Re: And get a better education...
Word was out in the Physics department that I took my undergrad courses in: Nobel laureate professors make the worst teachers. 'Nuff said.
132 posts • joined 5 Apr 2007
It is blindingly obvious that the US bank you just left is ripe for a Post-COBOL Apocalypse event. The kind that happens when obvious and relatively easy to understand COBOL code is abandoned for "sexier" languages, known to coders as, "Job Security". [Posting anonymously because, among other negative traits, brogrammers don't take criticism well.]
Spreadsheets - The first TRULY useful microcomputer app! Long may they reign! ...and having occasionally written my own programs to implement a spreadsheet, just for fun and experience, may I say, spreadsheets are a BRILLIANT idea! I've been playing with them since MultiPlan on the IBM PC and the TI-99/4A. 'Nuff said. I'll get me coat. Mine's the one with the Lotus 1-2-3 manual in the pocket.
Thanks for the shout-out about TI99/4a games! I spent years happily coding sprites for games I wrote for that sadly underpowered machine. But its graphics processor made up for the lack of power.
Ah, the olden golden times! When programmers were robust, and TI-99/4A's ran at 1 Mhz.
> People whine all the time about scam calls then do NOTHING to help stop them.
In the US of A, last year, the FTC had a novel idea: How about actually PROSECUTING phone scammers?? Wow, what a concept!! (Up until then, the only thing that getting caught running a multi-million-dollar phone scam system would get you, would be a subpoena to appear before Congress.)
"Shoddy coding, iffy validation and a lack of end-to-end testing " ... I'm shocked, shocked, I tell you! The software should be at least as safe and secure as Microsoft's ... um ... https://www.infoq.com/news/2019/11/microsoft-exploring-rust-safety/ ( " C and C++ are .... very, very unsafe" )
Great picture! "Black stallion monster truck jumps cars at the Goshen Fair in Goshen Connecticut, Litchfield County. " I haven't been to the Goshen Fair in years (always on Labor Day Weekend) ... gotta go back, they're realing upping their game! Used to be the highlight of the fair was the ax-throwing contest, trying to hit the can of beer in the center of the target. Shake the beer can well & it explodes nicely when hit by the axe.
The problem isn't the clock. It's Einstein, and the way that mass is not evenly distributed throughout the Earth. American GPS clocks have to be reset every day. Because they fly over the surface of the earth, and the uneven nature of mass distribution affects the special- and general-relativistic slowing of the on-board clocks. It's just not predictable, no matter how well Einstein's theories have been confirmed. Without a reset daily, GPS'es go out, way out.
... give all the developers old, slow PC's for writing software on. The trouble with developers is that they all seem to run computers that are state-of-the-art and screaming fast, nothing like the laptops a lot of their customers are running. In the real world, Windows PC's are 3 years old, underpowered, patched and patched and overpatched, running anti-virus live scanning that takes up to 85% CPU under 'normal' circumstances, and since we have to get real work done, on top of all that we have to run a word processor, a spreadsheet, email software, and on and on. It's no wonder that code that looks so nice on a developer's shiny new workstation, running all by itself, ends up dogging my system. I spend quite a bit of time just watching stuff crawl along in Task Manager, as the CPU stays pegged at 99% utilization. All 4 cores, at that.
That basketball - shooting robot is not impressive at all, since it starts in exactly one position. Given some wires and springs, and maybe a pneumatic piston or two, a totally mechanical basketball-shooting robot could be assembled. What the video shows looks like it could be replaced with a pitching machine.
Now, if the robot actually walked, stopped, evaluated the distance, and then took the shot ... that would be something. Until I see that ... meh.
Wondered how they made Carbide drill bits! Had to get one to drill holes in hardened steel, I destroyed 4 lesser-metal drill bits drilling one hole. Got the bit (off of Amazon) and that thing drills perfect holes. As long as it is well-lubricated. I had a bottle of silicon copier oil hanging around, used that, works perfect.
"Since when have capacitors become so crap?!?!?"
Back in the 1980's, there was a run of japanese-made capacitors that leaked after a few years. TV's sold in the USA between about 1986 through 1995 all died after a few years. From the year 2000 on, I found old TV's at tag sales and thrift stores, with manufacturing dates either post-1995 or pre-1986. Amazingly, the old sets still work! So there's precedence for crap capacitor production. (Unfortunately, this capacitor problem hit every production unit of my favorite musical instrument, the Casio DH-100 / DH-200, released around 1988. To use them, the caps have to be replaced. It's a common fix when they are listed on eBay.)
"I have never driven into a river or down an impassable road"
Common sense .... so true! Couple months ago my GPS sent me over a cow-pastured ridge on a dirt road, down an impassable road completely covered with 3 inches of water and ... I stopped when it wanted me to go through the river blocking the route. Finally realized that the GPS can be wrong, especially in the rural Tennessee/Virginia border area. Common sense finally prevailed & I didn't get stuck. With my wife and one of the kids in the car, it would have been a bit awkward... BTW, when I checked, Google Maps also had the same road as my GPS, it's wrong also, although the satellite view shows accurately the small river that was the road, and the larger river I decided not to chuck the SUV in.
Ice cream maker?? I take offense. An ice cream maker will produce real ice cream in minutes, not a fortnight. Back in the 70's I worked in the R&D shop where we tested our very successful ice cream maker.
Good times! I found out one very interesting thing: If you add too much flavoring, the ice cream will never freeze up. The problem is that that the flavorings sold in American grocery stores are primarily based on alcohol. So, too much flavoring, too much anti-freeze. Cheers!
