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Comment: Re:Brain drain (Score 1) 38

by hey! (#49168025) Attached to: Marissa Mayer On Turning Around Yahoo

Well... maybe there's some kind of model in which you would actually look forward to seeing your colleagues in person.

Personally, I've done in both ways. When my partner and I sold our business to a company that was on the other side of the country, I no longer had a two hour a day commute, which was awesome. I also didn't have a team I saw in person every day, which I very quickly grew to miss. And I'm not the most sociable person in the world. I'm more than glad to spend a few days or even weeks working by myself. But as weeks stretched into months, with only emails, teleconferencing, and the occasional cross-country flight, I grew to hate telecommuting. It's great to be able to do it even a couple of days a week, but if I had the choice of woking in bathrobe in the spare bedroom ALL the time or spending two hours in the car EVERY day, I'd go with the commute.

If I were starting another company, I think one of my priorities would be to make being there fun, stimulating, and personally rewarding. I'd make it possible to telecommute, but if people began to see it as their primary mode of working I'd consider that a red flag.

Comment: Re:Oh just stop already (Score 5, Insightful) 180

by hey! (#49164973) Attached to: That U2 Apple Stunt Wasn't the Disaster You Might Think It Was

Music, like sex, is a young person's affair. Just drop it after 40, nobody wants to hear it, and no one wants to think about it.

Hey kids! Old guy here dropping in just to let you know that contrary to what AC claims, you'll still like sex and music even when you're over fifty. You just won't be staying up late to enjoy them.

Since I'm here I might as well give you a heads up on some of the things that will change. On the sex front, expect your standards for what is "hot enough to do" to fall straight through the floor. I know this sounds awful to you now, but trust me on this, you've got hold of the wrong end of that stick.

On the music front, at a certain age most people stop being interested in listening anything new. However that age isn't 40; it's more like 22. And notice I said "most". If you make it to, say 26 years old and are still listening to new music, you'll still be doing that at 50.

And same goes for being a miserable person. I know the stereotype is that older people are miserable, but trust me, most miserable older people were miserable young people. They just let it out more, because as you get older you have fewer inhibitions (see the point about sex above).

Anyhow, thought I'd let you know that getting older isn't bad at all, and it sure as hell beats the alternative.

Comment: It's a little unseemly. (Score 1) 211

by hey! (#49164501) Attached to: Spock and the Legacy of Star Trek

The sad loss of a beloved actor shouldn't be a springboard for fanboy hate of J.J. Abrams.

For what it's worth, I think the writers and the actors in the Abrams' movies really get Star Trek. Maybe not so much the director, whose lack of affection for the franchise shows. But even though the aesthetics may not be very Trek, the fundamental Trek ethos that Leonard Nimoy was so essential to establishing was there in the scripts and performances. And that ethos is still something worth studying.

We have managed to turn "diversity" into an hollow slogan; a catchphrase that represents a kind of bean counting of superficial categories. I remember one startup environmental organization I worked for where we had just hired a young man from Mexico City. The founder, an unquestionably brilliant man, was literally rubbing his hands together in glee as he toted up his diversity: one latino male, one asian male (me), one black (African) female, four caucasian females and three caucasian males. And I was thinking, "Yeah, but except for me everyone comes from the same graduate program in environmental studies you founded." What's more except for him and me they all came from the same comfortable middle to upper-middle class background -- people who never had to worry about money. Groupthink was a huge problem, but nobody else saw that until the day they suddenly realized they weren't going to be able to make payroll. Maybe a business major or two on the payroll would have been a good idea...

Star Trek shows a cast of characters who may all have gone to the same school, but think radically different from each other. Nonetheless they manage to work together and are better, more capable people because of that. That's what diversity is really about: working with people who have different viewpoints and attitudes.. Kirk and Spock are the the toughest nuts to crack, because they both have a tendency toward arrogant, even smug confidence in their own judgment. Trust me, you wouldn't want to work for either of these two characters if they didn't have each other.

Aristotle posited three levels of friendship, that of convenience, of pleasure, and of virtue. In the virtuous friendship, your friend is "a second self" -- that is you pursue his welfare as an intrinsic rather than an instrumental good, just as you pursue your own welfare. He valued virtuous friendship even above justice, because it holds society together in ways that even justice cannot. But he missed another point which the Kirk/Spock friendship illustrates: a friend is a doorway into a better appreciation of objective reality. You cannot dismiss the viewpoint of "second self" as easily as you would someone else's opinions.

So again from what it's worth the writers of the Abrams reboot movies really understand this virtuous friendship dynamic, and especially do a nice job with the humorous touches. The overall stories were a bit mediocre, but the character based stuff was top-notch and true to the spirit of TOS.

To bring this back to Leonard Nimoy, others deserve some credit in creating Spock -- the writers, directors and of course Gene Roddenberry. But Nimoy's performance is what brought Spock to life. It's one of those instances of theatrical magic where an actor becomes the character, and banishes any awareness that you're watching someone playing a role. That's a big part of what makes Spock so relatable.

