Youtube and Facebook May Be Banned In Turkey, Again
News says Turkish President may well just tell Prime Erdogan to go f*ck himself. Parliament would probably too. That's what I'd hope for anyway.
Time sucked into Netflix or similar, weekly:
Roughly 5 hours. Between Job (part-time webdev), Coding/Fiddling with FOSS on my own time, Eveningschool (A-Level GED), Sewing (currently mending/pimping pants and sewing a pouch for my MacBook Air) and Tango Dancing there's not much time. I like to wind down during the weekdays with a movie though, even if it's late. Just watched Limitless (great one) and Contagion (dito) last week.
Last Weekend without planning to, I wound up dancing on friday, saturday and sunday. ... It get's quite adictive, especially with all the hot chicas you get to know :-))
Is Traffic Congestion Growing Three Times As Fast As Economy?
Private Cars is just about the most stupid thing in these times. Germans spend 4.7 Billion man hours per year in traffic jams. Mind you, this is Germany, where there are better and more roads per capita, far less speed limits and people actually know how to drive. 4.7 fucking billion man hours per year. Let that sink in for a minute. And that's like 80% of the monetary income generating population wasting that sort of time (I won't say working population, for obvious reasons).
With that time wasted, we could send every person in the workincome population on a paid 3 week vacation each year and still have money to spare.
Cars are an anomally, only around today for mostly historical reasons, with no sensible reason at all. Sort of like the PC keyboard or MS Windows. Only with far more negative impact on overall quality of living and the environment.
Most populations and societies would be better of if we banned private cars alltogether and switched to e-bikes and public transport entirely. With taxis and cargo taxis for the special occasions. Would be cheaper for all, faster for all, better for the environment and we'd all be happier for it. I'd bet money on that.
If I were a billionaire I'd pay some bankrupt German cities to ban cars alltogether and then heavyly invest in them and then sit back and watch the local economy and quality of living skyrocket.
My 2 cents.
The New PHP
F.I. I'm working myself into Drupal at my current employer because it's the prime go-to CMS here. It's like a live alice in wonderland trip. A strange historically grown mess, barely tamed by sanitiy and a relentless chaotic community that all by accident seem to come up with hacks that somehow solve the problem in some way. And yet there's a solid global corporation building its business all around Drupal. The surreal hacks with which the Drupal people solve their problems are mindboggling, and yet everybody seems totally OK with it. And Drupals track record of deployments is impressive.
I guess with PHP it's somehow like the C vs. Lisp argument: C is so shitty compared to Lisp that you have to get yourself together and work as a team, or you won't get anything done. Hence Lisp has this loner exisitance on the side and all the real work gets done in this ancient C thing.
PHP is a simular thing. It is so bad that no respectable programmer would pick it up voluntarly nowadays, but yet it grew out of Perl (which is worse in some ways), was somewhat of an improvement and was at the right place at the right time. The badness of PHP accounts for its considerable lack of arrogance (compare the PHP community to the Ruby community for instance) and for no one feeling guilty when he does a quick bad hack.
As a programmer you don't feel dirty when you do bad programming in PHP, you already felt that when you picked PHP as the solution. Hence quite a bit of work gets done in PHP. That's why PHP has Drupal and Typo3 and Joomla and the Java Community has nothing of that proportions. The barrier of entry into PHP is *very* low which gives it its momentum.
My 2 cents.
Wolfram Language Demo Impresses
Cramming 20 commands and 8 layers of brackets into one line doesn't make your programm an 'impressive 5-liner'. It, at most, makes a neat stunt by a mathematician in a proprietary programming language he invented himself. I'd be tempted to call it shitty programming.
Nothing to see here folks, move along.
Github Rolls Out New Text Editor Atom
Web technologies today are a toy. Very true. PHP is a silly mess (Sidenote: ATM I develop PHP/HTML/CSS/JS for a living) and clientside Flash was eons ahead of everything else. That's 'was' as in 'has passed'. Adobe and Macromedia sought to that.
Devs will settle for the lowest common demoninator and will backtrack 2-3 generations of technology if it's open and free. It was the same with the PC. It was a toy. But it was open and free and you could dabble with it without a giant megacorporation sueing you into next wednesday. Now x86 rules the planet, and Amiga and GEOS Works are faint history.
That's the way things go. Nature finds the absurdest ways around obsticles, but it's true.
