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The Tech Industry's Legacy: Creating Disposable Employees

goldcd Yes, but (263 comments)

That assumes the product owner is developing what's needed - not they shiny new feature he was able to sell to the product budget holder.
Also assumes that the people deploying/using the software are involved in the Agile process.
i.e. Product may be developed in an Agile way, but if product just releases a new version every year, that emerges from a black-box, then it really doesn't matter what methodology was followed.

about a week ago

The Tech Industry's Legacy: Creating Disposable Employees

goldcd Didn't so much mean the individuals (263 comments)

and really wasn't complaining even about the groups - more just the environment they've all been put in (apart from marketing, who should all be shot... as long as they keep selling the stuff that pays my salary... OK, I'll give some of them a pass..).
The guy leading the scrum team, who tells me he sees the issue and isn't going to fix it, isn't personally being a bastard. Actually, he's probably a pretty good leader, protecting his team from my random requests, leading to team late nights, leading to tester queries and defects all based around something he wasn't supposed to be doing in the first place.
It has to come top down. At one end there's a happy customer throwing money at us for our flexible "can-do" attitude - and it's just making sure that money and accompanying 'kudos' attaches itself to everybody in the chain. If you've got hard walls between depts in that chain, each one just seems to want to shaft the ones on either side of it - skim off as much as they can as it goes from the customer to dev. So, when it reaches dev finally they look at the risk/reward and (rightly) determine it's not worth the effort - so nobody benefits.

about two weeks ago

The Tech Industry's Legacy: Creating Disposable Employees

goldcd Oh I live in this world as well (263 comments)

My counter-view (sitting, between product and customer).
Product have made something that's not quite right. We ask them to fix it. They don't want to, as they're adding the latest shiny new feature instead.
This makes sense to them, shiney got given budget, fixing something would mean them admitting they screwed up before and there'll be a teensy bit less shiny/budget. They don't like doing that.
So, I have to fix it. I can't charge the customer more, I can't internally pay product less, so I just got myself some additional work.
I can then repeat this process for each customer - or hope that product pick up the fix/feature and integrate it.
This second favoured option whilst easiest for me, sticks in the craw a bit as it's not really motivating product to actually make what we need - throw something out the door, and it'll get fixed if we missed anything important.
Now, obviously you get to point when you lose your rag a bit - and tell the customer it's all borked, tell them to escalate it, and sit back as product fixes product. This can only be used rarely, too often and the customer twigs it's all messed up internally.

A better alternative, and something we seem to be moving towards, is to slice the company the other way - Take chunks of sales, site, delivery, support, product to create a 'functional slice' through all of them. Common purpose, common(ish) pot of money - "We" have a problem, "We" need to fix, or our whole slice is screwed (and the multi-VP shit will rain down equally on all of us).
Above still isn't perfect (more services, than product) but even as a small step, if you get product closer to the customer it improves. Not just people feel more involved in actually providing a solution, but helps shape the product roadmap - These aren't just new "Shiny Features" - They're "A Shiny feature we know if we add to the product, has landed us all another million dollars in the next release".
I guess if I had to sum it up, it's just being more open and then trying to align all the interests. People want to do a good job, but asking them to sacrifice themselves to do something they'll never be rewarded for just demeans and pisses them off, which leads to resentment, which leads to the internal barriers, fiefdoms and all the rest.

about two weeks ago

Silk Road Trial Defense: Mt. Gox CEO Was the Real Dread Pirate Roberts

goldcd That would be my argument - yes (119 comments)

I seem to originally recall when he was first arrested, that he was charged with actually having people killed.
This having been proudly announced before they actually knew who these people were, had any bodies, just ridiculously, laughable over-charging (and clearly designed to bias whatever came next).
I'm interest to see where this all goes - but so far it appears to be utter bollocks and lies (now) from both sides.

about two weeks ago

Silk Road Trial Defense: Mt. Gox CEO Was the Real Dread Pirate Roberts

goldcd No (119 comments)

