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Ask Slashdot: Best Rapid Development Language To Learn Today?

conoviator Stop Stalling. Use Python. (466 comments)

Tons of online books and tutorials. See https://wiki.python.org/moin/P... . Python is my go-to language for just getting stuff done. I use it for damn near everything these days, except mobile apps, which I code natively.

about 5 months ago

AOL Reverses Course On 401K Match; CEO Apologizes

conoviator Tim Armstrong's Performance at Google (123 comments)

I'd appreciate hearing from Google employees about their impressions of Mr. Armstrong while he was an executive at Google. Is this a case of a competent upper level executive proving themselves too flawed to run a company as CEO?

about 10 months ago

Electrical Engineering Lost 35,000 Jobs Last Year In the US

conoviator Re:Afraid of bugged hardware? (397 comments)

At this point, I see little evidence that the U.S. citizenry has perceived the clues that are very obvious: free-market religion is destroying their country. Which also happens to be my country, alas.

about 10 months ago

US Justice Blocks Implementation of ACA Contraceptive Mandate

conoviator Another Issue Avoided by Universal Healthcare (903 comments)

Once we have universal healthcare provided by our government, this problem goes away. Perhaps in my children's lifetime.

about a year ago

Chromebooks Have a Lucrative Year; Should WinTel Be Worried?

conoviator Re:Any of them make a good Hackintosh? (321 comments)

Before jumping into iOS development in a very big way, I stuck a toe in the OSX waters by converting my old Toshiba notebook into a Hackintosh. It's been a few years. As I recall, it worked pretty well; but, would sometimes crash at inconvenient moments. My primary computer is now a three-year-old Macbook Pro. There are enough used Macs on the market to make Hackintosh less useful.

about a year ago

Australian Dept. Store Chain's Website Crashes and Can't Get Back Up

conoviator Re:Cost center only? (156 comments)

I briefly worked for a small grocery chain a few years ago in Bellingham, WA. IT personnel were of a much lower caste. Never mind that the whole operation would have almost immediately ceased to function if the technology folks took a walk en masse. Grocery operations culture placed a very large value on antiquated rituals, rather than useful new industry approaches. I recall how the clueless CEO and his direct reports would gather every few days in the BIG MEETING ROOM to strategize about next week's coupons -- coupons printed in the junk mail flyers that most folks probably just tossed directly into the recycle bin.

about 10 months ago

NYT: Healthcare.gov Project Chaos Due Partly To Unorthodox Database Choice

conoviator MarkLogic's Pitch (334 comments)

From a slide that promotes MarkLogic's appropriateness for the health exchange's particular set of challenges:

  • - Highly complex data in many formats that change often and have varying quality
  • - Massive amounts of data at high velocity; highly transactional
  • - Highly structured data, but multiple and changing schemas

See: http://assets1.csc.com/innovation/downloads/LEFBriefing_MarkLogic_031512.pdf (slide 23)

My two cents:

  • When faced with a very complicated software project, use what's been proved to work.
  • Why would the CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) dictate this particular less common technology? Very strange.

1 year,3 days

Airline Pilots Rely Too Much On Automation, Says Safety Panel

conoviator 'Real Flying' with a lot of help from Fly-by-wire (270 comments)

Sully may have been able to ditch successfully without it; but, William Langewiesche makes a strong case that the Airbus A320's fly-by-wire software was an important factor in the favorable outcome of the procedure. See http://www.vanityfair.com/style/features/2009/06/us_airways200906 and the expanded account in Langewiesche's excellent book, 'Fly by Wire: The Geese, the Glide, the Miracle on the Hudson.' I'm an instrument-rated private pilot who is in awe of both Captain Sullenberger and the Airbus engineering team.

1 year,6 days

Tour Houston's Texas-Sized Hackerspace (Video 1 of 2)

conoviator Re:Ninfa's (57 comments)

And it's a stone's throw from Last Concert Cafe -- a great place for a quick lunch. Used to go there years ago before relocating to the Pacific NW. http://www.lastconcert.com/

about a year ago

Steve Appleton, Micron CEO, Dies In Plane Crash

conoviator Re:Experimental aircraft (116 comments)

During flight training, pilots are drilled very frequently in doing essentially exactly that. The instructor will suddenly decrease the throttle, then announce "Okay, you just lost your engine. What are you going to do?" In my experience, this simulation will only happen when "at altitude" -- safely high enough to disallow any real risk in case the engine fails to spin up again. Airline pilots are fortunate enough to have very realistic simulator training that can reproduce the situational context effectively. But, this isn't the case for primary flight training. So, no instructor is going to execute the above drill immediately after taking off when still low to the ground (the situation that led to Appleton's crash).

more than 2 years ago

Steve Appleton, Micron CEO, Dies In Plane Crash

conoviator Re:Experimental aircraft (116 comments)

Classic stall/spin sequence. Given Appleton's apparently large amount of experience, it is sobering to pilots like myself to be reminded that even accomplished pilots can make fatal errors. As much as we drill on how to handle these scenarios, there is a powerful urge to return to the runway. A few weeks after I passed my PP check ride twenty years ago, a high school boy practicing for his own check ride encountered engine problems with the rental airplane that I flew for most of my training. He could have landed the airplane in almost any direction (very large and empty farm fields all around). But, no, he tried to crank the airplane around in a 180 to get back to the runway from which he had just departed. Toast. Complete waste of a life. Much of flying is about learning to overcome responses to crises that might be reasonable to land-based mammals, but are deadly when air born.

more than 2 years ago

Android Tablets Were Born Too Soon

conoviator Android Tablets Not Premature for our Project (480 comments)

My mass transit agency client was quite happy to replace their mouldering Palm VIII devices with Archos 32 mini tablets. The former were deployed on a U.S. federally mandated passenger survey system that I created years ago. These inexpensive PDA successors have been a pleasure to use. Some of the older surveyors would probably appreciate the larger size of the Archos 43; however, transit agency budgets are tight these days.

Not having (or desiring ... yet) a full-grown mass-consumer tablet, I cannot comment on whether current Android tablet offerings are iPad killers. For my own software development business reasons, I just want to keep having the option of buying and deploying Android mini-tablets for the kinds of business applications that made PDAs essential for many enterprises. This is a fruitful sector to mine.

more than 3 years ago



More backstory emerges about healthcare.gov project chaos

conoviator conoviator writes  |  1 year,5 days

conoviator (1991610) writes "NY Times has just published a piece providing more background on the healthcare.gov software project. One interesting aspect: "Another sore point was the Medicare agency’s decision to use database software, from a company called MarkLogic, that managed the data differently from systems by companies like IBM, Microsoft and Oracle. CGI officials argued that it would slow work because it was too unfamiliar. Government officials disagreed, and its configuration remains a serious problem.""
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