Post-Iowa Forum

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Post Iowa?

    looks north

    Nope, Des Moines is still there.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Must see TV: McMillions: the bizarre story of how one man stole $24m from McDonald’s

    It was always a crime story hiding in plain sight. From 1987 to the 1990s, McDonald’s crowned dozens of winners in its promotional Monopoly game, which awarded customers prizes ranging from a free drink to a car to a million dollars. Big-time winners – the rare ticket-finders – were interviewed on the news and profiled in the papers. Except none of the winners was real. Or rather, none actually stumbled upon a lucky ticket. They were picked in a scheme run by a rogue ex-police officer, Jerome Jacobson, involving mob connections, false addresses, smuggled tickets and over $24m in illegal winnings – a genuinely crazy, rabbit-hole story of greed, deceit, and good old American scamming explored in McMillions, a six-part HBO docuseries out this week.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The founder of the Netherlands’ anti-immigration Forum for Democracy (FvD) party, one of several European far-right and nationalist leaders due to speak on Tuesday at a gathering in Rome, tweeted about the incident on Friday evening.

    “Filing a complaint is of course totally pointless,” Baudet, a flamboyant former academic and columnist, tweeted. “Oh dear, childishly naive Dutch people! Vote now finally for change. Break free of this politically correct nonsense! Save this country. #FVD”
    ……………………….
    After several passengers on the train refuted his version of events on social media, the Dutch national rail operator NS said the men in a photo Baudet subsequently posted to his Instagram account were three ticket inspectors and a police officer.

    As is common practice to avoid people dodging checks, none were wearing uniform, the operator said. It said the women did not initially believe that the men were NS employees so refused to show their tickets, prompting them to identify themselves and call the police officer.

    A company spokesman added that the episode was “not a noteworthy incident” and that its employees had behaved entirely correctly. A police spokesman said charges could be pressed if it was concluded an offence had been committed.

    Oh nooooooes… That brown man challenged the inherent superiority of my whiteness.

    2
  4. MarkedMan says:

    Krugman’s latest, which is basically a more eloquent take down of the modern Republican Party than what I’ve been posting here for the last several years. But of course it’s Krugman, who “serious Conservatives” immediately dismiss because… well, because of important reasons which they don’t have time to document here…

    2
  5. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: A few short years after the great recession, one of the money magazines, Fortune, or Forbes, or one of those, published an editorial that said, ‘you know Krugman told us there were problems with housing prices, and we just accused him of hating Bush. And we hate to admit it, but if you’ve been listening to him over the last three years you have a much better idea what’s going on than if you’ve been listening to us.’

    9
  6. MarkedMan says:

    FWIW, I predict that the media will give a pass to the ultimate cause of the Iowa confusion: Bernie Sanders. But for the record, the changes instituted that led to the untested computer programs were all done at the behest of Bernie. It’s what he expended his political capital on after his epic loss in 2016, as he stewed and sputtered about how evil Hillary had outplayed him in Iowa. (She must have cheated!) The caucus rule changes he was able to ramrod through guaranteed confusion and disarray, to the point that 11 of the 14 caucus states changed to a primary this year, because they feared exactly this outcome. If Iowa had been sensible, they would have changed over too, but that would have risked their first in the nation status. So they soldiered on, convincing themselves and the media that they could make it work under the new rules.

    4
  7. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: I’m astounded. Did they lose their membership cards in the “Sensible Republican” club?

    1
  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    File this under “Least Surprising News Ever”:

    A new report has revealed that a prominent white nationalist author, activist and podcaster known as “Paul Kersey” has in fact worked for more than a decade at mainstream conservative institutions and media outlets under his real name.

    According to an investigation by the not-for-profit media outlet Right Wing Watch (RWW), the man who has worked under the Kersey pseudonym is in fact Michael J Thompson.

    The Guardian has uncovered additional material that supports reporting by RWW, and further indicates Thompson’s role in moulding rightwing activists from a position near the heart of America’s most influential conservative institutions.

    The RWW investigation, published on Monday, reveals the work of “Paul Kersey”, whom it calls a “barely underground member of the white nationalist movement” and a fixture on the roster of racist media outlets and campaign groups.

    But it also shows that Thompson worked under his own name at institutions like the Leadership Institute, its media arm Campus Reform, and WND, formerly World Net Daily, a once-popular conspiracy-minded conservative outlet, as late as November 2018.

