3627 posts • joined 31 May 2010
Re: All hail Turing, but pass the sick bag for royal connection
@John Sanders if you're every in Alberta, give me a holler: I'll buy you one.
Re: All hail Turing, but pass the sick bag for royal connection
The concept of a hereditary head of state was actually an important step forward in social evolution. Prior to this, individuals took power by murdering those in power, and all those who supported them. Heredity worked for some time, until we ran into the fairly obvious problem of a corrupt monarch (and yes, there were quite a few who weren't corrupt.)
It was after we had some experience with corrupt monarchs that the aristocracy was created: in essence, a means to reign in the power of the crown by distributing many rights and duties amongst a broader base.
Again: this mostly worked, but only in that it made the issue of corruption a more local one instead of a kingdom-wide one. There still did not exist a legal mechanism to remove a corrupt aristocrat. Slowly, and with time, the law evolved. A quorum of lords could challenge a corrupt lord and remove him. Then, lesser nobility (knights and so forth) inherited the ability to raise the flag.
Laws were created by which even royalty had to abide and all this far before the modern recreation of "democracy." To be honest, I think the jury's still out on the concept of democracy as practiced today. Politicians today are not occupied with the business of governing. They are occupied perpetually with the business of getting reelected. This makes begin responsive to the issues plaguing the citizenry at best a secondary priority.
Ultimately, regardless of the system of governance the issue has not changed since the pre-monarchy days of warlords: those who achieve a position of power over others but whose interests lie in protecting their own power instead of governing their people fairly and justly are dangerous and deleterious to society. Democracy hasn't changed this. Thanks to gerrymandering, democracy hasn't really made changing those in power over us easy or effective either.
So for all that you lament what you see as unnecessary trappings of a forgotten past, do take the time to remember that the present is little better off. Maybe - just maybe - the best government is a mix of elected and inherited officials. Those who represent (theoretically) an expression of the people and those who have no need to run for reelection but who serve to sanity check the first group.
How you keep tweedles dee and dum from becoming corrupt, well, that's our current pickle, innit?
Re: What happened to Ceph?
The "general object store that has a shim to provide NFS and CIFS" market is a whole other ball game. I hope to cover it next year. Short version: speed is the issue. They can't even come close to proper VSANs on IOPS. Not just raw throughput, but latency as well. If anyone has a general object store + shim for which this isn't true, I'd love to take a boo.
The big reason that things like the VSAN sets do so well is the flash acceleration tier to their operation. That, and they share the system they're running on with a hypervisor and so do both virtualised compute and virtualised storage workloads in the same system. At the moment, that looks to be a definably different market from things like Hadoop or Ceph.
Honestly, there are so many virtual storage entrants that to list every single one would be an ebook. I tried to stick to the ones I thought were going to be the major players in 2014.
Cheers, Jeremiah. Happy holidays to you and yours, too.
Can't really commit to anything...but watch this space. I am working with some of these folks to get setups even my customers could afford...
I'm Canadian, so separation of church and state is a thing. I'm also a Gaian (Solstice is my holiday), my Wife's an atheist (Festivus), my Dad's a protestant (Christmas) and there's at least two Quanzas, a Ramadan and a half dozen Hanukkahs in my circle of friends this year as well.
This thread probably will go sideways fast. So - just this once - instead of shovelling coal on the flames let me just say this:
Happy holidays everyone. I hope you all have a great time.
On a mobile device. The terminology matters.
Now where's my patent?
Re: let me be the first to say ...
@MeRp indeed. If I could share everything I have with everyone and still have full use of everything I have, I would do so gladly. Exclusivity has no value to me, only utility. I don't feel entitled to be paid to be a douchey snob.
Re: let me be the first to say ...
I argue that content creators should be paid similar to everyone else. Their efforts remunerated based on the amount of labour they put in, not on "ownership" of an intangible property. Just as I cannot shovel your sidewalk once and then charge you rent forever more, a copyright owner should not be able to record a single song and then dine on it for eternity.
Creative works need to be remunerated, but they are not property, no more so than the labour I put in to systems administration or journalism. Creators - like anyone else - are only as good as the last erg of effort they've cranked into the system. They should be paid for their time, but emphatically not allowed to rent seek on intangibles.
