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Tracking Down How Many (Or How Few) People Actively Use Google+

Octorian Re:What's Google+? (209 comments)

Its that social network your one friend who flat-out refuses to use Facebook, signed up for without a second thought and posts on all the time.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Ends Mainstream Support For Windows 7

Octorian Re:It was the best Windows (640 comments)

Don't kid yourself. XP was just as bad as Vista at first, but everyone forgets that. It didn't become the "Windows to stand the ultimate test of time" until XP SP2.

Windows 2000 was also one of the best versions, IMHO. It just often gets left out, because it wasn't marketed to "the average home user." (But I wish it had been, instead of that trash called ME.)

about three weeks ago
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US CTO Tries To Wean the White House Off Floppy Disks

Octorian Re:Nothing wrong with Blackberries (252 comments)

Remember that many places are still running older devices (e.g. Bold 9900) with their old operating system (OS 7.x or below). This old OS is what everyone continues to point to and make an example of when complaining about the company and their products. Often this is done in an atmosphere of complete denial at the very existence of their newer OS and products.

I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the Whitehouse has not yet upgraded their devices and infrastructure from BB7 to BB10.

Some comparable jumps in the computer world would be Mac OS 9 to 10, or Windows 3.x to NT/2000. Yes, its that big a change. No, it doesn't happen quickly. In the interim, there's a lot of overlap and strong opinions that are dismissive of the newer product.

about a month ago
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An Automated Cat Litter Box With DRM

Octorian LitterRobot FTW! (190 comments)

There are other options in this market, not all of which require proprietary consumables. We've been using the LitterRobot which, while more expensive (~$300), requires no further financial commitment to the manufacturer. You just need to buy normal cat litter and periodically replace a normal garbage bag in the base.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: IT Career Path After 35?

Octorian Re:Simple... (376 comments)

I ended up at a startup run by adults, actually in Silicon Valley. Contrary to the usual stereotypes, we do value experience and actually have a lot of engineers who are over 40. We have hardly anyone in a "management" role, so many of them had to make the transition from management back to actual development when coming to us. In fact, its only been very recently that we've hired any notable number of engineers who didn't already have some post-college work experience under their belt.

Of course we function by having a relatively small number of good people, rather than a large number of mediocre people, so all that experience really does benefit our environment.

about 2 months ago
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Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing

Octorian Re:1994 (523 comments)

That reminds me of some research paper I once had to do during high school. It was an involved project with multiple deliverables over the course of several weeks. Typed was fine for the final submission, but they wanted us to turn in a hand-written rough draft first.

I typed up my rough draft reasonably quickly, then spent the next several hours painstakingly transcribing it to that "hand written" form.

about 2 months ago
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Florida-Based Magic Leap Builds Its Team With Bay Area Hires

Octorian Re:And you get to live in Florida!!! (161 comments)

A regular silicon valley salary would be an insanely good income in Florida, at least for someone in the tech industry. I left Florida to move to silicon valley, and got a very nice bump (which exceeded the living expense difference) in the process.

Of course having left Florida, I'm not sure I'd want to move back there.

about 3 months ago
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Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

Octorian Re:Not gonna make it (720 comments)

I actually do really like it, for exactly that use case. Considering that the process of settling the bill at a restaurant consists of:
1. Get the server to pay attention to you, and ask for the check
2. Have them deliver the check, and (as if by policy) say "take as much time as you like" and vanish
3. Have them notice that you've put down a card, and take it
4. Have them return with the receipt, you sign, and leave.

Usually steps 3-4 are near instance. However, steps 1-3 can take way too long sometimes.
(I wish doing 2 and 3 within the same minute was possible, but that's rare.)

about 3 months ago
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BlackBerry Launches Square-Screened Passport Phone

Octorian Re:Lacking developers. (189 comments)

The new BlackBerry 10 platform doesn't have any Java shit to get fucked up.

