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Comment: Re:A mixed bag (Score 1) 490 490

Actually LEGO was not doing fine before. In 2003-ish it was on the verge of bankruptcy. They did a massive reinvention which included gender-branding and licensing of pop culture. Which in just a few years has turned them back into a juggernaut.

Here's an article but its not the one I'm thinking of. There was a print article in Forbes or something about 2-3 years ago.

http://www.fastcompany.com/304...

Comment: Re:A mixed bag (Score 1) 490 490

Well here's another thought I meant to capture but hit submit too fast. End result is, my daughter now plays with LEGOs and builds stuff. Which is a good thing.

Maybe when I was younger and intellectual and thoughtful and stuff I worried about things like this. Now I'm just a pragmatic old fart who is just happy that his daughter plays with LEGO and likes machines and mathematics. i don't really care whether she wants to wear pink frilly dresses or dirty blue jeans.

Comment: Re:A mixed bag (Score 5, Interesting) 490 490

Well, here's my anecdote with a sample size of n=2. I have a son and a daughter.

When I bought my very first LEGO set for them, it was a generic box of plain shapes. Something like this.

My son played with them. My daughter didn't. So I bought this and mixed the pieces in. The "draw" of the cutesy pieces drew my daughter in. Now she plays with all the pieces.

So...yeah. I guess what I'm saying is, I don't think they just "color it pink". Probably a bunch of focus testing and playtesting occurs so they know what draws girls to the toys.

Now, a related question...why did pink and cats draw her in? Is it innate? Or is it something she was taught by society? To that question, I have no answer.

Comment: Roll your own... (Score 1) 50 50

At my old company, we rolled our own system using perl (or python or ruby or whatever you want) and Doxygen and autopod. This made a Javadoc-ish-looking website. Doxygen is pretty powerful in what is generated, based upon the source code decorators. So we nightly generated the HTML from our git and hg repos and threw that html docset into a templating system a web designer made for us. And we were able to make one doc set using only APIs that had certain keywords or @public=true in the comments, and then another website that revealed absolutely everything for the internal developers.

And to be honest it wasn't that hard. Maybe 2 days of scripting to get it done.

Comment: Less specificity with age (Score 1) 558 558

When I was 25: I knew every spec, every component, research and purchased them individually, hand-assembled the hardware, and optimized for performance so I could play Half Life.

When I was 35: I had xoticpc build me a spec'd PC in the high end so I could play Skyrim.

Now: I bought a macbook off the shelf. I honestly don't even know how much RAM I have.

Comment: Re:truly an inspiration. (Score 1) 494 494

I actually completely agree. I studied music for one semester in college before I changed to engineering, and so I heard a lot of baroque and so forth harpsichord music.

I also, back in the day, used high-speed tape-to-tape cassette recording. I remember recording somethings like Metallica (old school metallica) and being surprised and how similar, sped up, it sounds like classical harpsichord music.

I haven't tried listening to archetypical country sped up.

Comment: Re:Unnecessary, but profitable. (Score 1) 215 215

Studies (which I'm too lazy to look up, but I'm sure others can find easily) show that it doesn't cost that much more to make goods in the US and Europe, labor and environmental regulations and all

Actually a Slashdot article from last year says that's not true, it was more expensive in the US.

http://hardware.slashdot.org/s...

Now there's always more to the story. I'm sure the Google closed factory has lots of other reasons, and this being Slashdot I'm sure many people will point out to me how I'm completely wrong. And maybe I am. But my point is, someone tried it and came to the conclusion that it costs that much more to make goods in the US that its not worth it.

Comment: Re:But they help also (Score 1) 366 366

What city are you in that literally "every" UberX car (I'm assuming UberX because there are some strict requirements for the Black Car and up service) is messy and unwashed? I've had both, nice clean cars and awful cars. And you give the awful cars and drivers 1-star ratings. And if the ratings go too low Uber fires that driver (that's what one driver told me anyways).

But that's my experience, in Atlanta. I love Uber in ATL. And all the drivers I've talked to (maybe 8-10) like working for Uber. And a ride from Hartsfield to Buckhead? $50-60 with taxi, $25 with UberX.

I'm no Uber shill, but I guess I'm a fanboy.

Comment: Re:forget the gameplay! (Score 1) 81 81

Ha, good point! I didn't think IW was that good yet I played it to completion (which I don't do very often with games) so it must have been good enough.

The problem, other than the console-itis, was that the original DE was SOOOO good, it would have been hard to step into those shoes.

Comment: Re:You know... (Score 3, Insightful) 698 698

That's....a very sad story. How old is your niece? If she's only 15-20 then this makes sense. I bet when she's 30-40 it might suddenly matter to her to see the audio tapes of her father.

Or maybe not. Some people grow into things like this. Others don't.

Comment: Re:Here are the FACTS (Score 1) 129 129

I'm of two minds on this.

One the one hand, being a pragmatic engineer and business strategist, I agree with you. Amazon's drone project would never really work.

On the other hand, I really WANT it to work. And, historically speaking, whenever radical disruptive change happened there were people who always said "that will never work", backed up by plenty of sound reasoning and scientific fact.

Yeah, sure, say what you will about how smart you are. I'm just saying.....disruptive technologies tend to either a) catch everyone by surprise or b) had lots of naysayers or c) both.

Work expands to fill the time available. -- Cyril Northcote Parkinson, "The Economist", 1955

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