If you stay in my house, you ultimately degrade the infrastructure. You prevent my using the space you occupy for other things. You use up tangible consumables that are commodities of varying scarcities. In this circumstance, rent makes sense. I have to pay to maintain my property, I have to replace those consumables and I might have otherwise used that space as a home gym or shrine to Cthulhu.
Digital copies of creative works have no scarcity. They are intangible and cannot be consumed. My enjoyment of it does not deprive you of the ability to enjoy a copy of it simultaneously, nor to share it with others, also simultaneously. By any rational, moral or ethical argument it is not property.
This doesn't change the fact that a content creator should be paid for their work. If they put in 5 hours writing an article, they should be compensated at a reasonable rate. We should even factor in that work for freelance content creators - like consultants - is not steady, so they should be able to charge a higher per-hour rate, as they get fewer hours. Like a consultant, they should hopefully be spending their non-project hours refining their skills and honing their abilities in their niche, so as to justify the cost.
The truly exceptional among them should be able to command top dollar. Equivalent, say, to a VCDX...and for the same reasons. The skills are rare.
The mundane should be offered no more than your run-of-the-mill bench tech, again, for the same reasons. The skills involved are pedestrian.
Let's posit a scenario:
As a help desk operator I take your call one day. I walk you through changing the ream of paper in your printer. I call this knowledge I have imparted to you "intellectual property" and demand that you pay me $5 every time you change a ream of paper. If you teach someone else to change a ream of paper without my consent then you are committing theft of my intellectual property. If someone else discovered how to change the ream of paper independently, it doesn't matter, because I taught someone in your company how to make that change first, and thus I get to exact rent for 120 years.
Sounds ridiculous? So does 120 years worth of tithe for Steamboat Willie.
The difference between rent seeking on the transmission of knowledge and rent seeking on the transmission of intangible, infinitely reproducible elements of culture exists only in the minds of those desperate to the be rent seekers.
Now, If you hit "submit" on a comment ever again, know that I thought of it first and you owe me $19.99 every time. Attempting to get someone else to hit submit on your behalf is a violation of my intellectual property and you will be fined $100,000 for each infraction as well as go to jail for 7 years.
That seems perfectly fair to me. Submit.
Re: Guilty unless proven innocent? (When it comes to your plea...)
Really, AC? Americans with morals and principles? Not as I define either word.
What does his being fat have to do with anything?
Re: I don't understand why this is a bad thing
You're right. There is the chance that a hardened sociopath could do a big of damage on a local scale before someone - who also now lives in said lawless society - simply shoots him in the face.
It takes a good while for a society to crumble. I think you'd find that most people, given the news that they had only 14 days left to live would end up simply going through the motions of their regular life. They wouldn't know what to do and they'd be in shock.
I don't believe for a second there are enough crazy nutjobs to turn first world nations into Somalia in 2 weeks, nor do I think fear of the odd whacko going herp-a-derp on a local level is worth withholding the information from the public.
Re: Even if
It would be one long 14 day crazy, orgy, party, settling of old scores, crime and lawlessness and mayhem.
I don't understand why this is a bad thing. Well, bad for those who've wronged others in their lives so much that those others would spend the last 2 weeks of their lives hunting them down and murdering them. Honestly though, I have a miserable time trying to feel sympathy for people like that.
I think that most people, facing the end, would choose the "14 day long crazy orgy party"...and I fail to see what's wrong with a 14 day long crazy orgy part under ANY circumstances. In fact, I'd say 99.5% of commenters on here are in desperate need of one. (Or several.)
Re: I can't help but wonder...
Better question: what are you charging your customers for this to be a rational investment?
Re: The economics of it all?
Actually, a lot of it is due to the fact that the wages for even skilled labour in the US have been either flat for years or declining. There are so many unemployed (or underemployed) that when the bits you mentioned are factored in, the US starts to look competitive again.
Basically, the US accidentally its own economy so hard that companies feel they can now Amazon a workforce enough to make the US just like a developing nation.
Re: Just a quickie
Empire of Sadness = Microsoft Licensing.
