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Comments

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Are Quirky Developers Brilliant Or Dangerous?

EmbeddedJanitor Hitting the nail on the head (1134 comments)

If you rely on a Josh you're fucked!

Sure, it is handy to have a Josh that miraculously saves your project, but the fact that you needed that Josh in the first place says that you don't have the right staff/skill sets. Needing Josh is a sign to management that there are some serious shortages that need addressing.

Sure, all companies sometimes need firefighting, but the REAL firefighters are those that not just put out fires, but help to prevent there being other fire call outs. Really effective fire-fighters help mentor others and, in essence, make themselves redundant. [Aside, firefighters (of the thermal sort) actually spend a lot of their time doing fire safety inspections etc for this very reason].

Those Joshes that code so cryptically that they are needed forever are essentially blackmailers and saboteurs. They force you into a position where you have to put up with them to keep functioning. Make a plan to dump them and replace them.

I've worked with a few Joshes in my time. The one was brilliant, but it took the next three most productive engineers to clean up after him and quite a few almost as clever people just quit because they could not work with him. When you realised that the cost of having him around was not just his remuneration, but also the opportunity cost of the next three engineers too, then he didn't look as valuable.

more than 5 years ago
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OLPC Set To Dump x86 For Arm Chips In XO 2

EmbeddedJanitor WinCE was not a complete rewrite (274 comments)

Most of it was, but that was not because of ARM.

I've done WinCE diriver/OS work since WinCE1.0 days. In the beginning there was **no** ARM support, just MIPS, x86 and SH3. PowerPC came along a bit later and then ARM.

Some of the PowerPC code was directly lifted off the NT PowerPC porting effort (that got shelved).

WinCE has very little CPU-specific code - no more than Linux - but most of the rewrite was done to fit into a small system (few MB) where the traditional Windows bloatware just would not work.

more than 5 years ago
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OLPC Set To Dump x86 For Arm Chips In XO 2

EmbeddedJanitor Probably trolling for Intel and MS funding (274 comments)

A move to ARM would indeed cut OLPC from mainstream Windows (though daresay Windows could be built for ARM - like Windows CE is).

Technically, moving to ARM is a great choice. These CPUs are far cheaper. They also require far less power meaning that batteries and power circuitry can be smaller, cheaper, lighter and the handcrank give more page loads per crank. Also no need for cooling fans etc.

Given the way OLPC and similar projects move, the skeptic in me wonders whether this will actually happen. OLPC could just be "inviting" Microsoft/Intel to offer some good deal to keep them on x86.

more than 5 years ago
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Smart Immigrants Going Home

EmbeddedJanitor Serving curry might be your future job (770 comments)

Burger flipping for American consumers makes money when Americans have money.

In the future you might find yourself serving curry to Indians or sushi to Japanese, or whatever, depending on who has the money and is prepared to offer a pathetic Westerner such as yourself a menial service job.

Times change and those that don't realize that are going to struggle.

more than 5 years ago
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First Touch-Screen, Bendable E-Paper Developed

EmbeddedJanitor Re:Your definition of touch-screen would be annoyi (174 comments)

You're trying to weasel my words.

The primary sucky point with a stylus is that they are easy to lose. You can generally find an easy back up for a passive stylus by using a retracted ball point pen or the back of a pencil or such. A magnetic stylus is a specialized item.

more than 5 years ago
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LEDs Lighting Up the African Darkness

EmbeddedJanitor Not such a fire hazard (182 comments)

As a child I spent a lot of time in rural Africa using kerosene lamps etc. We just grew up knowing to be careful.

They were plenty light to read by. So long as you are not trying to be wasteful (lighting your driveway or water features etc - which Africa tends to lack anyway) then low lighting is adequate.

more than 5 years ago
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Company Makes Paper Out Of Wombat Poo

EmbeddedJanitor Nothing new here (71 comments)

This is as old as paper making. Fibrous shit from grazers and browsers makes wonderful paper and saves pulping the wood. In Africa I've seen paper made from elephant, rhino, giraffe and zebra shit. In New Zealand I've seen sheep and horse.

more than 5 years ago
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First Touch-Screen, Bendable E-Paper Developed

EmbeddedJanitor Magnetic stylus != touch screen (174 comments)

There is a growing perception that touch means touch - using your finger. Using an inert stylus (like Windows Mobile devices) is a very poor second. But having to use a special purpose magnetic stylus is a FAIL.

more than 5 years ago
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Google Dev Phone 1 Banned From Paid Apps

EmbeddedJanitor You miss the point (134 comments)

It might be possible to crack the protection but Google should still not leave the barn door open and support piracy. If they do then they will kill the commercial side of the App Store or will at least get sued by App Store developers: "We wrote this cool app, but Google just made it easy for pirates".

more than 5 years ago
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Microsoft Brings 36 New Features To Windows 7

EmbeddedJanitor Some are bug fixes, not new features (509 comments)

eg. Improved headphone experience. Fixes a bug or improves an existing feature, but is not a new feature.

