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Posts by altair

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  • The “Economic Freedom Index” Isn’t

    10/17/2010 12:17:19 PM PDT · 5 of 5
    altair to citizenredstater9271; SeekAndFind
    That America’s market is far from free.

    ... And has been for a looooong time (at least so long as my lifetime goes). Even the Great Ones like The Gipper could only reverse some of the downward spiral and only temporarily.

    Bush/Clinton and Obama have been disasters.

    Oh and if you don't have a good background in the fall of the Roman Empire, now would be a good time to start doing a bit of historical research.

  • Child porn conviction ends man’s dream of becoming a police officer

    10/17/2010 11:36:09 AM PDT · 23 of 36
    altair to barb-tex
    Of course Now I have a tight spam filter an do not open any strange messages ever

    It doesn't matter. It still landed somewhere you had access to. It doesn't have to be your own computer. Actually, it's worse if it lands in an internet email account - they have so many customers it doesn't hurt them in the slightest to hang someone out to dry.

    I've been a network email administrator amongst other related things for almost three decades. What kind of experience do you have with this sort of thing?

    Question: If someone walks by your house/apartment, stuffs your mailbox with child porn, then arranges to have someone call the police asking them (in not so many words) to look at your mailbox, are you guilty?

    "Tight spam filters" aren't. "Tight controls" aren't. Not when it comes to email. Who cares whether you "opened" the message or not? Possession is 9/10s of the law. The imap protocol is a nice convenience, but it has extinguished any traditional concept of possession.

    I have over 30 years experience with electronic mail mostly as a developer (the faceless programmer who has to write the code to make the stuff work) and I also work for the company that routes most of the internet packets in the world. What's yours?

  • High Level Logic: Rethinking Software Reuse in the 21st Century

    09/20/2010 4:27:24 PM PDT · 64 of 111
    altair to MortMan; RogerFGay
    I work in an industry where unneeded and unused functionality is anathema - and will prevent certification of the system containing the software. Adaptive reuse - using the design as a template for the construction of a tailored solution - is a better alternative in my industry.

    Hmmm. Smells like avionics or process control.

    I was around when "software reuse" became the big buzzword and Ada was introduced as a measure (in part) to reduce software development cost in increasingly computerized military systems. It didn't really work at the time, but it felt good to a lot of manager types.

    The problem is identifying what is the difference between hard real time requirements (and I only define "hard" as in if you miss taking action and someone will get killed or injured or something is damaged or destroyed, but that's not the standard definition) and just keeping the system usable.

    Technology cannot eliminate the difference in requirements for different applications.

    I have to agree, much as I am in love with the idea of software reuse. However, I would like to s/cannot eliminate/has not yet eliminated/. I'm an optimist. I may not live to solve it, but perhaps one of my sons will. One thing that my reading in history has convinced me of is "never misunderestimate the power of the human mind".

  • High Level Logic: Rethinking Software Reuse in the 21st Century

    09/20/2010 3:50:56 PM PDT · 61 of 111
    altair to discostu
    You can talk a lot about best practices and libraries and everything else, but the punchline is that unless people know there’s something in house that’s already solved Problem X they aren’t going to go looking for that code to use, they’re going to write their own.

    That's been my experience. Ada, the language put out by the DOD for bid and designed & built by multiple committees was supposed to address that. "A camel is a horse designed by a committee". And a camel is what they got. The earliest implementations, with perhaps the exception of Verdix Ada (after it matured a bit), were mostly pretty bad. A few iterations (and a lot of in-the-field experience) later, Ada has gotten pretty good.

    Of course, the proliferation of different software licenses on code hasn't helped either. Basic example - you cannot incorporate GPL code into BSD licensed code (the GPL is a viral license that requires all of the code it is linked with become GPL), however you can incorporate LGPL code into BSD licensed code. Some Open Source projects, notably from the FSF are even stricter, they not only require GPLed submissions, but the copyright must also be assigned to the FSF.

    Certain software projects like XEmacs (which was a fork of GNU Emacs in the early 1990s by the now defunct Lucid) require GPL licensed contributions. Others like Emacs require not only GPL licensed contributions, but they must also be copyright assigned to the FSF. When Lucid went bankrupt and orphaned XEmacs as Open Source in its bankruptcy, it was in the position of being GPL, but unable for the most part to share code back with the parent.

    There is a time and place for lawyers, but in the field of software development their involvement has been little short of disastrous.

