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Ask Slashdot: What Can I Really Do With a Smart Watch?

cjonslashdot Re:Step on it when it doesnt' work (229 comments)

I am the editor for Transition2Agile.com and I would like to continue this dialog with you directly (if you are willing). Can you please email me? My email address is cliff AT Transition2Agile.com. My own personal focus has been the application of Agile in high assurance business environments - like banks - and your comments about banking software are really interesting to me. Thanks! Best regards - Cliff

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Can I Really Do With a Smart Watch?

cjonslashdot Re:Step on it when it doesnt' work (229 comments)

The issue is that we are not requiring sufficient quality in software. Imagine where we are headed - the "Internet Of Things" (IOT). Programmed devices everywhere, all requiring updates constantly, all security risks, and of the hundreds of devices that you interact with every day, some percent don't do what they are supposed to do at any given moment. It adds up to a very frustrating day. I for one am not looking forward to it. If there are hundreds of programmed devices in our vicinity, 99% reliable is not enough - we need 99.999% - otherwise life will become shit.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Can I Really Do With a Smart Watch?

cjonslashdot Step on it when it doesnt' work (229 comments)

Everything you buy today - especially things with software - will cause you grief - error codes, constant software updates, hacked, frozen and race conditions, and general frustration - so you have to ask yourself, is it worth it?

3 days ago
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AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

cjonslashdot Nature finds a way (417 comments)

Pitiful to think that we could anticipate how this might go wrong.

about two weeks ago
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A Case Against Further Government Spectrum Auctions

cjonslashdot I agree: auctioning is the wrong approach (66 comments)

I agree. Auctioning creates a "pay to play" system. Spectrum is a fixed resource - it should be allocated based on social policy - not based on who can pay the most. And when someone pays for it, they have every right to feel that they "own" it - and that undermines the government's ability to manage it: to adjust rules as situations change over time. Auctioning a fixed public resource is nothing less than prostitution of our public assets.

about two weeks ago
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IoT Is the Third Big Technology 'Wave' In the Last 50 Years, Says Harvard

cjonslashdot What a horror! (196 comments)

I can't wait: We will all be surrounded by a sea of devices, all beta quality - as is the norm today - such that every single day will involve struggle with 5% of the devices not doing what they are supposed to do; and all will require constant software updates; and all will have security vulnerabilities. Nice. Please count me out!

about three weeks ago
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Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing

cjonslashdot Should also stop learning to walk (523 comments)

I guess we should stop learning to walk because we have cars now.

Oh wait - what happens when things change, like there is a war, or an economic depression - and the electric grid goes down - and we can't charge our laptops - or even buy one?

about three weeks ago
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AT&T To Repay $80 Million In Shady Phone Bill Charges

cjonslashdot And no one is going to prison? (61 comments)

That's why these companies just keep on doing this.

about 2 months ago
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Studies Conclude Hands-Free-calling and Apple Siri Distract Drivers

cjonslashdot Re:So does scratching your nose (208 comments)

Yes, tuning the radio is very distracting. In fact, cars that pop up alerts are very dangerous IMO. And the worst designs are those that have modal displays: e.g., when the radio shows either the time or the station and you have to toggle to see one or the other - that takes your eyes off the road. One thing is for sure: dialing a phone is _very_ distracting - as much as texting. I agree with you that talking on the phone is not a great idea in general. I am just not ready to completely eliminate it, because I think that sometimes it is a rational risk if one compensates by being extra careful. But again, people in general do not have the best judgment about these things, so perhaps it should be banned. I personally am really looking forward to driverless cars!

about 2 months ago
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Studies Conclude Hands-Free-calling and Apple Siri Distract Drivers

cjonslashdot Re:So does scratching your nose (208 comments)

I am not like those people who talk on their phone all the time, including when they are picking up their kids. I am on my cellphone rarely, but when I do use it, it is really beneficial, and I am very careful. I tend to agree with you that many people are not so careful and they use it too much behind the wheel. In the morning I see so many people chatting on their phones while driving. I think that since their risky driving puts us all at risk, it might be better to limit cellphone use while driving, but it is a shame, because it penalizes those who are very careful.

about 2 months ago
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Studies Conclude Hands-Free-calling and Apple Siri Distract Drivers

cjonslashdot Re:So does scratching your nose (208 comments)

So that is a judgment - an exercise of intelligence. You are making a judgment that turning the radio knob will not put you in danger. Presumably you do it at a moment when you have several car lengths in front of you. Also, have you ever arrived at a destination and then realized that you don't remember anything about driving there? Perhaps you were lost in thought the whole time...

about 2 months ago
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Studies Conclude Hands-Free-calling and Apple Siri Distract Drivers

cjonslashdot Re:So does scratching your nose (208 comments)

My friend, are you saying that you don't listen to the radio while driving? And are you saying that you don't talk to other passengers while driving? Do you use a GPS system while driving?

about 2 months ago
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Studies Conclude Hands-Free-calling and Apple Siri Distract Drivers

cjonslashdot Re:So does scratching your nose (208 comments)