    1
  9. Mister Bluster says:

    More proof that the best thing to come out of Iowa is an empty bus!

  10. James Joyner says:

    @MarkedMan: Honestly, if Bernie Sanders manages to kill off caucuses, I think he should get the Nobel Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    17
  11. Teve says:
  12. Teve says:

    Iowa has 3 million people, Florida, where I live, has 21 million people and doesn’t vote for another month and a half. If Iowa botched their disproportionate influence in the election, good.

    5
  13. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: A white supremacist working in conservative media? That’s inconceivable!

    Next you’re going to tell me Reagan called black people monkeys or something. Get out of here with that crazy talk!

    4
  14. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: i’m going to track that article down some time, I remember seeing it in the Borders in Raleigh in like 2008 or 9.

  15. Scott says:

    Everybody is complaining about Iowa, NH, etc as having too much influence. Personally, rather than keep moving primaries earlier, I think the big states (California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, a nice diverse group of states) should get together have have a final primary in June. Save us all the drama until closer to conventions and elections.

  16. Teve says:

    Bloomberg is a sex-harassing plutocrat who is not going to go anywhere in the race, but this was still funny.

    CBS News asked @MikeBloomberg — who is campaigning in California during the Iowa Caucuses — about his feud with President Trump, and whether people want to see two billionaires fighting on Twitter.

    Bloomberg: “Two billionaires? Who’s the second one?”

    8
  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: I was just saying how he missed a chance to live rent free in trump’s head for ever after the Mini Mike “insult”. He should have said, “I may be short but if we stacked our wealths next to each other mine would be 20 times taller.” (depending on whether or not trump actually has any wealth.)

  18. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Teve:

    I did. About a month ago. It’s nice not to hit a paywall.

    Re: Limbaugh, from the if-you-can’t-say-anything-nice school of thought:

    .

    5
  19. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: if Trump is smart he’s on the phone with China trading tariff relief for “business development grants” deposited into accounts in Sri Lanka. Then he could be an actual billionaire.

  20. Teve says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: I just did this morning. I believe in paying for IP when you can afford it, and with my new job, I can afford it.

  21. Kathy says:

    I found a second book on the sub-prime mess, “All the Devils are Here” by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera. I’m only 3 chapters in, but the narrative goes back to the late 70s, to explain how sub-prime mortgages came about to begin with.

    2
  22. steve says:

    I hadn’t seen this anywhere else and maybe it is common knowledge, but it surprised me. Trump did away with our pandemic response team. One thing we learned with he swine flu and Ebola crises is that we have a lot of good people but we had no organization. Since pandemics are inevitable they put together a team to handle it. Since it was an Obama idea, Trump did away with it, but no worries, Trump’s HHS guy, Azar, will lead us. His extensive background as a pharmaceutical lobbyist is just what we need in a situation like this.

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/01/31/coronavirus-china-trump-united-states-public-health-emergency-response/

  23. Kurtz says:

    @MarkedMan:

    That’s because they conflate one particular framework within economics as all of economics. Their political views are dependent on that conflation.

  24. Sleeping Dog says:

    Since we’re waiting for the Iwegians to figure out what happened.

    Would Your Wages Rise Under ‘Medicare for All’?

    Will wages rise? When pigs fly. Last summer a friend who is a retired Fortune 500 company CFO talked about this and his response was businesses will raise wages as little as possible and keep as much largess as they can.

    4
  25. Kathy says:

    Last year MGM Resorts, owner of a lot of casinos in the US and elsewhere, sold the Bellagio to Blackstone. MGM now leases the property from Blackstone. And apparently other big players in the casino industry have also sold properties they now lease.

    Yesterday Etihad, one of the Big Three Middle East airlines (along with Emirates and Qatar) announced the sale of 38 planes for $1 billion(*) to an investment firm, KKR, and an aviation finance company, Altavair AirFinance. The sale includes retired and operational planes. Etihad will lease the still operational planes (777s).

    Etihad has lost a bundle of money recently, largely due to ill-advised investments in failing airlines in Europe. So they are cutting costs. I know less about MGM’s financial health.

    Still, it seems something odd is going on.

    (*) An average price of $26.5 million for a commercial jet is dirt cheap. I wonder how typical such massive depreciation is in the industry. It would explain why some airlines prefer to buy used planes, and why some are comfortable cutting corners as regards maintenance.

  26. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    A reminder to boycott the SOTU.
    Nothing hurts Trump like piss-poor ratings.

