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Comment Empowerment. (Score 1) 260

The problem usually comes down to personal empowerment. Perks such as free food and other niceties while are perks comparing one company to an other. But the real issue is allowing employees to have control of their work and their careers.
People have different motivations. Sometimes it is just financial substantial raise, enough to change their quality of life. Sometimes it may just be less of a raise and changes in title where they may have will have more say in how things are done.
Promotions need to mean different responsibilities, responsibilities that are more unique to the organization, not just adding more work, or attending more meetings.
An environment needs to be made, so someone can feel comfortable expressing their ideas and know that they are considered fairly.

Comment Re:Major disconnect from layers (Score 1) 260

And yet, I'm pretty sure Boeing's CEO doesn't order the employees to start building planes without wings (I don't care, just do it! You're the engineer, you make it work or I'll find another that will!) Something tells me he knows planes a bit better than "not at all, really".

Sure, but he doesn't actually need to if he's smart enough to listen to the people who work for him. You ask your engineers about engineering changes. You ask bean counters about counting beans. A company the size of Boeing does a feasibility study before they change toilet tissues.

Comment Re:DDoS? (Score 1) 34

Don't waste your time, friend. No matter how cogent you are, APK will seize upon any minor point, declare victory, and shit all over the table. If you agree with him on one thing you must agree with him on all things or be a hypocrite. He's hardly the only insane bugger on Slashdot, though, so it's not even work poking him with a stick.

Comment Re:Major disconnect from layers (Score 4, Insightful) 260

It's a huge problem when the CIO isn't an engineer. That's simply a disaster in glorious slow-motion Technicolor. Look at the time-lapse downfall of HP from a respected engineering company to one that's known today only for selling printers that are cheaper than their overpriced ink. (Thanks, Carly, I'm sure this country could use a genius of your caliber at the helm.)

But the more common source of discontent happens when developers are tossed a pile of requirements and told "shut up and make this X." Every developer I've known will have serious questions about those requirements, because they're always filled with errors and inconsistencies. In most cases the flaws are not evident until after development has progressed beyond the Rubicon. Being able to discuss the requirements with the stakeholder, to make suggestions on how to improve the product, to develop the best possible X to further the business, that's what developers crave. Give them that, and a steady paycheck, and you have happy people with satisfying jobs.

And if you tell them "hand this coding over to Haich WunBee over at Outsorcery, Inc.", don't be surprised if satisfaction drops.

Comment Re:or else what, exactly? (Score 5, Insightful) 211

I also believe that to date the FCC has received zero actually complaints about someone illegally modify current routers. So in attempting to address this imagined problem the FCC is going to enlarge a gigantic real problem (ie unpatched routers).

There's the clue to "follow the money." If this isn't a real problem, it's likely legislation that's been written by some big company whose profit model is threatened by open source. Look for the sponsors to be Cisco or Belkin, someone who would benefit by selling you replacement hardware if their old hardware gets hacked.

And that suggests a potential cure.

If this is to go forward, it needs to come with a big safety, hacking, and consumer safety clause, something like "Due to the restrictive nature of this rule, the vendors of devices subject to these restrictions must offer a free 20 year warranty repair or replacement of any device found to have a flaw in either the hardware or the software included with the device, including any flaws that expose the device to unauthorized access or use. This replacement must include free shipping of the replacement part, free return shipping of the failing device, and free on-site installation of the replacement device. If repairs can be made via software update, the manufacturer may opt to update all affected machines remotely. All such repairs must be completed within one month of the FCC being made aware of the flaw. This free service must be extended for 20 years from the date of the device registration with the FCC. Any company who dissolves or reorganizes before the 20 year span expires will automatically transfer the liability for free replacements to the majority acquirer of their assets. Non-compliance with this law will result in fines to the manufacturers and distributors of these devices equal to twice the retail purchase price at the date of the sale of the first device multiplied by the quantity of devices manufactured, with the fines to be disbursed equally to customers who physically present the device to an authorized FCC representative, and the FCC."

If they still want this law when it includes a poison pill like this, then we'll all be cheering for bugs to be found every month so we can get another "router check" from them.

