Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Deadlines and Milestones instead of Estimates (Score 1) 327

by dave562 (#49142383) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

I have found that the best middle ground is to work with the developers and project team to set deadlines and project milestones. While down to the tenth of an hour estimates are not necessary, there have to be goals to hit.

The best managers are going to let the developers provide their own estimates, and then calibrate the timelines accordingly. Some people are good at estimating time. Others are horrible at it. The project manager needs to know their team well enough to account for those factors.

The of thumb that I have always worked with is double the estimated time. Under promise and over deliver. This does lead to some grumbling up front, "It is going to take HOW long?!" But after successfully delivering ahead of time, enough times in a row, people come around.

The biggest challenge is keeping people honest. Some people have a hard time admitting that they are not going to make a deadline. It is important to give those people room to fail, so long as they are responsible about it. "This deadline has some flexibility, as long as you give me 48 hours notice that you are going to miss it. Don't come into my office the day I am expecting a deliverable and tell me that you need another week."

The other side of that is having to be a good manager, and push back on the business team to give the developers room to work. "We told you we would deliver it by X and we are still on track to deliver it by X. STFU you about your cranky client whose expectations you cannot manage despite us being explicitly clear with you about what our timelines are. And no, we are not going to add that extra feature that you promised them but failed to include in the scope."

Comment: NLP & Eastern Philosophies (Score 1) 684

I really wished that I had discovered a few things earlier than I did. The first is Neuro Linguistic Programming. (Reading: Introducing NLP: Psychological Skills for Understanding and Influencing People by Joseph O'Connor) While it gets a bad rep as being the techniques people use to manipulate each other, I found that it was a solid 'instruction manual for the mind'. Some of the techniques in there made a very positive impact in my ability to learn, and I wish that I had had them in middle and high school when I was struggling with some of the AP work.

The second is eastern philosophy, specifically Taoist and Buddhist philosophy. (Reading: The Taoist Classics & The Classics of Buddhism and Zen by Thomas Cleary.) While technology is cool and all, hacking the body and the mind are way more fulfilling, interesting and beneficial. Some of the practices developed by the ancient masters like tai chi and qi gong are life long practices, and the earlier people get started, the more benefit they will eventually reap from them.

I believe that the majority people who read and contribute to Slashdot understand that our society is seriously ill. In many ways, our society is insane. It can be very isolating and confusing to hold different beliefs. It can be confusing to intuit that things are wrong, yet not understand why... or what the alternative is. I found those alternatives in ancient philosophies that can still be applied to the modern day.

To wrap it up. Children need to understand Neuro Linguistic Programming so that they can see through the bullshit that is constructed by the media, the marketers and politicians. Anyone can benefit from philosophies that espouse the virtues of self cultivation, health and just, balanced societies.

For the OP: Your daughter and wife will be okay. She has your DNA. They have both had your love. They are blessed that you were there to help bring her into the world, and to guide her development. They will miss you, your passing will hurt, but they will be okay.

Comment: The Collective Consciousness (Score 1) 249

by dave562 (#49074003) Attached to: Game Theory Calls Cooperation Into Question

Some species of birds and social insects routinely help raise another's brood. Even bacteria can cooperate, sticking to each other so that some may survive poison. If extortion reigns, what drives these and other acts of selflessness?

Lacking a human ego, the species in question naturally accept that they are all one and part of a larger whole. Therefore self sacrifice is innate because it leads to the survival of the whole.

Comment: Re:Arduino Panic Button (Score 1, Insightful) 327

by dave562 (#49034509) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Panic Button a Very Young Child Can Use

I was not going to be the first one to say it, but the exact same thought passed through my head.

This guy has a wife with a serious illness AND a two year old child. His solution is to make it possible for his two year old to keep an eye on his wife.

What kind of long term trauma is that going to cause? "Now Sally, keep a close eye on your mom because it is on you to make sure that when she starts convulsing that you make sure daddy is aware of it." What kind of sick person puts that responsibility on a toddler?

Comment: Re:Here go the MBA's (Score 1) 54

by dave562 (#49034331) Attached to: Layoffs Begin At Daybreak Games

Are you sure about that? They are cutting senior staff positions. A Director of community relations is probably a smart choice given that they are going through a massive transition. Do they really care what the old message to the community is? Can they even afford to care what the community thinks, or court their input at such a delicate time? While fan participation and buy in is important, it is doubtful that they are in a position to do anything meaningful with it right now, or in the near future. It would not surprise me if they fill the position again, probably internally, once they figure out what their new messaging is going to be.

