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Comment One year too early (Score -1, Flamebait) 232

This article is about 1 year too early at least. Considering that one of the most highly anticipated smart watches, the Apple Watch, isn't even commercially available yet, it's too premature to comment.

I know, I know there are other watches out there. However, given how Apple revolutionized portable MP3 players, and phones, and pretty much jump started the whole mobile apps thing, I anticipate that if anyone was going to be able to do any thing with it, it would be them. Note, not that it's guaranteed they will, but they have the best odds.

So ask again once the Apple Watch has been out for 6 months.

Comment Longterm/Lifetime effects? (Score 4, Interesting) 550

The thing that's holding me back is what are the long term effects? The technology really hasn't been around for a long time. I'm in my early 30s; I could maybe live for another 50 years! What will be the effects when I'm in my 80s?

I've heard that people who get the surgery may need to have it redone in 10-15 years. What happens after the 3rd or 4th redo? Can one even see? Are there other potential sideeffects?

That's really the only thing holding me back. My vision, present and future, is too important to risk. Glasses get the job done just fine.

Submission + - US Government confiscates passport of citizen while overseas, doesn't say why (motherjones.com) 1

Faizdog writes: The US State Department has confiscated the passport of a US citizen who is overseas. Due to that, he is in a precarious situation regarding his legal status.

The State Dept. has given no explanation for their actions.

Federal law requires that US citizens be granted a hearing before their passports are revoked. According to the man’s attorneys: “Having a passport is part of a citizen’s right to international travel, because without a passport you’re not able to move about or return to the US they can revoke it if they believe it has been obtained fraudulently. But here, there isn’t any allegation of wrongdoing.”

How does one answer the question “papers please?” when they government has taken your papers?

Submission + - U.S. Biomedical Research 'Unsustainable,' Prominent Researchers Warn (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: The U.S. biomedical science system "is on an unsustainable path" and needs major reform, four prominent researchers say. Researchers should "confront the dangers at hand,” the authors write, and “rethink” how academic research is funded, staffed, and organized. Among other issues, the team suggests that the system may be producing too many new researchers and forcing them to compete for a stagnating pool of funding.

Submission + - Re-Learning How To Interview for a Development Position

An anonymous reader writes: Earlier in my career, when I switched jobs every year or so, I was pretty good at interviewing. I got offers about 75% of the time if I got to a in person. But times have changed... my last 2 jobs have been, longer term gigs.. 5 and 3 years respectively, and I am way out of practice. My resume often gets me the phone interview and I am actually really good at the phone screen.. I am 12 for 12 in the last 6 months phone screen to in person interview. It is the in person interview where I am really having issues. I think I come off wrong or something.. I usually get most of the technical questions, but I am not doing something right because I don't come off very likeable or something.. It is hard to get very much feedback to know exactly what I am doing wrong. I have always gotten very good performance reviews and I am well liked at work, but if there is one area for improvement on my reviews it has always been communication. So I ask, can anyone give out some advice, I have tried toastmasters a few times, but does anyone have other tips or ideas? Has anyone else had a similar experiences?

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Will Older Programmers Always Have A Hard Time Getting A Job?

Theseuss writes: Given the strong youth culture associated with the modern day Silicon Valley startup scene, many times it falls to the 40 year-old programmer to prove that he can still use the newest up-and-coming technology. Yet the rate at which the tech sector is growing suggests that in 20 years there will be a an order of magnitude more "old-hat" programmers in the industry. As such, do you think the cultural bias towards young programmers will change in the near future?

Comment Data Driven? Last Minute Decision by Marissa? (Score 2) 172

The very well written biography of Marissa Mayer that recently appeared in Business Insider was very illuminating about the current ongoings at Yahoo. Marissa appears to be a very data driven person, always looking for "proof" of display/design feature ideas and concepts, even for whether a border should be 3, 4 or 5 pixels wide.

Additionally, she had made a last minute change to the color scheme of the recently revamped Yahoo Mail which necessitated significant man hours at the 11th hour to implement and was detrimental to team morale and cohesion that had been painstakingly developed since her arrival.

I'm sure moving forward there will be more challenges like this that Yahoo will face. It will be interesting to assess whether they are due to the vestiges of incompetency at Yahoo as she believes, or due to her failings as a leader, because let's face it, according to the profile, this type of a UI design change would have had her hands all over it and would've needed final sign-off by her.

UI Design changes are by their very inherent nature controversial, people like things the way they're used to them. Marissa's approach was already problematic at Google, it had problems scaling as the company grew in size, but at least there were people there to manage and mitigate her. There's no-one at Yahoo like that. She is a very authoritative leader.

Disclaimer: I don't know her personally nor have I ever met her or met anyone who has met her. My impressions are all based on profiles of her like the one linked above (which I am not affiliated with but simply found interesting)

Submission + - WSJ claims that the FBI can "remote activate" microphones in Android and laptops (wsj.com)

Zanadou writes: Another day, another story to toss on to the "are-they-watching-you?" pile: an article published today on the Wall Street Journal about "FBI hacker (sic.) tactics" reports this:

"The FBI develops some hacking tools internally and purchases others from the private sector. With such technology, the bureau can remotely activate the microphones in phones running Google Inc.'s Android software to record conversations, one former U.S. official said. It can do the same to microphones in laptops without the user knowing, the person said. Google declined to comment."

