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AirAsia QZ8501 Black Box Found

Paul Carver Re:Disgusting (95 comments)

I can't tell what you're advocating, can you clarify? Are you making the case that planes shouldn't have black boxes?
Or are you advocating that they shouldn't have insurance?

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Resources For Kids Who Want To Make Games?

Paul Carver What about the graphics? (121 comments)

In a related but definitely separate question, what are some resources for kids who are interested in creating the graphics for games? Are they all horribly complicated or are there some good starter tools that kids can use to bridge the gap between utterly awful and years of profesional experience?

about a month ago

Graphene May Top Kevlar As a Bullet-Stopping Material

Paul Carver Re:sane units - FYI (129 comments)

Incorrect. 2000 MPH has one sig fig. Intermediate zeros (2001) and trailing zeros to the right of the decimal (2000.0) are significant but trailing zeros to the left of the decimal are not unless somebody changed introductory Physics since the 90's.

Of course if you want to be unambiguous you should write 2.000 x 10^3 or 2 x 10^3 so we can distinguish between 4 vs 1 sig fig. By moving the trailing zeros to the right of the decimal we've declared them significant. But it is utterly wrong to assuume that 2000 has four sigfigs. It has one unless the precision is specified elsewhere. By "utterly wrong" I mean "you will get points off in high school physics" wrong. That's straight out of the basics of the first sig figs lesson.

about 2 months ago

Congress Suggests Moat, Electronic Fence To Protect White House

Paul Carver Re:Eletronic? (213 comments)

They got it right. Eletronic refers to the new state of the art robotic elephants. They look a bit like Chisulo in body armor, but with more electricity and less biology.

about 2 months ago

The Cult of Elon Musk Shines With Steve Jobs' Aura

Paul Carver Re:I'm OK with this (181 comments)

Steve Jobs was born in 1955, Elon Musk in 1971. Are you sure you want to compare them based on accomplishments to date? I think we can assume Jobs won't be accomplishing anything else, but it's a bit premature to judge Musk's lifetime achievements. Lots of people live into their 70s, some are productive into their 90s, especially if they can afford expensive medical care. Even if Musk were to die at the same age Jobs did, you really aren't giving him a fair comparison unless you restrict your comparison to things Jobs had accomplished by Musk's current age.

about 4 months ago

Link Between Salt and High Blood Pressure 'Overstated'

Paul Carver Re:CDC guilty of correlation == causation (291 comments)

Then slowly adding solid food, starting with only raw foods. It took a couple of months to work up to eating chicken again.

I'm going to have to pass on any diet that includes raw chicken. I'm also very skeptical of the claim that drinking juice has any benefits that aren't present in just eating whatever the juice came from. Bottled juices are convenient because of the shelf life. If you're sticking a fresh item into a juicer you could have gotten all the same benefits by just sticking it directly in your mouth. Your stomach liquifies everything anyway.

If you've got a GI disorder that prevents you from digesting or eliminating then you'll need to be on clear fluids and IV but for non-GI disorders the rest of your body doesn't care whether the food was solid or liquid when it entered your mouth. Either way it was broken down into its fundamental constituents before it passed into your bloodstream.

about 4 months ago

Floridian (and Southern) Governmental Regulations Are Unfriendly To Solar Power

Paul Carver Re:Big deal (306 comments)

In Florida(depending on county, in this case, Lee county) they take 20 plus Ariel pictures of each property every year

Ariel who? Are you talking about the little mermaid or someone else?


about 6 months ago

Cox Promises National Gigabit Rollout; Starting With Phoenix, Las Vegas, Omaha

Paul Carver Re:In addition to rolling out... (129 comments)

No, NYC is too corrupt and too union. It doesn't help that everything in NYC is expensive, but don't imagine for a minute that running high speed fiber in NYC is just a matter of buying the fiber and paying a competitive hourly wage for somebody to run it through a conduit. There's definitely a reason why no little startup is just buying some cheap datacenter grade GigE switches and running new fiber building to building in NYC.

about 8 months ago

Duo Sneak an Oculus Rift Onto Roller Coaster For a Wild Ride

Paul Carver Re:And the point is ... (81 comments)

The Sum of All Thrills ride at Epcot basically does this. It's not a roller coaster, it's a two person capsule on the end of a multi axis robotic arm. But the result is the same. All sorts of video and audio options synchronized to multidirectional movements and spins.

about 9 months ago

AT&T Introduces "Sponsored Data" Allowing Services to Bypass 4G Data Caps

Paul Carver Re:Clever? (229 comments)

Interesting interpretation of the word "lost" you've got there. Right in the headline of the article you linked to it says "AT&T lost $3.9 billion in Q4 2012, earned $7.3 billion profit for the year".

But I suppose you could be referring to $7.3 billion profit for the year as 3+ billion per quarter if you're bad at dividing by four.

