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Comment: Re:The Job Title doesn't matter.... (Score 2) 131

by JaredOfEuropa (#49378681) Attached to: IT Jobs With the Best (and Worst) ROI
There is a problem with the IT or technical ladder itself in many companies where IT is not core business (and even in some where it is). The ladder can be rather short: Junior / Medior / Senior tech (and senior can be someone with as little as 5 years experience), then you basically leave tech and be project manager, line manager or the manager of a division or competence center or some such. A few rock stars may stay in tech as Principal Consultants, but those are rare (and often not promoted from within).

In many companies, there will be a few clever techies who are recognized as being very knowledgable in their own area of expertise as well as having a wider and forward looking view, and who are consulted on where to head the company's strategic direction. Such a techie may be promoted to management (and possibly do a crap job at the people and process aspects of that), or the existing manager may continue to draw upon his best techies to help him strategize, but why not turn it into a role? Some companies do, but I don't see it very often and it's a shame, because it can be a very nice role for a senior tech to be promoted into, increasing his value to the company as well.

Comment: Re:QuikClot and Celox (Score 1) 76

If it's between a slight possibility of an allergic reaction or a high likelihood of bleeding to death, the choice is simple. The prevalence of shellfish allergy seems to be under 2% anyway. In that light, it might be good to keep this stuff in public buildings next to the AED (if the shelf life isn't too short). More people die from blood loss after a bad cut than you might think, because it takes time for paramedics to arrive and few people know how to properly stanch a wound.

Comment: Re:Ikea good points (Score 4, Insightful) 70

by JaredOfEuropa (#49361451) Attached to: Ikea Refugee Shelter Entering Production
You don't need to have the best quality or be the cheapest, even from a customer perspective. As long as you offer the best value for money. Ikea does pretty good there as long as you know what to buy there and what to avoid. And don;t forget to put a price on convenience: instead of waiting 4-8 weeks for your new stuff, you get to take it home and use it right away (some assembly required). That's very useful... we use Ikea all the time in rental properties that need to be furnished on short notice.

Comment: Re:God I wish we'd stop hearing this myth. (Score 1) 400

by JaredOfEuropa (#49352783) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US
Exactly. And I see the same happening over here with teaching "critical thinking". It's important, but it got turned into the idea that questioning everything makes one a critical thinker. A college professor in history once told me he gave a guest lecture at a high school. The kids kept challenging him on points during his lecture, and at the end of class, the regular teacher proudly noted how critical the children were and didn't take everything from an authority figure at face value. To which the professor replied: "Yes, but it's a shame they know bugger all about history".

Some of this attitude carries over when these kids graduate and get a job. They're highly vocal and opinionated, but they are equally noisy on topics they have no knowledge on as they are within their own area of expertise. Thankfully, most of them quickly learn better, but sadly some of them are perceived as "strong decision-makers" (whatever the hell that means) and promoted to management, where their unfounded opinions actually do damage.

Comment: Re:And as an employer... (Score 2, Informative) 400

by JaredOfEuropa (#49352707) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US
We tried this in the Netherlands in the 80s, and it didn't work. Only a handful of jobs were created; instead productivity was increased by 20% (let people work less but keep their workload the same, and don't pay overtime...over time, employers and employees figured out how to do the same job in less time) The effects of a shorter work week probably vary a lot between industries. In services, you may see hardly any increase, also because a lot of the work is knowledge work and communications, and adding extra people to the team to make up for lost hours will certainly decrease productivity. In manufacturing however, it may be easy to slot in extra workers working shorter hours, while increasing productivity is not something easily done.

And GP is right: hiring 5 guys at 80% instead of 4 full time guys may well increase overall cost, because of the effects of tax and wage regulations.

Comment: Re:Or... (Score 1) 47

by JaredOfEuropa (#49350135) Attached to: Dueling Home Automation Systems at SXSW (Video)
A coupe of examples:
- Light recipes. Especially in the living room where there are many lights all around the room, including some Philips Hue bulbs that can change color. Instead of having to set all of them for dinner, sitting around or movie night or whatever, 1 button does it all. And it works with the media player, put that on pause and the lights dim up a bit
- Heating in certain rooms is turned off when not in use, and turned on automatically when someone is there. This saves a little on the heating bill.
- Irrigation in the greenhouse is fully automatic.
- If I go to bed, I get a warning if there are still doors unlocked.
- When leaving the house, 1 button switches of all lights, heating and airco.
- Notifications on my smart phone in case a smoke detector or flood sensor is tripped. The smoke detectors will also trip all lights.
Stuff like that. Nothing life-changing, but those little conveniences do add up and if the hub is offline for whatever reason, we start missing them...

Comment: Re:GCHQ has realized they can track Bitcoin, I bet (Score 2) 42

by JaredOfEuropa (#49343501) Attached to: UK Setting Itself Up To Be More Friendly To Bitcoin Startups
How is it not anonymous? A wallet is just as anonymous as a numbered account, with the difference that no entity has a record of who owns which wallet (unlike bank accounts). Oh, I am sure clever law enforcement agencies are able to combine data and tie a wallet to a specific person, but for day to day cases, no one knows who owns wallet XYZ, and I do not need to present any proof of identity to get my own wallet. So: anonymous.

The transactions are public. But that has nothing to do with anonymity of the accounts.

Comment: Re:GCHQ has realized they can track Bitcoin, I bet (Score 1) 42

by JaredOfEuropa (#49342947) Attached to: UK Setting Itself Up To Be More Friendly To Bitcoin Startups
Good for them. I'm still struggling to see what the benefit for me would be? I have little need for making anonymous payments, and international transfers are reasonably fast, cheap and convenient these days. One benefit is not having to give online merchants my full credit card details, but for local purchases iDeal (the Dutch banks' online payment solution) is better, and for international orders I can almost always use PayPal for that. Beats mucking around with out of date block chains and/or crooked exchanges (though some people would put Paypal in that category).

Comment: Re:Or... (Score 4, Insightful) 47

by JaredOfEuropa (#49339633) Attached to: Dueling Home Automation Systems at SXSW (Video)
Let's get this ever-recurring debate out of the way. Why would one want Home Automation at all? Answer: it's a hobby, get over it. It adds some convenience and security, and these days it's reliable and easy enough to use; a well designed system will keep working and keep being used with a minimum of maintenance. But the cost doesn't really justify the expense at the current state of the art... unless you see it as a hobby on which to blow some cash.

Comment: No hub = no home automation (Score 3, Insightful) 47

by JaredOfEuropa (#49339557) Attached to: Dueling Home Automation Systems at SXSW (Video)
If you don't have a hub, or if you are using your mobile phone as one, then you don't have home automation but integrated remote control only. You need a hub to build some intelligence into the system, and have it work for other members of the household as well as yourself, and have it work when you are not at home. A mobile phone makes for a great way to remotely control your smart home, but a good smart home works without it. I use my phone for remote access, but for day to day stuff when I am at home I prefer dedicated remotes and switches.

And the cloud? This stuff needs to remain private and has no place in the cloud. Another good reason to do HA using a hub that you own and control.

Comment: Re:my experience: (Score 1) 269

by JaredOfEuropa (#49336139) Attached to: Developers and the Fear of Apple
I fully agree that the 30% cut is not excessive for what it offers. In addition to distribution and payment, they also take care of VAT headaches and legal matters. And in some cases, the stringent curation works in my favour: people might have been hesitant to enter personal info or account credentials in my app if it came from some random website, but the fact that Apple has checked things out makes people more confident to buy and use my app. (I've no idea to what extent Apple actually checks)

Committees have become so important nowadays that subcommittees have to be appointed to do the work.