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Comment: Don't look at the software yet. (Score 2) 159

by Max Romantschuk (#43634769) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Teach IT To Senior Management?

Your first priority should be to interview people about their needs. Try to get one-on-one face time, and talk about what kind of challenges your company faces. By going to the end users you'll be better equipped to both help management select a suitable package, and motivat people to use it by being able to say: "Remember that problem we were talking about? You can use this software to solve it now, let me show you how."

Another very important thing is to do regular follow-up on how people are using the software. A common mistake is to provide the tool only to realize months later people aren't using it.

Far too much in IT is techology-centric. Techology should be people-centric. By going users first I can practically guarantee you'll have a greater chance of success.

Comment: As a father (Score 5, Insightful) 345

by Max Romantschuk (#42012721) Attached to: David Cameron 'Orders New Curbs On Internet Porn'

I really really hope my kids rather watch porn than all the violent entertainment which for whatever twisted reason seems to be OK accoriding to society.

I simply don't undertand how consentual sex could possibly do more harm than violence.

The best advice about porn that I got as an adolescent was really simple: Watch all the porn you want, don't just confuse it with real life. (99% of all porn is rather unrealistic fantasy, after all.)

Comment: Social gaming (Score 1) 368

by Max Romantschuk (#41788935) Attached to: Wired Proclaims the Death of the Game Console

I find that the reasons that I favor consoles in our family is simply that it get's us in the same room around the same screen doing something that is important to human beings: Interacting socially.

Just today my kids were playing New Super Mario Bros on the Wii. Are tha graphics great? No. Is it a cutting edge and super innovative game? No. But do they get along better than one of them hogging the Android tablet and shoving the others away? Hell yes.

Do I think phones/tablets will replace consoles? Definitely. But only once we can (hopefully wirelessly) connect them to the TV and the controllers. Playing alone sucks.

Your Rights Online

+ - Amazon wipes Kindle account of Norwegian customer and refuses to tell why->

Submitted by
Max Romantschuk
Max Romantschuk writes "Martin Bekkelund writes about his friend Linn, who had her Kindle wiped and account closed by Amazon, with Amazon refusing to say why. The only thing Amazon is saying seems to be that 'We have found your account is directly related to another which has been previously closed for abuse of our policies. As such, your Amazon.co.uk account has been closed and any open orders have been cancelled.' According to the blog post, Linn has only ever had a single Amazon account and has no idea how she could have done somethwing wrong.

Can we really trust corporations to wield this much power, while providing no transparency at all?"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Winter Biking? (Score 4, Interesting) 342

by Max Romantschuk (#41648699) Attached to: As Gas Prices Soar So Does City Biking

I live in the Helsinki area in Finland, and while for the most part Bike access is OK it seems the winters are almost impossible to solve. I used to bike all year round, and while it's quite enjoyable with the right equipment I kept running into the problem that the roads were plowed first and the bike lanes much later in the day, or sometimes not at all.

Does anyone live in a city where the winter biking thing actually works? (One with snowfall, that is.) Just curious, really.

Comment: Re:Several times a day (Score 1) 182

by Max Romantschuk (#41639769) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Often Do You Push To Production?

Why? Mostly because it causes little damage and shortens our feedback cycle, which is a significant benefit. Of course, the fact that our system is internal is a major factor. It's not really a software product in the traditional sense.

We do have a no-deployment window after 2pm and friday-sunday. That makes sure any new code is in production a couple of hours before our team is no longer on site. Deploying and leaving immidiately is not allowed.

Comment: Several times a day (Score 1) 182

by Max Romantschuk (#41622173) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Often Do You Push To Production?

At Verkkokauppa.com we deploy several times a day. Our team is fortunate enough to work on our own system, so for small features or bug fixes the turnaround can be as little as minutes.

For us the most important tool is Git. We have a logging mechanism in our deployments scripts whish logs who deployed which version of the code base (SHA1 hash) and when. If we do manage to break something we simply immediately return to the last known good version by checking it out and deploying it. Then we have a lockout policy that prevents futher deployment until the bug is fixed.

On rare occations we have had to do reverts, but only a couple of times over the course of several years.

Other valuable assets that keep us agile deployment-wise is having the whole team physically in one place, and most of our stakeholders in the same building. We also use Jabber internally to make it even easier to communicate on those occations when face-to-face is not possible.

We also use Scrum, but this is a rather recent development, and we did mange the same deployment policy before we switched to Scrum. A continuous integration environment is in use, and does help keep things in order. But for minor features and tweaks with few stakeholders it's not entierly uncommon to simply deploy and communicate with the users directly to check if everything works as expected.

The fact that there is one installation of the system is a major asset. We really never have to deal with versioning. The current version is simply the HEAD commit on the master branch.

Comment: "gone a bit too far"? (Score 3, Insightful) 89

I personally would like to know and hold my government responsible for things like this. In theory one might argue that given a sutable warrant it might be perfectly reasonable to monitor someone. The German people have a right to know what their government is doing IMHO.

I guess the culture in Europe vs. the U.S. is probably quite different... But no matter what the reasons transparency is almost always better than the opposite.

Wikipedia

+ - Wikipedia-sponsored 'pilot study' lauds Wikipedia accuracy ->

Submitted by
netbuzz
netbuzz writes "The Wikimedia Foundation today is releasing the results of a “pilot study” it commissioned last year to assess the accuracy and quality of Wikipedia in such a way that it would provide a methodology blueprint for others do more thorough reviews of online encyclopedias. The results are in, and despite ready acknowledgement of the small sample size and paragraphs worth of other caveats, the parents of Wikipedia can’t help but note that its baby was judged to have outperformed other online encyclopedias, including Encyclopaedia Britannica, in three different languages. Britannica, which disputed the Wikipedia-friendly results of a much-cited Fortune comparison report back in 2005, has yet to offer a reply to this one."
Link to Original Source

Comment: How do we, as consumers, benefit from all this? (Score 5, Insightful) 354

by Max Romantschuk (#40841391) Attached to: Samsung Admonished For Releasing Rejected Evidence

I don't really care that much how the trial pans out... But I do care about the fact that it seems like this trial is hurting my choices as a consumer. I like choice. From what I can see Apple is trying reeeeally hard to show that they should own a bunch of really nice UI ideas. Or that a touchscreen filling most of the user facing side of the phone is their idea? Frankly, the whole thing seems ridiculous.

Recently I've been looking at buying an IP67-grade Android phone. AFAIK Apple has no plans to make the iPhone waterproof and dustproof. So if Apple has it's way either I buy a UI-crippled phone, or an iPhone which doesn't fit my requirements?

Legislation should exist to benefit society, not to maximize profits for a select few corporate entities.

After any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the month than you did before.

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