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Comment Re:You're Probably Right But ... (Score 3, Interesting) 1425

The problem is that American politics is a team sport. The bigger problem is that team sport mentality is just accepted as the norm.

Politics -- as voting -- should be a dry, boring act. Back when 30% of the electorate was actually engaged, it was. Now, demagogues fill the airwaves with outlandish accusations, turning countrymen against each other.

After all the demagoguery that is constantly being used to rile some people who are genuinely distressed because they've lost their job/house/life, I worry some of these people are genuinely confused; the enemy is no longer Osama -- it's now Obama.

Submission + - Copyrights of Disgruntled Volunteer

tres writes: I recently started volunteering as "webmaster" for a non-tech group after the old volunteer webmaster quit. Upon leaving, the old webmaster decided to disable some parts of the site & remove others. I was able to restore all functionality from an old copy of the site he forgot about. His motives were unclear until today. Someone received a letter from him stating that copyrighted material was being used and he demanded $2000 for use of the material. I think we're on pretty firm ground; it's not difficult to find a bunch of GPL licensed headers still in a bunch of his 'copyrighted' material. The part I'm not too clear about is whether he has any basis for declaring copyright at all since he was essentially doing work for the group as "webmaster." Here's the basis for his claim:

I am the proprietor of all copyright in a custom software work used for collecting membership dues (The "Work"). I have reserved all rights in the Work

So does a volunteer who does work for an organization retain copyright of works created for that organization?

Comment Re:If this were another company... (Score 1) 610

As I recall, they were 'torn to shreds.' Rumor was, they were going to be split up. We were all talking about which company Microsoft would still be after it split up -- would it be the OS creator or would Bill Gates want to hold on to the other lucrative software...

Then prezitend bush took over.

Suddenly the DOJ folded up the case & MS didn't see any real penalties for actually being found guilty of abusing their monopoly.

Comment Re:It's The Backups Stooped (Score 1) 304

So it sounds like someone decided to upgrade the hardware storing the data without making a backup.

Any 'good people' involved should have had a plan. The plan should have included some back-out procedure (which implies step 1 is that data replication takes place and is verified). If management didn't want to pay for the the physical requirements of the plan, then I hope that the systems engineers got it in writing (via submission and rejection of a written plan). For something this critical, doing the paperwork not only makes it much easier to respond to problems when they occur, it means there's a nice big paper CYA there when management decides to do things on the cheap.

So I agree, management is just as culpable as the guy(s) who decided to do this without having a proper plan in place.

I still can't get over the fact that so much relied upon one single SAN operating. It's just insane.

Comment It's The Backups Stooped (Score 4, Insightful) 304

This is an issue of irresponsibility. Plain and Simple. The company responsible for maintaining the data should -- at the very least -- have had some full system backup from last month. If they had some old backup somewhere at least you could chalk it up to systems failure or bad backup tape or bad admin or something.

But the fact that there is no backup anywhere indicates brazen negligence on the part of everyone responsible for the data. Everyone who had a part in designing the system and managing the system is culpable. The most ridiculous part of this is the over-reliance on server-side data storage by the sidekick designers.

Comment Re:The cross-compilation multiverse (Score 1) 181

And I forgot to mention that Unity doesn't provide access to native library calls. So, for instance, there's no way to bring up the iPhone keyboard from within a Unity app. This could very well be changing -- and may have already changed, but last I knew Unity apps on iPhone were severely crippled by this.

But that's just a symptom of the real problem with using Unity as the basis for development -- you're relying on a closed platform from third-party with relatively low vested interest in the platform. If a platform doesn't make fiscal sense for Unity to continue publishing and updating, as a Unity developer you have very little recourse. I'm not pretending that it's any different for Apple and NS libs, but Apple has much more invested in the success of the platform, so it's much more unlikely that they will discontinue support of the platform.

Comment Re:The cross-compilation multiverse (Score 2, Interesting) 181

Unity is nice, but the end result is massive bloat. It's a nice way for a developer or company to get into the iPhone market without having to learn Objective C, but I don't think they've 'nailed it.'

I've seen extremely simple applications take 18 - 24 MB space on an iPhone. That's with no textures, no graphics no nothing except basic 3D objects being rendered. An equivalent app developed in Objective C takes 10% - 25% of that.

18 - 24MB doesn't seem like a lot until you think about the fact that all that is all being loaded into the very limited available memory. There's very little room to make something that takes advantage of Unity's framework. And the fact that Unity is trying to do garbage collection in a separate thread means that the performance of the App goes down.

