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Blackberry CEO: Net Neutrality Means Mandating Cross-Platform Apps

unimacs Re:Please develop for my dying platform! (307 comments)

Perhaps Developer D created app A for iOS because iOS provides a market and a platform in which app A can succeed. You don't think there was work involved in that?

Clearly iOS came before the apps. I'm not saying that applications haven't contributed to the success of the iPhone but Apple invested a ton of money and time to get something right that other smart phone venders at the time were getting wrong. And Apple's success did not prevent Android from also succeeding even though they don't have the same API. Google embraced some of what Apple did and created their own mobile platform while Blackberry was still in denial.

about a week ago
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Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

unimacs Re:Curious... (786 comments)

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Here, simple enough even for you.http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Socialism Public CONTROL not ownership, CONTROL over economic decisions is the defining characteristic of socialism.

Obviously this is very important to you and if you want to get the last word in that is fine, I'm done posting after this. But I have to wonder though if you meant to post a link to something else because the first line under the heading "Socialism" in your link says this:

An economic and social theory that seeks to maximize wealth and opportunity for all people through public ownership and control of industries and social services.

Perhaps I do have a simple mind, but "public ownership" would seem to be part of that definition. While the word "control" is also used, it refers to control of industries, not just economic decisions.

Look, if you'd prefer to put countries on scale with "Capitalist" on the right side and "Socialist" on the left, I'd agree that Germany and many Scandinavian are further left than we are. However, if you are going to label them either capitalist or socialist, they are definitely more capitalist. More to my point, any mainstream US Democrat or Republican is definitely to the right of center on the scale.

about two weeks ago
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Why Run Linux On Macs?

unimacs Re:Better software support (592 comments)

Homebrew is a decent enough package manager for my purposes.

I am a software developer and my main OS is OS X but I have VMs that I use with various flavors of Windows and Linux. OS X comes with a lot of OSS stuff built in like perl, Postgres, PHP, Python, and Apache. The problem is that they're not always the version you want and haven't necessarily been compiled with the options you need. It was especially rough early during the transition from 32 to 64 bits.

Personally I like OS X enough to deal with some minor hassles but I can see why other people might prefer to install Windows or Linux. Having choices is good.

about two weeks ago
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Linus On Diversity and Niceness In Open Source

unimacs Re:Civility shouldn't have borders (361 comments)

Depends on what you mean by "Nice guy". Doormats finish last. People that allow themselves to be taken advantage of finish last. Those who are nice out of fear finish last. Being respectful, kind, generous, and willing to help are qualities that can get you places in this world provided that you recognize there are times to dispense with the charm.

It also depends on what kind of results you're talking about. In my experience being a jerk in and of itself does nothing much other than create enemies. Being especially talented might mean that bad behavior will be tolerated as long as you are successful.

Since "Nice Guys Finish Last" is a phrase often used when talking about success with women, my observations with both my high school friends and my son's high school friends doesn't exactly bear that out. Sometime we equate "nice" with shy. In that case it is true. Guys who are shy around women really need to have something else significant going for them or it's going to be a lonely existence.

I prefer to think of "nice" as people who have a genuine charm and treat most everybody more or less the same way. Someone like "Steve Jobs" could be very charming, but apparently only to people he cared about charming.

about two weeks ago
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Silicon Valley's Quest To Extend Life 'Well Beyond 120'

unimacs Who do you bring with you? (273 comments)

Your Spouse? Your Kids? Aren't THEY going to want their kids to Iive that long?

There aren't many parents around that are going to want to outlive their kids. So whatever expensive medical procedures are required to make this happen, they're going to want to fund it for them too. Of course, the kids aren't going to want to work until their 100, so you're also going to have to cover their living expenses for 55 years. Probably their spouses as well.

From the more long lived people I've known, it is sometimes a little sad. Their friends have all died or are close to it. They've lost a lot of family over the years including some of their own descendants.

What also seems to go hand in hand with extending life is extending the years of poor health. I think I'd rather have 80 or 90 years of good health and drop dead one day, then 100 years of good health and 20 years of living from one doctor appointment to the next. Maybe it was a slashdot article but somewhere I saw something about a guy who decided he wanted to be done at around 75. It's not that he'd off himself at that age, just that he'd refuse treatment for any disease that he acquired after that point.

about two weeks ago
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Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

unimacs Re:Curious... (786 comments)

Norway and Sweden are social democracies - mixed economies. Germany is less so (but more than the US is). Germany is very much a capitalist country.

Public ownership of the means of production is a central tenet to socialism. Look it up.

