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Don't Call It Stack Rank: Yahoo's QPR System For Culling Non-Performers

TurtleBay Both good and bad (177 comments)

In a way this is bad for employee morale because nobody likes to see people fired and nobody likes to be ranked. Then again, the stories (and lack of new great products) out of Yahoo seems to indicate that employees are demotivated. I hate that it takes firings to motivate some employees, but Yahoo seems like a company that needs a "shock the system" moment and this steps combines with the work from home ban to send the message to some employees who may have been drifting along just cashing paychecks for the past few years. Hopefully they will only have to do a year or two of firings or no bonus/raises before the demotivated employees step up and the program can be scraped.

about 10 months ago

Elevated Radiation Claimed At Tokyo 2020 Olympic Venues

TurtleBay Fukushima or naturally occurring (164 comments)

'"It is difficult to have this debate unless we know for sure whether this radiation is from Fukushima or whether it is naturally occurring background radiation" -Pieter Franken. I always find this sentiment a little odd. People care too much about if the radiation is measurably above background radiation or what the source of the radiation is. What they should care about is if the radiation is at a dangerous level. We have gotten better at measuring this stuff, so just because we can measure (very small) increases in radiation from Fukushima doesn't mean we should change our lives around it. Anything that is on the same magnitude as background radiation is pretty much safe. For example, you get increased radiation from flying in a plane because the atmosphere is much thinner. Also, natural radiation is much higher near the poles than near the equator, but nobody gets upset about this because it is "natural" like kale.

about a year ago

US Carbon Emissions Hit 20-Year Low

TurtleBay Re:natural gas doesn't make CO2? (245 comments)

A big part of this is the advantage of modern natural gas power plants is the combined-cycle nature of their operation vs. the single cycle of coal plants. In a coal plant, burning coal heats water which turns to steam which drives a turbine that is connected to the generator. In a combined cycle gas plant, instead of just burning the gas for heat, they use the gas to power a turbine similar to one that you would find in a military jet engine. The turbine produces mechanical energy on its output shaft which drives a generator directly in addition to the hot output gas is also used to power a heat exchangers which boil water and makes more electricity in using the traditional method.

about 2 years ago

12-Core ARM Cluster Beats Intel Atom, AMD Fusion

TurtleBay Re:Parallelizable (105 comments)

And commodity code works on a Beowulf cluster of Pandaboards?

more than 2 years ago

Autonomous Road Train Project Completes First Public Road Test

TurtleBay Re:I wonder how well it handled agressive passing (148 comments)

If you don't see open road ahead of the car in front of you when you pull into the lane for opposing traffic, you are being an aggressive driver. If you are behind a line of traffic, you should not pass. Allowing passing in oncoming traffic lanes is intended for passing individual slow moving vehicles.

more than 2 years ago

How Long Before the Kickstarter Bubble Bursts?

TurtleBay Re:the enthusiasm bubble could burst (192 comments)

The only people who'll get bit by Kickstarter are the ones who don't do enough due dilligence on the projects they're backing;

I hate when people say this about Kickstarter. I am a banker by profession who reviews credit quality for potential project finance loans. Due diligence requires a project to show budgets, timelines, balance sheets and a ledger balancing sources & uses of cash. No Kickstarter that I have seen has shown anything like this. If you think concept art is enough due diligence to know if a project is going to succeed, then you have never run a business. "Due diligence" on Kickstarter is a joke.

more than 2 years ago

How Long Before the Kickstarter Bubble Bursts?

TurtleBay Re:No bubble. (192 comments)

You should tell the 23 people who pledge $10,000 each to get a "mega distributor pack" of 100 pebble watches that Kickstarter isn't an investment. I bet they will be mighty disappointed if the watches never show. Just because it doesn't trade like a stock doesn't make it an investment, and plenty of people are expecting returns from their Kickstarter even if they aren't monetary.

more than 2 years ago

Double Fine Adventure Will Be Available DRM Free For IOS, Android

TurtleBay Re:Traditional Publisher (117 comments)

Google the phrase 'Chinese reverse merger' to see why this is the case, this was a scheme for companies to avoid securities laws by being registered in China and avoiding a traditional IPO. While paternalistic, regulations force companies which sell to the investing public to register their securities and provide certain information relating to the companies assets, cash flows and earnings on a quarterly basis. Likewise, representatives who broker the sale of securities are required to be registered by FINRA (was NASD). Before these laws (roughly before 1933) these was a ton of fraud. People would sell investments they didn't own, companies would lie about what assets they had, people would sell stock in companies which didn't exist, brokers would disappear as soon as the check cleared, or companies would sell 20 different people 10% stakes.

more than 2 years ago

Microsoft Shareholders Unhappy After Annual Meeting

TurtleBay Re:I like Ballmer (521 comments)

But he has a terrible attitude. He says "Windows are in the Windows era that is where we are, we were and always will be" because in Ballmer's own words "that is what we are paid to do" and by 'do' he means 'say' of course. I wish that he had more vision and wasn't just trying to milk the Windows cow. For example he killed the courier tablet because of infighting between the office team and the courier team. He needs to have a vision, and from his world he can't see anything but Windows, Windows Server and Office. With its huge stash and incredible access to talented people, Microsoft could be doing more independent development and less 'me too' products which usually are second best - Zune (iPod), Bing (Google), Games for Windows Live (Steam), Windows Phone (Android), Office 365 (Google Docs), MSN (AOL), MSNBC (CNN).

