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Comment Imagine this... (Score 3, Insightful) 223

Well, how about imagine this scenario. Let's say Apple's recyclers are allowed to recycle components. NAND flash chips from all sorts of devices are collected - how long before some very embarrassing, sensitive, or even damaging information thought deleted from someone's phone is recovered from one of those chips?

While I am no fan of Apple nor their business practices, their current recycling method represents the best they can do while taking the precautions they need to take to ensure safety. They can't allow any chips out, or else once that door is opened it's only a matter of time before the wrong chips get out. Shredding the devices and putting policies in place to ensure they are /all/ shredded represents the best they can hope for.

And yes, before a phone is turned in it /should/ be wiped of anything sensitive, but do /you/ know how to ensure every bit of data is cleaned off your phone at the flash level?

Comment Owning data (Score 1) 58

This is why I won't use any app where I don't own the data. It doesn't matter where the software lives or runs, as soon as it phones home with my data then I don't control anything.

I can't say it strongly enough, or often enough... say no to anyone else controlling your data. It is not a matter of if, but when that party decided to do something with it that impacts you negatively. Whether that's something to do with the data itself, or simply leveraging the fact that their servers are required to compel you to to do what they want (stop using an app, switch apps, upgrade, etc).

Comment In this case, yes (Score 1) 313

No, I'm saying that the comment "code ownership is so 1960's", which was obviously meant as a "get with the times grandpa" statement was improper. Good project management practices are timeless, and development strategies and disciplines from the past are not necessarily improperly applied to current projects. A certain amount of centralized command and control is necessary. Where that is applied depends on the technical and cultural aspects of a project. In projects with a strong central scope and well defined design, projects that have good change acceptance procedures and where developers are professional a more distributed and loose change creation process can be applied, a la Git. In projects where there is not a strong central change acceptance process and where the scope definition and design are loose, a much more rigid change creation process must be adhered to, like change management systems from the past (CVS, VSS). Like applying Gantt charts and other staging tools to the change scheduling process. Like anything except the "stick a bunch of developers together with a bunch of code together in a blender and set it to frappe" process that is being applied now.

In this project (if it's actually a real project and not just another Slash-question carefully crafted to incite discourse), there is no viable command and control on the management end and there is none on the revision control end. Which leads to a project mired in anarchy as we see is the case. There are no tools that can help at this point. There is no substitute for a disciplined methodology. What was depicted in the question was completely unprofessional.

To answer your question, reverting to punch cards would be a step up for this project.

Comment Re:isn't this pretty straightforward? (Score 4, Insightful) 313

In the 1960's was when you wrote software by punching cards that someone else fed in and where it had to work the first time. Every time. That kind of discipline is sorely needed by the original question submitter.

The whole haphazard development model described in the question is absurd. First of all, what kind of single bug requires rifling through back end databases, business rules, web services and multiple front ends? That's not a bug in the software, that's a bug in the pre-design definitions phase. That is not a bug. Seriously... you can't just accept all the premises in the question without thought. That kind of change only happens when someone is is calling "the customer wants this feature changed" or "we misunderstood what the customer needed" a bug, which is wrong on its face.

Secondly, multiple people making changes of that scope simultaneously is just wrong, whatever the cause. Distributed revision control systems were made able to handle multiple simultaneous branches in order to break bottlenecks on people working on different areas of a common source file. They were designed to accommodate merges that had occasional and minor overlaps. What is described here is a completely inappropriate use of that kind of environment. So to answer the question directly, when asked what tools can help, the answer is no tools can help you. The process is wrong. You are far better off reverting to a revision control system that enforces a single checkout of a source file if this is what is going on. Better yet, correct your development strategy.

This can't be emphasized strongly or often enough. Code ownership is a good step forward in this scenario, but the only real fix for these problems is to completely refactor the way change is managed in this project. You wouldn't be wrong to Gantt chart these changes with their subsystem impacts so they can be scheduled on a non-interference basis. Better yet, if you are having to make multiple back-end through to UI changes, you need to go through a whole scope identification phase again.

Your change system is hopelessly broken. Fix that, then the correct use of existing tools to assist you will become readily apparent.

Comment Re:One semester (Score 1) 178

Concur. Starting classes at 11 will improve short-term learning, and complete the destruction (or, as I call it, the millenilization) of long term work ethic. As an employer, here is what I would suggest. I would suggest going to a university and finding out what courses in degree programs most suited to my business do have an 8am lecture. I would then go to that lecture three quarters of the way through that semester and immediately offer a job upon graduation to every person attending it. I wouldn't even care about their scores. Skills can be taught. Self-motivation can't be.

Comment Re:MS pushing more into older OS or Linux/Mac (Score 1) 236

It's not the subscription service they are looking for. They are looking for control. They can't automatically push updates to older versions of windows, they can with Windows 10. The method of forcing people to pay is really irrelevant. Whether it's in discreet quantized chunks or miking over time, that doesn't matter. What really matters is that they have the ability to do what they want to any computer they want. End of service? No problem, push an updated that requires you to upgrade or your OS shuts down. They can't do that with older versions of Windows. The attempts at forcing the upgrade to Windows 10 through the windows update system shows that it's control, not a different funding model, they are really after.

