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Comment: Re:Equality (Score 1) 490 490

Both genders should have the same opportunities. They don't necessarily have the same interests.

However misguided, I think people are just trying to reduce the pressure everyone puts on young girls to pick interests that fit into their stereotype. It's a goal you can only chip away at. There's no way to quickly rewire all of our cultural tendencies. Maybe girl-focused STEM toys are a bad idea, maybe not. You could argue that they bridge the gap between what we traditionally pressure girls to play with and what we traditionally pressure boys to play with. Maybe that's progress.

What we really need is an evil mad scientist to use robots to raise human babies in isolation, and observe which toys / roles they gravitate toward over the years.

Comment: Re:flat as a pancake: invasion pending (Score 1) 236 236

The problem is, it seems companies are letting designers do the job of the UI experts.

"UI expert", "designer", "UX"... it's all the same. There are people who are in charge of the interface. Call them whatever you want. People in these comments are inventing a boogeyman and attempting to give him a name.

In answer to a few of the concerns brought up in these comments:

  • The problem with not trying something new with UI designs is that new challenges don't get addressed, and as a result the experience of using a computer gets worse as time goes on. And even more importantly, why would we ever assume things are perfect? They've never been perfect. Windows 7 is not perfect. It's just familiar to those of us who already know how to use computers. And you know what? We are exactly the people who are best equipped to handle radical UI changes, because we've been around the block a time or two. I know half you guys probably still do word processing from a command line, but believe it or not that kind of stuff is a wee bit intimidating to new users. I doubt many people miss having the WordPerfect paper stencil flapped over their keyboards at all times.
  • Sometimes tearing something down and rebuilding it from scratch is the only way to see a path forward. Yes early designs are going to suck. Yes Windows 8 metro sucks. But at least they are trying something! They were faced with a brand new class of devices upon which they had no foothold whatsoever, so yes of course they are going to try to unify their operating system (including the UI) as much as possible in order to bridge the gap for their existing user base.
  • Flat icons are merely a trend. No one is saying they are better. Since the beginning of GUIs technology has been inhibiting designers' attempts at skeuomorphism, so they really went nuts with it once adequate technology finally arrived. The current trend is just a rebound after people grew tired of the art style.

Let people try new ideas. Don't be such negative Nancy know-it-alls.

Comment: Re:*Grabs a bowl of popcorn* (Score 1) 385 385

I really like your observations, and I agree with the main part of it: It's better to follow your interests and commit yourself to excellence than it is to follow the money. That said, don't assume that you'd be any happier. More fulfilled in that one particular area, certainly. One thing I don't like about Hollywood is the constant preaching that "following your dreams" is the ultimate point in life. It's not. Don't let yourself be suckered into what ifs and regrets.

I also wonder why we allow society to limit us so much. You have probably retained most of what you knew back then. You have money to pay the bills. Why not pick up where you left off? What's stopping you? Get into academics.

Comment: Re:This could be very useful (Score 1) 71 71

Lots of great internet stuff requires "being there". Live chats. Live events. Game streaming. It's nothing new and in the right circumstance it works.

The weakest part of YouTube has got to be the comments. They are silent, and they are usually stupid or old or both. Now imagine joining a voice chat (or even text) channel with others sharing a common interest, watching something simulcasted and talking about it in real time, with a person or a mechanism designated to queue up videos. That has possibilities. These don't have to be people you know.

There are already ways to do this, of course. The trick is creating an interface that makes it easy enough for the idea to gain traction.

Comment: This could be very useful (Score 1) 71 71

I won't be quick to dismiss this. One of the downsides of watching internet videos is that you lose out on some of the shared viewing experience. Meanwhile the shared communication experience (voice, Twitter, whatever) is nearing full strength. It would make sense to take advantage of that. There's value in seeing things at once, as a group.

Another example is with online-only shows like House of Cards. It's an excellent show and binge watching is great. But I think Netflix may be missing out on a lot of word of mouth that might come with a shared viewing experience. It might have benefited them if, for example, they had a countdown for each individual episode to become available (with unlimited streaming after), perhaps on a more traditional broadcast schedule. It might improve water cooler discussions.

Comment: Re:Mod parent up. (Score 4, Interesting) 552 552

Secondly, the companies pushing for more visas are NOT doing it because they're looking for the best and the brightest from around the world. They're doing it to drive the price of programming down.

Thank you, I agree.

OK now to muddy the waters with my ignorant thought. Seems to me this isn't the whole story. Since their goal is to spend less money on programmers, the increased tax money from immigrants would be offset by less money moving from the company to the economy. Score one for hiring domestic workers. On the other hand, educated immigrants (also bearing educated children) might improve the economy as a whole, since their presence lowers the cost of doing business while adding new entrepreneurs. This increases the likelihood of companies headquartering in the U.S. rather than somewhere else which, in turn, creates more tax revenue. Score one for immigration.

I really have no clue where this all leads, but at the very least I do agree that we should get companies' intentions straight: They want cheaper workers and they do not value their excellence as much as they say they do.

Comment: Brainwashing (Score 1) 323 323

This makes the sci-fi part of my brain tingle, imagining a scenario where our understanding of the brain becomes so good that behavioral manipulation reaches extraordinary heights. High-precision brainwashing on a grand scale. Who would remain immune to play the role of puppeteer?

It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.

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