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Comment Re:Exactly that (Score 2) 257

Which is why as well as a quiet space, I also think a good environment for developers is one that supports flexible working. I start at 7:30 and finish at 4, because at least I can get about an hour and a half to two hours in of decent code first thing before the office gets too noisy. Some of the other devs prefer later starts and do 10 until 6:30. As long as everyone is in between 10 and 3 then that's ample time for collaboration.

You shouldn't have to work an extra 2 hours over to get your work done, you should be able to come in 2 hours later.

Developers need to be well slept, and able to focus - a quiet working area is only part the equation, not being forced to work extra hours because the working environment is shit is another part of it. Home working at least every now and again can also often help with this for some people.

Comment Re:Scapegoating (Score 1) 356

That's the god argument - how do you know he doesn't exist?

Provide me some evidence that they are stopping any attacks because of mass data interception. Every time our security chiefs in the UK are questioned on it they say things like "We've stopped maybe 3 or 4 in the last year", but can't provide any details about them whatsoever, and can't even get a firm figure - is it 3 or is it 4? we're not talking about a large number here. It shouldn't be hard to know how many such big, important cases with massive bragging rights you've succeeded in dealing with. If they can't give a firm number when the number is so small then that implies that they're struggling to find many cases to be even remotely linked closely enough to terrorism to class at stopping terrorist attacks. When they were pushed for more info we manage to get a suggestion that many such attacks weren't even to do with Islamic terrorism and they included things like anti-fracking protestors sabotaging equipment, and hard-line animal rights activists sending letter bombs to animal testing labs.

If they can't provide any evidence to back up their claims (i.e. they don't seem to be able to point to prosecutions), and can't even decide how many they've supposedly dealt with even when they're talking about ridiculously small numbers then it seems unlikely it's achieved anything much - this is for what it's worth, for all cases for a year, not just those which have been dealt with thanks to mass data farming - for that, there's not just no evidence that it's been succesful at all, but not even any claims it has - they just say they need it and that's the last we hear. When we have had prosecutions, they've often been over trivial things (like "He had a copy of the jolly roger's cookbook, so he's a terrorist) and typically they collapsed. If you don't know what the jolly roger's cookbook is then it's a collection of text files that just about every kid with access to the internet had a copy of on a floppy disk in the 80s/90s, but much of which was entirely fictional.

Meanwhile people who are known to the security services keep carrying out attacks, so it's clearly not having any impact on the people that actually have the capacity to carry out an attack either way - even when they could do targetted interception and get a warrant to outright read their digital communications contents, not merely the metadata.

Comment Re:Just needs a little nudge. (Score 1) 211

It's an interesting idea, but it would be costly. I suspect at the end of the day it would probably be cheaper to build a Lunar satellite that retrofit ISS. Basically you would need to add a lot more shielding, and I have my suspicions that would be difficult to accomplish.

Honestly, while it doubtless costs and will continue to cost a lot to maintain, maintaining it is still cheaper than (eventually) building a new orbiter. Obviously there are finite limits to how long anything habitable can remain in space without significant overhaul, but as the article says, 2024 is a policy limit, not an engineering one.

As to a lunar orbiter, I think it's a damned fine idea. Figure out how to build it in modules, and have robots or remote control piece it together. If you could get that kind of technology down pat, you could basically build orbiters for Mars or beyond, send them ahead of any manned mission, and thus you could significantly decrease the amount of supplies needed for the actual manned mission itself.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 279

I actually favor the British model of very short "series", rather than 22-24 episodes per season. Let's be honest, when you have to write that many 48 minute episodes you're going to run dry in the idea department very quickly. The genius of something like Fawlty Towers is that you only have to write six scripts for a series, meaning you're not stretching for ideas. Imagine having to write 20-odd Fawlty Towers scripts, and assuming it's a hit and is renewed, that you have to do that for possibly five or six or more seasons.

Even the best shows will tend to run out of steam before they reach 100 hundred episodes. There's just no real way to keep any story going that long. You'll lose writers, even show-runners, and even where you can keep stable production and writing teams, and assuming you don't lose actors (or, as with The Walking Dead, you just wantonly kill them off in place of actually having to write anything good, preferring shock to substance), it gets damned hard.

I think Breaking Bad had it just about right, with an average of 13 episodes per season (though the last one had sixteen as I recall), and still managed to keep quality pretty high. If they had had to push that up over 20, they would have written budget and writing limits, much as happened with The Walking Dead. I see no reason however why you can't tell a story in a more British-style short series. Broadchurch did it in 8 episodes per series. You get to have a story arc without the filler episodes, which I felt often detracted from series like the X Files and Deep Space Nine.

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