You're right, they're doing some cool stuff -- and the fact that it's cross-platform capable makes it that much better. But personally, I decided to put in the little bit of time it took to learn Objective C and the discipline to retain and release over putting my eggs into Unity's basket (that one was an easy choice).

Comment Perl -- Goodbye Old Friend (Score 1) 235

Perl was so. fricking. awesome. back when the only choices were shell scripts or compiled apps. It was such a leap forward. Who wouldn't be excited about Perl back in the '90s

But we're far beyond the sophistication of Perl. I'm not saying that you can't do some pretty fricking awesome things in Perl, but that Perl doesn't do many of the meta-tasks that we've come to expect in languages. These supporting features don't necessarily make things run or run fast, but rather help developers in the process of creation and maintenance. The industry has grown up and the black magic of hacking has been codified into the craft of coding.

And Perl isn't alone here, C++ is undergoing the same process.

Comment In Other Words, Agile (Score 1) 551

'Ship early and ship often.'

But it's definitely no silver bullet; it's not for every project, nor every developer, I've been disappointed to see how integration of Agile via scrum derail projects and upended a department where inexperienced / low skilled developers got overwhelmed by the shift in focus from doing it 'perfectly' to shipping. There's a subtle but significant shift in responsibility from the project manager to the developer. Lots of guys don't like it and really can't handle having things so visible; they're used to being able to hide behind the complexity of their work for days or even weeks without really having any accountability. Agile gives them nothing to hide behind.

Comment Re:Ya no kidding (Score 1) 681

Moving the factory to another location may work; the labor force is (relatively) easy to replace, but I highly doubt that MS could pull it off.

There's a reason that places like San Francisco and Seattle are home to Google and Microsoft. The kind of people who make Google and Microsoft work are attracted to the quality of life offered by the location. Making money is enough for some people, but for many others, what you do for money is just part of the equation.

Maybe Microsoft will try to pull a Boeing and move corporate headquarters to Reno Nevada, but I doubt they could pull off uprooting their labor force and moving them elsewhere.

Comment Re:Backwards (Score 1) 853

I know I wasn't very clear about it, but my thinking goes something like this:

1) A political party can use socialistic economic theory in crafting platforms and laws no matter whether they choose to name themselves "Socialist" or not.

2) A political party can name themselves "Socialist" and not represent or embody any of the economic theories of Socialism in praxis.

Therefore political entities are distinct and separate from the economic theory.

Even so, you're right; within the context of this argument I've not given enough focus to the political "Socialist" party and focused exclusively on the economic theory. Even after you made valid assertions and backed up your assertions with evidence, I still didn't give your points the credence they deserved.

In addition, I've acted rudely in how I responded to you.

I apologize. I should have been focusing less on why I disagree, and more on what the fundamental discussion was.

I've become very angry about the level of noise, flippant demonization and overall 'hate' that's been associated with something so good as providing healthcare to everyone that I became overly emotional about this argument. Instead of being a honest broker in a dialog, I shamefully became just another one of the shouting voices.

I believe that there is a fundamental problem with how some people are framing this debate; the use of Hitler and Naziism as scare tactics is vile and low. My fear is that naive and dangerous people are being manipulated by the constantly blowing bellows of hate; thus my example of some conservative comparing their lot to that of a Jew in Nazi Germany. The message is out: Obama is like Hitler, and America is under attack by un-American forces of Socialism. No matter how ridiculous it may seem to me, there are plenty of people who are swallowing this whole.
It's difficult; often I feel like I'm trying to tell people that the world is round while they insist it's flat.

Comment Re:Backwards (Score 1) 853

I completely agree; politics is not a team sport and it's a shame that some put party first and have a 'can-do-no-wrong' attitude about their 'team.' It's interesting that you feel I am a part of the team-sport mentality. I've always thought myself independent from that; but maybe it's time for a little introspection.

I'd say that putting a 'right' label on the source of the hyperbole is falling into this dichotomy of good-guys and bad-guys; however, it's difficult not to -- since there is no finer granularity available than 'right,' 'far-right,' and the individuals from whom these absurd ideas are espoused -- and there are many.

The thing that saddens me most about all of this team-sport mentality is that people seem to be forgetting that we are all countrymen. We are all in this together. Whether or not we agree on the semantics of the policies, we all have the ultimate goal of prosperity for our children and our countrymen.

Comment Re:Backwards (Score 1) 853

A political party with the word Socialist in their name does not equate to Socialism.

Cripe man, do you really think the Republican party mean republic? Does the Democratic party mean democracy? Or maybe you think that North Korea is a Democracy because the official name of the country is "Democratic People's Republic of Korea."

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