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Comment: I don't really see what the big deal is. (Score 1) 1651

by MrCrassic (#41523671) Attached to: To Encourage Biking, Lose the Helmets
Indeed, truly horrible accidents where helmets make the difference between life and death are pretty rare. Possibly more rare than airplanes making water landings or horrible car accidents. However, if we're fine with (and prefer) conceding to the last two scenarios, why is wearing a small thing like a helmet such a big deal?

Perhaps the author (thankfully) hasn't seen how much a helmet works, but I, and many others, who commute and ride often have certain been in such situations. They work.

I do think that a lot of serious accidents and fatalities are due to cyclists doing completely stupid things like riding against traffic on a major road or blowing stop lights (without looking!) in areas with high car traffic.

Comment: Most definitely. (Score 1) 287

by MrCrassic (#41176819) Attached to: Is Innovation the Most Abused Word In Business?
It's kind of ironic that the companies that talk about innovating the most are usually the companies that also internally stifle it the most. It is extremely hard to "innovate" with tight and usually colluding deadlines, little room for error and little breathing room from heavy-handed "auditing."

Coming up with new and cool ideas requires time and room for mistakes. These cost money. Bigger companies can't have that.

Comment: Completely correct. (Score 1, Informative) 404

by MrCrassic (#41137731) Attached to: Google Distances Android From Samsung Patent Verdict
At its core, Android and AOSP do not contain anything that infringes on Apple's IP. I think the stuff that it used to have that did (slide-to-unlock, for example) were removed.

However, it doesn't take anyone more than five minutes to notice that Samsung ripped off of Apple's stuff nearly-wholesale since their first Galaxy S device.

Comment: I still trust online reviews... (Score 1) 121

by MrCrassic (#41132857) Attached to: Inside the Business of Online Reviews For Hire
In fact, I use them extensively in making decisions on buying lots of stuff. It's pretty easy to know which products have a lot of reviews from shills. I first find products with lots and lots of reviews (or sites that have lots of reviews about the product). I read some of the positives, then some of the negatives to see how they stack up. It's pretty easy to tell who put a negative review in because of a bad experience and not necessarily because of a bad product.

If I'm making a really serious buy, I'll check forums too. It's really rare for forum posts to have many paid comments and communities are good at pointing them out. I've been using Reddit for this lately too; I've found EVERYTHING on there and can usually get some good commentary on a product (unless it's really, really obscure).

Comment: My experience says "no." (Score 1) 615

by MrCrassic (#41053261) Attached to: Are 12-16 Hour Workdays Productive?
At my previous gig, I was a technical lead in a pretty large technical project. Because the company didn't want to budget for having software testers in our main office in New York (and, more or less, rightfully so; most of the company's internal software was coming from Manila by that point) and deadlines were tight, I had to be online with our testers over there for most of their shift so we could resolve bugs somewhat quickly. While I came in much later than normal to adjust for this (12pm instead of 9-10am), I was also working later as a result (b/w 2am and 3am, usually).

Being pulled apart by two other similarly-major projects didn't help either and my team-mate was way too busy and burnt out to take on much more. My sleeping cycles were definitely thrown out of whack for a while, which never helps. As a result, I was more irritable and less tolerable and social than I normally am. I usually enjoy spending my free time going out with old friends and making new ones, which became practically impossible with this setup. I thought I was fine since my health was still fit and it didn't feel that bad, but I realised how bad things actually got after I switched jobs a few weeks later.

It's not about the hours you work. It's about the results that come out of your time at work. Someone that works three hours a day but produces significant value for his or her company is way more useful than someone who puts in his or her "eight hours" with nothing to show for it.

Comment: Re:Successful ad campaign is successful (Score 2) 244

by MrCrassic (#40843935) Attached to: Critics Blast Apple's Cheesy New Ad Campaign
That's true, but it doesn't make them any less weird. They aren't funny like their Mac vs PC commercials were or impressive through subtlety like their iPod/iPhone/iPad commercials usually are. They seemed kind of pointless...almost like Microsoft commercials, except with more obviousness.

Comment: Oh, and photorec (Score 1) 504

by MrCrassic (#40801975) Attached to: Can a Regular Person Repair a Damaged Hard Drive?

photorec does a pretty damned good job at getting data back if the drive is still readable. Even "simpler" methods, like chkdsk /f /r, work sometimes as well, though you might have to wait a long time to see results. (I once tried to recover a drive for a client that had several thousand bad sectors using chkdsk and it took about a month of continuous operation to recover about 40GB of data. Which was unfortunate because the drive was 1TB large.)

