Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Looks like ACA (Obamacare) is with us to stay. (Score 3, Insightful) 1576

by ircmaxell (#41903681) Attached to: Barack Obama Retains US Presidency
Have you actually read the bill? Because I find it REALLY hard to believe that anyone who actually has would say that it does anything about the health care problems the USA has. It's not a health care bill. It's a health insurance bill. One which does nothing to solve the existing problems that health care has (abuse, ridiculous spiraling costs, ridiculous GOVERNMENT regulations - aka Medicare's rules, etc). Not to mention fraud or malpractice abuse (false malpractice cases, which drive up costs significantly)...

Does that make it useless? No, absolutely not. But it does nothing for the healthcare problems that we face. All it does is put a band-aid on a gunshot wound. A band-aid that costs how many billion dollars per year (that we're already over-budget by)?

Comment: Re:any questions? (Score 2) 360

by ircmaxell (#41751475) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Working With Awful Legacy Code?
Actually, this touches on an interesting point.

Everyone thinks that high turnover is a bad sign. And it is. But very few people think of what extremely low turnover means.

If a company has 40% turnover each year, that's a sign that something's wrong in the organization. There's a reason that people are leaving so quickly. If the average tenure is only 14 months, that's not a good sign. But on the flip side, it could be that same 40% that keeps turning over. Imagine that they have a small team, and are trying to grow it. High turnover in the growth area could mean that they just haven't found the right fit. (in this case, the average tenure could be 3 or 4 years, even though the turnover appears so high). That could indicate the quality of applicants, or that their interviewing process sucks. So turnover by itself is hard to understand. But turnover with average tenure tells a more complete picture.

Now, if turnover is under 1%, that could also be a scary sign. It could indicate that employees are never growing. That they are stagnating in their position and can't move on because their skills have gone rusty. That could also be a huge negative.

I personally look for moderate turnover. Somewhere between 5% and 20%. Signs that there's some new blood in the team, keeping complacency in check. It also may indicate that people are actually growing in their positions. Which is an awesome thing to look for.

So turnover by itself is a useless metric. It may indicate towards a good or bad thing. But the more important factor is not what the turnover is, but why it is what it is. Unfortunately, that's not something that's usually going to be easy to understand in an interview. But luckily, it should be pretty clear in the first few weeks of employment...

Comment: Re:recipie for disaster (Score 1) 391

by ircmaxell (#41691117) Attached to: Nissan Develops Emergency Auto-Steering System

The only common points of failure are the pedal assembly (designed fail-safe, by the way) and the master cylinder

And the ABS valve body assembly. Which I had go on my catastrophically on a 1994 Chevy Blazer. In that has, the only brakes I did have was the parking brake cable assembly.

The more complicated vehicles become, the more failure modes are possible...

Comment: Re:You have to be kidding (Score 3, Insightful) 210

by ircmaxell (#39755441) Attached to: Accountability, Not Code Quality, Makes iOS Safer Than Android
This. Very much this.

This article is pure FUD. Plain and simple.

Malware, by its very definition is:

Malware is a general term used to describe any kind of software or code specifically designed to exploit a computer, or the data it contains, without consent.

Android requires that you give consent, since it tells you what permissions the application needs prior to installing it. So by very definition, these data leakages on Android are not malware. The user said it was ok for that application to collect that data.

Comment: Re:My thoughts and reply (Score 1) 672

by ircmaxell (#38609702) Attached to: Are Brain Teasers Good Hiring Criteria?
Absolutely. But do they let that panic take over their thoughts? Or do they push that down and try to approach it rationally? In that 5 minute puzzle I can get insight. Sure, I won't know the full story on the person, but that would take years of knowing them to get. So in the span and constraints of an interview, I find it to be absolutely worth while...

Comment: My thoughts and reply (Score 5, Interesting) 672

by ircmaxell (#38609390) Attached to: Are Brain Teasers Good Hiring Criteria?
I actually wrote a blog post on this very subject this morning (I pushed up the publishing when I saw this). The post

In short, I disagree. I find brain teasers invaluable. But not in determining skill, but in determining personality and how a candidate behaves when they are faced with a challenge that they aren't familiar with...

