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Comment: Re: Don't buy based on any promises (Score 1) 16 16

Yea, which is ironic given almost every Google Nexus 7 owner has screamed "NO GOOGLE I DO NOT WANT THAT UPDATE" to 5.1, which bricked or permabogged down tens of thousands of devices and caused people to have to manually reflash to 5.0 or older.

Comment: Re:Rather Than in more out (Score 1) 451 451

That's just packaging the same old wine in a new bottle. Linux is still way behind in hardware support, has only the most limited VST support and the DAWs are still nowhere near ready for prime time professional production.

It's getting there, but there's still a ways to go.

Every year for the past 10 at least, I've made a run at professional audio production on Linux, and every year I'm disappointed. It's not like Linux is not useful in the studio and post-production. In fact, after Cockos Reaper came out with ReaMote, allowing for off-loading of samples and streams and effects, there has always been at least one Linux box in my production chain. But as main production machine, the applications just are not there yet. And as long as kxstudio relies on Jack, it won't be there.

Comment: Re:They are trying to get off... (Score 5, Interesting) 66 66

Have you ever lived anywhere where there was a significant mob presence?

No, I live in Chicago.

Seriously though, growing up on Taylor Street in Chicago's Little Italy neighborhood, we all knew who the mob guys were, and many of them were part of our extended families. I used to go fetch cigars for the old men who sat in front of the social club drinking espresso and they'd give me dollar bills and sage life advice. The barber and the tailor at Taylor and Loomis were both bookies.

Part of the mob's effectiveness is that it destroys trust in the normal functioning institutinos of society.

Actually, in the case of the Chicago mob, they didn't destroy trust in those institutions, they replaced trust in those institutions for people who were blocked from having access to them. Today, if you want to get a bet down, you just have to go online or buy a lottery scratch-off ticket. Back then, you had to go see the barber. If you needed a loan, you saw the loan shark (who actually charged less interest than today's payday loan joints). If you needed the pothole in your street fixed, you went to talk to the precinct captain (who could be found putting down a bet with the barber or drinking espresso at the social club).

So see, the mob didn't destroy trust in normal functioning institutions of society, it created trust in people where the institutions of society didn't function properly.

Today, those old mob guys are almost all dead, and their kids went to med school or law school and are living out in the suburbs or on the North Side. All the mob's wealth has been laundered through the "normal functioning institutions of society" and their kids and grandkids are paragons of those functioning institutions. The mob here has always been the way immigrant populations assimilate. Do you think the fortunes of any of the great families in the US were built very differently? From Rockefeller to Kennedy to Romney, the fortunes are always built on something a little sleazy.

This all may be different where you are. This story happens to be about "the mob" in Belgium, which I can't even imagine. Maybe they control the black market waffles or something.

Comment: How to make drone-based delivery cheap (Score 3, Interesting) 41 41

In sub-urban and rural areas I think drone-based delivery can be cost-effective. I think the key is to use a hybrid model with a "drone carrier" truck which serves as a mobile base station so the drones are only making relatively short flights. Imagine a truck that pulls into a sub-urban neighborhood, stops in one central location and then launches a dozen drones to deliver packages to all of the homes within a half mile or so. Or perhaps the truck might not even have to stop, but just drive along launching drones which deliver along its path and then return to it, still in motion.

The advantage to the delivery service is that they could deliver to many nearby locations simultaneously, and trucks wouldn't have to be able to enter difficult locations (which currently constrains the design of package cars). This means the trucks could be larger, carrying more packages, and would deliver much faster, requiring fewer trucks and drivers. Given a self-driving truck, the "drivers" might end up being drone tenders/troubleshooters, rather than drivers. They could remotely designate appropriate drop-off locations when the drones can't find a good locations themselves, as well as handle any problems that arise with the equipment, and maybe still do package handling, to retrieve packages from storage in the truck and move them to where the drones can pick them up, at least until that can be adequately automated.

I think it makes a lot of sense. The technology isn't there yet, but I don't think it's far away.

Comment: Re:In short? (Score 1) 273 273

You've been modded troll, but this is pretty much accurate.

It's also not a win/win, and here's why: 1) Most people are not most productive at home. In fact, most people are significantly less productive at home due to many more distractions around them. 2) Commuting (at least relatively short commutes) has been shown to be a good way of clearing your brain, and getting it into or out of work mode. It doesn't really hurt productivity unless you're doing it for hours. 3) Skype does not make communication with coworkers a snap. It imparts a major cognitive overhead. 4) Communication does not just come down to a few meetings a week that could (with more effort) be done via Skype. By working at home you remove any chance of corridor conversations, which typically, are by far the most productive communication in an office.

Basically, working at home is not in any way good for the company, and it's usually not good for the employee at all, so most companies won't let you do it.

All sort of true.

First, a bit of background on my context. I'm a software engineer for Google, and I work from home full-time. This is not a common situation in Google, which has an institutional belief in the value of co-located teams in open-plan offices as a way to facilitate communication. Google engineering methodologies are heavy on communication and light on process and documentation. They rely heavily on face to face communication, be it over cubicle walls, in hallways, at the cafes, etc.

