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Comment Re:Neglecting to care (Score 1) 72

For people whom I know but don't have an email address for (or their address might have changed)
To rediscover people I know but forgot about (plenty of those). I could ask for and save businesscards from every person I meet but LinkedIn is just that much handier.
To keep track of people; I don't have contact with every single person in my network on a regular basis, and it's handy to know if they change jobs or switch companies. That's one of the good things of social networks: you don't have to keep your contact list up to date, your contacts will do that for you.

Comment Re:Neglecting to care (Score 1) 72

In my last position I needed to find certain professionals in other companies from time to time, and "cold call" them (no, nothing to do with marketing or recruitment). LinkedIn actually made that very easy, certainly easier than going in through the front door and the receptionist, and no one minded being contacted in that way. Sometimes I found a mutual connection to introduce me to the other person. Similarly, several people from ther businesses found and contacted me through LinkedIn. It's a good tool for business networking if you treat it as a service for just that, and limit your connections to people whom you actually know.

I have the same mixed feelings about LinkedIn as I have for Apple: I don't like their corporate policy but I do use their products because I find them very useful. As for them selling on the data: all of my data on their service is a matter of public record anyway. And that's how you should treat any social network: everything you put on there and (not unimportantly) what you do in there is public, mined and/or sold.

Comment Re:testing frameworks (Score 1) 72

Meh. Some endorsements I got on LinkedIn make sense, others don't. The more useful ones are from people who took the trouble to write a short recommendation for me instead of treating endorsements as "like" buttons. And this has been my experience with my yearly appraisals as well, back when I was an employee. Most managers just tick a few boxes while only a few of them take it seriously.

Comment Re:A case of being legally right, but morally wron (Score 1) 37

By torrenting a movie, you are not just taking a copy for yourself and for however many people you are seeding to; you are, in the words of the mobie studios, "enabling piracy". The people who get their copy from you also seed to 10 people, who each seed to another 10, and so on and so forth. So by their logic, you are on the hook for every copy that originated from yours, and the studio gets to claim insane amounts of damages from whomever they catch. As someone once calculated, if every pirate was caught and fined according to the studio's schedule, the fines would exceed the total GDP of *Earth*. Now there's a business model for you...

I think that it's ok to go after pirates, but I agree that the punishment should be more realistic: based on nr. of movies downloaded and the seed ratio, times a reasonable (maybe 2) punitive factor, with an additional fine (not damages) imposed. Torrenting a movie is in the same league (but not the same thing, before anyone starts...) as shoplifting, not Enron-level fraud. By the way, I pirate movies... I wouldn't if they would just let me pay for a format that has the quality, convenience, lack of ads and ability to time- and format-shift as the files I get from my favorite seeders. Music studios already offer this, and I'm happy to give them my money.

Is it wrong to pirate? Meh. Let's not forget that copyright is not a natural right, but an artificial and temporary monopoly granted by society expressly for the benefit of society, not authors. Let's not call it "intellectual property" anymore either, for the same reason. I don't feel very bad about pirating movies as long as movie studios continue to abuse copyright the way they do. And this is the stance that our government (in the Netherlands) has held for a good while: as long as movie studios refuse to offer a reasonable selection of normally priced digital content that honours fair use to a good degree, the government refused to do much about upholding copyright law in case of individual infringers. Sadly this policy was recently abandoned.

Comment Re:Youtube next? (Score 3, Interesting) 176

Fair points, but those concerned with privacy take issue with that last remark, that you can use that data however you want. Many countries have laws that may not forbid the collection of data outright, but put limitations on how you can use the data and what for. Often, there is a law that says that you may only use the data for the stated reasons you collected it, and never sell it on to third parties. And there's such a thing as implied reasons and reasonable expectations: the purpose of Facebook's "like" button is ostensibly to allow FB members to show approval for a site, and perhaps to entice non members to sign up. Visitors and site owners rightfully do not expect that button to track them. By the same token, people can reasonably expect to end up in a server log if they visit a site with embedded images. But the implied reason for collecting a server log is to diagnose issues and compile aggregated site statistics, not to track individual users. And tracking cookies can get a lot more information than you can glean from your server logs.

FB's practise of tracking users through their Like button clearly violates privacy regulations in a number of countries. And even so, I don't think legislators are looking to stop people from collecting server logs or to ban 3rd party cookies. They are however putting limits on what companies can do with the data.

