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Comment Re:Y2K (Score 1) 92

But I am not thinking some nice gradual switch over, but a nice 'if you don't upgrade by X time you loose your insurance and can no longer peer'. If nothing else we could kill at least two birds with one stone... think about the massive economic fallout from the Y2K update, all the money that flowed into tech and job for that had a ripple effect through the economy. Requiring a complete upgrade of the internet would put a real dent in the current economic downturn.

Another benefit: we can see the sequel, Office Space 2, and see how Initech inflates the work needed to solve the spoofed-source problem. Will it end in another fire? Will Milton come back?

Comment'll be able to scream, 'fire the lasers!'" (Score 1) 376

just remember to turn them off before cresting a hill, because otherwise you will be fined and/or imprisoned for firing lasers into the sky in an effort to down aircraft.

You need to look up how laser-pumped headlights work. The light isn't coherent outside of the bulb assembly. The laser fires into a phosper, which then generates the wide-spectrum illumination. So the FBI wouldn't be interested, although I would watch using high-beams on a hill.

Oh, wait, this is slashdot. Where facts get in the way of a good joke...

Comment Re:Because it's good business. (Score 1) 91

... though they can't file bugs or get a support hotline.

But they can file bugs with CentOS, which can then be upstreamed to the original authors so the bug gets taken care of. Yes, there is no formal support from the CentOS team, but I've been quite happy with the community support I've received the few times I've run into trouble.

My main use of CentOS has been for my mail server. It's still running CentOS 4; I'm working to build a new server with CentOS 6 when I have some spare cycles. That will upgrade both the OS and the hardware, the hardware getting a little long in the tooth.

Comment Re:This kills environmental protection dead (Score 1) 618

Does it? Really? I don't think so. It isn't "government regulaton" that is driving my desire to replace incandescent light bulbs with LEDs -- it's the long-term cost savings and the elimination of bulb-changing hassles. I shun CFLs because they represent a hazard to the environment I live in, so out they go. My shift is driven by market forces, not by rules enforced with the working end of a gun.

What the new proposed law does, as I see it, is slow down the rate of rule-making to something approaching sanity. The new rules and regulations are coming so fast and furiously that keeping up with them is a full-time job in and of itself.

SCIENCE is all about showing your work, and having others verify that the work is accurate. When the raw data is labelled "proprietary" or the analysis methods "trade secrets", yet the summary of that data/analysis is presented as justification to force changes on people, that's not a good use of science. Indeed, it's bad government.

To add to the problem of climate "science", there is quite a bit of elitism applied to the judgements of articles -- if you aren't a member of the "club" you are not allowed to play. This has led to some very interesting criticism of contrary work on non-scientific grounds. That's what feeds my skepticism of the "crisis". When a non-environmentalist criticism of the models used to "measure climate change" (remember when the mantra was "measure global warming"?) leads to a knee-jerk "he doesn't know what he's talking about," I cringe.

I personally witnessed what open, transparent science can do. The clean-up of Lake Michigan was based on transparent science, and carefully-considered enforcement against those who polluted the waters. No esoteric regulations, just prove-beyond-a-reasonable-doubt science. Effective.

If you think things should change, find a way -- other than regulation or other use of violence -- to move people to less harmful activities. Make it part of their self-interest to do so. You don't need government to make a difference.

Comment Re:Because text is the only medium that's varied e (Score 4, Interesting) 876

I used to write articles for magazines as a full-time job. When I first started using the outliner MORE, I found that the task of writing became much, much easier: I would outline the article, then fill in text for each outline item. When I was finished, I would then export the text and there was my article. It let me design the articles top-down, just as a EE designs a circuit top-down. Moreover, as the article would develop, I could shift things around very easily without having to do massive cut-and-paste exercises.

Software design? I do that top-down mostly. I design the top level with functions, then fill in the functions. Lather, rinse, repeat as many times as you need to. The result is a piece of software that is highly maintainable.

One of my biggest complaints about "graphical" programming is that you can't have much on the display -- you end up paging *more* than with a text-based system. It isn't the text that's the problem; its the lack of top-down designing on the part of the human.

