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Silicon Valley In 2013 Resembles Logan's Run In 2274

16K Ram Pack Re:It goes both ways (432 comments)

IMO (and I'm older so may be biased) I want older programmers. I was talking to a young guy where I work and he had his own ORM that generated code. "Why don't you use entity framework or nHibernate". "Because I wanted to build one".

And that's a young programmer's attitude, and to some extent, in the days of mainframes, building cool stuff in a company was a good thing because you had no other option. But in the days when you can just download something open source that someone has built, and wire it in and test it or maybe buy something for £100, it makes no sense. We know about things like technical debt, that young guys don't, that you want to write as little code as you can to solve the problem.

about a year ago

School Regrets Swapping Laptops For iPads

16K Ram Pack Re:iPads are pretty incredible for schools (504 comments)

When you get into the "real world" use of tablets, not Jonny Ive sat lounging with one in an ad, but actually using one, you realise that they're actually a pretty bad idea. The positioning is all wrong. How do you watch a 2hr movie on one? Hold it up or look downwards. Neither are as comfortable as watching a movie on a TV or even a laptop where the screen is supported. Touch screens might be new, but they're not progress over more accurate and faster keyboards and mice.

A tablet offers less than a tablet, with few upsides. OK, they're smaller and lighter, but they're not so small as to give any advantages. Anywhere that you can take an iPad, you can take a laptop.

about 2 years ago

School Regrets Swapping Laptops For iPads

16K Ram Pack Re:What were they expecting? (504 comments)

This is what I can never get about this "great media consumption device". At best, it does a lot of different media consumption quite badly, meaning that you still can't replace all the dedicated devices.

It'll play MP3s, but you can't exactly use it down a gym. It'll play movies, but a 10" screen with no stand isn't as good as a laptop, let alone a 32" TV. It'll give you eBooks but a kindle is far easier to read

A laptop is actually a better "media consumption device". Larger screen, self-supporting. Every single service that can give you content on an iPad is also available on a PC, and a PC allows you to watch a load of internet media that you can't get on an iPad. You can watch a Blu-Ray or DVD. You can plug in your movie library via USB. You have far more storage space. If you want to put it on a TV, you need nothing more than an HDMI cable.

about 2 years ago

Preparing For Life After the PC

16K Ram Pack Re:"Trucks and cars" (636 comments)

The problem is that until someone makes the design more productive than a laptop, it won't be as good. That's not just about the keyboard, but also that the laptop is designed to give you a vertical, self-supporting screen. An iPad may be smaller and lighter than a laptop, but it really isn't any more portable. Anywhere that you can take an iPad, you can also take a laptop.

They're not even better as a "media consumption device". 10" 4x3 device with no stand is better than my 14" 16x9 laptop? Does it have as many formats? Can it store as many movies? Does it have an HDMI connector built in? If I use LoveFilm, can I watch it onto my TV or does the app block that?

more than 2 years ago

Preparing For Life After the PC

16K Ram Pack Re:Requires generational change (636 comments)

Look at Slashdot readers, who you would think would be on the vanguard of this technological shift. Instead they are some of the clingiest whiniest buggy-whip holdingist resistors of change to be found, simply because post-PC devices cannot yet replace high-end CAD workstations or some other such uber-specialized nonsense that do not matter to the general trend.

No, we're technology skeptics. Show us why these are better than what we had before and we'll use them. And we're about to be proven right about the "bonnet welded shut" thinking as the iPad 1 is about to stop getting upgrades. It's likely to be a redundant device, 2 years after they were sold.

more than 2 years ago

C/C++ Back On Top of the Programming Heap?

16K Ram Pack C growing? (611 comments)

The whole survey looks odd to me. I work on MS sites and a decade or so ago, there was quite a lot of C around, but with today's hardware, I hardly see any of it now. Maybe I'm hanging around in the wrong sites or job boards, but most of the demand on places like Jobserve seems to be around .net, Java and php. Any chance that this survey is including a load of c# results in c?

more than 2 years ago

HDTV Expert Alfred Poor Tells You What to Buy and What Not to Buy (Video)

16K Ram Pack Re:3D may never be worth it (324 comments)

I give it a year, maybe 2 before the 3D thing dies out. The studios liked hyping it because you couldn't see it on TV, the theaters liked it because they could charge a premium. But the fact is that audiences have got bored with it. They're opting for 2D.

more than 2 years ago

From the Nuremberg Toy Fair, a New Linux System For RC Cars

16K Ram Pack Nuremberg? (81 comments)

I guess it's a rally car, then.

more than 2 years ago

Is Climate Change the New Evolution?

