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+ - The bane of restaurants - Smartphones->

Submitted by Strudelkugel
Strudelkugel (594414) writes "A restaurant in Manhattan compared video from 2004 and 2014 to see why service was slower than before. A few observations listed in the article:
2004:
Customers walk in.
They gets seated and are given menus, out of 45 customers 3 request to be seated elsewhere.
Customers on average spend 8 minutes before closing the menu to show they are ready to order...
2014:
Customers walk in.
Customers get seated and is given menus, out of 45 customers 18 requested to be seated elsewhere.
Before even opening the menu they take their phones out, some are taking photos while others are simply doing something else on their phone (sorry we have no clue what they are doing and do not monitor customer WIFI activity)."

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Comment: Re:Still stuck in an analogue thinking pattern (Score 1) 216

by Strudelkugel (#46984789) Attached to: GM Sees a Market For $5/Day Dedicated In-Car Internet
Given all that we know about GM, can someone explain (aside from the obvious political reasons / TBTF), why this company was bailed out? Romney was correct, it should have been allowed to go bankrupt. In addition, the taxpayer still had to eat a $10 billion loss. GM management was incompetent to the core. This idea is yet another example of it for all of the reasons you list and more.

Comment: Re:It's just corruption (Score 4, Insightful) 143

by Strudelkugel (#46955255) Attached to: How Dumb Policies Scare Tech Giants Away From Federal Projects

Actually it's a bit different from what you describe. The government loads contracts with all kinds of deliverables beyond the actual product being requested, such as documentation that never reflects reality since there is never enough time to do all of it and deliver a product. Everyone knows it won't be read anyway.As often as not these things distract the contractors. Then there are the process mandates and contract requirements that employ large numbers of people who are all busy checking checkboxes. All of this is done to prevent failures, but obviously the failures occur anyway. Part of this is often because the government tries to create a Facebook or Google in a couple of years, but also because the regulatory environment designed to prevent failure is so complicated critical information can be lost or obscured. It's not that the "accountable ones" are not held to account because they work for government, it's more the case that the contract complexity almost makes it impossible to determine who really is accountable.

Obviously when you don't really know who is accountable for something you don't know who to ask for reliable information, so people start making assumptions. "You want escalators, not elevators? But the contract says vertical lift system. We interpreted that to as..."

Comment: Been there (Score 4, Interesting) 274

by Strudelkugel (#46914975) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Joining a Startup As an Older Programmer?

I was involved in a startup in my 40s. It ultimately failed, but I learned lessons that will hopefully be valuable to you to. What you describe sounds like a dream job for most people. As long as you get it, I don't think you have to be concerned at all about being older than the others. They will appreciate the times when someone comes up with a bad idea that looks good, but you can say "I've seen this before, here's what happened..." - as long as you are right. Even better will be the times when someone has an unproven idea and you can say, "I remember a couple of times when one of our developers had an off the wall idea that we all wondered about, but it was appealing enough that we went with it anyway and it worked." As for the hours, there will be 20 and 30 somethings who will go on 24+ hour coding binges. Did you do that when you were in your 20s? Do you think you would be productive doing it? Does management expect you to disrupt your family life? It's hard to believe a company that has grown to have 300 employees would have leadership that expects all of their employees to destroy their personal life. If they do, the company won't be the success everyone hopes for anyway. (Well, the founders might walk away with a lot of money before it implodes, but you won't. You have to assess that risk.)

The great thing about a good startup is the chance it offers to to new kinds of work and see it succeed in the marketplace. This can be really exciting. It's possible that you might have a similar opportunity in a large company but the odds are very low since you will be separated from the product or service by layers of management and bureaucratic rules. Yes you will get a steady paycheck, but it will never compare with the huge win you can get at a startup and the satisfaction of knowing you had a direct role in the success. You can also ask yourself if the startup role will make you a better developer. If the company fails, will you have improved your technical knowledge so that you are still valuable to other companies? In an established company it's more likely that you will just be a code monkey whose skills slowly evaporate without you realizing it, although you don't sound like the kind of person who would let that happen. If OTOH, the company you work for is run by PHBs who are forcing you to work on obsolete stuff, you have to leave anyway. Some large companies do have great jobs, though, but I don't think you would be looking if you were really happy where you are.

From your description of the job and given that you don't sound like the Get Off My Lawn type, I would suggest that you join the startup if they make you an offer that is reasonable.

