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Comment: Or, "Their invention must be right" syndrome. (Score 1) 137

by gestalt_n_pepper (#49150367) Attached to: Invented-Here Syndrome

I see that one a lot. The assumption that because the software vendor did it one way, That's. The. Way. It's. Done.

It's nonsense of course. Our testing system was designed for the most common use case. Maybe 50 dialogs with 5 or 6 controls each. Our system has thousands of dialogs, some of which have as many as 50 controls on a dialog (It's old, legacy, badly designed. I know....). To make that system scale, we had to develop our own abstraction system, an API and a different object mapping system.

In the end, it worked quite nicely. Had we just used it as was designed out of the box, we'd have scrapped it by now, or quadrupled our staff running on that maintenance treadmill. Vendors can be pretty bad at scaling or special cases.

Comment: Incompatible with some situations (Score 1) 113

by spaceyhackerlady (#49150119) Attached to: Can the Guitar Games Market Be Resurrected?

I live in an apartment and a couple of years ago my neighbours bought Guitar Hero or something similar. They played with it for about two days. Then they stopped (and sold the hardware) when the building management gave them an ultimatum over the number of noise complaints they had received.


Comment: Re:Genius. (Score 3, Informative) 129

by swillden (#49150045) Attached to: Lenovo Saying Goodbye To Bloatware

Genius executive: Maybe we should promise not to do stuff like that anymore.

Super-genius executive: Maybe we should promise not to do stuff like that any more, but exempt "security software and Lenovo applications". That way we can continue getting paid by McAfee and others to continue loading their stuff, as long as they don't mind us slapping our logo on it.

Comment: Genius. (Score 2) 129

by hey! (#49149869) Attached to: Lenovo Saying Goodbye To Bloatware

CEO: This Superfish incident has put our credibility in the toilet. Even corporate customers are looking askance at us now, and we didn't put it on their computers. Suggestions?

Executive 1: Lay low until it blows over.

Executive 2: Hire a new PR firm.

Executive 3: Start a social media campaign.

Genius executive: Maybe we should promise not to do stuff like that anymore.

Comment: I heard the news in the car today. (Score 5, Interesting) 329

by hey! (#49148919) Attached to: Leonard Nimoy Dies At 83

It'll be one of those moments I'll remember, like coming into work and being told about the Challenger disaster, or turning on the car radio and hearing the hushed voices of the announcers on 9/11. Like so many people I feel a connection to this wonderful man.

Of course he did more than play Spock; and in the early post-TOS years he was famously ambivalent about his association with the role. But he did something special with that role. It's easy in the fog of nostalgia to forget that man TOS scripts weren't all that great (although some of them were). The character of Spock might have become just an obscure bit of pop culture trivia; instead Nimoy turned Spock into a character that I feel sure actors in our grandchildren's generation will want to play and make their mark upon.

What Nimoy brought to that role is a dignity and authenticity, possibly rooted in his "alien" experience as the child of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants. In less sensitive hands the part might have been a joke, but I think what many of us took away from Nimoy's performance was something that became deeply influential in our world views. Nimoy's Spock taught us that there was something admirable in being different even when that is hard for others to understand; that winning the respect of others is just as rewarding as popularity. The world needs its oddballs and misfits, not to conform, but to be the very best version of themselves they can be. Authenticity is integrity.

It's customary to say things in remembrances like "you will be missed", but that falls short. Leonard Nimoy, you will live on in the lives of all us you have touched.

Comment: Re:... Driverless cars? (Score 1) 247

So... you still have nothing to cite.

Just the fact that you're trying to pretend that this all stopped in the 1930s means I have no more patience for this tangent.

I said no such thing. You were the one who brought up the 30s, I just used your era.

And I really have no dog in this fight, and would be interested to hear about examples of the Teamsters behaving badly in recent years. So I asked if you had any evidence that they still behave this way. You apparently don't.

Comment: Re:... Driverless cars? (Score 2) 247

They are drivers not coders. We can build a metric to rank them. (Packages/hour - (SafetyWeight * accidents/year)) would work for drivers with similar routes.

At UPS they incent performance for drivers in ways that don't interfere with the seniority system.

Accident handling is pretty simple: If you have one, barring really, really clear evidence that it's not only not your fault but there is no possible way you could have avoided it, you're fired. The Teamsters lawyer will fight to get you a decent severance package, but that's it. Even with said evidence, you'd better not ever have another.

As for packages/per hour, UPS has a system that calculates the time required for a given route, including driving and deliveries. Drivers get paid max(route_time, actual_time), so if they can get the route done in less than the estimated time they get to go home early without losing pay. Experienced drivers can always beat the estimated time, usually by large margins, and even in the event of breakdowns, etc.

Further, habitually beating your route time gives you the opportunity to take on longer routes. So, many good UPS drivers habitually do 12-hour routes in 7 hours, which means they get paid for 14 hours (the last four of the 12 are time and a half) for working 7. Meanwhile, drivers who habitually take longer than their estimated times get assigned shorter and shorter routes, and, of course, there is a point at which drivers are taking so much longer than the estimate, that they can be fired for cause.

BTW, if you have the perception that UPS drivers are well-paid, you're both wrong and right. Their nominal hourly wages are decent, maxing out at around $20 per hour or a bit above, but those who work hard can easily earn lots of "fake" overtime, as in my example of 14 hours' pay for 7 hours' work. That plus massive amounts of real overtime around the holidays means that UPS drivers' incomes can approach six figures -- but only if they work hard.

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"