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Comment: The sad part here... (Score 2) 266

by DontBlameCanada (#46771569) Attached to: Nokia Had a Production-Ready Web Tablet 13 Years Ago
... is that the vast majority of senior executives won't learn from these mistakes. They'll all listen to some talking head consultant (that they paid way too much for) consult some sort of magic crystal ball and claim "it won't fly!" What should've been the indication that it might catch on is the quote, "The team got devices for themselves."

If the engineers think it's cool enough that they want one for personal use, it's probably a product that has a use that could be expanded from the tech-geek segment into something profitable.

Comment: Re:I don't think so (Score 2) 153

by DontBlameCanada (#46099399) Attached to: Samsung's First Tizen Smartphone Gets Leaked

It doesn't rule it out either...

From my experience working with and for HW-centric companies, they all view SW as a zero-revenue expense. As such, they don't invest in the people, tools and processes that make for successful software products.

I'd tend to think being a top h/w vendor is actually a detriment to delivering good software.

Comment: I've turned down assignments for ethical reasons (Score 1) 406

by DontBlameCanada (#45610861) Attached to: Why Engineers Must Consider the Ethical Implications of Their Work
I won't go into specifics, but for me a few extra dollars or potential for advancement would *not* compensate for the lifetime of guilt I'd suffer knowing something I built or contributed to was primarily designed to do harm. Likewise, I will lose respect for those in a similar position to me who willingly contribute or design those systems.

On the other end of the scale, folks struggling to get by have my sympathy when assigned tasks like this. Food on the table and a roof over their family's head may trump personal ethics in some situations. When I and the other senior engineers declined the tasks I refer to, they assigned it to new-grad immigrants who for cultural and financial reasons felt they couldn't push back. The Evil Bit(tm) was definitely set in that workplace.

Comment: American talk a big game when it comes to freedom (Score 5, Insightful) 376

by DontBlameCanada (#45599243) Attached to: Fearing Government Surveillance, US Journalists Are Self-Censoring
... but their actions tend to contradict what they say.

Torture and the taking of political prisoners are touted as flaws of third world dictatorships and communists v. waterboarding, Guantanamo Bay and attempts to arrest Snowden and others who have taken a political stance they don't like.

Comment: Re:Surrogate decisionmaking (Score 1) 961

by DontBlameCanada (#45526953) Attached to: Why Scott Adams Wished Death On His Dad
The problem is that the general populace is neither aware of the option to have this sort of a living will or informed enough to be able to make a properly considered decision on the language and implications of having that clause included.

I'm not a doctor or a lawyer. When I went through the process of creating a will recently, some of the language and standard clauses were pretty scary sounding, especially the power of attorney. The "do not resuscitate" clauses will require more archaic legal language to deal with a topic that many will interpret to mean that they'd be allowed to die when there was still a slight chance they'd recover.

In spite of years of education, decades in high tech and life experience that has forced me to deal with the edge of this topic, I still haven't resolved the conflict between my logical-self that says this is the right and practical solution and my emotional-self that loves life and can't imagine drawing a line where I'd allow it to end.

Comment: I've met serveral good MBAs... (Score 2) 343

by DontBlameCanada (#45475435) Attached to: Elon Musk Talks About the Importance of Physics, Criticizes the MBA
And a shit load of bad ones.

This good ones, were excellent technically then took what they learned in MBA in terms of business functions and applied them in a way the made everyone more effective and productive. The bad ones tended to be poor performers in their chosen fields who ran to an MBA as a way to avoid working on technical details that they couldn't comprehend.

The worst were smart, but evil. They took an MBA as a fast path to management, where they gulled their peers with enough technical know how to achieve their dreams of power and influence. The more power they got, the less tolerant they became of other "smart guys." They were viewed as threats that might expose potential technical short comings in the MBA's plans.

Comment: Re:Where's the union? (Score 3, Interesting) 172

If the unions were still strong, they could've blocked the offshoring of workers by calling a company-wide strike in the US. That would've been effective while most of the talent and production was local. Corp-Exec bonuses are hard to justify when your sales are the shits because the corp wasn't producing anything for an extended period.

Now that all the jobs are disseminated to 3rd/4th world areas without any worker protection, the power is gone and won't be coming back.

Comment: I'm getting tired of this industry (Score 4, Interesting) 75

by DontBlameCanada (#45070019) Attached to: Alcatel-Lucent To Cut 10,000 Workers, Calls It "Shift Plan"
Unless you're in senior management, you have absolutely no control over your future. I can do the best job, get top ratings for performance, but if I'm unlucky and am working on the wrong projects... poof no job. Layoffs are done by cutting whole programs, without even attempting to retain the best talent. We're chattel, nameless drones who are viewed as necessary evils. Worse, I may be potentially viewed as substandard by future employers because the product I was working on wasn't viable, as though I had any opportunity to influence it's direction.
I truly enjoy writing software, but I would never recommend this career to my children or grandchildren. Way too much volatility coupled with abusive employers...

Comment: Re:Obligatory Steve Jobs quote (Score 3, Insightful) 208

by DontBlameCanada (#44994351) Attached to: Apple Now the World's Most Valuable Brand, Knocks Off Coca-Cola
Giving Apple or really any "smart device" company any credit here is incorrect. Garmin,et al with the advent of their in-car GPS solutions made paper maps obsolete. Phones etc, didn't start replacing those devices until such a time as GPS chips became both cheap enough and power efficient enough to include in them.

Ma Bell is a mean mother!