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Ask Slashdot: As a Programmer/Geek, Should I Learn Business?

CosmeticLobotamy Re:As a geek who went to business school ... (167 comments)

If MBAs really aren't taught "bad management skills," what is it that corrupts them and causes the disastrous short term thinking epidemic in companies these days?

It's not that the MBA training is negative, it's just not enough to be useful on day 1. So the process goes like this:

The guy who hires him is looking to fill a role, and he knows it's not going to happen without a learning curve, so he can never find an exact match to the job.

So you can hire someone who wants twice what you want to pay and doesn't have the exact skillset you need, or you can hire someone out of college who wants 60% of what you're willing to pay and, after some on-the-job training will have the skillset you need. So you take the cheaper one.

And it turns out he's an idiot. But by the time you find that out he's been working there for a year, and he's not so bad that you need him fired right now, and bringing someone else up to speed is going to take a year, so you make do. And 10 years later you realize you're still just "making do", so you put out an ad and replace him.

Rinse / repeat.

about a year ago
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App Can Prevent Users From Texting While Driving

CosmeticLobotamy Re:Riiiiight (144 comments)

Forget about teaching your children not to do it, we`ll just create another useless device to offset parenting skills and common sense.

If your plan requires a large number of people to have parenting skills or common sense, or any other virtue, your plan will fail. If it requires people to be vile, stupid animals, you'll probably get get much better results. If it only requires that people breathe from time to time, it's a very good plan.

9.6 / 10 people suck. You know that if you've ever been in traffic. It's not fixable, and it never will be. Work around it.

(This is not an endorsement of this article's stupid system. It's stupid.)

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Wins Mobile Patent On Displaying Lists, Documents

CosmeticLobotamy Re:I don't get it (306 comments)

It's not general, the summary is just dumb. As far as I can tell, it's a patent on a scrollbar that disappears when you're not dragging the view. If that's right, it's certainly a crummy patent, but not a general one.

more than 2 years ago
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Taxes Lead Angry Birds Maker Rovio To Consider Move To Ireland

CosmeticLobotamy Re:Too little competition is also bad ... (626 comments)

I'm sure that's great for the people receiving money they didn't earn. Why is that worthwhile to Rovio? Or for anyone who actually earns his paycheck?

When Rovio Ireland realizes that contracting Rovio Finland is more expensive than contracting Rovio Pakistan, the former employees from Finland will think it was very worthwhile.

But that's only the healthy ones. The ones who were lazy enough to get sick were already pretty much fine with it.

more than 2 years ago
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The End of the Gas Guzzler

CosmeticLobotamy Re:To fund prevention of misbehavior (897 comments)

The problem here isn't transport energy costs as much as zoning regulations that ban home gardening.

That's absolutely ridiculous. You want 3 million people in Chicago, in addition to having 1 or 2 full time jobs, to also grow their own food. And be good enough at it to survive. In their 3 foot by 2 foot patch of dirt. OK, those 4 cucumbers ought to sustain them for lunch on August 6th. 364 days to figure out.

more than 3 years ago
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Cool-Factor Predicted To Spur Energy Conservation

CosmeticLobotamy Re:Already seen in practice (130 comments)

Nissan Altimas have the MPG meter, and I notice I do try to keep it as high as I can when I have it on (though I rarely do. There's more important info screens on there, and for some reason they decided to make the fonts on each one huge so you can't put them all on at once).

But I just wish we could get an accurate gas gauge. If people (me, at least) could tell that this trip used 2.168 gallons, they'd know it also cost $8 and they might think about doing things differently. For now, all you know is that your last ten trips used something like 3/8ths of a tank. And a tank in this car is, uh... 18.3 gallons? Maybe? Times 3/8ths is, uh... Fuck it. If I need gas I'll get gas.

A real-time meter that says your flooring it and slamming on the brakes every 10 seconds just cost you 0.2 gallons over 30 seconds (or whatever) might make people a little more conservative.

more than 3 years ago
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Is There a New Geek Anti-Intellectualism?

