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Comment He's almost as bad as Harper... (Score 1) 167

Harper wouldn't even make a fuss about something like that. He'd just bury it in an omnibus bill with little to no debate. In cases where debate was unavoidable, he just used his majority government to play "democracy theatre", where they would sit there for a couple of weeks pretending to listen to, in the case of the "Fair Elections Act" committee for example, 75 witnesses consisting of professors and various other experts in politics and democracy. These witnesses, to a person, explained why the act was an affront against democracy. Afterwards, Harper's committee, having a majority in the committee, simply ignored everything that was said and voted against every single proposal to change the act in any way. Harper then passes it into law and hopes that the Supreme Court of Canada doesn't find it unconstitutional and strike it down (which is really the only way a Harper bill could be stopped).

I watched the whole Fair Elections Act committee proceedings on CPAC, including voting on each of the proposals. At one point just before one of those votes, one of the NDP committee members called the Conservatives out on deliberately curtailing any attempt to alter the Act, with some not nice words aimed at them. When the vote took place immediately after that, one of the Conservatives, when asked for his vote, said, and I quote, "Well, if that's the way you're going to be about this, then I vote no". And that was the point at which I could no longer watch CPAC because it just made me almost physically ill.

Comment The long-form census was just one victim... (Score 1) 284

...of Harper's government. He systematically crippled data-collection in Canada because facts and evidence don't play well with his ideological motives.

To see just how depressingly bad things got under Harper, have a read of this report done by MacClean's: http://www.macleans.ca/news/ca...

Comment Re:A sample of the actual 61-question census (Score 1) 284

Not 40 pages per person. Only a small percentage of people receive the long-form version of the census. The rest of the population receives the regular, shorter version. Consider that I've lived in Canada for 50 years and have never received a long-form census. I'd happily fill it out if I got one. Canadians don't hate it.

Harper has left Canada in a position where its data-collection is seriously crippled. I'm not talking about surveillance, I'm talking about data collection for scientific research, data collection for federal and provincial budget allocations (via the census). There are small towns all over Canada where the government no longer knows how many people live there, what they do for a living, how many go to school, etc. Over nine and a half years, Harper systematically eliminated data-collection mechanisms because facts and evidence were annoying and only interfered with his ideology-based government.

Restoring the mandatory long-form census is an enormous first step in repairing the damage Harper wrought on the country.

Comment Why don't they just do this.. (Score 1) 398

Enough with the stupid web page and TV advertising. Just create a YouTube account for your company or product and make video ads that are entertaining enough that they're likely to spread virally to one degree or another. As a benefit, you're no longer restricted by things like TV content restrictions (so you can make ads like that awesome un-aired Nutrigrain commercial made years ago, which actually increased sales of Nutrigrain bars: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... ). Monetize that YouTube account so you can make money from the views in addition to any money you make from the sales of your product.

No reckless and unwarranted chewing up of users' bandwidth. No malware. I personally could put up with a (skippable) 20-30 second ad in front of YouTube videos to keep YouTube flush.

Can't make entertaining ads? Sucks to be you.

Comment It has its pros and cons... (Score 2) 318

I've been working from home as a salaried employee for the past five and a half years. Prior to that, I worked in an office and commuted for seven years. There are pros and cons to both.

Office: The daily commute, which sucked up two to three hours of my life every day. It was definitely the worst part of my day.
Home: No commute. I spend $20 on gas every two months for short jaunts to the store, etc. The mileage on my car is ridiculously low given its age. I tend to feel less irritable, though that may have other causes.

Office: Fixed work schedule. I consider this a pro.
Home: No fixed work schedule unless you're disciplined enough to establish one (I now am). Without discipline, there is a horrible tendency to either work way too much or work not nearly enough.

Office: Rigidly separates personal life from work life (pro).
Home: No such separation exists unless you are disciplined enough to establish one (I now am). Still, days can sometimes blur together.

Office: With open-floor offices (like the one I worked in), there was always some loud conversation or other disturbance going on nearby that ruined my ability to concentrate. People walked up to me at my desk every day to ask me questions rather than send an email. Lots of unproductive meetings.
Home: Just as many distractions, but different ones (dog barking, people coming to the door, etc). However, I evolved a schedule that shifts the majority of my work time into the night/early morning hours when everything is comparatively quiet. I have far more frequent and more lengthy periods of "zoned" concentration at home than I ever did at an office A secondary benefit here is that I can plan my work around my day rather than the other way around. If I want to take five hours off in the afternoon to go drink a couple of ciders on my patio in the sun, I can do that. Or watch a football game on TV, etc. As long as I put in my eight hours, it's all good. With regard to meetings, there really aren't any other than Skype chat. I have to drive into town once every two or three months for a company meeting, typically only if we have to meet new clients face to face.

Office: Clothing is mandatory.

Comment Are you kidding me? (Score 2) 110

Nothing so emphasizes that I am living in the 21st century as when I'm driving somewhere out in the city and speak "Take me home" into my phone and my phone vocally guides me there step by step. To me, in this day and age, Google Maps + Google Navigate are incredible apps that honestly fill me with awe every time I use them.

Comment Autopilot? (Score 1) 393

Aircraft operate in three dimensions and must take into account various weather conditions, other air traffic, etc. Aircraft have autopilot.

Trains operate for the most part in one dimension are less affected by weather conditions. Aside from maintenance, keeping them operating safely essentially involves controlling one variable: speed. Trains don't have autopilot?

I must be being greatly naive. I must be missing something. Certainly, when an aircraft crashes, it's big news and often fatal for everyone on board. Perhaps this tends to drive research into making planes safer more so than with trains. I mean, how hard could it be to have someone at the controls of a train who is paying attention and isn't at risk of falling asleep at the wheel?

Comment Re:Hardest thing (Score 1) 473

I agree. On large projects, my priorities lead me to write something that works first and then optimise it later if necessary. When there are other people on the project, some of them just can't help but rewrite this function or that function because they were bored and thought of a better way to implement it. This can happen regardless of where the project stands in relation to the shipping date. It's made even worse when some junior programmer does it and fails to actually tell anyone about their changes.

Comment Re:Debugging?? (Score 1) 473

While there are clear-cut steps to diagnosing and fixing bugs, the hard ones are the interrupt- or thread-related bugs that only happen when you are running the release version and that magically hide whenever you make a debug build or try to add code to log information. You're pretty much left with just intuition at that point.

Comment Not the first question that came to my mind... (Score 1) 782

By this point, you're probably asking: does it play games?

No, I am asking, "Does any of this media integration work outside the U.S.?"

Google, for example, likes to go on about the wonderful features of Google Now. Being in Canada, I find that many of those features don't work, like song identification, for example. And tracking my favourite sports teams? Google Now isn't even aware that the Canadian Football League exists.

So why would I expect Xbox One's TV listings to work?

Life. Don't talk to me about life. - Marvin the Paranoid Anroid