But hell, 36 specific features more in an overloaded interface does not improve ease of use for most customers.

more than 5 years ago
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Microsoft Unveils "Elevate America"

EmbeddedJanitor The special skill they want (325 comments)

MS needs people that can understand how to help foreigners fill out H1B Visas.

No point in getting skilled up in regular skills if they're just going to replace you with cheaper emplyees later.

more than 5 years ago
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Court Reinstates Proof-of-Age Requirement For Nude Ads

EmbeddedJanitor How much proof is enough? (267 comments)

The clerk or owner at the store where underage kids buy beer does not really care whether they are under age or not. All he cares about is whether they can show ID so he doesn't get into trouble.

Pretty much same deal in the porn industry. All the owner really cares about is that the model produces enough ID that he can use the model without getting arrested.

The legal system probably also doesn't really care that much, so long as they can say that they've done their bit to pacify the puritans.

more than 5 years ago
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Strange Globs Could Signal Water On Mars

EmbeddedJanitor No, it proves there is water vapor (186 comments)

That condensed on the metal parts of the rover. Assuming of course that those globs are water and not Martian spit or something else.

more than 5 years ago
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Freeing and Forgetting Data With Science Commons

EmbeddedJanitor The format is the least important issue (114 comments)

It is an almost trivial exercise to convert one format to another.

What is a lot harder is knowing how the data sets were measured and whether it is valid to combine them with data sets measured in other ways.

At least half the Global Warming bun-fight is about the validity of comparison between different data sets and the same goes for pretty much any non-trivial data sets.

more than 5 years ago
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Don't Like EULAs? Get Your Cat To Agree To Them

EmbeddedJanitor Exactly right (874 comments)

If she really wants the cat to be doing a random act then she needs to leave the mouse clicking apparatus there the whole time allowing the cats to perform other random acts such as clicking the mouse while she's trying to drive Photoshop.

I bet she's disabling the device at other times making it not-so-random.

more than 5 years ago
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Student Arrested For Classroom Texting

EmbeddedJanitor Give us a call in 9 years (1246 comments)

I agree with your main points, but it is a lot easier to be all idealistic when your kid is only 5. Things are going to change for you quite a bit by the time she's 14 and you will find those nice black and white points of view will all turn into shades of gray.

A teacher will get ito all kinds of shit if (s)he puts his/her hand into a kid's pants - for any reason. Far better to get law enforcement to do this.

Hopefully this will send a message to the stroppy teen.

more than 5 years ago
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One Broken Router Takes Out Half the Internet?

EmbeddedJanitor I don't know what is sadder (412 comments)

Spelling Nazi getting feathers out of place over bailing vs baling.

That there is a Wikipedia article on baling wire.

more than 5 years ago
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Robotic Prostheses For Human Faces

EmbeddedJanitor Halloween (111 comments)

Such a long time to wait...

more than 5 years ago
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EU Commissioner Wants Standard For Mobile Phone Connectors

EmbeddedJanitor "Anyone have a Nokia" is not enough (374 comments)

Apart from different connectors, different models of phone also need different voltages and current ratings. I have 3 Nokias that don't interoperate with each other's chargers.

Same deal here. The connector isn't enough. There has to be standardised voltages and currents to make the scheme work.

more than 5 years ago
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Spiraling Skyscraper Farms For a Future Manhattan

EmbeddedJanitor Economics of light (403 comments)

The light is still 2D, so going vertical doesn't make any more. If you can see the sun from where you live, then that is sunlight that is not being farmed.

It is very unlikely to be self sufficient because the modern American diet is so inefficient, particularly feedlot meat production which requires around an acre of grain/corn/soy raising to feed an American with meat.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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EmbeddedJanitor EmbeddedJanitor writes  |  more than 7 years ago

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) writes "For a long time geeks have been able to set themselves apart by carrying something that shows off their geekness. The Greek Geeks carried around stone balls and cones and such. From the seventeenth century to the 1970's there were slide rules. The 1970s aand 80s saw pocket protectors and HP calculators — HP41s, 48s etc (Sorry TI fans, TI calculators only convey wannabe status). Now if you carry a laptop or whatever, you'll be confused with a yuppy! What can the modern geek carry to set him/herself apart?"

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