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Computer Error Grounds Flights In the UK

SimonInOz Old specs (68 comments)

When I worked on the radar system for south east England in 1977, the requirements included allowing for a madman in the computer room with an axe.

It was supposed to fail back gradually, eventually all the way to analog passive radar.

Whatever happened to decent requirements?

And get off my lawn!

about two weeks ago
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Discovery Claims It Will Show a Man Being "Eaten Alive" By an Anaconda

SimonInOz Re:Poor animal. (164 comments)

"get's" ?? I think you meant "gets"

Ich danke Ihnen

about a month ago
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New Website Offers Provably Fair Solutions To Everyday Problems

SimonInOz Re:Toilet etiquette (167 comments)

>> This is a function based on how many males vs females there are, and how often a male needs to, er, sit.

No it isn't.
The logical thing to do is the minimum possible - ie leave the seat where it is when the operation is complete. When the next user comes along they may - or may not - have to adjust it.

Or are you suggesting that women reverse blindly into a bathroom and sit down?

about a month and a half ago
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New Website Offers Provably Fair Solutions To Everyday Problems

SimonInOz Re:Toilet etiquette (167 comments)

Yeah - how come nobody ever asks "Why can't women put the damned seat up after them? They are so inconsiderate."

Maybe someone could hack one of those dopey toilet seat closers?

about a month and a half ago
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Solving the Mystery of Declining Female CS Enrollment

SimonInOz Re:Honestly, who gives a fuck? (608 comments)

More important is - why aren't men going into teaching? Much more concerning.
We seem to be entering a world where everyone is being taught to be female.

Males - in my experience - work well alone, can delve very deeply into things. Females are better with group work, and tend to take a broader approach.

We need both, sure.
But as people tend to go for jobs and careers they think they might be good at ... maybe we should let them choose?

Overly sexually biased workplaces tend to be painful - over female and you get bitch city and bullying, over male and you get macho posturing and bullying. A mixture is nice. We used to have male occupations leavened by admin assistants, invariably female, and traditionally female occupations usually had males about for some stuff.
But with the automation of many tasks, thing get more concentrated. And we have lost that mix.

about 2 months ago
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NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders

SimonInOz Re:Can we stop trying to come up with a reason? (786 comments)

I started my Computer Science degree in 1973 (yes, yes, get off my lawn, etc ... but I'm still coding and quite well paid so there).
There were very few women - two I think, maybe three in a class of maybe 30. And they were terrible. I recall explaining arrays to one girl ... in third year. (Mind you, many of the blokes were equally terrible, but some were brilliant).

Over the years I have encountered few good female coders - not zero, but few.
I have encountered a number of female sysadmins - and good ones, at that.
But project managers - lots more women, and good ones to boot.

So maybe, just maybe ... different sexes tend to be good at different things. Just like our parents assumed.

Gosh. How about that.

Let the trolling commence.

about 2 months ago
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US Remains Top Country For Global Workers

SimonInOz Re:Diversity vs monoculture (123 comments)

I left Britain fairly early on - first I went to Europe (Holland/Belgium), where there was money to be made, and anyway it was fun. Then, after a couple of years off, I tried the UK once again, but the weather drove me away (all the unpleasant stories about the English weather are true, unfortunately. Warming up a bit might improve the place a lot).
So I fled to Australia.
Decent climate, English spoken, high tech, in fact a decent country all round.

Thirty years later I'm still there.

This is how I chose ...
USA - the visa challenges repelled me (I don't fancy it these days, it seems to have lost/sold its soul)
Canada - too cold
India not my cup of tea,
China - wasn't on my radar at the time, and the language difficulties would have been formidable,
South Africa - no thanks
Various European countries - language problems
New Zealand - pretty, but cold

So I'll stay in Australia, thanks! Sunny today, with a very small chance of invasions later in the day.

about 2 months ago
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Google's Security Guards Are Now Officially Google Employees

SimonInOz Re:Wow (134 comments)

Ok. You can be on my lawn. Good show.

about 2 months ago
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Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

SimonInOz Societal balance (425 comments)

Would you like to enter a sweepstake on how many male soldiers, as opposed to female, die in action? I'm betting 100:1. Or maybe higher. But I bet any that do die will get huge coverage.

It's amazing, is it not, how appalled "society" is by violence against women, but violence against men is not only expected, but actively encouraged?

Our society is way off balance. We assume and expect men to perform all the dirty and dangerous jobs - soldiers, garbage men, oil drilling, you name it - and expect them to die to defend women under all circumstances.

But such responsibilities seem to garner no extra rights at all. Indeed, it looks like the reverse - divorces, for example, generally leave men poor (they usually lose significantly more than half the assets earned by the sweat of their brow - not their partners, and their future income is slashed ... even if the split was initiated by the female, as it usually is), utterly distraught - they usually lose decent access to their children (an event described by most people as "worse punishment than death"), and they are frequently accused of horrible crimes (claiming male on female domestic assault gets you free court representation in many places, so is embarrassingly common, with no vestige of punishment on the lying party should it be demonstrated untrue. Funnily enough, claiming it the other way (somewhat more common according to independent research [Harvard]) gets you nothing).

