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Comment Re:Imagine if Intel did this (Score 1) 280

The do have competition. It only looks like they don't because they've been working so hard to consistently beat them. There was a time when AMD leapfrogged them and taught them what happens when they moved slowly. AMD had better chips for a good while, there. Intel had to scramble to catch back up, then pass AMD. Now Intel stays ahead of them, always. They improve because they have competition.

And if they hadn't been improving consistently, ARM would be currently eating their lunch in the server market. Which it's not.

Comment Comcast (Score 1) 280

If I could get 5 Mb/s out of Comcast and have it RELIABLE I'd be way better off than I am now with 20+Mb/s to Comcast servers and VPN connections dropping 5 times a day.

Yesterday I gave up and tethered up my cell phone. It was slower, but rock solid.

Comcast tech: "Go to speedtest.net -- what does it say?"

Comment Re:Calling Mr. Bradbury (Score 1) 130

451 is not about censorship. It is about television, as Mr. Bradbury himself explained.

In F451 they're not burning SOME books, they're burning ALL BOOKS. If you wrote a book saying how wonderful the government was, they'd burn THAT. That's not censorship, that's removing competition.

Comment A hope, rather than a guess (Score 5, Interesting) 198

I don't think this is what Google had in mind, but I hope this will become part of their plan:

The real problem with Comcast isn't the connections to the home or to Comcast's servers, it's the routers which move traffic to other networks. Not just their peering relationships, but the hardware they overload along the way.

These devices have a network test function. They provide Google with a whole bunch of edge devices in the consumer Internet space which openly say they're going to communicate with Google. I'm hoping that Google will use these to map out ISP network and use the information to A. spoof DNS results to avoid overloaded equipment, B. Tattle on problems to partners to adjust BGP (or whatever ISPs are using now for routing tables), C. Use the information to bludgeon the ISPs (OK, really that just means Comcast) in the press and in Congress to force change to facilitate faster, cheaper connections.

So they can push more ads.

Comment That was NOT the target (Score 3, Insightful) 142

There's nothing wrong with giving foreigners who just graduated from an American college the chance to stay and work. These are people who competed to get into school and won, had the money to pay for it, and then learned more at the school. These are precisely the folks we want to stay here.

This should be extended to graduates with good grades in all disciplines, not dialed back.

The real problem is H1Bs and the difficulty in getting a green card. It's the indentured servitude nature of the immigration-work-model which allows companies to pay less and force down American wages. We should provide enough protection to foreign workers that they can tell an employer to shove it.

People can apply for work visas if they have something to offer, and they can come and help pay for our college system and prove that they can work VERY hard and learn fast via the school-visa program. We should embrace everybody coming in on that path. H1Bs are simply destructive.

Comment Re:$4.3 billion == guaranteed failure. (Score 4, Insightful) 186

Tom DeMarco talks about the air traffic control software project in one of his books. The description of the hopeless situation in that case supports your idea.

I think when you have a lot of people's butts on the line and so failure is not an option but stagnation IS, what we would perceive as failure is almost certainly coming. You can retire without any fallout so long as you make sure nothing happens for 15 years. It's easy to do: Just make the specs vague, self-contradictory, and long. Very, very, long.

The project won't fail, but it won't succeed either. And you're safe, which is all that matters.

They would do much better to set up a few small teams and have them compete to build something with enough in common so one can be replaced by the other. And starting with the open source base would make sense there.

Comment Just plain wrong (Score 1) 414

Java lacks high-level control structures written in simple, understandable ways. This means that java programs are longer than they need to be. YES, you can look at three lines of java code and know just what they do. CONGRATULATIONS. But when the java program is 300+ lines long and only needed to be 30 in R, for example, which one will a person with any competence in a language understand faster?

C# (an MS trap language you shouldn't use) is better than java. It has better syntax and makes things cleaner and shorter.

Java is getting praise here because of its success. If it were put out today, it would be ignored. The fact that we would not have the VM-based code world we have without java is immaterial to an evaluation of the language. We should not lie to ourselves. Java programs are too long. This makes them hard to read and hard to pass on to other programmers. Period.

Comment I hate python (Score 1) 414

Python's no fun to work in at all. But it's the right choice for business coding for precisely this reason.

Boring is good. Rigid is good. The next person who works on your code is not going to understand anything you did. He/she will need to pore over your code and figure it out. The easier you make that, the more you can accomplish and walk away from -- leaving a trail of success in your path. Otherwise, you're either bound to the code and swamped with old projects, or trivial issues you missed never get fixed, leaving a trail of unhappy clients/users behind you.

Comment Re:"Easy to read" is non-sense (Score 3, Informative) 414

I'd put it differently: When you keep legibility and understandability in mind as a goal when writing in perl, the many syntax constructs available in it which are not in Java (for example) allow you to write much more understandable code in perl than you could in most other languages.

The fact that it also allows you to write stuff non-perl people cannot fathom is a problem, and any coding projects started in perl need a day-two code review and some conversations with the people involved. They need to know they're coding for the next user of the software more than they're coding for themselves. If they have trouble with that, then they're too young to be trusted with your business.

Comment Re:Privacy? (Score 1) 776

3. I suspect - but cannot prove - that US education costs from the study include the cost of providing health insurance to educators and other school staff, while most countries with nationalized health care budget those expenses separately. Even if the comparison does include health care costs from both countries, the US spends three times as much on health care per capita as most countries with nationalized health care. So that could account for the complete cost difference all by itself.

This is an excellent point. Our absurd healthcare system is a cost factor we have to fold into everything. Add to this the (arguably much smaller) costs of dealing with sickness/absences amongst children with no healthcare, or who spend time helping parents with no healthcare.

"Spock, did you see the looks on their faces?" "Yes, Captain, a sort of vacant contentment."