I think the dichotomy is that you view general purpose PCs becoming mainframes: things that require large companies to buy. I don't. SMBs will still need general purpose computers. Many home users will as well. Yes, they'll move back up in price from the $400 range, but I don't see them going much higher than $2500 for the entry level stuff. Workstation-class systems will still be workstation-class systems and I just can't see that changing any time soon.
When I compare that to smallish virtual cluster - say three nodes + software - that is getting into $30K. That is where I see your "lathe." That's where a business needs to exist even to play the game.
The problem with tablets and other CE tat "killing the PC" is that you can't kill demand. As high as demand for CE tat will be (and frankly, all signs are that tablet demand is levelling out in the first world). Maybe the OS won't be OSX or Windows. Maybe it will be a hybrid like ChromeOS or maybe the full-time dev I'm hoping to be able to hire to work on the ReactOS project will tip the scales and that will take off. Maybe a lot of things...but I don't see the general purpose PC dying.
What I do see is a choice: Microsoft and Apple can choose to own that market or not. It's theirs to throw away. No, the market won't show growth. But the productivity endpoint market will still sit there, being a good little earner for decades to come.
...just like making screwdrivers.
Anywho, cheers and have a good holiday season!
Re: what to buy
@Goat Jam, Again, i disagree with you.
You're right, I did not understand your use of gentrification in this context. That said, I still think you're incorrect.
Will purpose-build computers outsell general-purpose PCs? Absolutely. They always have. (See: embedded computing.) There is a new purpose-built PC: the consumptive tablet. It doesn't invalidate the need for general-purpose PCs. Nothing does, or ever will.
General purpose PCs are a professional tool. They are required by professionals of many stripes to build the things that companies need. 10 years, 20, 50, 100 years from now this will still bee true. No matter how narrowly tailored and purpose-build the individual computing devices of the future are.
Your pessimism ia also evident here. At some point you cannot create "one device per task" and charge the hoi polloi for a different widget for everything. The trend is to pay the milled masses ever less: eventually you end up with a set of life gizmos that are "minimum must haves" which cost more than the disposable income of the average wage earner. That can't last: no economy can support that.
Either the market will solve the problem (ha!) by "reinventing" (or more accurately re-popularizing) the general purpose computing platform) or governments will intervene.
In the meantime and between time, selling professional productivity tools (upgradable, powerful general purpose computer, operating systems and applications) is still a hundred-of-millions-of-units-per-year market, even if it is contracting at current. It will stabilize, not evaporate, and abse number of these general-use PCs will sell every year.
They are no different than any household appliance. The explosive growth of washing machine sales levelled out a decade or two after their introduction, but holy amazeballs, batman, you can still buy the smeggling things! Indeed, the washing machines available today are even significantly advanced over the units on available 20 years ago.
Just because selling power drills is the current growth market doesn't mean everyone is going to rush to throw out their 512-piece manual tool set, or that manufacturers will stop making hammers, screwdrivers or ratchets.
Oddly enough, both screwdriver sets and power drills sell just fine.
Whether or not Microsoft in particular chooses to keep a hand in the productivity computing market is an open question, and that is exactly where evangelism and grassroots movements come in. It is by demonstrating not only that a passionate market remains that we can show them with minor investment (and resolving their mistakes) that there is still money to be made here.
Ultimately, that's the goal: making money.
Tablets, wearable computing, the internet of things and so forth are and devices, not or devices. They are complimentary to your general purpose productivity computer, not replacements for it.
Not everyone needs a digital productivity tool. Not everyone needs a screwdriver set either. But hundreds of millions still do, and someone will keep addressing that market.
Re: what to buy
With the exception of the Empire of Sadness, I don't really get angry at anyone. Even people I consider to be the worst humans on the planet - various warlords, the government of Burma, Dick Cheney, General Alexander, etc - elicit more of a sadness than anger.
I can count on one hand the number of posts in which I was actually angry while I wrote it. Frustrated at things that refuse to install? Sure. But that's transient. In fact, writing comments helps those sorts of frustrations dissipate.
Passion is not anger. Nor is zeal. Telling me to be passionate about things is like telling a fish not to swim of a human not to breathe. It is simply a part of my personality. It can not be disabled.
