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Comment: Re:Good luck (Score 3, Interesting) 115

by TheWanderingHermit (#47927747) Attached to: Logitech Aims To Control the Smart Home

Logitech is just as much a "stagnator" as the bigger guys. I bought a few Squeezeboxes years ago and loved the system, but once Logitech bought out SlimDevices and took over the Squeezeboxes, I knew the days were numbered.

Logitech is the kind of mediocre and great and creating products that are average and could, with minimal effort, have been made great.

+ - Brief Pause Can Help You Make More Accurate Decisions->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "The next time you’re about to make an important decision, wait a second. Scientists have found that a brief pause can make the difference between the right choice and the wrong one. The work suggests that the first pulses of information our brains receive are misleading, because distractions confuse the decision-making process."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Not Likely (Score 1) 1

by TheWanderingHermit (#44924441) Attached to: Do You Know What The Benefits Of An Early Riser?

I've read stories that indicate exactly the opposite - that night people are more successful. Also, I question the study. Among other points, GPA and academic success often has no relation to success later in life.

Also, multiple studies have shown early risers tend to lose energy and peter out in the afternoons and evenings, where night people may take time to get going, but after they get going, they can continue in marathon sessions going from the afternoon, through the night, and well into the next day with ease - something few morning people can do without serious difficulty.

There are also studies that indicate a higher intelligence among night people. They're the ones that manipulate the environment to their needs and desires, compared to morning people who respond to something like the rising of the sun. The ability to manipulate one's environment for the conditions one desires is also a trait found in successful people.

Comment: Re: Really? (Score 1) 311

by TheWanderingHermit (#44922077) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Does Your Work Schedule Make You Unproductive?

While that may work for many people, I've had two times, due to hurricanes, in recent years, where I did not have artificial light in the evening. Both times the power outage lasted 8 or more days and it did little to shift my sleep schedule, so I'm not so sure that applies to everyone.

But, taking it as it is, I've also read studies that point out that nightbirds are modifying the environment to suit themselves, which would support the point that night people tend to handle marathon sessions better, since they're intentionally altering their environment to allow them to work as long as they can. It's also possible that the habits attributed to morning and to night people are from other factors and that the early bird or late night habits are an outgrowth of other personality factors.

Comment: Re: Really? (Score 1) 311

by TheWanderingHermit (#44915761) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Does Your Work Schedule Make You Unproductive?

I've seen, over and over, night people going on for hours and hours - many more hours than can be accounted for by the time difference of when they started and when morning people started. I've also read a few studies about that as well - that night people are better for marathon sessions. If I can start at noon or 1 PM and be sure I'm uninterrupted, I can often keep going in good form until after sun-up the next day. That's much longer than finishing at 9 PM when you've started any time on that day.

Comment: Re: Really? (Score 5, Informative) 311

by TheWanderingHermit (#44908891) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Does Your Work Schedule Make You Unproductive?

There are a lot of jokes about morning and night people, but studies show there is validity to this. I learned to work with this when teaching special ed and later, when I ran my own software company, where I did all the programming, I saw a dramatic illustration of some of those issues.

Morning people get up and are perky and ready to start. However, they're the ones who often need a nap in the afternoon and work well with an 8 hour day, but do not do well with marathon sessions. Night people do not start quickly. They wake up and need time to adjust to the world again and often are not ready to really focus until the afternoon. But they gain in strength and focus over time. They can often work marathon sessions, working all through the night and into the next morning.

I found that when I was coding and could work on my own schedule, I could get some work done in the afternoon and this is when I set things up, did simpler tasks, and caught up on things. But my real work hours started about 8:00 pm, when I could start focusing and I would often work through until sunrise or longer. 18 hour coding sessions were not unusual for me, but, of course, if I did a few in a row because I was working on something difficult, then I'd need several days to just recover. But I might be able to do 5 days straight of mega-sessions if needed. It's also worth noting this was in my 40s, not when I was some over-energetic teen or 20-something. In fact, in one month, when I was over 45, I did more all-nighters (with good code as a result) than I did in all my time in high school and college combined.

It does vary according to the person. Forcing night people to try to work in the morning will always be an issue for them and will not produce the good code they can produce. Forcing morning people who tend not to do well in marathons to stay for 10 hour days four times a week is just as bad.