Comment: Re:Switching from Mercedes to Tesla after $12K bil (Score 2, Interesting) 360

by Strudelkugel (#46784073) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

I sympathize. I have a similar story about my former Benz. At 70K miles I had repair problem with the motor. MB's fault really, had to have been set up wrong at the factory. Cost of repair was about $7K. They put in $2K, but I had to fork over the rest. I will never buy another Benz. I have owned several cars. None ever had a catastrophic failure at 70K miles. Of course the dealers will tell you that is why you should buy an extended warranty. My response is the policy and its renewal fee would have been about as much, so it would have been worthless to me. After I decided to get rid of the Benz, I was quite tempted to buy a Model S after driving one. Ultimately I thought I would wait until they add a few features I like that are available on other cars. When the warranty is about to expire on the new car I will buy the Tesla.

It's also worth noting what a huge difference there is when buying a car from a dealership and a Tesla from the store. I think 99% of us share the opinion that buying a car from a dealership is the most insulting retail experience there is. Dealers know it but don't care since the franchise laws protect them from reasonable market forces. No wonder they are all trying to stop Tesla from selling direct to consumers. But car dealers are not the only industry that plays the regulatory game. Just one of the worst abusers.

Comment: Re:Armor (Score 2) 330

by Strudelkugel (#46478675) Attached to: What If the Next Presidential Limo Was a Tesla?

Actually electric motors power the biggest machines I can think of, such as draglines, railroad locomotives and ships. The Presidential limo is not designed for a high speed getaway, it is really an armored personnel carrier with a nice paint job. It also doesn't have to go very far. The only time a limo had to go very "fast" was after an assassination attempt, but remember that it has a police escort that will clear all other traffic ahead of it. In JFK's case, speed would have been irrelevant, and in Reagan's case, they still had to drive through Washington D.C. streets which were more of a speed limitation than the limo itself. In addition, there is always an ambulance following the motorcade, so the POTUS would be transferred to it for a medical emergency. (This didn't happen for Reagan since he was shot right next to the limo. His Secret Service agent pushed him in after noticing blood and made the decision to go to the ER immediately.)

Four independent electric motors might actually give the limo more mobility than a single ICE, since all four would have to be knocked out to immobilize the car. They would also be lighter than the ICE. As for power, they could always charge up an electric limo using the APU on board AF1, or just carry additional battery packs. Another option would be to put a turbine generator in the car if extra range were needed, but I seriously doubt the POTUS will ever take a road trip in the limo. Truman might have done it for fun since he liked driving so much, but that was a different time.

+ - IBM Sees Growing Enterprise Demand for Windows Phone->

Submitted by Strudelkugel
Strudelkugel (594414) writes ""Actual end user momentum is trailing business interest," Szafranski said. "IT likes Microsoft and likes Windows. They've made a lot of investment in things like Active Directory and Exchange and as a result they have a lot of interest in seeing Windows Phone used by employees. I don't think anyone is going to be all Windows on mobile, but enterprises do want it and I think they have a strong opportunity when it comes to the enterprise side of purchase decisions.""
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Comment: Re:This nonsense only works in corporations (Score 1) 437

by Strudelkugel (#46031361) Attached to: You Might Rent Features & Options On Cars In the Future

Consumers will buy another brand without these annoyances

This model already exists:

  • Satellite radio
  • On Star
  • Nav map updates (in some cases)

Enabling heated seats by subscription is an interesting example. It might be a good deal for the consumer depending on how much cheaper a car is without them, with the subscription version, and always available. Pricing would vary by region no doubt. People in desert climates might opt for the subscription where they are primarily useful at night, but people in cold climates might be willing to pay the price for constant availability. The opposite might be true for AC. Pricing various features sounds like it could be more complex than pricing airfares, however.

+ - 15 Rising Programming Trends -- And 15 Going Cold

Submitted by snydeq
snydeq (1272828) writes "From the Web to the motherboard to the training ground, InfoWorld offers a look at what's rising in popularity among developers, and what's cooling off. 'Programmers love to sneer at the world of fashion where trends blow through like breezes. That's not to say programming is a profession devoid of trends. The difference is that programming trends are driven by greater efficiency, increased customization, and ease-of-use. The new technologies that deliver one or more of these eclipse the previous generation. It's a meritocracy, not a whimsy-ocracy. What follows is a list of what's hot — and what's not — among today's programmers. Not everyone will agree with what's A-listed, what's D-listed, and what's been left out. But that's what makes programming an endlessly fascinating profession: rapid change, passionate debate, sudden comebacks.'"

