Named laws of software development

The Global Nerdy blog (no, I’d never heard of it before either) has a compilation of named laws of software development. These are comments from relatively well-known (to the geek community, at least) folks that got tied to their names because they’ve held true for so long. Here are a few as a sample.

Brooks’ Law – Fred Brooks – Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.

Clarke’s Third Law – Arthur C. Clarke – Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. [ed note: One of my favorite attributed quotes ever, BTW]

The Law of False Alerts – George Spafford – As the rate of erroneous alerts increases, operator reliance, or belief, in subsequent warnings decreases. [ed note: Yes, that’s pretty much a “Boy who cried wolf” law, but I know from experience that it is sooooo true]

Sixty-sixty Rule – Robert Glass – Sixty percent of software’s dollar is spent on maintenance, and sixty percent of that maintenance is enhancement.

The list is long, but very, very interesting. There were a few that I hadn’t heard before, but most of them I knew at least somewhat. (via boingboing)

[tags]Laws of software development, Named laws, Global Nerdy[/tags]

Unsurprisingly TSA no flight is wrong again

Some people still don’t get that maintaining a list of names is an idiotic way to determine terrorist threats and using that list to deny airplane entry is beyond moronic. Especially in the case where an 8-year-old boy isn’t allowed to fly home because he’s on the list of known terrorists.

An 8-year-old boy expecting to catch a plane home is denied entry for appearing on a terrorist no-fly list, reported

Bryan Moore was set to catch his first plane trip when he arrived at an airport in Cortez, Colorado to fly home after visiting his sister, said the report.

According to the story, the TSA rules specify that children aren’t to be barred when their names appear on the list. Of course, given how poorly known the rules are by TSA employees, that’s small comfort in general and it was clearly worthless in this case. That shouldn’t matter, though, because the number of false positives from this are absurdly beyond any acceptable level of lost time due to error. Senator Kennedy has been denied entry to an airplane because of this list. Catherine Stevens, wife of Senator Ted Stevens, has been denied access to planes because her name is close to that of barred singer Cat Stevens. The accuracy of this list has been covered all over the web-o-tubes (hint: it’s horridly low). The problem with non-unique identifiers as blocking a mechanism has been well-covered by many security experts. Yet instead of implementing smarter security, our government just trims 20% off the list and calls it done.

Poor kid just wanted home.

[tags]8-year-old blocked from travel as a terrorist, Further proof of non-security of names of terrorists, Security , Terrorism, TSA[/tags]

Teens survive own stupidity – Darwin sad

Hey, I have a great idea – let’s taunt 2-ton creatures that can kill us and climb over the fence to make it more exciting!

The Kansas City Zoo plans to press charges against two teenage boys who allegedly climbed into the hippo exhibit and threw rocks at the two-ton mammals, zoo officials said.

. . .

Randy Wisthoff, the zoo director, said the boys, both 14, are from St. Louis and were apparently trying to impress a girl.

The massive hippos, which spend much of their days submerged in water, are often considered one of the most dangerous animals in the world.

In case you women ever wondered if you are in fact responsible for all the troubles we men suffer, here’s anecdotal evidence that yes, you really are. We do stupid things trying to impress women. Then 5 years later, you stop opening your legs and we realize our mistake. We’re really that dumb.

[tags]Stupid kids, Teens taunt Darwin – survive, Hippos vs teens[/tags]