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Comment Re:Stupid people are stupid (Score 5, Insightful) 956

Then at least the cops should have taken the time to check to see if there was a CRIME committed before taking the poor kid into custody. That being, you know, their job and all.

Last I checked, building an alarm clock is not a crime. Having it go off in class is disruptive, but also not a crime.

At the very least some sincere apologies are owed the kid from the 'adults' involved.


Comment Welcome to management! (Score 2) 198

Weather or not your overseeing people you are overseeing projects and larger scale strategic strategy, which makes you a manager.

You don't have the luxury anymore of being able to do things yourself. Context switching from strategic to tactical mode and back has a huge cost. Humans suck at multitasking. That's the reason that in most human endeavors over the millennia we've settled on the idea that organizations work most effectively when you have a few people overseeing the larger scale picture and many people managing the day to day tactical situation and reporting the information that the leaders need in order to make decisions up.

You can no more be successful if you're in systems typing ps to discover what's going on as a general can be if they had to write every field report by hand. At best you'll burn yourself out and then everyone will be in trouble.

Instead my advice would be to take this as a coaching opportunity. "Hey, I'd like to take a peek at this config file. Mind bringing it up for me? Ah, see, that's where the problem is, you how that quotation mark is missing? The next line is being included int he string. Thanks, I'll raise a change to fix that." You've just taught someone something. Next time they will remember to check their string terminators. It's a win-win.

And I know this because I was in EXACTLY the same spot and mindset as you about 10 years ago. It's time to shift your mental viewpoint. It's not easy, but the fact that you were given this responsible suggests your fellow leaders believe you're up for it.


Comment Re:You still go through HR for jobs? (Score 1) 242

I suppose you could view it slightly differently as "What is merit". If you define someone's worth solely by the quality and quantity of work they turn out, maybe. The thing is the "who you know" bit often times is a helpful proxy for "soft skills".

As a manager, if one of my team comes up to me and say "Hey, I worked with Joe at Acme, and he worked well with us, turned out high quality code, participated in the scrum, and wrote tight test cases." I'm going to take that interview. Now if Joe was a right asshat, he'd not have gotten the reference.

As a hiring manager, soft skills are important in my team, they reduce friction, and as any engineer knows, friction is wasted energy. Social friction is no different.


Comment Research (Score 1) 373

I recommend Charlie Miller's talk from DC 22 - in which he goes through the architecture of a number of vehicles. His goal was the opposite of yours, to find the most hack-able car to set up for his talk this year (and the preceding Jeep recall) but if you turn the crank in the other direction, you should be able to get to the conclusion you want:


Comment Seems like there's a simple middle ground solution (Score 4, Interesting) 139

Do a timed release. Once the FOIA request is completed, the requester gets X months of exclusivity to publish, and then it gets released publicly. This preserves the inventive for the journalists, while at the same time ensuring that even FOIA requests that don't produce something sexy enough to publish still become public access at the end of the exclusivity period.


Comment Re:Redundant technology (Score 1) 46

Precisely. My job is to run interference for my department, get them the things they need to be able to do their job and keep other depts from asking them questions, because I've answered them at aforementioned meetings.

Actually quite a tough job for an introvert, but I've managed.

That and mentoring the next generation of professionals are my main duties.


Comment Re:Redundant technology (Score 5, Insightful) 46

I've been wearing one since Christmas (thanks Santa!) and I have to say I don't think I'd wanna give it up now. It's a nice to have definitely, rather then a necessity, but so is my smart phone.

I have the type of job with double and triple stacked meetings 8 hrs a day and it's REALLY nice to be able to glance at my watch and find out where I need to be next, what the dial in for the conference bridge is etc without having to pull my phone out of my pocket, unlock it, etc. Means I'm late for fewer meetings.

It's also a lot more socially acceptable in my office at least to glance at a watch and check to see if that new email your phone is buzzing about is important enough to excuse yourself from the meeting or not. Also being able to screen a call without the fuss of pulling out a phone. Glance at the watch, see it's important, excuse myself from the meeting and pull my phone out on the way is a lot less disruptive.

So ya, it's a nice to have, but it's quickly becoming a high priority nice to have. I miss it when I forget to put it on in the morning (like today) because I have too little caffeine in my blood.

Like every other early adopter device, it's got bugs but it's over the "more trouble then it's worth" hurdle for me at least.


Comment Reading between the lines.... (Score 1) 145

This looks like it's more of a play for the embedded systems or IoT space. Look at the examples given, nuclear reactors, IoT, etc. These are specialized systems where it's possible to say "I've monitored the system for x time, and these are the things that should be running. OK, anything new running can't use the disk IO driver to write to the disk".

There was a similar proposal for a device to work on the engine bus but focused on communications. "We monitor the bus for the first X seconds and classify the traffic on it. Then if something new starts talking or an existing player suddenly starts communicating to something it has never talked to, we declare condition red and fire the photon torps."

Hyperbole aside of 100% protection against everything, this is not a bad strategy for very specialized systems. Doesn't do crap for a general purpose computing environment, but as we leverage general purpose OS and off the shelf hardware for more embedded/IoT applications, we begin to have uses for tools that are highly restrictive because the things they're protecting are well defined.


Comment Re:Affirmative Action (Score 2) 529

We could start with a decent family leave system (something half as good as the Nordic Countries and/or Canada)

Funny story - I'm a Canadian working for the Canadian office of a company that's (like most North American wide companies) predominately based in the US. The SHOCK when the US side of my team learned how much time off we get for maternity/paternity leave was amusing, followed by the scramble when they had to back-fill the role.

(For those who are unaware, Canada gives 6 months leave to each the mother and father. They can opt to consolidate that for a full year under the mother at their choice. The government pays full unemployment benefits for the duration and your employer is required to hold your position or equivalent for you, and you continue to accrue seniority/vacation/etc while you're away).


A freelance is one who gets paid by the word -- per piece or perhaps. -- Robert Benchley