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Comment Re: Flying car? (Score 1) 148

Public transportation that works, in my America? Ha ha... unlikely outside of NYC and a few other urban hotspots.

No the 'MERICAN solution would be to have a fleet of air cranes (helicopters with freaking huge electromagnets) on standby that could come pluck your car out of traffic and set you down near your destination while you laugh manically at the losers stuck behind in gridlock.

Comment Re:Nickle and dime pricing, I'm sure. (Score 1) 77

You're conflating two types of customers: individuals (who just want to grab a tool and get on with their job) and corporations (who want every procurement to have a business case and approval from IT Security, Legal, Supply Chain, a Business Analyst, and 3-4 managers). The open source product wins because the developer/engineer/analysts/creative can just use it and ...er... ask for permission later (like maybe never, later). The big Oracle-like products win because they can afford account reps who will wine-and-dine the C-class folks (who can cut thru the crap required to swipe the company credit card). The micro-ISV loses because--while they may have folks in the company who passionately want their product--there's just too much bureaucracy in the way to make it happen.

I recently advocated for my company to buy a cloud-based product from an existing ISV whom we already had a relationship with. It took MONTHS, despite this product being mission-critical (the older on-premise version had no DR, wasn't getting backed up, etc.). Legal went around in circles trying to revise the ISV's standard contract before capitulating. (Duh... they have a monopoly on this industry segment and they're the only source of the data.) Much hand-wringing was made about using a vendor-hosted solution (okay, somewhat valid, but the data was at more risk sitting on an unpatched server in our DMZ). At least 3 managers and 1 business analyst had to stomp for it, and we only had ~1 month left in the fiscal year when we inked the deal. If that arbitrary date had passed, there would have been a huge headache about how to fund it. If the hard drive in that server had failed, we would have been hemorrhaging money for weeks.

Comment Re:Private Offices (Score 1) 360

I work on a team. With a high functioning team, the ability to ask and clarify a question, while typing the code, is amazing.

Were you all working on the same software/product? If the interruption is closely related to what you're focusing on, it doesn't cause the context loss that's so harmful to productivity. That's why some book I read (Peopleware, possibly) recommends private team offices of 2-5 employees each.

Comment Re: Indeed! (Score 5, Interesting) 333

Funny enough, he was actually executing many of his supporters. The SA's/brownshirts helped Hitler rise to power; they were the Nazi party's own paramilitary wing.

However, they were also a political liability. As mostly working-class people (often left jobless in the lurch of the Great Depression), they wanted Hitler to follow thru on his promises of redistributing wealth. This brought them into the conflict with middle/upper classes and the army (which had deep root in the Prussian aristocracy). Taking out key SA leaders gained him massive approval from the army (which, as chancellor, he had not previously been able to control). Shortly after, he justified his action against "treasonous ringleaders" and passed retroactive legislation authorizing the killings.

Comment Why the Clock Moved (Score 2) 745

Everyone seems to be attacking or defending the clock along thinly-veiled pro/anti-Trump lines. Let's pause for a moment and start a discussion about the underlying state of the world the clock is supposed to represent. To help with this, here's a short list of why the clock moved closer to midnight, taken from the 2017 Clock Statement written by the scientists who made the decision to move the clock:

  • The U.S. and Russion remain at odds with each other over Syria, Ukraine, and NATO.
  • North Korea conducted 2 nuclear tests.
  • Militant attack on 2 Indian bases intensified the Pakistan/India conflict.
  • Continued threat of global warming (though good news included flat emissions growth and Paris climate accord).
  • Rise in strident nationalism "worldwide".
  • Wavering public confidence in democratic institutions.
  • Russian deception campaigns "have brought American democracy and Russian intentions into question".
  • Donald Trump's comments about expanding US nuclear aresnal.
  • Donald Trump's "propensity to discount or outright reject expert advice related to international security".
  • Donald Trump and his nominees dispute climate change.
  • North Korean missile tests (including a claimed upcoming ICBM test).
  • Russia is building new missile silos and new submarines.
  • U.S. is modernizing its nuclear arsenal.
  • China is helping Pakistan build submarine platforms.
  • Pakistan and India are both expanding their nuclear arsenal.
  • Iran nuclear deal in doubt under Trump administration.
  • Various stalled negotiations on nuclear disarmament.
  • Little progress on climate change beyond the Paris Accord.
  • "Information monocultures, fake news, and the hacking and release of politically sensitive emails...[threaten] the fabric of democracy, which relies on an informed electorate to decide the direction of public policy."
  • Hacking has the potential to threaten financial activities, electric power facilities, and personal freedoms/privacy.
  • Autonomous machines "open up a new set of risks", esp. weapons that make kill decisions w/o human intervention.
  • Advances in synthetic biology (CRISPR) create the potential for new bioweapons.

Comment Who's going to build a community for me? (Score 2) 233

As a reader of various online forums, I would like a community where I can read a broad spectrum of polite, well-thought out responses to current events. Leading up to the election, I wanted to hear from the Trump supporter, the Hillary supporter, and even the Sanders/Johnson/Stein supporters.

What I don't want is (1) spam, (2) astroturfing, (3) straight-up lying ["fake news"], (4) personal attacks, (5) abusive language, (6) people who can't follow context, and (7) simplistic/repetitive comments that don't add anything new.

I'm not looking for a bubble or a safe space or an echo chamber, but neither do I want to swim thru the sewers.

Comment Re: Not a good idea... (Score 1) 248

This. If I knew nothing else about the candidates, just comparing reddit's /r/politics (which mostly posts pro-Hillary articles) with /r/The_Donald would convince me that one of the two must be pretty crazy to have attracted such consistently rabid fans. The Internet's always struggled with civility (and proper use of caps lock), of course. Scary to see so much of it gathered behind candidate though.

Comment Re:Open.... (Score 2) 287

I wouldn't be completely surprised if they did open source Windows, but in a way that leaves out key drivers, subsystems, and applications.

We've entered the age of OPINO: open-source in name only. Android teeters on this boundary, because you've got to install the Google Play spyware to access most applications. (Tip-o-the-hat to the F-droid guys here... they almost make it possible to avoid Google.)

Comment Yeah... no (Score 1) 552

My first thought was revulsion: people don't want to be treated like children. They will start bringing decoy phones or even box cutters.

Then I saw that they're also being marketed toward schools. Treating children like children makes more sense.

Also, it's better that we have technology like this instead of denial features getting baked into the phones (as has been proposed in the past) by law or by corporate collusion.

Comment Re:The desire for religion (Score 1) 1042

Yep. The next step is to capitalize on it. Claim to be a representative of The System. Explain that The System is a lab experiment, and good little Sims will be reborn in The Final Iteration where a perfected humanity will live in perpetual happiness. To be a good little Sim, you just need to live according to The Tenants, especially the one about The Tithe. :-)

Comment Re:Rust gets it right (Score 1) 89

Unfortunately, habituating your developers to call .unwrap() on everything (with the tacit "oh I know it's bad, but..." approval) doesn't really put you in a better place.

What you have with Result<T,E> and especially Option<T> is the concept of null delivered in a purposefully non-ergonomic form, with the theory being that the extra explicitness will drive developers to write better code by default. However, that unwrap() escape hatch is mighty convenient; time will tell if the theory was right or not.

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