I use the physical methods as last resorts, since all of the ones I'm aware of can cause further damage.
I wonder how many people shell up the $1500+ for professional recovery when a few hours or days would have solved it for them...

Comment: Highly improbable (Score 1) 504

by MrCrassic (#40801861) Attached to: Can a Regular Person Repair a Damaged Hard Drive?
Hard drives are really, really finicky. What works for some might not work for others, even if they are encountering the same problem. For instance, sticking a drive in the freezer worked for an older drive I was repairing for my mom but not for a former girlfriend's drive that, all things considered, had the same issue. I also once owned a Dell DJ (piece of shit, if anyone is considering getting this) that used a full-height 1.8" hard drive whose actuator would frequently stick; dropping or tapping it worked every time (to everyone else's curiosity), but has never, ever worked for any other drive that seemed to have the same issue.

I think you're pretty much fucked if your SSD starts going south, which is unfortunate. Thankfully, backups are easier to make these days.

Comment: Clear 4G (Score 1) 250

by MrCrassic (#40780313) Attached to: I most recently switched ISPs ...
While I live in a pretty well-populated area of NYC, my options for fast internet connectivity are surprisingly limited. I tried to get Road Runner cable internet, but the last person to own my apartment floor didn't pay a bill and going to the financial office to prove that I'm not that guy was not worth it for me. So I stuck with Verizon DSL for a while (about 3 years), but I can only get 1.5 Mbps down (and about 700K up) since I'm not close enough to a central office to get their higher bandwidth offerings. I was also disappointed with the increasingly constant outages that I had to deal with.

In hopes of getting faster speed, I signed up for T-Mobile's HSPA/HSPA+ Mobile Broadband package. I started with their 5GB cap and increased it to 10GB when I got tired of practically not having internet for days at a time while I waited for my billing cycle to restart. This worked out pretty well; speeds were much faster in comparison (3 Mbps down/1 Mbps up) and service was generally more reliable. However, I knew I had to switch when I reached my 10GB limit in a matter of days while I was trying (and kept failing at) downloading Windows 8 Customer Preview.

I then signed up for Clearwire's WiMAX offering. While I love the portability of the service (their router is pocketable and can be taken anywhere) and the speed is very nice *outside* of my house (6-8 Mbps down, 1.5/2 Mbps up), it's usually abysmal inside of my house (650-700 Kbps down, 450 Kbps up) regardless of how I position it. I do like that it's, at least so far, truly unlimited.

These days I use DSL at home and Clearwire everywhere else.

Comment: A good team is tops; materialism is irrelevant. (Score 3, Insightful) 239

by MrCrassic (#40497323) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Defines Good Developer Culture?
Having a "geeky" office with tons of amenities will not do much for attrition if the team is beleaguered with the usual office politics or uncontrolled management pressure that affects many IT and development houses. Based on what I've seen with my few years of working experience, I strongly believe that the most important element in a successful developer-oriented culture is encouraging continuing education and the proliferation of ideas. From what I've seen, this requires having a management team that is *really* good at separating the wheat from the chaff when client or business demands come in and having a team that has very good chemistry with each other. This is really hard to assemble, since it's already somewhat hard to find people that fit what companies want from a technical perspective and harder still to find people that will gel well with everyone else, especially when the pressure cooker starts getting hot and work flows in.

Fair remuneration is pretty damn important too, but a bad office culture will only attract people who are looking to gain in the short term. There is a hedge fund that is notorious for this here in the East Coast; they pay their IT staff *wayyy* over market but have office politics that would put the US government to shame and an extremely socially stifling office culture that makes it tough to stay there longer than six months.

Good luck!

Comment: This is the dumbest bullshit I've ever heard. (Score 1) 857

by MrCrassic (#40481895) Attached to: Why Microsoft Killed the Windows Start Button
If they're going to lie about why they've removed the Start menu, at least they could've been creative with their excuse. I have never seen anyone use the pinning feature to the extent discussed here. I have, however, seen the recent applications section in the Start Menu used extremely frequently.

Removing the Start Menu was a really bad decision, and using the big Metro landing page as a substitute is, to me, an extremely poor alternative. It remains to be seen how everyone else will take it, though.

Comment: it's not always about the cash. (Score 3, Interesting) 654

by MrCrassic (#40424305) Attached to: Apple Store Employees Soak Up the Atmosphere, But Not Much Cash
You don't work at the Apple Store to make any sort of serious cash. There are many better conduits for people to travel down in both IT and sales if money is a concern. People work there for the *coolness* factor. It's about as hot as working for Google or Facebook, and employee discounts are never a bad thing. Its also an easy experience builder for people, especially given the floor traffic.

And not to nitpick, but $10/hr ain't bad. Especially if you're earning tips.

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