> more than once the icon in the taskbar inexplicably switched to one
> for Google Chrome
Well now, could it be that Windows doesn't play well with it? My prediction, based on decades of Microsoft practice, is that the icons won't work when Windows is done messing with it.
Oh I know, Microsoft used to claim that the phrase, "DOS is not done / Until Novell won't run" was an urban myth. Until the discovery phase of a lawsuit against Microsoft dug up the smoking-gun email that said pretty much that.
[Bomb icon because I predict that's what Microsoft will do to the PWA taskbar icons.]
> best known for separating small kids from their asylum-seeking families at the American border
True only for a small percentage. And, police forces always "separate families" when they detain suspects. Definitely not true in the main, because, as it's clearly been reported (but not by the anti-Trump fanatics), families in Central America have been sending their kids to the border _without_ their families. It's a clearly known method of gaming the US system. Thus, the asylum-seeking families have already separated themselves, and they should be blamed, not the border police who have to deal with unaccompanied children.
Despite the El Reg reporting bias, I'll keep reading.
> their banking apps and websites cannot be relied upon
Well said! Hooray! As predicted, the Post-COBOL Apocalypse gathers steam!! Since COBOL is by far the most reliable and understandable computer language for handling money transactions, it's shunned by all hipster programmers. The cool, sorry, kewl new languages that keep popping up are so fun to play with .... looks to me that the brogrammers' attitude is, "Never trust a language over 3 [years old]." As more and more banks are pushed away from un-cool COBOL, the Apocalypse continues to build and build and build.
> and also overloaded suppressors on the mechanical cooling system, shutting it down.
So it was a mechanical issue, the air conditioning, which did the dirty deed. As usual, the air conditioning was the last thing they funded. I've seen this before: The A/C won't be properly funded until _after_ the huge outage caused by inadequate A/C. And it there's just one A/C system, not two for redundancy, you can be sure that the single system will go down. Typical for Microsoft: Good with software, not so good with hardware.
> I'd love to think that one day there will be no difference between storage
> and memory and programmes will run from where they are and merely
> be added to the 'stack' or running applications - rather than having to write
> them from one place to another in RAM et*c, but I am not sure if computer
> architecture and OSes are ready for this yet.
Real computers always did this, those with true computer architecture. Microprocessor-based computers have to copy data out of RAM, into on-board memory locations, and after processing is done, they have to copy the results back. I learned Assembly on the TI-99/4A, which was one of the only true computer-architecture microcomputers that was ever sold to the public. It used the TI TMS9900 chip, Its Assembly language included the LWPI (Load Workspace Pointer Immediate) instruction ... which does not exist in assembly languages for the Intel microprocessor lines. Because in those chips there is no workspace sitting in RAM along with programs and memory-mapped I/O, instead the workspace is replaced by on-board registers.
> not many areas good for large wind turbines
This is a political fact, not a wind-energy fact. In Massachusetts, politicians passed laws to encourage wind turbines, and the big blades are all over the place (except off the shore, where wind energy is best, due to liberals who suddenly became ulta-conservatives and blocked them). In New Yawk, politicians have not encouraged wind turbines, so there are practically zero. And in New Yawk, they are shutting down the big Nuke plant, and replacing it ... with multiple gas-powered generation plants. And also, New Yawk politicians are also preventing gas fracking, so the gas for those replacement generators will come from out-of-state fracking. Energy in N.E. US has little to do with reality, a great deal to do with politics. 'Nuff said.
> Interesting that Tesla's lithium ion batteries seem to last forever
No, they lose 10% after 160 K miles. My personal testing on lithium batteries shows that, if I don't discharge them below about 50%, they can last for a very long time. Test case of an iPaq 951 lithium battery replaced in 2004 and not allowed to discharge much most of the time ... it's now down to 65% capacity after 14 years. Still going strong, but the battery is getting kinda bumpy though, since the case wasn't meant to last that long.
How convenient, indeed. Job Security. This whole thing about "The interest is the ongoing IT cost that those flaws are generating." is what Job Security is all about.
Well-written code with well-written documentation leads to ... wait for it ... Programming jobs becoming redundant. I've done that to myself, so I should know.
> How the hell does that happen?
New York State is run by Democrats. George Washington's Farewell Address warnings about the spirit of party becoming a destructive force, tending towards (among other things) corruption, have come true. I live in New York, and the corruption and misuse of public funds is breath-taking. Nuff said.
> I presume there aren't any areas of NY state without cell service?
Plenty of areas lack cell service, the Catskills and Adirondacks especially. Makes hiking potentially dangerous. I always sign the trail register because even at the trailhead, there is often no cell service.
> "managed" languages (like the .NET lanaguages and Java)
> are significantly less problematic - no buffer overflows
> (unless you use P/Invoke or JNI)
That's not my experience with Java. I am a consumer in my current role. When using Java-based applications, Buffer-Overflows-R-Us. Some of the applications I support use WebSphere on Windows/PC architecture. I have to carefully use only certain Java versions to avoid the otherwise inevitable buffer overflow.
> Applications between five and 10 years old have the
> greatest potential for security flaws
Yep, that's because new applications are not written in COBOL! Give me a break, could people please get off this "COBOL is evil" and go to the domain experts.... show someone in Accounting what the code is doing in COBOL, after a half-hour you have them nodding their head and understanding. Other languages, such as C++, are so obtuse that I've heard a rumor that programmers love it because even their boss doesn't know what they're doing. Forget about a pencil-head ever understanding what the code is doing.
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