Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Whiteboards and whiteboarding are a bad idea. (Score 4, Insightful) 128

by Half-pint HAL (#49155109) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Whiteboard Substitutes For Distributed Teams?

If you can't express the idea in text and text alone, then you haven't broken it down properly.

...and at the planning stage, you are still trying to break down the problem. The core concept behind team thinking is that individually, we often fail to analyse the situation completely, and input from others can show holes in our reasoning and things we've failed to properly consider. The whole, hopefully, is greater than the sum of its parts.

I'm coding alone at the moment, and because I have no-one to bounce ideas off, I frequently find myself heading into dead-ends because the problem domain I'm dealing with is very large, and as there's no-one to discuss things with, I need to prototype to find my mistakes. Then I have to go back and rewrite.

Comment: Re:Sick (Score 1) 290

Paying for downtime is the elephant in the room in terms of "minimum wage". Cleaners, for instance, typically get minimum wage. But they work for two hours in the morning, then another two hours in the early evening. They're working part-time in a job that is as invasive as a full-time job.

Imagine your company was making cutbacks, and they asked you to cut your hours in half, at the same pro-rata salary. But your day was cut in two, with half your hours before 9:30 and half your hours from 4:30 pm onwards. Your days would be ruined by commuting etc, and you would be unhappy... and yet we force that on people whose hourly rate is already pitiful in comparison to ours.

Comment: Re:Sick (Score 1) 290

It boggles my mind that in the richest country in the world, there is even debate over this. The rest of the world has already realized that of course someone shouldn't lose their house or their job because they got the flu.

Given the recent flap about it, I think the way to convince the USA to have paid sick leave is to scream "BUT WHAT IF HE HAS EBOLA?!?!?"

Comment: Re:Registration (Score 2) 192

Try to get a taxi at 6th and 44th in Manhattan at 5PM. Taxis are pretty damn expensive in NYC, and pretty much impossible to find when demand is high. Know what is available at 5PM? Uber cars.

If everyone could get a taxi at peak time, would they get home quicker? No, because you'd have gridlock. This is one of the things that city planners take into account when managing taxi licensing.

Public transport is an efficient solution at peak time. It may not seem like it -- what with waiting times, multiple stops, the need to walk a bit and connect -- but mass transit is the only way to keep that many people moving. 25 years ago New York was famous worldwide for its traffic jams -- you don't want that again.

Taxis are useful at times of lower demand, when public transport becomes inefficient.

Unlimited cars leads to a tragedy-of-the-commons scenario. I'd tell you to stop being so selfish, but even enlightened self-interested says you should just get a damn bus.

Comment: Re:Registration (Score 1) 192

Professional drivers need to get peak-time business to account for slack time at off-peak hours. If Uber drivers can cherry pick the fares at peak time, undercutting the full-time drivers, there's no incentive for drivers to make themselves available off-peak.

Licensing incorporates a social contract -- it's much like pubs. Where I live, a pub has to apply for certain hours. They can't shut up early whenever business is slack -- they've been given the license to make sure supply matches demand. The number of licenses is restricted so that the business can survive. Quid pro quo.

Comment: Re: Screw your laws (Score 2) 192

by Pax681 (#49136399) Attached to: Uber Offers Free Rides To Koreans, Hopes They Won't Report Illegal Drivers

The driver works and pays for the upkeep of the car and pays a weekly or monthly fee to the taxi company. .

Not quite.. the driver pays what is called(in Scotland anyway) a "weekly weigh in". this covers the rental of the car and the rental of the tech by which they will the clients(meter and bookings equipment) .
The mechanical upkeep of the car is in the hands of the owner of the vehicle and not the driver
the cleaning of the car is the drivers responsibility as is fuelling it.

When the weight of the paperwork equals the weight of the plane, the plane will fly. -- Donald Douglas