    4
  27. Kingdaddy says:
  28. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Kingdaddy:
    Ammosexuals.

    2
  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: How does it read? I’m interested.

    1
  30. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    It’s well written, with clear explanations.

    But it hits my weakness with audiobooks: too many names. I’m terrible with names. Also, too many financial instruments. I understand each as explained, but then I struggle to recall them all.

  31. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Took a walk this morning.

    Can’t confirm the rest of the state, but Des Moines seems intact. My neighbors’ dog is still barking at random moments caused by events only he can explain. There is no rioting.

    My precinct went Pete. Warren was a pretty strong second.

    It was interesting; new neighborhood for me. Used to live downtown; this neighborhood is very white. Nothing wrong with that, but I have to adjust. It is remarkably white.

    1
  32. de stijl says:

    I can flex my toes a little. I can cant my foot up and down maybe 20% of normal range. No feeling on the skin still.

    This is great news. As of a month ago, my right lower leg was paralyzed from mid calf down. Dead meat attached to me.

    My doc told me to walk every day. I’m glad I listened to her and followed through. I did four miles this morning.

    There is no bad music to walk to, but Fisherman’s Blues by The Waterboys really works. Makes you want to stride. That’s a good walking song.

    3
  33. de stijl says:

    EDM also makes for good walking music, oddly. It’s about the beat I think.

    2
  34. Gustopher says:

    Good News! Gritty has been cleared of assault charges!

    https://6abc.com/5900189

    Chris Greenwell told Action News that his son tapped the mascot’s head after the photo which prompted Gritty to lunge out of his chair and punch the boy in the back.

    Police said an investigation was completed by the South Detective Division.

    Officials said the results of the investigation determined the mascot did not commit physical assault as alleged.

    1
  35. Jax says:

    @de stijl: Excellent news on your foot! I’m glad you followed through, too!

    2
  36. Kathy says:

    Question: does software code have redundancies built-in, to be used if part of the code fails?

    I’m thinking it doesn’t, and that may be the big problem with software.

  37. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    Hold off on declaring this absolute good news.

    It’s Philly. The booed Santa and chucked snowballs at him. They have a jail at the football stadium.

    A little A&B on your resume as a Philly mascot gives you street cred.

    1
  38. Bill says:

    @James Joyner:

    Honestly, if Bernie Sanders manages to kill off caucuses, I think he should get the Nobel Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    James,

    You forgot a trip to Disney World.

    2
  39. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    @Kathy: The big problem with software is people keep thinking it’s magic, when it’s really really tedious detail-oriented work. There’s really no such thing as redundancies. Programmers do their best (within time and resource constraints) to predict how software might fail, and build things to not have that failure, or trap for the error so it isn’t a catastrophic failure (but even then, it will still fail, just hopefully with a useful error message and instructions how to fix as opposed to a screen of gibberish). Testing (within time and resource constraints) reveals errors that weren’t identified and handled in advance, and if you’re really lucky go back to programmers to be fixed before code is released. Sadly, no development team (programmers and testers) in the world has figured out how to identify all possible failures in advance. The real world is invariably going to throw up scenarios the software wasn’t designed to handle, and there is no magic bit of code that will fail over to a backup plan. Maybe if true AI ever amounts to anything it would become possible, but software is VERY literal. It will do *exactly* what the programmers told it to do, in all circumstances, nothing more or less.

    You know how they say no battle plan survives contact with the enemy? I like to say that no software survives contact with users.

    6
  40. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    No. None that I’ve seen.

    As a general rule, if there is a catastrophic failure, you default rollback to a previous version that you know works. In this instance, there was no previous build.

    My guess is that this an interface issue. Devices could not connect to the mothership for a huge number of reasons.

    1
  41. Jax says:

    The grift never ends with this guy.

    “Most of Trump’s grants of clemency have gone to ­well-connected offenders who had not filed petitions with the pardon office or did not meet its requirements, The Post review shows.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/most-clemency-grants-bypass-doj-and-go-to-well-connected-offenders/2020/02/03/4e8f3eb2-21ce-11ea-9c2b-060477c13959_story.html

    2
  42. de stijl says:

    We used to a thing were we pinged the server from various clients, and sent simple a simple query, if that failed everybody got notified 24/7. Then all hands on deck. Everybody had documented protocols. (It was amazing how often just recycling the server solved whatever it was. The DBMS isn’t responding? Push the power button twice. It’s a cliche because it’s true.)

