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Comment The name thing, too... (Score 4, Interesting) 279

The name thing was a huge deal-breaker for a fair number of people, and the pathologically horrible way they handled it made it a lot worse. I know dozens of people who would have used G+ but walked away from it because at least one person they knew had bad experiences with it. I spent months with my G+ account in various kinds of limbo because the "appeals" process for name decisions was completely dysfunctional. I eventually ran into someone on slashdot who knew a person who knew a person who could unstick my account and get my name approved, but by that time everyone had lost interest.

And one of my friends used to have a Picassa account, and then somehow it got marked as a G+ profile thing (even though she never intentionally activated G+), and then suspended because their algorithm thought the name was unrealistic, and then she lost access to the Picassa stuff. I don't know whether that actually got resolved.

Very badly run at every level. The most frustrating thing is, they had a guy writing about this who was apparently in some kind of leadership role, and he talked about how the appeals process should work and how the name stuff should work... And nothing he said actually had any influence on the behavior of the product. The actual appeals process consisted of a thing that did not include any mechanism at all for stating your case or explaining why you felt a given name was the right name to use for you, which was then ignored by a machine or possibly a person, who knows. That's it. No mechanism for response or interaction.

Google's hatred of actually dealing with things personally interacted very badly with a policy which was inherently personal.

Comment What I don't get is... (Score 1) 1067

Why does the submitter suggest "zero" as the output for division by zero? How is that a better answer than 23?

I am pretty happy with the "this is a fatal error don't do it" approach, but if it has to be a number, why on earth would you pick zero? That is the least plausible outcome.

Comment Google's abuse history... (Score 1) 90

Do you remember that one time when someone found a trivially obvious way to abuse Google services to do something harmful, and Google took complaints seriously and addressed the problem?

I don't either.

Last I checked, it was still really easy to make a Google Group to use to send spam to people, but block them from sending complaints through the documented interface, because why would anyone at Google care?

Comment That's conflating two unrelated things... (Score 1) 425

The existence of programmers who are dramatically faster/more-skilled than others is not all that controversial, really. The question is whether they have to be assholes, or you should put up with them if they are.

My experience is, the majority of the really brilliant programmers I know are not assholes. They might be a little light on tact, but they are generally pretty good at cooperating and listening. If they weren't, they wouldn't be nearly as good.

Comment Re:She has a point. (Score 1) 628

That everything is offensive to at least one person doesn't mean that some things aren't more offensive than others. I am sort of sympathetic to the "but it's history!" view, but... honestly, it's a crappy picture to use for a number of reasons, it does create a hostile environment, and many many other images would be better.

Comment Re:Autism... The new cigar. (Score 1) 341

This is a fascinating set of claims that have nothing to do with any autism research I've seen. I've never seen an "anti-autism drug" get any kind of approval or testing or even marketing, and I've never heard serious claims about people "growing out of" autism. I've never actually heard of "temporary" autism. There's lots you can do to mitigate the inconvenient or harmful symptoms, but the underlying neurology seems to be pretty stable.

Comment Wow, that's very deeply insightful (Score 1) 594

Similarly, the Internet has done nothing for science or human knowledge, since so much of the work of pushing it and promoting it has been done for profit.

This isn't people dying so rich people can have fun. This is rich people funding the fundamental research that will make space travel practical in time.

Comment Sort of spammy, also not convincing (Score 1) 169

So, on the one hand, it's sort of a spammy/advertisey thing to begin with.

On the other hand, I'm also not entirely convinced that the code coverage tool really solves the problem, because a given line of code can have different effects under different circumstances.

If you read in an address from a text stream, and then write to the memory location denoted, that's just one line of code executing that dereferences the pointer, but good luck determining what it does on all future invocations based on watching it execute once. Similarly, consider a straightforward loop like "for (i = 1; i len; ++i) a[i] = 0;" where every line will be hit if len is at least 1, but the effect of executing the code is, to put it mildly, somewhat variable.

"If Diet Coke did not exist it would have been neccessary to invent it." -- Karl Lehenbauer