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Comment: Re:Relative (Score 1) 356

by Watertowers (#44826717) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are 'Rock Star' Developers a Necessity?

I have found that a lot of good programmers out of college already have the anti-social habits, but yes the earlier you put them in a good environment the better. I also find that the anti-social programmers are usually friendly with the people that can help them, but will refuse to even talk to someone they consider less than their own abilities, or people that serve no purpose to their career advancement.

I would advise any company to get rid of these type of people and hire friendly but good programmers that can work well in a team. If they are college graduates I would give them a period of time before I would assess whether they work well with their team, give them some coaching to help the integration process if they are having problems, and only as a last resort ask them to move on. Most people are reasonable and will be encouraged by a focus on knowledge and skills sharing.

I have only met a couple of people so far that really don't work well in teams unless they are in charge and get to hand pick their own people, usually people that are happy to take orders and not talk back. Ultimately these people are hard to get rid of because they embed themselves and dont share key information. They tend to want lower skilled people on their teams and give them minor tasks and keep the hard work for themselves.

Comment: 1366x768 will last until Windows catches up :( (Score 1) 661

by Watertowers (#41837153) Attached to: Linus Torvalds Advocates For 2560x1600 Standard Laptop Displays

The big problem is Windows. If you look at the driving force behind all PC/Laptop sales for the last decade or more, it has been the Windows OS, and since it can't handle high-res screens well (with regards to scaling what is displayed), there have not been any high-res screens that do not natively display something that is readable to the average person. Look at the surface with Windows 8 and what resolution they chose. When Windows catches up, so will laptop resolutions.

I was kind of hoping Windows 8 was going to address the issue, but looks like yet another F$%^# up by redmond. They also need to compete on screen resolution if they want to beat Apple. Apple has highlighted that people want something that looks nice, provides a great user experience, and feels solid (ie not cheap). Build quality sounds like it is a pass and arguably Windows have worked on the user experience (epic fail from what I have tried of the pre releases of Win8), it also looks ok but they failed to provide the finishing touches of a nice high-res screen to make everything look like you can reach out and grab it.

I have wanted to have a 2560x1600 laptop display on my 15inch for a long time, since before the "Retina Display", but everyone I work with think I am crazy for wanting it. The screen real estate is precious to a developer. Yes the text is small, but I have the screen reasonable close to my face and could easily work on a smaller font if it was crisp enough for reading. I also want a 16 core processor and 64GB RAM in my laptop, at least until the broadband speeds allow me to run a private cloud at home that I can access from anywhere. I use virtual machines a lot and regularly exhaust my 16GB RAM and 8 cores on my laptop anytime I want to run end-to-end testing.

I hope Linus can push for something to happen before Windows catches up, but I have my doubts.

Comment: Re:America the lucky country (Score 0) 658

by Watertowers (#37877378) Attached to: TSA's VIPR Bites Rail, Bus, and Ferry Passengers

Our politicians are mostly too incompetent to do much damage. More often than not when they get elected they have too slim a margin so they can't get much approved by both the lower and upper house. This ultimately means not much changes, but you have a point, we do have a bunch of clowns running the show, but our clowns have very little impact for the most part. I am sure we have a number of scumbags in office that or totally corrupt, and I think it has been getting worse as our population gets bigger.

As for only the rich getting a say, I think our last election showed people do have a say as people voted against the major parties causing independents and minor greens party to have the balance of power. Will this change the long term outlook, I doubt it since as I have already noted, our politicians are "mostly harmless".

I applaud the recent protests across the world against the rich having too much say, I don't know if it will have an impact but I hope it does. Every government has its problems and I think corruption is a world wide problem, thus the protests have been world wide.

Examples of silly governments: You have crazy government agencies making silly rules where everyone has to be strip searched for the greater good, we have a silly government that doesn't realise an internet filter will not work. We all have lawyers trying to sue everyone and make lots of money through stupid software patents. We all have company CEOs that are legally required to put shareholders first. What about the impact they have on people and the environment?

As for our country being in trouble, I think that we should be impacted further with all the turmoil going on around the world. The constant up and down of the markets is keeping a lid on our reactionary treasury which is good, but we have a big problem with small businesses losing out while people put everything into savings. Also Internet sales are helping to kill the local shops. All this means is less jobs, and lower advertised wages. So yes we are impacted. I think eventually we will have another recession, but most of what happens here is due to external forces rather than local.

