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Comment IT in schools? (Score 2) 103

Good, bad, or ugly, is it time to admit that business really can't continue without IT? When will IT training become formal curriculum in schools?

Good, bad, or ugly, is it time to admit that business can't really continue without Patents/Accounting/Negotiations/Advertising/Sales/1000 other things?
When will patent law/banking/economics/marketing of these become formal curriculum in schools? That's about the time when IT should become a part of the formal curriculum as well.

High school shouldn't be about training for a job that only a fraction of the students will eventually do. If businesses can't survive without IT, then they hire people who are specially trained in IT - a HS course won't be train people enough to solve any hard IT problems anyway.

Comment I though Open Source was great? (Score 1) 541

Not trolling here, but I've been wondering why there is so much hate for System-D, when this is for open source projects?

Whenever someone says (on slashdot) that they don't like the features of an open source project, he gets a bunch of comments along the lines of "It's open source - just add the features you want or fork it and make your version. That's what is so great about open source".

What is different in this case? Clearly, lot of people don't like SystemD. Why are they complaining about it? If you don't like it, aren't you free to fork projects and make your own Debian derivative (for example) that is free of System-D?

I'm honestly curious why SystemD has this much power to break the "fork it, open source rules" argument.

Comment Mixing issues (Score 2) 205

This article is mixing three issues, all of which should concern any online retailer.

The first is counterfeit or fake goods - a customer buys a product, but instead gets an item that doesn't match what they ordered. This is clearly fraud, and makes it difficult to trust online purchases. This doesn't seemed to have happened here. Most customers must have known they were buying the product from someone else, not the "original".

The second is that the signal to noise ratio drops very low because a lot of vendors flood the marketplace (perhaps automatically) with products that are supposed to grab the top spot (due to low price, for example). The product might not even exist - say I print a t-shirt when someone makes an order, but I can digitally generate a million t-shirt slogans and create a million different t-shirts to show up on search. This isn't fraud - I know exactly what I'm getting, but the marketplace experience as a whole is terrible.

The third is gaming the review system. I tend to read the content of the reviews carefully (I don't trust the rating system as much) to gain information, rather than checking the ratings. In this case, it seems as if the "inferior" product had a lot of fake reviews. If true buyers were returning the product in large numbers, however, Amazon might even pull the product.

I do agree that it isn't the merchant's job to track down fraud/fakers (which this particular example is not); Amazon should be careful that they don't become the next ebay or craigslist.

Comment Re:How can I get in on this? (Score 4, Insightful) 302

I don't know; competition very often produces much better results for a better price.

The ground reality is that there will be very little competition for such contracts - the TSA replacement initiative will be created/overseen by politicians (the airlines/airports can't arbitrarily decide to switch to private providers, as far as I know), and they are going to write language/requirements so that only one (or at most a few) companies are capable of handling the project. There will be very little true competition - it basically will look like the US internet situation today. If more than one company can meet the requirements, they'll divvy up the market between themselves (mostly geographically) to avoid directly competing.

Comment Instead of contemplation, just tell me. (Score 3, Interesting) 302

Here's an idea for the people who seem to love to spend money on technology - have a system where I can take a look at the current (and expected) wait times before I leave for airport.

While I'd still hate long waits, right now I have no idea if I'm going to be done in 10 minutes, or an hour. Maybe you could tell us? I'm sure you will come up with a "security" reason why us plebs shouldn't know how long the lines are going to be, and instead have to guesstimate the wait time.

It might in fact work out better if you use an appointment type system - recently I was in line with a person who had come to the airport two hours before his flight, and someone whose flight was going to depart in the next 15 minutes. When you make wait times unpredictable, you are creating these type of situations.

Comment The trifecta (Score 5, Insightful) 170

An article about more women in Tech, Amazon, and Dating geeks.

The clickbait is strong with this one ;)

That being said, two questions jump to mind. One, I heard that Amazon employees sign contracts that every idea they might have, even if unrelated to their primary job, is the property of Amazon (it is Seattle, so I think the contract is enforceable). Does that hold true here? And secondly, just hire more women?? I never heard of Jeff Reifman, but he sounds like a class act, NOT. His chief tip? "Offer larger signing bonuses for women". Is that even legal?

