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Comments

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Office Space: TV Documentary Looks At the Dreadful Open Office

jotaeleemeese One size surely doesn't fit all. (314 comments)

A French company I know about has different spaces for different functions.

People doing clerical repetitive work sit in an open office area, but in small clusters of 2-3 seats so you don't feel like participating in a dystopian future.

People that require to concentrate for long stretches of time have offices, shared between 2 people at most. In the middle of that area there are standing up long desks were these people can congregate with colleagues to discuss technical matters.

There are lots of offices since most people are not doing repetitive work.

They also have several meeting rooms of different sizes, tables of differing sizes where quick improvised meetings can be held, and the canteen is communal, airy with striking views of town centre.

This is not a tech firm, it is an old school utilities company (oil, gas, that kind of stuff).

A company that is not going to great lengths to understand the kind of working space its workforce needs is not helping itself.

about 8 months ago
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Silent Circle, Lavabit Unite For 'Dark Mail' Encrypted Email Project

jotaeleemeese I read the documents. (195 comments)

In p 31 he is asked to hand over the SSL and TLS keys for his service, which in practical terms it would allow the FBI to eavesdrop in the communications of *everybody* at will, this with all certainty would have meant a breach of contract with his users, lawsuits would have ensued. Would the FBI have paid for the damages?

Most importantly Lavabit was willing to comply with the original request, which was limited to a single email account.

You'll have to try harder if you want to dispel the positive aura around Ladar..

about a year ago
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Silent Circle, Lavabit Unite For 'Dark Mail' Encrypted Email Project

jotaeleemeese Why DarkMail? (195 comments)

Many outlets in the right wing media will have a field day with the name alone.

If one is going to try to occupy the moral high ground the choice of language really matters: you are framing the debate by how you word every single relevant item related to a given project, and which item will have greater visibility than the very name of your project?

By using such a name they are serving in a silver plate the opportunity to malicious, uninformed and naive commentators to badmouth whatever they come up with and that before having put forward a single detailed sentence about the proposal.

DarkMail may sound cool, but from the start is eliciting all the wrong kind of associations, I am sure many parties in the field could be interested to join such an effort, but the DarkMail name alone may put some people off.

The name really should be changed, these battles are difficult as it is, people shouldn't make it unnecessarily harder than it is going to be.

Let me put an example, lets compare these 2 headlines:

"Terrorists confess to using DarkMail"
and
"Terrorists confess to using PrivateMail"

Look, at the end I know it is the same thing, but while a headline would push many to say "yeah, tell me something new" the other may elicit comments of the kind of "What? That is what I use to email my bank"

I really think that name ought to go.

about a year ago
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Silent Circle, Lavabit Unite For 'Dark Mail' Encrypted Email Project

jotaeleemeese Re:What problem are they solving? (195 comments)

Ease of use.
Consistent protocol for exchange of encrypted mail (which could be based on PGP).
Key decentralization and anonymitation ....

Using PGP is a PITA in most stand alone systems (Windows, OSX, Linux) relies in way too much trust as well (how do you know that PGP key is legit?), and it isn't implemented at all in big emailers (Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Microsoft's whatever it is called this week, etc).

about a year ago
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Book Review: The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon

jotaeleemeese I have a deal for you (45 comments)

You pay me the difference and I'll buy local.

Oh wait you also have to pay for my time.

And other costs (parking and/or transportation to name only the most obvious)

about a year ago
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Book Review: The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon

jotaeleemeese Yeah right. (45 comments)

When something goes wrong Amazon really sorts things out.

With an Asian based company with no local presence where I live? Good luck with that one.

about a year ago
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Most IT Workers Don't Have STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math) Degrees

jotaeleemeese Oh really? (655 comments)

I never did the same problem 95 times (I may have done 95 different problems, applying the same principles).

So writing a paper is also "busy work"?

Under such limited perspective, pretty much any intellectual endeavour will just be "busy work".

That is how people that didn't have the drive or will to go through higher education devalue the hard work of others. It's ok to vent frustration that way, but is fundamentally nonsense.

about a year ago
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Most IT Workers Don't Have STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math) Degrees

jotaeleemeese Well.... (655 comments)

... if you had an education you would know that an anecdote is not enough substantiation for statistical analysis.

After interviewing and working with hundreds of IT people I can assure you that your situation is the exception, not the norm.

People that learned to put a bit of code together, disassembled a PC to change a RAM chip or do some other menial IT work are promoted to positions for which they are sorely lacking in skills.

They don't care to document what they do (because they never undertook six months or a year of software engineering classes), they don't have the mathematics and physics background to tackle complex problems (because they missed calculus, classical physics and other knowledge imparted at degree level foundation courses) , they try to reinvent the wheel (because they didn't take courses about computational algorithms) and they keep programming undocumented spaghetti code (normally Perl) because they didn't receive formal education as programmers (structured and object oriented programming), or they don't know how to avoid the basic pitfalls when designing a database (because they didn't learn the mathematical theory behind database design).

You tell people that they will be ok without a solid education, those of us that know this to be untrue will have less competition. Many thanks.

about a year ago
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What Employee Lock-In Means At Facebook

jotaeleemeese Natural law.... (391 comments)

Would dictate that the first arrivals own an empty (truly empty) land and can call themselves Native.

about a year ago
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What Employee Lock-In Means At Facebook

jotaeleemeese Really? (391 comments)

Says where exactly?

about a year ago
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US Government Shutdown Ends

jotaeleemeese well, that is the point. (999 comments)

In the UK you don't need an insurance plan. Even if you are unemployed.

about a year ago
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No Love From Ars For Samsung's New Smart Watch

jotaeleemeese Most obvious feature. (236 comments)

I can't bloody believe the negativity about this kind of gadget, and in any case, it seems most people are missing the bleeding obvious.