Life is not about eliminating all risk. It is about managing risk in an intelligent manner. Driving is by itself very dangerous, so if we undertake the minimize risk, we should not drive at all. My point above was that it is very possible to intelligently and carefully use a cellphone and drive - just as it is possible to listen to the radio and drive safely. I am sure that studies would show that radios cause distraction as well. That is not saying that everyone will use a cellphone safely - on that I certainly agree!

about 2 months ago
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Studies Conclude Hands-Free-calling and Apple Siri Distract Drivers

cjonslashdot So does scratching your nose (208 comments)

And I would rather be a tiny bit distracted, at a safe moment when I make sure that I have plenty of car lengths in front of me, than be lost, wandering around trying to find my way. The maps application is one of the best driving innovations every. And Siri is fantastic, in that you don't have to fiddle with an address book on your car's console - you just say, "Call Joe". To me, it _enhances_ safety. And for those who think that I should not talk and drive, then remember the times that you were running late, and felt the need to rush, whereas by calling someone and saying you are a little bit late, you remove the pressure and you can slow down.

about 2 months ago
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Silk Road Lawyers Poke Holes In FBI's Story

cjonslashdot Parallel construction (191 comments)

The FBI probably got surveillance data from the NSA, but cannot admit that, so they concocted another explanation, and the concocted explanation is falling apart.

about 3 months ago
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Microsoft Announces Windows 10

cjonslashdot Windows has become irrelevant (644 comments)

They should just liquidate the company and give the money back to the shareholders. ;-) Oh wait, Michael Dell said that about Apple.

about 3 months ago
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'Google Buses' Are Bad For Cities, Says New York MTA Official

cjonslashdot Re:Ain't no body got time for that (606 comments)

I agree.

I commuted into Washington DC for a year and it was hell. The noise, and just walking on the sidewalk was stressful, with the traffic and congestion and all the drivers in a horrible mood because of it. And when using the metro (subway), I would have to deal with sleet and snow and rain and walking long distances from the metro stop to my destination, avoiding cars and buses and horrible weather, usually with the stress of being on the verge of being late because commuting took such a large chunk of my day.

Today I have a really nice house on a lake in a suburb. I could not have a home like this in a city - it would cost tens of millions of dollars. I can walk to the store if I choose (or kayak there), as well as kayak on the lake for exercise (which I do several times a week), and bicycle on a nearby path with no cars and lots of quiet and beautiful scenery. And nowadays I have a very pleasant 20 minute commute to my job in a suburban office - on the ground floor with windows and my car parked right outside instead of me tucked away up in some high rise prison.

Why anyone would want to live or work in a city mystifies me.

about 10 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

cjonslashdot Re:Because we are stuck in an imperative paradigm (876 comments)

The rationale for a graphical approach is that one can visualize concurrent behavior more easily.

Structure is also easier to perceive if it is visually apparent - unless it is cluttered up with detail level features, as you have pointed out. So to be able to perceive large scale structure, one must "factor" low level features into larger, more conceptual structure.

I agree that software tools on the market for "visual programming" are not what we want here: you are completely right about those tools being suitable only for simple programs. I am talking about the class of models/designs that represent concurrent behavior, including event oriented designs.

For example, consider a system that is designed completely around events. If one can visualize the inter-connection of components, and one annotates each component with the types of events that it generates (perhaps using expressions), one can easily grasp the overall behavior much more easily than one could if that same design were expressed textually. Thoughts?

PS - I was on the team that designed the VHDL language at Intermetrics circa 1984, and I built the first synthesis compiler for VHDL, so I definitely appreciate your points. I am just not convinced that we are not on a path that is a result of the dominant computing paradigm (imperative programming), rather than the optimal path... I have been out of the HDL field for a long time though, but I often build simulation models of complex systems, and a visual paradigm seems to really help with analysis. That is what makes me wonder about visual approaches to design. I have also wondered about the fact that software programs - created using an imperative paradigm - are so buggy, whereas electronic systems tend to be far more error free. What are your thoughts on why that is?

about 10 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

cjonslashdot Re:Because we are stuck in an imperative paradigm (876 comments)

Interesting. Thanks for the clarification.

I can see that low level schematics would be hopelessly complex to wade through, and would be missing "intent". But what about design level?

E.g., suppose that the design was based on an event paradigm? In that case, the signals are high level flows of information, and the events triggering the signals are not electrical level, but rather are at a conceptual level such as "task A completed".

I wonder if an even based programming paradigm would lend itself to a more graphical approach.

about 10 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

cjonslashdot Re:Because we are stuck in an imperative paradigm (876 comments)

Is it really true that IC are designed with HDLs? I worked in that field during the '80s, so things might have changed; but back then, graphical tools were used, and then the final design was documented using an HDL. I.e., the HDL (e.g., VHDL) was a final generated output, but was not used during the actual design process.

Good point about symbols documenting intent. Symbols enable a comment to refer to something else, e.g., "module ABC".

about 10 months ago

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