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Comment Why is the platform not OTA-upgradeable? (Score 1) 120 120

The set of hardware capabilities available on a smartphone has more or less stabilized on phones these days. Which means that the kernel API to the hardware could be frozen. Which means that everything above the kernel level could be OTA-upgraded (to stock, at least -- carrier customizations should be installed as an app and/or theme on top of the stock firmware anyway). Why in 2015 is the entire platform not hot-upgradeable? The inability to do so is just plain stupidity. (Memory limits / CPU speed etc. don't count -- in Android K and L, a lot of work was done to reduce the memory footprint and increase the VM speed... you only need half a gig of RAM to run Android L.)

Comment Doing anything all day is bad for you. (Score 1) 340 340

I had a bad back from sitting all day, so I tried standing. I developed nerve compression issues in my feet. I had RSI in my right wrist from using my mouse all day, so switched to my left wrist, and the RSI spread there. The reality is that the human body is not designed to do the same thing all day every day.

Comment Re:I don't think it will gain much traction (Score 1) 175 175

It's more than just pre-compiled Javascript. It has proper types (like integers! In 2015!), unlike Javascript. It will be an easier compilation target than asm.js for both traditionally compiled languages (C/C++) and newer languages. There will be freedom to break from Javascript conventions that have held back the Web, such as the single-threaded nature of the Javascript VM (of course there are Web Workers, but no proper shared memory model currently etc. -- this slows down multithreaded code, requires a different programming model, and is not a good foundation for the future of multithreaded apps). Really WebAssembly is what NaCl and pNaCl were trying to be.

Comment Why? (Score 2) 97 97

I love the BBC micro, Archimedes and RISC PC -- I grew up on them. But why is the BBC doing this now? Every kid in the UK has a supercomputer in their pocket already, by 1981 standards. What is needed is a simpler and more compelling way for kids to get into programming their phones, and a simpler way to interface their phones to external hardware.

Comment Re:I gave up on some Google Apps (Score 1) 62 62

I totally agree that Apple's keyboard should show the current character case on the keys, it's quite ridiculous that it doesn't. I suspect the reason for only displaying capital letters is that Apple is too emotionally attached to skeumorphism to ever change the design. (Hardware keyboards only show capital letters, "so why should a software keyboard change that?")

Comment Re:35 days is an underestimate (Score 1) 179 179

People come and go from Google all the time. It's becoming common for SV engineers to work at Google twice or more in their career. I know a guy who was at Google three separate times before he was 19 (once as an engineer, at 16, then both the companies he left to found got acquired) -- although he's of course a bit of an outlier.

It has also become a revolving door between Google, Facebook, and several other big tech companies -- people get a little bored, go elsewhere, eventually realize the grass was greener, and come back.

Yes, the Google lemonade is good, but the lychee lassi is even better.

Comment 35 days is an underestimate (Score 4, Interesting) 179 179

I'm in this process right now. It has taken between 3 and 4 months to get to the end of the interview process with each of the big companies in Silicon Valley, depending on the company. Google alone has had me onsite for 8 separate interview days, not counting 3-4 phone screens. I'm highly qualified (PhD in CS from MIT, postdoc at Harvard Medical School, and as a Xoogler, I technically don't even have to interview to return to Google), but that hasn't expedited things. The hiring climate right now is ridiculously stringent. It wasn't this way even 3 years ago, I could walk into almost any job, and go from sending in a resume to getting an offer in a week or less.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 4, Informative) 28 28

Yes, foreigners have had Internet access for about 3 years now. (There are a few hundred foreigners posted in North Korea at any given time.) Of course network traffic is monitored, and everyone using the network knows that, but journalists visiting North Korea have used the network to get stories out quickly.

There are two different cellphone networks in the country -- the network used by locals, with up to 2 million subscribers already, and with only country-wide intranet access, and the network used by foreigners. You can't place calls between the two networks, and the phones on the two networks look different, so that North Korean minders can easily spot a local using a foreign cellphone illegally.

Comment Re:Koryo (Score 5, Interesting) 28 28

Actually, Koryo (Goryeo) is the name of one of the most important and longest Korean dynasties, following Silla, Baekje and Gogoreyeo. It's where the English name "Korea" comes from. A lot of things have the name "Koryo" in North Korea, and some things in South Korea. The North Korean name for Korea is Choson, the name of the dynasty that was built following the overthrow of the Koryo dynasty.

The South Korean name for Korea is Hanguk, "country of the Han" (that's the Korean Han, which uses a different Chinese character than the Chinese Han character representing the Han people that fought the Manchurians). To a South Korean, "Choson" sounds like a very backward name for Korea. To a North Korean, "Hanguk" sounds like a label imposed by imperialistic invaders.

Some people manage by the book, even though they don't know who wrote the book or even what book.

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