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Comment: Re:What were they thinking? (Score 1) 177 177

Huh? The speed limits on UK streets are broadly the same or higher compared to those in the US. Having driven for many years on both I really don't see much difference other than US streets are typically wider and the highways are considerably slower. I drive 30-40 on typical (sub)urban streets in both places.

There's no enforcement of jaywalking laws in plenty of the US too (e.g. NYC). It's not about safety (to my mind) but about indicating whether the car or the person has priority in that city. The UK and NYC both have large pedestrian populations which other parts of the US do not - those tend to be where jaywalking is frowned upon.

Comment: Re:Why the rules often don't work... (Score 1) 297 297

You shouldn't have to worry about backups at work because they should be handling that for you. Usually they either backup individual machines or back up shared dirs on servers and ask you to keep your stuff there. Both reasonable approaches. Running your own backup is not - it's not your data and you don't get to say where it's kept.

At home, offsite is easy, and can be done for free. I run crashplan and push about 4TB to them from my own machines - my servers also act as offsite backups for other family members who live elsewhere with less storage requirements (my mother in law has 100GB or so backed up to me for example). That peer to peer backup is free and so much better that the USB drive you sometimes remember to update once a week or so and lives in the trunk of your car. Also makes multiple backups easy - my stuff is in several places for example - single points of failure are bad.

As someone else mentioned, should your house burn down, you likely have larger concerns anyway.
I disagree. Access to important data is likely to be a pretty major concern in such an incident.

Comment: Re:Because no one else does (Score 4, Interesting) 260 260

As someone who works on such large scale systems, I disagree. When you need to deal with extremely high concurrency the functional paradigm with immutable structures is a really nice way to reason about problems - I'd say it contributes significantly to reliability over standard threaded imperative code.

"Fast" is such a vague term as to be meaningless - but I can say that we typically hit the performance limits of something external (network, disk, DB) before the fact that we're in a JVM makes any difference. If your problem is purely compute then maybe it's worth looking at C or golang, but the vast majority of stuff I work on is network services, and compute is not the bottleneck.

I do 100% agree with the strongly typed bit though :)

Comment: Re:$120 buys a lot of music (Score 1) 260 260

You're saying that this mythical average iTunes user (remember everyone who has ever owned an Apple device has an account, even if they never use it) who spends $15 a year is somehow equivalent to Spotify Premium subscriber, who clearly cares enough about music to subscribe to a service and not just use the free version? What you need to find out is how much the average Premium Spotify subscriber used to spend per month on music. I'm pretty confident that'd be over $10.

Comment: Re:You can do Open right (Score 1) 156 156

Sure, that works for some companies. In the specific case that I was describing, the vast majority of employees live in the city (many within walking distance of the office) and I think they'd be unwilling to leave. I personally live in the suburbs and commute in, but I'm the exception. Looking at the companies around where I live, there are very few I'd be interested in working for.

Comment: You can do Open right (Score 4, Interesting) 156 156

I certainly get the appeal of everyone having a nice office, but in a lot of cities that's simply not going to happen - the space is just far too expensive. So you end up with the choice between a more compact layout, firing a bunch of people, or moving to the burbs.

I work at a tech company in Manhattan, we have open plan offices because there's really no other option here. But there are things we do which I think help alleviate some of the common complaints I hear:

  • Everyone gets an assigned desk, and it's a nice sit/stand which you can put whatever you want on (no stupid "tidyness" rules). Some people have fish tanks, huge monitor collections, libraries, whatever. The "no assigned desk" insanity is, well, insane.
  • No offices, period. What's good for the developers is good for the CEO. He's often seen hanging out on the engineering floors.
  • Lots of phone booths and meeting rooms if you need privacy.
  • Lots of alternative working areas - there's couches everywhere if you want to chill out, a bar area, outside space. There's going to be a dedicated quiet area for people who like silence.
  • Totally flexible hours/working schedules - if you're distracted and just want to head out for an hour to clear your head no one's gonna care. If you work better on a table in the park - go for it.
  • No desk phones - encourages people to go away from the work area to make phone calls, which keeps noise and distractions down.

I think there are advantages to the open layout over an all office setup - I do like being able to hear what people are talking about because many, many times I've been able to get involved in something I can help with, or learn about something useful. Overall I'm pretty sure if offered the alternative (moving out of the city) pretty much everyone there would vote to stick with what we have.

Comment: Keys? (Score 1) 278 278

Key for my car, key for my wife's car, RFID tag for access to work. All my doors at home are keyless, and I have no need for multitools, knives, flashlights etc. On the weekends the only other things I usually carry are wallet & phone - during the week I usually have my laptop and a pair of earphones. KISS :)

"Silent gratitude isn't very much use to anyone." -- G. B. Stearn

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