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Comment Not ready then (Score 1) 184

I was at a start-up doing a wireless data platform for the Newton and Windows-based computers, circa 1994. Things were not ready for data even then; data was expensive, the modems were very bulky, and everything was extremely slow.

We got /some/ mileage out of a very space efficient data protocol layered on TCP (which actually doesn't need much tweaking to be a pretty reasonable protocol for wireless networks). But I'd say we were about five years too early, which is a killer for a startup with limited funding.

Comment Keep your skills current (Score 1) 473

One really good reason -- your average "worker" doesn't keep up to date. I've lost count of the number of people who don't learn new stuff, who have never read an ACM paper, or who don't keep their skills sharp. These folks seem to drop off the radar. I see them running a lot of "consulting" businesses on LinkedIn.

If you're not learning, you're /not/ coasting. You're losing ground.

Me: I'm 50, I'm still getting promotions and working on cool stuff, and as long as I keep my head in gear I should do well. I would like to be programming well into my 60s, and right now this looks entirely feasible.

Comment Re:observing a lack is not proof (Score 2) 645

Definitely not true at any of the companies I've worked at in the past 30 years, including several start-ups, Apple, and Microsoft. I've only seen /one/ example of something that I considered prejudice, and it was against a young white guy.

Tech is about as close to a meritocracy as I've seen. If a crippled black lesbian midget showed up tomorrow and did well on an interview loop, they'd be hired at any company I'm aware of.

(In my current company, if a manager ever /uttered/ any of your points above, they'd get a stern talking to from HR, and would likely be fired if they persisted in their prejudice. Seriously).

Comment Re:Historically, no (Score 1) 411

The US had online communities (Compuserve, Genie, a number of others). Not much commerce, I'll grant you that. It took a mandate of congress to forbid the telephone companies from having a monopoly on modems to make even this much of the business happen.

I had accounts on computers on the Arpanet in 1978, back when there less than 100 hosts. After the TCP/IP switchover in 1984 or so there were thousands. Getting the protocols out of the hands of government organizations let networking expand very rapidly.

Getting the government and the control freaks out of positions of power is the best thing that happened to networking. It wouldn't have happened if this guy had been in charge; we'd have 2400 baud modems and be paying through the nose by the kilobyte, just like the phone companies wanted in the 70s.

Comment Historically, no (Score 1) 411

France had MiniTel (expensive, slow, clunky and hard to use). I think they turned it off a few years ago.

Europe had the ISO networking standards. These were intellectual train-wrecks written in ivory towers by architecture astronauts; too complex to implement or use, and by the time people starting implementing then, the "RFC" world had solidly taken over. (We're left with the awfulness of X.500, X.509 and so forth).

This guy isn't necessarily an idiot. But it's who we need to fight.

Comment Try harder (Score 1) 557

I've worked (that is, helped design and ship) desktop computers (OS in ROM) that boot in about a second. Hit [reset], and a second later you're wiggling a mouse at icons.

Meh. :-)

Comment Re:The Insane Triad (Score 1) 329


"Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock."

I'd hate to be a developer at Nokia right now. Then again, they really, really screwed up, and it's hard to see this whole non-takeover takeover as anything but positive, given the alternatives.

Comment Re:Those Who Ship Win (Score 1) 298

Standards committees that didn't have to ship anything were responsible for a ton of late 80s to mid 90s disasters, like X.500, X.509 (certificates), and the whole of the ISO networking stack. There are borderline disasters such as SNMP. There are smoking radioactive holes where you don't want /ever/ want to go (SOAP is my favorite example here).

The proper path: Write working code, get users and customers, re-design and re-write a few times, THEN you can have a standard.


Bethesda Criticized Over Buggy Releases 397

SSDNINJA writes "This editorial discusses the habit of Bethesda Softworks to release broken and buggy games with plans to just fix the problems later. Following a trend of similar issues coming up in their games, the author begs gamers to stop supporting buggy games and to spread the idea that games should be finished and quality controlled before release – not weeks after."

1000 pains = 1 Megahertz