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


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Distraction? (Score 1) 371

How are you arriving at that conclusion..

You must be a manager that believes every second a person is not at their desk hacking a away a problem is "lost productivity"... rather than accepting the notion that sometimes, stepping away from a problem SOLVES the problem..

#1: These women are not just randomly walking around interrupting everyone's day.. they are in the breakrooms and company sponsored events.. (no different than most other companies, other than the fact that, THAT is their job)

#2: It offers the mental break I mentioned, which shows that long term you are MORE productive, because your output is higher quality.

Of course will have some people that abuse it and slack off (like ANYTHING).. you feed them, and some people will spend more time eating than doing work. You give them a bathroom, and some people will spend more time using it than their work.. but the majority see it for what it is.. a tool to help bring LIFE back into the "factory floor" and lets them focus on the job rather than worry about all the other things that we do think about (ie: where to eat, where/if I can poo, and in the case of this example, my life is depressing because I ONLY work)

Again, cracking the whip on everyone is not going to make EVERYONE more productive. And it sounds like for YOU, its a distraction (because you want to view it as such).. And I bet very much you are the sort that can't work at home because of "the distractions".

Comment Sheesh.. get a grip (Score 3, Insightful) 371

The issue here is not tolerant meaning not trying to offend anyone, because that is an impossible task. (ex: I wear a red tie today, and the women in the elevator says the red tie OFFENDS her.. (its a freaking colour).. but rather trying to be more understanding of the other side that is expressing their individuality (ex: rather than taking offense at again, my colour tie, especially where no offense was given, or even implied, instead choosing to recognize it is in fact, just a TIE, part of any normal apparel by any human, and not look for offense where none in given. If I personally knew the person, or red was culturally insensitive (again, known) then perhaps a slight offense could be claimed.

The issue with this situation is people are getting offended by a cultural difference that does not subject these people to any degradation or offense. (other than what we, the outsiders) want to attach. I think many people said it here already, in most work places (even those outside of china), the mindset is "I don't care about your life, I wand productivity.. work harder or you are fired".. but what some people fail to recognize is programming is an art, and you can write junk code (functional but non elegant which requires more work down the line (QA, bug fixes, etc..) or elegant code.. and yes.. mood and life does enter into it by being inspired).

Simply (as some have suggested).. hire more females to program doesn't turn anyone instantly from shy to outgoing, especially if there is no assistance on HOW to interact. (and the same is true for females as well).. I've worked in programming shops in Japan (some where the ratios have been 60/40 (yes, still higher men than women).. but in ALL cases, both groups were afraid to talk with each other for fear of one, making an faux pas, or worse, an embarrassing mistake which might cost them their job.

The purpose of these "cheerleaders" is to one, break the cycle of monotony.. (yes, it can get dull hacking out code, especially if you are a grunt), two, allow these people (some of who spend 80 - 90% of their lives at work) a chance at a break, and allow them to incorporate some social norms back into their lives without fear of retribution and education. Or to put it another way.. the socially awkward geek(s) gets connected with the socially adept socialite in order to learn how to be cool (ie: almost every teen flick in the past 30 years). Virtually EVERY study indicates a happy employee is a productive employee. (why do you think Google, or Microsoft, etc... all spend so much on employee perks (food, social gatherings, etc..) these are all to bring some normality back into their lives, to forge better team bonding, and for those that are shy a chance to interact in a socially prescribed way that does not require them to use skills they may not have or suck at.

And for those that are arguing these women are being hired SOLELY on their looks, that is not always the case.. yes, their looks are part of the equation.. but their ability to help these folks out of their shells, and in effect become a "Cheerleader" is also a factor.. (not every "hot girl" off the street is going to qualify because they lack the temperament and skills to help others.

Comment Re:Or, alternately ... (Score 1) 389

flying cars or Mr. Fusion doesn't have a major financial incentive or even a humanitarian one. Those are purely convenience items, so couple that with regulation red-tape and high cost (never mind the technical aspects), and they won't happen anytime soon.. Self-driving cars on the other hand has one very big push.. the car manufactures don't loose out.. if anything they gain access to a new market segment (time shares, rentals, people who don't drive for many reasons (physical or psychological)), that gives them a vested interest in seeing this tech go live.. because the more cars on the road, the more the car manufactures can potentially make. Plus they have a almost built in obsolescence plan (hey, when it becomes required, you HAVE to buy/rent/time slice a "compatible" car).. A good well-maintained "manual" car can run almost forever (there are no requirements to upgrade its safety features if it didn't have it originally and assuming it complies to all current "road worthy" tests).. but when this comes out, you can bet you will have the same upgrading effect that the smartphone industry has.

