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Comment Re:Reflections (Score 1) 960

The most common misunderstanding from inside of IT: Assuming that every computer system needs the security of Fort Knox, the reliability of a nuclear Submarine, and the mission-criticality of the Space Shuttle.

In the absence of someone doing proper analysis, it's safest to assume it does require all those things. Because if you assume the other way around and your guess is wrong, the whole company can go under. Or maybe you've only ever worked on trivial stuff?


Comment Re:Apple's Future (Score 1) 263

I'm sorry, you're terribly confused. Or a troll...

Fine for bits and pieces, but read Isaacson's biography of Jobs. Yes your parent quote was exaggerating, but Jobs's philosophy was very, very closed source, with the purpose that Apple could control the consumer experience from end to end. The bits and pieces you cite were things Jobs would have opposed.


Comment Re:Justifying shinies (Score 1) 237

Blackberry Playbook. Seriously. We evaluated one a month after its release. Fully updated system, but the built-in Adobe reader was unable to open and reliably render or scroll two basic, Acrobat-generated PDFs (less than 500kB, text with some images, no fancy stuff). No background apps were running to slow things down.

It's working OK now.


Submission + - Poor data migration testing = public embarrassment (

sbjornda writes: "The project was months overdue, so they decided to cut back on testing the migrated data. The problem is, the organization is Statistics Canada, and data is their core business. The result: Messed-up calculations for 2010 economic growth indicators for many Canadian provinces. Saskatchewan was incorrectly reported as 1.4% growth; the revised calculations show 4.4%.

This goes back to the old saying: The data belongs to the organization, not to the application. Software comes and software goes, but this data will be used by researchers for decades. Get the priority straight — it's about the data, stupid!"

Comment Re:Obligatory (Score 1) 56

isn't a single plan to utilize all the data we have available.

Fluffeh, if you haven't done so already, I think you would enjoy taking John Zachman's course in Enterprise Architecture. If one were building an addition on one's house, would one just start hammering things in place or would one look at the existing plans first? Too many IT projects just look at their own plans and don't look at the larger plans they should fit into. And in most IT shops those larger plans don't exist anyway. So we just hammer things into place and wonder why the data doesn't work out.


Comment Re:Perhaps a study of regression (Score 1) 729

While religious motivations have been used as an excuse to start wars, I'd like to see any "proof" that the religion itself has been the root cause of the war and not some megalomaniac who got into a position to convince his co-believers into action.

That's not the way it works. Religion is one of many things that societies use to figure out who is "us" and who is "them". It's called tribalism and it's a corollary of being a higher primate. We higher primates split into groups and subgroups at the drop of a hat, forging temporary alliances with erstwhile enemies when threatened by a third, more distantly related party, and then returning to our mutual violence when there's nothing to distract us. Sometimes we get along for a while, and then something will happen to put us at each other's throats for a while. Youngsters & those who don't pay attention to history tend not to see the big pattern. But sure as shootin', one of the social functions of religion is to teach the youngsters who is "us" and who is "them". I'm not being reductionist, but you can't dispute that that's one of the things religion does. It keeps people apart and ready to go at each other's throats at a moment's notice.


Comment Readability of K&R C (Score 1) 553

Just glad I don't need to read their code!

I don't see how well-written C code is so much harder to read than well-written code in Python, Java, or whatever..

27 years ago I watched my wife code C and I laughed, because she was trained in COBOL and her C looked so much like COBOL it was funny.

Now, the joke's on me. 27 years later her stuff is still easy to read & modify. There's not much other C code you can say that about, in the otherwise known as "write-only language".

(Yeah, she forgave me for laughing. She knew how the story would end.)


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