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The Standards Wars and the Sausage Factory

robot5x The self-fulfilling prophecy (234 comments)

The Beta Version prophets of doom swamp every story with predictions that everyone will leave slashdot and hyperbolic comments about how awful the new version is...

The remaining few who visit to read intelligent posting on critical analysis of tech stories get served up page after page of hyperbolic comment on how awful the new version is instead. They also leave.

The end

about 7 months ago

NYT: NSA Put 100,000 Radio Pathway "Backdoors" In PCs

robot5x Re: Where are they? (324 comments)

Oh for mod points.

all this talk of how to circumvent or dodge our own govts abuses of power are totally wrong. If we have lost faith we need to use democracy to change things - this can be done, even in Americas narrow 2 party system. Anyone who sneers at this should think about how - for example - big business would fail overnight if we all stopped buying stuff. People really do have power! Use it!!

about 8 months ago

The First Prescription-Only App

robot5x Re:My data (84 comments)

Absolutely right. Despite finding some current apps really useful (currently using Glucose Buddy), they do tend to just focus on retrospective monitoring of glucose levels and insulin.

I'm finding this useful currently just because my phone is the only thing that goes everywhere with me, so it's easy to always record wherever I am. I would love to have them go the extra mile, though, and tell me:

  1. what my ideal insulin/carb ratio is
  2. suggest dosages for certain meals
  3. track injection times, and monitor the half-life in case of situations where insulin overlaps

I think there's a lot of potential for apps to help particularly with chronic disease, and I'm really looking forward to what comes out next - despite all the inverted snobbery and worst case scenarios elsewhere in this discussion.

about 9 months ago

The First Prescription-Only App

robot5x Re:For those who have no cell phone (84 comments)

I'm in a roughly similar position; I have an iphone for work. I find the idea that people actually spend ~$1000 (NZ) on these things mind-boggling, but since I have one for free I've found that some of the 'glucose monitoring' apps to be very useful for managing my diabetes.

I've got no idea why there is so much snobbery on here by people claiming that you only need to monitor and record if you're some kind of moron who can barely tie their shoelaces together. I know how to manage my glucose, I understand the science and have many years experience, but - shame on me - I've found that real life can throw my plans into disarray. On those occasions when I've gone low or high, I find it VERY useful to flip back into my logs and make a mental note to be cautious of similar situations in the future. Managing diabetes is a constant and ongoing exercise in relentless execution, learning and adjustment - anyone who claims to have it all figured out is talking shit.

about 9 months ago

Do Non-Technical Managers Add Value?

robot5x Re:Managers (249 comments)

new manager here - interested in what you're saying, thanks.

I'm confused though - you say that you had good support from your staff, you completed projects on time with no overtime etc. How come you got fired??

I'm also interested in knowing more about the incentive plans you used. Can you elaborate? Thanks!

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Command Line Interfaces -- What Is Out There?

robot5x Re:systemd is there (383 comments)

yeah I just don't get what this whole story is about or what OP is actually asking.

a complete list of every useful CLI program? really??

about 9 months ago

Tech Startup Buffer Publishes Every Employee's Salary, Right Up To the CEO

robot5x Re:Wow, I'm speechless (229 comments)

Second, "seniority" and "experience" are part of the forumula? Experience in years?

Apparently not, from TFA 'experience' is calculated like this:

  • Master: 1.3X
  • Advanced: 1.2X
  • Intermediate: 1.1X
  • Junior: 1X

I have no idea what the criteria is to meet a particular rank, but all but one of their people are apparently 'Advanced' (including the CEO). I did want to post this question on their page but couldn't bring myself to sign up with disqus.

about 9 months ago

Tech Startup Buffer Publishes Every Employee's Salary, Right Up To the CEO

robot5x Re:Free Market (229 comments)

eh? GP did not say everyone should be paid the same or that everyone is worth the same amount

The point was simply that not all of the things that are crucial to effective free market operation (perfect information being a pretty central one), are present in the current labor market.

It's a very good point, in fact.

about 9 months ago

Tech Startup Buffer Publishes Every Employee's Salary, Right Up To the CEO

robot5x Re:It's more like a stunt to me (229 comments)

You reminded me of an economic thought experiment I read about a while back, I can't remember the name or anything but it goes something like this...

You take an upper middle class family, who generally have more stuff than most of their friends and family. They're pretty happy. But then the parents have a chance to earn a MILLION times more money somewhere else - the only catch is that everyone else who lives there earns at least ten times what they do. The supposition is that the family will stay where they are.

Human beings, within reason, don't particularly care how much they earn. What they care about is what they earn compared to others. It reflects my experience with other people at least, and is why I think this transparency is really important

about 9 months ago

Tech Startup Buffer Publishes Every Employee's Salary, Right Up To the CEO

robot5x Re:It's more like a stunt to me (229 comments)

You manage boxes and machines, but you lead people

Absolutely agree, but if everyone in my team is getting say $65k and quite happy, then my dickhead predecessor decides to pay this other guy $100k because he knows how to use excel and shit, everyone finds out, then everyone's unhappy. - this is a big problem for me as a leader. If the wages were transparent, this would never have happened and this problem would have never occurred.

In this particular case, I can lead them all they want, but it is a gross injustice I'm powerless to do anything about.

about 9 months ago

Have a Privacy-Invasion Wishlist? Peruse NSA's Top Secret Catalog

robot5x Re:Dell (259 comments)

thanks for the link, its fascinating stuff

But how on earth can I tell if my HDD is up to no good? Is it even possible?? I'm thinking like checking firmware revision or logging activity or something.