Comment Re:Backtrack is not a tool (Score 1) 34

From the students' paper:

Experiment Configuration

The student team had freedom to choose any network traffic capture tool for their study. The tools and environment used by the students included a Lenovo attack laptop running Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro, Sun Virtual box (version: 4.3.8) with BackTrack 5 Release 3, iStan medical mannequin, iStan laptop running OSX Lepord (version: 10.5.2), iStan Muse software (version: 2.1), and a monitor used to display the mannequin’s vitals to the medical trainees utilizing Touch Pro display software 2.0

They used a BackTrack distro. Perhaps your problem is Slashdot's editor referring to what would more properly be called a "toolbox full of tools" as simply "tools"?

My problem isn't the description at all. It's that the front end to iStan runs in Adobe Flash, and these students somehow got credit for "hacking" it. That's like asking a 300# professional football lineman to tackle a grade school quarterback during a game of flag football.

Comment Re:Same issues (Score 2) 141

What do you mean "most"? I put Economists in the same fraudster category as Psychics and Clergy and Life Coaches (and somewhat worse than Psychologists). Lets not do anything that might pretend to legitimize these can artists.

Despite the examples set by the economists visible in government roles, private economists are actually proving to be valuable in certain sectors; specifically, MMORPGs. Bringing in an economist to help set up, monitor, and maintain the currencies, item prices, trade values, treasure drops, etc., can make the difference between a fun game and an endless grind.

Comment Re:results, not theories (Score 1) 141

You're right. Neural networks are trained to spot only outcomes, and don't understand the inputs. Economists try to put human behaviors and motivations into selecting their equations, and when they find an equation that matches reality, they claim to have modeled the behavior. But the "math problem" isn't the real problem here.

Regardless of how these equations are arrived at, whether it be from some economist or from some neural network, the next step is for someone to exploit them for gain. "Hey, if we buy and sell X really rapidly, we'll trigger their logic into reacting on Y, at which point Z will drop and we can buy it for profit." This directly alters the system they were modeling.

This equation may work for a few trades, and some quants will get richer, but then the secret is out. As more people attempt to exploit the new algorithm, the activity that was keeping the market in check modifies itself to chase the new source of profits, and the entire system returns to the prior state of equilibrium.

The real trick, then, is to produce market-unbalancing models on a daily basis. Maybe machine learning is faster than the quants, and can solve that problem.

Comment Re:Doesn't Predate Mohammed (Score 1) 597

Well, for one thing, because I'm not in fact under a rock. I'm not saying there aren't any muslims that aren't good, honest, and peaceful, but if they are, it is _despite_ their religion, not because of it. It is because they are, in all but name, apostate - they have left the core tenets of their faith behind and are living, by any non-islamic standard, decent lives. Great, more power to them!

But there are other muslims who are perfectly happy to do all those bad things I've mentioned and more, in the name of their faith, and they have ample support in the holy texts of islam. All that text is publicly available, you know - we can read it too, and it is really easy to understand where ISIS gets its inspiration when it burns a few prisoners or destroys ancient monuments.

The discovery of this document is actually a great opportunity for islam. It removes just one single fact - the absolute authority of mohamed. If he was so clearly 'mistaken' about the origin of the texts, maybe he was also making the rest up? Maybe he is in fact not a prophet at all, but an imposter, who took an earlier, gentler islam and transformed it into the warlike monstrosity it is today. If you are a muslim, wouldn't you want to know?

At least the world is not going to blame the muslims for shaving some of the sharper edges of their religion, I can tell you that.

Why, by the way, do you assume I'm Christian, and not for example hindu, Jewish, shintoist, Buddhist, or atheist?

Comment Re:C++, hands down (Score 1) 426

I agree on the templates, but I thought we were discussing issues that were specific to C++11 (and later). In general, I find that auto, the range-based for loop, lambdas, deleted functions, override, etc. as well as the new additions to STL all vastly improve code quality. Move semantics, once I understood what it was, felt like a hole I never knew was there that was finally filled.

Comment Re:Same issues (Score 1) 141

> Isn't this the same as having economists doing the work, just faster?

Of course not! A machine is a cold, emotionless, insensitive, empathy-deprived entity, while an economist...

Hmm, it really is the same...

In other words, instead of calling it "the dismal science", we should be calling them "the dismal scientists".

"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined." -- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_