Comment: Re:Best idea is not to hide. (Score 1) 201

The problem is that zombies either bite and infect or bite and kill/eat. From watching the various movies and TV shows, the bite and infect starts for the first few generations of the disease but turns to bite and kill once there's a sufficient number of infected. Thus the number of people that are infected are lower and the number of people that are infected and mobile (still have legs/arms) is probably lower still. The WWZ movie makes the infection almost instantaneous which allows you to boost the number of bite and infect, but almost nobody else (even the book) shows the disease infecting that quickly.

+ - Can anyone suggest a credential escrow service? 4

Submitted by talexb
talexb (223672) writes "I have a web site client who would like to have login credentials to take over their web site in the event that I get hit by a truck (heaven forbid). I'm happy to give them this information, but I worry about unauthorized use — the well-meaning client gives them to a friend 'just to look around' and the friend does something that breaks a production web site (yes, I have backups). I'd love to have that information stored somewhere on the web, in a way that's protected and secure, yet easily available by the right person with the right passphrase."

Comment: Re:Isis (Score 1) 429

Oh, certainly. My point is not that they are harmless, or that their aims are noble(they aren't, and if they could they'd continue expanding until they ran out of room and/or infidels); but that this ideological commitment to territorial expansion also has downsides for them.

Since their desire is to expand(and their continued legitimacy as a 'caliphate' depends on it), they can expect basically all their neighbors to be frosty at best. The ones that aren't Real True Muslims can expect to have their heads sawed off and used to make snuff films, so they aren't going to be too happy, and will have a strong incentive to fight like their lives depend on it, because they do, and even the Real True Muslims can, at best, land an Emirate or similar subservient status. If the alternative is losing power entirely, they'll probably go for it; but they certainly won't like the idea. Aside from ensuring that local politics remain ugly, the enthusiasm for territory also requires a comparatively large amount of manpower dedicated to fighting relatively conventional battles for borders as well as doing boring but necessary administration and governance stuff. And, in addition to there being nothing quite like really, really, boring bureaucratic work to cool some hormonal, maladjusted 18-20something's zeal for Jihad, people fighting comparatively conventionally to take or hold territory are the type of army that we have the best shot at picking off from the air. They probably won't oblige us by behaving exactly like 1970s commies, only lower budget; but they aren't going to take and hold a contiguous nation-state without at least periods of relatively conventional warfare, of the kind the air force just smiles really wide when it looks down upon.

They can still be nasty fuckers, and they are; but their ability to focus on the 'far enemy' (ie. us) is pretty small compared to their ability to focus on the 'near enemy'(every last person who ended up on the wrong side of a nasty little tribal feud in the middle east). Not necessarily zero; but very low per unit manpower and resources.

Contrast to classic Al Qaeda, or the assorted islamist militants that Pakistan's ISI cultivates for use as proxies against India: such groups have no particular territorial ambitions, they just need some basic office and living space, they are generally at least somewhat willing to be 'ecumenical' about various internecine disputes as long as there are Americans and Jews and so on to attend to. Much less dramatic, in terms of capturing locations with actual place names and generally acting like a state; but much more flexible in their ability, and willingness, to deploy resources against soft targets wherever the opportunity arises, and much trickier to root out, since they both look much more like civilians and have a much better chance of having good relationships with at least one host country.

I would definitely agree that IS showing signs of actually expanding out of their little shithole would be Bad; but unless they can do that, their expansionist desires actually make them somewhat less risky to our interests because they'll be focused on slugging it out with their neighbors, rather than blowing up targets of opportunity worldwide. (Very, very, cynically, an IS that fails to expand might even have some benefits: if you want to remain even a nominally liberal democracy, you can't really do anything about religious wackjobs who hate you and your civilization; but live there anyway for some reason, until they actually do something criminal. If, suddenly, their most-likely-to-be-violent and/or most zealous people voluntarily start emigrating to some hellhole to get themselves killed, well, sucks for the neighbors; but some of your problems are now solving themselves.)

Comment: Re:Isis (Score 2) 429

We're all in ISIS' gunsights. It's just a question of who's first

That isn't entirely false, in that they'd be more than happy continue their merry little campaign unto victory or death; but it's a fairly shoddy version of true.

ISIS are a bunch of sociopathically bad neighbors; but their ambition to 'caliphate'(which implies and requires acquisition and effective control and administration of territory) makes them rather more locally focused than an outfit like Al Quaeda. As does their (admittedly gruesome) enthusiasm for settling local grudge matches with Shia and various other groups they deem heterodox. It doesn't make them nice; but it does make them more likely to spend their time on local bloodletting rather than international plotting, and it makes them so uncompromising that they aren't particularly good allies, even of the most cynical convenience, for anyone. They've made it fairly clear that anyone who isn't the correct flavor of muslim is definitely off the table, and they don't call their little strip of sand "The Islamic State" as a gesture of cooperation with other nominally-islamic states in the region, who are unlikely to take being called illegitimate very well.

C for yourself.