Additionally, I also disagree with you that I am in way asking Microsoft to cater to "frontiersmen." Quite the opposite: I rather loudly insist they continue to cater to the entrenched gentry instead of going out and chasing after rogues and renegades.
You and I see the world in very different ways, I expect.
Re: what to buy
I disagree with your thesis. People being angry over Microsoft's actions has indeed caused changes. The thing is, in order to cause changes you need to be angry everywhere. You need the common man to say "no". You need pros, partners and more to stand up and say "no."
Getting Microsoft to change requires a constant drumbeat of change. Everywhere they turn they need to see opposition to hostile choices and unpopular "features." We wield the only power Microsoft cares about: our own wallets.
Some of us, however, also wield influence. That influence can take the form of direct purchasing power by being a decision maker somewhere important. It can be in the form of being a regulator (or influencing a regulator) or it could be in the form of being a respected individual in authority with a following.
Alternately, that influence can come from the power of arguments; or from biting sarcasm, barely repressed rage, etc...tailor your text to your audience. There are tens of thousands of readers of El Reg's comments section. There are over 9 million readers of the site itself. Add in Social media amplification through Twitter, writing for SearchVMware and other sites...my angry ranting has reach.
Our options are more than "accept what's on the plate or walk away from the table." They always have been. Changing the course of the beast is a long, miserable, thankless task, but it is a possible one. (If only just barely).
The beauty of it - for me, anyways - is that it doesn't take up much of my time. I'm a writer. Rattling off a few thousand words in a thread takes me a matter of a few minutes. It lets me vent some steam and even try to put ideas that are rattling around in my head into an organized form. It's like an alpha test lab for some article writing.
I thrive on the challenges brought forth by other commenters. Sometimes they point out quite legitimate flaws in my logic. Other times they are completely irrational. Either way, attacking the problem in different ways - using different tones, different words, different styles of logical argumentation or emotional appeal - allows me to test drive writing concepts on real live people.
If you think for a moment that I get angry writing in the comments, you're mistaken. Oh, I'm often furious at the Empire of Sadness for making my life miserable, but that would be the case whether or not I skewered some hapless nerf herder in the wild text fields.
Instead, I get to vent. To let the pressure off. It helps, especially when I am trying to do something miserable. Like Install the Windows Azure Pack in it's entirety in 4 hours. And components for one of the critical items won't download. Because cocks. (Thanks Microsoft!)
So whilst I'm busy inventing new curse words in three or four different languages trying to get the damned widget to work, taking two or three minutes out to rip off a comment like this one provides me an odd sort of Zen. I don't expect that you'll understand it - it's a quirk of my psychology, not yours - but I hope that (one day) you learn to accept it.
Re: With Surfaces potentially going under Christmas trees this season....
Again, any devices shipping with Lithium battery packs in the volumes achieved by the iPad will have some units that do this. Boeing airplanes do this.
That Microsoft hasn't' had a surface spontaneously combust is merely an indication that they've shipped a pitiful amount of them, nothing more. All sorts of consumer - or even professional, industrial and military - electronics that ships with lithium packs have had the same self-immolation issues over the years.
That isn't bad design. It isn't bad engineering. (Well, Boeing...) It's bad quality control and razor-thin manufacturing margins. The only problem with attacking Apple for that is that Microsoft's kit is made by the same companies on the same bloody lines. (Actually, IIRC, Apple has the best QA in the business and some of the highest wages for the assemblers.)
There are lots of reasons to lay into Apple. That isn't one.
Re: what to buy
Uh, you're berating me for "riding the Microsoft train"? The fuck, what?
Dude, I give more to open source than I do in federal taxes and I am building out my company in the hopes that 2014 will see one - maybe two - full time dev positions payed for by my company to advance the technologies needed to move more and more of my customers aware from Microsoft.
...what are you on about?
"What's my experience?"
I am the systems administrator for a photo lab that owns the profesisonal photography market for western Canada. There are some 4000 pro photographers whom I deal with through them and a few dozen that are large enough to require the IT services of my consulting company directly.