Corporations don't understand these things, which is one reason I never wanted to be involved with any larger corporations. If you want coders to do their best work, you can't regiment them and dictate how they work. You need to let them find their style. Let them work on their own schedule. If they need music, let them have it. If they need silence, find a way to make quiet places available. Some need neat work spaces, others need chaos.

Comment: They Can Charge If... (Score 1) 1

They can charge you for tethering if you're on an unlimited data plan, which makes sense. If you have unlimited and use only your phone, your data won't be but so high. But if you have unlimited with a tethered laptop, then you could be using many times the amount of data.

They are moving people off unlimited data plans when renewals come around, but I changed my plan before Sandy hit - I've been without power for 10 or 9 days after Isabel and Irene, so I know what a pain it is to have to use a phone for Internet for that long. I changed so I could use my tablet (which is like a laptop with the docking station). While my area was actually spared from Sandy, if it wasn't, I could have used a decent sized screen to access the Internet through tethering.

My package (for three of us) actually went down in price when I changed things around and I have free tethering and a data plan that includes more than the three of us are likely to use in a month.

Comment: Re:Slow news day? (Score 1) 100

by TheWanderingHermit (#41019399) Attached to: Amarok 2.6 Music Player Released

I remember with Amarok 2.0 not being able to find the UI for 1.x - was it added later? Even recently, when I tried it on MacPorts, there was a different UI, and I did check through all the preferences. Is it possible the ability to use both UIs wasn't on all platforms?

I'm on an iMac, I love it. It's not perfect, but after 10 years or so on Linux, there was no f---ing way I was going back to Windows, but I needed to be able to do professional video editing and there was nothing suitable on Linux for that. (Last I looked, none of the FOSS video editors were quite up to professional specs yet.) But on the other hand, I know what you're talking about. It's the Doctrine of Insufficient Adulation: If you're not 100% committed to OS X, then many fan boys will get quite nasty. I'm sorry that happened to your project. While I use Skype, I don't use it much and it sounds like the plugin market was kind of like the App Store or the App Market on Android -- that ratings and nasty comments can really do a program in. I take it you made it clear in your description it wasn't intended for those markets - I know even with that, people will get snotty because they think they can force a developer to do what they want.

As for Facebook, it's possible users don't always express themselves well. But, on the other hand, what part of, "We HATE Timeline!" is hard to understand? There's no need to force it on people who don't want it. For that matter, it's been a continual issue that people don't like the forced updates. FB could easily just publish an API, offer a few skins, and allow others to make and share skins. That would easily eliminate many of the complaints about FB - but they're never going to allow that because it's all about control, and this is an example of what I'm talking about. It's a company run by developers, so they don't care what users want, they, in their infinite wisdom, feel they know and will make users do what's best, instead of giving them choices.

Comment: Re:Slow news day? (Score 1) 100

by TheWanderingHermit (#41005219) Attached to: Amarok 2.6 Music Player Released

I'll just take the points in order, easier that way.

1) I wasn't even thinking of smaller projects, but that's a good point. And that's when it's necessary, if the people are persistent, to make it clear what the purpose of the project is and what their desire is and why they don't coincide (and that's a good time to point out, THEN, that it's a volunteer workforce and how much would be required to make the requested changes). If they're difficult, that's when it's time to stop ignoring them. This can also, in some cases, be a chance to make a few dollars by making the changes -- but usually the complainers aren't willing to pony up the cash for what they need.

2) Yes, people bitch - but there are a few points here. First, is your goal to get the projet out there for users? If it's Open/Libre Office, then it is. If you're just writing the program for yourself (which could be one or more developers) and releasing it, thinking, "I find it useful, so others might, too," then that's a case where you may want bug reports and feedback from developers, but not want to create a user community, since that's not at all the purpose of the project.

Second, if the goal is to get users to use it, as with KDE in general, and, in this case, Amarok in particular, then someone on the development team *must* keep in touch with the feelings of users. In this case, I've seen many people bitching over the new GUI in 2.0 and, from what I saw, the new GUI wasn't tested for user feedback. That's a prime example of what I'm talking about. It's a project with a goal of gaining users, but the crew totally ignored the needs of the users. It is common sense that a major GUI change will create a major reaction with users, so it's important to release what you can ahead of time to see how people feel about it compared to the old GUI. I have watched discussions over Amarok, and have seen very few positive comments when it hit 2.0. While it's true haters are more likely to speak up than those who are satisfied, that was still a missed opportunity from the Amarok developers to figure out what end users wanted.