It seems to me, if we are to have a just and balanced society, either we perform ALL the same roles - nurse, teacher, CEO, soldier - and take the same risks, and are treated actually equally, or we should consider how else to balance things. (I love the "women get paid more than men" meme. Women control the spending of 75%+ of the worlds money - have you ever been to a shopping mall? Have you ever counted the number of shops devoted specifically to "women's stuff"? It's amazing).

One this is pretty certain, though. The mediaeval society seemingly sought by ISIS/ISIL/Daesh/wherever the heck these dopey folk want to call themselves this week is not a nice one. Especially for women. You'd think women would be lining up in droves to kill it off - but they don't, that's "men's work". Hmm, funny how that works out when push comes to shove.

So come on women - how about some SheForShe activity? Go fight the bastards and let the males take a break. Leave the kids - single fathers do a much better job in bringing up children anyway - lower rates of drug taking, teenage pregnancy, truancy, check the figures.
After all, that's what "society" seems to expect the fathers to do.

about 2 months ago
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Google's Security Guards Are Now Officially Google Employees

SimonInOz Re:Wow (134 comments)

>> its not uncommon for a place to run there own guards. one are local hospitals have there own guards. they only used outside guards for when they where moving to a new building and the tare down of the old one.

Ok, try again ...

It's not uncommon for a place to run their own guards. For example our local hospitals have their own guards. They only used outside guards when they were moving to a new building and during the tear-down of the old one.

Fixed that for you. I mean, really. And get off my lawn.

about 2 months ago
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Will Apple Lose Siri's Core Tech To Samsung?

SimonInOz Re:Tech Companies have become warring fiefdoms (161 comments)

>> Or is it because the corporate culture (the ROI mentality) that has taken over (in almost all the big tech companies that I know) and it is killing the tech field as we know it?

Yes.

about 3 months ago
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Finland's Nuclear Plant Start Delayed Again

SimonInOz Re:But the good news is (130 comments)

I put a software system into a nuclear plant in, oh, 1978. It was a pair of PDP-11 machines, had graphic colour monitors, multiple terminals, and a host of monitoring software, mostly written in FORTRAN, if I remember correctly.
It went in more or less on time, and seemingly behaved well.
This was in Holland - and the plant was the cleanest place I have ever seen (a lot cleaner than the hot strip steel mill I worked in some years later).
The project lasted about 6 months.

Why are they taking so long? The reactors are pretty much the same, the software is much more sophisticated, and the people are just the same.

about 4 months ago
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New Nail Polish Alerts Wearers To Date Rape Drugs

SimonInOz Re: The world we live in. (595 comments)

>> strait alcohol

Hmm. Is that alcohol served in a very narrow glass, perhaps?

about 4 months ago
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South Carolina Student Arrested For "Killing Pet Dinosaur"

SimonInOz Re:Land of insanity (421 comments)

And in Australia ...
A while ago, my daughter, aged approx 14, wrote a rather scary essay all about grooming of girls for sex. It was a creepy story - about creepy people.
The school was shocked, called her in for counselling, and called me. After a while they settled down, came to the conclusion she was not writing about real life, and let the story stand.

No police, no arrests, sensible consultation. I think they did a much better job.

Scary essay though. Where did she get it all from?

about 4 months ago
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Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

SimonInOz Re:Agile can fuck off. (239 comments)

Oh yeah. Agile is institutionalised micromanagement.
It's horrible. Nobody ever gets the opportunity to actually think, there is no global view, there are no innovations.
But big piles (I use the word advisedly) of code get written - and tested.

And "sprints" ... has any actual sprinter tried to keep doing "sprints"? Get a bit tired and inefficient, did they? Paint me surprised.

about 4 months ago
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The Technologies Changing What It Means To Be a Programmer

SimonInOz Re:what a load of utter bullshit (294 comments)

I've been doing this full-time since 1977, and the most distressing part is how little real change there has been in all that time!

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: When Is It Better To Modify the ERP vs. Interfacing It?

SimonInOz Re:Major application vendor headaches... (209 comments)

True, they are in it for the money. It looks great to management - they think they can outsource risk! And so they can at first, but at considerable cost, especially later, and they end up with all the IP of their company known, and held, by external parties.

And they will be held to ransom.

And I have to say, I'd never put Oracle very high on my list of good value suppliers. Big, certainly, capable even, rapacious, sure, but good value, never. And their idea of integration is not mine. Not even close.

On the other hand, Oracle did sponsor - and win - the most impressive America's Cup series seen to date. That has to count for something, right? (Yup, Oracle's team of Aussies just managed to beat New Zealand's team of Aussies. Strange world we live in).

(Yes, I've been into into sailing and computing for forty years - and can be a bit boring on either).

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: When Is It Better To Modify the ERP vs. Interfacing It?

SimonInOz Re:No matter how common you think it is... (209 comments)

Mind you, slashdotters seem to get through a lot of hot air, so they obviously do know about HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning).

about 5 months ago

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