    @Just Another Ex-Republican:

    Echo on the VERY literal statement.

    Another thing to understand is that software has many branches. If … thens, many, many If… thens. If there is an issue that prevents a bit of code from even being activated, it is as if it doesn’t exist. An upstream failure prevents anything downstream from activating. If your starter doesn’t work, your exhaust system is superfluous.

    1
  43. wr says:

    @de stijl: “There is no bad music to walk to, but Fisherman’s Blues by The Waterboys really works.”

    Play the whole album! (Your walking pace will double when you hit “We Will Not Be Lovers.”) In fact, play their entire catalog. And when you’re done, start on World Party and Hothouse Flowers.

  44. wr says:

    I can’t tell you all how happy I am to be spending this week in Sweden. Slept through the entire Iowa debacle, will miss all the impeachment stuff, and the SOTU is at 2am here — and I ain’t setting my clock. My only regret is that I’m coming home on Saturday, which means I’ll be there for the Oscars…

    4
  45. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kathy:

    Often the problem isn’t with the software, but with the servers that the app is running, i.e. the peak demand so degrades performance that the app crashes, which maybe the case here. On the other hand the app could have been so poorly written that a google or amazon data warehouse would have crashed.

  46. de stijl says:

    @wr:

    I love World Party!

    Put the message in the box. Put the box inside that car. Drive that car around the world.

    Also, from that era: The dbs.

    Ned’s Atomic Dustbin was mostly faddish trash, but Grey Cells Green is a great, great song.

  47. DrDaveT says:

    @Kathy:

    Question: does software code have redundancies built-in, to be used if part of the code fails?

    Not automatically, no.

    Let me mildly contradict the previous replies to this question to say that this is a current research area, and special cases of high-assurance software already exist that use this principle.

    Some NASA deep space probes, for example, use run-time monitor processes that watch the state of the system, looking for known potential error states. If such a state occurs, the monitor seizes control, performs an orderly shutdown, and phones home for instructions on how to proceed.

    DARPA has a current program called “Assured Autonomy” which is mostly concerned with how to design software architectures with a wrapper around their machine learning modules, able to spot situations where the ML should not be expected to be reliable and invoke alternative processes.

    So yes, it’s possible — but it’s hard and slow and expensive at present, which means it has only ever been used in situations where there’s no other way to prevent catastrophic failure.

    1
  48. Kathy says:

    @Just Another Ex-Republican:
    @de stijl:
    @Sleeping Dog:

    Airplanes famously have redundant activation systems for the flight surfaces and engine controls, plus backups for other things (like for electrical power in case of engine failure). Other machines employ fail-safes of various sorts, and yet others are over-engineered in order to account for unforeseen circumstances.

    I understand the complications faced by software. I know what the acronym PEBKAC means, too 😉

    What I think frustrates most people is the Spaceballs Quality Principle: F***k! Even in the future, nothing works.

    For instance, I’m constantly surprised how often Excel does exactly what I want when I copy a formula from one place to another. I’m also surprised how often it does something completely different. I can say it’s gotten better over time, but it’s still frustrating when it fails, be it with a wrong formula, or an unexplainable crash.

    1
  49. de stijl says:

    @wr:

    I love Sweden. I had a few work gigs there because I can kinda sorta speak an approximation of Swedish. I speak Swedish like a drunk five year old, but better than 99.999% of American data analysts, database, SQL people can. Practically everyone speaks English, anyway.

    Iceland was my fave though.

  50. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:..PEBKAC

    Much like what my dispatcher told me was the problem when I would complain about the mechanical condition of my Yellow Cab years ago.
    “The only thing wrong with that car is the nut behind the wheel!”

    1
  51. Kathy says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I guess it’s hard to get tech support past the orbit of Pluto…

    IMO, this is a problem that autonomous cars will have to address. Imagine if the software craps out at some crucial time.

  52. DrDaveT says:

    @Kathy:

    IMO, this is a problem that autonomous cars will have to address.

    Funny you should mention that…

    Underwriters Laboratories and Edge Case Research are currently in process of developing a standard for development of safety cases for self-driving cars. It’s called UL4600, and it only addresses the necessary content and structure of the evidence and arguments — not how to actually design and build them. The last draft I saw was nearly 300 pages long.

    1
  53. Bill says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Post Iowa?

    looks north

    Nope, Des Moines is still there.

    There is nothing wrong with Iowa except for it having too much weight in the Presidential selection process.

