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Comment (Score 2) 281

Do not role your own solution. You're effectively crippling your org once you leave. Which will eventually happen.

I've done IT for small non-profits. Used both Access, FileMaker Pro. The third party apps targeting non profits range from okay to terrible. Biggest challenge is customizations and forward porting that crap. No different than orgs which customized bugzilla and then had rework when a new bugzilla comes out.

What we're doing now is moving to SalesForce. It's free for small non-profits.


I'll let you know how it works out.

I'm ambivalent about features and so forth. But hopefully the larger community of SalesForce talent will make future continuity easier.

One big win will be the ecosystem of add-ons. My current org is excited about using the CRM features to improve engagement with clients and donors. The kind of crap I really don't want to write myself, yet again.

Comment Re:A solution to a problem that doesn't exist (Score 1) 123

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs.

Yea? How's a court of law sit with you? The election results in New Mexico 2004 were fraudulent. Here's the link to Voter Action's lawsuit.

Were the machines actually hacked, as in malicious intent? Well, that's the rub, isn't it? Kind of hard to prove when there's no physical evidence. Either way, wrong is wrong. Whether be default or by design. Kerry still got more votes than Bush in New Mexico. Yet Bush was awarded the electoral votes.

it's possible to show that there's examples of superior electronic systems

Both incorrect and impossible. As this comment upstream notes:

Electronic voting still can't solve a simple thing: To make each vote proven unique and untrackable at the same time.

It's really very simple.

Private voting and public counting.

Secret ballots and transparent elections.

That is only possible with paper ballots. (The ballot box is the secure one way hash.)

Any electronic voting system eliminates both voter privacy and the ability to inspect the results.

Let us say you have an electronic ballot system...

Let us say you shut your air scoop until you learn something about voting systems.

Comment Re:Excuses Excuses (Score 2, Interesting) 322

I might be wrong, but I think MS employees tend to be better integrated into the local community.

I can't make a generalization of that scope.

There's definitely been stages in the "maturity" of Microsoft. Early Microsoft was uber geek, for sure.

Now, it's more like Boeing than Google, just a megacorp filled with corporate wage slaves.

Comment Re:Forcing people into impoverished lives (Score 1) 822

The AGW believers want to use governments to force people to lead objectively poorer lives.

What you did right there is called "projection". It's when you accuse someone else of your own failings. It's a signature trait of the mentally ill.

Pretending for a moment that you have the ability to reason, let's ask a simple question:

How does using less energy make me poorer?

I insulate my house, I drive less, I buy better appliances, I eat locally grown food, and so forth means that -- wait for it -- I save money.

Living more sustainably makes me more wealthy.

I do more with less. But in your world view, being anything less than a glutton is somehow morally wrong.

Okay, lesson time's over.

Please, resume banging those rocks together. And pass the Cheetos. Ook, ook.

Comment Re:Good faith and bad faith (Score 1) 822

Decide there's global warming and go look for evidence to support your theory, and ignore all other explanations.

You are worse than wrong. There are no alternative explanations.

Scientists follow the principles of Popperianism.

Theories must be falsifiable. Each theory must have tests for which if false, disprove the theory.

Further, for a theory to be accepted, it must do a better job of explaining reality.

You can't merely say something is wrong. You have to say how it's wrong AND have a better explanation.

It's a big pseudo-scientific world out there.

Um, no. And this cute belief system of yours disqualifies you from the discussion.

So, please, run back to your cave and resume banging the rocks together. See how far that gets you.

Comment Re:Common Ground? (Score 1) 822

Reality will be the ultimate arbitrator which decides who is correct.

Our opponents are not interested in reality. Data, facts, logic, reason be damned.

These are the culture wars. The battle lines have been drawn. Long ago. One side wants the best outcome for the most people. The other side wants to win. At all costs.

I don't mean to be catty, but where have you been these last 30 years, especially the 8 years of Bush The Lesser?

As a progressive I used to think that we could all sit down, have a reasonable chat, sort all this shit out. Fail at that enough times, and you'll (hopefully) learn that the only thing the troglodytes respect is power. It's distasteful. But the alternative is plutocracy, theologians, and the continued descent downwards.

Comment Re:The first thing you hear about a new technology (Score 1) 206

Hey. Given your experience, I have an off topic question for you.

What are the prospects for ceramic internal combustion engines?

When I was a kid, I read in Scientific American that future cars will likely have ceramic engine blocks. Being air cooled, they'd be more simple and smaller. Being ceramic, the fuel would be burned hotter and so more efficiently. So these ceramic engines would be 1/3rd the size for the same horsepower and burn cleaner.

Alas. Here we are today.

I went back and found that issue of SciAm in the library. From that and other reading, I gather that the two production methods have serious shortcomings. Sintering hasn't been worked out for forms that large. And drilling would be huge expensive and probably leave defects in the material (e.g. cylinder walls).

I did find one news item where the US Navy was buying ceramic engines for unmanned vehicals. It sounded like a turbine engine, vs internal combustion.

Any news, insights, tips you could offer would be great.

Comment Re:Am I hearing you correctly? (Score 1) 419

Layers complicate programming and create bugs? Really? As in, "the whole modular programming thing is just a fad"? If these guys can actually honestly claim that they program better in the big ball of mud paradigm, they must be super-geniuses, and trying to collaborate would be impossible for the normal geek anyway.

modules != layers

I'm a huge fan of removing extraneous abstractions, layers, extension points, gratuitous use of design patterns, silly third party libraries, etc.

In my experience, API designers biff the modeling (abstraction) and then try to hide the problems with ever more shims and layers.

Examples of my counterculture designs include DesignGridLayout, flogger, and LOX.

Alas, programmers are unimpressed by simple solutions and persist in using productivity slashing and mind gelling albatrosses.

Comment Re:Software Projects vs. Traditional Projects (Score 1) 140

A/E/C (architecture, engineering, construction) is nothing like software development.

Software is far more complex than construction. Complex, as in information content, as in how many decisions must be made. Bridges are described with a few 100 construction drawings and some supporting text.

Construction is a far more constrained problem space, compared to software. Physics (engineering), construction materials, site location, application, and building codes pretty much predetermine what any given bridge is going to look like. A civil engineer spends most of their time "finding" the bridge design that satisfies all the constraints (a search problem). They get all excited over green field projects, because there's more room to play (e.g. highways rebuilt after St Helens blew up).

Construction design has regular checkpoints (e.g. 30, 60, 90, 100% submittals) for full client review. Iterative development in software is the exception, not the rule. When things get tough, it always degenerates into the waterfall "model".

The points previously made about transparency (open source) and quality of requirements also apply.

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