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Comment good people (Score 2) 292

It's all the same, really.

If you have good people, you don't need managers, good people can manage themselves.
If you have good people as managers, other people won't mind working for them, because a good manager is a real contribution to the team.
If you have good people at the top level, they will bring good ideas into the company, have the resources and power to see them done, and benefit everyone.

And the reverse for bad people. In the end, it comes down to how good your people are.

That is CMM level 1. You don't want to run your organisation on that level. It's idealistic, and if it works, it works great, but it depends too much on individuals. When your company is not 20 people, but 2000, it becomes almost impossible to ensure that they are all heroes. That is when you need processes and organisational structures that, if they are made by good people(*), will act as training wheels for the less-good.

In IT we know this concept as an "expert system". Someone who is a really good manager works with someone who knows about processes and modelling to turn what he does best into a guideline for others who are not so good. The implicit knowledge gets turned into explicit knowledge. With that, you can go to CMM level 3. The higher levels are for a different discussion.

The point is: Managers are needed, because many people work better under management. Maybe nobody in the team wants to bother with resource allocation and procurement, or skill development and HR processes. Maybe nobody wants to bother with organisational tasks, or (something other posters commented) wants to make the hard decisions. There are many reasons. In the end it boils down to division of labor, which is a proven productivity enhancer.

(*) yes, you can't get rid of this dependency entirely, but you can reduce the number of good people you need. It is fairly easy to find 5 or 50 good people that set up the structure for everyone else. It is near impossible to find 500 or 5000 good people. Not because they don't exist. Because they already have jobs.

Comment averages (Score 1) 260

If the average IQ is 100 (and it is, by definition), that means for everyone with a 160 IQ, there has to be someone with a 40 IQ, or two people with 70 IQ, or four with 80...

There is an incredible number of stupid, uneducated idiots in this world, right around you. You just don't notice them because our social circles tend to be made up largely so others in it are similar to ourselves.

As the saying goes: Being stupid is a lot like being dead. It's more difficult for people around you than for yourself.

Comment core point (Score 1) 133

The core point is to investigate the assumptions we make, and that's what makes this a philosophical challenge, not a linguistic or engineering one.

Our life is full of assumptions that we are not even aware of. Thinking about aliens lets us challenge these assumptions. Visual communication? Maybe, but in which part of the electromagnetic spectrum? Audio? Which frequencies and what patterns? Tacticle? Chemical? Something else entirely?

What are "basics" of the universe that we can use to construct a communication system with a species very different? These questions are asked for this, and the Voyager plates are great examples, but still they make too many assumptions, without which we as humans don't know how to communicate.

Comment Re: It's not what Google wants.... (Score 1) 410

You're talking about reading the ODBII data. That's a very different application to an information display that most drivers will be using routinely. So if nothing else, there's probably a good chance that many of those downloads were professionals who work on cars. Most of the rest were presumably enthusiasts who enjoy tweaking, and if you reckon you've personally saved $5-10K just on diagnostics with Torque then clearly you're not a typical driver.

Comment Re:It's not what Google wants.... (Score 1) 410

But lets see if you can compromise it without taking off a panel, disconnecting a wire, or otherwise having privileged access to it.

Does your definition of privileged access include being within radio range? Being within radio range when the legitimate owner activates a remote feature? Gaining access to the manufacturer's facilities, either to extract sensitive information or to initiate contact with vehicles through the manufacturer's own remote access tools?

(If you're wondering if these questions aren't random and this line of questioning is a trap... Yes. Yes, it is.)

As for "infotainment" systems you can't have a bad system without a good/better one to compare it to.

I hope we could all agree that, for example, a system that allows a potentially dangerous compromise of the vehicle's control systems is bad even if all cars have the same defect.

Also, the standards of presentation of these systems are awful. There is nothing good/better for comparison only if you exclude pretty much the entire field of user interface design in modern technology outside of cars.

Comment Re:It could work. (Score 0) 674

It's not a theory, it's the truth.

In fact the mkLinux you mention was originally a port done by two guys named Mark and Karl, hence "mk".

Steve Jobs saw Slackware on a CD and, being that he wanted to see the floppy disk die, he chose that distro to port as Mac OSX. Most other distros at that point were still on floppy disk. Woz and Seymour Cray were drinking buddies so when they needed some high performance multi-threading support from Cray's UNICOS system, Woz tapped his pal and got access to the necessary code for a handshake rather than the usual multi-million dollar licensing fees.

The whole "NeXTSTEP" thing was to fool investors into thinking they had a solid product, not something they hacked out over a few weeks. In fact if you do any development on Mac OSX or iOS, you will see "ns_____" things called all the time. The "ns" does not mean "NextStep" as many people think. It means "Nice Seymour" as a tip of the hat to the man that made all that code available for free.

I remember all this like it was yesterday.

Comment Re:FUD (Score 1) 410

The auto manufacturers are looking for this data themselves -- this is a matter of public record in some cases, and widely acknowledged privately in others -- and so it is logical that they will choose their commercial partnerships in light of that. If Google want to keep that data for themselves but someone else will implement more integrated telemetry that lets the manufacturers spy on drivers and send the data to insurers, the second person is probably going to win the deal, unless and until the privacy regulators start stepping in.

As for ads, just tracking the locations someone visits regularly is a treasure trove of mineable information, and you can probably tell a lot about someone from their driving style as well. Of course, the implications of commercial services literally tracking our every move are pretty unpleasant for some of us.

Comment Re:It could work. (Score 0) 674

Nope. OSX is a fork/mix of early Slackware Linux with some earlier Cray UNICOS multi-threading library support.

NeXTSTEP is based on AT&T SysV UNIX with graphical libraries borrowed from Ashton-Tate's (ahead of its time) Framework suite. If memory serves I think they also uses some of CP/M's successor MP/M 86 for some sweet multiuser stuff.

I remember it all like it was yesterday!

Comment Re:FUD (Score 1) 410

The information isn't that interesting either, the most likely use would be applications to help people

The most likely use of collecting data about vehicles and driving style is probably selling it to insurers for a huge profit.

The next most likely use of collecting data about vehicles and driving style is probably selling it to advertisers for a huge profit.

Somewhere down the list there are probably things to do with law enforcement.

Somewhere near a footnote on page 17 there are probably things that will actually help make cars better for their owners, or least make future versions of cars better for their future owners. Auto manufacturers already do a huge amount of both simulation and real world testing during development of a new vehicle, using vastly more sophisticated and comprehensive systems than anything fitted to a production car you or I would drive on the road. There is only so much extra they could learn from large scale collection of real world driving data that they can't already determine from other sources.

There might be a decent argument for some sort of black box style recording for all cars, to help with investigating after something went wrong and hopefully make the roads safer for everyone in the long term. But like any black box, the integrity of that data would be important, so some remotely accessible system that is also hooked up to all kinds of infotainment widgets is probably the last place you would want it.

Retirement means that when someone says "Have a nice day", you actually have a shot at it.