I have worked with these people on damned near every kind of portable endpoint imaginable. From 17" notebooks that were workstation-class (I.E. they plugged into La Cie monitors back in the grey room and needed to do full DDC/CI communication to get automated calibration) to tablets to OQO devices, portable servers, mini-racks on wheels and everything in between.
If there's an off-the-shelf solution for the photographic industry, I've used it. If there's a custom solution, I've designed it. A good chunk of the non-Adobe hardware - and software - that gets built for professional photographers has had my personal input involved.
I give zero fucks about fanboyishness. I don't care who makes the widget, the software or so on and so forth. I don't care if the solution is a tablet, a notebook, a PC or a server rack. What I care about is that when my photographers go into the field they have tools that work. These have to be tools the photographers understand, that are unbelievably reliable and they have to be cheap. (Photographers - with rare exceptions - don't have money to spend on IT.)
Tablets just haven't passed muster so far. We've trailed hundreds over the past decade with dozens of companies. Including both Surfaces. They aren't good enough yet. They certainly don't handle the requirements of things like Flow, SchoolDays, PDI, ROES, KPDP2 or other industry standard software. In some cases it's a screen res issue. In others it is a requirement to pin the CPU at the redline for an hour.
Lightroom is one of those things that came down to "usability." Nobody could see the damned screen well enough to get the quality they wanted out of the thing. Worse, calibrating the screen to get it to match the lab's paper output profile exactly is a miserable, protracted bitch. (Put this up against the panel in the new ASUS utlrabooks and you'll see what I mean.)
Storage is also an issue. You just can't shoot volume to the thing. You aren't getting a single team into Flow on that bloody thing, let alone doing an entire school. I could go on. Suffice it to say that "my experience" in this regard is...extensive.
More to the point, it is the experience of multiple professional photographers who have made the call, not me.
A real notebook - or in the worst case one of those awful ultrabooks - is the best tool for a professional photographer today. Surface is a wretched compromise that makes nobody happy and iDroidTat is consumptive, not productive.
That's my take on the matter, informed from what I believe to be a large enough sample size - and a wide enough body of professional experience - to be relevant. Y'all can lay into me over not "understanding" the subtleties of any number of fields, but IT support for professional photographers is my turf.
Re: The Surface 2 good news story from 2-3 days ago not reported on The Reg...
"almost all other cheap Android tablets are useless and will be broken by the end of January."
"However [Surface's] sales are growing, "
"the majority of users who have purchased one (The Surface RT / 2) use it as a combined tablet and laptop replacement ideal for work like editing documents, presentations, emails and ease of access to you files on the full size USB port."
T"he surface is the most innovation and distinct tablet in the market currently,"
[Citation needed, should contain reviews from a number of sources addressing everything from ease of use to user satisfaction, adoption rate to ecosystem size, developer response to hardware reliability]
"ok some parts of windows RT have a few rough edges however that is progressing as can be seen in the 8.1 upgrade."
[Citation needed, general opinion seems to be that 8.1 was "not good enough." You have to do a lot to prove otherwise.]
"The Reg from the get go have been trying to blacken the Surface and Windows RT from the start, this article is more of the same....."
Bullshit. We aren't trying to "blacken" the Surface or Windows RT at all. I think you'll find that most of us don't care one way or another about the Surface (except for Tim Anderson, he loves it) and even fewer care about Windows RT at all (except for me, I think it's the biggest missed opportunity in modern computing and I lament the mismangement of what could have been the saviour of modern endpoint computing. I love RT. I hate how it was handled.)
You have a lot of proving your statements to do here. Get to it.
Re: The Surface 2 good news story from 2-3 days ago not reported on The Reg...
I'll publish something nice about Surface when something nice about surface exists to be published...and proof of that crosses my desk.
Re: Are all their employees chiefs?
"Testers?" That would imply that Microsoft products are potentially imperfect as designed. Clearly you don't understand Redmondian culture. Take "not invented here" mix with 30% total planetary arrogance, whip on medium for 15 minutes and serve using sharks with frikkin plasma beams attacked to their frikkin tails.
Re: With Surfaces potentially going under Christmas trees this season....
The iPad has sold so many units that - statistically speaking - we'd see a few breached lithium cells by now.
