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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Re:New News: Product Design is Hard! (Score 1) 86

Actually it is quite easy.... if you know what you're doing.

I'm reading his story and it reads like someone who wanted the earth and didn't know that it costs money. The fundamental product design sounds quite easy, but then looking at the funky case design... yep that looks like it would be fun to injection mold. Look through some of the sob stories, change in design because the LCD panel they used became obsolete. So someone designed something based around a part that they didn't check was lifecycled? Upgrade of a processor because they wanted to draw the interface? And the final product has a $300 BOM? It certainly doesn't look like it.

I think the news is that product design is hard when you have no idea what you're doing.

Comment: Re:FCC? (Score 1) 168

by hey! (#49168109) Attached to: Feds Admit Stingray Can Disrupt Bystanders' Communications

The device was approved by the FCC. However the approval process is not in this case transparent. We don't know whether the FCC took into account whether the device's capacity to create interference, or whether they may have played favorites.

One thing we can be certain about is that the FCC didn't worry about Constitutional or laws that protect citizen privacy, and certainly not the use of the devices without a warrant. That's not their bailiwick.

So to summarize the FCC approved this device but we don't know if they did their job. We can be certain they didn't do *more* than their job.

Comment: Re:Brain drain (Score 3, Interesting) 125

by hey! (#49168025) Attached to: Marissa Mayer On Turning Around Yahoo

Well... maybe there's some kind of model in which you would actually look forward to seeing your colleagues in person.

Personally, I've done in both ways. When my partner and I sold our business to a company that was on the other side of the country, I no longer had a two hour a day commute, which was awesome. I also didn't have a team I saw in person every day, which I very quickly grew to miss. And I'm not the most sociable person in the world. I'm more than glad to spend a few days or even weeks working by myself. But as weeks stretched into months, with only emails, teleconferencing, and the occasional cross-country flight, I grew to hate telecommuting. It's great to be able to do it even a couple of days a week, but if I had the choice of woking in bathrobe in the spare bedroom ALL the time or spending two hours in the car EVERY day, I'd go with the commute.

If I were starting another company, I think one of my priorities would be to make being there fun, stimulating, and personally rewarding. I'd make it possible to telecommute, but if people began to see it as their primary mode of working I'd consider that a red flag.

Comment: Re:Oh just stop already (Score 5, Insightful) 191

by hey! (#49164973) Attached to: That U2 Apple Stunt Wasn't the Disaster You Might Think It Was

Music, like sex, is a young person's affair. Just drop it after 40, nobody wants to hear it, and no one wants to think about it.

Hey kids! Old guy here dropping in just to let you know that contrary to what AC claims, you'll still like sex and music even when you're over fifty. You just won't be staying up late to enjoy them.

Since I'm here I might as well give you a heads up on some of the things that will change. On the sex front, expect your standards for what is "hot enough to do" to fall straight through the floor. I know this sounds awful to you now, but trust me on this, you've got hold of the wrong end of that stick.

On the music front, at a certain age most people stop being interested in listening anything new. However that age isn't 40; it's more like 22. And notice I said "most". If you make it to, say 26 years old and are still listening to new music, you'll still be doing that at 50.

And same goes for being a miserable person. I know the stereotype is that older people are miserable, but trust me, most miserable older people were miserable young people. They just let it out more, because as you get older you have fewer inhibitions (see the point about sex above).

Anyhow, thought I'd let you know that getting older isn't bad at all, and it sure as hell beats the alternative.

Comment: It's a little unseemly. (Score 1) 218

by hey! (#49164501) Attached to: Spock and the Legacy of Star Trek

The sad loss of a beloved actor shouldn't be a springboard for fanboy hate of J.J. Abrams.

For what it's worth, I think the writers and the actors in the Abrams' movies really get Star Trek. Maybe not so much the director, whose lack of affection for the franchise shows. But even though the aesthetics may not be very Trek, the fundamental Trek ethos that Leonard Nimoy was so essential to establishing was there in the scripts and performances. And that ethos is still something worth studying.

