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Comment Re:Generally? You don't. (Score 2) 318

I'm a UK employer with around 50 employees in the business, with 6 in the dev team. The sales team are mostly remote and whilst my development team are office based I'm not that worried where they're based as long as they get the job done. Our head office is oop north and the dev team down south anyway so there is already an element of remote working involved.

However I've yet to see anyone make a truly compelling case for routine remote working. My developers tried it when we first started the business and really didn't like it. They missed being in an environment dedicated to work with no kids running around downstairs and also the social aspects of being part of a team physically sat in the same room.

I'm recruiting at the moment for a new web developer (good all round skills required in PHP and / or Node, general experience with SQL databases) so if someone can convince me they can do the job remotely then I'm all ears.

Comment Re:"I WILL GIVE UP MY MOBILE..." (Score 1) 367

Because the campaigners always take it a step further and say it's more distracting to be on the phone than not even if you have a hands free kit. Usually their studies are in contrived circumstances and omit that doing anything other than focusing 100% on driving is going to increase the risk of mistakes, including just having a conversation with someone sat next to you. Are they going to campaign against car sharing lanes as they encourage people to be in the same car as each other which in turn promotes distracting conversations?

Of course not as that would be ridiculous. Likewise banning hands free mobile phones may improve accident rates slightly but doing so is absurd, and yet that is what people are campaigning for. Here in the UK we already have enough laws to cover this - using a non-hands free mobile phone whilst driving is illegal, and driving without due care and attention covers any other poor driving due to distraction of any kind, but requires you to actually be driving poorly. We're not all the same and there are plenty of god awful drivers out there who are quite oblivious to what's happening around them regardless of how much they are forced to concentrate on driving the car.

Comment Re: Why would it be infeasable? (Score 1) 374

The reason is risk. When our backs are against the wall we take far greater risks, both financial and in risking human life. We'll try everything no matter what the cost and see what sticks. When things seem all peachy we lack the motivation to take that same level of risk, and are completely against anything that may involve personal risk to the humans involved.

Comment Re:RISC (iPhone) vs. CISC (OSX) (Score 5, Interesting) 512

Several journalists have made this mistake, such as the drivel posted here: Trusted Reviews

They seem to think that the register size being equal means that software written for them is somehow much more similar. In reality the CPUs and the software they run are no closer to each other than before. The main benefit of this move to the latest ARM CPU design is ironically much the same as the advantage brought by x86_64 - more registers are now available and some floating point operations are more efficient. This will translate into a small performance increase but it won't be night and day.

Comment Re:GNU/Linux is made in the USA (Score 4, Insightful) 332

But equally there are thousands of really talented programmers who examine the source code very thoroughly, many of whom contribute back. If there were back doors then there is a high chance that they would have been detected. Plus anyone really paranoid about it CAN go and check the source code to make sure for themselves.

With propriety operating systems you do not have that luxury.

Comment Re:You know what they say.. (Score 5, Insightful) 213

If we're lucky Apple will realise that patent reform is in their best interests as well as ours. More likely though is that this will be seen by Apple as a sign they need to step up their legal activities even further.

I know there will be apologists but Apple really brought this upon themselves with their frivolous lawsuits based on patenting rounded corners and their seeking of bans of other devices. Whilst the rest of the phone manufacturers have all joined in the same rotten game, and many were playing at it before Apple, it was the Cupertino based company that (in my view) turned to the courts as their primary competitive strategy.

Let the flamewar begin!!

Comment Re:Can't offer much (Score 1) 509

Someone needs to teach them that lesson at some point in their lives. It'd be nice if it were their parents. By definition advertising only works if you allow it. They are giving you information that you process, you evaluate, and you either accept or reject. The best advertising should be able to achieve if people are critical of all they see is brand awareness, and it's your choice to then blindly trust that brand or do things like check out other peoples experiences online.

The fundamental concept of the parent post, that advertising only works if you personally let it, is true. Your mind is your own and you can choose what to believe and what to distrust.

Comment Re:Rev. 1 hardware, people (Score 1) 473

Tell that to Apple's retina display department. I'm now on my 8th screen, with six of those being complete laptop replacements, all because of clusters of dead pixels and all in the same horizontal band across the screen (50-75% up). Sure I've probably been a little unlucky and maybe I've been better at spotting and complaining about the problem than some, but just how low a failure rate can that display have if I am now on my eighth brand new unit and am staring at yet another cluster of dead pixels as we speak?

And Apple has had plenty of teething issues with a huge number of products over even just the last couple of years. How polished was Apple Maps? Or the iPhone 4 aerial? Or the already scratched before unboxing iPhone 5? Etc. etc.

Comment Re:Your VCS should manage this (Score 5, Insightful) 384

Revision control is just one aspect. If you aren't the only person working on the code, or if there are other external dependencies such as you publish an API that others depend upon, then some form of automated testing will help ensure you haven't broken anything by deleting that code. Heck even if you are the sole developer then automated tests are still an incredibly good thingl.

If you are deleting code within a larger project then try deprecating the code first. Flag it as deprecated in the documentation (you do have documentation don't you?) and put log messages in the code that warn whenever it is called. After a while you can be confident that it is unused (or only used in obscure rarely called functions) and you can delete with confidence.

Revision control is your safety net, your last line of defence if you erroneously delete code that is in fact needed. It also allows you to always refer back to that code. Good commit messages will also help.

Comment Re:Good news everyone! (Score 1) 433

Not only that but there's a relatively simple solution with today's tools. Allow people to play the game for a bit for free but then make a single in app purchase to play it through to completion. As long as you're very up front about this then you're effectively giving people a free trial, and putting a block on piracy. I'm sure it's not a fool proof block, just look at the problems on iOS right now, but hopefully it's at least another step that doesn't harm genuine users but makes it a bit more difficult for the pirates.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 622

But here you have garbage in = non-numerical return value from a function that is supposed to return a number albeit in string form. If this function is just being used to display a number to the end user, which is pretty typical use, then the result is going to be garbage in = a number somewhere isn't displayed properly to the user so they need to notice this and report the bug.

If garbage in = throw an error then whilst the user would see an error this is much more easily detected by the code itself and gracefully handled whilst notifying the developer of the problem. The developer will also be able to see where the problem is and be able to trace it back through the code from the input to the number_format call backwards, rather than having to worry about any code after that function call and trying to work out exactly what the user did in order to trigger this weird result in the first place. By having an error with a good error message they get an exact starting point for their investigation.

PHP is riddled with functions that instead of doing the right thing try to guess at what they should be outputting, leading to a huge number of hard to detect bugs, erroneous behaviour, and ultimately fragile programs. This particular call merely highlights one such function, and it looks like the core devs simply do not understand the innate issues with their chosen approach.

To bring this back to the topic of the article itself - a huge amount could be done to improve PHP by forking the project and redesigning the core library to be safe and consistent, removing all the broken functions that have been retained for backwards compatibility, and simplifying the library as a whole.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 3, Insightful) 622

Yes throwing an error would be better than an inconsistent or, for some developers at least judging by the comments, an illogical result. If the input doesn't make sense then throwing an error is the only sensible way of dealing with it. This will flag the issue to the developer rather than leaving the possibility of an edge case bug sat in the code. But it would appear the PHP devs don't think like that and instead like to preach that their arbitrary way of doing things is better than some other arbitrary way of doing things.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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