Microsoft has accomplished the feat of burning their users without a manufacturing defect or battery-puncturing user-error. +1 those guys.
From experience, Lightroom is pretty miserable on a Surface anyways...
Re: Well Said
They aren't all going to be intelligent enough to benefit from the tablets. I fear you miss the point. These tablets are simply not going to benefit every child. They aren't meant to. They are there to be a resource for the small percentage of children that are bright and curious enough to take advantage of what they offer.
No country - not India nor Canada - has a surefire way of identifying, isolating and nurturing genius. The best any of them can do is give geniuses the tools to make something of themselves, and in doing so elevate the communities they inhabit.
These tablets are not a 1:1 cure for poverty. They are a cheap (for a government) shotgun approach to knowledge dispensation with the aim that a rising tide will lift all boats. Capture the imagination of the bright sparks, feed their hungry minds and watch them find solutions to the problems around them that we ourselves would never have thought of.
This is a strategic play, not a tactical one.
Bunging sandwiches at poor people solves their hunger today. Plunking a coal plant and some wires near a village provides emergency relief to today's</I. electricity problem, it does nothing to solve the longer term issues that made that region so poor int he first place, or solve the pollution, etc issues that come attendant with today's technologies.
These tablets will nurture the young minds of the future, to solve tomorrow's problems with a point of view that nobody currently has. Orthogonal solutions are born of necessity and these kids will have <i>necessity. A tablet can be charged from a solar panel, or even a hand crank. An encyclopedia can be downloaded as an offline app.
Kids who are starving for knowledge will find a way to use this new tool they've been given to fill the void.
Yes, India has tactical issues that need solving, but this is a strategic investment in their future. It's a damned good one, and it will produce exceptional results. Not for every child, but for their society as a whole.
Re: Well Said
You can get access to the full-blown PC at the library, school, etc. They don't have to be one-a-home devices to change the world. Access to the knowledge of the net...that does.
Gods you guys are negative. Me. I am saying you are negative. About something involving tablets. That's got to win some sort of prize.
I don't care how "outdated" the tablet is, this promises to put access to the internet's full trove of knowledge in the hands of every child in the most populous nation on Earth. Just getting these kids access to Wikipedia is enough to spark an imagination, fuel a curious mind or give someone a means to finding the information they need to help themselves advance their station.
When I was a child my access to the world larger than my school, schoolbus and immediate neighbourhood was a much beloved and cherished Encarta 1994 CD. I read, watched and listed to every single one of the entries on that CD. It opened my mind to possibilities I never would have considered, left exposed to just my local school system alone.
Combined with the early pre-web internet (BBSes and IRC baby!) I had discovered a new world that defined the rest of my life.
There are over a billion people in India and growing rapidly. Over a seventh of all humanities geniuses belong to that country. The entrepreneurs, engineers, doctors and artists of an entire generation will have early access to inspiration and education because of this simple, subsidized, outdated piece of equipment that you so haughtily sneer at.
It isn't a full-blown PC designed for productivity and with the software to allow these kids to really make their dreams come true. Access to those will still be needed, separate and independent of these tablets.
What this represents, however, is unlimited access to information. The answers to virtually any question thee kids could possibly have is in their pocket, at their fingertips 24 hours a day. If the answer isn't there, then the knowledge required to conduct experiments to obtain the answer is in that one little device..
That's amazing. Kudos to India.
You seem to be positing a hypothetical scenario in which a man is not wrong. Such a scenario cannot exist.
Yeah, but at first, nobody believed that Amazing Grace had a working compiler. She had to fight like a caged rat to convince people. That makes all compilers symbolic of the oppressive patriarchy's refusal to place trust and faith in female professionals.
Oracle sale pitch
"We won't lock you in (and turn the knobs on you every time revenue takes a dip) this time! Honest! Love us? We were such good friends before!"
That's actually a rather thoughtful gift. I rather like it. Nicely done, Mr. Gates. As for the lady involved...I think she took a totally unexpected brush with uber-wealth quite well. Better than I might have in her place. Nice little holiday story all around.
If someone gifted me something I'd be grateful they thought of me. They'd be on my nice list because the thought really is the thing that counts. I'd even try to take the exam, see if I could make their monetary expenditure worthwhile.