Honestly, the thought that my own hardware might be compromised is quite disturbing.

about 9 months ago

France's 'Culture Tax' Could Hit YouTube and Facebook

robot5x Re:Not Culture (314 comments)

Placing this debate in the geo-political context is important - the internal pressure in most EU countries to assert their 'national identity' (real or imagined) is becoming stronger. The perception of French culture outside of France is determined mostly by watching movies I imagine - 'hey, look at all those quaint cobble stone streets, the laid-back cafes etc - we have to go there on holiday next year!!'.

The same kind of thing has been happening here in NZ - although there is no 'culture' to speak of here, the revenue from attracting tourists is ginormous and important to local economy. The govt here recently increased a taxpayer rebate for movie makers with a 'good chance of commercial success' from 15% to 25%. Yes, from taxpayer money. Apparently this is reason James Cameron decided finally to locate the new Avatar movies here.

Nobody here is complaining about where their tax dollars are going - either because they support this move, or they just don't care. Either way, if the situation was changed to taxing youtube video consumption I'm sure there'd be a riot.

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Why Are Tech Job Requirements So Specific?

robot5x Re:Answer: HR departments (465 comments)

yeah I know. I work in health, and we only take on HR staff who've been to medical school or can otherwise prove they have a workable theory on how to cure AIDS.

about 10 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Why Are Tech Job Requirements So Specific?

robot5x Re:To hire specific people (465 comments)

where I work all job descriptions and advertising that HR draft have to be checked off by the hiring manager - so this doesn't ring true for me. I'd pick that up in a flash and insist that 'essential skill $FOO' was moved to 'desirable skill $FOO' exactly as I told them it should be.

about 10 months ago

Google Starts Tracking Retail Store Visits On Android and iOS

robot5x consumer power (157 comments)

Right - so we're all agreed that neither android or ios fully respect our privacy?

Great, so all we need to do is stop using their products and they'll change their ways!


btw my niece thinks this is totally cool

about 10 months ago

GCHQ Created Spoofed LinkedIn and Slashdot Sites To Serve Malware

robot5x Re:hey, GCHQ employees (335 comments)

You make an excellent point, that is often overlooked in these kinds of debates: there is no faceless spying organisation who we can consider like the Borg, it is always made up of individuals, who for some reason make a conscious decision to engage in this shitty and destructive behaviour.

I've often toyed with the idea of 'outing' people who 'innocently' contribute to the efficiency and organisation of horrible organisations like the NSA. You know - here's John, he's a nice guy, he plays softball and likes Miller Lite, his favourite movie is Deliverance, and during they day at work he spies on your email and helps innocent arab-looking people get fingered in US airports.

I'm being melodramatic but you get the point - we should hold the worker bees of these organisations to account, rather than just say 'the NSA sucks'. These people are all around us and this system could not work without them. They deserve our hatred.

about 10 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Open Source Project For a Router/Wi-Fi Access Point?

robot5x Re:OpenWRT on good commodity home ap (193 comments)

+1 to this, except I'm using the gargoyle build on my tp-link.

the features on it are amazing - I have a lodger who wants to use my whole data allowance in a single day. I set gargoyle to cap his usage at x GB per month, and once it's hit he gets 32kbps. I could have set it to kick him off the lan completely but I'm a nice guy.

Not quite as nerdy as OP requested but cost $50 and damn it just works

about a year ago

French Police To Switch 72,000 Desktop PCs To Linux

robot5x Re:practicalities (183 comments)

hey thanks a lot, that's really helpful.

this whole issue came up again recently when our regional health boards decided to budget for a windows 7 upgrade. The amount of money involved is truly mind-boggling, and a vocal minority of senior docs asked about using this as an opportunity for migration to a linux environment instead. It was rejected without any investigation! There are some nuances in our set up which makes the staffing issue much harder, but still... in a 'competitive' environment where we have to do a full options analysis for spending even $10k, it's incredible that somehow the business case for windows 7 apparently just 'wrote itself'.

about a year ago

French Police To Switch 72,000 Desktop PCs To Linux

robot5x practicalities (183 comments)

I'd really like to know some detail on how a migration like this works.

I work for a large healthcare organisation and - being a linux fan myself - often wondered about how it could work. Even if there were support from senior managers, there are some really practical issues to overcome...

  • What about windows-based third party software? We have heaps of proprietary software for different clinical applications that will only run on windows...
  • What about IT staff? We have a huge team of people with windows admin skills. Moving to linux - do they get retrained, or sacked and then we have to hire a possibly smaller team of linux admins. Do any/enough even exist in a small south pacific island nation like NZ to make this feasible??

I'd love to see some real gritty detail about exaclty how a project like this is done, and the challenges that were overcome. I know the article talks about a staged approach which makes sense, but I don't see any mention of what happened to their helpdesk teams. Grateful for any pointers.

about a year ago

Raspberry Pi As an Ad Blocking Access Point

robot5x Re:On a WGR614 v6? (82 comments)

I'd like to vote for the wonderful TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND.

Currently US$53 at amazon, I have it running the excellent Gargoyle firmware and having all kinds of fun playing with user quotas and the QOS. You can put DD-WRT on it too with some cautions.

1 year,7 days


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