In short, its a money game. And where there is money to be gained,, the tech will move.

Comment Re:Private Ownership? (Score 1) 389

I expect to see more "monitoring" of cars then.. Oh, you shifted to "manual" for a few hours, that is going to cost you extra.. the base rate I suspect will be around the best human statistical rate, and then go up from there (despite the fact that the claims should be substantially lower).. ie: once again, the consumer gets screwed. I am hoping that when self-driving cars hit critical mass insurance becomes more of an option rather than a requirement (like the extended warranty from Best Buy, you can opt out, but if something happens, well, woe be unto you for opting out).. but I doubt it.

Comment Re:Bars thrive (Score 1) 389

True self-driving cars are actually here.. the problem they are dealing with is not the road, its the "transition period" that is the risk (where 90% (and hopefully falling) of the cars that are driven by humans AND computers. I'm positive that the computers can drive on their own (google has already proven that).. but dealing with the other people on the road that are doing who knows what, and may or may not obay the rules of the road + the weather conditions = a bit challenge. The more self-driving cars are used, the easier the problem gets (weather is relatively easy to work around (from a software perspective) because relative to the computer it is slow to change. People... well, I can't even trust my bank to apply credit card points correctly on their own card..

Comment Re:Where is the _FREEDOM_ in that 'usa freedom act (Score 5, Funny) 294

In the words of Futurama: "My fellow Earthicans, we enjoy so much freedom it's almost sickening. We're free to choose which hand our sex-monitoring chip is implanted in. And if we don't want to pay our taxes, why, we're free to spend a weekend with the Pain Monster". That is really the only freedom you have.

Comment Re:You don't stop terrorists by patting people dow (Score 1) 357

So as much as I hate to give the government any credit in this regard, lets also be fair..

Israel has 4 airports (major and minor).. As an example, NORTH CALIFORNIA has 473 airports (major, minor and private). So we have to remember there is a scale difference that is going to impact training as a cost variable. If training 1 person to the correct level of competence at a single airport costs say 100,000 and to do the job correctly at a single airport requires 200 such people (we won't even get into ancillary staff that should be trained, monitoring of that staff to insure they don't themselves become a vector, etc..) that means 2 Million per airport.. so we are talking 8 Million for the COUNTRY.. vs. if we take just the top 10 largest airports in California, it would cost 10 Million to CA.. (and don't forget, there are 49 other states that have similar numbers).. some of which these numbers are not correct because traffic wise, they get in a month, what Israel gets in a year. Also lets also consider that most of Israel's traffic is international. vs. the US gets as much (if not more) international traffic and domestic (

So lets not forget we have a game of numbers that most other countries just don't have. Yes it could be done better.. (heck, my 15 year old half blind Maltese dog could do a better job.. damn labor laws won't let him work). but lets also be realistic that everyone wants everything without cost to them. (ie: protect me, do the best job possible.. but don't raise my taxes or impose other fees) its a delicate balance.

Comment Re:unlimited, free? (Score 1) 175

And if you think paying ANYONE is a promise against the service shutting down for business, legal, ethical, or just pure financial reasons, then you have obviously not been around long enough.

Services come and go all the time, (payment means nothing).. so still keep some local storage around for when the inevitable shutdown, or price hike that scares you, or the terms of service you don't agree with, etc.. I think people forget that google (like all companies) are not doing these things out of the kindness of their hearts, but rather business decisions, the same way like Facebook, and many others do. But me, I will stick with good old fashioned HD/Tape because at the end of the day, EVERYONE's terms all say the same thing (you upload it, but we own it.. so suck it)

Comment Re:Well there's the problem... (Score 1) 201

I would agree, EXCEPT its not a matter of " whiny idiots" but rather breaking a system that by its very nature is prone to corruption and simply doesn't want change because it doesn't benefit the owners of the medallions.

Look at EVERY shake up in the industry (in the US with the break up of "MaBell", that upstart Google with their search engines and "Free stuff", Tesla, etc...) all of these groups tried to change the status quo so you are no longer playing on field owned by someone else's rules but rather the simple premise of who has the best product/service for the cheapest price, not "I HAVE to use them because the rules dictate I must" Uber is doing nothing more than what many many others have done (and are doing).