more than 2 years ago

Microsoft Shareholders Unhappy After Annual Meeting

TurtleBay Re:There's no excuse for a 15 min Q&A (521 comments)

Microsoft and most companies limit the length of the call because many financial professionals need to be on dozens of these calls over the course of a month. If all of the meetings were all day affairs a lot of the meetings would lose attendance because the financial professionals need to do other work. Therefore they include the important bits in the 30 min - 1 hour call. Berkshire Hathaway is the exception to this rule, but it tends not to be that widely held by professional investors as they can directly invest in the same companies as Berkshire does.

more than 2 years ago

ARM Claims PS3-Like Graphics On Upcoming Mobile GPU

TurtleBay Re:Why is this that shocking? The cell chip is 5 (217 comments)

Quake III was released in 1999. Quake III was ported to windows mobile in 2005. So mobile games are still about 7 years behind. When Quake III came out it was the best game ever, however now the bar has moved and it isn't good enough. By the time this chip comes out we will have next gen consoles that will do shader based antialiasing and horizon based ambient occulsion in most games. PS3 graphics will be noticeably dated (just look at how many PS3 games use no anti-alaising or texture filtering and run at less than 720P).

more than 2 years ago

Zynga To Employees: Surrender Pre-IPO Shares Or You're Fired

TurtleBay Re:Clarification of how stock agreements work (554 comments)

Sorry but, you don't know what your talking about. Even if unvested, options have very real value that can be extrapolated from the strike price of the option and the current valuation of the company (which is possibly around $10 bn given current IPO rumors). The board can grant new options, but once you are granted options, they cannot rescind them any more than they can ask for your pay back. My guess here is that management was surprised how high their IPO valuation is and there best bet now would be to dilute the company under the table than ask the employees for their options back.

more than 2 years ago

Next-Gen Game Consoles Still Years Off

TurtleBay Re:What we need is next gen display tech (386 comments)

Most games are rendered at less than 720p resolutions, with no anti-aliasing, poor shaders and poor texture filtering. Current consoles are not good enough at pushing pixels on 2d displays.

more than 2 years ago

Citigroup Questions Whether US Spectrum Shortage Exists

TurtleBay Re:Spectrum sale by Market (131 comments)

Not a feasible solution. If spectrum is sold by market, devices wouldn't be able to roam nation wide and a wireless router that you buy in one state would be jamming cell phone signals (or worse air traffic controll) when you move to another. I think the real answer is going to be localized networks with small cube transmitters on top of telephone poles transmitting at about 2-5 times the power of a Wifi hotspot.

more than 2 years ago

UBS Rogue Trader Loses $2 Billion In Unauthorized Trades

TurtleBay Re:Looking for a New Job? (360 comments)

You need to be in NYC as the programmer is usually in a team with the Ph.D in Econ Guy, the crazy math Statistics and Stochastic Calc Guy and the Finance Guy.

more than 2 years ago

Most People Have Never Heard of CTRL+F

TurtleBay Schools (567 comments)

"We're talking about the future of almost all knowledge acquisition and yet schools don't spend nearly as much time on this skill as they do on other equally important areas." I wouldn't be surprised if schools are still teaching the use of the card catalog.

about 3 years ago

Camera Lets You Shift Focus After Shooting

TurtleBay Re:Lots of red flags, little tech (155 comments)

The problem is that fixed focus cameras are also good enough for facebook. Redoing the focus in post production isn't something 99% of people would ever do for a facebook photo. They usually go straight from the camera to the upload with zero image editing.

more than 3 years ago

Has the Console Arms Race Stalled?

TurtleBay The great recession? TSMC's stall? (231 comments)

Don't forget, we also just came out of a crazy bad recession. This would have been a bad time to release a new console and it is harder for the companies to justify console development costs when investors are demanding cost cutting. Additionally, TSMC has been stuck for over a year on the 40 nm node. The cancellation of the 32 nm process may have impacted some of the plans of the console makers. If they were planning on a chip that simply wouldn't be feasible/economical without a die shrink, then now have to wait for 28 nm to become a widely available and high yielding process, but so far this process is not ready for production silicon. TSMC won't be able to produce the quantity or yield of parts that the console makers will need on 28 nm until at least early 2012.

more than 3 years ago

Taking the Fun Out of StarCraft II

TurtleBay Re:Sport...pfft. (293 comments)

To get away from the word "sport" you could say: There are plenty of games that are fun, but there is a niche for a game that is competitive. The gist of what the Blizzard guy is saying is that a balanced challenging competitive environment isn't created by just throwing every fun unit that you can think of into the game. Unbalanced games devolve into single strategy borefests, while well balanced games let a variety of strategies be viable. Basically, single player could have more powerful effects if nukes could blow up entire bases or if the mothership's void lasted longer. However these "I win" spells would look cool but not be fun in multiplayer after the first five times (or when you are on the receiving end).

more than 3 years ago


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