He didn't.

about two weeks ago

Silk Road Trial Defense: Mt. Gox CEO Was the Real Dread Pirate Roberts

goldcd I dunno (119 comments)

Having oil traded in dollars seems to be working out reasonably well for some.

about two weeks ago

Silk Road Trial Defense: Mt. Gox CEO Was the Real Dread Pirate Roberts

goldcd FUD (119 comments)

Or maybe it isn't.
Just personally I'd liked the idea of the defendant stepping up, admitting running the whole thing, and saying he'd arranged a x many hundred thousand/million drug deals where nobody got hurt, nobody was coerced and to possibly point out that the major issue with narcotics is merely how they're handled, rather than their eternal existence and the last century's completely useless attempts at prohibition.
Whoever ran SR, they'll forever have my admiration for what they did and voluntarily banning the sale of items that certain governments to this day refuse to consider as 'harmful'.
The Charlie Hebdo incident that occurred last week. Would this be more, or less likely to have occurred if we lived under the rules of the USA or Silk Road?

about two weeks ago

Writer: How My Mom Got Hacked

goldcd And I fully agree with the sentiment (463 comments)

But that's just a sentiment.
Once you're in their jaws, I suspect that your feelings may vary - and not as if any of us are going to reward her for towing the unified line
Actually, that's maybe the solution - you cough up your own cash to reward those that "say no to extortion" - It's not a massive leap, the majority of our governments already do this with our taxes already. Sure, it costs more in the long run (those SAS/SEAL raids where everybody ends up dead and poorer) - but it's nice to take a principled stand in the abstract (when your loved one isn't going to die as a hostage, nor as a soldier sent to rescue them).
The French - they mainly just seem to pay up, and walk away with their hostages unharmed.
Now I'm sure there may be some objections to this (I've got some myself) - but our governments seem to have managed to overlook their scruples and the urge to teach lessons when a few banks asked for a bit of cash (or we'd have all descended into anarchy, seemingly).
My point, I'm not sure. It's vaguely around the point that we don't 'pay when extorted' - and yet we all pretty much do. What's interesting is the type of extortion your government buckles and pays for.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: What Can I Really Do With a Smart Watch?

goldcd Well that was informative (232 comments)

From the "I commonly work in a clean-room (CR.)" I knew we were onto a winner here.

What you actually want to do is not put your phone on the 'inside' of your "CR" gear.

If that's not an option, then I suspect neither is farting around with a wrist-computer.

Being serious. I'm a Pebble user and the main service it provides is putting your phone notifications on your wrist - it lets you break the pavlovian response of looking at your phone everytime it goes 'buzz'
However, it pretty much assumes that when you glance at your wrist and determine it's important, you get out your phone to resolve whatever.
Depending on your watch of choice, your interaction scope may vary - but they all assume if you need to offer a proper response to whatever, you get out your phone - a smartwatch isn't for you sir.

about a month and a half ago

Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

goldcd Indeed. (234 comments)

It doesn't like knowing my phone is rooted - but then slap on Root Cloak, and it happily rolls over and lets me tickle it's underside.
I think this might be my main annoyance - ridiculously intrusive, and yet pretty dumb.

about 2 months ago

Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

goldcd Re:Think that's bad (234 comments)

You misunderstand.
Worx doesn't actually *give* you any functionality - e.g. I just use my regular mail program to connect to exchange, attach files etc etc. All Worx does, is tell my employer my handset's allowed to use exchange.
I'm guessing it can probably be used in a slightly more intrusive way to 'brand' my handset (install corporate wallpaper, stick corporate apps of choice on the handset etc) - but..

about 2 months ago

Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

goldcd Think that's bad (234 comments)