Facebook Gives Up On Desktop Apps: Kills Messenger For Windows and Firefox
We spent NINETEEN BILLION DOLLARS on a chat program.
Nope. We spent 19 Billion on 450 Million active users and counting. On a programm that carries itself by asking 1 Euro per year for the service. If we play out cards right, we've just bought the soon-to-be-the-worlds-largest phone and telecommunications company at a bargain price. ... And we expect to play our cards right. Or do you think we screwed up our IPO?
Android just passed 1 billion activated devices. How long to you think it will take before the majority of humanity is communicating and doing most of its everyday work with an android based smartphone? I expect that to happen in the next decade.
Electric Bikes Get More Elegant Every Year (Video)
... I want one you can't steal. Or that is significantly unfeasable to steal. Two long integrated articulated heavy-duty locks and QR codes etched into the frame at various places once I buy one with my name and ownership certificate at the end of the URL and an alert if I reported it stolen. Plus hidden RFID Chips to do the same. And an optional hidden UMTS/GPS Module in sleep mode, powered by the batteries and integrated into the electronics so I/the authorities can track it down and/or lock down the power unit / motor / controls with a cryptocode if the need arises. And a battery and an electronics/controls unit you can remove and carry with you with zero fuss.
Oh, and it should be sturdy enough for everyday use. Have yet to see an uncustomized bike, e- or otherwise, that offers that.
Once that happens, *then* I'll seriously consider shelling out 2000 Euros for an E-Bike. Until then they are a toy for people with to much money.
My 2 cents.
Who's On WhatsApp, and Why?
Don't look for logic in these sorts of aquisitions anymore - its another tech bubble getting ready to burst.
Nothing is bursting. Capital suction has little or no effect in the digital world these days. No one cares if you burn a million or a billion. It's about data and market share, revenue be damned. Do you think running whatsapp indefinitely cost any more than a crew or two of developers and some rackspace in some datacenter nowadays? Twitter is run by 13 people. 13 people!
They don't care about revenue, they want your data and they want lock-in. And they'll trade lock-in for data and omnipresence at any time.
It's about 4,5 billion people on this planet about to be connected to the internet in the next few years, with devices that cost less than what a fourtnights worth of Starbucks costs us.
We are moving head on into a post-scarcity economy, at least in terms of digital connectivity - from there on out it's all about attention and mindshare. The purchase might bomb, yes, but it might as well just turn out to be a real bargain. And if it bombs it won't even do a blip on FBs bank account. And others won't care either. Those who have VC can buy into WhatsApp like startups for peanuts because deving, deploying and scaling has become so dirt cheap. So even if they all bomb we'll be back to business as usuall 4 weeks into that.
The world is changing, and it's changing fast. The dot-bomb era was just people getting ahead of them selves in a way that wasn't good for them. The hardware wasn't there, Databases and IDEs costed more than luxury cars, and what passes as a toy today was a cray workstation in 2001 that would set you back 30 grand. It was silly back then. It isn't now.
Reality is catching up. Fast.
I wouldn't hold my breath for any bubble of sorts bursting any time soon.
My 2 cents.
WhatsApp Founder Used Unchangable Airline Ticket To Pressure Facebook
CEOs are rich because they pinch on things that seem strangely unreasonable to the layman. I bet one CEO pressing another to an appointment because he otherwise has wasted his Miles was actually a solid appeal to Zuckerbergs politeness and courtesy and Zuckerberg felt compelled to follow suit - and rightly so.
Zuckerberg, Jobs and other rich people have strange money saving habits they carry on well into being insanely rich. I'll still be mending my own trowsers should I ever land a lucky punch, f.i. Zuckerberg lives in a house reminiscent of that of a simple honest working craftsman here in Germany and he's married to a modest, refreshingly unspectacular asian woman, probably because the western / u.s ladies were to strenious for him.
Truth is, these people don't give a shit how many bazillions they have on the bank. They want to build cool stuff and make a dent in the universe, and they would be doing the *exact* *same* *thing* if they just would barely get by, because they like what they do. I know wealthy multi-Ph.Ds who still ask for the rest of their dinner to be wrapped up so they can take it home. That may be strange, but it's comforting. They haven't forgotten where they come from.
That's why these people have my respect. I don't like FB to much, I don't like Apples golden cage lock, etc. pp. But who am I to complain? Nobody is stopping me from sitting my ass down and building the next big thing in IT. But my respect they have nonetheless.
