefore "an engineer working for the US government". Your tax dollars not only pay me (and I get paid *exactly* comparable to GS salaries, and my benefits are similar. Oh, and you're paying for the contract administrator's time (a fed), and you're paying for my "on-site managemenet support" person's time (contractor), and our project manager's time (contractor), and *their* management, and, oh, yes, my company's profits.

SO much money saved... and many of the poisonous envrironment is due to GOP rules intended solely as anti-union (you don't beleve in freedom of association, either).

So, thanks *so* much for the ad hominem attack on *me*, and on the people I work with. You're an asshole.

                      mark

Comment: Re:If it happened in China or North Korea or Iran (Score 1) 223

by whitroth (#47890825) Attached to: U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

Give me a break. This happend under *your* guys, W and Cheney, who brought you monstrous deficits via an illegal and immoral war of conquest (see the papers the US and the UK signed around, what, 05?), and tax breaks. Of course, you didn't get the real payback, but you imagine that Any Day Now, you'll be rich, and so they won't spy on you, or tax you....

                mark

Comment: Witch hunt (Score 1) 499

So, skimming part of the article, she was affiliated with two groups that had "ties" to extremist organizations.

Please define the word "ties". For example, prove with hard evidence that the members of the group knew that they were directly supporting extremist groups. Or even that the officers were. Or that ANYONE OTHER THAN, say, one or two people who were *also* in other groups, including the fringe around the "terrorist" groups.

Go look up the Attorney General's List from the fifties and sixties. "Womens' Strike for Peace" was on it, and try to tell me that was a "terrorist" organization.

Fuck, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade was on it - they were Americans who went to Spain in the mid-thirties, to fight with the legally-elected left wing government against the fascists of Franco, who was supported by Hitler and Mussolini, and that's *NOT* an exaggeration. Oh, that's right, they were "pre-opposing" the fascists.

Yeah, "ties" - that's nothing more than a GOP, neofascist witch hunt against the woman.

                      mark

Comment: And we still have an embargo *why*? (Score 1) 536

by whitroth (#47882013) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

I mean, most of the first wave that left Cuba with the Revolution were supporters of the Battista dictatorship, and the Mafia (who ran Havana). Come on, tell me that's not the case, and I'll call you either ignorant, or a liar.

But the US used to support *any* tin-plated dictator with delusions of grandeur, as long as they loudly and vocally claimed to be anti=Communist, never mind what they did to their own people. We "engaged" with China... what reason is there for the embargo?

                  mark

Comment: Re:Been there, done that. (Score 1) 100

by whitroth (#47881957) Attached to: China Targets 2022 For Space Station Completion

Here's a possibility: they want to make their goals.

First, remember that the GOP in the US Congress almost killed US participation in the Space Station in the early nineties, and has kept the budget as low as they could.

Second... my late ex, who was an engineer at KSC and worked on both Station and Shuttle, told me how they got an Italian module for the Station... and connector valves were the *wrong* metal (she was also a metallurgist), which would have cause metal/metal corrosion, not really a good thing when you're in orbit. (Ask someone about, say, copper/steel (see ).

                  mark, who remembers when the US actually *meant* going to space

Comment: Does the OP know what they're talking about? (Score 1) 385

by whitroth (#47863549) Attached to: Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

Let's talk about R. Do they know what it is? I don't use it... I'm a sysadmin. But a number of my users do, heavily.

How 'bout if I describe it this way it's free, and so it's a *lot* less expensive than the alternative: MatLab. That *is* what it's used for, guys. So, maybe it's "less popular" becuase the audience that uses it doesn't write, say, games or websites in it?

                  mark

Comment: What, cut into profits? (Score 1) 819

by whitroth (#47853691) Attached to: 3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

And CEO salaries? Why, when we can just laugh (other than at the cost of unscheduled landings and takeoffs) at people who can't afford business class?

What did you think steerage was? Are you *so* last century that you rembember free checked luggage, and free food (since you'd paid so much for the flight)? What, just because Americans have been growing larger for the last century (men going into the US Army, in WWI: 5'6, WWII, 5'8", 'Nam: 5'10") why should we make enough room for the majority of the population?

You don't like it, take the train (but we won't fund it, the way we do planes, with tax-paid airports, and transportation to the airports....)

                    mark "how many airline CEOs can fit in steerage with the rest of us?"

Comment: LISP (Score 3, Interesting) 729

Ok, someone has to mention lisp.

Item from 15 or so years ago: a guy posted online that he'd broken into the Pentagon's computers, and found the code for SDI, and it was written in lisp. He didn't want to break US security, but he did post the last five lines of the code.... (stupid slashdot edit filter - 5 lines of ) was not junk... at least, not in lisp....)

                  mark

Comment: A lot of it is budgetary (Score 1) 203

by whitroth (#47835427) Attached to: Is There a Creativity Deficit In Science?

Keep cutting back on all that basic science, most of which is done by universities and the government. "Oh,", the Libertarians reply, "But companies will do the basic research, because it will lead to new things to monetize!"

Let's ignore that most companies are forward-looking... to *maybe* the next quarter. Let's ignore the fact that basic research may not pay off for years, or decades, or may not directly ever pay off in something that you can sell, the Sacred Free Market will take care of it all, and if it doesn't, it wasn't needed anyway.

                  mark, watching folks leave due to US fed gov't budget cuts....

Comment: Nastiest? (Score 1) 729

The alter command in COBOL.

Lo, these many years ago, when I'd just read it in a manual, and discussed it with my boss (who would have given Dilbert's a run for his money, but...) and asked him if he'd defenestrate anyone using it before or after firing them, and he told me before.....

                    mark

I am a computer. I am dumber than any human and smarter than any administrator.

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