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How Cold Was It?

Cold Cat Blogging

Dot’s solution to 23°, the second lowest temperature ever recorded locally for a day in December.

December 9, 2006   4 Comments

100 Years of “Amazing Grace” Hopper

C-Net has a nice article reminding us that today would have been the 100th birthday of Admiral Grace Hopper.

I’ve written about her before because she is so important in the development of programming languages and computers in general.

December 9, 2006   6 Comments

Why Florida Should Have Been Crying With Bush Sr.

The Pensacola Beach Blog has an article up on another of the John Ellis failures: Florida’s juvenile justice system. The Republicans won’t adequately fund the programs they are required to pay for, and then they deny responsibility when those programs fail. Tax breaks are more important.

December 9, 2006   2 Comments

Another Fine Mess…

There are reasons for hiring outside consultants to do something. Usually you want to do something once or very rarely and it involves skills that are not available in your company. These are the same reasons you hire a plumber at home. You could take courses and buy all the tools, but it’s not very cost effective.

On the other hand if you are about to enter into a program that deals with the heart and soul of your operation, that will take decades, and will cost billions of dollars, it would probably be a good idea to have people in your organization watching the project very closely.

The Washington Post has an article up on MSNBC, Costly fleet update falters about the Coast Guard’s “Deepwater” project that shows what can go wrong when all of the control is given to an outside vendor:

The program’s failures are spelled out in a series of Government Accountability Office and Department of Homeland Security inspector general’s reports and in congressional testimony, which point to the leeway given to the program’s contractors, Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. Through their joint venture, Integrated Coast Guard Systems, the companies declined to comment, referring all questions to the Coast Guard.

Because of this program 8 of the 10 Coast Guard vessels at the Port of Miami are stuck at the dock because of an “upgrade” that failed. The Coast Guard doesn’t have the people to watch over the program, and the contractors have no incentives to do the job properly. This is another post-9/11, no-oversight, throw money at it, Republican tax give away.

Nadezhda at American Footprints also covers this and she has pictures of some of the “toys” that are included in the program.

December 9, 2006   Comments Off on Another Fine Mess…

They Are At It Again

I warned people two years ago what the so-called “anti-missile system” was all about, and now they are at it again.

It’s sad that the only function that Norad [North American Air Defense Command] is semi-competent at any more is tracking a jolly fat guy on a pre-determined path.

December 9, 2006   Comments Off on They Are At It Again

Accidental Truth

Inigo Montoya:You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

When I noticed a headline recently that referred to the opponents of the Iraq War as Cassandras while the text of the article attempted to portray them as mistaken, I had to wonder if the headline writer was playing a joke, or the author of the article was having a “Vizzini moment.”

While I don’t expect that most people have memorized Bulfinch’s Mythology or they remember the Iliad from high school and/or college, they should have looked it up before using the word.

Cassandra was “cursed” by accurately predicting the future and having her predictions ignored.

The Iraq Study Group continued the practice by omitting testimony from those who accurately predicted the outcome of an invasion of Iraq and only listening to people who had already shown their lack of good judgment by supporting the war.

How many opportunities do these people get to be wrong, before the government and media decide to listen to people who were right?

Update: Via WTF is it now?, I went to Welcome to Pottersville and found the current reference to the Cassandra article in a Paul Krugman column. That it was in The Weekly Standard is not surprising.

December 9, 2006   Comments Off on Accidental Truth

Simple Truths

December 9, 2006   Comments Off on Simple Truths