CosmeticLobotamy Re:Not anti-intellectualism (949 comments)

It's hard to feel such pleasure when you don't have enough money to eat.

How much money do you usually eat?

more than 3 years ago
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Has iTunes Been Hacked?

CosmeticLobotamy Re:Data corruption? (191 comments)

Obviously I have no idea what happened in your case, but it gave me an interesting thought. If you have thousands of stolen credit cards (or even just one) but are afraid of getting caught using them, making thousands of other people unknowingly use stolen credit cards by changing their stored data would make for some fantastic plausible deniability.

more than 3 years ago
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Obama Administration Wants Your Old Email

CosmeticLobotamy Re:Obama acomplishments (639 comments)

If you support humanitarian intervention then you can't very well condemn GWB for deposing Saddam.

But you can easily condemn him for being a dickbag about it. "We don't need a permission slip to defend ourselves," is a sentence that did an enormous amount of damage to the world.

more than 3 years ago
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Browser Power Consumption Compared

CosmeticLobotamy Re:What the hell? (274 comments)

Hitting the disk every 10m incurs a performance penalty.

Not necessarily. If nothing else is using the disk and you spawn a thread to do nothing but sleep 10ms, seek to a semi-random spot on the disk, and write "Hey, hard drive, what's up?" you will have no noticeable performance problems until something else needs the drive.

You could do nonsense math in a loop in a background thread, which in a multi-core system would heat the processor up good and toasty without any real performance hit as long as the other 3 cores are idle.

Neither of those would actually ever happen, but functionally equivalent operations implemented by incompetent boobs could do something similar. To a lesser extent, even a competent programmer, knowing that normally there's a ton of computational power to spare, might not give a dang that his function is sucking up 20% more CPU than it needs to.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Cars Drive Themselves, In Traffic

CosmeticLobotamy Re:awful, awful awful awful (293 comments)

Everyone assumes the speed limit will be exceeded by 5 - 10 mph, including those who set it. Its main purpose is to generate municipal funding through what is essentially a random tax, and to ensure that traffic doesn't go much more than 5 - 10 over the number posted on the side of the road, 'cause that number plus 10 is usually about what's actually safe.

Adhering to the speed limit as though it's set by God is not virtuous, it's just annoying. Please move over for people that want to get past you. If they're creating a life-threatening situation, you'll know it no matter what the sign on the side of the road says. Feel free to call 911.

more than 3 years ago
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Talking To Computers?

CosmeticLobotamy Annoying as hell (395 comments)

The first thing I do when a phone operator robot asks me to say "English" for English or "Espanol" for Espanol, I push all the buttons to see if I can get to a number-based menu, or at least hurt the robot's ears. Saying "English" and waiting for it to confirm that I said English is not faster or more convenient than hitting 1. It's not scary, but it's a computer, and I'm not going to pretend it's not.

Saying, "Open a command prompt," is in no way more convenient, faster, or easier than slamming the mouse to the lower left, clicking, and typing cmd.exe. Having it say, "OK, here's a command prompt," afterward would just be annoying.

Maybe I'm just not picturing the right use case.

more than 3 years ago
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Testing Free English Anti-Malware On Non-English Threats

CosmeticLobotamy Re:Blacklisting is a losing battle (78 comments)

This bears no resemblance to the Apple App Store. Apple doesn't audit for security, they audit for boobies and giving the user the ability to run software they didn't audit for boobies and take 30% of.

more than 3 years ago
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Testing Free English Anti-Malware On Non-English Threats

CosmeticLobotamy Re:Blacklisting is a losing battle (78 comments)

This idea is so insanely bad and competition-murdering that I'm surprised Microsoft hasn't quietly spun off some security firm to make this happen.

more than 3 years ago
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Obama Calling For $53B For High Speed Rail

CosmeticLobotamy Re:Tone-deaf President (1026 comments)

If spent properly, $16 billion will come back as tax income directly (by spent properly, I mean "if you have a bank account in Ireland, there's no need to apply for the funds, contractor). After contractor profits and material cost, probably $10-ish billion of that will go to guys actually doing work. Those people will no longer be unemployed, making a significant dent in the unemployment rate.