The important thing is when we have a recession, we can at least expect the government to try to help us find work and provide us with enough money to live. We may lose our home and most of our belongings in a worst case scenario but medical care is not withdrawn the moment you lose your job or have no money. I was feeling rather sorry for Americans when the Republicans rejected the idea of a medicare like service for your population, they would rather have more money and lower taxes for the rich. Not everyone who is unemployed is there because they want handouts. To me medical assistance is something all people should be able to access, especially in a wealthy society. A healthy population is in a better position to contribute towards society.

Comment: America the lucky country (Score -1) 658

by Watertowers (#37874084) Attached to: TSA's VIPR Bites Rail, Bus, and Ferry Passengers
I am so glad I do not live in America. It's worse than a dictatorship, your government lives off the rich and therefore panders to the rich, no-one else gets a say in anything. It doesn't matter who you vote for because the only people that can afford to run for office are the rich. Your "democratic" system is busted and I doubt you will ever be able to fix it without an all out revolution.

Comment: Best laptops (Score 0) 708

by Watertowers (#37829226) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: GNU/Linux Laptops?
I found the most difficult task was finding a high spec CPU with lots of memory in a laptop without having to pay for a high spec graphics card. I also demand a minimum build quality. I am finding the main hardware problems that exist for Linux are related to power management and a BIOS that does not comply with standards. I had to disable the power management scripts on my Clevo, otherwise I was finding my network card would fail if I wasn't connected to the mains power, and if I connected mains power while running on battery, the whole machine would freeze. Power regressions within the Linux Kernel seems to be quite a hot topic of late, so it pays to be aware that running the newer Linux versions will reduce the battery life. Other than the power management problem I am quite happy running Ubuntu 11.04 64-bit. The build quality is good and I have found it to be a good price point. It is a high spec machine running the i7 2820 with 16GB RAM. Cost about $2500AU with a , FHD 95% gamut screen and extra power pack. Battery life suffers a little due to the spec and PM problems, but I still get around 3 hours on battery. In Australia the closest price I could find for the same spec and build quality at the time was about another $1000AU more. Apple had the physical build quality (feels sollid in the hands) and were one of a few that used the higher spec i7 CPU, but I didn't want to buy one since I had heard they had all sorts of issues with the new MacBook Pro overheating (the complaints thread was quite long as I recall and Apple were not officially recognising the problem at the time). Not sure if they ever fixed the problem? Dell build quality I have found is quite good, my previous laptop was a DELL Inspiron 9400 and it has been running for the last 6 years and still works. My wife uses it at the moment for her studies. Unfortunately I would have had to buy the gaming machine version to get the CPU I wanted, ie around $4000AU, and again with a high spec GPU. Looking around at all the current laptops, they mostly have crappy keyboards that flex. From my searching and trying in shops, only Clevo, DELL, Sony, high end HP (EliteBook) and Apple seems to have a decent keyboard. Once again it comes back to price, a good keyboard should not be exclusive to high end laptops, all laptops should have a descent keyboard without flex. Then we come to the elusive good trackpad, Why do companies persist in making trackpads that have textures and sticky surfaces, the newer versions of Clevo also suffer from this from what I have read, using a rubber surface of all things? Luckily the earlier Clevo that I bought doesn't have the problems and its trackpad is not bad. Of course Apple wins hands down in this department, last I looked they have the best on the market. If money was not an issue, I would buy the HP EliteBook as they have everything. Unfortunately they cost way too much in Australia, we are looking at a prices range of $4000 and above. The place I work uses the EliteBook range and build quality is great and I never hear of issues with heat, or noise. they also come with just about every port imaginable. So hopefully this gives the op some idea of the problems in looking for a laptop in general and what I see as the mains issues when buying when it will be used with Linux.

Comment: MS the innovators (Score 0) 293

by Watertowers (#31851560) Attached to: The iPad vs. Microsoft's "Jupiter" Devices
I take it all back MS can be innovators, but in this case they were a little ahead of their time. I think the iPad and similar devices are getting close to a useful browser/book reader replacement but they will not be replacing my laptop any time soon. Most tasks I complete on a laptop requires a lot of typing and this is really slow on a touch screen compared to a real keyboard.

Comment: During work hours (Score 0) 342

by Watertowers (#31660952) Attached to: New Software For Employers To Monitor Facebook
A person should not be able to be fired for what they say in their own time, unless the comments are un-true and they are causing a loss to the company due to their online comments, this is where the company could have a case for defamation, or the person is leaking company secrets which is just plain wrong. People need to be careful what they say on-line and only say something if they have evidence/support to back up their comments. If you put something in the public space, it is open slather, and if a company wants to bother monitoring public commentry it is their choice. It is a waste of resources in my opinion. People are plain stupid if they are using social networking during work hours on a work pc, unless it is in their job description.

