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Comment: The kicker... (Score 3, Insightful) 377

by fruey (#45638631) Attached to: Study: People Are Biased Against Creative Thinking

In terms of decision style, most people fall short of the creative ideal unless they are held accountable for their decision-making strategies, they tend to find the easy way out—either by not engaging in very careful thinking or by modeling the choices on the preferences of those who will be evaluating them.

This is the kicker. Not only do people reject creativity, but they hamper their own responses by conforming to what they think the boss will like. So if you don't agree with your colleague or their interpretation of what the boss will like, you're screwed. What tends to then happen is a breakdown in communication, as you will want to present to the boss directly instead of via the misguided (in your opinion) minion.

If people stopped trying to predict other people's reactions, they'd be more likely to be themselves. Sadly in the corporate world this means that bosses only get a limited set of responses from anyone not directly below them in the hierarchy. Shame.

Comment: Zombie, zombie zombie-eh-eh in your head (Score 3, Interesting) 163

Article says nothing about the Cranberries.

Modelling epidemics is important. Mass transit and all that just means that the next major flu bug could well screw a hefty percentage of the population.

Zombies were once a semi-real concept, because defining death has been refined only recently. The French word for undertaker is "croque mort", literally the "dead biter" who would bit corpses to make sure they were really dead.

Comment: Good old days (Score 2) 48

At least one of the judges (^chongo^) was a contributor to this very site many moons ago, not sure if he's still here. (Had|Has) some fine prime number & math pages.

I strongly suggest taking time to look at just what previous entries have been able to do, including print musical notation, a working spreadsheet implementation, and a flight simulator. With obfuscation & size limits.

Ahhh memories. Never could enter myself though, can't even write normal C with any proficiency.

Comment: Freeview via Satellite (Score 1) 78

by fruey (#43015553) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: IPTV Service In the UK?

I have a setup with a satellite dish, Freesat box (Technisat HDFS, which is also a PVR if you add a USB HDD) which has a network adapter. iPlayer works via broadband for catchup TV, the rest is all just PVR. Virgin have a Tivo like box for cable, but you'll pay heavy subscription fees for that.

Freesat gets you most of what you need. For Video on Demand Netflix runs in the UK, selection not as good as US, you can as others have suggested get a VPN as needed to look like you're in the US.

Comment: RIM is losing in the Enterprise too (Score 4, Interesting) 197

by fruey (#36634420) Attached to: RIM Responds To an Employee's Open Letter

From basic observation I have seen execs moving from BlackBerry to iPhone & Android because the latter platforms are in fact now both capable of syncing reasonably well with Exchange.

BlackBerry is still a powerful platform for corporate email but they're mostly used for reading - rather than writing - email so the data entry & ergonomy for basic email operations isn't *killer* enough. On top of that new >200 DPI screens on Android & iPhone devices make reading much more pleasant. If you read a lot, then having hardware keys to scroll (I love being able to use space to page down on BB) is great though, but the text resolution is shit.

The thing most have missed so far is that the gadget that is invading the boardroom is the iPad. Meetings where everyone has a slide deck on their own tablet make sense, especially when (if indeed it isn't already out there but has escaped my attention) a collaboration tool allows slick collective annotation on iPad.

Many apps on BlackBerry are pretty awful, and my all-time favourite, viigo, was bought by BlackBerry and then almost instantly killed. It relied on a proxy to format RSS properly and serve it to the terminal, and the proxy never works any more. The new RIM News Reader app isn't available in my country. WTF? It was the only app that allowed RSS + Twitter (multiple accounts) + stocks + weather in one easy place.

Note also that the processing power on smartphones make BlackBerry appear exceptionally slow. RIM are going to lose, unless they bring back something a bit more *killer* in the corporate space. They have some interesting niches though, esp. for teen texting where BlackBerry does come into its own. iPhone text messaging is way sexier though, mostly thanks to the higher DPI.

Comment: Re:Not bothered (Score 1) 1162

by fruey (#35879258) Attached to: Why Has Blu-ray Failed To Catch Hold?

You're mostly right, but things can look a bit better, notably : better rendering of small detail can be detected as you may move your head forward slightly. Less likely to see blurring and artefacts even if your eyes don't physically distinguish for a _single_ image on your retina, you are watching animated content and so more detail can make a quality difference beyond the physics of your eye (because it's gauged over time and with minor head/eye movement).

Comment: French Data Law (Score 2) 433

by fruey (#35742142) Attached to: France Outlaws Hashed Passwords

Sadly, the restrictions in France in eCommerce are wider ranging than even this. Storing credit card information, for example, requires companies to jump through many hoops and prove data is stored in Europe. Many sites steer clear of storing credit card information. Any subscriptions (newsletters, etc) have to be kept in auditable databases and opt-out laws are strong. Sometimes this is a good thing for the end user, but it stifles intelligent lazy login systems and means billing is not as automated as it needs to be. Anti fraud measures such as 3D secure (Verified by Visa, Mastercard Securecode) are crap in France because the banks have all adopted different ways of authenticating their clients in an online payment system (some by a challenge/response via SMS, some via one time pads, some via birthdate, etc).

Obviously legal departments are kept busy, and content publishers or eCommerce merchants end up crippling user experience because they are very likely to take a pessimistic interpretation of all the data privacy laws. So the French do what? The internet illuminati sign up for US/UK English versions of sites, or French canadian sites, whereas the average Joe just things the net is about typing in the same data all the time.

Comment: Re:Large organization doing something simple (Score 4, Insightful) 305

by fruey (#35706532) Attached to: NYT Paywall Cost $40 Million: How?

Two well identified principles at work here (and the bigger an organisation, the more likely they are to happen, especially without strong leadership)

1. Parkinson's law : basically, work spreads out to fill the time that was earmarked to complete a project
2. Brooks' law : Adding people to a project increases lateness, because the number of communication channels to manage increases as a square of the number of people on a project

Only very sound management and trusting delegation - along with having a reasonably competent project team in the first place - can make things happen quickly.

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