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Comment: Re:What about (Score 1) 189

by rockmuelle (#47705781) Attached to: C++14 Is Set In Stone
Yes!!! I wish I had mod points. They basically had them ready to go for C++11 and then committee infighting killed them (Bjarne stubbornly backed the wrong horse - not that I have a strong opinion on this or anything ;) ).

Syntactic support for generic programming would be the single best addition to C++ to breathe new life into the language and get a whole generation of developers who've written it off interested in it. Generic programming is as paradigm shifting as OOP. It just kills me that it's so thoroughly obfuscated by template meta-programming in C++.

Comment: Re:good (Score 2) 125

by rockmuelle (#47655481) Attached to: The Fiercest Rivalry In Tech: Uber vs. Lyft
Markets are defined by their rules, plain and simple.

The rules for an ideal free market are pretty straight forward: everyone is free to do whatever they want. There's also another term for this approach in the political sphere: anarchy.

What most people really mean when they say free market (in America, at least) is a market defined by the rules of property law (the foundation of most western legal systems). As soon as you have some basic rules, you no longer have a free market.

A real free market is a theoretical extreme, like an ideal gas. It's useful for reasoning about things, but doesn't actually exist in any practical form in real life.


Comment: Re:Not worth it (Score 1) 138

by rockmuelle (#47451215) Attached to: Three-Year Deal Nets Hulu Exclusive Rights To South Park
I look at it this way: I can pay $100+ a month to watch cable TV with commercials or I can pay $9 for Netflix, $8 for Hulu Plus, and nothing for my TV antenna for local shows. Yes, the ads on Hulu Plus are annoying, repetitive, and can't be skipped. But, I grew up in the 70s and 80s and have developed the skills to cope with ads and the lack of time shifting for local news. Millennial's milage may vary...


Comment: Re:Except It Isn't (Score 1) 104

by rockmuelle (#47052239) Attached to: How Virtual Reality Became Reality

I've tried Occulus and agree with the parent (I'm also 40 and have been around this block before). VR will never be a mainstream, mass market application. Now that the tech is mostly working (OR is awesome - it works like we all wanted it to the first time Jaron Lanier was in the news), it needs applications. Sure, core gaming will change as will some industrial applications, but otherwise there aren't a lot of good reasons to put an app in an head mounted display. HMDs are not exactly a great fashion accessory (even at the scale of google glass).


Comment: Didn't Happen in 2001, won't happen now (Score 1) 190

Sacramento and the rest of the Central Valley has been trying this forever. It didn't happen during the first bubble, it likely won't happen this time around. The Delta and Valley regions may as well be flyover country as far as techs are concerned. It's almost as easy to hop on a plane and be in Austin, Boulder, Portland, SLC, or any other regional tech hub than it is to drive around in CA.

I grew up in Merced and have seen this same story too many times in the past... 80s, 90s, 00s, 10s... This conversation is a good predictor for bursting bubbles, though. ;)


Comment: Re:So a bicyclist is safer..... (Score 1) 490

I'm a bike commuter and I own two cars. I pay more taxes relative to car commuters for the use of the roads.

Of course, I could get rid of the fun car and keep just the practical one, but I'd still be paying more than most drivers relative to my impact.

For rule 1 to be a valid argument, all bikers can't own cars. In the US, that's almost universally not the case.


Comment: Who needs watches in the first place? (Score 1) 399

by rockmuelle (#46859469) Attached to: Japanese and Swiss Watchmakers Scoff At Smartwatches

So, there are two types of people out there: those that wear watches and those that don't. I fall into the latter category. As someone who doesn't wear jewelry, I've never felt the need to accessorise with time (save for that brief period in 7th grade where I had a few Swatches... ;) ). The other reason for a watch would be practical. But here's the thing: I always know within a few minutes what time it is. If you don't wear a watch, you get pretty good at knowing the time. And, in most cases, you realise that it doesn't matter that much. Is it early? Have breakfast. Is it late? Have a cocktail. Am I at work? I have clocks surrounding me that are more accurate than any watch I'd wear.

Having played around with the "quantified self" gadgets, I can also say that they didn't give me much more than I could get through just general self awareness and a scale (or a more precise measuring device for whatever it is I'm quantifying). So, a smartwatch for me would just be a connected device for email, Web, and phone calls. My smartphone is great for that and I don't have to wear it on my wrist (see above: I don't wear jewelry). I can also set my phone aside and easily walk away from it when I need to be disconnected, which is key for long term sanity.

