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VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

Old97 Re:Why do these people always have something to hi (348 comments)

If you read the article, it what was denied was unpublished research. The research the plaintiff's are challenging is available to them. He doesn't have to defend arguments that he hasn't made.

about a week ago
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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

Old97 Re:Pretty much true (581 comments)

Yes, if you are programming a robot or a bag ripping device.

about two weeks ago
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Russian Army Spetsnaz Units Arrested Operating In Ukraine

Old97 Re:We need a US base in the Ukraine (623 comments)

What was illegal about it? The invasion of Iraq in 1991 was sanctioned by the UN. Hostilities were suspended (not ended) on the condition that Saddam complied with a number of conditions. He violated some of those conditions. His violations included firing on UN sponsored forces - aircraft in the no-fly zone, obstructing weapons inspectors among other thing. So the US invaded. In my view the invasion was unnecessary and a waste of US resources and lives, but it wasn't illegal. The final verdict of the legality/illegality of this invasion was decided in what court? Did said court have jurisdiction?

about a month ago
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Top U.S. Scientific Misconduct Official Quits In Frustration With Bureaucracy

Old97 Just like where I work ... (172 comments)

and its a large corporation in the private sector. Its hard for very large organizations to be efficient.

about a month and a half ago
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How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

Old97 Re:Hmmm... (983 comments)

The first 8" I used held 128k. The last one had a capacity of around 1.2 mb. They were twice as fast (transfer rate) as those new fangled 5 1/4 inch floppies. Kids, what do they know?

about a month and a half ago
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Embarrassing Stories Shed Light On US Officials' Technological Ignorance

Old97 Re:I've heard that government moves slowly... (299 comments)

There is what they are trying to do and then there is what we are paying them to do, isn't there?

about a month and a half ago
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Embarrassing Stories Shed Light On US Officials' Technological Ignorance

Old97 Re:I've heard that government moves slowly... (299 comments)

I'm happy to give them a break until they assume the authority to make decisions that depend on understanding technology. Once they do that they have the duty to be knowledgeable and competent. Anyone aspiring to such authority should be preparing and educating themselves.

about a month and a half ago
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Embarrassing Stories Shed Light On US Officials' Technological Ignorance

Old97 Re:I've heard that government moves slowly... (299 comments)

It's not the government. These people have access to all the modern conveniences via their jobs. They have chosen not to learn anything about them which would be O.K. if it wasn't critical to their job performance.

about a month and a half ago
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Android Beats iOS As the Top Tablet OS

Old97 Re:Sales figures (487 comments)

And a couple of other suspicious things here. 1) Shipped doesn't mean sold as you say, but it can include give aways like when you buy a Samsung TV and get one of their pads for free. Yeah, if you gave me a Samsung tablet I'd take it. Then I'd give it to a poor relative or kid down the street. Not worth anything to me. Also, the "Other" category out ships all the other Android OEMs including the top 3 Android OEM's combined. Sorry, but its pretty arbitrary to put a crappy knock off for the 3rd world market with a state of the art iPad or equivalent. Finally, Gartner predicted that the iPhone would be a flop in 2007 and again in 2008. Their fantasies about MS products in the mobile market are pretty imaginative too.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should Developers Fix Bugs They Cause On Their Own Time?

Old97 Not quite true in either case ... (716 comments)

If you are an employee, you don't have to fix bugs or bad walls on your own time. If you're are a subcontractor that may be expected by some. At my company when a contracting company (including a 1099 or individual corp) is on T&M and screws up - terrible design, incompetent programming, etc., we still pay them until we decide to end the relationship. The alternative is fixed price contracting or a form of "piece work", but that puts a big burden on our own incompetent and clueless managers. They'd rather keep paying than be exposed as useless overhead. Building contractors can't get away with that so easily and they have inspectors to assess quality so they can hold their subcontractors accountable for the quality of the work. Software is rarely developed using rigorous engineering methodologies and documentation, especially in business IT.

about 2 months ago
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Google's Motorola Adventure: Stinging Defeat, Or Semi-Victory?

Old97 Re:The numbers (139 comments)

Lenovo was already in the mobile business. They've been out competing Samsung at the low end of the market. What they needed was better products at the mid to high range. Motorola's newer phones looked good, but the marketing wasn't working. We'll see if Lenovo can do better.

about 3 months ago
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Target Confirms Point-of-Sale Malware Was Used In Attack

Old97 Re:NSA-level shit (250 comments)

Whooooosh!

about 3 months ago
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Target Confirms Point-of-Sale Malware Was Used In Attack

Old97 Re:NSA-level shit (250 comments)

