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Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 10

Seriously. Slashdot news?

New services in the 2nd largest economy, an economy that is increasing its technical sophistication and know-how? Tech news are not limited to gadgets and virtual pr0n, just so you know.

Not to mention that Didi's reservation service via mobile apps, though not necessarily revolutionary in technical terms, it is quite so in its end-to-end service Reserving a car rental to be delivered at home, no one does that. This poses logistic challenges - repairs, insurance, delivery, recovery, maintenance, claims - those which will be met with technological means, and, if lucky, would provide case studies applicable to other areas in any sufficiently industrialized country.

If that's not tech, I question the technical nature of these \. posters.

Comment Re:All the data means all the data (Score 1) 301

I trust Wikileaks a whole lot more than the average Associated Press news story full of random bullshit attributed to "sources speaking anonymously because they were not authorized." We're not dumb, we don't want a filter and "think of the children" is how dictators often climb to power.

I fail to see how this justifies releasing the name of someone accused of being gay in a country where homosexuality is punishable by death.

It is very easy to be a fucking asshole that spouts dogmatic slogans (and putting inocent people at risk) when they have nothing to lose. That's not love of freedom or speech or transparency. That's just good old fucking moral hazard.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 82

They do. you just dont buy them direct from samsung. you can always buy refurbs from carriers. And any warranty return for a new phone is always replaced with a used refurb.

My favorite part of buying a $600 phone is getting a used one that is all scratched up

Spot on. People miss such such an obvious thing, I have to wonder about their reading comprehension skills.


Microsoft Wants To Pay You To Use Its Windows 10 Browser Edge ( 256

An anonymous reader shares a report by The Guardian: Microsoft has a new browser. It launched with Windows 10 and it's called Edge. The company says it's faster, more battery efficient and all-round better than Chrome or Firefox. You can even draw on websites with a stylus. Trouble is, not very many people are using it. So now Microsoft's trying to bribe you to switch. The newly rebranded Microsoft Rewards -- formerly Bing Rewards, which paid people for using Bing as their search engine (another product Microsoft says is better than a Google product but that very few people actually use) -- will now pay you for using Edge, shopping at the Microsoft store, or using Bing. Users of Edge who sign up to Microsoft Rewards, which is currently US-only, are then awarded points simply for using the browser. Microsoft actively monitors whether you're using Edge for up to 30 hours a month. It tracks mouse movements and other signs that you're not trying to game the system, and you must also have Bing set as your default search engine. Points can then be traded in for vouchers or credit for places such as Starbucks, Skype, Amazon and ad-free -- remember, if you're not paying for something, you are the product.

Comment Re:Denormalize (Score 1) 671

"It worked... never mind that the company needed to run like, I don't remember, a dozen web servers to make that shit run when all that was truly required (if the system had been built properly) was one server for the application and one for the database."

"It runs - badly" is not the same as "it works"

Anyway if you understand the calls, etc you should be able to get a nice 6-figure lumpsum payout for making the system run well. Pitch yourself as a contractor.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a mercenary and I'll do COBOL while wearing leather and gagged if it pays well. The thing is that places that have such monstrosities do so because they are organizationally dysfunctional. I can handle hard work with ugly systems. But working with ugly personalities, it eventually wears you out... and if you are not careful, you become like them.

You want to work with challenges that make you grow technically and professionally every once in a way. Not all grunt work is worth doing, even when the moolah is good.

Comment Re:Denormalize (Score 1) 671

In my experience, "if it's stupid but works it isn't stupid" usually has an implicit assumption that nothing else is working.

That's true.

But that can, of course, change with time. And that has happened in a lot of these old systems, where there are now other ways to do things.

The example above sounds like a system that had to be it's own database server and driver, before that sort of thing was available. When it was later updated, they divided the code in the wrong place. And left in operations that should have been rebuilt to use the standard database operations. Lazy is not always good...

Sadly, that's not the case. The system was built well into the 2000's in Java. They just didn't know WTF they were doing.

Comment Re:Really? You need to ask this? (Score 1) 102

Japan has like half the population of the US and half the GDP. China has like 4x the population of the US.

Don't waste your words. People in this country still think things will go back to the glory economic days of the 50's and 60's... all by prayers alone. The people who get it are getting ready for it through education and versatility. The ones who do not, we'll, I guess they are going to find out the hard way.

Comment Re:Really? You need to ask this? (Score 1) 102

People used to talk in the 80's about how the Japanese with their superior technology and management theories were going to displace the US as the number 1 economic power in the world, too. Didn't and won't happen. For China it remains to be seen but is not a sure thing by any stretch.

For the reasons I've mentioned in other places - a real estate crash followed by population decline, not because of an inherent American strength. As it stands Japan can still guarantee a high standard of life for its citizenship until the 2050s. We cannot make the same claim the US. Hell, 1/3 of our schools are dysfunctional and we cannot even guarantee lead-free water to our people.

Comment Re:Really? You need to ask this? (Score 1) 102

The Chinese cohort of anything exceeds the entire population of the United States. This is also true of the number of Chinese brains being applied to science/tech problems of every kind.