+ - AT&T's Sponsored Data is bad for the internet, the economy, and you->

Submitted by sirhan
sirhan (105815) writes "From The Verge: AT&T is looking into what they call Sponsored Data, a program designed to let content providers bypass bandwidth caps if they pay AT&T. Simply enough, "if YouTube doesn't hit your data cap but Vimeo does, most people are going to watch YouTube. If Facebook feels threatened by Snapchat and launches Poke with free data, maybe it doesn't get completely ignored and fail. If Apple Maps launched with free data for navigation, maybe we'd all be driving off bridges instead of downloading Google Maps for iOS.""
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+ - Gordon Chang: Snowden Lied About China Contacts->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "From The Daily Beast, "“I have had no contact with the Chinese government,” Snowden wrote in a Q&A on the Guardian website while taking refuge in Hong Kong in June. “I only work with journalists.” That’s far short of the truth. ... Snowden, according to one of my sources in Hong Kong, had at least one “high-level contact” with Chinese officials there. Those officials suggested he give an interview to the South China Morning Post ... This is significant because, as the Post noted, Snowden turned over to the paper documents that contained detailed technical information on the NSA’s methods. Included in these documents were Hong Kong and Chinese IP addresses that the NSA was surveilling. The disclosure of those addresses was not whistle-blowing; that was aiding China. The Post ... had sent two reporters to interview Snowden. The paper did not give a byline to one of them, a Chinese national serving as the deputy to Editor Wang Xiangwei, who openly sits on a Communist Party organ in the Mainland. ... it appears that agents of China’s Ministry of State Security were in contact with Snowden during his stay in Hong Kong ... “The Chinese already have everything Snowden had,” said an unnamed official ... days after the leaker had left Hong Kong for Moscow.""
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+ - Old browsers preventing HTML 5 are growing (not just IE)->

Submitted by Billly Gates
Billly Gates (198444) writes "The monthly totals from g.statcounter.com and netmarketshare.com came out with the latest December statistics which sometimes cause flamewars as both sides companies report different results on the most popular browser/OS (Netmarketshare favors IE, while statcounter.com favors Chrome).

However, ZDNet noticed something interesting from both statistics. Obsolete browsers are gaining traction even with auto updates for all them. Typically we hear of old browsers we think of corporations running old versions of IE like IE 6 in which any intranet developer will say is a must for support until last year. But Safari now beats IE in terms of users who do not wish to upgrade as 50% run obsolete versions!

Firefox too has its obsolete versions kicking and screaming with 1 out of 5 more than 2 versions old. IE has its old versions as well but this is expected in corps where they use apps which write to MSHTML and MS CSS with MS Jscript for their intranet apps as IE 11 is too modern and standards compliant.

As 2014 starts the web is becoming more and more important as new sites like salesforce.com, LinkedIn, and a million cloud providers all really benefit from HTML 5 features not to mention the security risk associated with"

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Comment: Re:Off-topic question (Score 2) 108

by Strudelkugel (#45831605) Attached to: No Question: Snowden Was 2013's Most Influential Tech Figure

Snowden played this excessively smart, and that's the only reason he's sort of free now.

I don't think Snowden is that smart or free. Today he does what the Russian government allows him to do. But consider the Russians have protesters in Moscow, protesters in Kiev, and suicide bombers in their midst. How long will the Russian government tolerate an icon for freedom from surveillance, especially given their history? I believe Snowden is in considerable danger.

Another reference: Sergei Guriev

Also Mikhail Khodorkovsky

As for Snowden, I still think we know 10% or less of the story. There is a lot that does not make sense.

Comment: Re:And why ... (Score 1) 148

by Strudelkugel (#45663451) Attached to: Program to Use Russian Nukes for US Electricity Comes to an End

Trust has very little to do with it. The people who have these weapons have them. The best that can be hoped for is a process of disarmament that does not cause too much damage if trust is broken, and one which prevents other parties from gaining the weapons and thus becoming risk factors in and of themselves.

A general perspective from Sen. Sam Nunn. The world requires more progress. I think people have become too complacent about these weapons.

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