Comment: A good electronic equivalent (Score 0) 511

by Watertowers (#31560766) Attached to: What Is Holding Back the Paperless Office?
Nothing beats a piece of paper for taking notes or drawing a quick diagram. Laptops take too long to boot Desktops are not portable PDAs are too small Whiteboards are too bulky to carry around Digital screens are mostly (ecluding e-ink type screens) not readable in direct sunlight. Software generally takes longer to perform the same task on paper. Using paper, it is instant on, can be read in direct sunlight, comes in various sizes and is light and easy to carry, and with everyone thinking about the environment it is "greener" than all the alternatives.

Comment: Tablets dont suck (Score 0) 553

by Watertowers (#31553764) Attached to: 5 Reasons Tablets Suck, and You Won't Buy One
I disagree, tablets don't suck. Tablets have had a problem of short battery life, screens are not good in sunlight and the interface is that of a laptop/desktop rather than tablet, where a user would have access to a keyboard and mouse. I think since multi-touch has become available, this market has been changing for the better. I also think that once the multi-touch colour e-ink type displays become more prevalent and battery life creeps over 12 hours (which is already starting to happen) these devices will become more popular. The only problem left is to make it possible to view video on an e-ink type display, although the Pixel Qi display has provided a solution to this it would be better if you didn't have to swap between display types. To me, a tablet is something I want to use for reading, browsing the internet and annotating documents. So I am after a version that opens like a book and has 2 hi-res (min 1366 x 786) multi-touch screens and a battery life of over 12 hours and enough grunt to browse and watch video. The device must be capable of running multiple apps simulatenously. The screen should also be readable in sunlight. With the Pixel Qi screen and other technologies currently available I think this is achievable. So where is it?

Comment: Re:iPhone mania (Score 1) 366

by Watertowers (#31475906) Attached to: Microsoft Employees Love Their iPhones
Didn't say there was anything wrong with copying the technology. I actually think the whole idea of software patents is plain stupid. I just don't like it when companies claim to be innovators when they are not. As for a MS version of iPhone, I am guessing they would lock the phone as much as Apple so I wouldn't be interested. I am sure there are plenty of people that would though. One of the things that is most desirable for business users is tight integration with MS Exchange and I would expect a MS phone to provide this.

Comment: Re:iPhone mania (Score 1) 366

by Watertowers (#31475692) Attached to: Microsoft Employees Love Their iPhones
Look at the history of MS and most things they have "created" that was any good was purchased technology. MS spends so much on R&D and yet what have they really created that is worth anything? Windows was not their invention, DOS was not their invention. XBox is about the only thing I can think of that they created that people liked and yet the product was plagued with problems from the time of release, like everything they have actually created, and in the end nintendo was soooo much better. At least Apple when they release a product it more often than not is a true innovation and was created not purchased and it works. I am not a fan of Apple, their products are too limited for the purchase price but they do integrate very well, something MS does not do well.

Comment: Boycott all DRM products worldwide in protest (Score 1) 500

by Watertowers (#19032559) Attached to: Two US States Restrict Used CD Sales
The easiest and most effective way to fight DRM is by withdrawing your monetary support of the system. I realise this may be hard for people that love their music and/or movies. Look at it as a sacrifice for the greater good. Companies that do not support fair use of a purchased product will not make any money from me because I do not purchase their products. I have not purchased music since I was at uni, over ten years ago (I listen to the radio), and I have not purchased any DVD's for more than 5 years (I only watch the news and mostly read books). I dont even go to see movies at the theatre anymore. DRM has eroded the rights of consumers, so we should erode their profit margin by boycotting their products. This does not break any laws (none that I know of) and is a silent protest against an unjust system. I encourage people around the world to fight the evil of DRM in a law abiding fashion. How has the world peacefully encouraged countries to change policies in the past and present, using economic sanctions!

This is my two cents worth :)
Patents

+ - Aussie software pirate extradited (10yrs jail)

Submitted by Watertowers
Watertowers (1061714) writes "BEFORE he was extradited to the United States, Hew Griffiths, from Berkeley Vale in NSW, had never even set foot in America. But he had pirated software produced by American companies. Now, having been given up to the US by former justice minister Chris Ellison, Griffiths, 44, is in a Virginia cell, facing up to 10 years in an American prison after a guilty plea late last month. http://www.theage.com.au/news/technology/aussie-pi rate-extradited/2007/05/06/1178390182639.html"

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