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* Posts by Phil Lembo

7 posts • joined 25 Sep 2007

Ubuntu man says Microsoft's about to 'swallow a hand-grenade'

Phil Lembo

Oracle -( Redhat, Not Going to Happen

Because the wind direction vis a vis antitrust enforcement in the U.S. is about to take a very sharp turn in about 9 months and Oracle is going to wind up penned in just like IBM has been for nearly a generation. Red Hat will stay independent (sorry RHAT shareholders). To stay alive they may actually have to go private though.

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Darling admits Revenue loss of 25 million personal records

Phil Lembo

"Junior officials"

There's a mea culpa for you.

And I thought government execs here in the States had brass.

Two questions:

1. Does HMRC fail it's IT audit for this year?

2. Who decided it was a good idea to have a private contractor run a government postal system anyway?

As for the "senior official" whose job it is, after all, to supervise those "junior officials", I'd suggest taking a page from IT management's playbook:

Have him escorted from the building with the suggestion that he contact HR later in the week for an exit interview.

Only real consequences for those in charge are going to change the behavior of this particular beast.

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US Navy buys 'Metal Storm' grenade-gasm gun

Phil Lembo

this isn't a news article, it's art

My favorite line:

"Essentially, splurting off huge numbers of superimposed projectiles at flying things in a fraction of a second is fairly foolish, and this has gradually sunk in."

Of course, as someone noted above, Phalanx is itself pretty much untried (or if you look at the evidence they present could even be considered a real-world failure).

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US man dies in Taser incident

Phil Lembo

An axe to grind - Reply

I think the reason we see it coming up here on El Reg is that as it's mostly techie readership we feel a little uneasy (and eventually outraged) when something touted as a "high tech solution" goes so wrong.

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Phil Lembo

Back to basics

The TASER has been a terrific money-maker for the company that sells it and for it's investors.

It has been a disaster for public safety.

No one to blame here but police department executives and elected officials who "drank the Kool-Aide" and allowed this deadly weapon to come into the hands of rank-and-file law officers.

It was almost 50 years ago that police officers in the U.S. began to get much more sophisticated training in safe and effective techniques for subduing and restraining out-of-control individuals, like various martial arts. Even the use, and form, of the traditional police baton, itself understood to be a deadly weapon, went through an evolution. Disabling sprays of various kinds were tested and ultimately found to be inconsistent in both safety and effectiveness. Those experiences should have caused departments to be more scrupulous when it came to the TASER.

The basic problem is the same as it's always been. Too few officers tasked to control too few actors. Even when seemingly sufficient manpower is on scene, it seems that both communications with the target and a coordinated response by the "team" is lacking (the U. FL. tasering incident is a good example of this).

Again, responsibility for understaffing and inadequate training of patrol teams falls on the shoulders of police executives and elected officials.

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PHP victory over Ruby: was Gosling right?

Phil Lembo

PHP is a scripting language

Gosling was, and remains, wrong, blinded by his devotion to slow, complicated and inevitably expensive web frameworks based on Java. As someone pointed out, PHP is indeed a scripting language, designed for the web -- not for controlling toasters. Rails may still work out for many sites, but my impression is that it doesn't represent the improvement for web developers that moving from Perl CGI (my own preferred web scripting language) to PHP did. In fact, after several years of badgering by colleagues, I've finally undertaken to master PHP as an alternative to CGI. That was after looking at Rails and coming to the conclusion that it wasn't a good fit for what I needed to do. And yes, SQL rocks.

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Unisys blamed for DHS data breaches

Phil Lembo

Yeah, Go Ahead. Privatize National Security.

This is the end result of outsourcing critical functions to private contractors, the government can't even protect itself.

Which kind of begs the question, how can they claim to be able to protect us?

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