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Comment Hugh steped down in 1988, Christie on Jan 1 2009 (Score 1) 93

Hugh Hefner handed top control spot of the company to his daughter Christie in 1988. She resigned on the 2008/2009 new year boundary.

The magazine's market performance has apparently been gradually declining since then, starting by dropping back to 11 issues per year in 2009. (What mix, if any, of Chistie leaving because the writing was already on the wall, the third generation's changes resulting in a slide, and/or other factors may be a good subject for a post-mortem analysis and publication, some time in the future.)

Comment Re:Unconcerned with this level of scrutiny? (Score 1) 74

Maybe if you'd not let them take the firearms away in the first place that sort of question might not seriously be up for debate. I'll never understand why citizens willingly disarm themselves and I'm sure that's due to my cultural bias. However, I've tried to think about it logically and reason my way to understanding. The only conclusion I can make is that those citizens did not use logic and reason their way to understanding. Fear will do that, I suppose.

Me? I'm willing to accept that some violence occurs. I don't want a government that can't be removed by the force of the people when the will is not enough. For those who say that it can't be done because of the military, I'd suggest they try a little more of my favorite breakfast cereal - Reason Bran. An insurgency is pretty effective and many of those enlisted will take up arms with the insurgents (and bring equipment and expertise) if the cause is just. That and, well, the ruling parties aren't going to destroy their infrastructure but will likely seek a quick and speedy remedy that enables them to keep their wealth and a modicum of power.

Reason Bran, now with two scoops of logic and an extra 20% critical thinking.

Comment Re:Unconcerned with this level of scrutiny? (Score 1) 74

To be fair, I often go to sites based in other countries and get my news there when it concerns certain topics. Journalism is now, and has always been, biased. There is no true fair and balanced journalism really - there probably never will be. I've taken a look into the history of "yellow journalism" and, yeah, it might actually be better today than it has ever been. At least we can, today, get our news from a wider group of sources which gives those interested some chance of actually finding out the truth.


Why Self-Driving Cars Should Never Be Fully Autonomous (roboticstrends.com) 79

An anonymous reader writes: David Mindell, an MIT professor, says self-driving cars should never be fully autonomous. "There's an idea that progress in robotics leads to full autonomy. That may be a valuable idea to guide research but when automated and autonomous systems get into the real world, that's not the direction they head. We need to rethink the notion of progress, not as progress toward full autonomy, but as progress toward trusted, transparent, reliable, safe autonomy that is fully interactive: The car does what I want it to do, and only when I want it to do it." Mindell writes, "Google's utopian autonomy is a more brittle, less functional solution than a rich, human-centered automation."

Comment Re:Small ISP (Score 1) 74

Back home, in my state, DSL is able to be provisioned by any company willing to service the area. I paid a small company to run my lines and put in a CO. That company was purchased by Fairpoint. For a while, well outside of their region, I got my services from GWI. I went back to Fairpoint when they sent me a mailing offering a higher speed. They're not allowed to limit GWI's access but GWI didn't offer the increased speed. Fairpoint has since raised my speeds frequently and always sends me new hardware (that I don't actually use).

In theory, I could use your ISP if they wanted to pay Fairpoint's access fees.

Comment Re:Meaningless Bullshit (Score 2) 29

Well, this is a fine place to interject my opinion - for what it's worth... I'm not an authority (obviously) but I did manage to get things done and was successful at it.

First, this is absolutely horrific - not the subject but the process of watching this video. I've never watched a /. video before - I've read transcripts. This required so much effort to allow so many things in uMatrix that it was absurd. Between Disconnect and uMatrix I wasn't sure that I'd ever see the video. There were nearly 1000 requests. Just with the new page loaded (this one with the comments) and not watching the video, Disconnect shows 1062 requests and uMatrix is now much lower at 84 requests. That's bullshit and unnecessary.

Second, this is not new. It may be that my shop was heavily oriented to processing large data sets and working with the results and doing loads of manipulations but our dev team worked very much in hand with the ops team - one could say that there were representatives of either and some cross-talk always taking place. My hiring reflected my opinions and so I almost always ensured that there were enough people available so that someone was always able to be freed up to work with the rest of the crew. They were in "teams" with specialized rolls but those lines were often fuzzy.

Finally, I'm going to have to use a lose definition of "cloud" here as it's not very well defined. To me, much of this cloud shit is nothing more than a return to dumb terminals (in some ways) and not much different than hosting your own data - from the perspective of those who work with the data. We had a locked server room and a locked comms room and whatnot. Locked doors didn't mean a whole lot as they didn't really need to be locked and people interacted with one another frequently. Doors would probably be locked if a client was in the building, for example.

So, it seems to me that if they're having issues with this then the problem is likely the process they're using or ill defined goals. He's right, the IT staff, structural IT if you will, don't need to know until after the dev team has a working model that's fairly close to feature complete. We did internal provisioning, I'm sure this is a little slower, but I imagine the process is much the same.

To my eyes this looks like Yet Another Management Problem (YAMP). It seems like piss poor managing, improper goal setting, and generally wasting time for no real efficiencies. Funny enough, if you hire good people, pay them well, and shut the hell up and listen to them so that you can give them the tools they need - they usually do a really good job at getting stuff done when you give them the freedom and space to do so. If they know what it is they're meant to be doing and you give them the tools to do it and then get out of their way then they get the job done. If they don't get the job done there's all sorts of problems but it's usually the fault of not giving them the ability to do the job you wanted - be it communication, realistic time periods, or the appropriate tools.

Also, the tools aren't what the vendor suggested. They're the ones they users requested. Strangely enough, keeping people satisfied and engaged enables them to do good work and actually have an investment in doing good work. Imagine that?

