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Comment: Re:I think its BS... (Score 3, Insightful) 82

by startled (#33553696) Attached to: Salesforce Uses Chatter To Monitor Employees

Privacy: You've got a smartphone. I've got a smartphone. Everybody's got a smartphone. Seriously, if your employer feels at all hostile or big brother, can't you do you personal email, FB, Twitter, etc. on your phone?

Chatter: it's a corporate communication service. It's a given that your company is monitoring it. Hell, that's the half the point of using it. So the complaint here is that Salesforce is using yet another half-assed metric to evaluate employee performance? It can't be worse than a dozen other "measures" of employee performance I've seen over the years. Hell, maybe it's better.

Comment: Re:Code Competition may not always work!!!! (Score 1) 251

by startled (#32635060) Attached to: Better Development Through Competition?

I was once involved in a project where this sort of thing was going on, and those that had the better looking GUI got the nod.

I'll settle for the one that HAS A GUI.

This guy's advice is good for his target services and audience. In particular: he's giving advice with no existing relationship with a programmer, who are going to jump feet-first into elance, guru, odesk, and vworker. These first-time users of the services will be lucky to see a project through to a remotely satisfactory conclusion if they only hire one programmer.

Having been in that position once, I can vouch for what he's saying: you'll be ignorant enough of the criteria you should be using, that it's going to be very useful to hire 2-3 programmers for a small milestone up front. You'll get the guy who completely ignores the spec, and sends you something he cobbled together in 10 minutes. You'll get the guy who eats up the full time allotted, then at the very end cancels the project and refunds the money. And you'll get the guy who's actually a solid, communicative programmer, and gets the job done. Then you go forward with that guy.

It's going to be rare that, on your first use of these services, you can make a decision based on a close call, evaluating code quality, UI design, and so on. No, you'll be evaluating "did the project get completed AT ALL?". And you'll learn a lot about how to find people using these services, and how to write better specs yourself, so that you don't waste everyone's time in the future.

Comment: Irresponsible "Article" (Score 2, Interesting) 53

by startled (#31757068) Attached to: Yelp To "Clarify" How Advertising Affects Listing

I searched the linked articles, and several articles linked from those, but couldn't find the word "clarify" in any of Yelp's statements. In fact, the only use I found was also in quotes, in the Ars article.

It appears Ars has decided to substitute scare quotes for "commentary." Readers ought to be informed that the "journalist" may be misleading them, because in fact, Yelp's changes (as "reported" by Ars) do not aim to "clarify how advertising affects listing."

(Please note that my last use of quotes was not intended to scare, but to set off language that came from another source. Sorry if I frightened anyone.)

Comment: Re:Totally misses the point (Score 5, Funny) 231

by startled (#31433682) Attached to: "Mythical Man-Month" Supposedly Busted By MIT Startup

They all worked on small projects. Where the mythical man-month applies is in the combined effort on a large, sufficiently complex project.

You're just quibbling about details. If they can get 40 interns to do 40 small problems quickly, they can certainly get 40 interns to do 10 large problems even faster. Just like 9 pregnant women can make a baby in one month. Or they can keep the original 9 month schedule, but pool their efforts to create one super-huge baby.

Comment: Re:Constitution? (Score 2, Funny) 1070

by startled (#30853292) Attached to: Supreme Court Rolls Back Corporate Campaign Spending Limits

Good point. Since corporations were granted their personhood in 1884 there has never been a corporation as President or even Governor.

What about more basic rights, like marriage? Yeah, yeah, "mergers" give you all the same benefits. If that's so, why not let them call it marriage?

You ask me, get the government out of this whole marriage thing, and let individuals, their faiths, and their churches decide if they want to let AOL be "wedded" to Time Warner. In the mean time, the government can call AOL and Time Warner "civil partners".

After that, maybe we can end this horrid business of corporations being bought and sold. Disgusting!


Failed Games That Damaged Or Killed Their Companies 397

Posted by Soulskill
from the cause-or-symptom dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Develop has an excellent piece up profiling a bunch of average to awful titles that flopped so hard they harmed or sunk their studio or publisher. The list includes Haze, Enter The Matrix, Hellgate: London, Daikatana, Tabula Rasa, and — of course — Duke Nukem Forever. 'Daikatana was finally released in June 2000, over two and a half years late. Gamers weren't convinced the wait was worth it. A buggy game with sidekicks (touted as an innovation) who more often caused you hindrance than helped ... achieved an average rating of 53. By this time, Eidos is believed to have invested over $25 million in the studio. And they called it a day. Eidos closed the Dallas Ion Storm office in 2001.'"

HandBrake Abandons DivX As an Output Format 619

Posted by timothy
from the so-2003 dept.
An anonymous reader writes "DivX was the first digital video format to really win mainstream acceptance, doing for movies what MP3 did for music (both good and bad). Eventually even Sony, the king of proprietary formats, caved into pressure and added DivX support to its DVD players and the PlayStation 3. Now HandBrake's developers have made an interesting choice for version 0.9.4 — they ditched support for AVI files using DivX and XviD. Your only option now is to convert DVDs and other media to MKV or MP4 files, with the option to save as Apple-friendly M4V files. So why is HandBrake ditching AVI and XviD support when it's a format that's won such widespread acceptance? In the words of the developers, 'AVI is a rough beast. It is obsolete.'"

Comment: Re:I am not surprised (Score 3, Insightful) 445

by startled (#30650238) Attached to: Android Phone Demand Up 250%, iPhone Down

I often wondered what was so special about the iPhone. I have never got a satisfying answer.

If you're saying the iPhone isn't appealing to you, great. Fine. Whatever. Have some free mod points from people who agree with you.

If you're saying you don't understand people-- if you're saying you honestly try to put yourself in other folks' shoes, try to empathize with them, try to see why they love what they love, but you just can't-- well, congratulations, you're a geek. You've come to the right place.


Zombie Pigs First, Hibernating Soldiers Next 193

Posted by samzenpus
from the fattening-up-on-brains dept.
ColdWetDog writes "Wired is running a story on DARPA's effort to stave off battlefield casualties by turning injured soldiers into zombies by injecting them with a cocktail of one chemical or another (details to be announced). From the article, 'Dr. Fossum predicts that each soldier will carry a syringe into combat zones or remote areas, and medic teams will be equipped with several. A single injection will minimize metabolic needs, de-animating injured troops by shutting down brain and heart function. Once treatment can be carried out, they'll be "re-animated" and — hopefully — as good as new.' If it doesn't pan out we can at least get zombie bacon and spam."

Comment: Re:Great assumption (Score 2, Funny) 400

by startled (#30279384) Attached to: Lifecycle Energy Costs of LED, CFL Bulbs Calculated

Assuming LEDs last 2.5 times as long as LEDs, we conclude that LEDs last infinitely long and there is nothing superior except for LEDs.

The study was commissioned by an LED manufacturer. In order to reach the desired result, they had to redefine 2.5 as the multiplicative identity. At least they're up front about it. ("Up front" being, in fact, quite important-- you don't want to see what they did to the associative property.)

Nothing in progression can rest on its original plan. We may as well think of rocking a grown man in the cradle of an infant. -- Edmund Burke