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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

GGardner Do longevity tests account for crappy power? (602 comments)

CFLs, of all brands, have not lasted nearly as long as advertised at my house. I don't think I've had any last more than a year. However, the power at my house is terrible -- lights flicker and dim several times a day, and I completely lose power several times a year. All the computers are on UPSes, but it would be prohibitive to put all the lights on one. Old fashioned, incandescent light bulbs seem much more robust than at least CFLs, and I'm not too excited to test LEDs. So, do any of these lab tests which promise CFLs and LED that last for year test with real-world power sources?

about three weeks ago
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Comcast Drops Spurious Fees When Customer Reveals Recording

GGardner Re:What about Oregon and Washington? (368 comments)

How am I supposed to know, when calling a 1-800 number, where the call center is? It _might_ be in my state, in which case a different set of laws applies.

about 2 months ago
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Overkill? LG Phone Has 2560x1440 Display, Laser Focusing

GGardner Rangefinder handy for more than camera focusing (198 comments)

I don't know how accurate the laser would be for general purpose rangefinding, but if this device were available to apps in general, not just the camera, I could imagine all kind of interesting new apps one could develop.

about 4 months ago
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Fixing the Humanities Ph.D.

GGardner Re:You can come back with half the pay and no bene (325 comments)

Was she surprised by this outcome? What percentage of the previous, say, 20 history PhD students at her institution now have tenure track jobs? In the past 10 years, how many history PhDs has her institution matriculated? And how many tenure-track faculty have they hired? If the institution has graduated 50 PhDs in the last 10 years, and hired 5, you don't have to be a statistics major to see that there's a looming problem.

about 4 months ago
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Lessons From the Healthcare.gov Fiasco

GGardner Where did the money go? (501 comments)

As a software engineer, I'm very curious about where this $400 million went. In all the articles about this project, I've never seen a breakdown of where the money was spent, at least at the granularity of people/hardware/software. Typically software projects spent most of their budgets on people, but a $400 M project that is basically a year old implies on the order of thousands of employees. That can't be right? Did they get dinged by ridiculous licensing fees from the usual suspects? Where did the money go?

1 year,6 days
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New Study Suggests No Shortage of American STEM Graduates

GGardner "STEM" is a useless grouping (344 comments)

There's a huge difference in the job market for pure scientists (the "S" in STEM), and IT folks. The job market for someone with a PhD in, say Astronomy is terrible. Lumping these folks together with the legions of code hackers is ridiculous.

about a year and a half ago
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MySQL's Creator On Why the Future Belongs To MariaDB

GGardner Re:Me, too! (208 comments)

Yes, but is that a Postgres problem or a MySQL problem?

about a year and a half ago
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Google Fiber Expands To Olathe, Kansas

GGardner Enough about bandwidth, what about latency? (120 comments)

Bandwidth is nice and all, but for many uses latency matters more -- any numbers on what that will look like?

about a year and a half ago
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Real World Code Sucks

GGardner Re:School code (292 comments)

I'm sure I've missed other ways academic code is bad.

The biggest difference is that academic code is _short_. If your whole code base is 10k lines, it's easy to cover all the requirements in a clean design. If you are dealing with millions of lines, there's all kinds of oddball unforeseen interactions and requirements that pop up way late in the game.

about a year ago
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Researcher Finds Nearly Two Dozen SCADA Bugs In a Few Hours

GGardner How do you get a SCADA system to test? (104 comments)

So, if I'm a random security researcher, how do I get my hands on these SCADA systems to test them? They certainly aren't open source, and I'm guessing they aren't cheap. I doubt you can just type a credit card number into GE's web site and download one. How do they get one to look at?

about 2 years ago
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HP Asks Judge To Enforce Itanium Contract Vs. Oracle

GGardner Re:Itanium 3 is a decent CPU (124 comments)

And for high-end use, the Itanium is a genuinely useful CPU. Because the performance of a cluster is a function of the communication delays, very high-end clusters WANT to have very high-end CPUs.