    Been there, done that, tried to change the world and it didn't quite work out, although I'm quite proud of how XEmacs has turned out. It's still my favorite text editor. (grep for "altair" in XEmacs ChangeLog files, that's me).

  • Amazing New Designs For The Dollar Bill

    09/18/2010 5:52:09 PM PDT · 63 of 79
    altair to Ruy Dias de Bivar
    The ONLY paper dollar bill worth having is the one that removes the FEDERAL RESERVE NOTE and replaces the words with...
    Pay To the Bearer On Demand One Dollar in Gold or Silver.

    The last guy who tried that got a bullet in the head as a "thank you". I hope someone tries again with better results.

  • Christine O'Donnell's Career, RIP (Power Line)

    09/18/2010 5:46:26 PM PDT · 171 of 187
    altair to sushiman
    Wicca stands for a male witch, while a female witch is called ‘wicce’. With the passage of time wicca has gained currency for both male and female witches . “ : )

    Touché. :-)

  • Christine O'Donnell's Career, RIP (Power Line)

    09/18/2010 5:34:54 PM PDT · 167 of 187
    altair to indylindy
    The only thing that could stop this is strict term limits.

    It was tried in the second American Revolution. It was ruled unconstitutional - you'll need a constitutional amendment.

    I don't think it would really make much difference. In the recent past, California passed term limits (which I voted for, btw). If that's made a measurable improvement in the quality of governance, I've failed to detect it. At least Willie Brown is gone, which is the only reason I voted for it.

    The danger of term limits is that you throw out the good with the bad leaving behind an ever entrenched bureaucracy.

    The folly of term limits is that you're solving the wrong problem. The solution is to use your mind in the election season, select the proper candidates and then do your part to get them elected.

    In a very real sense, I disenfranchised the voters in Willie Brown's district. They appeared ready to keep him as their rep for life. So, since I couldn't vote against him directly, I voted for bad legislation (in my opinion) that took the decision out of their hands. I feel kind of bad about that in a way.

  • Christine O'Donnell's Career, RIP (Power Line)

    09/18/2010 5:14:02 PM PDT · 161 of 187
    altair to sushiman
    My trusty Oxford English dictionary says a witch is “ a woman thought to have evil magical powers “ . A warlock is a “ man who practices witchcraft. “

    That's nice, except that you have the wrong country. Try a dictionary of American English, like Merriam Webster. I see in Webster's dictionary of American English: "a follower or practitioner of modern witchcraft; a Wiccan priest or priestess."

  • Christine O'Donnell's Career, RIP (Power Line)

    09/18/2010 5:02:20 PM PDT · 160 of 187
    altair to Freddd
    Anyone else get the feeling they are trying to suppress Conservative turn out????

    I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count.

    Ms. O'Donnell's campaign web page is not exactly a secret. By way of comparison, how many Democrat candidates have solicited that much in campaign contributions over the internet in so short a time?

    She's a threat. She's running for the seat of a sitting Vice President in a year that history tells us, is always bad for the party controlling the White House (first midterm). They've promised Hope & Change and nothing particularly positive has happened. Even the most successful President in the last 60 years (President Reagan), did not escape congressional losses in the first midterm. This current administration has had a somewhat less positive impact on the nation.

    Do the math. If you can't win on ideas, burn to the ground. Or something like that.

  • Christine O'Donnell's Career, RIP (Power Line)

    09/18/2010 4:48:20 PM PDT · 155 of 187
    altair to sushiman
    She had a date with a WITCH ???

    The term "witch", at least as it applies to Wicca (which I presume the reference is to), is gender neutral. A male witch is a witch, not a "warlock".

    The language confusion problem probably dates from the farcical Salem trials, which were largely used to rid the society of aged women and any others they didn't like very much.

    Or thought of another way, rather than supporting older unmarried (ie widowed) women, they accused and then burned them as witches. A novel solution to an unfunded pension problem, but not practical.

  • Turning Wall Street into a ghost town

    09/18/2010 3:36:23 PM PDT · 8 of 20
    altair to NVDave
    They have two of them with the (re)acquisition of Hong Kong.
  • Activity Tab returns no results

    09/18/2010 10:14:48 AM PDT · 9 of 13
    altair to DJ MacWoW
    But it’s serious that we lost servers and a miracle that we’re running without them. And it was recently posted that FR gets more “hits” than MSNBC.

    OK. I completely missed that, but given the time frame, understandable. Too bad for MSNBC, but FRee Republic is a better source of news than them too.

    They just restored the state flags.