Now, one system that I absolutely loved working with had an IDE (text-based) where you deal in layers. When you click on the function name, the function itself comes up in different windows. I found that paradigm encouraged small, tight functions. Furthermore, the underlying "compiler" would in-line functions that were defined only once automatically. (You could request a function be in-lined in all cases, like in C, if you needed speed over code size.)

Comment Links on the subject (Score 4, Informative) 102

Comment Re:Longer cycles and tick/tock please (Score 1) 128

I wish I could run CentOS for everything. Unfortunately, for the Desktop CentOS has problem keeping up with the changes in VPN technology, so because in my practice I'm liable to run into anything, I run Fedora 17 on the desktop and Fedora 19 in my laptop. I will be trying either Fedora 20 or 21 in a "beta" computer before making the transition. The news that 21 is going to mark the beginning of longer update cycles, but not as long as Enterprise update cycles, is welcome. Of course, that means my expenses for hard drives will drop...

Comment Re: Court? (Score 1) 573

He can argue his case honorably and with authority

Not in the Star Chamber into which he would be thrust. You assume that the people on the other side of the "debate" are honorable. That's an assumption that is, on its surface, laughable. I don't believe that lying to Congress is honorable. I don't believe that lying to the American people is honorable. I don't believe that unequal application of the law is honorable. Show me where the majority of the Executive Branch of the US Government has demonstrated honor, and I'll agree with you. From where I sit as a citizen, though, "honor" is conspicious by its absence.

Comment Re: Court? (Score 1) 573

If he really wanted to make a point, he should come back and argue his case in court. Plenty of lawyers would be happy to work for him due to the high-profile nature of the case..

And who guarantees he will get a fair trial, with a jury of his peers, before he returns? Who can give assurance that Snowden's attorneys can discover and submit all the evidence? If The System wants to be "fair" about this, then let them demonstrate their fairness by having a trial of those who violated the Constitution as exposed by the revelations to date. Will that happen?

Why hasn't US Attorney General Holder done anything yet about the violations? Because he's part of the problem, perhaps? (I'm a citizen, who thinks that with the current Administration there are legal "haves" and "have nots" in the USA today. Witness Fast and Furious as an example of the uneven application of justice.)

Comment There is another way to do it (Score 3, Interesting) 489

I've lived in a number of areas of the country. The common political element that rose above all the rest is the differences between the large cities and the rural areas. So, instead of a split by area, make each large city -- San Francisco/San Jose, Los Angeles/Hollywood -- its own state. (What to do about Sacremento? Is it a city or a condition as the State capitol?) Then City interests could be served by the City States, and the rest of the state with its agriculture base would be able to set policies and law for their own.

Other states/areas could be split the same way: Massachusetts, Illinois, Washington DC area, Michigin (peal Detroit from the rest of the State), New York/New Jersey/Connecticut...and the list goes on. We could combine small states into large states -- think Providence Rhode Island versus the rest of the State.

I'm not sure the Democrats would go for this.

Comment Re: The answer is SIMPLE (Score 4, Interesting) 786

Everyone is missing the point. The space program was done one step at a time, finishing each step before moving on to the next. Yes, this is "waterfall" thinking, but in the space program it was the right way to do it. Properly done, the agile approach could also have been used in the moon program, as long as the result is that the final push is composed of fully-tested and vetted pieces. (Could it be that the agile approach was indeed used? People closer to the facts can answer that.)

The reason to have multiple contractors is to allow development of different parts to be done in parallel. The key to success with broad development is a really, really good architect specing the interfaces, and each people/group showing that their stuff works as specified at the interfaces. Then integration testing becomes a manageable exercise. This includes performance metrics -- at the interfaces. Was that done here? I highly doubt it.

And the Affordable Care Act missed a number of elements that would have made health care affordable. It's isn't about insurance, it's about the total experience. And Congress bungled it. At least, those people in Congress who were allowed to contribute did. What was wrong with stepwise refinement?

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