Comment Re:More nation-wrecking idiocy (Score 1) 601

This is about visual modifications. There is no actual lane narrowing nor are there hourglasses, the road is only made to look narrower, either for the entire length of the road, or at a place where the speed limit changes. In places where they painted red "bike paths" on the roads, the road was already quite narrow and shared between cyclists and motorists; the red path is not an actual bike path that is exclusive to bikes. On those roads, there is no room for 2 cars and a cyclist to ride abreast. Observation and statistics have shown that these are effective measures on most of the roads where they were tried.

I agree that hourglasses are horrible. We have a lot of them in my town, though they are made to let cyclists pass safely to the right of them. But it definitely encourages speeding: the road near my house is a 30 km/h road, but many motorists who see an oncoming car at an hourglass will speed up to get there first... of course the other car also speeds up so they sometimes end up doing 70.

Comment Re:More nation-wrecking idiocy (Score 4, Interesting) 601

No idea why this got modded down (perhaps it was the SJW remark?). The comment is right on the mark though: in this region there has been a lot of research into influencing motorists with visual "tricks". We're not talking about removing the center divider on the highways, but about modifying the smaller roads where speed limits of 60 or 80 km/h are in effect. Some of our roads never had a central line to begin with. Other roads have been made to appear narrower by coloring a strip on each side of the road in red (the colour used for bike paths), leaving a black space that is too narrow for two cars to pass. This has had a measurable effect on the speed at which motorists drive there. Other tricks include using lines, fences or even planting trees to make a road appear to narrow on the approach to small towns (where a lower speed limit is in effect). This also results in motorists slowing down unconsciously.

Most accidents happen on these crappy little roads, and speed is a large factor in most of these accidents. In the past two decades or so there has been a lot of attention to safety on those roads, and numbers show they have succeeded in making them safer. Social / environmental engineering of roads is a relatively new phenomenon, and measures do not always work out the way they planned it, but it generally works well. Also keep in mind that over here at least these changes are not designed by idiot council members with an agenda; there are engineers involved who know about this stuff. And in some cases, instead of removing the white line, they add a center divider.

Submission + - What's really behind iPhone Error 53 -- and how can you fix it? (

Mark Wilson writes: If you have an interest in Apple, or smartphones in general — or even if you just follow tech news — you can't help but have heard about the Error 53 problem that's affecting some iPhone users. In short, it seemed that people who had used non-authorized repairers to fix their home button ended up with a bricked phone after installing the latest iOS update.

This led to vocal outcries from not just upset iPhone owners, but also the tech community as a whole. Apple responded by saying that Error 53 was to "protect our customers", but what’s the real story? Is Apple really penalizing people who don’t take their iPhone to an Apple Store for repair? And, more importantly, what can you do if your iPhone has been bricked by Error 53?

Submission + - After Avast & Comodo, It's Now Steam's Turn to Use an Insecure Chromium Vers (

An anonymous reader writes: After the Avast (Avastium) and the Comodo (Chromodo) debacles, it's now Valve's turn to be shamed, as the Steam client is using an outdated Chromium version, and also runs with the --no-sandbox flag, eliminating a key security feature, and allowing attacks to trickle down from the Web page to the underlying operating system.

Comment Re: Management structure and meritocracy (Score 1) 273

I agree: disorganisation can be managable in smaller companies but it doesn't scale well. But a flat org chart and a meritocracy is not the same as disorganisation. I've no idea about GitHub (I don't use their services) and perhaps they had a problem with disconnected employees and a lack of organisation. Their management structure might well have been one of the causes of that, but not the simple fact that their management structure is flat. My point being that there are successful companies with a flat org chart. Maybe the company can be successful under a stricter hierarchy, but going that route is bound to piss off a lot of people, not just the ones who feel sleighted. Corporate culture is an important factor in choosing where to work.

Sounds like you're working for a decent company, by the way.

Comment Management structure and meritocracy (Score 5, Insightful) 273

By ditching their management structure they threw out an important part of their corporate culture as well. Not smart. Instead, they might have looked at ways to make the existing structure scale up. There are other large organisations with a flat org chart and seniority based on merit, like W. L. Gore. Go talk to them instead of the regular MBAs.

By the way, I don't know if I'd have an issue with a lack of remote working options or a shift to a more hierarchical management structure, but what I read about their diversity and social impact team would certainly be enough to make me run, screaming. Also, they brought in a former Yahoo exec...

Comment Re:Good news! (Score 1) 132

apply those [responsible and irresponsible] behaviors to protect original ideas.

That sounds a lot like kids will learn to protect the original ideas of others, in other words to respect the stakes driven into the ground by the incumbent corporations in prior intellectual land-grabs. Sure, if you come acros an original idea yourself, you might be able to stake your own claim, but most of these "ideas" are already locked up tight.

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