16K Ram Pack Re:Both sides of debate anti-science (1055 comments)

As I understand it, there's plenty of evidence for a warming trend. In that sense, climate change is a fact. The acrimonious debate (for people with enough mental capacity to get past a knee-jerk reaction) revolves around two questions 1) whether or not it is caused by human activity, and 2) whether it in fact represents a continuing trend and therefore a crisis for humanity. Neither point 1 nor point 2 has been proved definitively but many minds much more knowledgeable about the facts than I seem to think so. Unfortunately, this doesn't really seem like a provable proposition. Given the complexity of the environment, one might as well try to prove that String Theory is correct. I support and admire the scientists who struggle to understand/explain/prove either String Theory or climate science.

Some of the global warming is man-made. You drive a car, it burns fossil fuels and produces CO2 and the planet warms. You won't find many skeptics doubting that

The problem is all the stuff about feedback effects and just how much of a problem they are. The results of the past 15 years are that we did not see warming that was within the range of the models. I know scientists working in other fields who say that the methodological approaches and their attitude to open presentation of results are poor and would not be tolerated in their field of science.

more than 2 years ago

Sorry, IT: These 5 Technologies Belong To Users

16K Ram Pack And Galun Grumen's experience is? (348 comments)

Oh, he's been a writer for 25 years. Not a CIO, not a businessman, not a geek. He should go and actually try working in the real world.

more than 2 years ago

Half Life of a Tech Worker: 15 Years

16K Ram Pack Re:plan? in this climate? (473 comments)

HR are mostly about covering ass and are fine for checkout/call centre staff. Beyond that, they're a pain in the ass.

I had a manager who had a huge fight because HR wouldn't hire IT guys without degrees. They'd screen out people with 10-15 years experience.

more than 2 years ago

The Futility of Developer Productivity Metrics

16K Ram Pack Coding Metrics (203 comments)

Like paying a composer by the number of notes that he writes

more than 2 years ago

Device Detects Drug Use Via Fingerprints

16K Ram Pack Re:These people can go to hell (224 comments)

There's already drug tests out there. This makes it cheaper. Expect to see more drug testing, citizen.

more than 2 years ago

Device Detects Drug Use Via Fingerprints

16K Ram Pack These people can go to hell (224 comments)

Seriously, I can only hope that the people at UEA DIAF because a fireman was suspended for having a joint a week ago, because their technology made it easier to drug test them.

If you're working to support the war on drugs, you're a money-grabbing fascist. Go and research how to make drugs that can't be detected by sniffer dogs and make the law a farce and we might see a change in them.

more than 2 years ago

Nokia Unveils Its First Windows 7 Phone

16K Ram Pack Re:And silence.... (349 comments)

And really, that's just not a BFD. If Android saw that the world desperately used it and were moving to WP7 because of it, they'd soon get a release out that integrated it.

The whole thing with WP7 is two desperate companies getting together. Microsoft are basically throwing money at getting market share, and think that they're entitled to a large chunk of the market. But what kept Windows and Office in place (getting the lion's share of the market first, formats) just doesn't apply here. And while WP7 might do a few things better, the bulk of people are on Android.

What's funny to me is that MS are chasing Apple and Android when their natural home is stuff for corporates. They should be building a phone that's designed around all their business services, push email, Exchange and Instead they've built a locked phone that's geared around silverlight, so for corporates, it's hopeless.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Does Being 'Loyal' Pay As a Developer?

16K Ram Pack This is Not Your Company (735 comments)

Unfortunately, they are still a long way from grasping the technologies used – not to mention the 'interesting' job the outsourced developers managed to make of the code.

Let me get this straight: you're working for someone who is about to release a flagship project, but the code is a mess and you've got 2 members of staff and the only person who really knows about it is you.

