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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

chipschap Re:Radicalization (841 comments)

Everyone can say whatever they want, but this much is worth repeating: If Hamas, etc., disarmed, there would be peace. If Israel disarmed, they would be utterly destroyed.

2 days ago

'Just Let Me Code!'

chipschap Re:"Just let me build a bridge!" (368 comments)

This last post sort of hits the nail on the head.

Yes, complex projects need to be managed, or you end up with dogpiles like most of today's ERP stuff (and many others). But by managed I mean managed WELL.

Managed WELL does not mean all sorts of overhead and red tape that exist just because a clueless project manager doesn't know any other way than one-size-fits-all full-blown project management according to some textbook. It means using tools wisely as the project's needs demand, neither more nor less.

I remember working at a company quite a while ago when "structured development" started to be the latest rage. We had "structured documentation," "structured walkthroughs," structured everything, whether the project was a one-day effort (except after all the structuring nothing was short) or two years. The PMs in charge applied the methodology blindly and rigidly.

Is the same nonsense, with different names, going on today? No kidding! 'Agile' and all the rest will come and go; do better systems get produced in faster timeframes? I think we all know the answer.

As an aside, one of these methodology instructors insisted that a good piece of code NEVER contained embedded comments, because the external documentation should be so good that comments were superfluous. And this guy got paid to teach this stuff. Yes, he was an academic with no real-world experience.

about a week ago

Microsoft FY2014 Q4 Earnings: Revenues Up, Profits Down Slightly

chipschap Re:This must be confusing to y'all (66 comments)

One quarterly earnings report is nothing to make investment decisions about.

Are you kidding? The Street makes investment decisions based on single news reports!

Really, the day to day volatility of the market never ceases to amaze me. One bad news report? DJIA down 200. One good report? Up 150. It seems to be based on moment to moment emotion rather than logic. No wonder out-guessing the market is so hard. I think the big traders more or less permanently forget to take their meds.

about a week ago

Microsoft FY2014 Q4 Earnings: Revenues Up, Profits Down Slightly

chipschap Re:This must be confusing to y'all (66 comments)

I may be a Linux "fanboy" or whatever it's called, but I've still had MS in my portfolio. I can be very happy running Linux on all my machines and making relatively good money (considering risk) from MS. My "fanboy-ness" does not extend to my bank account.

about a week ago

The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

chipschap Re:The problem is the other way round... (962 comments)

I completely believe in equality and when I was in management I put that into practice all the time, no fail. Equality meant I didn't care if you were male or female, or whatever color or race or religion or ... whatever. I didn't care; I would treat you fairly, try to know you as an individual with individual needs, goals, and aspirations, and to try to help you to succeed.

This worked. In spades. In productivity, retention, morale, health and safety, any measure you want.

What I did not do is somehow say that equality means men (or any other group) are inferior. White male? Whatever. Black female? Whatever. You're all as good as your job performance, not more or less.

What I seem to hear from some, though, is that a straight white male is by definition inferior. How does that align with a notion of equality?

Of course harrassment of women is wrong! It should never be tolerated. But harrassment of anyone is wrong, and is equally unacceptable.

about two weeks ago

When Beliefs and Facts Collide

chipschap Re:Not surprising. (725 comments)

That's what GW needs to be all about, legitimate science and letting the science speak for itself. Unfortunately the likes of Al Gore have been a real problem for obtaining wide acceptance of GW. Let's please drop the hype and posturing on both sides and follow the science. This isn't about what someone would like to believe or wants to believe. It's about finding and accepting the scientific truth, and then doing what's necessary (and not doing what's not necessary). And please don't imply anything from this comment about whether the scientific truth already is or is not determined. "Belief" (or non-belief) in GW is not necessarily a measure of scientifc literacy. It's more like "if you agree with me then you're literate" and that applies to both sides.

about three weeks ago

FreeDOS Is 20 Years Old

chipschap Re:A popular laptop OS? (133 comments)

True about games (dosbox as an easy alternative) but not business software. dosbox doesn't support printing (I think there is one mod that does, but the mainstream doesn't) so if you want to use your old Lotus Agenda or Ventura Publisher or Xywrite, etc., FreeDOS may be preferred.

about 1 month ago

FreeDOS Is 20 Years Old

chipschap Re:A popular laptop OS? (133 comments)

Good point. I've observed this too.

I have a bootable USB stick which boots into FreeDOS. The only thing on the stick, besides the OS and some utilities, is a copy of an old, simple word processor called Better Working Word Processor. When I really want distraction-free writing, I boot this up and there is simply nothing else to do but write (somewhat a la Jonathan Franzen, though I'll never quite have the reputation to go with it).

But I do notice that even with the hard drive spun down, battery life is little better than running my full Linux Mint installation.

about 1 month ago

How Apple Can Take Its Headphones To the Next Level

chipschap Re: Step 1 (196 comments)

There's nothing that compares with Sony Professional headphones, and they're less expensive than you'd expect. Normally I hate Sony but the pro headphones are one heck of a product line.