If they (the government) wanted it to change, they would create/revise a system in which these "self-owned" taxis can operate, pay a nominal fee and move on with their lives.. but rather than doing what other countries have done (ie: give them a framework that lets them operate), they want to just ban it (like that works).. once people get a taste of "freedom" its REALLY hard to put the genie back in the bottle). That is what the issue is.. Uber isn't saying "let us operate for free" they are saying "the rules state X, and we are operating within the confines of X, but we are not X we are Y", and the government is burying their heads in the sand saying "if you are X, only X, then you are X, everything else (Y,Z, X+1) is banned because we don't want to piss off the groups that pay a lot in taxes to us.

Comment Re:I'll take it (Score 1) 294

I would agree, EXCEPT that its the ones I'm least attracted to.. so it feels a little more like rape, than a frisk, which is certainly not fun. Upside, given how much they seem to be interested in my "package", I should just give them a washcloth so I can get some useful benefit out of the deal.

Comment Indiana and say Saudi Arabia are not the same (Score 1) 653

I think Carly is confusing the battles (perhaps intentionally). Indiana (as part of the US) actually has a law that talks about freedoms for all men (lets assume it means all people) and specifically calls for a separation of church and state so religious influence can not be forced upon the local population.. Countries like China and Saudi Arabia do not have those notions in their foundation. So its more of the hypocrisy of the US and the states that is at fault.. (all men are created equal.. ok.. well, they are not "men" so it doesn't apply.. Marriage shall be applied equally.. well, lets narrowly define what a marriage is instead of the general understanding that its an institutional/legal contract between two consenting adults, so we can exclude them).

Tim cook, as a CEO, has quite limited powers of influence outside of his "country".. So Apple doesn't sell in China.. (boo hoo.. the people there will buy their phones elsewhere, or import, like what they did before). But in the US, he shuts down plants, well, that has actual measurable impact because it impacts everyone there, and people no matter what they feel will vote with their wallets. (ie: No job (or a lower paying job, property values go down because of lower income/less jobs, education suffers (less money available to educational sector because its re-allocated to more "important" services (debatable but whatever), etc.. Those won't happen there, so its matter of picking your battle where you can actually have an impact. (and don't forget, CEO is not absolute ruler.. he runs a publicly traded company with shareholders, so he still has to turn a profit (or make sure all the majority shareholders are ok with lower profits for "a cause" otherwise, just what.. he gets kicked out, and any impact he was attempting to make would get pushed out with him. Its a delicate line and one that is not easily walked.

And don't forget, the bigger you are, your own local government (US) will often times encourage you to not rock the boat too much if they want to take to task another action. We don't live in a bubble that we can do absolutely ANYTHING we want.

Comment Re:Decoy (Score 1) 200

The problem with your idea is many fold:

1: You need to insure the communication channel in the host country is sufficient (not always the case)
2: The cost/time to pull all the relevant information back in a usable manner (so you spend at least a day to get all the pieces of what you need to do your work back, potentially more if the network speed sucks)
3: Drives up the cost to do business. (see reasons 1 and 2)
4: You need to insure the connection back to home base is not compromised/tracked (one reason why physical media for some very sensitive information is still used)
5: The biggest reason, almost EVERYONE has some blending of personal and business elements on the same device (some more than others).. even doing things like "synching/backup your personal phone to your laptop while traveling" means your private life is present.
6: In most cases, they take the machines "in the back" so you don't know what is actually being done to it.. (I've had two of these searches done, and in both cases since I'm a security forensics person, I can check the "Footprints" and in most cases, they have duped the entire HD's (I can see last physical access) and left snoopware on the laptops.. which means you would be bringing a compromised / Trojan horse back to home base with snoopware.. (can someone say lawsuit?)

So yes, I am not a fan.. because none of these laws take HUMANS into account (devious, easily compromised, greedy bas**rds they are)

Comment Re:well then, thats the solution. (Score 1) 303

You are right, but sadly all it does is feed into the problem.. because those hackers and leakers can be anyone.. with "better tools".. it gives them the moral "excuse" to justify more tools like Stingray (regardless of the fact that as your pointed out they created the enemy and will continue to make more enemies).. its a vicious cycle that won't break because both sides believe they are 100% right and their actions are 100% justified.

What good is a ticket to the good life, if you can't find the entrance?