Communism is a utopian evolution of socialism, - a completely classless society. There's not money, - not even a state. No truly communist country has ever existed. Stalin's version of Communism or "Marxism-Leninism" was really neither and not Communism.

about two weeks ago
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Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

unimacs Re:Curious... (786 comments)

You asked why "rich socialists" hate the rich so much, immediately after talking about Soros.

From my OP:

Why is it that the uber-rich on the Left are never mentioned? Most of the richest people in the US Congress are Democrats. Why don't we hear more about George Soros, who collapses national currencies for fun & profit, and the leftist/progressive institutions he funds like Tides Foundation and others who then in turn fund numerous other PACs and other groups? How about Bloomberg? Or if you want to get to the real money in political contributions, look at public & private sector unions.

What is it with rich socialists that they hate the rich so much? Or do they just hate the idea of anyone *else* becoming rich? They seem to view other people increasing their wealth as decreasing how much richer they are, and consider the resulting decrease in wealth disparity the same as having been robbed.

You'll notice that the two things aren't even in the same paragraph!

Methinks you simply wish to detract and criticize because you disagree politically/ideologically, but are struggling to find a valid reason to do so based on what I posted without appearing politically/ideologically biased and/or closed-minded.

Strat

When "What is it with rich socialists that they hate the rich so much?" is the first line of a paragraph, it pretty much guarantees that anything before it would be in a different paragraph. ;-)

You mentioned two people by name, Soros, and Bloomberg, - the latter of which you devoted all of three words to. Doesn't it seem natural that a reader would think you were including Soros in your group of rich socialists? If you did not intend for he or Bloomberg to be included then it's not at all clear who you were talking about.

It was your post, so you should know, but it looks to me that you were playing fast and loose with the term socialist and got called on it.

about two weeks ago
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Google Throws Microsoft Under Bus, Then Won't Patch Android Flaw

unimacs Re:Google's official support policy (629 comments)

I can buy a laptop from Lenovo and still get updates from Microsoft. And though I'm not a fan of Windows Phone, version 8 will allow owners of the phones to install updates ahead of the official carrier release. Doing so may be unsupported by the carriers and they may opt not provide tech support to customers who go that route. Still, it's nice to have that option.

So apparently Microsoft found a way past this problem. Can't Google?

about two weeks ago
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Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

unimacs Re:Curious... (786 comments)

If you want to have a reasoned argument and be taken seriously then you shouldn't try to compare people like Soros to socialists.

I never said George Soros was a Socialist.

George Soros funds things that push socialist-style agendas. He does this as one of many things done by him and others (not necessarily in a coordinated manner, but as fellow-travelers whose causes all would benefit from social/economic chaos) with the overall goal of weakening the social stability and unity in the US, and contribute to the ultimate collapse of the US Dollar and the US national economy. This would make it something like the 5th currency he has intentionally and heavily contributed to the collapse of, and profited nicely from as well at the same time.

George Soros believes in George Soros. What he does is for his benefit. The people and causes he funds are useful idiots and ideologues blinded by their narrow views and hatred. They are tools to him, nothing more.

Strat

You asked why "rich socialists" hate the rich so much, immediately after talking about Soros. To me that implied that he was one of the rich socialists you were thinking of. Now you are using the phrase "socialist-style agendas". Is providing public education or having a state run military part of a socialist-style agenda? Socialists would certainly favor those things but yet we don't think of those as socialist notions. Again, I think people on the right like to throw around the term "socialism" simply to poison the well.

As far as Soros goes, I think he has earned significant wealth from highly unethical practices. But what you are accusing him of is a bit of a stretch. When it comes to good and evil I don't see people as either one. They are on a sliding scale. So for me it is quite possible even for an unethical person to do things strictly out of generosity. So I believe that some of the causes Soros supports he supports because he genuinely thinks they will improve peoples' lives.

The same thing applies to the Koch brothers. They've contributed significant money to public defenders in our country. I don't think that it's part of some socialist agenda or a subversive means of further lining their pockets. I think they genuinely believe our system of pubic defense is grossly inadequate and want to help.

The reason why the Koch brothers get vilified when it comes to global warming is because in this case they are so clearly acting in their own self interest. They are attempting to influence public opinion and politicians via huge sums of money. And they are doing so mainly to protect their wealth, rather than for altruistic reasons.

about two weeks ago
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Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

unimacs Re:Curious... (786 comments)

A socialist believes that the people (or government in actual practice) should own the means of production rather than private companies.

That's one extreme definition, closer to Marxism. Mainstream socialism is concerned with fairness, redistribution of wealth and publicly funded services.

The definition I gave is what socialism is, not an extreme one. The definition you gave could be equally applied to progressivism or liberalism and could lead to policies supported by many British conservatives (for example), - who are definitely not socialists.