Note the above is certainly true for high-end HPC clusters, but running large Oracle databases on those kinds of machines seems kind of expensive for the performance you get. For Oracle (and other databases), the high-thread count Sparc T-3 / T-4 kinds of processors will give you much better performance at lower cost. Of the few ia-64 installations, I bet most are floating-point heavy HPC clusters, I wonder how many are running Oracle or VMS and "business" workloads.

But what do I know, I've only been observing what actually works vs what the customers want for 35 years

Of course, if customers actually wanted Oracle on Itanium, there wouldn't have been a lawsuit...

more than 2 years ago
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More Court Trouble For Oracle: Now HP Is Suing Them

GGardner So, let me get this straight... (116 comments)

The company that killed WebOS and seriously considered selling off their whole PC business line is desperate to hang on to their Itanium business?

more than 2 years ago
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ARM Expects 20-Nanometer Processors By Late 2013

GGardner Re:next battle? (73 comments)

ARM based chips will never be real Intel competitor, in the same way that Intel chips never were a real competitor for IBM z-system class mainframes.

more than 2 years ago
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Munich Has Saved €4M So Far After Switch To Linux

GGardner 70 tickets/month for 7,500 machines? (370 comments)

The translation is a bit hard to read, but I can't believe any organization only has 70 trouble tickets in a month for 7,500 machines, regardless of the OS that is running.

more than 2 years ago
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Code Cleanup Culls LibreOffice Cruft

GGardner Re:It doesn't matter (317 comments)

The real problem here probably has to do with shared libraries. If you have a function in a shared library with external visibility, the compiler can't remove it, unless it is doing whole program optimizations across all of the programs, and I doubt the LibreOffice builds are doing that.

more than 2 years ago
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OPERA Group Repeats Faster-Than-Light Neutrino Results

GGardner Typical Italian sense of time (442 comments)

Given my experiences in Italy, if the neutrinos arrived exactly when they were supposed to, Italians would consider that about 15 minutes too early.

more than 2 years ago
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Analyzing StackOverflow Users' Programming Language Leanings

GGardner Re:Good programmers don't use StackOverflow. (185 comments)

Virtually all of the questions asked there can be answered by doing the following: 1) Reading the documentation of the programming language, library or software in question.

This is one reason there are so many JavaScript (perhaps actually DOM) questions -- where is the documentation to answer questions like "how do I do x, across every major browser versions which didn't really follow standards well"? If I'm programming in, say, Java or C++ with some framework where I control more of the environment, I can go to one place to answer questions, but there's no one definitive source for these cross browser problems.

more than 2 years ago
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Chrome 14 Beta Integrates Native Client

GGardner Please don't use C/C++ (209 comments)

The phrase "C/C++", that is.

C++, especially modern C++, is such a different language from C, that it makes no sense to talk about them as if they are the same. A decent programmer can learn everything they need to know about C in about two weeks. Modern C++ really takes years to really master. When I interview programmers, I'm immediately skeptical of anyone who claims to know "C/C++". Often, this means the most advanced "C++" feature they use is the // comment.

more than 3 years ago
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Apple Removes MySQL From Lion Server

GGardner Re:Much better anyway (303 comments)

I always found PostgresQL harder to admin. It needs to be VACUUM'ed periodically. How often? The poor admin is supposed to figure that out themselves. Oh, and don't try to actually use the database during a VACUUM. Even after the autovacuum feature was added, it never seemed to work right, and my databases still needed to be vacuumed by hand, sometimes taking more than a day to run. Even with frequent vacuuming, indexes can get bloated -- I would see indexes with more pages allocated than entries, which needed to be manually reindexed. Worse, you need to tell postgres how much memory to allocate for vacuum'ing, and if you don't get it right, it 'leaks' disk space. None of these sorts of things have ever been a problem for MySQL.

more than 3 years ago

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