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Comment Department of Justice (Score 1) 113

Of all the injustices in this country... missing the game may be "upsetting" for a select few, but there are actual crimes in progress with victims who truly suffer as a result. [opinion]This seems a shameful misappropriation of DoJ resources. They should be tackling predatorial baking practices, imbalanced housing laws, broadband internet pricing collusion (hey, remember when DSL cost $15/month? You can't even connect to the Internet for less than $60 these days...), prescription drug pricing, insurance scams - the list goes on and on...[/opinion]

Comment Dow Chemical tried this... (Score 1) 231

Should be interesting to see how well Tesla fares with this. Dow Chemical put a lot of money behind the same concept (less the battery whose purpose vs. cost seem like they would be difficult to justify) and they gave up the market due both to technical complications of installation/maintenance and poor sales due to low market interest. And that was just a few months ago, so I doubt much has changed:

Comment Interesting findings; and related... (Score 5, Interesting) 123

I read another study about a year ago (the link for which I can't find, so I profusely apologize in advance for the lack of citation), which also found that warmer temperatures were causing eggs to hatch sooner... but that the new birdlings were starving to death for a different reason: the timing of their hatching no longer aligns with the bloom of insects which are required for their sustenance. Apparently the insects did not get the memo that the warmer temperatures should also make them spring forth earlier in the season. So they are still business as usual after the young birds are already dying out, but as far as the birds are concerned, the bugs are late to the party... now I wonder if an additional side effect is an atypically larger insect population due to the comparative lack of predators.

Comment Re:Big news, but not unprecedented (Score 2) 235

Registration doesn't solve any of the problems you perceive. The one thing it does is creates a barrier to entry to reduce the number of douche-bags flying around haphazardly. Though on second thought, making marijuana a controlled substance hasn't really reduced its usage, so more likely requiring registration won't make any difference at all. But one thing is for sure: I can't read the registration marks on a 747 in flight, much less an 18" quadcopter, soooo... good luck filing that complaint! It's a pointless publicity stunt to satisfy the cry for "somebody should do something!", even if that something is meaningless posturing.

Comment Just a tool (Score 1) 327

Don't ascribe to deficiencies of a tool that which can readily be explained as incompetencies of the user.

If anything, draft new policies that reflect in an employee's annual review to hold them accountable if they are required to hold effective meetings and produce supporting collateral. If it's not in their job description, then let it go. Some people are too busy being great at their actual job to bother improving their back-office skills - and until they are required to hone those skills as a part of their job, why should/would anyone else care?

Comment Re:No. (Score 3, Interesting) 507

My organization accounts for QA/QC with the definition of "done"; QA is not a second class citizen of the organization, but rather a crucial part of the development team/process - and the story is not DONE until QA says it is. Therefore it rolls over across iteration boundaries as needed, and is only demo'ed when it is done.

The problem we have had with Agile thus far seems to be our inability to produce accurate estimates without doing Big Design Up Front which ultimately means spiking every story before we can get started. Nearly every time we try to shoot from the hip on story estimation for anything moderately complex (or worse), we have missed by several multiples the actual amount of work needed.

This is mainly due to the product being very complex (think enterprise scale SaaS, tens of millions of users, terabytes of data, complex data modeling, and numerous technologies being adapted with a variety of API/interfacing solutions) with many interconnected systems across multiple data centers and cloud services... you just can't stare at a story in the backlog and come up with a meaningful estimate off the top of your head no matter how well defined the acceptance criteria are because no one person knows what the potential impact is to all those systems.

But we're committed to working on improving our processes, cross-training, and reduction of overall system complexity to eventually be able to do just that and are sticking with Agile because it has forced us to take smaller bites which has really been a challenge for our sales/marketing and product owner teams because they want the world and they want it yesterday... and Agile empowers the scrum team to give them a reality check and say no.

I apologize for the run-on sentences... too lazy to edit at the moment.

Comment Parallel pattern matching... (Score 1) 67

... I don't see how this would be an improvement over replicating the same structure in silicon with a comparator per RAM bit with as many inputs as there are bits. Compare 8 bits or a thousand bits in a single compare operation for a "pattern" match and a giant AND gate for a single 1/0 match/no match result by supplying all the input data at once....

Comment Ok, serious question time... (Score 1) 107

I'm pretty sure the only military/government interest in being involved with "attack" scenarios on the Internet stems from the military/government having some critical exposure there. Why don't they, instead of making a plan for cyber warfare, make an initiative to fully separate the military/government network from the Internet and let the public Internet fry if it's going to fry. I can't think of a compelling reason for U.S. national security to have any ties to the Internet... can you? Helping out to protect commercial interests from cyber attacks is one thing, but having critical infrastructure/military/government exposure to the extent that it becomes a matter of *national security* just seems asinine to me...

Comment Re: And was it really a punishment? (Score 1) 97

Also, as someone who works with Asterisk/VOIP... it's *really* easy to set your caller ID to any phone number you want - how about a random caller ID rotation through every legitimate phone number in the U.S.? Gonna block them all? And with text-to-speech being able to re-render variations of the message in any of dozens of voices, it could be quite difficult to pick up on patterns from audio streams. Just sayin... this problem is not easily solved. Some layer for verifiability would be needed. Maybe it's time for POTS to go the way of broadcast television with a fully digital replacement that has some accountability built into it...

Comment Re:A better idea (Score 1) 259

I see what you're saying, but... the purpose of educating yourself is not simply to pick up a single skill. A good book or a trade school can accomplish that. Universities make it their mission to empower people broadly so that they can become powerfully effective members of society. Reading and interpreting poetry is not my forte, but I will do it if/when my course work requires me to do so - and it will - and I understand that the Student Learning Outcome objectives will include aspects such as improving my ability to interpret abstract information and extract meaning from natural expression... which is something we have to do sometimes as software developers to understand what our stake holders want before we get to coding (for example). No CS book would ever cover this.

I happen to be good at foreign languages and I do suggest others give it a try... but not just because I'm good at it. It has been shown that your chances are much better if you start learning your second language early (before 12-14?) and that was the case for me, but not everybody knows or thinks to make that a priority. When they start later in life, it is much more difficult and they might need different "tricks" to remember things until it starts coming more naturally with time. But the process is one which substantially improves your ability to abstract the core thought from the specific semantics used to describe it for rather complex scenarios - another key survival skill for the CS major.

I would not take foreign language requirements away from the curriculum on the grounds of irrelevancy any sooner than I would English, history, mathematics, the sciences, or other humanities classes.

Comment Re:Not the same thing (Score 1) 259

... and that includes CS majors sometimes. I've known developers with bachelor's degrees in CS who had never seen a hard drive, or understood even the fundamental concepts of what goes on in hardware between CPU, RAM, the system bus, attached peripheral devices, etc. What I've noticed in the school I am at now (back-filling formal education for a well-established career in CS) is that there is only one class that teaches those fundamentals, CS1 - and it is not a requirement for the CS degree program. The "core classes" are the second-level programming and higher... not even the first level programming classes count. Conceivably, one could pass on all the introductory classes and never have any idea what a logic gate is, for example. It is bewildering as to how this can be acceptable. I grew up with schematics for my 286 that showed all the ISA bus lines and timing logic to be able to make my own ISA bus expansion cards to interface whatever I wanted in the real world. The times, they are a-changin`...

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