Just like here though, politicians in Britain (even conservatives) will get labeled as "socialists" by people further to their right that don't like their views. For the record, progressives traditionally are very anti-socialist.

about two weeks ago
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Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

unimacs Re:Curious... (786 comments)

1. He favors the "Nordic Model" when comes to economic systems. It's a combination of free market capitalism with large social programs

2. He describes himself as a "Social Democrat" of which there are many definitions. Based on his favorable view of the Nordic model, he's not a socialist in the traditional sense.

3. Most importantly, he's an independent, - not a member of the Democratic party.

about three weeks ago
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Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

unimacs Re:Curious... (786 comments)

Michelle Bachmann was once a Democrat. You could conclude several things from that. One is that anything is possible, another is that people can change over time, and a 3rd is that fundamentally, especially when it comes to the free enterprise system, Democrats and Republicans aren't all that different.

Are there socialists in this country that vote democrat because they see them as the lesser of two evils? Probably. Are there Socialists that run for office pretending to be Democrats? Maybe, though I doubt they get very far. Belief in free enterprise (tempered by regulation) is part of the Democratic platform. If someone like Fidel Castro were to join the Republican party, would that make him a Republican?

The current trend of labeling Democrats or their proposals as "socialist" is the same tactic as calling someone a "liberal" was 20 years ago. The difference is that the term "liberal" doesn't have same stigma "socialist" does and was losing its effectiveness. What is especially ironic is when you hear someone refer to Obamacare as "socialist". A socialist would consider Obamacare an abomination (or Obamination if you prefer). It's not that the are opposed to universal health care, just the way Obamacare attempts to achieve it. As far as that goes they share common ground with Republicans or Libertarians.

about three weeks ago
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Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

unimacs Re:Curious... (786 comments)

Name one.

about three weeks ago
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Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

unimacs Re:Curious... (786 comments)

If you want to have a reasoned argument and be taken seriously then you shouldn't try to compare people like Soros to socialists. I'm not going to defend everything the guy has ever done but he did play a significant role in Hungary's transition from communism to capitalism. He's done some other very good things like donating $35 million to underprivileged kids in New York. At the same time he is something of a hypocrite, -getting rich off the very things he thinks should be more closely regulated. But he is no socialist.

A socialist believes that the people (or government in actual practice) should own the means of production rather than private companies. We're not talking just about health care, we're talking about all major industries. No current US Democrat supports such a notion. Some Democrats may have been willing to work with socialists back in the 30's but they've grown farther and farther apart since that time. People like Soros want to place greater controls on the markets, but they also want the markets to continue to exist.

about three weeks ago
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CES 2015: WakaWaka Sheds Light On Technology, Profit, and Philanthropy (Video)

unimacs Re:not-a-non-profit (17 comments)

I didn't take "not a non-profit" as a bad thing. It was intended to show another route to philanthropy.

FWIW I believe there is a huge misconception about what constitutes a non-profit, - at least in the US. Non-profits can be large successful institutions that are funded through "fee for service" rather than donations. There is nothing that WakaWaka is doing that couldn't be done as a non-profit. One major difference is that a non-profit has no owners and no stockholders. Any revenue over and above operating costs must be invested back into the organization.

I am currently working for such a non-profit though we aren't large (~ 100 employees). It's not a route to maximize my income but the organization pays relatively well, can give bonuses and contribute to retirement plans. We employee many engineers and IT people. A significant number of staff have advanced degrees and students seek us out for internships. Hiring capable people isn't a problem because capable people often want to make a difference and they find us. We have a few people that are nationally recognized leaders in their field. But like I said, it is not a path to fabulous wealth. No one is going to buy us. There are no stock options whose value’s are going to explode.

However, not having shareholders means we can focus on the mission and long term goals. At the same time, we do have to keep the lights on so that means we can't do everything we'd like to do. Being a non-profit also opens some doors for us because people believe we're not out to scam them.

What is interesting is that we've figured out some of the same things he has. People value something more if they've had to work or pay for it. We will often be more successful at offering a subsidized service at low cost rather than for free.

about three weeks ago
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If the Programmer Won't Go To Silicon Valley, Should SV Go To the Programmer?

unimacs Re:They want you there... (294 comments)

I'll restate it more accurately. A well functioning collocated team can communicate more effectively than is possible for a team of remotely located members. But co-location is not a guarantee of anything. It's not impossible for a remote team to communicate better than a collocated one.

about a month ago
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If the Programmer Won't Go To Silicon Valley, Should SV Go To the Programmer?

unimacs Re:They want you there... (294 comments)

You should really read one of Alistair Cockburn's books. Skype, video chats, video conferencing are poor substitutes for face to face communication. You only see and hear part of what's going on and that's under ideal circumstances (assuming no technical issues, audio, or video quality problems). It's difficult to see them while looking at some other document/interface at the same time.

