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Comment Aggregators vs. OTAs (Score 1) 140

The original article confuses OTAs and Aggregators. Expedia and Travelocity are OTAs and have a login to Sabre and other systems as travel agencies. They can book and service your trip. They also use Sabre and others to do the search against the fares and schedules databases, as well as online connectivity to airlines for availability. Kayak, Skyscanner and others are aggregators.

BTW - I led the algorithm design of Sabre's Linux-based search engine about 15 years ago - Travelocity, Expedia and others drove our requirements.


Comment I can live with this... (Score 2) 141

I'm self-employed and the price of IntelliJ is the equivalent of about 30 minutes of my time. I write algorithms for several companies, in multiple languages, and have been quite happy with IntelliJ. Your mileage may vary...

That said, perhaps Eclipse would do everything I need, but there is a cost of changing - I'd be spending some time scanning websites to figure out how to do what I want to do.


Comment Hackers and Gearheads (Score 5, Interesting) 649

Is there nothing more American than taking a mass market car and finding another 10 horsepower?
Or making the stereo loud enough to knock down old barns as you drive by?

What if immersing your motherboard in liquid nitrogen for another 3 frames per second were illegal?
Or writing your own operating system could land you in jail?

What have we come to? We need to protect people from doing stupid stuff, but nobody wants to live in a world with only one flavor...


Comment Or even lower... (Score 1) 637

It really depends on what you want to do. If you're trying to wring the last iota of performance out of an algorithm, then understanding TLB misses and cache protocols can be useful. Even accessing RAM can be an order of magnitude faster or slower, depending on what you do. So, maybe a class on microprocessor design?

OTOH, I find that an ability to understand functional programming, recursion and data structures is very useful. They're the sort of things I quiz people on when I'm looking for really strong developers.


Comment Data sent to airlines (Score 5, Interesting) 217

The Travelocity guy avoided telling the whole story. They do provide relevant information, but if the government has the PNR with all the remarks in it, then it likely came from Travelocity or Sabre.

Travel agencies and 3rd-party web sites, such as Travelocity. put all this encoded stuff into the remarks section of the PNR, it's all that "H-" stuff. When the PNR is sent to the airline, NONE of the remarks are transmitted. The airline doesn't receive your IP address, for example. Seat numbers, phone and contact information are transmitted in Special Service Request (SSR) and/or Other Service Information (OSI) fields. One major exception is that Travelocity and AA share the same PNR when booking AA.

Now, the airlines have to send a whole bunch of data about you to the TSA to get clearance for you to board. Look up Secure Flight / APIS / AQQ and you can learn a little bit about it.


Comment Yes, all about the skills - and attitude! (Score 5, Insightful) 232

One of my colleagues in in his mid-60s, and happily puttering around in modern technologies and adapting what he knows about systems to the latest tools. Writing prototype code in Clojure, using network databases (neo4j), doing interesting data modeling and generally just making stuff happen. He's learning new stuff every day, having fun - and getting to say no to job offers on a regular basis. I've been in this industry for more than 30 years and I'm currently mucking around with Hadoop, cloud computing and a bunch of the new things.

People talk about time to learn, but it's a question about making time. Would you want to visit a doctor that hasn't updated their skills in 20 years?


Comment The UAE is not an open society (Score 5, Informative) 107

Don't ever confuse Dubai with an open and modern society. It's a monarchy that needs to hold onto power and does not toerate criticism or free speech of any kind. They walk a fine line between the glamour of business, yet holding onto traditional values and conservatism.

It's also illegal to kiss in public, even for a married couple. People have been arrested, imprisoned and deported for such indecency.

Comment Write your own language! (Score 1) 211

Just get a hold of lex & yaxx, antlr or your favoriate tools and write your own language. You could probabyl abuse Lisp macros anough to do this too. I once worked with a company where the lead programmer had invented Hugh-BOL, and that's what they coded in.

Now, I do admit that a DSL it the best approach from time to time, but there is an limit...

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