At first I tried the sort of micromanaging and the whole helping thing. This was because I'd started as just one person with a single other employee. So this was my baby. Fortunately, I was smart enough to hire people more capable than I. They were honest enough to tell me to stop helping. Given that I'm not usually an idiot, I listened. They were better at it than I was - that wasn't my area of expertise and I really had too much work to do elsewhere which is why I'd hired them in the first place.

So, to all you managers out there, take it from me... Shut the hell up and listen. Give them the tools they need and the space to do what you asked. Articulate and ensure that they know not just the process but the goals. Guide - don't lead. There is a difference. Hire good people who know their job - be willing to train smart people. Pay them more than what they're worth to you - they are worth more than what you probably value them at. If your core business relies on them then they're pretty much priceless. We paid more for our copy room than we paid for some of the employees so quit with the wage reduction crap while you're at it.

But no... Nobody ever listens to David. That's okay, I'm not an authority on the subject. I do, however, have a pretty good track record and loads of experience.

The Internet

Playboy Drops Nudity As Internet Fills Demand 93

HughPickens.com writes: Ravi Somaiya reports in the NY Times that as part of a redesign that will be unveiled next March, the print edition of Playboy Magazine will still feature women in provocative poses but they will no longer be fully nude. "That battle has been fought and won," says CEO Scott Flanders. "You're now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it's just passé at this juncture." According to Somaiya, for a generation of American men, reading Playboy was a cultural rite, an illicit thrill consumed by flashlight. Now every teenage boy has an Internet-connected phone instead. Pornographic magazines, even those as storied as Playboy, have lost their shock value, their commercial value and their cultural relevance. The magazine will adopt a cleaner, more modern style. There will still be a Playmate of the Month, but the pictures will be "PG-13" and less produced — more like the racier sections of Instagram. "A little more accessible, a little more intimate," says Flancers. It is not yet decided whether there will still be a centerfold.

Comment Re:Yeah, makes perfect sense... (Score 1) 287

I kind of assumed your FWIW - it wasn't rage filled or apologetic enough to be for one side or the other. And yeah, to my mind it added to the other claims and didn't detract from them. It made him seem more a creep to me.

All of those "information wants to be free" people never seem inclined to give me their personal details.

Ah well... I guess I'll just have to be content with doing it wrong. In my mind it makes him more a jackass than he would be without it. Assuming he's guilty, of course. Even if he's still not guilty, I consider him a cretin. While my moral compass may seem screwy, I'd like to point out that I do see Snowden as a hero - a dumb hero but a hero nonetheless. Assange is not even remotely on the same level. He's just a bottom feeder and a shit stirrer. If people can't figure out the difference between the two then I'm not sure what to say.

Ho hum...

Submission + - Why Self-Driving Cars Should Never be Fully Autonomous (roboticstrends.com)

An anonymous reader writes: David Mindell, an MIT professor, says self-driving cars should never be fully autonomous. “There’s an idea that progress in robotics leads to full autonomy. That may be a valuable idea to guide research but when automated and autonomous systems get into the real world, that’s not the direction they head. We need to rethink the notion of progress, not as progress toward full autonomy, but as progress toward trusted, transparent, reliable, safe autonomy that is fully interactive: The car does what I want it to do, and only when I want it to do it.”

Mindell writes, “Google’s utopian autonomy is a more brittle, less functional solution than a rich, human-centered automation.”

Comment Re: Bigger isn't necessarily better (Score 1) 92

You are awesome! Thanks. Your post is now bookmarked and I *will* make the time to get to it. This may result in an email. *chuckles*

Also, I live in a very remote area of NW Maine - near Canada. I'm actually closer to Canada than I am to my nearest decent sized town. I *am* the local LUG. (When did LUG go to Linux User Group instead of Local User Group anyhow?) I am not home at the moment, I won't be for a while as I'm out engaging in wanderlust but appear to have actually stalled in Buffalo. (It involves a female. Now.)

As an interesting aside, I guess I kind of, sort of, have a female friend whom I met due to being geeky enough to have a Live USB (Lubuntu IIRC) in my laptop bag. So, I've engaged in my wanderlust, gotten stuck, and have managed to convert someone to Linux. I'm pretty sure this means my life is in shambles but I am having a good time.

Also, I have VMWare Workstation - multiple licenses. I'll be sure to check the image out even if I'm nowhere near a PI. As I'm stuck in one location for an indeterminate time, I'll try to find a local source for a kit. If I can't find a local source then I've already checked with the hotel and they're happy to let me receive mail here - specifically packages. I'm now paying for two rooms so they're pretty happy. (Again, it involves a female and is a very long story.)

Thanks again. Hopefully I find it as exciting as I'd hoped when I first decided to buy them. I had a plan... I want to create an automated gate at the bottom of my driveway up to and including distributing RFID broadcast devices so that they gate opens automatically. I want to write my own cell phone app that lets me know if someone's gone through or if someone's waiting - then have a camera to see and be able to open the gate remotely. I'd also like to enable the gate to open automatically only for certain times for certain friends. It probably sounds harder than it really is - I don't think it should be too difficult. I just lost motivation and realized that I really don't need such a system.

Somewhere, I might have lost a spark. You may have rekindled it though. Thanks! Seriously, thanks. There's a bunch of lengthy responses I could add but, suffice to say, I'm out appeasing my wanderlust for a reason and this may actually reflect back on that reason. Of course, now there's the issue of a female but we're not, yet, sleeping together so I can just meander away if needed. That too is another very long story. Either way, I shall add you to the friend's list so that I can more easily spot your posts. You appear to be a fountain of knowledge (and helpful, to boot) and that's why I'm here on Slashdot.

The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.