Comment: Re:It's Not Illegal (Score 1) 315

by ircmaxell (#38449248) Attached to: Senators Recommend FTC Perform Antitrust Investigation Of Google
Look at the line below it. I said if you search for those names by itself (I skipped email, but I got the rest) Google is on top. Then again, those are the product names. And searching them on Bing produces strikingly similar results (email has gmail #3, calendar #4, news #5).

In fact, those three searches on Bing have Yahoo as either #1 or #2. So who's to say that what we are seeing is Google altering the results? Could it be that MS is altering the results so their partner is higher? I'm not accusing MS here. I'm just pointing out that just because something comes up #1 or #2 doesn't mean that it's malevolent.

In fact, let's try those searches on

Email - Google #1, Yahoo #2

Calendar - Google #1, Yahoo #5

News - Google #2, Yahoo #4

So 2 out of the 3 main search engines (Google, Bing and Ask) put Google above Yahoo. Yet the one that has an agreement with Yahoo puts it higher. While I completely understand your point, a cursory look at evidence looks to point exactly the opposite...

Comment: Re:It's Not Illegal (Score 1) 315

by ircmaxell (#38448850) Attached to: Senators Recommend FTC Perform Antitrust Investigation Of Google
That's a very good point. I didn't disagree with the investigation in principle. I was just pointing out that the traditional metrics, and the ones indicated by the post are rather, iffy...

If other search companies cannot compete because of Google's dominance of either or both ads and searching, that is also anti-competitive.

I would just like to point something out here. If other companies can't compete because Google is really good at search, that's not anti-competitive (in fact, it's the exact opposite). So the simple assertion that other companies can't compete isn't enough to bury Google. What they need to prove/find is that Google leveraged its position unfairly to keep competition out. An example of that would be if Google required advertisers to sign an exclusivity deal (or gave incentives to do so) which would then unfairly keep competition out (hint: they haven't, although MS and Apple both do). Another example would be if Google used its dominance in search to promote its other products (by artificially raise their search, or artificially lower competitors), of which my OP is evidence to the contrary.

The key is that other companies not being able to compete does not make Google in violation of anything. It can be just free market pressure that does that (because Google has the "best" product, or whatever reason). But if they are unfairly leveraging their position in one area into other areas, that's where it becomes a dangerous problem...

Comment: It's Not Illegal (Score 4, Insightful) 315

by ircmaxell (#38448410) Attached to: Senators Recommend FTC Perform Antitrust Investigation Of Google
It's not illegal to be a monopoly. It's illegal to abuse that power. So, let's look at the main categories of anti-trust abuse that have been prosecuted in the past:

Limiting Supply - there's no way Google is doing that...

Predatory Pricing - They have always been free, as are the competitors. Then again, could that be classified as predatory I guess...

Price Discrimination - The same as above

Refusal to deal - Not that I've heard of...

Exclusive Dealing - Not that I've heard of either

Product Bundling - This is tricky. Sure, their products integrate. But then again you need to sign up for each one separately. There's no "Use search and automatically get this other product"...

So, either they will need to go out and tread new territory with little legal precedent to lead the way. Not saying it should or shouldn't be done, but just that it's a relatively new area.

Additionally, I really find the line who said that it was 'only fair' that Google put its own sites on higher placements than competitors odd. Let's show a few examples:

Free Email - GMail is #5 on the list for me. Yahoo,, Hotmail and are all above it...

ebooks - Google Books is #6 on the list., Amazon, Project Gutenberg, Barnes and Noble and are all above it...

Online Calendar - Google Calendar is #3 on the list.

US News - Google News isn't even on the first page for me (not even in an ad)...

Shopping - Google Shopping is #2 behind

Now, searches for News, Gmail, Images, Videos, Maps and other product names return google first. But that sort-of makes sense, since those are the product names...

In fact, searching for Maps and Images on Bing returns Google for the first results! Is it an anti-trust violation to name your products intelligently???

A memorandum is written not to inform the reader, but to protect the writer. -- Dean Acheson