A smartwatch would be safely attached to your wrist.

I am looking at my phone know and his screen is cracked in several places due to it falling to the floor (mercifully it is still working).

When you compare the cost of replacing a screen vs the cost of having a smartwatch the gadget becomes a very attractive proposition.

Minimizing the amount of times you need to manipulate a $500-600 small device that is just a fall away of becoming unusable will save you money in the long term.

about a year ago
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Sorm: Russia Intends To Monitor "All Communications" At Sochi Olympics

jotaeleemeese Sure, we are imagining things. (193 comments)

President-Prime Minister-President

Opposition: in jail or in exile, some of them murdered in suspicious circumstances.

But whatever you say buddy.

about a year ago
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Sorm: Russia Intends To Monitor "All Communications" At Sochi Olympics

jotaeleemeese Poor sod. (193 comments)

The people fumbling for power are different factions of the same powerful class.

USians still believe those people represent them...

about a year ago
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US Intelligence Chief Defends Attempts To Break Tor

jotaeleemeese Lets stop mail, phone calls. (411 comments)

Lets burn books. magazines, and the evil contraptions that churn them out.

Lets stop radio broadcasts.And TV. And telephone. And telegraph for good measure.

And lets declare pigeon breeders criminals and destroy those terrorist animals, just in case.

And ban fire, so smoke signals can't be used.

Lets cut peoples tongues. And their hands so they can't signal. And gauge their eyes out (and block their ears).

Because any means of communication could be at the disposal of terrorists.

Don't you want to be safe or what?

about a year ago
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US Intelligence Chief Defends Attempts To Break Tor

jotaeleemeese What about old fashioned intelligence gathering? (411 comments)

In older times intelligence agencies would follow suspects, build a file, keep track of them, build a case against them.

Now sometimes it seems to me like they want a contraption akin to Google to give them all what they need to do their job, sometimes one feels they don't want to get to work properly.

if the chaps manning drones have a 9 to 5 job, hey, why they shouldn't?

People should remember that Osama bin Laden's technology usage was minimal. Most likely meaningful communication happens face to face or via more conventional channels, only a complete moron would take the internet for anything secure now.

Anybody with a bit of technical acumen knew that the net isn't a safe communication medium and that it is easily infiltrated, by undermining the very fundamental of (very imperfect) secure communications the NSA and its UK counterpart have put a clear marker in place: don't use the internet.

Which is fine for actual terrorists, who already knew that, but is not fine for the rest of us, since now other kind of criminals very adept at exploiting the Internet have confirmation of how dumb the NSA is for undermining secure communications.

We as a society will be owned by a cracker in ways we haven't imagined yet, and the seed of that failure will be the NSA's cavalier attitude regarding people's privacy and appeal to security by obscurity (no matter how sophisticated the obscurity is) by undermining standards that should be as safe as practically possible.

about a year ago
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How BlackBerry Blew It

jotaeleemeese What killed Novell was TCP/IP (278 comments)

I don't even remember the evil protocols they used, but when people familiar with TCP/IP started to become SysAdmins one of the first things they did was to install the drivers to allow TCP/IP networking.

about a year ago
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How BlackBerry Blew It

jotaeleemeese Great businesman? (278 comments)

He spent *years* in the wilderness after the first Apple Macs probed a financial disaster. He was removed by the board when it became obvious he was going to destroy his own company.

Then he presided over the train reck that was NexT.

He certainly had a vision, but golly, lets not canonize him.

about a year ago
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How BlackBerry Blew It

jotaeleemeese People should read Jobs biography (278 comments)

He was heavily involved in all kinds of New Age stuff, he clearly was aware about how cults work and I can't imagine that somebody with such obvious marketing acumen would not realise the advantages of building a following that would do stupid things in order to ingratiate themselves with the "cult" leadership,

Every time I see a fanboi celebrating that he has been shafted at the tune of $500-$700 for buying something which could be sold online more efficiently I shake my head in disbelief.

How low is the self-esteem of these people to need *that* to achieve a boost of their happiness?

about a year ago

Submissions

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jotaeleemeese jotaeleemeese writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jotaeleemeese (303437) writes ""Beef, pork and chicken fat from Tyson rendering plants will be processed at ConocoPhillips refineries to create transportation fuel", as reported on this article. The amounts of biodiesel produced would be quite small, but if that is the best use of the fat generated as a by product I suppose it is a positive thing to do. What I would find disturbing is rearing animals with the explicit purpose of producing fuel. Could this happen if this would ever become profitable on its own right? I doubt it, but certainly I will not look to my next burger in the same light."
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jotaeleemeese jotaeleemeese writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jotaeleemeese (303437) writes ""The EU Prosecutors are Wrong" is the strong statement with which de Icaza's blog starts a dissection of the advantages he perceives in favour of Microsoft's Office Open XML (OOXML) against Open Document Format (ODF), centering mostly in how throughly each format is documented. He is uniquely well placed regarding this issue given its prominence as an Open Source developer and advocate as well as an employee of Microsoft's bussiness partner, Novell.

The analysis is quite thorough and, as a former spreadsheet developer, de Icaza's has a few punchy comments regarding the matter: "Depending on how you count, ODF has 4 to 10 pages devoted to it [the standard to document the formulas and functions in a spreadsheet]. There is no way you could build a spreadsheet software based on this specification."

He makes the point that a standard well documented is more desirable than one that isn't, although skirts completely issues like patents and who will control such standard (which may be addressed elsewhere).

Is de Icaza's heart on the right place by suggesting it would be more beneficial for the Open Source community to use OOXML given its thorough documentation?"

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