As fas as I'm concerned that WhatsApp guy deserves every billion he can squeeze out of the deal. If he still doesn't waste his miles, that makes him more respectable in my book.
My 2 cents.
ICE License-Plate Tracking Plan Withdrawn Amid Outcry About Privacy
I didn't know the ICE had licence plates.
Anyway, I'm all for tracking those, if it helps them being more punctual.
Then again, you'd expect Deutsche Bahn to know where all their ICEs are at any given time, no? ... :-)
Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?
Mac & Linux:
Xonotic (excellent FOSS FPS Multiplayer), Wesnoth, Warzone 2100 (neat FOSS 3D RTS)
Prof. Layton (the Time Machine Story (can't remember the exact title)
Advance Wars 'something' (DSi Edition of AW)
Zelda Spirit Tracks ... etc.
GTA Chinatown (hilarious and fun)
Ratchet & Clank
God of War (the PSP titles)
Wipeout ... etc.
Android Tablet (HTC Flyer
The Bards Tale
I've been playing very rarely though in the last 10 years, so all of those games I've been playing for a few years now. F.i. I've been at that specific title of Prof. Layton for roughly 2,5 years now. I'm something like 2 or 3 titles behind in the Layton series now. In GTA Chinatown PSP im at the 5th mission or so. ... The Bards tale for 3 Euros on Android illustrates to me where gaming is headed. Rough times for the console makers ahead, portable and stationary, that's my take on the situation.
Financing College With a Tax On All Graduates
Yes, but you have limits on who can attend, right?
Yes, you have to have basic brain functions. And your A-Levels. Which you can get "post-schoolum" in public GED 'evening school' programms which can take 2-3 years. Also basically for free, btw. Though you only get student support (basic monthly sustenance + some extra as an interest-free (!!) loan from the government) up to the age of 30 or so. A little later in some cases (if you've raised children in the mean time for instance you get up to 9 years added to the agebarrier).
There also are NC barriers for popular fields, so f.i. to become an MD you have to have a good or very good average, depending on the college you want to attend, but it's doable for anybody who put's his mind to it. The important part is that you don't need any money whatsoever to go to college , beyond the most trivial amounts of fees, the cost of living and such.
And it pays off for everybody.
Those who make it and get the paying jobs pay taxes, those who aren't there yet allways have a real chance.
Contrary to the situation in the U.S. where that isn't the case, no matter what they tell you.
Financing College With a Tax On All Graduates
Whoops. It's "Semestergebühren", with a 'b'. Sorry.
Financing College With a Tax On All Graduates
How about no tution at all? It works great for Germany. ... Just sayin' ...
(Cue "Nanny State!", "OMG SOCIALIZM!!", "Obviously won't work because of reasons a,b,c and d", etc. remarks below, thank you.)
Allthough we do have Semestergeühren. Something like 150€ per Semster (GASP!) of enrollment fees. ... This is outrage! I'm going to protest tomorrow. ... Oh, wait, you get the public transport flatrate for that ... and student benefits (cheaper access to public events, etc.) ... Scratch that, I guess I won't protest after all.
Seriously, you guys should move out of the middle ages allready. Healthcare, tution-free college and metric system. It works. Get with the programm. :-)
My 2 cents.
Ask Slashdot: How Do You To Tell Your Client That His "Expert" Is an Idiot?
I've come to compare our field with that of doctors. Everybody has something bad to say about them and their field, yet everybody needs one at one time or other and will consult one then. At the same time, whilst everybody is commenting on the field, very few people actually really know anything about it or are confused by the fields complexity.
That makes it very easy for charlatans to gain traction and the trust of unsuspecting novices and puts a burden of an ongoing bad-reputation-influx on the useful workers in the field. That the field of IT is constantly moving and is still quite young on top of all that doesn't help much either.
This is a problem we'll have to deal with as the industry moves on. It's one of the downsides of the job. Just like being a MD and getting all kinds of BS from everybody all the time *and* having the odd quack, fraud or charlatan inbetween spoiling the reputation of medicine.
Professional organisations, advisery boards, certifications and tried and tested regulations and procedures are what helps lawyers and doctors deal with this kind of shit. ... Maybe we need more of that sort of stuff too? ... Just sayin'.
My 2 cents.