I know it's a pain to maintain two GUIs, but they probably should have given serious consideration to doing that - or to reverting.

Third, yes, I know what hearing all the bitching is like. I used to teach special needs kids, which means nothing is enough for parents and everything is too much from the administration's point of view (where they want to maximize resources) and I write and, as I mentioned, retired from a software company. People love to bitch and some will be helpful when they realize they're listened to and some won't. But the bottom line is if you want people using the project, there's no choice. You have to listen to the "pulse of the public." This can be done through polling or a number of other ways, but if you're trying to market, in any way, then not listening to users is like target shooting with a blindfold.

3) It sounds like your plugin is either for use within an organization or that it has a price on it - in which case one major measure of user satisfaction is if they keep buying it.

4) Overall, and many developers hate it when I bring this up, developers are great engineers, but they're not human engineers. I love developers and the way they think and what it's like being in a room with them, but being the interface between users and a developer team is a special skill, and it's one very few developers have. The problems that I've seen (and this is one of them) is that developers know they're intelligent and think they can do it all, and often do see the user as less intelligent. This leads to them thinking if something is wrong, it *must* be the user.

I spent years working in residential treatment and teaching (before I started my business) and had to learn to deal with all different types of personalities and people with all different kinds of mental strengths in different areas. After leaving there and working with developers, I found that this is something most don't get. They think there's a right and wrong in things like a GUI and since they used logic, they're right. And often the problem is there are many, MANY layers of logic they don't understand, such as learning styles and working styles that mean many people who don't think like a developer - and developers think in several unique styles and just don't understand that most people don't and cannot think in that way.

This leads to different needs and different viewpoints and many times a developer can't understand that users need things done differently than the developers want to do things. This is one reason why Facebook, a company run by developers, while being used by many people, ranks as low, in customer satisfaction as public utilities and monopolies and other companies that people hate. The only reason they have the market is there's no real alternative.

Comment: Re:Slow news day? (Score 1) 100

by TheWanderingHermit (#40998963) Attached to: Amarok 2.6 Music Player Released

Actually, that misses the point.

I ran my own software company, based on my software, until about 5 years ago, when I retired at 45 so I could enjoy life. (And it was my company doing well enough that allowed me to retire that many years early.) During the time I was running it, I used FOSS in my systems and I even released FOSS programs for others to use.

Like many people who work with FOSS, I'd love to see it out there and in use in every market and see FOSS software leaving a lot of closed source programs in the dust. And I see that desire in many FOSS developers. They often say that FOSS software is "just better." Then they might, if asked, go into long explanations on the differences between open and closed source software and why FOSS is better.

But the sad truth is that developers, when left to their own means, without someone saying, "Do this and that," do what developers like and think is cool, and then they often try to push the result on users, saying, it's better than what was there. Well, maybe to a developer it is better, but often to an end user it is not. And this comes down to developers who think from their point of view and are unable to see a user's point of view and insist the developer view is right and better. And they think users should change and see the light.

But that isn't going to happen. This is an area where users grab what the need and use what does the job. They don't care what developers say is good or bad. To them, good means it does the job, bad means it either doesn't, or it's a pain to use. So they say, "This program is bad," and that pisses off developers who insist it's good.

And we end up with more and more FOSS that doesn't fit user needs and users get in the habit of thinking, "Oh, that's some of that open source stuff, and the open source programs I've tried in the past suck."

From the user point of view, they DO suck.

And developers are too busy saying, "We're right!" to listen to that.

Which is why most FOSS is technically beautiful, but sucks.

Yes, someone can commission a developer, but there's the flip side: If you're a developer, and people bitch about your software, and bitch a lot, then maybe it's time to listen *IF* you want people to use it.

Or you can ignore what users say and continue to slide into obscurity and wonder why your program hasn't become a standard for people, like Firefox or VLC or Audacity and why the mindshare is small compared to everything else.

Most public domain software is free, at least at first glance.

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