And yet they still haven't

  • Designed a decent car (was going to leave off "decent", but found out they actually do have 4 manufacturers, who knew? You do now)
  • Sent an astronaut beyond low earth orbit.
  • return a sample from the moon
  • etc etc etc

I have yet to see original projects or even leading technology coming from China. This may be the first but I haven't researched it enough. I seem to recall quantum light communications via lasers being demo'd 5+ years ago.

People used to talk shit like this about the Japanese in the 50's and early 60's. They did also with the Taiwanese and South Koreans.

Comment Re:Really? You need to ask this? (Score 1) 102

I'm old enough to remember talk of the Soviet Union destroying the American Empire,

I'm old enough (and lived right at the cold war front lines) to remember the USSR came close to it. The USSR lost because it fell for Papa Reagan's Star Wars arms-race trap. The USSR could have continue as-is if it had not attempted to expand. BTW, this should not be construed as an endorsement of the Soviets.

a united Europe destroying the American Empire,

I never heard of this one, though the EU is the largest market on the planet. It doesn't need to destroy the US, it simply needs to flourish. Economic dominance is not a zero-sum game.

OPEC taking over the world,

They almost did but technology had made it possible for the US (and countries like Russia) to tap into oil and energy reservoirs that, at the time, were considered impossible. Natural resources is what has allowed the US to survive the OPEC, not an intrinsic national value found nowhere else.

Japan rising and surpassing America,

Well, it did. 1970, that's the year Japan overtook the US in auto manufacturing. The big-three never recovered from this. Ask them folks in Detroit if this is a falsehood. Japan, Taiwan and South Korea pretty much took over the semiconductor industry also.

What has halted Japan's expansion was a real state bubble coupled with demographics. It has an ageing population. And here is where the US truly excels Japan. It has a greater female participation in the workforce. Should Japan were to make the necessary changes (and they are) and facilitates married women to rejoin the workforce, it would boost the shit out of its economy.

As it is, Japan doesn't need to change anything, and it still has gas in its tank to preserve a 1st world quality of life well into the 2050s. We cannot make that argument with the US.

and now of a Chinese Century. Somehow the US is still on top

Is it? By total national GDP, of course. But individually? Look around. We have millions of people who, quite crudely, aren't worth a damn economically, who will never adapt, who can't compete.

The Chinese are burdened with poverty, but that poverty is being eradicated (same in India and Mexico). Yes, they have as many poor people as people in the US, but they also have as many people already taking part in the production of wealth. And that number is increasing.

The US can still remain on top by focusing on education, on creating an adaptable workforce. So far the country is doing shit about it because it is too busy telling itself that it is still top dog.

Comment Re:Denormalize (Score 2) 671

If it is stupid and it works, it is not stupid.

I learned the above in the military, and I have seen no reason to unlearn it in 32 years working as an IT professional... Yeah, I'm no longer a programmer, but I still reach for my favorite hammer when I see a nail. Two years ago, I embedded Assembly Code into something that operated on Terabytes of transaction data. It wasn't stupid.

Define "work". I've seen reports that prints the correct numbers but that are built (I shit you not) with cartesian joints executed in loops, over and over, per row.

A more extreme example (I'm not making this shit up) - a reports server that makes a web service call to a "reports composer" service, one call per page, and for each page, the "reports composer" service makes multiple database queries per row (like not one of the a-holes who created this knew how to make SELECT SUM(somefield) FROM table GROUP BY whatever).

Or how about this (truly, I'm not making this shit) - an internal web app A that used JMS to call another internal app B so that it makes a database query on its behalf. But internal app B instead would delegate that to internal app C to talk to the database - internal app C would do all the sins of people who don't know how to use proper SQL and batch statements, like iterating over a relation with a fucking for-loop, each iteration a database call to get a value, to be added to a counter (again, complete ignorance of SQL aggregate functions.)

Then after internal app C shitted on the poor database (who btw, lacked indexes and had tables with fields named tmp1, tmp2 and tmp3), internal app C would return its payload to internal app B in free-form, totally flat, malformed xml, returned btw via JMS because it's enterprisey and hard-core and loosely-coupled (beasts who wrote this system wouldn't know what coupling meant anyways.)

Are you still with me (trust me, I'm truly not making this shit up), finally internal app B would take the shit-flat malformed xml and parse it (it was so bad you couldn't even use xlst to massage it), so it had to traverse the fucking DOM... to produce untyped hash tables of lists containing hash tables and more lists - hash tables and lists all the ways, like turtles in ancient cosmologies.

Then the hashtables-of-lists-of-hashtables-and-lists would be passed, again, via JMS, to internal app A, which would then pass the monstrosity to JSP pages containing thousands and thousands of lines of Java code to render that shit into a pretty HTML page.

It worked... never mind that the company needed to run like, I don't remember, a dozen web servers to make that shit run when all that was truly required (if the system had been built properly) was one server for the application and one for the database.

So yeah, "work" is not enough. I needs to work efficiently and be built for maintainability in mind. The thing that breaks projects is not to print the wrong numbers, but to cost so fucking much in operations that a company is forced to pull the plug.

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