The NSA is an intelligence gathering agency; they are not law enforcement. They have no jurisdictional boundaries to their operations. As a U.S. government agency they are supposed to have to observe some niceties insofar as operating in the U.S. and targeting U.S. citizens what with the Constitution and all. Their failure to always do that is where they've gone wrong. And, as you've indicated, they've probably collected so much information that its getting in the way of useful intelligence analysis. Too much can be worse than not enough. The other fun fact is that they and their allied agencies in other countries seemed to get around some restrictions by letting the "foreigners" do the spying on the domestics for them and then exchanging what they collected.

about 3 months ago
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Many Mac OS Users Not Getting Security Updates

Old97 Re:Does it matter? (380 comments)

Was it also removed from Windows Server? The government procurement requirement for Posix only applied to server operating systems. Though in all the development I've done in the Federal space using C/C++, we never talked about or considered whether or not something we were calling was part of Posix or not. Of course, I work in the application space so maybe others did. Federal fondness for Java makes Posix moot in the application space now.

about 3 months ago
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Many Mac OS Users Not Getting Security Updates

Old97 Re:Does it matter? (380 comments)

Who cares about Posix? It's a checklist item for government procurement but in practical terms means nothing. It's a subset API. Windows NT was Posix compliant.

about 3 months ago
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Senators Propose Bill Prohibiting Phone Calls On Planes

Old97 Better yet ... (513 comments)

I think a better solution is that once you've achieved cruising altitude that passenger can petition for a vote of all passengers to have specific annoying passengers literally thrown off the planes. No parachute, just a good heave. As annoying cell phone users are - shouting in their phones, etc. - seat kickers, loud drunks, crying babies and others deserve some sort of retribution too.

about 4 months ago
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Arizona Commissioner Probes Utility's Secret Funding of Anti-Solar Campaign

Old97 Re:Its a shame. (207 comments)

There is nothing in the post that provides any indication much less evidence that the money spent on this by APS came from anything that was in violation of the terms of their monopoly and rates. So unless you have special inside information you are not sharing, you've just proved the point that the term "ratepayer money" used in the summation is prejudicial and inflammatory. In the meantime you can share with me a justified outrage about their admitted lying.

about 6 months ago
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Arizona Commissioner Probes Utility's Secret Funding of Anti-Solar Campaign

Old97 Re:Its a shame. (207 comments)

Yes, the use of the term "ratepayer money" is prejudicial and inflammatory as well as misleading. That's pretty typical with Slashdot and almost every other source on the internet. However, the primary objection expressed is that APS lied. I, and others, object that APS, Exxon, Koch brothers and others astroturf their positions, i.e. they set up phoney "citizen" organizations and sites to push their views so people will not be aware of their financial interests in the debate's outcome. That's dishonest and does not contribute to honest open discussion and debate or to science. It's O.K. to promote a position that you benefit from - whether its financial or biological (like health), but it's not O.K. to use deceit to hide your motivations. What they are afraid of, I think, is that people will more closely examine their scientific methods and conclusions if they know you have a vested interest in a particular outcome.

Just to be preemptive, advocates on any side of any position can have a vested interest in a particular outcome. We should always be skeptical.

about 6 months ago
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Why Does Windows Have Terrible Battery Life?

Old97 Re:Its a full desktop OS... (558 comments)

You're right (and sourcing Wikipedia) that it's FreeBSD and NetBSD, not OpenBSD. Other sources I've read have said that there is very little Mach 3 (except the kernel) left and Mac OS X is primarily *BSD these days . And you are right that Apple implemented most of the power savings. None of this changes my gist which is, Mac OS X is a desktop operating system that unlike Windows, manages battery life very well. So it is possible, isn't it?

On the second point about refactoring/re-engineering you've overlooked some facts. One is that Apple has releases like Snow Leopard that are primarily a refactoring of the previous version in order to set the stage for future improvements. They also replace frameworks (Cocoa versus Carbon) instead of layering one on the other (Windows API versus MFC). Microsoft, on the other hand just keeps piling it on and is, by Gates own words, more interested in features than fixing underlying issues. Linux and *BSD also do a good job of keeping things from gunking up by avoiding a lot of tight coupling of features to the OS kernel and each other.

So yes, Windows NT was not only new, it was MS's first full operating system. Windows was until then a GUI environment on a control program/monitor - not a full blown OS. However, NT is big and has gotten bigger thanks to Microsoft continuously adding on new tightly coupled layers, e.g. COM/ActiveX, Windows MFC and above, etc. Remember how MS argued to the EU that they couldn't remove IE from Windows because it was so tightly coupled to the OS? Relative to Apple and the *ix communities, Microsoft has not managed the underlying OS architecture very well and that makes it difficult for it to make non-superficial changes quickly.

Microsoft has a business model that demands it make big bucks selling the OS because it doesn't own the hardware business. They've also been incented to tightly couple applications and features to the OS in order to preserve their market advantages. That has led it to where it is now which is an OS that doesn't manage power use very well and is difficult to change. The bottom line is that Windows performance in terms of power management is due to Microsoft's decisions and is not due to the fact that its a desktop OS.

about 6 months ago

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