Now I'll explain what your real situation is: you're filling in for your management being not very good. Those guys aren't putting in a real investment, and through your efforts you're keeping them going.

So, the question to you is this: what are you getting for being a crucial part of their company? You see, I've seen this dozens of times... people who work 8am to 7pm every day because the work needs doing without telling the management to go screw themselves when the management refuse to get more staff in. People who earn little more than the people doing 9 to 5.

Regardless of another job, I would go to these guys and suggest they make you a director, or put you on share options for your work.

more than 2 years ago

Movie Industry: Loss of Control Worse Than Piracy

16K Ram Pack Re:No business model can compete with free (360 comments)

This is because deep down most people believe that entertainment is an optional extra. People make the rational decision when given the option of paying for it or not paying for it. They save their resources and pay for the necessities.

Not true. Personally, I pay for my music. You know why? Partly to reward the artist, but most importantly because it's easier. I can go onto Amazon, hit a few buttons, pay a few pounds and I've got a new album on my iPod including cover art within minutes. That works for me.

I got the urge to watch Die Hard and realised that I didn't have it recently. To buy it from iTunes would have cost me £8 (double the DVD price), would have been locked into things that play iTunes and I'd either have to watch it on my PC or move my PC next to my TV. Even if the movie was free, piracy would have been a better option (as it happens I just changed my mind).

more than 2 years ago

Can Newegg Survive the Post-PC Future?

16K Ram Pack Re:Still plenty of PCs for many years (559 comments)

I think that desktop growth is slowing because desktop's aren't improving at the rate they were. I used to upgrade almost every year because the difference from the user experience perspective was huge. Using something like MS Word was noticeably faster on a P166 with 32mb of ram over a P75 with 16mb of ram.

Now, I did replace my laptop recently, but the previous one was over 4 years old. My desktop PC is 3 years old. My parent's laptop is 5 years old.

more than 2 years ago

Evaluating the 'Doofus Factor' In Corporate Governance

16K Ram Pack Re:Interesting problem (204 comments)

Of course this highlights a big problem with corporate governance, namely that boards are elected by stockholders, but a combination of stockholder disinterest and large institutional and mutual fund investment in firms has led to the composition of the board ballot being decided by the CEO and management.

I don't invest in any company where the people in charge doesn't have an "emotional" interest in the company. That means that either you founded the company, or have worked for the company for decades and come up through the ranks. I've yet to see a company where a faceless, parachuted-in CEO came into a business and dramatically improved it, and the reason is that they have never been entrepreneurs, nor do they have any understanding of the company. At best they keep it ticking along.

about 3 years ago

Evaluating the 'Doofus Factor' In Corporate Governance

16K Ram Pack Re:On a scale of 1-10... (204 comments)

And it is THAT, that right there, that to me marks the dufus problem in a nutshell. it is upward failure where doing dumbshit yields a quick gain followed by a HORRIBLE outcome, but the gain gets the dufus moved up or a "selling point" on his resume and he/she is out of their before the excrement hits the bladed cooling device.

I know a large corporate where the message from the top is that nothing can be done that doesn't have a payoff within 12 months. I suspect that's entirely about annual reporting, and the effect on the CEO bonus, but the medium/long-term effect of such a decision is that it becomes a death spiral. You don't do sensible things that have a return over a reasonable term, so you don't get the extra income, so you lose money.

I know another company that just goes crazy for the outsourcing. They hired a shitty company in India, completely farking hopeless. They fucked up the system big time. So, they went out and hired a company in Poland. These guys were good, and reasonably priced. I wish that wasn't so because they could undercut people like me, but that is the truth. The Poles did a great job fixing the site, getting it running smoothly. So what did the company do once it got to this point? Oh yeah, they dropped the Polish company because they found a cheaper company in Bangalore. Guess what happened next...

What I wish a lot of managers would grasp is how vital IT is, and how much it's like the arteries of the business, and to stop treating it with all the seriousness of the people who print their business cards or sort out the company party. And yes, one reason I like working for small businesses is that they actually give a shit about IT working because they OWN the business. They're not going to fuck off a few years later with a golden parachute to another company.

about 3 years ago


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