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Comment Re:Solyndra (Score 1) 509

What? Lockheed is financed almost entirely with taxpayer funds, they lose what Solyndra lost, every year in between the couch cushions, and you don't know anything about what really happened at Solyndra, other than they had a business that didn't succeed.

Perhaps no company in the US gets more of their business from "black" projects, so don't even try to pretend like the lack of transparency in the Solyndra deal is even on the same order of magnitude as Lockheed's business.

God, conservatives are adept at pulling crap out of their rear ends!

Comment Re:Solyndra (Score 1) 509

Uh, the F-35/JSF was like the biggest procurement in the history of military aviation. Phantom Ray is a tiny program. So, yeah, Boeing lost out.

As Scott Evil once said, "A billion is more than a million, numbnuts."

Comment Re:Privatization? (Score 1) 681

How does a one-sentence answer with only two thoughts in it, both of which are demonstrably wrong, get modded up to 5?

You're asserting that airport security is now (a) expensive, and (b) not secure. Both aren't even close to correct.

Since 9/11, which is when the modern airport security apparatus was spawned, we've had no major incidents on airplanes. That's 10 years with no major incidents. Seriously. What would it take for you to say that airplanes are fairly secure? And please, no crap about how we didn't really stop the underwear bomber. I don't care if that bomb did go off. Statistically, one incident would still constitute fantastic safety over the course of a ten-year period. Jesus, do slashdotters not understand statistics, or what? What mobile location is more secure than an airplane?

And the cost? What are you basing this supposedly high cost on? I can't recall the stats off the top of my head, but it's something like $10 a ticket. That's not even three airport coffees at today's prices. Do you think bag and body scanners can be bought at for $100 each?

Seeing irrational crap like this on a supposedly rational internet forum makes me want to f'ing scream.

Comment Or Maybe We Shouldn't Trust Him ... (Score 1) 681

John Mica is the same guy who shut down the FAA for a couple weeks because he decided now is the right time to bust airport unions. He also specifically introduced measures into the FAA funding bill that called for closures in Democrats' districts. Those were the hard-line positions he took that caused the impasse over extension of FAA funding, which is normally a completely routine process.

I'm actually not much of a fan of either unions, or the TSA, but I can recognize partisan hackery when I see it. It's also ludicrous to think that public sector unions are a major cause of our recent woes, as union membership has already been declining for years.

So, sorry, but I'm a little bit inclined to be skeptical of his motives. The GOP are making a living off of objecting to stuff (e.g. TSA) that they were all for, when Republicans controlled the government. People who continue to give these craven conservative monsters the benefit of the doubt are merely fueling their outrageous behavior.

Comment Re:Missing Option (Score 1) 316

Yes, it would be useful if we had more media sources comprised of the musings of anonymous cowards childishly masquerading as anarchist movie characters, who openly admit to having vested financial interests in what they report on (but not what those interests are, and when). Add to that, forums that swiftly ban commenters that disagree with their libertarian world view, and a whole truckload of gold shills, and you really have the pinnacle of good journalism.

And, by the way, The Economist sucks, too. They just suck with a little less ignorance and arrogance than the Teabaggers at ZeroHedge.

Comment There's already a model for solving this problem (Score 1) 87

There's really no sense in worrying about anything in a car that's not responsible for the actual driving of the car. If the computers that control engine timing, or braking, or airbag deployment get hacked, that's a problem. If the entertainment system gets hacked, and somebody maliciously transfers some Michael Bolton mp3s to your sound system, it's much less of a problem. You simply need to isolate the systems. Cars already have multiple internal computers, so it's not like this requires splitting one on-board computer into two.

Military aircraft have had this concept for a long time. The computing systems that actually fly the plane, like the fly-by-wire controls, are completely separate from the stuff that a pilot uses to do other tasks, like mission planning. Depending on whether your software is "mission critical" or "flight critical" or neither, there are different systems that run it, and different quality standards that apply.

I'd just hate to see a massive freak-out about "hackers" disabling your brakes remotely, when there's no reason for that to ever be even technically feasible.

Comment Re:Ada! (Score 2) 791

I worked on defense systems in Ada for a number of years. While I love working in C# and Java, and sometimes Objective-C, I have to say that Ada had some really great features (some of which clearly influenced later languages).

It might seem like Ada would be a great language for financial services, as it was designed with security and reliability in mind. But, alas, the financial sector is really less interested in those features, and vastly more interested in skimming their clients' money while telling them how lucky they are to have the liquidity. I don't remember Ada including a library for that (system.scheming.ponzi, maybe?).

Comment Re:I am an HFT programmer (Score 0) 791

I have a question. How can a guy make $500k and obviously think the world of himself while being under the impression that 12 hours x 7 days equals 100 hrs/wk?

Sorry in advance for the sarcasm, but slashdotters do know what you do. If you paid attention, there have been lots of HFT threads since 2008. The question is, "do you understand what you do"? Namely, destabilize markets, manipulate prices for your clients, participate in systemic frontrunning, and divert talent away from solving engineering problems that actually matter to humanity, for the sake of enriching yourself off one of the biggest examples of what game theorists call a "Prisoner's Dilemma" that I can imagine. Your use of the word "useful" to describe your work leads me to think not.

Comment Re:I work for a phone company... (Score 1) 207

What does your Direct TV story have to do with my iPhone? I mean, thanks for the explanation, but the only thing it has in common with the topic is that the telecom industry is involved. Different network technology, different company. Different. Everything isn't a slippery slope to everything else.

