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Comment: Act decisively according to project goals & sk (Score 4, Interesting) 255

by StandardCell (#49229723) Attached to: On Firing Open Source Community Members
I know that many folks in the FOSS community feel more comfortable behind a keyboard than they do in front of others, but none of us live in a vacuum away from others. As such, these are golden opportunities to assert the type of leadership and expand skills necessary for personal as well as professional growth.

More fundamentally, every project needs to have clearly defined goals as to what they want to accomplish. The schedule of such projects, by the generally voluntary nature of FOSS contribution, may slip, but the cohesion required to achieve these project milestones is only possible in the presence of relatively strong leadership. Strong leadership should also recognize the skill inventory available to the project on a per-contributor basis and encourage those with particular strengths to be used in needed areas modulo personal goals (e.g. growth in coding skills, UI/UX, etc.). Leadership also needs to set down ground rules like mutual respect and positive communication style.

Therefore, project leaders need to manage the relationships between contributors, recognize political and personal differences, and reconcile them reasonably but quickly for the betterment of the project. If that includes terminating the relationship of one or more contributors to said project, then it needs to be done. But before all that happens, project leadership has to set the base of the building correctly before building subsequent floors, as it were.

There's an old saying that says "the fish rots from the head down" and it applies here too: if things are getting out of hand with a project, deal with it but make sure all of the rules were set and the relevant parameters understood prior to drastic action such as terminating a relationship.

Comment: Good for the goose, good for the gander (Score 5, Insightful) 77

by StandardCell (#49068945) Attached to: Company Promises Positive Yelp Reviews For a Price; Yelp Sues
The exact same arguments Yelp makes in effectively extorting businesses by deleting positive reviews unless they pay up are the same ones that RevLeap is trying to counterbalance and the same ones that SEO companies use to boost their Google rankings. I see neither a moral nor a legal argument that could favor Yelp in this case given their prior behavior, and I hope they pay RevLeap's costs in the end when they lose.

Comment: How about a law preventing SSN use for credit/ID? (Score 4, Interesting) 125

by StandardCell (#48795439) Attached to: Obama Proposes 30-Day Deadline For Disclosing Security Breaches
Of all the laws that hasn't been put forth that is most sorely needed in the market, it's a law to prevent private companies from using SSNs for ID numbers, customer identification and credit granting. How many people have had to spend thousands of dollars and years in court trying to get their identities back and repair the damage to their credit because they know a name, DoB, address and SSN?

Comment: Not a fan of procedural languages syntax for HDL (Score 4, Interesting) 51

by StandardCell (#48760893) Attached to: Learn Gate-Array Programming In Python and Software-Defined Radio
Folks who do development with Python should be wary of using too many procedural definitions for algorithms, even if they can be converted to hardware. Main reason is the size of the state machines and data paths, and the efficiency of algorithmic implementations in hardware, as even the best synthesis tools need to be constrained for reasons of design frequency and implementation size (hence synthesis pragmas). Granted, the hardware has gotten much more powerful and yes I know Python has object-oriented elements, but the idea of inherent concurrency and expressed versus implied data path are the trickiest things about designing hardware with languages that most people use procedurally. My other concern is supporting formal verification tools to check that Python = Verilog netlist for RTL->gate. For us more experienced hardware folks, I wish there was more emphasis on VHDL or Verilog straight-up even with open source tools.

That said, it's great to see Chris getting this project off the ground. It'll be very helpful for the SDR community and I hope we see lots of good things come of it.

Comment: An overregulated province anyway... (Score 5, Informative) 184

by StandardCell (#47857029) Attached to: Ontario Government Wants To Regulate the Internet
Ontario is so overregulated that actions like this are practically ingrained in the culture of bureaucrats.

The government has a monopoly on all liquor sales. You aren't even allowed to buy certain cough medicines unless there is a licensed pharmacist on premises, even though while they're busy in the back you can just grab the stuff off the shelf. All stores MUST be closed on certain statutory holidays even if there are people willing to work those days, and the store is fined heavily if it opens anyway.

All of this is, of course, theatrics designed to garner the perception of an effective government while the Ontario government debt has risen by a third or $90B over the last five years alone. And they're worried about regulating foreign OTT services? I predict spectacular failure as it has been for the longest time in the province.

Comment: But you only have so many dollars... (Score 1) 197

by StandardCell (#47689547) Attached to: Is Dolby Atmos a Flop For Home Theater Like 3DTV Was?
...so who is going to pay for this extra feature vs. what we've got today? Are people even going to care if they hear in three dimensions versus on a single plane? Most people aren't because most people don't care about surround sound in the home, and most people can't tell the difference between even 5.1 and 7.1.

Comment: Re:Betteridge's law (Score 1) 197

by StandardCell (#47689445) Attached to: Is Dolby Atmos a Flop For Home Theater Like 3DTV Was?
You work for Dolby and want an Atmos mix of Dark Side of the Moon originally produced and mixed in an inherently planar format? What is there to actually gain? If it's just to take the original stems and mix them, the sound mixer is going to do that anyway before it's released. In fact, for most people, they will never use this feature and it will be a waste of bandwidth at a time when streaming media is quickly becoming a margin business and the vast majority of media is consumed in really poor environments with really poor reproduction equipment. As a mezzanine or mastering format, sure. For publishing? Not so much.

