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Comments

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Apple To Buy ARM?

The Famous Druid Cut the paranoia please. (695 comments)

ARM don't make the chips, they license the basic core design to chip manufacturers, who customize it to their own needs, then sell the chips.
So there's no threat of Android, or anyone else, being denied supply, there's a wide variety of suppliers to choose from.

more than 3 years ago
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Tsunami Warning From Space?

The Famous Druid What if it's cloudy? (351 comments)

You'd need a frakkin powerful laser to punch through clouds from geosynchronous orbit (about 36,000 km above the Earth).
What if it's a sunny day? How bright would the laser need to be to be noticeable in bright tropical sunlight?

about 4 years ago
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NYC Drops $722M On CityTime Attendance System

The Famous Druid The natural outcome of the 'outsourcing' business (306 comments)

For those4 of you who are lucky enough to never have worked on such projects, here's how I.T. outsourcing works...

1. Client calls for tenders on a vaguely-defined project.

2. Outsourcing companies put in bids that are _very_ keenly priced. It's not unusual for the initial big to be a break-even, or even a loss-maker for the outsourcing company.

3. Client chooses lowest bidder - even if other bidders are clearly better-qualified to do the job.

4. Contract is signed, including a clause where any variance to the original spec is to be billed at $X per hour (typically several times the rate for the original work).

5. Every frakking thing in the contract is then gone over with a fine tooth comb, and if any part of the necessary work wasn't explicitly specified, it becomes a variance. Meetings are called with the client to discusss these variances. At every meeting there will be 2 or 3 client representatives, and 6 or 8 contractor representatives, these meetings are billed to the client at $X per person per hour. The longer it takes to agree on the revised specs, the more the contractor makes.

6. Actual work then commences. Inevitably, more ambiguities or outright bugs in the original spec are discovered. This leads to more very profitable (for the contractor) meetings.

7. When the project is half way finished, there's a change in management at the client, and the new manager feels the urge to "make his mark" by having an organizational re-structure. Everyone gets new job titles, new business cards, new reporting lines. This requires changes to the software, which requires more meetings....

The above describes an outsourcing project I worked on where the client was a large private business, where the client is government, you have a whole 'nother layer of bureaucracy adding far more opportunity for highly profitable (for the contractor) meetings.

about 4 years ago
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Why Are Digital Hearing Aids So Expensive?

The Famous Druid Low volume items cost more (727 comments)

The device my company makes is about as complex as an iPod, has similar materials costs to an iPod, but sells for several thousand dollars per unit.
Are we ripping our customers off?
No.
Apple sells millions of iPods, in a good year we sell a few thousand of our product, and we do a lot of R&D, so our cost per unit is quite high.

more than 4 years ago
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I usually fly...

The Famous Druid Missing option - without any mechanical aid at all (549 comments)

Don't laugh, I've done it, involuntarily, in a big storm in Patagonia.

Tip for those who try it, the way to stop flying is to curl up into a tight little ball.

more than 4 years ago
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Why the First Cowboy To Draw Always Gets Shot

The Famous Druid In movies, it's a Morality lesson (398 comments)

The guy who draws first is the agressor, we can't let the agressor win.

That's the same reason that the guy on the roof of the saloon, aiming to shoot the someone in the back, always gets shot just as he's taking aim, and falls impressively to the street. Snipers and back-shooters are bad guys.

more than 4 years ago
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Phone and Text Bans On Drivers Shown Ineffective

The Famous Druid Re:Woman can't stop texting, wrecks 3 cars in 3 ye (406 comments)

>People like this woman will keep driving even after losing a license. They "need" to for blah, blah, blah.
>There really is no rational remedy for habitual dangerous drivers in a car-centric society.

Where I live, if you prove to be a completely irresponsible driver, they take away your car, for 48 hours the first time, then for 3 months, then forever.

more than 4 years ago
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Lines of computer code written in my life:

The Famous Druid Re:More than a million? (395 comments)

>A million lines means 100 lines of code every working day of every year for 50 years.

Um, no, that would be 1,250,000 lines of code.

I've been in the biz for 30 years, a million lines of code works out to about 128 lines per weekday. Not hard to do, if you avoid jobs where you spend most of your life in meetings.

more than 4 years ago
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Best estimate of monthly spending on food:shelter

The Famous Druid 1:0 (582 comments)

<smug> Since I paid off the mortgage. </smug>

more than 4 years ago
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INTERPOL Granted Diplomatic Immunity In the US

The Famous Druid Never let the truth... (450 comments)

...get in the way of a paranoid panic attack.

Don't the tinfoil-hat brigade even bother to read articles before deciding they confirm their worst nightmares?

more than 4 years ago
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How Men and Women Badly Estimate Their Own Intelligence

The Famous Druid Extroverted people are rated as 'smarter' (928 comments)

Another study of teachers, asked to estimate the IQ of their students, found they overestimated the IQ of extroverted kids, and underestimated the IQ of quiet kids. Males tend to be more extroverted than females, so that could explain the perception of males as 'smarter'.

more than 4 years ago
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Harvard Says Computers Don't Save Hospitals Money

The Famous Druid Remote access to specialists (398 comments)

I recently showed up at the ER late at night, with a broken wrist.
The ER doctor looked at the X-rays, then called the fracture specialist at home, who looked at the X-rays on his home computer, and passed on his advice to the ER doctor.

Let's see them do that without computers.

more than 4 years ago
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EFF Warns TI Not To Harass Calculator Hobbyists

The Famous Druid Contrast this with WD's approach... (405 comments)

When they found out that hackers had found a way to bypass the web interface on their MyBook NAS, and gain access to a Linux shell prompt their reaction was...

...To issue a firmware update that had a "Enable SSH access" box in the setup page.

Lots of geeks I know are buying the WD box precisely because it's hacker-friendly.

more than 4 years ago
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Do Retailers Often Screen User Reviews?

The Famous Druid Name the terrible NAS (454 comments)

I'm in the market for a NAS, I'd really appreciate the warning.

more than 4 years ago
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"Smart" Parking Meters Considered Dumb

The Famous Druid Is this solution too easy? (863 comments)

Have 2 meters per block, at the 1/4 and 3/4 mark. Then you'll never park more that 1/4 block from a meter.>br>

With only 1/2 a block worth of cars per meter, you probably won't have to wait in line.

If you whine about walking 1/4 block, I may have to slap you.

more than 4 years ago
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Are Code Reviews Worth It?

The Famous Druid The real value of doing code reviews... (345 comments)

...isn't how much bad code you find.

It's how much bad code never gets written in the first place, because the programmer knows his/her code is going to be reviewed.

When you know your code will be reviewed, you resist the temptation to take the quick-and-dirty shortcut that you know will get picked up in a review, you do it right the first time.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Palin on FOX News: War with Iran in first 100 days

The Famous Druid The Famous Druid writes  |  more than 5 years ago

The Famous Druid (89404) writes "In an interview with FOX News, Sarah Palin reveals her plans for war with Iran in the first 100 days of a McCain/Palin administration.

Palin: Ok, we're confident that we're going to win on Tuesday so from there, those first 100 days, how we're going to kick in the plan that will... ...really shore up the strategies that we need over in Iraq and Iran to win these wars..."

Link to Original Source
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Demonoid goes dark (again)

The Famous Druid The Famous Druid writes  |  more than 6 years ago

The Famous Druid (89404) writes "Popular torrent site demonoid which recently rose from the dead after a tussle with the CRIA, has gone dark again. Visitors to the website now receive the message
"The CRIA threatened the company renting the servers to us, and because of this it is not possible to keep the site online. Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for your understanding.""

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