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Journal: Firehose Paused due to inactivity - WTF? 1

Journal by djh101010
OK, I'm a reasonably tech-savvy person, really I am. But in the last week or so, my up-to-date, fairly generic Firefox install, has been displaying a popup on my Slashdot tab, telling me that "Firehose Paused due to inactivity". If I try to ignore it it comes back. If I click unpause, it goes away until (something times out?).

It's annoying. I've googled without success - but I do see where it is in slashcode. I checked my preferences to turn whatever the hell this is, off. Can't find it. Anyone know how to make this stop?
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Journal: iPhone 1.1.1 firmware jailbreak success! 4

Journal by djh101010
Well, it took a couple of weeks, but the smart folks on the iPhone Dev team have succeeded with a jailbreak on iPhone firmware version 1.1.1 There's a good description here: http://www.tuaw.com/2007/10/08/announcing-a-preliminary-iphone-1-1-1-jailbreak It's "not ready for prime time" yet but, the fact is that they're in and can navigate the filesystem and deploy files to it. Springboard apparently has some tweaks to make life more difficult for 3p apps (GRRRR....) but ... this is Unix, we have the root password, and as any good sysadmin will tell you, if you have physical access to a box, _and_ especially the root password, anything can be done. So, how will Apple respond? I can see a few scenarios:

1. They give us a software development kit and acknowledge reality (30% chance)

2. They pretend that this is as good as they can do, tell AT&T "Well, we tried", shrug, and we get on with business as usual (40%)

3. They choose to continue the cat&mouse game, trying to lock us out and succeeding for a week or two per iteration. Yet in the meantime we always have 1.0.2 and now, apparently, 1.1.1 to work with. (30%).

If they choose to go with 3, it's annoying but not insurmountable. Unless they decide to get really nasty about it and use (mumblesnarf grumbly naganaga). Which would suck. But we'd _still_ have a good version to work from. Taking that thought a bit further - 1.0.2 is _completely_ open. Worst case, smart people get into 1.1.1 and friends, and back-port the good parts (double-tap home button for instance) to 1.0.2, releasing community issued patches just as happens in so many other projects. So the worst case, isn't all that bad, and I don't think it's all that likely. I think it'll be just fine, and we'll be playing tetris and PigShooter on 1.1.1 soon enough, is what I'm saying. I could be wrong though, it's happened before a time or ten.

So - how about the iPod Touch then?
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Journal: Interviews + unqualified applicants = AAAAAAAARGH!!!! 1

Journal by djh101010
OK so we're trying to staff up. This is good. Looking for strong Unix guys with a very well defined job description handed out to headhunters. The market is apparently tight. That, is _not_ good, at least from our perspective. Yesterday, I lost an hour or so of my life that I'll never get back. Let's see.

Guy number 1: technical phone screen. Can't hear him, static on the line throughout. Threw a pretty medium question at him to see how he responds; I don't care _what_ the answer is as long as it's appropriate, but show me how you think, y'know? Well...inappropriate answer. Didn't hear? Didn't understand? Don't know? Hard to say. Probe deeper. Back off to basic question. Another inappropriate answer, eerily similar to the first. The 3 of us in the room, on phone with interviewee, exchange the "wait, what?" look. As time marched on, it got actually painful.

Guy number 2: in person interview for "fit" rather than "techie", he passed the tech screen with one of our gurus. Scheduled time comes, and goes. No guy #2. Recheck calendar and manager, yes, time is right and has passed. OK, working, let me know if Guy shows up. Nearly an hour late, Guy does. No phone call, no apology, just nearly an hour late. Dressed...interestingly. This for an IT position at a company you've heard of, known for being somewhat conservative. Manager asked if Guy had his phone number, Guy had come without it or a map to find the (yes, on google and mapquest maps) location. Sigh. Into the Room Of Torment (for us, lately).

"Tell me about an interesting problem you've had recently and how you solved it." Come on, this is THE classic interview question. Give me a war story, embellish, hell, make shit up completely, I don't _care_, I want to hear how you think, how you fix stuff. War stories. Engage me. Make me want to know more. "Well, I found a shell script once where the #! at the start pointed to the wrong path." Share the "Wait, what?" look with the manager. Try again with something else. Lather, rinse, repeat. (sigh).

Friday we try again with two more guys. My hopes are high, they always are. I guess my point here, is why do headhunters send us people who don't have the skills we state we need, and more to the point, why would someone read a job req they're clearly unqualified for, and then go to the interview anyway? Alternately, from the other side of the table, any hints for me? I don't pretend to be a master interviewer (on either side of the table); I certainly don't want to pass over someone that's really worth digging into further, but any thoughts on better ways to find out what these guys are thinking? We're trying to balance an intense staffing shortage (growth-induced) with the whole "but don't settle for good-enough" thing. Our team is top-notch, works great together, not one stinker on it, and it benefits us all to keep it that way. Any thoughts? Are we doing something wrong, or is interviewing always like this?
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Journal: Wow, I got two foes in one day. eBay haters, or what? 3

Journal by djh101010
Hm. Seems there are some pretty serious eBay haters out there. I now have 2 foes, because I had the audacity to point out that people who bid more than they want to pay for an item, might pay up to the amount they bid. Somehow suddenly I'm apparently defending shill bidding, which I've also been pretty clear about.

So what really makes people so damned passionate about eBay and PayPal? It's a marketplace, people use it. There's some crooks and ways to deal with them. But if you dare to point out that there are mechanisms to report shills, to pull out of shilled auctions, and to recognize shills in the first place, somehow it gets people all worked up. What's up with that?

Initially I figured it's the typical "hate the successful e-business" thing, but it seems to be bigger than that. Any thoughts?
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Journal: No really, I've never done this before!

Journal by djh101010
Well, that was interesting. I just did something I've never done before...given notice at a "real job". An opportunity found me with more responsibility, better pay, and closer to home. So what's not to like?

Serious question though - this hiring process involved phone interviews, and that was it. No face-to-face interview, at all. Anyone else had that happen? It's odd; not complaining mind you, I just thought it was strange not to have some sort of personal one-on-one meet & greet. Is this common?

Followup 7 months later: Consider lack of in-person interview to be a warning sign. Trust me on this one. Details soon.
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Journal: What I think SCO is really up to...

Journal by djh101010
I don't think SCO's goal is to win a lawsuit, I think their goal is to cast FUD on the GPL specifically, and open-source in general.

Let's look at this logically. SCO isn't stupid, they know that they have no case. Therefore, winning isn't their goal. Even if they lose, the FUD that they've spread is going to stick, even if it's just a little bit. I can't even propose linux-based projects because my employer (a fortune-50 insurance company) doesn't want the hassle. The FUD is working already.

If they just go away, the FUD sticks. If they get bought out, the FUD sticks. If they get shot down legally in no uncertain terms, some of the FUD will _still_ stick. Their goal isn't to win money, their goal is to try to destroy or cripple the Open Source Software community.

When one's enemies' actions are illogical, it makes sense to re-evaluate what that enemy's goals might be.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas

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