On its face, this appears to just about the worst possible organization in which to work remotely. But I've been doing it for over a year now, and it's working just fine -- but only because my co-workers and I make it work. It's challenging, but it absolutely can be done.

Regarding your points:

1) Productivity at home. This depends heavily on the individual. I'm motivated and I like what I do, so even with the distractions at home I'm highly productive. If anything, my challenge is to avoid working too much. That's not the same for everyone, so YMMV.

2) Commuting. Commuting sucks. Even if it's a short commute. Some people do seem to like it, though, as a way of separating home and work life. My home and work lives blend, with more of a dynamic balance between them rather than sharp separation. Personally, I prefer that, but I know not everyone does.

3) Video conferencing is not a panacea, but it can really help. I have a Chromebox on my home office desk and another in my team's "bullpen" area, which are both set to an always-on video conference, so I have a virtual presence in the team area. It's not quite the same as being there, but I can hear and participate in random conversations that happen amongst the rest of my team, at least when they're at their desks. And of course, I attend all of my meetings the same way. It's kind of funny for my co-workers who see my face on the VC unit in the bullpen as they get up to walk to the meeting room, then see me "already arrived" when they get there. Because of course for me "traveling" from the bullpen to the meeting room is instantaneous.

4) Communication is challenging. In my case it helps that Google runs on e-mail, and much communication happens that way. I do find myself out of the loop occasionally, but my colleagues are generally pretty good about letting me know stuff, and sometimes even deliberately deciding to move a conversation to e-mail in order to make sure I'm involved. The inclusive culture is a big help, even at the same time as the co-located culture creates challenges.

The bottom line, to me, is that there are pros and cons, and those pros and cons are different for different employees and different companies. In my personal case, I think I'm probably 95% as effective working from home as I would be in the office, and that only by putting in a little extra time. For me, that's great, though. I'm perfectly happy to spend the time I would have wasted on commuting on work, and I love the flexibility that it gives me to balance my home and work lives.

What do I do with that flexibility? Well, I have no problem dropping what I'm doing (assuming I don't have any meetings scheduled) to go to my kids' school events or other activities. When I worked in the office I did the same, but there was a higher barrier, because I had to add an hour of extra commuting time (30 mins each way) to home and back. I also use the flexibility for recreation and exercise. My home is 12 miles from a ski resort, so I buy a season pass and during the winter I ski 4-5 days per week; most every weekday I start work early (6 AM), work until just before the lift opens then cruise up and ski for an hour or two, then head back to work. During the summer I've been taking my boat to the lake a couple of mornings per week to water ski with my kids (my house is 18 miles from one reservoir and 24 miles from another). I often go for a bike ride or a hike during lunch -- though I actually also did that when I worked in the office.

So I think it's great for me, and the company seems happy with my work. Win/win, even if I work a little more and produce a little less.

Comment: Re:Your biggest screw up (Score 1) 436 436

In fact, from reading up on Pao - her "termination" was a pseudo-termination. If I'm reading what I see correctly, they "terminated" her from direct involvement with investments but offered her an "operational" position (as in, manager).

(If I'm reading - they basically pulled her from investing but offered her five months of pay to transition to being an executive at one of their portfolio companies, i.e. a company that they had a stake in).

All of the evidence (including her fuckups at Reddit) indicates she was marginally competent and KP tried to move her into a role where she wasn't over her head. She was overconfident in her capabilities and sued them.

Comment: Re:My Plans for Firefox (Score 1) 164 164

In the old days of 1.0 I could run it happily in a 64Mb PC. Now I can't run it for more than a day without it filling up 3-4G of memory, frequently crashing at this point (I assume because it's a 32 bit application now.)

There's been something very wrong with Firefox since 4.0, and while I know the developers have made heroic efforts to fix the constant leaks and bloating, every time they do, it just takes another version to break everything again.

I love Firefox, and keep coming back to it after using Chrome for a little bit and being repelled, but it's not what it was.

Comment: Re:Try and make an OS that viruses couldn't target (Score 1) 451 451

Or just hook the keystroke window messages in the victim apps. You can do that using the debug APIs (assuming you are executing, and the other process isn't more trusted than your process or in a different user session), or by setting Image File Execution Options (requires Admin) to tell Windows to load a specific DLL into every process...

Comment: Re:Throw it all out (Score 1) 451 451

Little-known fact about Windows: you can have it do keyboard shortcuts like that too! This isn't even new; I know it was in Windows 2000 and is probably even older. The only problem is that it can't replace built-in or app-defined shortcuts, so things like Win+W won't work (On Win8, at least, that's a Search panel for Settings).

Right-click any shortcut (including from the Taskbar or Start menu/screen), and select Properties (or open Properties some other way). There will be an option for "Shortcut Key". Select the option, press the combination of meta-keys + character to use to launch the shortcut, and hit OK.

It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.