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Comment A view I've held for long time (Score 2) 908

Apart from algebra being an intellectual hurdle to be jumped which may help separate people academically I have thought this for about the last 30 years, and no I didn't "flunk" maths. As a matter of course we don't teach people medicine or geology or Latin, these are specialisms which people with an interest study as they refine their possible future choices. So why algebra? I am an engineer in an advanced engineering company writing engineering software and I "do maths" about once a year at most. Yes there are people here who do a lot more than me but there are also people who do a lot less so why does the average Joe need to know about quadratic equations?

The suggestion to study statistics seems very sensible, it might help people understand when the politicians are lying...

Comment Re:She's _4_ (Score 1) 584

And there are plenty of people who are unhappy because their parents pushed them into a career that they do not enjoy. Hell, most people in IT seem to fall into this camp along with a lot of doctors and lawyers. Think about what is important to your duaghter's life and life in general.

The best outcome for someone is letting them be happy and content. It is not your life (you the parent) it is your daughter's life and you should encourage and support her to be whatever she wants to be. You get to set the moral framework and create a mentally and physically healthy environment but she is not your play thing that should do your bidding.

Comment Re:Good Luck With That (Score 2) 64

Big contractors and political parties share a mutual benefit from big contracts in that a profitable contractor will make donations to political campaigns, lobby groups and support "government" initiatives such as employing more young people to reduce bad headlines about youth unemployment. Anything that attempts to break up this cosy relationship will be strangled at birth

Comment Re:That drawing was a joke, but (Score 1) 276

I think you need to look at what drives innovation, i.e. making money. This in general this is done by making things more efficient, which has been going on since at least the industrial revolution and selling things that people need or want which has been going on at least since people started building towns.

Going to other planets takes a lot of energy an is expensive, how does it make anyone money? Until someone finds a big return on investment from space travel, either because it makes something more efficient than the cost of traveling to space or produces a good that people want, there will be no incentive to develop the tech to cheaply explore other planets.

AI is perhaps more likely, especially since it can make things like intelligence gathering and health care much more efficient. BUT, and this does seem a bit curious, society seems to optimize for efficient use of human resources. Think about clothing production, it is still all sewn by people on sewing machines, why? Because the cost of setting up and running CNC machines to do it out-weighs the cost of just getting cheap labour.

Comment Re:Missing the point (Score 3, Insightful) 198

It's more like ranching or fishing. The cattle and fish are not customers, they are your feedstock or raw materials. Treat them badly, over-fish, poison them and you have no feedstock and hence no revenue. Google gets this fairly well, they actively farm their users giving them plenty to feed on, and doing their best not to pollute the food supply (i.e. search results in google's case) they also add in cool stuff, new toys, etc. and hence Google's customers are happy fat cows who keep coming back for more - I know, I am one!

Comment Re:Diminishing returns (Score 4, Insightful) 478

The chances of dying are 100%. We all do it, it is just a case of when and how. As a society we are well into looking for very marginal returns - eat brocolli all your life to put off the chance of getting bowel cancer when you are 87 - and it is impossible to do valid experiments that show if measured take to mitgate one risk cause others.

I work on a large industrial site and management have voer the last few years been on a major safety push. One result of this is that they have been round and "risk assessed" all the walk ways and put barriers all over the place. The outcome is that walking from the car park to the office is now so convoluted that people just walk down the road ways. There never was any evidence that anyone was acutally injured in the areas where barriers were put up.

Comment Re:Docs vs tutorial (Score 1) 211

Documentation should be tested. You test your code (I hope) so why not test your documentation??? Like all testing the very act of thinking about how to test it will make you improve it. Then developing documentation tests will help you improve it further. Testing the documentation will further test your application (sometimes what si written in the docs is right but the app doesn't do it).

Give the applicaiton and the documentation to someone with suitable skills but no knowledge of the application and give them some tasks to do. If they can complete the task with the documenation only then great. If they ask you a question, fix the docs. EVEN if the answer to the question is in the docs, if someone asked you then it's not obvious so fix it.Find out what steps they took to find the information and put it in the logical path.

Comment Re:A Perl/Unix Way of Thinking (Score 1) 164

So as a Perl developer i guess he is not big on rich user interfaces? How does he propose to sucessfully convert say a Windows Forms UI to PHP?

Oh! I get it, that's out-of-scope, who needs UIs? We can all just run a bunch of command line scripts and applications.

But wait, didn't we do that already .. I seem to remember it being called Unix.

I for one welcome this bright new future!

Comment Re:Nice (Score 1) 719

No, religion just provides the labels. The cause of wars, and much other fighting (gangs, football hooligans, etc.) is TRIBALISM. In Northern Ireland Catholics and Protestants are fighting again, but those are just convenient labels for "native" Irish and people descended from English invaders. Much of the fighting in in the middle east is between people with different tribal allegiances, the media just finds it easier to say Sunni and Shi'a.

Just to be clear, I am an atheist and know that a lot of terrible things have been done in the name of religion but I think if we took religion away altogether, certain groups of people will still see "them" and "us" and start fighting.

Comment So thre are Pros and Cons (Score 3, Insightful) 54

Owning the Fab is a big capital cost and means the beast has to be fed but allows for more late-stage tweaking. Not owning that Fab means potentially more flexibility in choosing a process for the design. Of course ARM ahs to work with it's partners, that doesn't mean it's partners are in-flexible and far from cutting edge.

Seems like no great news, just the same old in-house vs. out-sourced debate...

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