We have managed to turn "diversity" into an hollow slogan; a catchphrase that represents a kind of bean counting of superficial categories. I remember one startup environmental organization I worked for where we had just hired a young man from Mexico City. The founder, an unquestionably brilliant man, was literally rubbing his hands together in glee as he toted up his diversity: one latino male, one asian male (me), one black (African) female, four caucasian females and three caucasian males. And I was thinking, "Yeah, but except for me everyone comes from the same graduate program in environmental studies you founded." What's more except for him and me they all came from the same comfortable middle to upper-middle class background -- people who never had to worry about money. Groupthink was a huge problem, but nobody else saw that until the day they suddenly realized they weren't going to be able to make payroll. Maybe a business major or two on the payroll would have been a good idea...

Star Trek shows a cast of characters who may all have gone to the same school, but think radically different from each other. Nonetheless they manage to work together and are better, more capable people because of that. That's what diversity is really about: working with people who have different viewpoints and attitudes.. Kirk and Spock are the the toughest nuts to crack, because they both have a tendency toward arrogant, even smug confidence in their own judgment. Trust me, you wouldn't want to work for either of these two characters if they didn't have each other.

Aristotle posited three levels of friendship, that of convenience, of pleasure, and of virtue. In the virtuous friendship, your friend is "a second self" -- that is you pursue his welfare as an intrinsic rather than an instrumental good, just as you pursue your own welfare. He valued virtuous friendship even above justice, because it holds society together in ways that even justice cannot. But he missed another point which the Kirk/Spock friendship illustrates: a friend is a doorway into a better appreciation of objective reality. You cannot dismiss the viewpoint of "second self" as easily as you would someone else's opinions.

So again from what it's worth the writers of the Abrams reboot movies really understand this virtuous friendship dynamic, and especially do a nice job with the humorous touches. The overall stories were a bit mediocre, but the character based stuff was top-notch and true to the spirit of TOS.

To bring this back to Leonard Nimoy, others deserve some credit in creating Spock -- the writers, directors and of course Gene Roddenberry. But Nimoy's performance is what brought Spock to life. It's one of those instances of theatrical magic where an actor becomes the character, and banishes any awareness that you're watching someone playing a role. That's a big part of what makes Spock so relatable.

Comment: Re:Best idea is not to hide. (Score 1) 223

It all depends upon the STORY being told.

If the "infection" has already happened (you're a zombie when you die whether or not you were bitten) then that changes the math.

Then it comes down to how fast you become a zombie once a zombie bites you. Seconds or days?

And, finally, it comes down to whether this is going to be a book or a movie/TV show. In a book the protagonists can employ non-FPS means to deal with zombies. Otherwise you're stuck with hand-to-hand and guns.

Comment: Re:Cutting Off Speech? (Score 1) 462

Similarly, ...

No. Not similarly.

Just because A and B share a single common feature does NOT make A = B. And your original claim was incorrect. Twitter is not "the modern equivalent of the public square".

Particularly when you then try to argue that C and D are also equal.

Comment: Re:How about using a whiteboard? (Score 1) 162

by thegarbz (#49163511) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Whiteboard Substitutes For Distributed Teams?

Compatibility issues is not something I've seen. The whiteboards we use (Hitachi Starboards at our end, some Sharp at one of the other locations, and I'm not sure about the rest of the company) are input devices, windows treats them as a tablet device nothing more. They are glorified projectors with pen input.

Any collaboration software which will allow shared drawing on a single canvas works on these boards. Sure you get extra features if you use a specific manufacturer's own software like quick changing colours by tapping the side of the board, but ultimately that's minor and you may even get better features by not using their software.

Ultimately though the compatibility issue shouldn't really come into play at all since we are talking about one company with distributed teams. I would be very surprised if they don't standardize on a common vendor anyway.

Backed up the system lately?

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