I have Karma to burn, so I'll ask a question that has been on my mind for a while - is gender balance (in any industry) a goal? Or is it a means to a goal. I often hear "We need more women in Tech", but I don't understand why that is a goal by itself. It might be more clear to say "we need smart people in Tech, and smart women are turned away from STEM, so we need to fix this". Because there might be other ways of achieving the second goal (irrespective of gender), while the only way to achieve the first is to make the hire ratio even.

Comment Basic income, not universal services. (Score 1) 440

I'm curious as to how a small study might provide insight when you apply it to a non-self contained ecosystem.

It is one thing to offer basic income, but unless you price control basic necessities (housing, food cost, clothing) I fail to see how the system works. In a small pilot (say a few hundred people in a city) it might work out that basic income is great (since prices are set by the majority).

To be clear, I'm not against the principle of a universal basic standard of living: I think society would be better off if people didn't have to waste time doing dead-end jobs just to avoid starvation. But for society to really benefit from basic services, I think it would take a few generations for the good effects to be seen (the first generation of poor people who have been getting shafted all their lives are very likely to just kick back and enjoy; but when the second generation - those who have been learning and doing stuff out of interest their whole lives - comes around, they are likely to do good work with their free time).

Comment And everything of value was lost. (Score 3, Insightful) 167

I just logged in to Photos to see if it would serve as a replacement (I use and like Picasa), and was I unpleasantly surprised! TLDR: A half-arsed clone that misses all the good in Picasa.

My first reaction: material design is great and all, but a clean interface that is undiscoverable (or requires five clicks to get anywhere) is useless. I see my Picasa albums on the home screen, except they show a date instead of the album name (I get the idea, it is just a timeline of photos ignoring my organization). Because a date is so much more informative. Also, there is this thing called Collections - because they added some abominations called Stories and Movies, which are also types of Collections (?). Except that Stories and Movies don't show up in my list of Collections, so why bother creating something called Collections in the first place?

When I go to collections, I see all my Albums (with names). Clicking on one takes me to the page with all photos.The map is gone (I like seeing all the places I've been on the home page of picasa).

They do have something new called Stories, and something called Movies. They both look like slideshows, except Movies is a YouTube video, while Stories is a interactive slideshow with some map integration to make it cool. Except I don't see how I can make my own story if I wanted, and the defaults are terrible.

All of this wouldn't be an issue if there wasn't one clear problem: Google is killing off Picasa. And why? To make way for Stories? It seems like an internal politics issue to me ("Look, I spent 2 months building this piece of shit, and I want it shipped and adopted, and I'll kill picasa if I damn well have to."). I get that some people might like the new features, and I can learn to live with the UI changes. Except that the best part about Picasa (and what was truly great about flickr) was the simplicity. They understood that there was a group that was interested in photography, creating and sharing albums, and that's it. And while you can still do most of that (I have no idea if the Picasa client will still work - that would be a deal breaker for me), we have to be subject to a bunch of crap just because someone wanted their pet project to get visibility.

Comment Re:Math is a Chore (Score 2) 218

Math IS a chore. Learning IS a chore. People need to realize that not everything in life is "fun". You need to do the chores in order to get work done. Too many people don't want to put in the work.

While that might be partly true, it is also true that Math education is a chore because it was treated as a process of memorizing, not discovering - memorize process x,y,z so you can answer contrived questions a, b, and c. There is an excellent essay on this topic: A mathematician's lament.

Comment Re:Think? (Score 2) 522

You obviously don't have a teenage daughter. The formal definition of broadband is this: A man's wife and daughter can watch two different Netflix movies simultaneously, and he can still get work done.

We had a similar problem. My wife grounded our daughter and threatened to withhold sex from me, and now she is very happy with the internet speed.

Comment Get a projector (Score 1) 186

The only way I could get pair programming to work was to get in a room with a projector, and give the one developer the control of the keyboard. The other developer gives instructions and directs the flow (while also writing things out on the whiteboard to teach the other). If some changes/fixes take a lot of time, this lets the both developers work on their own laptops.

This worked irrespective of whether the junior/senior dev was projecting. It is more hands on for the driver, while giving more flexibility to the partner to do their thing. Traditionally the junior dev controls the keyboard, while the senior dev is like a mentor - they don't take the wheel from junior, but they don't need to be wasting time while code edits are happening.

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