I'm pissed, because for about the last three or so years, I haven't seen one iota of increased performance in my home internet or mobile phone speeds, my rates haven't dropped a bit, the economy is in the tank (which normally drops prices, especially for technology that isn't improving), and AT&T is one of the most profitable companies on earth, even before this move!

Comment Re:I'm not too good for code reviews (Score 1) 495

That's incredibly myopic. Any system that yields an "ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure" is one that should be even more important to someone like you who's under tight time constraints. During any given day, you're not just spending time on the particular task at hand, you're spending time as a result of past decisions. If you're adding a new feature to the Widget class, the amount of time that'll take today is directly proportional to how well that class was originally written. If it was originally tossed together, to be just "good enough", but not readable or maintainable, then every feature you add will be more costly to implement.

Similarly, your work today may involve fixing a bug, that would never have surfaced had the code been properly reviewed 6 months ago.

You have to try to envision an alternate universe, where you were taking the time to implement those quality processes that pay future dividends (commensurate with their cost, of course). The question you should be asking is, "would I be further ahead in that alternate universe than I am today?".

It's just bogus to claim "schedule" is the reason you have to implement processes that forgo earlier, cheaper fixes, for later, more expensive ones. I know lazy coders use that excuse all the time, and managers frequently go along with that short-sighted rationale, but it doesn't make it right.

Comment Re:If code reviews are good... (Score 1) 495

Why are continuous code reviews great? Is a flood great because water is good?

People who don't like pair programming aren't merely antisocial, as you contend. There are very legitimate reasons why pair programming may be a bad idea. For one, logistics. Having pairs requires people to work the same hours, sit in very close proximity to one another, get interrupted when someone else needs to use the bathroom, it works poorly with telecommuting, etc, etc. There's something uniquely human about needing some space to work and think, that pair programming does not allow.

It's also pretty established fact that knowledge work (for many people) requires concentration, and the absence of interruption. Pair programming is horrible from this standpoint. You are constantly having thoughts, and then getting interrupted when your pair has a thought they want to share. You'll basically be coding, and trying to hold a conversation at the same time. Concurrency like that isn't helpful for many computer programs, and it's even less helpful for most human brains. It's like context switching on the order of seconds, rather than having an hour or so to work in peace and quiet, and then conversing with a coworker only on demand.

Personality also has an impact. If you have a dominant personality (driver), you'll often have them doing most of the actual coding, with the other person just serving as their typist (which is slower than if the person thinking just typed it themselves). The passive personality may be having trouble coming up with good ideas on their own, because their mind is being constantly re-routed by the aggressive personality.

You can argue all you want that impracticalities like the ones I've mentioned are just indications that the pair programmers need to get better at pair programming. But, that's crap. A good system is one that capitalizes on the way people actually are, not one that forces people to work in unnatural ways.

Comment Here's an Idea (Score 1) 651

Mr. Obama,

While it's nice of you to recognize the need for more engineers, it's hugely disingenuous of you to suggest that someone else needs to do something about it. Your policies have a huge impact on such things, and you've missed opportunity after opportunity to make changes that would help this issue. Instead of promoting technical innovation, you have participated in the largest giveaways in history to the financial and insurance sectors. Why would bright minds go into engineering, when you've continued to dump heaps of welfare into the laps of bankers, traders, and insurance salesman who simply leech wealth from those of us who actually invent and innovate?

Engineers don't magically appear out of thin air because you passed the largest and most irresponsible tax breaks in history. You need to actually enact major programs to foster things like IT development and green technology, instead of just paying lip service to them during primary campaign stops.

Comment It's Generally Called Conservatism (Score 1) 949

I know many of us just associate with other geeks, but this phenomenon isn't at all confined to the geek world. Don't overthink this one. Conservatism has had a nice little rebound in the last year or so, not to mention a trend in the US that really started in 2001 with the election of the quintessential anti-intellectual, George W. Bush. Modern conservatism is, at its core, anti-intellectual. It doesn't care about facts, degrees, experts, or reason. It's all about giving in to your fear, and what your gut tells you. The masses are most easily lured by this kind of philosophy, but geeks aren't immune to it, either. Geeks are humans, too.

Comment Re:Anti-groups are obsessed with what they hate (Score 0) 636

Why is it that atheists on the internet spend so much more time talking about god on the internet than people of faith...

We atheists spend time "talking" about it on the internet, because direct communication is how intellectuals share and evaluate ideas. Basically, we take all the time we save praying to entities that don't exist, and channel that into time spent talking, and writing to entities that do. Got it?

Comment all iOS 4 not created equal (Score 1) 194

I would have completely agreed with the premise of the topic when iOS 4.0 was released. It brought my 3G to a crawl. But, the majority of the sluggishness problems were fixed in iOS 4.1. Don't lump the current version in with the original release of iOS 4.

It obviously would have been better if Apple actually tested 4.0 on 3G devices, which would have immediately revealed a problem. They apparently didn't, or didn't care .. which is bad. But, the fix did come.

Also, a lot of the observed problems may actually have less to do with the OS version, and more to do with the fact that most users don't use the optimal method of upgrading their OS. If you just accept iTunes' prompt to upgrade when you connect your iPhone, you'll likely eventually wind up with a phone that's bogged down and sluggish. I've had much better results instead backing up my phone (apps, data, music, etc.), then using the "Restore" process to go to the new OS as a clean slate. You then, of course, have to restore from backup, after going to the new OS. It's an extra step, and probably shouldn't be necessary, but it gets better results than the basic "upgrade".

Make sure you're not confusing these two issues (OS suitability for older hardware, and the problems with direct upgrades).

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