I know I'm only a portion of the market, but when it comes to smart watches, the manufacturers are already dealing with a segmented market. The luxury manufacturers are right to focus on what their bread and butter is: high end, mechanical jewelry (which, imho, is way cooler than a smart watch from an engineering perspective). The smartwatch space will need to focus on the intersection of smartphone users who wear watches for practical reasons and want to move away from their phone. They'll likely never capture the smartphone users who don't like to wear watches.


Comment: A little out of touch with reality... (Score 2) 358

by rockmuelle (#46805313) Attached to: Google: Better To Be a 'B' CS Grad Than an 'A+' English Grad

"You need to be very adaptable, so that you have a baseline skill set that allows you to be a call center operator today and tomorrow be able to interpret MRI scans."

I'm not sure if this is just naivete or Silicon Valley hubris, but this statement doesn't really make much sense. MRIs are interpreted by MDs (radiologists) with years of training. Call centers can be staffed by high-school drop outs. I have friends from both ends of the spectrum in exactly those jobs and I can tell you the starting point for each career and baseline skill set are not the same. Note that baseline intelligence may be the same - my call center friends are all phenomenal musicians who put their intellectual effort into music and use call center jobs to pay the bills, but there's no way they're interpreting MRIs in this lifetime.

I'm seeing the same high level of hubris in tech right now that I saw (and was guilty of) in 1999. There seems to be this feeling that good software skills are a proxy for any other discipline. After all, if I can write an MRI app for an iPhone (or, in the 90s, if I could write a Web 1.0 MRI viewer - which I did, fwiw), then I'm clearly qualified to take the next step and start diagnosing patients (or better yet, just write an app for that, too). Once you know the jargon and basic requirements, everything else is just implementation details, right? Of course, the reality is is that those implementation details are years of dedicated training, not a few weeks of hacking. You only get so many years in life - you can't do everything with them.

In Bock's comments, I see either ignorance or sleaziness. Maybe he really believes that anyone can and should be anything and everything. In that case, he's wasting his time in HR and should become a motivational speaker. But, it also seems like he's just using this as a way to get more call center operators to believe that there's a career path at Google that will allow everyone with a CS degree to be true renaissance people. Sure, every now and then one will pull it off, but people also win the lottery. That doesn't mean everyone will.


Comment: Re:"What I find interesting is how..." (Score 1) 1633

by rockmuelle (#46768521) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

Literal, out of context interpretations of sacred documents by the masses has been great for science.

There is a middle ground in citizen scholarship, between taking a document at its most literal and complete deference to the the high priests. An educated populace should understand the nuances that led to a document being written in the first place and applying critical thought to determine if those reasons are still valid today or if the document should be evolved.


Comment: Re:Overvalued (Score 1) 242

by rockmuelle (#46686131) Attached to: Ends Free Dynamic DNS

With all the comments about moving to other free services or using this as an opportunity to start a new business, what is the value for most people? If there are enough people that value it at a certain price such that the costs of running the business are covered, there's a business to be made. Otherwise, it's just charity on the service's part. Sure, everyone likes getting stuff for free, but even free stuff costs money for someone.


Comment: Plot to end all ads... (Score 1) 303

by rockmuelle (#46649551) Attached to: Ad Tracking: Is Anything Being Done?

(and maybe the internet as we know it)

Here's a crowd-based experiment I've always wanted to initiate: For one day, everyone follows ads and stays on the ad site for a non-trivial amount of time.

If everyone clicks on ads (or even a small percentage of people), monthly ad budgets will be very quickly drained. The companies will have received no value from their ad spend (if they do at all as it is). Google, et al. will get a one day windfall from the ad revenues. It might take a few coordinated "denial-of-ad-attacks", but eventually vendors will start to question the value of their internet advertising budgets and find better ways to spend their money connecting with customers.

Of course, a side effect of this might be killing the goose that laid the golden egg. If Google and Facebook suddenly lose their primary source of revenue, they will have to look for other ways to monetize their services (maybe just asking users to pay? if Facebook's numbers are real (haha), $5/month/user would be ~$5B/month ,which is not bad).

A more devious alternative would be to have ad blockers silently follow the ads and "fake" a user session...

If you have to ask how much it is, you can't afford it.