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Comment: Self-Fulfilling (Score 1) 394

Oracle and Redhat are great examples of how *not* to run an open source team:
  • - Constrain a project to prevent it from having more advanced features than your "enterprise" mirror
  • - Cherry pick the best "community" developers moving them to the "enterprise" staff, leading to brain / experience drain
  • - Cherry pick the best features from the "community" APIs, moving them to "enterprise"
  • - Fail to enforce rigorous standards on code commenting, documentation, unit / build acceptance / integration tests
  • - Allow conflicting APIs or features into the development process

Then, throw up your hands in disgust at the result, and blame the very concept of F/OSS. That's why, but for limited exceptions, I avoid the "community" products of Oracle and Redhat. And when the open source community provides much better alternatives, I avoid their "enterprise" products as well.

Comment: Consider Apple... (Score 1) 149

Apple with Steve Jobs vs Apple without Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was one of the most hands on CEO's I've ever heard about. He was in the trenches, interfacing directly with developers and anyone else along the production chain that proved to be a critical path to deployment. He came up with seemingly impossible ideas that no one else would have the guts to suggest. And then he rode point on the entire organization to ensure that it happened. That's what a good CEO can do, and what will almost never happen by democracy.

That is not to say that the paychecks of most of the CEOs out there are warranted. Quite the opposite. There's no reason why a CEO, on average, should be making more than 5 times the salary of the average employee. But to discount the role that can be played by someone with the talent, drive, and innovation of someone like Steve Jobs is to misunderstand the dynamics of a corporation.

Comment: Working on the road... (Score 1) 365

by jklappenbach (#41212575) Attached to: Taking Telecommuting To the Next Level - the RV
You'll find that working mobile has amazing rewards, and can be very productive. However, I personally found that my schedule became very organic. I might put in 10 hours in a day, but they were spread out over 2 - 3 hour blocks. In between was hiking / exploring, surfing, laying on the beach... Setting expectations with your client / employer is key. Here are a few tips:

* Ensure you take some habitation time off when traveling to a new location, perhaps even just a day or two, to give yourself time to explore your new area, ensure you have good connectivity, find backup wifi hotspots should your mobile connection die, and have fun.

* Research the area beforehand, as best you can. Know numbers for local rangers or police, fire, legal, mechanic, and medical. If you're going international, having banking / financial workflow sorted.

* Cell, if you're going international, can be outrageously expensive if you plan on keeping your US carrier. Get an intermediate number, like from Skype, and have calls forwarded. If you plan on keeping a smart phone, make sure you pay double to get it unlocked. You can get SIM chips from local providers. Otherwise, just buy a cheap phone in country and pay as you go. Either way, your number will change, but with Skype (or similar provider), everyone back home will use a local number to reach you. If you plan on using VOIP, make sure you test it out before an important call when in a new location.

* Have a 2nd laptop, and external drive for file system images. Be disciplined about making backups. Should you be away from civilization and something goes wrong, this will save your bacon.

* Make sure you know how to cook. Learn to make recipies from scratch, like bread & pastries (if you have an oven), sauces, etc. Good food can be hard to come by on the road, and the last thing you want to do is live out of cans or boxes if avoidable.

* If you go international, and like to legally download movies, make sure your providers don't discriminate based on origin of IP regardless of your account. ITunes doesn't appear to, but Vudu, Netflix, and Hulu do -- as do most networks. To get around this, set up a VPN account with a provider in the source country.

It's an amazing world out there -- enjoy it!

Comment: It's The Architecture... (Score 1) 105

by jklappenbach (#40919927) Attached to: Forbes Likens Instagram Purchase To Myspace Deal
A large part of Instagram's value exists in the experience and strategies that allowed an initial three employees to manage a scalable, distributed application serving 10s of millions of customers. If Facebook is able to successfully incorporate Instagram's knowhow into their current stack, they could see significant savings in operations and management. That, alone, is worth billions of dollars.

More on Instagram's architecture...

Comment: Re:Ignore nothing, SOAP is awful (Score 1) 101

by jklappenbach (#40804183) Attached to: OAuth 2.0 Standard Editor Quits, Takes Name Off Spec
No, it's really not useful. It's overhead. It takes more effort to maintain such a formal interface than to have people simply consume JSON as they will. And often the parts of the system that are supposed to process those formal definitions fail. All around just a horrible block to getting things working the way you like.

Couldn't disagree more. Frameworks and protocols are meant to make life easier. What I see with many implementations based on REST are frameworks that, through the lack of a published schema, encourage half-baked, undocumented APIs that often result in developer headaches and lost time. Personally, I think we can do much better.

Comment: Re:WordStar? (Score 1, Interesting) 101

by jklappenbach (#40802983) Attached to: OAuth 2.0 Standard Editor Quits, Takes Name Off Spec
Ignore all concerns but scalability, and REST becomes far more preferrable than SOAP. The overhead of XML -- usually an order of magnitude in data size -- can be a huge, undesirable impact. That said, there's one aspect of SOAP that popular REST specs are missing: a definition language. With the help of the WSDL, SOAP gained cross-platform client generation and type safety. REST protocols would do well to leverage this concept, at least for invocation parameter definitions. In most cases, REST result messages are encoded in JSON, where a Javascript interpreter for parsing and object model translation can be leveraged. But even then, having a documented result schema would be a huge improvement over forcing developers to inspect result sets at runtime to divine structure and content.

But, back on topic, having evaluated OAuth 2.0, I agree with Hammer's assessment. It's not a protocol, and the inability of this team to produce a viable solution will only lead to fragmentation and the failure of OAuth.

Comment: Re:It's their business model... (Score 1) 377

I guess we'll see. If Brazil's courts hold to the current ruling, that's not only a 2 billion dollar dent in their bottom line, it will set a precedent that other countries will surely be interested in following. And the very fact that there is a very public court case settling this is a clear indication that bribery is not as an effective strategy as you depict.

Comment: Re:It's their business model... (Score 1) 377

Never said it was a "full solution" (strawman), and if you read my post, I already mentioned logistics. To assert that temporary, regional, socio-political causes are more important than long-term, global trends doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but most of the arguments I've seen against GM seem rather irrational and fear based.

Any time you alter a living organism, either by cross breeding species through germination, or by systematically constructing genetic sequences and injecting them, you're taking a risk.

My points are:

  1. 1. GM as a technology, should not be judged solely by how Monsanto uses it.
  2. 2. GM as a technology, should not be judged as a whole by any given application. Rather, each application should be judged on its merits alone.
  3. 3. GM as a technology is an important tool to how we approach the problems that we will face in feeding the population should both growth and climate trends persist. This is a problem that will only grow more critical as the years pass. GM is not the sole answer, but it should be part of the greater solution.

Comment: Re:It's their business model... (Score 1) 377

Here are just a few:

Nature

National Academies

And to be balanced:

Guardian UK

(Note that the debate against focused on the logistical causes for food shortages, arguments that ignore current population and climate trends and focus on socio-political conflicts at specific geographic regions)

If trends continue, populations will grow, fresh water supplies will decrease, and deserts will take over a greater percentage of our landmass. While GM won't be the key to solving every problem, I have seen nothing that refutes its worth as a tool. Furthermore, if you look at traditional means of genetic modification, what some refer to as "organic methods", the net result is the same: the genetic code of an organism is altered to achieve specific properties. Current GM techniques simply allow much greater latitude. I suggest that the debate focus not on the means of alteration, but on the risk-reward profile of a given product. Introducing a pesticide into the very structure of a plant may not have been in the best interests of humanity. Engineering drought resistance, on the other hand, will have a much greater benefit with perhaps much less risk.

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

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