Have a look what Citrix Worx asks for (certifier of your phone, so you can look at your work email). Device & app history
retrieve running apps
read sensitive log data
Mobile data settings
change/intercept network settings and traffic
precise location (GPS and network-based)
Photos / Media / Files
modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
test access to protected storage
Camera / Microphone
record audio
Wi-Fi connection information
view Wi-Fi connections
Device ID & call information
read phone status and identity
press keys and control buttons
read frame buffer
close other apps
update component usage statistics
force-stop other apps
modify secure system settings
view network connections
connect and disconnect from Wi-Fi
full network access
run at startup
read battery statistics
control vibration
close other apps
set wallpaper
install shortcuts
uninstall shortcuts
modify system settings
pair with Bluetooth devices
draw over other apps

about 2 months ago

Disney Patents a Piracy Free Search Engine

goldcd Aw, bless (164 comments)

I suspect some numpty within Disney has just walked away with a somewhat cheap-looking 'patent plaque'

The point of a search engine, to the user, is to give them what they were looking for.
Anything that detracts from this ideal, makes it a 'bad search engine'

If they'd got their head screwed on, in addition to hiding copyright infringing material, they'd have also extended the patent to remove anything that was sold by a Disney competitor (surely users contributing to the coffers of a rival, is much worse than contributing to nobody).
Oh - but then it might have been noticed that they've just patented their own app-store..

about 3 months ago

NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders

goldcd Indeed (786 comments)

And the results in most IT offices being a f'in sausage-fest.
Whilst I have no aptitude for HR or marketing, I'd urge any undecided young person out there to fully consider.

about 3 months ago

Apple's Next Hit Could Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

goldcd Because it all seems to be 'flowing' the wrong way (252 comments)

I have a desktop and a laptop or two running Windows. I have for decades. These are 'my machines'
I've ploughed through the odd iOS and quite a few Android devices for phones and tablets as well. Once you've hacked the life out of them, you can actually get stuff working that previously you could only do on my 'real machines'
Over the generations, what I could do has increased - I loved it. Then I saw the Surface2. It just sort of snuck up on me. Scales from my eyes and all that, but it can do whatever any other tablet I have could do, what I wanted my next tablet to do, and - well basically I'm not sure what advantage any tablet of today or the near future could offer me, that this couldn't.

about 3 months ago

Ubisoft Claims CPU Specs a Limiting Factor In Assassin's Creed Unity On Consoles

goldcd To be fair though (338 comments)

Consoles just have to render at 1080, not 1440 or the 4k you can easily pick up for your PC.

For the last couple of gens it's usually been possible to get a PC that 'looked better' - but you ended up paying a whole wedge more for the privilege. This is the first gen of consoles that have come out and I've immediately written off (and I'm reasonably sure could build a better PC for near enough the same money).
PC monitors have got better, and it's never been easier to plug your PC into a TV if you care. My old 360 controller is happily working wirelessly with my PC, despite the rest of the rig going to the charity shop. I'm really a little bemused as to what the point of non-portable consoles is any more.
Even the industry seems a little bemused and is resorting to 'dirty-tricks' - deliberately screwing up the graphics on Watch Dogs, 'consoles as a whole' getting a timed exclusive of GTA etc.
Only console I've any interest in is the WiiU (and even then just for the game exclusives I know will never come to my PC - and for some reason can mentally give Nintendo a pass on this).

about 4 months ago

Tesla Is Starting a Certified Preowned Program

goldcd Indeed (126 comments)

With a 'normal' car you get to see the mileage and whether "it looks OK at a glance" but that's about all you can tell about what kind of life it had previously.
With a Tesla I don't see why you couldn't theoretically pull the entire black-box history.
I'd like to buy a Tesla that never exceeded the speed limit and was only driven to church on a Sunday etc etc.

about 4 months ago

Cyanogen Inc. Turns Down Google, Seeing $1 Billion Valuation

goldcd That is rubbish (107 comments)

