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Comment: Re:Revisionist history. (Score 1) 270

Right... and to be honest, Elop was the nail in a coffin that Nokia seemed to have already been slipping into. They lost faith when Android and iPhone happened. They should have jumped into the Android market and kicked Samsung's ass - something they had been doing for about 2 decades - and aimed to become the market leaders again by 2020 - a spot reserved for whichever handset maker rules Android at that time.

When I worked for Nokia in 2002 (I interned there - best time of my life, best company ever to work for, best people to work with) - the seeds of doubt had already started setting in. There was a strong feeling in the company - especially in Nokia Networks that the company was good at making hardware but not software, and software would define the future. And so Nokia had to get its act together. This was not true - the software was OK. But in particular, people seemed to be intimidated by Microsoft, which according to them was all but poised to take over the future.

Around that time there was also a slew of foreign hires in the upper echelons - it was like the company was trying to reinvent itself even though it was really as good as any company could ever get. People cared about each other, they cared about building their best stuff - because they genuinely cared about the company and couldn't bear to see the Nokia brand stamped on anything less than perfect.

Yes, I have rose-tinted glasses, and lament what happened - but you would find this thinking in a lot of people who worked in Nokia in that era. It's partially because I feel like it was more than a company - there was a solidarity among people you don't see a lot in the world nowadays.

And that depresses me even more about people such as Stephen Elop. People like that - and others who got in and unhinged the company are like Wall Street scavengers who couldn't care less about anything human, creativity, the quest to find excellence - if they had to shred people's lives and spirits to mint a few extra coins they would do it without a hint of compunction.

Comment: Stephen Elop... (Score 4, Insightful) 270

...seems to be a great reason not to work for MS. He and Microsoft took one of the finest companies in the world, turned it inside out, and devoured it like a panic-stricken predator conscious that the end of the path it was on was in sight. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the acquisition of Nokia only bought time. When you rip open the goose that lays the golden eggs, it stops working.

Comment: Re:Yeah, students will use bandwidth (Score 2) 274

by gwstuff (#47504195) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

While your point is valid, unfortunately, it is not amenable to the capitalist way of thinking in which value is determined by demand and supply, rather than based on the social good brought about. So unless teachers refuse to pay at current wage rates en mass, the system isn't going to give them raises.

If so, then the only way to make that happen is to appeal to the better judgement of CEOs and entertainers and ask them to write a check every year to the institution that helped them get where they are.

Fortunately, it's going to be easy because CEOs an entertainers are modest, reasonable people who will admit the role teachers and schools played in their success, rather than taking a conceited stand like "I'm a self-made man/woman."

Comment: The nail has been hit on the head (Score 1) 170

by gwstuff (#47464051) Attached to: Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

A very fine article reflecting on what indie developers such as myself have been feeling in recent times. This was my favorite excerpt:

"If you attend an iOS/Mac dev meetup and hang around long enough, you’ll start to hear the whispers and the nervous laughter. There are people making merry in the midst of plenty, but each of them occasionally steps away to the edge of the room, straining to listen over the music, trying to hear the barbarians at the gates. There’s something wrong with the world, Neo."


"I really hope that I’m wrong about this, and that we haven’t entered the Second Sundering of indie software, the likes of which we haven’t seen since “shareware” was the word on everyone’s lips. I really do hope I’m mistaken."


Comment: Re:Um, here's a glaring fact (Score 2) 123

by gwstuff (#47445859) Attached to: Elite Group of Researchers Rule Scientific Publishing

Totally... BS. You're using a counterexample that is a complete outlier in every way. It's like saying dropping out of college is a good thing, look at Bill Gates, Steve Jobs...

Academic publishing would be a much fairer process of reviews would be truly double blind, and if there were a severe penalty for breaking the rules. In the absence of that, people win Nobel prizes and will continue to do so. But that's because those people are outliers, not because the system is sane.

Comment: Um, here's a glaring fact (Score 3, Insightful) 123

by gwstuff (#47445505) Attached to: Elite Group of Researchers Rule Scientific Publishing

99% of review committees for conferences and editorial boards on journals are made up of that 1% of elite scientists. So the guys who decide which papers get published and which get crumpled and tossed into the bin are from the one who, by the way, do most of the publishing.

Having been in research for 15+ years, everyone knows that it's one big collusion of people promoting each other and excluding the rest. *Everyone* knows this. If a researcher pretends not to understand this or dismisses it then he's bullshitting you. Yes. It is depressing. Oh, and while I was actively publishing I was in the 1%...

Comment: No such thing as a 5/10 programmer (Score 1, Insightful) 466

In my experience, there's no such thing as a 5/10 programmer. If a person has good fundamentals (decent math and analytical thinking), the right attitude, and the desire to learn and improve, then while he might find himself at the 5 mark temporarily, he will eventually get to the high mark. Without the right attitude, he'll be stuck at 2 and generally do more damage than good.

Comment: Snowden in good ol' Russia (Score 1) 396

There's something amusing about Snowden fleeing from the US and ending up in Russia, of all the places. This video shows that he's making use of the channels of free speech there.

Even more amusing was the beginning of Putin's response "You've worked for a spy agency [NSA]. I previously worked for a spy agency [KGB]. We understand each other - we can have a professional dialog." There could have been a suppressed snicker there... and he might as well have followed by saying "you know how the real world operates. so let's not be naive here..."

More seriously:
1) Would it be bad, from Snowden's standapoint, to come back to the US after all the publicity he's got. The possibility that he might get locked up silently and they key thrown away seems remote, given the vast amount of public support he has. And if he was committed to bringing about positive change, then one would see that returning and standing trial would further that mission.
2) Would it be bad, from the US government's standpoint for him to come back? For now he and the can of problems he opened seem conveniently stashed away in Russia. So if he came back, what then?

Comment: Inaccurate summary (Score 4, Informative) 641

by gwstuff (#46661435) Attached to: Linus Torvalds Suspends Key Linux Developer

First the idea of "Suspending" a kernel developer is inane. Kernel developers don't work for Linus. Anyone can fork the kernel and work on his own version of it. Furthermore, Kay can write code that other people audit, modify and submit further.

Secondly, it's not an 'indefinite, unconditional ban' as suggested by the summary. Here's the specific line from Linus' email:

Greg - just for your information, I will *not* be merging any code
from Kay into the kernel until this constant pattern is fixed.

In other words he might start accepting patches from him if he changed his style of operating.

Comment: Re:2 billion vrs 19 billion vrs 1 billion (Score 1) 535

by gwstuff (#46579949) Attached to: Facebook Buying Oculus VR For $2 Billion

I thought of the same thing when I saw the 2 billion figure. We know that these deals involve pay offs mainly in stock. I wonder then what the valuation is - is it current stock value, or is it projected value at the time that the stock will have fully vested i.e. 5 years down the line. I bet it's the latter - and the big billion dollar figures are a publicity stunt that ensures that everyone comes to know of the purchase event.

Dennis Ritchie is twice as bright as Steve Jobs, and only half wrong. -- Jim Gettys