Sounds like they're talking about ex post facto compromised/tampered laptops—but who knows about Android? FUD, anyone?

Comment The fear this instills... (Score 5, Insightful) 323

You know what's so scary about stuff like this? It's that it makes people afraid of what they will post and discuss. One absurd end of the spectrum is what I've heard Soviet Russia was sometimes like, people always afraid of what they said to whom.

I'm a naturalized US citizen. Due to my country of origin, I'm probably already on some watch list somewhere, despite the fact that I've never done anything remotely dangerous.
Now, I figure that give mes some points on some kind of a danger/threat scale.

This issue is something I care deeply about. Over the last few days, I've been hesitant about drawing attention to it and responding to it online/via electronic communications. I've posted on Slashdot about it, sent emails and texts to friends and relatives, posted about it on my Facebook status, submitted e-mailed letters to my congressional representatives through the EFF website, donated to the EFF and ACLU, read newspaper stories, articles, websites and commentaries, etc.

At each step, I've been afraid. What if being linked to this type of activity gives me more points on some kind of a danger scale? What if I cross a threshold? What if the government starts making my life difficult in subtle ways? Trouble flying? I am planning on marrying someone from my country of origin, what if my application to sponsor them for a greencard is denied? What if, what if?

That's the real trouble, this type of activity raises concerns and issues in people's daily lives. It creates a culture of fear. At the end of the day, I became a US citizen because I believe in the opportunity this country provides, and in the legal basis it was founded on, and the human rights it supposedly supports. I want to do whatever I can to support my country, and exercise my rights as a citizen to correct what I perceive are wrongs.

I'm really hoping that this advocacy doesn't hurt me in the future somehow. That's the real harm when government spies and tracks with a carte blanche, people who are doing nothing wrong but have much to lose are afraid.

Comment It should be illegal but isn't, that's the problem (Score 5, Interesting) 323

One of the best comments was from John Oliver on the Daily Show. In response to Obama's defense that there is the FISA court overseeing this and that member's of congress are briefed, he said great, so it's not just one branch of government acting improperly, all 3 are! That's supposed to be better (me paraphrasing). It's not that these programs aren't illegal, it's the very fact that they aren't that's a problem! (Or aren't considered illegal by the government, many would argue they are illegal in sight of the Constitution).

I'm usually a big government, bleeding heart liberal, but not in the areas of governmental police powers (monitoring citizens, etc). Basically, if the government is helping it's citizens, I support that (healthcare, etc) but if it's looking at it's citizens to protect itself, I don't like that at all.

Here are 2 quotes that were on /. yesterday:
"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government."
-Patrick Henry

"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them."
Patrick Henry

Comment Re:Microsoft really shot themselves in the foot he (Score 3, Interesting) 628

You know that all you have to do is to click the lower left hand corner of the screen to bring up the desktop, right? It took you 20 minutes to figure that out?

Sure if that's all that was different. I wanted to see how different options were controlled (control panel issues), had weird things happen when moving around the mouse (hot corners etc) and other nuisances. Even after I got to the desktop, the easy list of everything in a start menu was missing.

Again, could've learned it, could've figured it out, there are workarounds, it's not rocket science. BUT WHY? Individually each thing is minor, but the cumulative effect is damned annoying. Why would a company unnecessarily aggravate so many of their users? If you wanted a single OS for tablets and other PCs, give each the interface best suited to it.

Comment Microsoft really shot themselves in the foot here (Score 5, Interesting) 628

In the last 6 months I've bought 2 computers, a desktop and a laptop. And both times I went well out of my way to avoid Win8.

Now I consider myself at least slightly more computer savvy than the average individual, and when I went to Best Buy to play around with Windows 8 (since I'd heard it was different) the 20 minute trial I gave it was VERY FRUSTRATING. I managed to figure things out a bit, and I had no doubt with some time and internet searching I could figure the rest out, but I had no desire to!!

I didn't want to spend time figuring it out! It just pissed me off. I needed a desktop very urgently, and was planning on buying a new computer and buying a copy of Win7 online and just wiping off Win8.

(Side Note: Basic economic supply and demand, Pro Edition of Win8 cost ~$60, Home Edition of Win7 online cost ~$150. Hmmmmmm)

I got lucky because the guy working at Best Buy said they had a desktop at 25% off only because it had Win7. Looked at the tech specs, was good, just what I wanted and left happy, getting a discount to get what I wanted.

A few months later I needed a laptop (was travelling a lot). I deliberately went to the Lenovo and Dell business line sections to search since the machines for business users still have Win7 (ended up getting a ThinkPad).

Now, I paid the MS Win tax regardless both times. I wanted a Windows machine. But Win 8 so frustrated me that I went out of my way to avoid it, when it would've been simpler to just buy a machine with it. I was ready to spend more online to buy Win7 and overwrite the default installation.

I can't be the only one that's done this recently.

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