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Comment Re:Stop spying on everyone (Score 1) 479

Perhaps if it were made a clear and easily-changable option to the user. Example:

1. 30 day trial, no snooping
2. Snooping version, free after 30 days
3. Purchase non-snooping version

And it should let you know when your 30 days are up rather than automatically go into snoop mode without confirmation.

Clear and friendly choices can bring in more customers and more dollars.

Comment Re:Standardized settings management (Score 1) 479

You are thinking of OS or bundled "system" apps, aren't you? An independent app would invent an independent way of managing features.

And even though those devices might have a standard GUI for finding and editing them, each vendor either has a different way of importing/exporting them, or provide no easy way, period.

Plus, if they were standardized in an open way, you could install a different "settings browser" with fancier search, find, compare, query, report, alarm, etc. features.

Comment Re:This! (Score 1) 159

Offshoring and automation have essentially cheapened the value of much of human labor. However, all this automation and outsourcing has also made stuff cheaper. Ideally their slide rate would both match more or less, or even provide a net benefit for regular folks.

However, salaries overall seem to be slipping backward*. So, why are they not balancing out? Because the owners of capital and corporations rigged the rewards of cheaper labor/automation to go them THEM instead of us, and lobby heavy to keep it that way.

* Wages for existing jobs are stagnant, but if you lose your job, often you end up going back to work at another org for less. Thus, on average salaries are sliding backward when inflation is factored in.

Comment Re:most things are older than previously thought. (Score 5, Interesting) 73

The Greeks were amazing thinkers. They also used complex wrapping of rope around poles, pulleys, and pegs to program automated plays--mechanical TV's essentially.

Too bad they never leveraged it, probably due to the abundance of slaves.

William Wilberforce, a UK abolitionist, may have sparked the industrial revolution more than the steam engine and technology.

A steam engine was invented by the ancient Greeks. However, because slaves were so common then (usually captured enemies), they didn't think much about labor saving devices. Their gizmos were mostly considered show pieces, and thus there was little incentive to improve on their efficiency or utility.

William Wilberforce's pressure on UK politics reduced slave usage, making machines a more attractive alternative, thus propelling advances in manufacturing machinery.

Comment Re:Institutional Knowledge (Score 1) 159

True, but the "Darwinism" of the market place will filter out the biggest dummies. I'm generally talking about a trend, not a revolution. Companies and managers that find a way to leverage fungible staff by having relatively clean work processes will expand and/or survive recessions better than those run by pure PHB's.

Comment Re:Pay peanuts (Score 1) 191

Those who make the decisions often focus on superficial things. I don't know a fix for that.

I've seen people take sloppy shortcuts to put something visually snazzy up quick, and the clueless people who evaluate it think they are a Web-God.

If one points out potential security, ADA, performance, maintenance, device-dependent problems, they are painted as jealous nay-sayers. It's happened to me many times.

And those making the decisions expect to get promoted or hired away fairly soon; the long-term is not their concern.

Chimps are drawn to shiny objects, not smart objects. That's just the way it is. It's not a technology problem, it's a people problem.

Who knows, maybe I'm making similar mistakes with things I know little about like plumbing, car repairs, bank accounts, etc. Maybe civilization is just growing too complex to manage well. We cannot all be subject experts in everything because the subjects keep growing.

Comment Re:Institutional Knowledge (Score 1) 159

I've been pondering that subject lately. If what you say is true, then shouldn't the company with the experienced employees and the institutional knowledge have a competitive advantage in their markets? I would have thought that advantage would have manifested fairly early as the quality of the shoddy competitors declines, but I haven't seen such a trend. I'd also expect the advantage to widen as the companies composed of nothing but temps loses institutional knowledge over time. Again, not seeing it.

Continuing on with my hypothesis, shouldn't the experienced employees be able to easily form a new company and drive the outsourcing ones out of the industry? I'm starting to see a few hints of that through anecdotal evidence, but not enough to draw conclusions yet.

Comment Re:Institutional Knowledge (Score 1) 159

You are constantly explaining and re-explaining how your business works, and bugs are repeatedly entering codebases because the developer hasn't spent years understanding the business and its workflows.

Based on experience I generally agree. Domain knowledge is very useful and seems undervalued by the industry.

However, perhaps the changing economy will weed out companies with convoluted work processes, favoring those that keep their business rules, data, and work-flows clean and logical.

It could push co's toward pre-packaged infrastructure systems such as ERP suites and off-the-shelf HR software. That way one can hire an expert on the given infrastructure product and they won't walk in clueless to your operations.

Things are not changing for just workers. If you want the advantages of standardized plugs, you have to also have standardized ports.

Comment Personal experience, rough on families (Score 3, Interesting) 159

I used to "gig around" a lot, and found it difficult to co-raise a family under. If you are single and can hop all over the country and/or globe, that's great! But it's hard on families.

During good times you may be able to stay mostly local, but good times rarely last. The boom/bust "business cycle" of capitalism has been going on long before the USA existed, and has yet to be solved.

If gigs paid very well, then perhaps one could live with more gaps by saving up. But I have not seen a significant lasting pay advantage, especially during recessions.

Maybe a few "elite" workers with speedy eyes and eidetic memories can pull it off and come out ahead of traditional salaries, but by definition, most of us are not elite.

Comment Re:One huge problem still (Score 1) 163

I would argue that such a Grim Reaper (molecule or construct) would have reached Earth at some point already...

I would also, but that's not a 100% certainty. Should we still gamble if it's a say 99.99% certainty?

Maybe the deadly stuff doesn't travel in space debris well. Mammals* don't, for example. Just because SOME microbes can survive in blasted rocks doesn't mean all do.

it is MUCH more likely that we find something inimical to human life here on Earth- for instance, very deep in an ocean

Not sure about that, but that's still not a reason to tempt fate. The fact that Fred is more likely to bop you than John is NOT a reason to agitate John.

Earth life has been exposed to Earth life and the attacks and immunities evolved together. Mars could offer us an ugly mismatch. Cross-continent "invasive species" have shown surprising destruction to native life. Mars could give us a magnified version of this poorly understood phenomenon.

Our species will ultimately go extinct without space travel- this is a fact!

True, but we don't have to rush things. In the future when we are ready for inter-stellar travel, we'll probably know more about biology and cures.

* Humans may be just such a "grim reaper" creature from Mars life's perspective.

Comment Standardized settings management (Score 1) 479

I'd like to see a standard way to store and import/export settings for applications such that each one doesn't reinvent the feature management wheel. That way one can use a single tool to search, study, import, export and change them. Here's a rough draft of a settings attribute layout:

app-ID // or app name
group-ID // group feature belongs to
value-type // string, number, integer, date/time, uri, other
factory-value // default install value
user-notes // user can save reason for change
key-words // synonyms to aid feature search engines
scope // global (computer), user, document, etc.
sequence // used if there is a usage ranking

I realize there are various intricacies to work out, such as prerequisite settings, but this can serve as a starting point.

Drilling for oil is boring.