Nevertheless, according to page 30 of AT&T's annual report http://www.att.com/Investor/ATT_Annual/2012/downloads/ar2012_annual_report.pdf the dollar amounts (in millions of dollars) for "Construction and capital expenditures" for the past few years are:
2012 19,728
2011 20,272
2010 20,302
2009 17,294
2008 20,290

So 17-20 billion dollars per year in construction and capital improvements. If you've got evidence to show that AT&T is NOT investing tens of billions of dollars per year in improving the network you should maybe contact the SEC or FCC. Otherwise, it's not really polite to imply that AT&T isn't investing in infrastructure without evidence to support your claims.

Disclaimer: I work for AT&T but not in wireless or in finance. But I'm well aware of AT&T's public communications of how much the company is investing.

1 year,21 days

Ask Slashdot: State of the Art In DIY Security Systems?

Paul Carver Standards based interfaces? (248 comments)

I haven't looked into it lately but it used to be that composite analog video (i.e. NTSC/PAL) quality was the only standard. Any higher quality video was proprietary and often required Internet Explorer. The only other option was using something like zone minder or motion to grab jpegs as quickly as possible and create videos after the fact.

Has the situation improved? Are there cameras available that provide live realtime HD quality video without a dependence on the camera vendor's software or a web browser plugin?

1 year,25 days

The New York Times Pushes For Clemency For Snowden

Paul Carver Re:How about complete amnesty (354 comments)

I think a reasonable case could be made that the NSA is the enemy of America and Snowden was operating behind enemy lines in direct contact with anti-freedom forces with great power to destroy him. While he may not have been in an armed forces branch of the US government he WAS acting at great personal risk to defend the US constitution from those who have demonstrated their willingness to violate it. The constitution must be protected from enemies foreign AND domestic. Snowden is fighting to do so even if he never actually swore that oath.

1 year,25 days

What's Lost When a Meeting Goes Virtual

Paul Carver Socialization vs getting work done (96 comments)

Humans are social creatures so there is often business value in spending some money to allow people to socialize, hang out, and eat and drink together. That's where face to face meetings are irreplaceable.

However, if the work is well understood and there aren't personality conflicts that need to be worked out and team cooperation to be built, then teleconferencing is much more effective. In person meetings and whiteboards facilitate "winging it" whereas teleconferencing (I mean with screens sharing, not just voice) tends to encourage getting your information into at least somewhat organized electronic form. This can be harder, but it's harder because it's not allowing you to be as lazy as just sitting around talking and maybe scrawling an incomplete and inaccurate diagram on the whiteboard that you never bother finishing or archiving for future reference.

I wish my employer would spring for a bit more business travel, but I would be lying if I said it would make me more productive.

I should also mention that instant messaging with presence indication is also an essential component of working across geographic distance. I'm much more effective working with people when glance at a list of names on my screen shows me instantly who's available at this moment. The people who are never "online" in IM require a much more inconvenient phone call/voicemail/email/walk down the hall.

I have certainly wasted time at in person meetings waiting idly by while someone I wanted to talk to was busy talking to someone else about some topic that didn't require my attention.

about a year ago

In Praise of Micromanagement

Paul Carver Re:Let me see if I understand this... (136 comments)

No, he was an expert in knowing what a large number of people will think looks cool. I didn't buy anything while I was there, but when I was in the vicinity of the Apple store in NYC I certainly went inside to take a look around. The building itself is basically a work of art and the staircase is at least as much a part of the art as anything else.

A staircase alone won't sell phones or computers, but Jobs didn't focus on just a staircase. He treated buildings as part of the Apple package. If you can't see why that's important then you'll never be as successful as Jobs.

Of course that's ok. It's not necessary for everyone to be as successful as Steve Jobs. But if you're putting a lot of effort into trying to prove that he wasn't *really* successful you might want to take a look at your own life and ask why it's so important to you to find faults and convince people that he wasn't talented.

about a year ago

Apple Now the World's Most Valuable Brand, Knocks Off Coca-Cola

Paul Carver Re:Obligatory Steve Jobs quote (208 comments)

Obviously model matters, but I stopped using a dedicated GPS specifically BECAUSE of time to acquire a signal. Granted both of the dedicated GPS units I bought are now quite old, but I needed a new cell phone anyway so I didn't really feel it was worth the extra money to keep buying newer dedicated GPS units.

My phone gets help from cell tower triangulation that jump starts the more accurate GPS acquisition. Neither of my dedicated GPS units have that. This really hits home when not wanting to spend extra for the optional GPS in a rental car at an airport. Bringing along my own GPS was a total waste because it would have a lot of trouble acquiring a location after a plane flight. My phone would have a good enough location fix while still inside the concrete parking structure whereas the dedicated GPS unit would take a good 5-10 minutes of clear sky view after pulling out of the parking onto an unfamiliar highway in a strange city.

Even at home, if I start Waze while walking to the car my phone will have a good fix by the time I buckle my seat belt whereas the dedicated GPS won't get a fix for at least 30-60 seconds after I start the car.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Suitable Phone For a 4-Year Old?