The Director of Development is an odd one, but in a way it makes sense. If they had a solid development program, they would not be in dire financial straights in the first place. While they are losing a leadership position, it will be interesting to see if they fill the position internally, or go outside. An internal hire shows that they are committed to leveraging current talent to lead them in a new direction. An external hire shows that they have little faith in their current staff, and will very likely accelerate a talent exodus.

Comment: People need to care (Score 1) 239

by dave562 (#49025803) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Will It Take To End Mass Surveillance?

By and large, the public does not care. They certainly do not care enough to do anything about it.

If people really cared, it would take self sacrifice. People would have to refuse to go to work, for weeks, if not months. We would have to stop working long enough to really throw a wrench into the system. Not only that, we would have to some how convince others not to take our jobs while we are out there doing whatever it is we would do when we were proving to the government that we are not there to perpetuate their system.

Good luck with that.

Comment: Re:Consider the denominator (Score 1) 136

by dave562 (#49021445) Attached to: DEA Hands MuckRock a $1.4 Million Estimate For Responsive Documents

Now, to be able to go through 13000 cases (each with multiple documents), each member of this hypothetical team will need to process 928 cases. How many can they process per day?

The relevant metric here is number of documents per case. On average, a trained reviewer is going to do about 2 docs a minute, or 120 docs an hour. Keep in mind, that is for a typical privilege review. They may be able to do it even faster if all they are doing is verifying redactions.

+ - Progressing Being Made in Renewable Energy Storage Technologies-> 2

Submitted by dave562
dave562 (969951) writes "As astute Slashdot commentators frequently mention when renewable energy is discussed, the biggest challenge faced by renewable energy is its inability to provide stable baseline power. Progress is being made to address those concerns, and companies who can deliver successful are trying to tap into a market that has been valued at $10.5 billion dollars.

From the article,

"The problem for a lot of renewable power sources — wind and solar farms, run-of-river hydro — is that they often pump out the most power when utilities don’t need it, but dim down when they really want it.

For electric utilities, balancing those peaks and valleys from intermittent energy sources is a major challenge to integrating them into the grid, which is why some B.C.-based firms are hoping to cash in on the development of energy-storage technologies.

ZincNyx’s technology, the so-called flow battery, is a regenerative fuel-cell system that takes in electricity when the power isn’t needed and uses it to create fuel out of zinc-oxide that is stored in a tank, and which is then run through a fuel cell that converts it back into electricity when it is needed."

Is this the answer to the challenge faced by renewable power? What other hurdles still remain?"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Recession coming?? (Score 1) 170

by dave562 (#48974209) Attached to: Study Predicts 9% Drop In Salaries of New CS Grads This Year

Yes, the recession is already starting. It is going to be another 8-12 months before it starts getting major press coverage, but companies are already cutting back on CapEx in general, and IT CapEx in particular.

You will notice it accelerating when Merger and Acquisition (M&A) activities start picking up.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 170

by dave562 (#48974169) Attached to: Study Predicts 9% Drop In Salaries of New CS Grads This Year

Especially if you can get into Federal Contracting, the money is good

This is an interesting perspective. I just interviewed someone in the DC area who is looking to get out of Federal contracting because their perception is that it is getting harder to find stable work.

Now granted, I ended up passing on the person because their skills were not up to par and that might very well explain their challenge with finding work.

Is there a specific skill set that you find is in demand among Federal contractors?

Comment: Re:Money and Opportunity (Score 2) 101

by dave562 (#48969849) Attached to: Building a Good Engineering Team In a Competitive Market

Who the fuck are you to come on and assassinate someone else's character who you have not even met, and whose work product you have never seen?

At least you had the dignity to post with a legitimate account instead of as AC.

I have to wonder what is so wrong with your own character, that you are so threatened by the potential competence of a complete stranger, that you have to take to defaming them in order to re-enforce whatever impoverished view of the world you have adopted for yourself.

It seems to me like you have had some bad past experiences that you are still projecting into the now. Hopefully you find your way out of whatever pathetic, asshole infested farce of a career that you seem to be stuck in.

The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you've got it made. -- Jean Giraudoux