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Comment Re:Rewrite it (Score 1) 236

Probably not true. If its truly cobbled together as described, and therefore a lot of it has been created 'key to disk', then most of it is probably unnecessary code. Replacing it with a rewrite would more than likely require code that is a considerable order of magnitude lighter than 200k (say between 50-100K). I've seen this kind of crap before a few times, and have succesfully replaced with rewrites, and in reasonable time frames. The main key to doing a rewrite succesfully however is NOT to look at, or replicate the code as it is (but just a bit tidier). The best approach is to go through a proper design to functional specification process, just as if it was a new application. Doing it that way you'll probably find far more elegant coding solutions than are currently being used by the 200k mess and these will cut down on coding time. Moreover it will produce better and more maintainable code, more than you ever would through a tidy and document process. If you think about it, documenting what the spaghetti is doing would probably take as much time, if not much longer, than a fresh design/spec process. Basically the time taken to do a good rewrite is very rarely going to be longer than it would be to unpick the mess. Just keep your team very, very small and make sure everyone including your programmers are involved from the first design/spec discussions onwards. Things go much faster, and you get a far better design, if your coders are invested fully in the project.
The Internet

Submission + - Controlling Bufferbloat with Queue Delay (acm.org)

CowboyRobot writes: "We all can see that the Internet is getting slower. According to researchers, the cause is persistently full buffers, and the problem is only made worse by the increasing availability of cheap memory, which is then immediately filled with buffered data. The metaphor is grocery store checkout lines: a cramped system where one individual tasks can block many other tasks waiting in line. But you can avoid the worst problems by having someone actively managing the checkout queues, and this is the solution for bufferbloat as well: AQM (Active Queue Management). However, AQM (and the metaphor) break down in the modern age when Queues are long and implementation is not quite so straightforward.

Kathleen Nichols at Pollere and Van Jacobson at Parc have a new solution that they call CoDel (Controlled Delay), which has several features that distinguish it from other AQM systems.

"A modern AQM is just one piece of the solution to bufferbloat. Concatenated queues are common in packet communications with the bottleneck queue often invisible to users and many network engineers. A full solution has to include raising awareness so that the relevant vendors are both empowered and given incentive to market devices with buffer management.""

Censorship

Submission + - Government Asks When It Can Shut Down Wireless Communications (arstechnica.com)

Fluffeh writes: "Around nine months ago, BART Police asked to have wireless communications disabled between Trans Bay Tube Portal and the Balboa Park Station. That was because they knew a public protest was to take place there — and the service to the underground communication system was disabled. This affected not only cellphone signals, but also the radio systems of Police, Fire and Ambulance crews within the underground. This led to an even larger protest at a BART station and many folks filed complaints along with the American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Frontier Foundation. The FCC responded by launching a probe into the incident with the results being a mixed bag of "To protect citizens!" and "Only in extreme cases.", not to mention the classic "But Terrorists use wireless communications!", but even if the probe doesn't lead to a full proceeding and formal order, the findings may well be used as a guide for many years to come."
Programming

Submission + - Parlez-vous Python?

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The NY Times reports that the market for night classes and online instruction in programming and Web construction is booming as those jumping on board say they are preparing for a future in which the Internet is the foundation for entertainment, education and nearly everything else and knowing how the digital pieces fit together will be crucial to ensuring that they are not left in the dark ages. “Inasmuch as you need to know how to read English, you need to have some understanding of the code that builds the Web,” says Sarah Henry, 39, an investment manager who took several classes, including some in HTML, the basic language of the Web, and WordPress, a blogging service. ““I’m not going to sit here and say that I can crank out a site today, but I can look at basic code and understand it. I understand how these languages function within the Internet." The blooming interest in programming is part of a national trend of more people moving toward technical fields. “To be successful in the modern world, regardless of your occupation, requires a fluency in computers,” says Peter Harsha. “It is more than knowing how to use Word or Excel but how to use a computer to solve problems.” However seasoned programmers say learning how to adjust the layout of a Web page is one thing, but picking up the skills required to develop a sophisticated online service or mobile application is an entirely different challenge that cannot be acquired by casual use for a few hours at night and on the weekends. “I don’t think most people learn anything valuable,” says Julie Meloni, who has written guides to programming adding that she still finds the groundswell of interest in programming, long considered too specialized and uncool, to be an encouraging sign. “I’m thrilled that people are willing to learn code. There is value here. This is just the first step.”"
Australia

Submission + - Apple offers refunds to Australian iPad owners (gizmag.com)

cylonlover writes: Australian owners of the "new" iPad are being offered full refunds by Apple after the country's consumer watchdog found Apple had misled customers as to the device's 4G capabilities in the region. Though Telstra offers a 4G network in Australia, the frequencies used by Apple's third-generation device (700 MHz and 2100 MHz) are incompatible with this service. The problem is that Apple specifically marketed the device as "iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G", which the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said gave Australian customers the impression that the device "can, with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case."
Science

Submission + - A Brief History of Quantum Computing (wordpress.com)

quax writes: Quantum Computing has come a long way since the idea was born 30 years ago. It is a tall order to describe the entire history of this field in one blog post. But if Hawkins managed to get all of time treated in one book than surely three decades can be compressed like this. At least the point of inception writes itself: In the beginning there was Feynman.

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This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.

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