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Comment: Re:Vague Requirements (Score 1) 104

I did a registration system for a pre-school this way thinking having everything land in a spreadsheet would be about their speed. It was kind of awful. You think of

Google as having a bunch of great APIs that let you do all sorts of fantastic things, but stuff that would have been absolutely trivial to do in MS Office 15 or 20 years ago using VBA (minus the web part, which was barely around) were hard to impossible to make happen.

Want that input form to look nice? Want the submitter to be able to preview it or edit what was on it later? Good luck doing that without building a whole different front-end. Google docs lets you use a form to add lines to a spreadsheet, but that's pretty much where the magic ends. I hacked in editing the thing by sending out links that pre-populate fields in a second spreadsheet which Google docs copies over to the first spreadsheet. Yes, it's stupid. No, it's not me. It's Google.

If you're a developer on Google docs and reading this... thanks for making it possible to add a line to a spreadsheet from an ugly form. I am so sorry that they make you do these crappy "20%" effort projects that you're not really proud of and that aren't good enough to help anyone. I know you probably want to put in the time to make a great HTML5 form builder or make it easy to manage an entry using a unique key or validate input in some way, but it's so difficult to focus on those Friday afternoons. So, don't worry about it. Those charities didn't need that technology anyway. Right?

Comment: Re:Boycott will end this in less than a week (Score 2) 204

It's such a fantastic case. Netflix is the largest traffic source, and they try to run their business with almost no infrastructure. Their computing and storage is almost all Amazon -- a direct competitor -- and their distribution is through ISPs that also run competing TV services. Some fraction of the disputes with Comcast and Verizon have been over inter-city distribution. The argument from the ISPs is that while the customers have paid for the access portion, the way Netflix or their CDN partners have been using their networks they've essentially been dumping long-haul responsibility on the ISPs. When they're negotiating with Netflix for "paid" access, some of it is about CDN hosting or local interconnect rather than just "now we'll peer at 300G in SF". Because this is America, Netflix's pleas to have "all traffic treated the same because it's an Internet right" are more about infrastructure cost avoidance than about maintaining YOUR rights. Net Neutrality says the ten millionth copy of a Breaking Bad episode being streamed from California to Texas is just as important as unique data you send on that link, and if that stinks it up so be it. It doesn't get us to the obvious technical solution of a cache-box in-state (if not in-city), but is a convenient hammer to pull out in commercial discussions over CDN hosting. So, as much as you may love the internet and feel there should be some kind of totally impractical rights framework involved to ensure that there is a flag available to wrap around the Internet's abuse, consider spending ten minutes thinking through the motivations of the actors involved. At the end of those ten minutes you may decide that you want Netflix holding that hammer -- the ISP's leverage has been talked about a lot and brinksmanship is apparently part of what makes America great -- but at least you'll do it realizing that all of the companies involved would like you / the Internet as a hostage.

Comment: Fix your life, not your job (Score 1) 182

by Dr J. keeps the nerd (#47965283) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?

Your job sounds great. Make some friends on your team and learn what you can from them. Maybe buy a book or RTFM or do a side project. The training will always be offered again somewhere else, and Vegas is a hole.

Use the conference time to fix whatever's going on in your life -- that sounds way more important. Feel free to post here about that!

Good luck!

Comment: No (Score 5, Insightful) 393

by Dr J. keeps the nerd (#47929971) Attached to: Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?
From the article's conclusion: In the most likely scenario, Anderman writes, “the price of the 2017 new model will be in the range of $50-80K.” The 60-kWh version of today's Tesla Model S large luxury sedan starts at $69,900, with an EPA-rated range of 208 miles. Given that the Model 3 will be a smaller car with one-third less range, using a next-generation battery to be produced in bulk at Tesla's planned gigafactory, that seems rather pessimistic.

Comment: The Yard Cafe (Score 1) 11

by Dr J. keeps the nerd (#41414423) Attached to: Slashdot Anniversary: Vancouver, BC, CA
Come celebrate 15 years of time well wasted.

The Yard Cafe is the local pub in Marpole. It's basic, it's safe, the beer is cheap and decent, and there's parking and transit around. If folks want to get there earlier, we can bump the start time up. I won't head over until my kid's in bed. A lot happens in 15 years.

Comment: Consequence of CRTC regulations (Score 5, Informative) 238

by Dr J. keeps the nerd (#27594891) Attached to: Bell Proposing Usage-Based Billing
The CRTC requires Bell to resell its lines for fixed rates. Bell must offer service that's at least as good as what it provides to its own customers. As the regulated rate is below Bell's own rate of return from an actual Bell customer, Bell has no incentive to provide better service that what it provides to its own customers. If the CRTC allowed for other arrangements, Bell could strike a deal with a wholesaler to offer unlimited service at a higher price. As it stands, it can't. Nothing here is surprising.

"It is easier to fight for principles than to live up to them." -- Alfred Adler