Google are trying to protect their Android brand, from the reasonable accusations that hardware vendors leave their customers high-and-dry and stop supporting the handset when they have a new one to sell.
I don't want an iOS phone - *but* buying an Android phone for a similar chunk of cash, it never comes with any guarantee of a future update.
Google recognized this and released the 'google edition' versions of some of the high-end popular handsets. That ticks the box for the users of these phones - you're likely to get your updates for a good few more years, whatever your vendor does - but for most of these high-end phones the vendor provides upgrades anyway.
Surely what google want go do is provide some kind of ongoing support to their users of phones from the lower tier suppliers. Cyanogen is pretty good at bridging the gap between the huge numbers of phones out there, and google's latest and greatest OS.
The bit that niggles me is that I'm not quite sure what Cyanogen brings apart from providing a focus for the unpaid people actually doing the work.
If I were in Google's position I'd just pick up the community myself, and put bounties against phone/android version combos, and pay the devs directly.

about 4 months ago

Scotland Votes No To Independence

goldcd If I had points, I'd give them to you (474 comments)

I'm reasonably proud of my little island and a bit we refer to as the UK.
Punched above our weight for a couple of hundred years, and made out mark on the planet. Generally I think we've done more good than harm - but definitely not perfect and plenty of room for improvement.
Personally glad that Scotland didn't leave us - but would have happily accepted any decision they made.
Hopefully this is just tacit acceptance it's a bit shit for all of us at the moment, and we all need to ride this out together. It'll get better, it'll get worse again, we'll bitch and we'll whine about the unfairness of it all - but at least we're not France.

about 4 months ago



Telltale have their paws on the Monkey Island

goldcd goldcd writes  |  more than 4 years ago

goldcd writes "Just received an email from Telltale that has made my heart skip a beat. Whether this is love, or a coronary-attack has yet to be seen — but they've wrestled my favourite franchise ever from Lucasarts (last seem pissing on the corpse) and it's coming back!
Jury's out, but Sam and Max, through ups and downs, definitely had no shortage of love applied. If they can do the same for Guybrush, I'll be a happy man (although if the score isn't MI2 as heard through an MT32 I'll be taking names)."

Link to Original Source

Best way of making your code a successful OSS proj

goldcd goldcd writes  |  more than 7 years ago

goldcd writes "This is probably under the wrong heading — but I couldn't find an appropriate one.
My situation is that a while back I wrote some pretty reasonable forum code. Backstory is I used to be a member of the popbitch.com forum, had a tiff and decided I could do better myself — so cloned and improved their functionality and created bobpitch.com (no this isn't a plug — so please don't /. my server).
A few years down the line it's pretty stable, I've stopped tinkering with it and it's standing up by itself. I have neither the time, inclination or inspiration to do anything more with it, but would very much like to give the code to the world to use and expand upon. Basically I want to give my code to the OSS world.
Now I could just upload it as it is onto sourceforge, but currently it's very specific in it's usage and I'd be ashamed of what 'proper' coders would think of my amateur offering.
My question is, what do you have to do to make your code 'OSS appealing'? I want people to look at it, be inspired and carry on developing. I have a horrible feeling if I just uploaded my current source it'd be laughed at and ignored. On the other hand I don't just want to waste hours of my own time perfecting it for people just to 'rip off' as is — and never contribute anything.
I want to give the world a PHPBB alternative and want the world to accept it. What do I need to do before releasing my baby? Feel free to edit subject/summary. Just want an answer and sure there must be many many people in the same situation."

Link to Original Source

goldcd goldcd writes  |  more than 8 years ago

goldcd writes "I've been following the 360 vs PS3 vs Wii online debate for a while and gathered the impression that 360 was here, PS3 would/wouldn't take the crown — and that Nintendo would be on our side with a low priced console, and gamer friendly features such as a lack of region restriction. PS3 has taken a kicking and we seem to have cultered a 360&Wii brotherhood. Now ninty seems to be changing their previous statements. Wii will come with region locks.
I just feel that maybe we've given our childhood favourite too much slack — they don't seem to feel they owe us (by us, I mean me, a UK nintendo lover) and maybe it's time we gave them what they deserved — of course their console is cheap and available — it's basically what we bought last time, with the DVD, network, graphics that the competition gave us last time around and Nintendo didn't."


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