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Comment: Re:Look at *why* people are pirating (Score 1) 143

by laddiebuck (#47511265) Attached to: For Now, UK Online Pirates Will Get 4 Warnings -- And That's It

I already pay $10 a month for Spotify and $8 a month for Netflix. I am uncomfortable with the DRM and try to download full albums when I like them rather than just a song from them, but for most of my listening Spotify is great. I would happily pay four times what I pay Netflix if there was an equivalent selection of movies and TV, and equivalent good performance. Right now Netflix's selection is really limited, and there are occasional streaming problems (Amazon's streaming service is complete garbage compared to it though), though it's still worth the $8 a month. But I'd pay much more for a good selection and good streaming performance, even with the delay of waiting until the theater run ends. But nothing comes close to the performance of the torrents, so even though I'd gladly pay a few bucks per movie, there's nobody to pay to.

Comment: Re:TYFSOK (Score 1) 102

by laddiebuck (#47503565) Attached to: "Intelligent" Avatars Poised To Manage Airline Check-In

I'm one of those people who actually find air travel convenient. The annoyances of check-in and the TSA (I always opt out of the scan) and having your partner have to drive you to the airport really pale in comparison to the huge amount of time and energy saved compared to driving. I can even sleep on an airplane and read in line at the gate. Road trips are fun if you're travelling in company, but if you're travelling alone, flying is so much more convenient.

Comment: Re:How fitting (Score 1) 333

I love to think alone, but if I had participated in this study I'm sure I would have been like, sure, give me the shock, I'll take my fee and save 15 minutes. I have better things to do with my time. That might involve thinking on my own as I walk or drive away, but there's not much point hanging around their waiting room....

Comment: Re:Straw on the camel's back (Score 2) 249

by laddiebuck (#47220763) Attached to: New Permission System Could Make Android Much Less Secure

The tradeoff is flexibility. Android apps can replace the SMS app, camera, launcher, etc. On a desktop system, the ultimate in flexibility, any "app" can look at all the files in your homedir. Privacy and flexibility are opposite design goals unfortunately. Maybe that'll change in the future but right now that's how it is.

Comment: Re:Stupid is as stupid does (Score 3, Insightful) 250

by laddiebuck (#47082393) Attached to: Facebook Refuses To Share Employee Race and Gender Data

You're making a basic fallacy, and I am amazed that though you have given the matter enough thought to come up with your above rant, you have not discovered it.

Affirmative action only matters at admissions, not further. Whether a minority student is accepted to a medical school or law school or whatever to fill a quota, they will come out the other end of that program unless they pass the highly rigorous standards. A medical student cannot be certified in the US without passing all 3 steps of the USMLE, and a residency. So you can trust your doctor or your lawyer, whatever their race. They earned their spot, and quotas didn't matter a damn when they had to sit their exams.

Having those quotas in place is great, because it undoes generations' worth of racism that today manifests itself in socio-economic status. Affirmative action is actively trying to undo all the harm that racism and segregation have done in the past. If you are born African-American or Hispanic, you are likely to be born poorer. The police will treat you differently. Doors will be closed to you that are not to Caucasians. We need programs like Affirmative Action in place to undo all the harm that has been caused and continues to be caused.

And out on the job market? You think race doesn't matter, and that it's all academic. Well there are countless studies that have shown that the same resume will get treated differently if submitted under a different name - a "white-sounding" name will get a lot more calls back than a "black-sounding". Extremely so - sometimes the black names (again, same resumes) will get no calls back for 15 calls back for white names.

Racism is unfortunately well alive. Today it is mostly subconscious but it is still really harmful. From the fact that you gave this matter enough thought to come up with your rant above, and yet not discover the basic logical fallacy in it, though you seem otherwise intelligent, makes me think you have quite a bit of subconscious racism left too. It's okay if you do, many people do, especially if they are of the privileged class and never have to question their assumptions, or have cause to notice how all the doors that were open for them are not open for the unprivileged in their society. But the first step to fixing it is realizing it.

