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Comment Re: Management structure and meritocracy (Score 1) 134

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 4, Insightful) 134

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) 131

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.

Comment Re:How is this newsworthy? (Score 1) 286

Not everyone can; in most European countries guns are strictly regulated. But it sure looks like 3d printed guns are improving; I expect that they will soon be more reliable than what a regular person can cobble together himself. Not reliable enough to fire 100 rounds at the range every week, and certainly not better than real guns, but better than a baseball bat for home defense in countries where you're not allowed to have a firearm of any kind.

Of course for this design you'll still need a barrel, which is a strictly controlled part in such countries, and which can't be 3d-printed reliably even for .22lr rounds. Oh, and you'll need ammo. Not easy to get either. Unless you manage to convince that Romanian bloke in the pub down the road. And in that case he'll probably sell you a perfectly good "real" firearm as well.

Comment Re:Require that patents be defended (Score 3, Interesting) 130

That doesn't solve anything, this isn't just about submarine patents. As soon as a patent troll is awarded their patent on "Activity X that has been practised for millennia, but on the Internet", they can start "defending" it by having their lawyer sent letters to any infringing party who started using it after the application was filed.

Maybe we shouldn't have software patents at all, nor award patents on stupid, trivial stuff. Or, since it is rather hard to define exactly what is trivial and what isn't, we could adjust the duration of a patent instead. Invest a few billion in discovering a new medicine, and yeah maybe you deserve a couple of patents with a long validity. Spend a few million on a think tank to come up with good ideas, and you'd deserve some patents with a duration that depends on how good those ideas are. Be the first to come up with a clever little algo in the course of your normal work, and maybe you ought to get a patent as well even if it's for something more or less "obvious to someone skilled in the arts"... but only one valid for a few years.

Comment Re:Yeah, automated tweeting to PR mouthpiece... (Score 3, Interesting) 153

For a simple speed test the Raspberry Pi might well suffice. I'd be interested in this Internet monitor if it could perform a few more checks. We offer WiFi in a few of our rental properties, and it's frustrating when the tenants complain about intermittent connectivity issues or slowness: by the time I get to the property, the problems have of course magically disappeared. Besides I don't want to get up at all hours to go and check the equipment. Would be great to have a Raspberry Pi monitoring the WiFi and wired connections and performance, logging the results.

Comment Re:What could go wrong (Score 1) 405

Re. Point 4, the key factor is how durable the solar panel surface is compared to regular roads. Servicing roads comes with a ton of hidden costs in the form of increased traffic jams or long detours when a road is (partially) closed. If solar roads have to be resurfaced much more often than regular roads, it quickly becomes an unattractive option.

Comment Re:Because that would be unimaginable CENSORSHIP? (Score 5, Insightful) 828

Free speech means that you are free to say whatever you want. But it does not place any entity, private or public, under any obligation to offer you a platform. If Twitter decides to censor Trump, that's censorship, but it's not unimaginable since it's a private company. They are free to censor him because they think his views are bad, because they hate his guts, or because it's a full moon on Saturday.

Comment Re: Not 12 euros... (Score 1) 208

"The empowered far-right" refers to democratic parties, not skinheads and criminals. And they are bolstered by the ongoing immigration crisis and the total absence of adequate measures to prevent or mitigate the resulting problems. Worried but otherwise moderate people are increasingly voicing support for what is termed the "far right" because none of the other parties appear to be interested in taking action.

By the way, that has nothing to do with the inability to differentiate between individuals and groups. Moderate, reasonable people know the distinction and while they may (rightly) fear the problems of mass immigration, that does not mean they have anything against individual immigrants, against the group of immigrants who are here already, or against bona fide refugees. It does not mean that they are xenofobes who hate foreigners or their culture. They just want less immigration overall as they see the effect it is starting to have on their countries' culture, safety and finances. And some don't even want less immigration but stricter selection and integration processes, and effective repatriation policies.

Comment Re:Fools think this is horrible. (Score 4, Interesting) 442

And since we now have face recognition, everyone who displays their face in plain view have no expectation of privacy either. If you don't want to be tracked, it's a burqa for you... or you can just keep walking with your head up your arse, I suppose.

Over here, privacy laws make a clear distinction between data being available, and the acts of collecting, processing and sharing that data. Each of those acts is strictly regulated, and the fact that your license plate is always in full view doesn't mean that everyone has the right to track your whereabouts 24/7. In this case, the idea behind this setup (catching outstanding fines with a license plate reader) does not clash with principles of good privacy, but the implementation does: a private company having access to that list of deadbeats, for instance. I would expect the police to (be ordered to) demand a system that is under their full control, with no 3rd parties having access to any of the data.

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