    I set one of ebooks there. (A television anchorwoman on trial for the murder of her adoptive parents) and have twice overnighted in the state. A hotel in Newton had a trampoline and I can remember having fun it using it. I was six at the time. My second visit, when I was 26, had me coming down with a case of food poisoning. Memories…..

  54. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: I had nearly always lived in mixed race neighborhoods so it was a little strange for me too when I moved out here. Not hard to adjust, as I had always spent a lot of time in the hills and hollers, but strange, like something was missing. I’ve been out here for almost 20 years now and it’s still missing. On the occasions when I get up to STL, it’s actually sort of comforting to see people who don’t look or talk like me.

    1
  55. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:..Imagine if the software craps out at some crucial time.

    It would be alot like the time in 1978 that I was pulling out of a restaurant parking lot on a downhill grade making a right turn into traffic on to Main Street in Sleepytown in my 1966 Chevy pick up truck and the steering column snapped in two! Yikes! The steering wheel spun around several times as I braked. Fortunately there was no one behind me. Since the front wheels were still turned at the angle where I had left them when the steering column broke I was able to shift into reverse and back into the parking space that I had just pulled out of.
    That might have been the last repair I did myself on any of my rides.

    1
  56. de stijl says:

    @wr:

    This will sound like a brag.

    I have a really good ear. I can listen to almost any music in the pop, rock, r&b, punk genres and know which song will be a hit, which will resonate for decades, which will be referenced and built upon.

    As a practitioner I was adequate at best; mostly deriviative and boring. We did nothing of note.

    But when I listened to other people’s stuff, I know what was good at first listen. And what people would want to hear, and respond to positively.

    In a different life I would have been a producer or someone who worked for a major label.

    I’m Phil Spector without the murder and misogyny.

    We used to have a database called EMF. It was the very early aughts, so “E” probably stood for electronic which was the style at that time. It fell under my purview.

    My boy Luke and I would goof on that moniker. We would work “unbelievable” and “Whoah!” into every presentation.

    Luke from Chino! He was a really good dude.

  57. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill: I like to take nice leisurely drives up Hwy 61 on my trips north. I have stayed at a few of the state parks. It is a stunningly beautiful area. I hate I- 35. Flat as a pancake with nothing but corn or soybeans, barns, and windmills as far as the eye can see. It’s been 30 years since I went north along the Misery. In my mind it is beautiful too, in a different way, but a lot can change in 30 years so I wouldn’t trust my memory.

  58. Michael Cain says:

    @Kathy:
    Yes, you can write software that way. It gets real expensive real fast. Spread the application across a bunch of communicating processors and it gets even harder. It takes a special kind of paranoia.

    The last time I spec’ed a component in that sort of message-based distributed system, the component spent far more cycles testing data structures before it acted then it spent on the activity. Is the data in this message self-consistent? Is the relevant data in the process self-consistent? Are the message and the process data mutually consistent? If the message is inconsistent, how do you report that? If the process data is inconsistent, how do you recover from that? Defining the rules that the data structures had to satisfy — “invariants” when I was in school long ago — was much harder than defining what the application should do after deciding the data was correct.

    2
  59. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I grew up in a place where what everyone had in common was that we were poorer than average. It takes all types to be poor.

    We lived a handful of blocks away from the richest, whitest suburb in Minneapolis.

    The distance between south Minneapolis and Edina is both geographically close and culturally infinite.

    I’m white. I understand that even poor whites have advantages and privileges over your neighbors. I’m not blind.

    I have not lived in this white of a place ever. There were a few Asian faces.

    When I was a youngster I got shipped off to my Grandparents in NW Wisconsin during the summer to help with their dairy farm.

    I don’t think that there was a black or brown person in that whole county. It was spooky.

    Plus, the way they talked about us as if we were savages. That was interesting. I learned forbearance.

    Too great a concentration of white folks is creepy to me. It’s not necessarily bad, but it has a bad vibe.

  60. de stijl says:

    @wr:

    I used to work downtown and lived just off Hennepin & Franklin. Liquor Lyle’s!

    Sometimes the thought of the bus was just not appealing so I would walk. About 35, 40 minutes home so roughly 2 and a half miles. I used to walk fast.

    Sinead O’Connor had a song “Emperor’s New Clothes” – that, my friend, is an excellent walking song. You stride hard and fast and big to that. Propulsive. It’s about the beat.