Comment: Remind me to never hire this guy (Score 1) 278

by laddiebuck (#46887395) Attached to: The Ways Programming Is Hard

I was having a conversation earlier today about this with a friend. Clearly this guy finds programming overwhelming, is likely to write hacky code, deals with pressure the wrong way, and concludes that everything is just broken. Maybe he's just too immature and it'll get better later, maybe he would just be happier in another field. A good engineer should not deal with the code quality vs time tradeoff by writing crappy code all the time. If he can't write maintainable code in the given timeframe, then either he is too slow or not standing up for the quality of the codebase. Either way, bad outcome. It seems to me that behind the hyperbole, he really has this view that is more appropriate to hacking away in the college computer lab than to real engineering. I don't particularly want to hire someone who dreams in code or works 80-hour weeks and cuts corners until his code is a mess. I would rather hire someone who gets the big picture of engineering. I think if he worked in a real coding shop (one where there are code reviews, and issues of style differences never even enter into the picture because you follow the group's coding style) he would get a better picture. But I guess when 9 out of 10 startups do embody the culture he describes... Thing is, 9 out of 10 startups also fail. When he described the failed bridge project- that kind of attitude doesn't cut it for long in software engineering either. But since he believes that's inevitable, it makes me think that's how he'd act.

Comment: Re:I'll save you the trouble. (Score 5, Insightful) 128

by laddiebuck (#46832049) Attached to: Band Releases Album As Linux Kernel Module

lol. Stereotypes aside, I went to school with the guy in the middle and I can assure you he graduated with a CS degree (U of Washington), and all the undergrad computer labs ran Linux. Matter of fact I think he took a capstone that was about writing a linux FS driver. It's nice to see him pursuing his passion of music... I would have had no idea if I hadn't clicked through to your pic and spotted his name. :)

Comment: Finally (Score 1) 63

by laddiebuck (#46425763) Attached to: Samsung Galaxy Glass Patent Plans To Turn Fingers Into a Keyboard

I think this is one of those technologies, like ebooks, or smartphones, that all geeks imagined in their heads growing up (at least, those who grew up before ebooks and virtual reality goggles with keyboards, etc.) - so I'm glad it's finally here! None of the ingredients are revolutionary, it just needs to happen.

Comment: Re:There was a mockup in the late 60s. (Score 1) 353

Except the Germans' problem throughout the war was not technology (they had models more advanced than British planes at different points) but production. The British were able to consistently out-produce them in fighters and trained pilots. There were close runs for the British (nearly a shortage of fighter pilots during the heaviest part of the Battle of Britain) but the German losses in men and materiel in proportion to their production were consistently higher throughout the war, and the difference only kept increasing in Britain's favour.

Comment: Re:tl;dr (Score 2) 712

by laddiebuck (#46363567) Attached to: Are Bankers Paid Too Much? Are Technology CEOs?

I used to think like that until somebody's comment put it into perspective. The average worker's screw-up can cost the company X dollars. The average CEO's screw-up can cost the company a thousand times that, can tank the company. I find it reasonable that people be paid to do their jobs without mistake in proportion with the responsibility they bear - paying for risk rather than achievement. However, I also think that by this standard, military officers and commanders should be much much more highly paid.

Comment: Re:This doesn't mean they're not loners. (Score 1) 158

by laddiebuck (#46253619) Attached to: Computer Geeks As Loners? Data Says Otherwise

IDK, maybe it's just that I work at a mature company, but all but 1-2 of the tech geeks I know are happily married. Just comparing the marriages of my technical vs ops-type coworkers it's clear that the technical ones have an edge. That's data; for the money, my speculative opinion is that geeks select pretty hard on their relationships, and work hard to make them perfect and take joy in every little thing, as with so many other things in life. It fits with their personality. Second, they don't tend to have mid-life crises as their life satisfaction tends to go only upward from about their mid-twenties. And finally, many of them value stability and what's working great over chasing some unrealizable ideal. And you know what else? The extroverted geeks tend to have great single lives before their relationship. The only thing is that the single life for introverted geeks kind of sucks, because they never develop a rich enough social life.

Regardless of whether a mission expands or contracts, administrative overhead continues to grow at a steady rate.