On top of than that, since this money goes largely to people without money, that money will get spent quickly, meaning products will be bought, businesses will be kept afloat by those sales, and those businesses will lay fewer people off by the truckload. Hopefully someone can convince them to spend it on things with a Made In America stamp.

The investment will likely mostly pay for itself when the lines are leased to private companies to run the lines after they're built.

The American people benefit by the additional infrastructure.

This is exactly how government should spend money. But obviously that's a huge amount of money and its application should be careful, thoughtful, and efficient. That's usually where these things go awry; they let private business tell them "what they need" instead of hiring an insanely over-qualified team to actually manage the job with Uncle Sam's interests in mind.

more than 3 years ago
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Tethered, Water-Powered Jetpack Provides Two Hours of Flight Time

CosmeticLobotamy Re:could it be scaled up (170 comments)

20km is 140km short of low earth orbit. Though you'd have to talk to someone with more structural engineering knowledge than I have to know how impractical a 20km tall tower is this week. And someone with more rocket science knowledge to tell you if this scheme of whatever quantity of fuel this would offload is of any benefit at all.

As for nanotubes, it's my understanding that they have excellent tensile strength but poor compressive strength, making them useful for a "hanging" space elevator but useless for a very tall tower.

more than 3 years ago
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Tethered, Water-Powered Jetpack Provides Two Hours of Flight Time

CosmeticLobotamy Re:could it be scaled up (170 comments)

You're then pulling along a 20km hose behind your rocket, and that hose has to be strong enough to support its own weight. You're going to add more weight than you're subtracting.

Unless you built a 20km tall tower that the hose hangs down from and as the rocket ascends you retract the hose so the rocket doesn't have to carry the slack. But then you have to build a 20km tall tower that can hold an enormous amount of hose (still sturdy enough to be 20km long) and the weight of the fuel item you're moving, and since that weight is going to be on one side of the tower you'd have to counterbalance it on the other side. Tricky.

more than 3 years ago
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New Mega-Leak Reveals Middle East Peace Process

CosmeticLobotamy Re:Good lord... (760 comments)

Yeah, that's a pretty common thing to say over here in the States whenever anyone from Europe doesn't kiss our butts hard enough. Please know that while Americans that aren't jerks are a minority, we're a very large minority. Unfortunately we tend to just be quietly cool about things, so we're less well-known than our loudmouth brethren. But trust me, we exist, we're numerous, and we want to punch those morons in the neck from time to time just as much as you do. But we don't, 'cause that wouldn't be very cool.

But anyway, sorry about those guys.

more than 3 years ago
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Microsoft Fights Apple Trademark On 'App Store'

CosmeticLobotamy Re:other on line shoping sites had software downlo (425 comments)

They're not claiming a patent on app stores, just a trademark on app stores called App Store. You can have a McDonalds Shoe Store and trademark it to prevent another shoe store from calling itself McDonalds, even if there have been other shoe stores and other McDonaldses for decades.

However this trademark is quite likely invalid, 'cause you probably can't trademark a shoe store called Shoe Store.

more than 3 years ago
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Military Set To Develop Smart, Robotic Cameras

CosmeticLobotamy Re:What starts in the war zones (127 comments)

Constant, real-time monitoring - sorta
robotic cops - eventually
a TV channel for just about every imaginable thing - yay!

lose of humanity & compassion - not really at all
state-run religion ("OMM" -- "Blessings of the state, blessings of the masses.") - also not at all.
mandatory drug sedation beginning at adolescence - I'm guessing this is ADD-related? Ritalin is the parents' choice, not the government. Adderall gives you superpowers, so when it's even available for normals, I'm first in line.

more than 3 years ago

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