Here is my prediction for Windows 10 EOL. In a year or two's time, when the next version of Windows is out and (air quote) stable (end air quote), a fatal security flaw will be found in Windows 10. It will be so fundamental that it can't be fixed through a normal windows update. Microsoft, in order to save the world from all the people who irresponsibly won't upgrade to Windows 11 (and thus are placing the world at risk of massive botnets) will force an update out that disables internet access to all Windows 10 machines.

I highly encourage everyone to use Windows Update Mini Tool to take control back of your Windows 10 update process.

Comment Re:No Human Element? (Score 0) 81

It's not an AI. For an AI to be an AI it has to be I, and this isn't I any more than chess programs are.

The program won't know or care what the players gestures are. In the end it's about statistics, and cold hard statistics will always win over any efforts at "throwing your opponents off".

This doesn't impress me much. There will be a million things computer programs will do better than humans - it's been inevitable since the first chess program. There are no games of pure luck, and being able to calculate through every option to exhaustion will give a computer the advantage every time. Just like a hydraulic pump will always be able to exert more force than my bicep can. It's not much more impressive than that. However each time it happens it will be incorrectly touted as AI when really it's not much more than an expert system. It will generate loads of research money, and generate oohs and ahs from people who ought to know better.

Comment Re:I guess /. still approves this crap (Score 2, Insightful) 270


Bitcoin as a financial system is made impractical in the long term by the fact that it is limited in the total number that can be issued. After the last one is issued, the intent is for the value of them to simply go up. It was proposed as an in-built method to combat inflation, however what it really is is a way for the inventor to pad his own pockets by owning a significant fraction of the total number of bitcoins that can ever be produced. In a best-case scenario, this means he now owns a fraction of the world wealth (assuming the dystopian future where everyone uses bitcoins).

The fact that it is really a huge piece of social engineering is what disinclines most governments from being too terribly thrilled about its adoption. Ironically, this may be what the inventor was counting on to promote it's adoption, reasoning that the more that governments resisted it, the more that certain groups would promote it as a form of protest/defiance.

So, if you want to adopt bitcoins, by all means, be part of a piece of social engineering malware. Bitcoin transactions are not what you want for privacy anyway. If you want to maintain private money transactions, cash is always an option.

Comment What is a Robot? (Score 1) 54

The OP has been modded down to oblivion, though it may have been satirical. But if it is a legitimate comment, then it begs a legitimate question: what is a robot? There aren't any self-aware computers, and likely won't be in our lifetimes. So what is a robot? Automation? Because a WW II ball bearing factory line would qualify. Is it a discreet device that creates a product in an automatic manner? Because if that is the case then everyone's home printer is a robot.

The point is, "robot' is a catch word, and is being used as a catch word purposefully. This word is being used because it elicits themes of android uprisings, when really what it is being used to describe is automation that has been around in some way or another for the better part of a century. Saying the "robot" economy is larger than Switzerland is just irresponsible reporting. There is absolutely no way to quantify it because there it no way to define it. It's simply good old fashioned automation.

People need to calm down and realize the sky isn't falling. Robots are not stealing jobs. The economy is becoming more efficient, and we are streamlining processes no one really wants to do by hand anyway. Do you want to rivet a quarter panel to a car frame for eight hours a day? I certainly don't. And if self driving cars take away taxi drivers, I won't cry either. Because once we start getting people's hands off the wheels, then maybe we can divorce them from the idea that every individual has to have their own hands-on motor vehicle, and then we can start building the public transportation system science fiction writers dream about.

Comment No surprise (Score 2) 632

Not only is this not a surprise, it's not news. It has been this way for a very long time. Generation X'ers were bemoaning how the boomers had it so easy. Millennials bemoan how we had it so easy. It's easy to look at a 40-something year old who is now stably employed, has acquired a car, equity on a home, and then ignore the struggle it was to get here. A university degree is only an advantage when it can distinguish you from the crowd. It is, and has been, the de facto baseline since before I got out of high school. If you want to distinguish yourself, you have to establish yourself above the baseline. Postgraduate education is today what an undergrad was 50 years ago. Volunteer work, starting your own open source project or contributing to one, some time in the military - these are all ways to give yourself both real and paper "experience". If you have your sights set on a particular place to work, target that place with your efforts. Find out what charities they support and volunteer at those places. You have to take the long approach. And you have to have confidence enough in your own abilities to believe you will get to your employment goal if you put in those efforts. That is the only thing that will get you through the uncertainty.

Do these things and you will rise above the crowd quickly. Try and take shortcuts, and you will look like just one more millennial with a degree and no attention span.

And above all, stop complaining that it's tough. The path of least resistance rarely takes you where you want to be, and it never, ever goes up hill.

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