Of course, they're ... heh heh heh .... "somewhat" larger and heavier than earbuds, and as for looking hip ... not. Unless the audio engineer look is somehow "in." Be sure to wear thick glasses with black frames.

about a month ago

After 47 Years, Computerworld Ceases Print Publication

chipschap Re:I think I miss computer shopper more (105 comments)

I do nearly all my magazine-type reading on the Internet now, too, but I did enjoy the print magazines in their day, great old stuff like "Radio Electronics." Not that I wish to return to those days, which weren't really the good old days if you think objectively about it.

I still like a print newspaper but if I were to be fully honest I'd have to say it's hardly a necessity any more, and it mostly contains wire service articles I read online two days earlier.

about a month and a half ago

Rising Sea Levels Uncover Japanese War Dead In Marshall Islands

chipschap Re:that's odd (182 comments)

I'm trying to understand how rising water uncovered something. I can see rising water floating something into view or the like, but uncovering? Shouldn't that be falling water levels? (This is not an anti-climate change question, by the way; I just don't get the idea here.)

about 2 months ago

Virginia DMV Cracks Down On Uber, Lyft

chipschap Re:Seems reasonable... (260 comments)

Lyft just announced their opening in Honolulu and the cab companies are already lined up to fight them.

Cab service is very expensive here, for instance $50+ for a 7-mile ride from my place to the airport. Lyft to proposing to undercut taxi service by about 30%, which is a step in the right direction but still nothing close to cheap.

It will be interesting to see what the city does, that is, to find out who has been making the biggest payoffs.

about 2 months ago

Fixing the Humanities Ph.D.

chipschap Re:Oh the humanities! (325 comments)

"A lot of great books (which do have commercial value, for the Gradgrinds reading this) are written by English Lit graduates, and are likely better for that."

I don't know. Have you read some of today's "great" literary fiction? Like stuff by Don DeLillo or Jonathan Franzen?

"Better" isn't the word I'd use. I don't know if those two are English Lit grads, but for sure English Lit grads go nuts over them, heaven knows why.

about 2 months ago

Microsoft Won't Bring Back the Start Menu Until 2015

chipschap Re:You can indeed buff a turd to a high gloss (516 comments)

And people actually pay good money for this. Unfortunately if I want a new laptop, I too have to pay for it, even though the first thing I'll do is get rid of it and install Linux.

about 2 months ago

A Measure of Your Team's Health: How You Treat Your "Idiot"

chipschap Re:even more telling... (255 comments)

As a former technology manager, I can say that (at least as I saw things) the challenge and responsibility of management is to understand the capabilities of the staff and get them into roles in which they can succeed. If someone is underperforming in a certain job, then the manager must get them into a job in which they can perform. Everyone wins in such a case. The organization doesn't need to go through a fire/hire cycle, and instead ends up with an employee who contributes. The employee keeps his/her employment and, as a real contributor, definitely feels better about him/herself. (This needs to be done without a salary cut, which is destructive to everyone's morale, not just the staffer.)

This is, of course, if the employee is at least making an effort ... laziness or not caring is a different issue.

about 2 months ago

50 Years Later, MIT Looks Back At AI and Networking Pioneer Project MAC

chipschap Re:Project MAC? (50 comments)

Multics was amazing for its time. Then Honeywell took it on as a commercial product and didn't know how to sell it, or more like their sales people were clueless and didn't want it competing against their own home-grown crappy operating system and hardware. So Multics died.

In the minicomputer era, Prime Computers (a competitor to DEC) built an operating system that they called a "mini" Multics, because it used the same security ring idea, but it wasn't a tenth as good.

And I do myself remember Project MAC as I was a student at MIT in those days.

about 2 months ago

Author Charles Stross: Is Amazon a Malignant Monopoly, Or Just Plain Evil?

chipschap Re:Read his books (405 comments)

I do a lot of book reviews, and the biggest difference by far between publisher-published books and self-published books is the quality of the editing. Self-published books often (too often) are not well edited if they are edited at all.

about 2 months ago

With the Surface Pro, Microsoft Is Trying To Recreate the PC Market

chipschap Re:Microsoft for business is bullshit. (379 comments)

"... file format portability ..."

Is that a joke? MS file formats have changed a lot over the years. Remember the introduction of docx?

OpenOffice reads more MS formats than MS does.

about 2 months ago

With the Surface Pro, Microsoft Is Trying To Recreate the PC Market

chipschap Re:Surface: the only Hope (379 comments)

Microsoft has become largely irrelevant and they're trying to get back to their glory days. The same happened with IBM some years back. Both companies expected their users to go where /they/ were going, instead of the other way around. Then, to no one's surprise but their own, they lost their edge in the market. "We're so big and we're so important our users have to follow us wherever we go." Windows 8, anyone? Sic transit gloria mundi.

about 2 months ago

It's Time For the Descent Games Return

chipschap Re:Hell Yes! (251 comments)

I'll go one better, paper tape readers and I think 110 baud timesharing service.

about 2 months ago


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