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Comment: Overwork also makes it hard on management (Score 4, Insightful) 710

by CaroKann (#47312243) Attached to: Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy
Aside from the lack of sleep and general burnout, working overtime also tends to skew expectations with management. Upper management is not going to be aware of exactly the amount of effort required complete a project. They are only going to see the results, the number of employees, and the amount of resources it took to achieve those results. So, if everybody gives it 110%, with lots of overtime and everything, that has the effect of raising the expectations of management. This leads management to believe employees can accomplish this great feat as a matter of course, when in fact, that type of effort can't be repeated. It all ends up with management making unrealistic demands while believing it is entirely reasonable.

Comment: Programming is a form of writing (Score 2) 161

by CaroKann (#46315763) Attached to: The Neuroscience of Computer Programming
I've always felt that writing good code is very similar to writing a good essay or research paper. The process is about the same. The thinking is about the same. The ideal steps followed to produce a decent paper are similar to the steps followed to produce decent code.

I've always thought that a good essay writer can make a good programmer. In particular, good essay writers can make good programmer/analysts or project managers. In both worlds, you struggle with scope, organization, and fact finding. Answering the question "What is this paper/program really and truly about?" is the primary task.

Comment: Re:Fraud is fraud (Score 1) 312

by CaroKann (#43605911) Attached to: Video Poker Firmware Bug Yields Big Money, Federal Charges
This guy was apparently obsessed with video poker. He played constantly and knew the game inside and out. Apparently he stumbled across a bug, and was able to repeat the necessary steps to reproduce it.

I think this is more like an obsessive video game player, who plays the game enough to learn every trick and secret. For example, say there is a particular game boss you wish to defeat. Play enough, and you learn the boss encounter by heart. You will know what the boss will do and when. You will learn where to stand, what abilities to use, how to cheese it, everything. Eventually, you will be able to beat in your sleep. Is that hacking?

To me, hacking would be modifying the software or machine or obtaining the source code to find exploits.

This is stealing, like taking advantage from a malfunctioning ATM machine to obtain lots of cash is stealing. If you take money from a malfunctioning ATM, is that hacking? It is not.

Comment: I might be old fashioned (Score 1) 524

by CaroKann (#42990267) Attached to: Mayer Terminates Yahoo's Remote Employee Policy
Working from home can be just 2 steps away from a day off. It is useful every once in a while, so employees can wait for the repair man or handle the kids. However, from my experiences, when you work from home, your coworkers treat it as if you were out sick. When you work from home, you miss a lot of scuttlebutt, impromptu meetings, and hallway chats that electronic communications just don't make up for.

Comment: Military fat trimming is overdue (Score 2) 484

by CaroKann (#42989701) Attached to: There Is Plenty To Cut At the Pentagon
I think that some trimming of the fat is long overdue for the military. It will force them to think about what is really necessary, what is "nice to have", and what is obsolete. It might even force the politicians to think a little more carefully about how the military is used and what its role is supposed to be. (Fat chance?)

Comment: Re:Lead Paint Theory is Flawed (Score 2) 223

I can imagine kids eating paint chips. However, from what I've heard, it's not so much the paint chips as it is the dust from deteriorating paint. Have you ever run your finger along a dirty windowsill? A lot of that is not just regular dust and dirt, it also contains paint dust.

Comment: Re:Cuts (Score 1) 473

by CaroKann (#42003505) Attached to: USPS Reports $15.9 Billion Loss, Asks Congress For Help
After reading this thread I could not help but remember how my last package was delivered. The package was shipped using Fed Ex, but it arrived via USPS. Fed Ex flew it across the country, then dropped it into the mail for the last hundred miles. That tells me it's more economical for them to use the USPS instead of their own trucks for the last leg of the journey.

Comment: People start to make stuff up (Score 3, Interesting) 630

by CaroKann (#41352303) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: When Does Time Tracking at Work Go Too Far?
I've noticed that when companies start to go overboard with the amount of time and/or project tracking detail people need to record, employees resort to just making stuff up. I'm not saying they out-right lie, but because it's impossible to have a system detailed enough to record every little thing that may happen in a work day, people will often just pick a generic bucket to dump time into for things they don't remember or don't know how to categorize.

This defeats the purpose of installing these types of systems. Instead of simply not knowing exactly what employees are spending their time on, they now have an inaccurate or down-right false picture of what employees are doing. This can lead the management to make the wrong decisions on things such as when to hire or how to allocate resources, especially when they believe the data over their lower level managers.

Comment: Re:Over dramatic much? (Score 1) 443

by CaroKann (#40913733) Attached to: This Is What Wall Street's Terrifying Robot Invasion Looks Like
One thing I've always wondered: If the market for the most part trades based on other trades, then it is basically trading with itself. It is a closed system, occasionally infused with data from the real world. What meaning then does the stock price have?

As I understand it, supposedly the market arrives at a price based on its perception of the value of the underlying company, with its future prospects and the time value of money factored in. Unless these algorithms are taking this data into account, I'm not sure this idea is true now. After all, these algorithms are the ones setting the price. If they are not looking at the underlying company while setting the price, then the price they set has nothing to do with the underlying company or its prospects. Of course, there are still trades made that take the fundamentals into account, but as more volume becomes algorithmic volume, then the relationship between the stock price and the underlying value of the company becomes more tenuous.

Comment: Two "World" books (Score 1) 1244

by CaroKann (#39271039) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good, Forgotten Fantasy & Science Fiction Novels?

I remember "The Wall at the Edge of the World" by Jim Aikin and "The Shattered World" by Michael Reaves.

The first novel is about a dystopia set in the future. Mankind consists of a small totalitarian, telepathic, hive-like society. The old world was destroyed by this society and has long since returned to a wild state. However, small groups of ordinary survivors still remain, and when they discover the telepathic society, confict results.

The second novel is a fantasy novel, set in a world that was broken up by magic. I honestly don't remember much of the plot now, but the novel was set in a very original world that I still remember.

Comment: I wish they would hire more. (Score 1) 235

by CaroKann (#38557372) Attached to: The 'Cable Guy' Now a Network Specialist
Based on my own experiences, my cable company now tries to discourage technician visits. It takes a week to get an appointment, even if you have no service.

Now, they are encouraging customers to go to the local cable office to pick up their own equipment and install it themselves.

In recent years, the equipment itself has changed. The cable box is now a simple box, without even an on/off button. I think the idea is supposed to be "hook it up, plug it in, it works", requiring no expensive visit. Unfortunately it does not always work that way.

In my case, after hooking everything up and having the cable company register the box over the phone, the box would simply die. I could not even be able to turn it on. Following their advice, I did three exchanges before I lucked out with a phone person who knew what was happening. After entering a series of secret codes using the remote, the box suddenly worked. I don't think the boxes were physically defective at all. It would have been so much easier to have someone come out.

Now if only all of my channels would work...

Computers will not be perfected until they can compute how much more than the estimate the job will cost.

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