You also miss the conversations that you aren't specifically invited too that you may benefit from or have valuable insight for.

I agree that unnecessary interruptions and distractions can cut into productivity but sometimes an interruption can save you or somebody else valuable time. Nevertheless a good work environment allows people to escape interruption when needed.

about a month ago
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If the Programmer Won't Go To Silicon Valley, Should SV Go To the Programmer?

unimacs Re:They want you there... (294 comments)

Workable but not as good as face to face communications. It's just not. Also does not facilitate the add hoc conversations that take place or allow for simple things like going out to lunch.

Telephone, chat, text, email all have their place and have their own advantages. I use all of them. But exchanging information over chat or email is like having a crappy dialup connection vs. Gigabit ethernet. Sometimes it's good enough but a lot of time you can accomplish more in a 2 minute face to face conversation than you can in several email exchanges or texts. There is simply more bandwidth, - more information is exchanged more quickly face to face.

If you don't like that analogy, think about working on a 13" laptop screen vs a large dual monitor setup. It's not that it can't be done, - but which is more productive?

Just sharing a space can have advantages. Have you heard the term "information radiators"? Much harder to do well on-line.

about a month ago
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If the Programmer Won't Go To Silicon Valley, Should SV Go To the Programmer?

unimacs Re:They want you there... (294 comments)

As a programmer and now a manager I want people in close proximity to each other to facilitate communication with each other, project sponsors, and end users. I also want staff that communicate well. This often leads to better results in less time. It's not that projects can't be successful any other way, I just consider it more ideal. No situation is perfect. I also recognize that staff may also need the opportunity to be free from office distractions so I support working from home as needed. Hopefully next year I will be able to push through a policy that will allow staff to work from home up to a couple of days a week on a regular basis.

Wanting the staff in the same location isn't really about managing them in my case.

There are multiple paths to a long and successful career in IT (or anything else), but there seems to be a large number of programmers that just want to sit in front of a computer, grind out code, and avoid everything else. Lots of other things that need to happen for a project to be a success and getting good at some of the soft skills is more important than a lot of IT people seem to realize.

about a month ago
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2014: Hottest Year On Record

unimacs Re:What happened to the US? (560 comments)

Yep. Tax rates were much higher then too, - especially for the very wealthy. Ratio of CEO pay to average worker income was 38:1 in 1975. Today it's 475:1. Funny coincidences.

Yet somehow today we're teetering on the edge of socialism.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Forcing IT Department Staff to Take Long Vacations

unimacs unimacs writes  |  about a year and a half ago

unimacs (597299) writes "I run the IT Department at a relatively small organization. Each year we go through an annual audit. This year the IT portion of the audit was much more extensive than in the past and we were provided with a written report that contained various recommendations. One of them was that staff be required to take a vacation each year that was at least a week in duration.

The reason behind the recommendation is that it would ensure that people are adequately cross trained and that no particular employee would become so critical that the organization couldn't function without them for a week.

I should add that the auditing company specializes on small non-profits and I could see where heavy reliance on one person could be a problem for some places though I don't think it's a issue for us at the moment. Anyway, I'm in a position to implement that policy and am not really opposed to it but I am wondering what Slashdot's take on it is. Seems to me we could accomplish the same thing (and more) by making sure each staff person leaves the office for a week long training session each year."
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Want to buy a smart phone without exploiting Chinese workers. Choices ?

unimacs unimacs writes  |  more than 2 years ago

unimacs writes "So Apple has been under fire recently for the conditions at the factories of their Chinese suppliers. I listened to "This American Life's" recent retraction of the Michael Daisey piece they did awhile back. Great Radio for those of you who haven't heard it. Rarely has dead air been used to such effect.

Anyway, while his work has been discredited, Michael Daisey wasn't inaccurate in his claims that working conditions are poor in iPhone and iPad factories. Given that, are there any smart phone manufacturers whose phones are made under better conditions?"
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Still getting bit by Y2K bug. Why haven't we learn

unimacs unimacs writes  |  more than 3 years ago

unimacs (597299) writes "I work with data loggers of various types and I use perl to parse the information. I rely heavily on the str2time function to parse the timestamps. It works pretty well except that I was getting strange errors with a new logger file format I was processing.

It turns out that the logger was outputting dates like "9/24/11 10:27:30 AM". On my OSX development machine, perl and str2time (via timelocal) interpreted that date as September 24, 2011. On our linux production server, it was interpreted as September 24th, 1911.

Have we already forgotten that 2 digit years are no-no? Anybody else running into these kinds of problems?"

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