    Sinead is weird. I’m pretty sure she is bi-polar, but I am not a professional. She feels more strongly and deeper than most of us. She may be captive to her emotions. That was a really great song, though.

    Mandinka is effing awesome. The window washer caught me dancing my ass off in my underpants to that song once. You’re on the 20th floor, you think no one can see you.

    I remember exactly where I bought that record. Mandinka is a great dancing in your underpants song.

    1
  61. Bill says:

    @de stijl:

    I have not lived in this white of a place ever. There were a few Asian faces.

    My elementary schools on Long Island (Centereach and Lake Grove in Suffolk county) 1967-73, were all white or close to it. I don’t remember having a black classmate (Though I played the baritone horn in the band with a biracial student. John was one grade behind me) till junior high. One of those students, Andre Johnson, was my best friend till I finished the 9th grade and my family moved to Florida. The HS and JHS I attended had to be 95% white. I don’t remember having any Asian classmates in New York and only 1 or 2 in Florida.

    While my parents were trying to sell our NY home, a Chinese American family viewed it. He was a professor at a college in NYC. NYU I think. They had two boys somewhere around 8-12 years of age.

    My senior prom date was African-American. It was the only time Pam* and I went out together. Our Moms set us up. They knew each other. We were sort of the class misfits, though we both served in student government. Pam stood about 4’6 and I was and still am very introverted.

    Then I went in the Navy and served as a hospital corpsman. Got to work with and know lots of African-Americans then. I served at Subic Bay 87-89 and that’s where I met my Filipina wife.

    *- Here’s an article on Pam’s family.

    https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-xpm-1999-06-12-9906120141-story.html

    She is one of 13 children. I knew she had lots of siblings but not that many till I stumbled upon this article around 5 years ago. She lives in VA now according to a 2018 obituary for her father.

    2
  62. de stijl says:

    Andrew WK Party Hard.

    I hit replay on that sucker 4 or 5 times in a row.

    Plus check his twitter. He’s such a sweetie. Total mensch.

  63. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    @DrDaveT: Not really in disagreement. As you noted the NASA probes are looking for “known potential error states.” IE something that someone has identified as a potential failure and prepped for. Not to go all Rumsfeldian on everyone, but it’s the unknown potential error states that will get you 🙂

    I myself am guilty of making the crack about how reliable a car is compared to the proverbial BSOD, but the truth is a car is a self constrained construct (historically, not including self-driving vehicles here) with a fairly discrete number of components and failure points between those components. Excel, on the other hand, is reliant by now on hundreds of millions of lines of code itself, plus dependencies on literally thousands of combinations of hardware and OS functions, plus functionality added by optional code plug-ins, and taking input from users in many more ways and types than a steering wheel, pedals, and a gear shift.

    Cain’s point about the perils of excessive error-trapping is a big one too. Because on top of everything else, we expect the software to respond in the ms range.

    Sometimes I think it’s a miracle any of it works at all.

    1
  64. Teve says:

    @Just Another Ex-Republican: i thought real-time important shit mostly used QNX.

  65. Teve says:

    Speeding Democratic Campaign Buses Run Over 173 Iowans In Mad Dash To Get Fuck Out Of State

    The onion, of course.

    2
  66. de stijl says:

    TIL Neko Case is not Canadian. I’d always just assumed that, what with The New Pornographers.

    She isn’t. She is from Tacoma via Virginia.

    Letter From An Occupant

  67. Teve says:

    @green_footballs

    Right wing media are very predictably going to lose their shit over Pelosi tearing up Trump’s speech. It’s already starting, in fact.

    Good. Fuck him.

    1
  68. Jax says:

    @Teve: Oh yes. Just starting to see hints of it on Facebook. I did not watch.

    I’ve been busy on this little photo blog I forgot I had! Drone pictures of the snow, coming up! 😉

  69. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy:

    Question: does software code have redundancies built-in, to be used if part of the code fails?

    Code doesn’t fail, it can only be failed.

    Seriously, though, on non-trivial systems the hard problems are usually the components interacting in unexpected ways. You can always miss something while coding up an algorithm, but rerunning it with the same data is going to fail the same way.

    Toss in something else running on another machine… now you have chaos. You can design things to be idempotent, and have some automatic retries. And then, unless it’s really important, you just wait for the pager to go off and then add some more capacity.

  70. wr says:

    @de stijl: I would love to go to Iceland… but I’m being paid to be in Sweden!