    Oh. I never noticed those were missing ...

  • Activity Tab returns no results

    09/18/2010 10:03:42 AM PDT · 7 of 13
    altair to humblegunner
    (oooh, I just noticed, I'm 10 days away from my 10th anniversary of FReeperhood - how cool does that get?)

    Are you logged in?

    Yes. As far as I know, you can't access your or any other internal account pages (other than the public page) when not logged in.

  • Activity Tab returns no results

    09/18/2010 9:53:44 AM PDT · 5 of 13
    altair to DJ MacWoW
    We are minus one or two servers since a crash at the beginning of the year. To keep running, FR has to choose what goodies to keep and what is nonessential.

    Oh. Correct time frame and when I was busy moving half way across the world to explain why I missed it. ... Nonessential??? That was my favorite portal into the content. :-(

    That makes sense, thanks.

  • Activity Tab returns no results

    09/18/2010 9:13:48 AM PDT · 1 of 13
    altair
    Something changed some time before I moved half way across the world at the beginning of this year. Any clues?
  • Airbus Wants to Build Invisible Passenger Planes

    09/18/2010 8:28:42 AM PDT · 48 of 49
    altair to dangus
    An airplane is too complex, dangerous and paranoia-inducing of a system to introduce a massive change into. Remember the Concorde? A single crash and the entire program was scrapped.

    There was more to it than that. Aerodynamically speaking, the Concorde had a highly threatening wake, much, much more so than the B757 as reflected by the "757 Heavy, Wake Turbulence" that you'll hear when listening to ATC radio traffic.

    Let a model of aircraft lose the confidence of passengers, along with having a large required separation on take off and landing (which reduces the maximum amount of airport throughput) and that model will die. Much like McDonnell Douglas did some years ago with their commercial aircraft.

  • Airbus Wants to Build Invisible Passenger Planes

    09/18/2010 8:01:44 AM PDT · 46 of 49
    altair to InternetTuffGuy; Swordmaker
    That wasn't just any old computer, that was a classic Mac!

    (Which I suppose is better than the only movie reference I can think of for Unix. The park control system in Jurassic Park ran Unix, and the unit on the film looked like an AT&T 3B1.)

  • Murkowski supporters: come to "campaign kickoff" tonight - write in campaign a go?

    09/18/2010 7:51:26 AM PDT · 196 of 219
    altair to UglyinLA
    I wonder why Palin didnt run for Senator.

    The 2008 election was unusual in that it guaranteed one new Senate -> President promotion. Going from a Senate position to President is rare. Only 16 people have done it. See: the list of people who have done it before. Harding and Truman were the last two of three to do it. Obama was the third.

    Of the two, I think I'd rather have a Senate position. As long as you're not a total screw up, a place in the Senate is for as long as you want it. Great pay, great benefits, great perks, and you only have to work once every six years to get reelected.

    To answer your question, Governor has traditionally been a better on-the-job training position for President. In fact, only one other person who has been a sitting senator when elected President - Warren Harding. (JFK doesn't count as his Senatorial term was expiring).

  • Murkowski Must Step Aside

    09/18/2010 5:59:38 AM PDT · 50 of 52
    altair to griswold3
    Wonder how DC will look Jan 2013 as Obama leaves town. Boy, he’s gonna be pissed.

    If we as a nation can survive the ruinous spending he and his buds in Congress have been doing, fiscally conservative Republicans could control government just as long this century as the socialist Democrats did last century.

    I'm trying hard to feel optimistic ...

  • Florida couple pleads guilty to abusing Filipino workers

    09/18/2010 5:33:01 AM PDT · 10 of 13
    altair to sarasmom
    “Manuel also pleaded guilty to lying in an application filed with the US Labor Department to obtain foreign labor certifications and visas under the federal H2B guest worker program”

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess these were “illegal aliens”, since he pleaded guilty to the charge.

    I must respectfully disagree with your conclusion and please read my longer message posted above. He pleaded guilty to the charges because he needs attention deflected off of him immediately. The Philippines has child labor laws too and I'm willing to bet that 100% of his employees have falsified documentation with respect to their ages.

    My opinion is based upon many conversations I've had with people during the time I've lived in Philippines and with Mrs. Altair.

    The OFWs are guilty, guilty as sin of wanting to work to provide for their families in a poor country. They are also paying three month salary in agency fees off the top (ie. no pay for the first three months). The job agencies are modern day slave traders and I hope they get the book thrown at them. Big time.