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Do Non-Technical Managers Add Value?

sumergo Re:Two Flavors (249 comments)

As an old fart project manager with a software development/UX/Business analysis background who hasn't coded for years, I see my role as: 1. Protecting developers from all the management stuff so they can excel at doing their work. 2. Offering guidance, from a client perspective, about what they actually need to produce. I try to set the development team free, while nudging them in the right direction ;-)

about 4 months ago
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60% of Americans Unaware of Looming Incandescent Bulb Phase Out

sumergo Incandescent bulb phase out (944 comments)

The great use of "Incandescents" for me is to use them to heat the dog and cat houses in the yard when it is -30C.

about 4 months ago
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Shutdown Cost the US Economy $24 Billion

sumergo The US political system is in deep trouble . . . (767 comments)

Sad to see you were in a mess for a few days there, glad you fixed it in time, sorry to see that we will be having the same lame production in early 2014. It's really tough for you (living it) but it's also tough for us in Europe (watching it). We admire, respect and follow what you get up to over there, but we can also see too many historical parallels in our own continent (Germany in 1933) in your current political conduct. You have a Conservative heartland that naturally dislikes change (and may have racially motivated objections to anything your African-American President does) coupled with an ultra-hard-right faction who apparently merely wants to topple, or at least severely disable, the government. Wake up America, it is 2013. It is not the middle ages or even 1773. If you are "exceptional", demonstrate to the rest of the world that that is true - try to show us that rational, civilized debate is the best democratic policy. The OFs in the GOP don't seem to get that times have changed. The aptly-named "Tea Party" doesn't care - all they want is power - over the People, not for them.

about 6 months ago
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Gravity: Can Film Ever Get the Science Right?

sumergo Gravity: Can Film Ever Get the Science Right? (438 comments)

No. It's movie - the best they can do is try. I'm less worried about ABSOLUTE scientific authenticity in movies than I am bored by hearing about another self-aggrandizing "photo-op" piece by Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson.

about 6 months ago
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Lessons From the Healthcare.gov Fiasco

sumergo Re:Contractors (501 comments)

Sorry, I posted this somewhere esle - should have been here: Sadly nothing new here in terms on government "understanding" of the need to: 1. Freeze the specs. 2. Have your Lawyers look at the contract for the tiniest of loopholes and then hold the contractors to it. 3. Be aware that contractors (especially the big ones - no acronyms supplied here) will indeed be like Lawyers and say "ooh you didn't specify that - it's a change request" 4. Test early, test often - and then test, test & test again. 5. Pay good attention to usability. Check this out: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/sep/18/nhs-records-system-10bn [theguardian.com]. Sixteen billion US expended so far (and still counting) - negligible returns.

about 6 months ago
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Lessons From the Healthcare.gov Fiasco

sumergo Lessons from the healthcare.gov fiasco (501 comments)

Sadly nothing new here in terms on government "understanding" of the need to: 1. Freeze the specs. 2. Have your Lawyers look at the contract for the tiniest of loopholes and then hold the contractors to it. 3. Be aware that contractors (especially the big ones - no acronyms supplied here) will indeed be like Lawyers and say "ooh you didn't specify that - it's a change request" 4. Test early, test often - and then test, test & test again. 5. Pay good attention to usability. Check this out: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/sep/18/nhs-records-system-10bn Sixteen billion US expended so far (and still counting) - negligible returns.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: When Is the User Experience Too Good?

sumergo Re:Too good? I think not (397 comments)

Agreed. It seems a primary attribute of good usability that you don't let your users "commit suicide" (lose data, kill the app . . .)

about a year ago
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Best Buy Follows Yahoo in Banning Remote Work

sumergo Best Buy follows Yahoo in banning remote work (317 comments)

Can't we keep "on-thread"? Forget "Best Buy", "The four Boxes of Liberty", "the traffic congestion in the Twin Cities". The issue is about "telecommuting". 1. Question: Does it work for everyone? Answer: No - lots of people need the "warmth of human contact" and feel isolated when they are not with with their corporate colleagues. 2. Question: Can it be productive? Answer: Yes - for those who are comfortable working without the immediate physical co-location of other humans, working from home can be much more productive than the corporate 9 - 5 (plus commute) work day. Truth is - you work much more at home than in the office. 3. Question: So what's the problem? Answer: Middle managers get paid to manage people. If "their" people aren't physically around, middle managers worry about their own reason for existence and if "their" staff are being as productive as they could be. The easy option is: "when in doubt, get the staff back in house so we can see what they are doing" ;-( Pardon me, but don't we live in a virtual world these days?

about a year ago
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Book Review: To Save Everything, Click Here

sumergo Re: Haselton's "To save everything . . ." review (115 comments)

1. It's a classic usability issue. "Become your client" - address your intended audience. 2. Technical writing is an art not a science - you've either got the talent or not - you can't spray-on creativity. 3. General heuristic #1: if you are new to a process or activity - ask someone who might know or RTFM. 4. Specific heuristic #35924 - if it's burning your fingers, don't touch your eyes ;-)

about a year ago
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Missing Matter, Parallel Universes?

sumergo Re:Missing Matter, Parallel Universes? (154 comments)

I said "Intersects" not "interacts". Are we here in this forum to be pedantic logic-choppers, or or we here to share knowledge and ideas? You appear to be someone who only believes in what they can measure. Do you, by chance, have an engineering degree? Before you can measure, you have to theorize. Quantum Theory indicates that we might be part of a multiverse. If this theory is true, "our reality intersects with many others". Interaction would be interesting but that's for the future . . .

about 2 years ago
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Missing Matter, Parallel Universes?

sumergo Missing Matter, Parallel Universes? (154 comments)

Read the David Deutch books: "The Fabric of Reality" and/or "The Beginning of Infinity". Good "layman" descriptions of quantum theory and the possibility that we are indeed living in a multiverse where "our reality" intersects with many others . . .

about 2 years ago
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Falcon 9 Launch Aborted At Last Minute

sumergo Re:Last minute pullout (149 comments)

Agreed - even though this is an experimental, utility, launch. Commercial spaceflight has to set safety standards the public can believe in. NASA management should have listened to their engineers and been MUCH more careful regarding their Shuttle Astronauts welfare (two catastrophic failures and 14 lives lost in some 100+ launches). If it looks wrong - shut it down and ignore the potential politics. Hopefully, Space-X will make it the next time, or the next time after that . . .

about 2 years ago
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Google Earns $2 Per Handset; Apple, $575

sumergo Re:Ads included? (366 comments)

Wow. Apparently Android will take over the smartphone world soon and Apple is dead in this market by the end of 2012. I presume you are a troll, but on the off-chance you are just deranged or having fun mind-f**king Slashdot - you say:

The phone with the largest screen -> android. Best screen in sunlight -> android. The phone with the best camera -> android. The phone with the most memory -> android. The phone with the fastest cpu -> android. Best 3d performance -> android.

These are lovely ("mine's bigger than yours", tech specs) but the issue you don't address is - what is the device like to use? If you'd really used both an Android phone and an iPhone, the differences - "ahem" - in Apple's favor would be obvious.

about 2 years ago
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Man Claiming He Invented the Internet Sues

sumergo Who invented the Internet? (326 comments)

Anyone ever hear about Ted Nelson? He invented hypermedia in the mid-'60s - it just took another 20+ years for the wires and connections to physically realize it as the internet.

more than 2 years ago

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