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Comment: because it's cheap, and you're expendable (Score 4, Insightful) 155

by lophophore (#49805295) Attached to: Let's Take This Open Floor Plan To the Next Level

I worked for a place that moved to new office space, from cube land, into "modern" open office land.

The CEO said it was "cool" and "techie" and "everybody in 'the valley' was doing it."

It sucked wind. I mean, it blew, hard. Cube land was no bargain, the cubes were about 7 by 6 feet, but at least you could pretend you had a bit of privacy to make a phone call, to send an email, to generally have your own space. Open office land was 24 inch deep, 5-foot wide desks with a foot tall divider between you and the next person. You could swivel your head and see heads in all directions, and hear and see what everybody was doing, and it was loud. You could not roll your chair back too fast for fear of clobbering the person behind you. It sucked. (Did I mention that it sucked?)

It was no place to concentrate -- it was quite focus-proof.

The open office was not chosen for the "cool" factor, it was chosen for the "cheap" factor, because it could better than double the employee per square foot density. This was a growing, profitable, privately held company, and there was no need for it, except to make the owner's take better.

Open office can work in places where it is not done for the wrong reasons. Give people some personal space, install acoustic treatments and dividers, and it can work. Treat people like sardines, and those that can swim away, will.

Comment: Change you can believe in! (Score 1) 389

by lophophore (#49784371) Attached to: Obama Asks Congress To Renew 'Patriot Act' Snooping

What does our dear leader stand for, anyway? It's getting hard to tell.

The warrant-less collection of telephone metadata is a blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, but Mr. Obama (constitutional lawyer that he allegedly is) continues to disregard that document whenever it becomes inconvenient. Just yesterday, he got his willy slapped by the 5th circuit appeals court for overstepping his constitutional authority -- again -- this time because of a unilateral decision on immigration that got the attention of 26 states.

Comment: but maybe not fast enough? (Score 1) 221

Since we are thinking about latency, propagation delay, then microwave is almost 50% faster than fiber for a straight line path, and most fiber networks don't go straight, but microwaves (that is to say "radio") does. This is because light does not propagate down a fiber as fast as radio waves do in "free space."

Bandwidth is another thing. You can get a lot more bits per second onto a terahertz carrier than on a gigahertz carrier.

So, if latency is the issue, maybe fiber is not fast enough.

This is not really news, we've seen anecdotal evidence of high-speed traders using microwave networks to gain a slight speed advantage over their competition using fiber networks.

Comment: since when did ./ turn into boingboing? (Score 1) 270

by lophophore (#49722267) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

can we get this without the posturing? Yeah, maybe congress is 99% populated with idiots, but what does that have to do with this book? And what does this have to do with the

Since when did slashdot turn into boingboing?

the editing department needs a high colonic, me thinks. This site is losing it's relevance.

Comment: Re:I'd like to see the environmental nightmare die (Score 4, Interesting) 369

by lophophore (#49643001) Attached to: Keurig Stock Drops, Says It Was Wrong About DRM Coffee Pods

nespresso is even worse the k-cup. Though they both are pretty bad. an awful lot of waste for some convenience.

me? I grind my own beans and put them into the portafilter of my 20-year-old Saeco espresso machine -- it won't die. The only waste is the spent coffee, and I feed that to my compost heap.

Comment: better watch your back (Score 1) 123

Silicon Valley was nowhere in the 60s. Everything has it's rise and fall

Consider what happened around Boston, look at the wreckage of the computer industry there:

Symbolics, Lisp Machine, Prime, Data General, Wang, ComputerVision, and (of course) Digital Equipment Corporation.

For a while, route 128 was the epicenter of the American computer industry. Now, those companies are all dead.

It's coming for you, California! Silicon Graphics, Sun... Gone... HP is already circling the drain. Apple's remarkable boutique computer business can only last so long. The web companies are largely one-trick ponies, just waiting to lame up. (We saw what happened to Twitter's valuation last week...)

I call bullshit on this article.

"When in doubt, print 'em out." -- Karl's Programming Proverb 0x7