...but I don't think there's much call for Oracle anything in the world I inhabit. Indeed, I think the relevance of Oracle to the world at large is shrinking. The margins may be going up - squeal, hostages, squeal! - but they are the core of their own little niche. The rest of the world has adapted to exist without them, and - I think - we are happier for it.
and the boat they sank on the way in.
Except that - by and large - the US legal system is entirely complicit in the destruction of the rights of natural persons, especially any semblance of privacy. The EU may be bureaucratic, but it has a far higher chance of standing up for the average guy than anything American.
Re: Forget Apple
Small bug in your calculation. My Alienware MX18 has a 220W PSU...
Correction: falling tin can. Technically, things in orbit are constantly falling towards the earth. They're just doing so whilst going sideways fast enough not to hit it.
Re: IT Pros who can't code?
Define "can code." I can write applications in about 4 different languages. Maybe 5. I know enough of the fundementals of coding that if I had a yen to, I could learn (almost*) any other language and go from there. "Not knowing the language" is usually a matter of "not knowing the built-in functions" and having to look up bits of syntax.
That said, I can debug in languages I can't code in. This is because you can identify the syntax from context and teh googlz will tell you what you need to know about the functions in use. I write primarily in PHP, and ASP but can cheerily debug PERL, Python or C/C++/C# without too much difficulty.
Yet I'm not a developer. I wouldn't say I "can code" in a professional fashion. I can write you an application. It will probably be shite and a real developer will laugh at it, but it will do what it needs to do for now. It's the kind of thing that would be used for prototyping and working out workflow bugs, but if you are going to trust your business to it then madre de dios get a real developer.
Would I count as "can code?" The ability to take a POST from an HTML page, do some string manipulation in PHP and then bung it into a MySQL database shouldn't count as coding, any more than scratching awkward signs on the sidewalk in chalk is "writing."
"Coding" should include training in bit banging, assembler, catching buffer overflows, null pointer errors, input sanitisation, code optimisation...hell, just learning to make SQL queries that are even a close to optimal is an art of itself.
Real programmers need to grok the difference between O(n log n) and O(log2 n) sorting, I (shamefully) had to look it up because I couldn't remember what the "Big O" for bubble sort was.
What I know is the developer equivalent of "how to change your car's oil." That's a hell of a long way from being the developer equivalent of a proper mechanic or - more "elite" - the developer equivalent of a proper engineer.
Yet it seems to me they'd count me among those who "know how to code". That's not right, I think. Binary is the improper database field to contain the full spectrum of options required to cover "can they code?"
*LISP and I are unlikely to ever be friends. Bash scripting is another one of those things that I requires a lot of time with books.
Re: Speed test started "AMAZON WINS!"
And real, living, breathing, thinking, feeling, hoping, dreaming, loving, caring, laughing, crying human beings everywhere lose.
Re: Fair play to them.
mmeier, it's not that "agents of the union" have found their way onto El Reg, it's that you're a douche.
Maybe you'd attract a few less downvotes if you weren't always out to screw the average guy.
Re: Why not dryPhone?
This is the internet. You're not allowed to be rational here.
Re: Google Rover
If Google sell me an actual, factual, working robot butler then I am their loyal evangelist until the end of time.
A true patriot ignores everything except that which makes the current power elite look good.
Re: A stacked panel of NSA flunkies
It has nothing to do with them being NSA flunkies. It has everything to do with them being sociopaths ho don't give a flying fuck about anyone but themselves (and their own bank accounts.) It's very rare to those levels in society without being a complete sociopath.
So they're right: enterprise CIOs don't give fuck 1 about the NSA snooping their customers' data unless that could somehow cost them money. While possible, it is unlikely that privacy lawsuits would cost an enterprise enough to matter, though they would bankrupt small businesses.
Oddly enough, small businesses are also most likely to care about their customers enough to have ethical concerns about NSA spying.
So selection bias is definitely at work on this panel, but I doubt it's because any of the folks in question are "bought and paid for" by the NSA. They don't need to be. That's the saddest part of it all.
CONFORM. CONSUME. OBEY.