Ask Slashdot: Should Developers Fix Bugs They Cause On Their Own Time?
The Wall has an Architect and a detailed Plan. The bricklayer knows what to expect from the foundation and the material and he knows exactly what the wall is supposed to look like when it's finished. And everybody involved knows what time and work it takes to build the wall, unless a flood or earthquake or something other happens. The bricks and mortar are delivered and up to spec. And the wall is built on ground that has been surveyed by experts and is considered stable enough to hold the weight of the wall. ... and so on ...
If all that is in place when you develop software, yes then of course you fix your own bugs on your own time. ... In fact, there shouldn't be any bugs at all . Everything is spec'd out, so of course your first order of the project is to set up viable testing structures as to test the stuff you're building. You should know about your bugs before anybody else does.
If, on the other hand, your boss refuses to invest in a tried, true and working software development pipeline and expects you to solve every problem in 5 minutes on a shoestring budget without him or his customers knowing what they want before they tell you when it's supposed to be finished, then your boss or the customers pay for bugs and their fixes.
We both, and everybody else here on slashdot know which scenario is more likely, sadly.
Show your boss this post. If he wants some input on how to build a software dev pipeline, I'm glad to help him / you guys out. Just reply here and I'll get back to you for my contact data and we can talk about some remote software dev consulting. It's what I do for a living, partly.
My 2 cents.
Wozniak To Apple: Consider Building an Android Phone
That's why it's good (for Apple) that Woz isn't and never was CEO of Apple. He obviously has absolutely not the faintest idea what he is talking about marketing and business-wise. I use Android for my phone and tablet, just recently backed off of buying an iPad Mini for development because it was to expensive ... and even *I* get the value-add that the sophisticated iOS devices bring along.
Apple should stick right where they are, perhaps move in closer with the opinion leaders a little again. Like XCode for free and without registration, direct access to iOS devices and filesystem, direct deployment of apps to iOS devices and some other stuff that's pissing of the top 0.2 % expertlayer of computer users, i.e. us, with Apple. That would be about all the changes I would make if I were in charge.
The rest is going absolutely perfect for Apple, a fashion mindshare Google, Samsung, MS and others would kill for and bizar gros margins of 30%+ on post-PC devices included. Thinking of bringing Android into that picture makes me cringe - and I'm not even an Apple Fanboy.
My 2 cents.
Getting Young Women Interested In Open Source
I personally am about as interested in fashion as I am in programming. I write my own software and sew my own pants. (Hakamas to be precise) The last two christmasses me and my buddy spent the holidays talking about FOSS, playing Wesnoth, watching movies and sewing. Last year I fixed my favourite tango jeans (jea, I dance too, imagine) and he sowed his living room curtains. No joke.
Remember that scene in Taratinos "Death Proof", where the guy at the convenience store sells the chica "this months italian vogue" from his private stash for some steep premium? That scene is about as spot on as you can get. Seriously. Two fashion nerds striking a deal. I found it hilariously 'straight from life'.
Why am I interested in fashion? Couldn't tell exactly. For a lot of reasons.
Well, for one, as they say in Paris: Fashion designers dress the women they'd like to have. Or, more precisely, want to be, if they had a choice. ... And that's not a queer thing btw. I'm about as straight as you can get. But I enjoy looking good, I enjoy looking at cute & well dressed women even more :-) (dancing with them even more so, f*cking them even then some :-)) ... you know the drill) , and I hate the cheap quality that breaks after one year of usage. ... So I sew and repair my own. ... Extra sturdy pockets is a big deal too, as you can imagine. (Nerd Alert! :-) ) ...
Oh, and another cliche: A button a man has sewn on himself *never* comes of again. That's because at one time we get so pissed at them coming off all the time we do it ourselves - and then the right way. Ever since my mom screwed up sewing lost buttons back on I've been doing it myself. Since the age of 15 roughly. The first time I did that I used dracon kiteline to sew metal buttons back on to my jeans jacket. They too never came off again.
In my opinion being a male geek/nerd and into fashion design goes very well. And the girls dig it a lot. Especially those who like to look cute and do the hookeypookey with guys they can connect with. *grins very wide*
My 2 cents.
The Human Body May Not Be Cut Out For Space
Last time I checked life on earth and thus us is possible because it *isn't* space. ... They needed a science crew for that?
Captain Obvious strikes again.