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Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 0) 688

by microTodd (#48616349) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

The richest company in the world (Apple) makes products that are only intended for a very small percentage of even a wealthy nation's population

I'm not sure that's accurate. You're thinking MacBook and iPad, but let's think iPhone and iPod.

I only have a few minutes, but I found this: http://www.mactech.com/content/study-looks-demographics-iphone-ipod-touch-users

Most iPhone users only have an income of >25k, Since the US median is 60k, that means that the iPhone is sold to basically everyone.


I'm not trying to be a pedantic jerk, but I think this article and comment thread touches on a VERY important issue and I want to make sure we have all the facts right so we can analyze it.

Comment: Re:Divisions (Score 2) 48

by microTodd (#48517509) Attached to: Interviews: Malcolm Gladwell Answers Your Questions

Who are these people that lay awake at night worrying about whether someone will have an abortion?

The same people who lay awake at night worried about people dying of starvation and/or violence. Whether or not you agree with whether an unborn child is alive or not, in their worldview the unborn child is alive, thus it is murder.

Whether or not you are pro-life or pro-choice, I think understanding the pro-life worldview is not difficult. Its the same as whether or not you believe the earth is flat, or only 6,000 years old. Even if you don't believe it, you can at least intellectually comprehend that there are people that do.

Comment: Don't listen to naysayers...here's my experience (Score 1) 176

by microTodd (#48471559) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Practices For Starting and Running a Software Shop?
  • Set up a VM server...Oracle Virtualbox is free. Run integration/platform testing and maybe even development on shared VMs. Don't be scared to spin up new VMs a lot for any reason
  • Have a bug/task/defect tracking system. Either run bugzilla or JIRA or buy a cloud service like Atlassian's.
  • Decide on source code control and use it. Either Mercurial or Git is probably your best choice nowadays. Host your own or pay the relatively cheap rate for a cloud service
  • If your team is small, run your sprints in short spurts. When I have 2-4 person teams we do 1-week sprints. Daily standups are in a shared chatroom.
  • Continuous integration. Automated nightly builds/unit/system tests with emailed reports to the team. Always be ready to ship.
  • Don't skimp on your QC/test cycle...you'll hate yourself later when you have to pay down the technical debt. But in my experience new features/bulletpoints on the marketing slides sells more than the occasional bug takes away.

Play to your strengths. Be agile. React quickly to marketing changes. Some customer wants to buy but you don't do something? Promise it withing 6 weeks and then frickin' do it.

Good luck, dude. Its a fun and fulfilling endeavor.

Comment: Re:Not creative rock stars? (Score 1) 166


When I was Civil Service IT, I had frickin' awesome benefits (sick leave AND annual leave?? And sick leave doesn't have max carryover?!? And I can use sick leave as paternity leave?!?!?!?!?), I got 3 hours a week PAID to go to the gym (link), and I got to work a 9/80 schedule.

In the private sector job I'm at now, where you have to, you know, actually produce results on time and under budget, I'm frequently working nights and long hours because if I don't get our release done by a certain date, our customer won't pay us and I won't have a job.

But yeah, despite the awesomeness of the benefits and work life of civil service, it can be pretty soul-crushing to not actually do anything relevant and important. I spent most of my time making powerpoint slides of our enterprise architecture. And I probably got between 80-120 emails a day. And usually had at least 3-5 meetings.

Contrast that with my current commercial corporate job, I am directly responsible for delivery and revenue so I'm usually left alone so I can actually deliver.

Comment: Best Quote(paraphrase): "My leg is now badass" (Score 3, Interesting) 28

A guy quoted in the article said something like, "I've never had someone tell me my leg was badass before." This (seemed to me like) was said in a positive way. Dude is an athlete.

I have to say, I think these guys hit it right on the nose. Why did all prosthetics before look like metal poles or wooden sticks? Why can't they be leg-shaped, like a mannequin? Why can't they be all colorful or sleek, make you look like Iron Man or have your favorite sports team or whatever on it?

I can't even imagine what being an amputee is like, but this seems like a positive, morale-boosting step in the right direction.

Super kudos to them, and super awesome way to show how 3D printing is awesome.

Comment: Cheating on the old text adventure games (Score 1) 153

by microTodd (#47145755) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Inspired You To Start Hacking?

My dad bought a TI-99/4A when I was about 7 or 8. I did the BASIC tutorial, learned how to load the old scott adams games like 'pirate adventure' from cassette. Then I learned how to modify the source, started doing things like changing my inventory and teleporting from room to room. Then I started writing my own games. All by the time I was about 10.

Comment: Re:By choice, not by necessity... (Score 1) 341

by microTodd (#46786497) Attached to: I expect to retire ...

Why are you not doing "fun" work now, instead of sitting at a cube? Become a consultant now. Telecommute and work at the beach.

I made the change about 2 years ago. Left corporate cubelandia and created my own company. Its a shit-ton of work but a LOT more fun. And I've got two school age kids and a stay at home wife so I'm the sole breadwinner. Everyone thought I was nuts. But so far its turned out ok. Yeah its risky but so is life.

Comment: By choice, not by necessity... (Score 2) 341

by microTodd (#46777903) Attached to: I expect to retire ...

I'm sure a lot of people who said "Never" are because they can never afford it. Cue gripes about economy, job market, politics, etc.

But for me its because I enjoy working. The dean at my last college was a retired CPA. At my last job several of the retired engineers still booked consulting hours. Barring any medical issues I hope to stay busy and active my entire life doing something I enjoy.

Comment: Right before I have to leave (Score 3, Interesting) 91

by microTodd (#46538865) Attached to: What day of the week is your most productive?

Seriously. Its frustrating. I try to not work too late cause I want to see my kids before bedtime but right around 4PM is when I get this big rush of energy. It was great in college and when I was single but now it just creates conflict in my life. So I'm stuck between wanting to stay and work or head out the door.

Comment: Warner used Kickstarter? Bad precedent... (Score 1) 243

wait a minute...I'm late to the game here but let me make sure I understand the story.

  1. Warner...frickin' Warner Bros, which made $12B in revenue last year, parent company is Time frickin' Warner...used Kickstarter to fund a movie?
  2. After raising $5M on kickstarter they used that to fund the movie
  3. The movie, after it was released and they started making money, then basically paid back part of the kickstarter because they are reneging on the kickstarter deal?
  4. PROFIT!!!

so basically they played the system to get an interest-free loan.

I thought kickstarter was really for people who couldn't conventionally raise funds?

Well, ok. I just read the Kickstarter FAQ. They don't really say anything like that. Its for any creative project. https://www.kickstarter.com/he...

So yeah, I guess even if you are a $12Billion company you can use kickstarter instead of fronting your own money.

Comment: Re:Barrier to entry (Score 1) 225

by microTodd (#46472551) Attached to: Silicon Valley's Youth Problem

So I've seen several anecdotal refutations to my assertions in the parent comment. I think these are interesting and I appreciate hearing these stories. The Slashdot collective hivemind seems to push the "HR sux" comments to the top and since I read at "3" I probably don't see the opposite stories.

What I think is interesting is that the anecdotes are all about Cisco, and even in this article the author talks about how Cisco is doing some things "out of the box" to address this issue. So at least they recognize the situation are are trying things to address it. So maybe Cisco is one of the better companies to work for?

"There is no statute of limitations on stupidity." -- Randomly produced by a computer program called Markov3.