One of BlackBerry's biggest marketing problems with BlackBerry 10 is that they're not getting the message across that BB10 is *not* the same platform as BB7. The only thing they really have in common is the brand name associated with them.

about 4 months ago
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BlackBerry Launches Square-Screened Passport Phone

Octorian Re:My Issues with BB (189 comments)

Storm 2 was an OS 5 phone. I'm amazed that people still hold a grudge against the company's entire product line because of it. I thought folks had forgotten about that by now.

about 4 months ago
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BlackBerry Launches Square-Screened Passport Phone

Octorian Re:Review are actually quite positive.... (189 comments)

Its honestly not all that surprising. For a few years now, the majority opinion in the tech press has been that you can't post anything about BlackBerry unless its bad news or has negative commentary injected into it.

about 4 months ago
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BlackBerry Launches Square-Screened Passport Phone

Octorian Re:Blackberry runs Android apps (189 comments)

It might have been an older version in 10.0, but we're up to 10.3 now which is pretty much up-to-date in terms of Android support. (Even 10.2.1, which most currently-shipping devices run, is fairly up-to-date.)

about 4 months ago
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BlackBerry Launches Square-Screened Passport Phone

Octorian Re:Lacking developers. (189 comments)

I still wonder what platform(s) those numbers lump into the "Java ME" bucket, since that's not really a platform as much as a category. A category that the older BlackBerry OS "technically" was compatible with, but is rarely counted as part of.
I'm also suspicious of any mobile marketshare stats, since they vary from hour to hour and always seem to support the point being made in whatever blog post or presentation they're cited in.

about 4 months ago
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Magnitude 6.0 Quake Hits Northern California, Causing Injuries and Outages

Octorian Re:Nothing to see here, move along... (135 comments)

I did feel the earthquake on the south side of San Jose, but it didn't get me out of bed. Felt like the house was shaking for a bit, but nothing got knocked over. (And yes, we have plenty of things in the house that could get knocked over quite easily.)

about 5 months ago
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No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say

Octorian Re: it depends on what "skilled worker" means. (401 comments)

I've been around such graduate departments before. Having a department of 50+ students where you can count the Americans on one hand actually seems exactly like what I remember.

about 7 months ago
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No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say

Octorian Re: Two sides to every issue (401 comments)

With many of these odd job descriptions you speak of, I suspect many of them are cases where said company has already identified the specific individual they want to get an H-1B visa for. So this is essentially a copy of their unique resume. They just need to publicly post the job to fulfill a legal requirement before they can get them the visa.

about 7 months ago
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Google Reader: One Year Later

Octorian Re:Newsblur (132 comments)

I've been quite happy with NewsBlur as well. The only area it falls short for me, is that it doesn't update its feeds anywhere near as quickly as Google Reader did. Some are worse than others, too.

So for the usual stuff, its mostly fine. But whenever a blog announces some livestream event, the post doesn't appear until an hour after its over.

about 7 months ago
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A New Use For Drones: Traffic Scouting

Octorian Re:Maybe for parking (144 comments)

I would love something like this for parking, especially if it could be semi-automated. Push a button, drone flies up and does a survey of the parking lot. It then finds a space and "squats" it for you while you drive there on the ground.

I even thought of this idea like 10 years ago, when trying to come up with random ideas for fictitious gov't technology programs while bored at work. I think the name we coined was "OPLSS" (pronounced "Hopeless"), for "Objective Parking Lot Survey System".

But, just like many superpowers we'd all love to have, this sort of thing is *only* useful if you're the only one who has it. If everyone had this capability, it would cause far more problems than it would solve.

about a year ago
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Intel Dev: GTK's Biggest Problem, and What Qt Does Better

Octorian Re:Not all that surprising (282 comments)

Along this line, I've often felt that if Qt existed under a "more free" license from the start, Java may not have taken over as the "language du jour" (with .NET riding on its coat tails).

Qt basically gives C++ a big part of Java's "real" advantage, which is a large common cross-platform framework that includes everything you actually need to write real applications.

1 year,15 days

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