Paul Carver Re:don't (682 comments)

Very few of the people who have indoor plumbing need indoor plumbing. Are you advocating a return to outhouses? Or are cell phones a special case where you feel people should only have what they "need"?

Trying to use lack of "need" as a reason why people shouldn't have things heads down a VERY slippery slope of defining exactly what "need" means.

I didn't give my four year old her own phone and now that she's six she only gets to use my old iPhone without a SIM to listen to music. But whether you think she has a "need" for it doesn't figure into my decision at all.

about a year ago

Physicists Discover Geometry Underlying Particle Physics

Paul Carver Re:Hold up. (600 comments)

I think you're reading an awful lot of conviction into four words and a winking smiley. I'd interpret it more as someone who is aware of the mathematics but doesn't feel qualified to render a definitive opinion for OR against.

about a year ago

New Jersey Congressman Seeks To Bar NSA Backdoors In Encryption

Paul Carver Re:Pointless posturing (200 comments)

Everyone has the right to petition the government, but I don't agree that the first amendment guarantees the right to tuck a wad of cash into the petition with a "ps. There's more where that came from if you do as I say" at the end. Interpreting the first amendment as a "right to bribe government officials" is a willful misinterpretation as far as I'm concerned.

And I don't see what the eighth amendment has to do with stocks either. The word "unusual" in that amendment is unfortunately vague. Our current system of corporate run "for profit" prisons would have been very unusual in the late 1700s whereas putting someone in the stocks would not have been anywhere near as unusual. The prohibition on "cruel" also needs some interpretation since a punishment that is entirely free of any hint of unpleasantness can hardly be considered punishment at all. I don't think the eighth was intended to entirely prohibit punishment of wrongdoing. So with regard to stocks there could be some room for discussion of whether it is cruel to restrain a wrongdoer in public view of the people they wronged. I don't believe the public should be allowed to physically harm a person confined in the stocks, but a bit of verbal ridicule might be well within the bounds of "not excessively cruel" punishment.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Is Development Leadership Overvalued?

Paul Carver Re:The answer is in your question... (252 comments)

Are you a one man show? It seems hard to believe that any part of a fighter jet would be developed by a lone wolf accountable only to himself/herself. I would have assumed that no fighter jet ever got created without many tiers of management coordinating all the hardware/software/design/building//testing to ensure that all the pieces work together. You may be overestimating your level of responsibility if you're a one man show and you think nobody in management is taking responsibility for ensuring that your piece work, not only by itself but as a piece of the complex whole.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: IT Staff Handovers -- How To Take Over From an Outgoing Sys Admin?

Paul Carver Re:There is only one way... (195 comments)

I'd suggest giving GraphViz a shot. Make sure to check the source files into Git or SVN and pick out a good wiki package. Put URLs in your GraphViz input and have it generate SVG. Then you'll be able to click through your diagrams to the wiki for details.

Just getting the raw connection info into GraphViz source files will be much faster than putting it all into Visio and with them version controlled you can futz around later with layout. You can even pull the generated SVG into Visio or other graphics program for polishing if you really need too.

about a year and a half ago



Should Developers Install Their Software Themselves?

Paul Carver Paul Carver writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Paul Carver (4555) writes "Should developers be responsible for installing the software they develop into production environments? What about System Test environments? I'm not a developer and I'm not all that familiar with Agile or DevOps, but it seems unhealthy to me to have software installs done by developers. I think that properly developed software should come complete with installation instructions that can be followed by someone other than the person who wrote the code.

I'd like to hear opinions from developers. Do you prefer a workplace where you hand off packaged software to other teams to deploy or do you prefer to personally install your software into System Test and then personally install it into production once the System Testers have certified it?

For context, I'm talking about enterprise grade, Internet facing web services sold to end users as well as large companies on either credit card billing or contractual basis with service level agreements and 24x7 Operations support. I'm not talking about little one (wo)man shops and free or Google style years long beta services."

Implementing a search blacklist

Paul Carver Paul Carver writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Paul Carver (4555) writes "Every so often I get very annoyed at the useless sites that turn up in a Google search and wish I had a Google killfile. Has anyone created anything like that? Something that keeps a personal list of sites that you've decided have absolutely no value and edits them out of your search results? My searches so far seem to indicate that Google itself maintains a blacklist, but I would like something more aggressive. I'd like to be able to permanently ban sites from my personal search results regardless of whether Google considers them worthy of a global blacklist."

Paul Carver Paul Carver writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Paul Carver (4555) writes "In the cell phone stories that are posted from time to time I've never seen any discussion of open source development. Are there any brands and/or phone OSs that are open to the development of "quick and dirty" applications? I'm not talking about professional development shops, I'm talking about free or low cost "scratch an itch" creation of little apps with little or no commercial potential. In particular, I'm interested in cell phones rather than smart phones since I'm rough on phones and I don't really trust the durability of the big PDA+Phone, but pointers to getting started on PalmOS or Windows Mobile phones will probably help some people."


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