The ".1" is supposed to be the low frequency effects channel. Are you saying that a bandwidth-limited LFE has any other position in the EIA/CEA-861 speaker configurations? Do you even know WHY it is called a ".1"? (Hint: the channel is LPF'd)

More importantly, who cares when you need extra hardware? Most people don't buy A/V receivers and extra speakers, and what few are out there are improperly configured just as the article says. I can't see how one issue should be conflated with the other.

Finally: I've heard Atmos in the theaters. Unless the content is specifically produced to take advantage of height speakers, I stop caring about it very quickly since my other senses are also being inundated. This means most of the movie. Who knows how much money a theater operator has to spend to put this stuff in and if they'll get a single dollar more for it from the audience. Same thing happened with 3D and boy did these guys take a bath.

Comment: Re:im a music mixer in hollywood... (Score 1) 197

by StandardCell (#47689361) Attached to: Is Dolby Atmos a Flop For Home Theater Like 3DTV Was?
That isn't cinema Atmos, but consumer Atmos. There's a difference, especially in the way it's carried. If you doubt me, analyze the HDMI connection to the A/V receiver versus what is in a DCI-compliant box. Basically, there's a 5.1 or 7.1 channel bed and extra objects for the effects in 3D, but far fewer objects and the channelized mix is all you get. In a true object-based reproduction environment, the objects are all that should be used and that's not what's there.

Comment: Re:So, about those changes... (Score 1) 146

by StandardCell (#47205763) Attached to: Auditors Release Verified Repositories of TrueCrypt
That was part of my little joke but of course that's all cynicism on my part at this point.

The only truly reliable idiot-proof encryption method is a one-time pad where you commit the key to memory or parts of it among more than one person. Not that practical compared to a mountable volume or full-disk encryption like the old TrueCrypt, but everything has a price.

Comment: Public statement by the original study author (Score 3, Informative) 747

by StandardCell (#46482557) Attached to: Measles Outbreak In NYC
The best way to handle this is for the original author of the paper that started this anti-vaccination mess, Andrew Wakefield, come out and give a public statement indicating that:

1. Apologize for the fact that his study was flawed, and explain why.

2. That no other study has established any material basis in any respect for a link between autism and vaccines or their components.

3. The original funding for this supposed research was made by lawyers who were attempting to find reason to litigate against vaccine manufacturers.

4. That many people will now die of diseases that were nearly eradicated a mere 15 years ago similar to smallpox a few years before it was eradicated.

Put that as a public service announcement on every major TV and radio channel, and online as well, as widely as possible. Show pictures of what happens when people don't vaccinate, particularly to children, the elderly and immune-compromised individuals (e.g. transplant saved his/her life, now they die). Have him make this appeal over and over again until people get this.

Even if we don't get to 100%, we owe it to everyone around us. The public health costs are staggering, and the stupidity is mind boggling.

Comment: Re:Startups Aren't Really Job-Creators In Practice (Score 4, Insightful) 303

Aggregating $19B in wealth in the hands of 50 people plus a handful of investors is indeed not the way to create jobs. It slows down the flow of money within the broader economy. I'm sure those $20M homes in Woodside and Los Altos Hills and Seacliff are worth every penny.

These megadeals also have the effect of creating a startup lottery environment where anyone can put together a ten page business plan and the "trend du jour" and try to make out like bandits. This is what led to the first dotcom crash and will also eventually lead to the second crash at some point. Anyone who makes an alternative to this content with having the user watch ads in the background every ten app starts will murder Whatsapp because $0 is cheaper than $1.

I think it's also important to note that Eric Schmidt wholeheartedly approves of this deal because I suspect he thinks it's to the ultimate detriment of Facebook, and a blessing \for Google in some ways. Much like unbridled immigration is to existing workers in this country for his business.

Comment: ...and it's come to this, hasn't it? (Score 4, Insightful) 330

by StandardCell (#45201573) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can Bruce Schneier Be Trusted?
I guess people's paranoia with the NSA revelations have been difficult to swallow. Now everyone is slowly becoming suspicious of everyone else.

Anything is possible I suppose. To me, it was no surprise really. I do have to say that, having worked with individuals in the security community, the primary focus really is the safety of our way of life at the hands of those who would subvert it.

The problem comes when those of less character use the government apparatus for control, political or other purposes. It's the same reason police and military need to be kept separate - one enforces the rule of law, and one protects against enemies. When those lines are blurred, history has demonstrated repeatedly that individual rights suffer. The degree to which this happens is the degree of the moral compass of those at the helm of this extremely powerful surveillance apparatus.

I'm not sure how many true boy scouts are really left running the show up there, but I do know this: the more paranoid we get, the more we lose. All of this need not come to pass in this way. One of the most important things I learned in my time in this world was "trust, but verify" and it rings true today. You can still trust the message that Bruce Schneier has. We have to, for otherwise we will be consumed by our own paranoia. But to verify is probably the most important point. That's where openness and information sharing in the spirit of open source is paramount and what will lead us to the proper conclusion on this matter.

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

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