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Comment: Re:Cell Phone Vendetta (Score 3, Insightful) 388

by pileated (#31694248) Attached to: "Supertaskers" Can Safely Use Mobile Phones While Driving

I'm not a politician and I'm not in a huff. Instead I'm outraged at the assholes who take my life and that of others in their hands by driving around chatting on their cellphones absolutely oblivious to other drivers.

This is the first time I've cursed on slashdot. I don't like to do it and see far too much of it here and elsewhere. In this case though it's perfectly fitting.

Comment: Is Sampling Just Weak-Kneed? (Score 1) 449

by pileated (#31121016) Attached to: Is Plagiarism In Literature Just Sampling?

I'm happy to say that I'm of the pre-appropriation, pre-sampling, pre-plagiarism-is-just-fine generation. But this did get me thinking. Picasso redid Velazquez, see 'Las Meninas After Velazquez.' But those paintings are radically different. You can see the similarity but there's no way in the world that anyone could accuse Picasso of plagiarizing Velazquez. You might say he cannibalized him in some sort of perhaps perverse homage. But the original was just a jumping off point.

What I don't understand about appropriation art and everything that's come after it, including this somewhat ridiculous novel and its rationale, is the lack of ambition. Are people too incapable of coming up with something original? Do you just copy a more famous artist, throw in an ironic comment or two and think you have original and probably superior art to the original. It's a mystery to me.

Comment: Re:Compliance Rates & Hands-Free Use (Score 1) 406

by pileated (#30957298) Attached to: Phone and Text Bans On Drivers Shown Ineffective

My reaction is the same. Philadelphia recently made it illegal and I'm constantly seeing people driving and talking. I'm not sure it's decreased at all. I'd like to see how many arrests have been made and then do some studies based on it. For example did crashes drop with 100 arrests/fines, 1000 a/f/, 10000 a/f? I have to wonder if anyone has even been arrested/fined in Philadelphia based on what I see.

Considering all the idiots I see on their phones while driving, I don't have any doubt at all that they make driving much less safe for the rest of us. I'm really tired of the so-called proficient multi-taskers saying that it is dumb people who cause accidents, whether or not they're on the phone, rather than cell phone users per se. Show me the proof.

Comment: Re:Incorrect premise (Score 1) 945

by pileated (#30892472) Attached to: The Apple Paradox, Closed Culture & Free-Thinking Fans

Back when I used to use Macs regularly(about 15-20 years ago) that was the one thing that bothered me: the self-proclaimed hipness, creativity, intelligence of its users, especially the fanboys. You just couldn't say anything negative about Apple without being attacked. Everything Apple did was good. At the time I really loved Macs. It was their users I couldn't handle.

Eventually I moved to a much improved Windows and also to Linux. Even Linux users seemed more open-minded than Mac users. I tried a Mac a few years ago, thinking that I'd like it. I hoped it would combine the UI of earlier Macs with the OS power and stability of Unix. But all I found was cute.

I don't know if that's still as true as it was. Perhaps a broader range of products from Apple has gotten rid of that. But my guess is not. In fact that's probably part of what allows Apple to dictate a higher price: the creative cachet that goes with their products. Sort of like the blonde with the car: buy this car and soon you'll have beautiful blondes falling over you. Buy an Apple product and your creativity will just ooze. You'll become a true free-thinker, money-back guarantee!

Comment: Re:A word of thanks and a request (Score 1) 368

by pileated (#30834230) Attached to: NYTimes Confirms It Will Start Charging For Online News In 2011

You're 100% right but you're preaching to a group that just refuses to believe it. "Information just wants to be free!' I'll be happy when all newspapers charge for online content and Google has no news. Sadly all newspapers are scared to death to give it a try and actually charge for what they do. So they'll hold off until someone else does it, slowly dying in the meantime. By the time they see that someone else has been successful it will be too late.

You'd think newspapers would be bold. Instead they're about the most timid industry around.

Comment: Re:Sounds like a cop-out for bad customer service (Score 1) 364

by pileated (#30825472) Attached to: Why "Running IT As a Business" Is a Bad Idea

I guess you missed this part in your reading:

Nobody in IT should ever say, "You're my customer and my job is to make sure you're satisfied," or ask, "What do you want me to do?"

Instead, they should say, "My job is to help you and the company succeed," followed by "Show me how you do things now," and "Let's figure out a better way of getting this done."

The article is to have IT treated as a peer not as an order-taker. Anything other than that is a waste of the talents of IT. This doesn't have anything to do with egos. It's just common sense. Do you hire a doctor to mow your lawn? No you hire him and respect his expertise as a doctor. The point of the article is that by viewing IT as a peer IT can become involved where it's most valuable, at the very beginning of any projects. I surely have seen how poorly the other method works: we do whatever the customer wants to matter how stupid, how inefficient and how harmful to the company in the long run.

Comment: Re:Nothing wrong with the idea (Score 1) 837

by pileated (#30588102) Attached to: Uniforms For the Help Desk?

Sounds like management-speak. Confusing show and substance. If the Help Desk does its job no one cares about forward face or point of contact. They know the job gets done. That's substance. Uniforms are show, and degrading show at that. But maybe if you have really stupid clients they'll confuse the show of uniforms with the substance of solving the problem. I doubt it though. Clients do know when they're getting show not substance.

This is one of the most pitiful things I've yet seen in IT.

Comment: Sounds like BS to me (Score 1) 837

by pileated (#30587312) Attached to: Uniforms For the Help Desk?

I'd ask yourselves this question: do you think you need to 'promote visibility and unity'? It sounds like most people already know who you are. Do you need 'unity' then? Is this how you'd prefer to 'promote unity'?

My guess it that the answer is no. In that case I'd ask management to have enough guts to tell you what they really want. If they think you dress like slobs they should tell you so. I have no sympathy at all with gutless management and you shouldn't either.

Comment: Re:Steering wheel spike (Score 2, Insightful) 432

by pileated (#29983742) Attached to: FCC/DOT Want High-Tech Cure For Distracted Driving

Yep the answer is a threat, not another safeguard. Couldn't be simpler. Philadelphia had the good sense, finally, to make the use of a cell phone on almost any vehicle illegal just the other day.

But this is all obvious and has been obvious for years. The only reason that nothing was done has to be the lobbyists for the phone industry, and politicians who love their own cell phones, and have caved in to the lobbyists.

I know this sounds like the typical crap you read in comments: it's all a conspiracy by so and so. But in this case I just can't see it any other way. I wish this weren't true but I think it is. I can't think of anything in recent memory that has made me more cynical about government and it's easy co-option by business.

There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence. -- Jeremy S. Anderson