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Comment: I've been writing code like this since 1985. (Score 1) 62 62

In all seriousness though, have you ever tried to analyse unstructured text? It's hard. How would you realistically improve it? Do you start with a preconceived list of technology key words and count them in the resumes? People misspell words. Words have multiple meanings depending on context.

I've been writing code like this since 1985. Then, it was in LISP.

It's actually trivial to me at this point. You end up with a meaning trie with differential probability vectors, and some of the roots wither away as you go down. Making a machine decision is harder, but not entirely impossible.

I get incredibly annoyed at people like Lazlo Bock who want to put everyone's resumes into a form that basically allows Google (Lazlo Bock works for Google) or other companies to magically allow you to come into a new job under the horse collar of a performance review of your previous job which they were in no way involved with.

The whole "HR metrics" industry... uh... kinda pisses me off? I pick companies based on criterion other than standard metrics. If they pick me that way... they do not deserve me. Mostly they stumble into me, I fix them, and then I exit.

I understand the "OMG we need people who know what they are doing and not recent graduates!" panic. Does not mean I sympathize.

Comment: Re:Who watches this crap? (Score 1) 111 111

the really valuable work is done while I'm in the shower or in bed

This together with the question "Why would anyone want to watch someone code?" makes me think in the lines of pornstars pretending to be programmers in the shower.

And then he opened the SPARCStation pizza box to reveal... a Zilog UART!

Comment: Have to do this all the time. (Score 2) 186 186

In ham radio command and control over remote digital ground stations all have clear text passwords because it's against the law to encrypt on ham radio bands. So every password is a single use.

Today, if I connect to the digipeater that is near me I will use the password S4tA12fDg
and it will work once and only for a certain window for that single login to happen.

Any company worth anything would do the same. Here is your link, here is your one time use password, you had better get the file in the next 20 minutes or that password will not work.

Perfectly secure for simple crap that really has zero value like a school transcript.

Comment: Hardware design is just marketing (Score 1) 304 304

Well, I agree with a large part of what you're saying, but you aren't factoring in the hardware design.

Sure I am. Other companies sell hardware that is comparably nice and that if you sold a Macbook Air with Windows on it that nobody would pay extra for it compared to equivalent Dell or HP units. There are Android phones that are just as nicely designed as the iPhone or at least near enough as makes no difference. I've seen laptops that are just as nice as the Macbook Air. The nice hardware is really just a form of marketing. Make no mistake, it's very nice and it no doubt contributes measurably to Apple's success but it isn't the core reason why people buy Apple products.

What makes a Mac special is OS X. What makes an iPhone special is iOS. Take those away and you'll see Apple's profit margins evaporate faster than you can say "shareholder lawsuit".

Comment: Re:He answered the most boring questions! (Score 1) 158 158

It blew up for *political* reasons, not for *technical* reasons.

Yes. And since we live in a political world where technology always have to bend to political realities, they cannot and should not be ignored.

Great thinkers, like Stallman, recognise this, and hence does "over the top" things like starting writing a free compiler and invent the very concept of software freedom, i.e. they focus on the political, that which out nothing much can exist. Lesser thinkers, like Linus Torvalds, doesn't, instead thinking that technology and the development of complex technical systems can exist in a vacuum, and hence puts himself, and the whole kernel community in difficult situations, that, like we guessed at the time, ended in tears.

Only the technology that can garner political support, can succeed. Because politics is what results when many people have to work together towards a common goal. It is in fact the very definition of politics.

Apparently Linus learned from this though, as git has the same license as the kernel, and hence arbitrary (political) restrictions like "you can't reverse engineer the protocol" (illegal in Europe I might add), or "you can't work on mercurial while working with Bitkeeper" (questionable in Europe) will not, and can not become an issue. And re: bitkeepers arbitrary licensing, Talk about letting your politics get in the way of technology...

Comment: All machine errors ultimately are human errors (Score 1) 248 248

"...officials believe that human error was to blame for the incident, rather than a problem with the robot."

The root cause of all problems like this is human error. If you haven't reached the place where there was a mistake by a human then you haven't gotten to the root of the problem. Might be bad machine design. Might be faulty programming. Might be operator error. Might be disregard or ignorance of safety protocols. Might be some combination of the above or a few things I haven't mentioned. But any failure in a machine made by man ultimately is the fault of a human. Might be an innocent mistake and the failure may not necessitate punishment but it will be human error make no mistake.

Comment: Apple is a software company (Score 1) 304 304

Well, enterprises don't want to pay 50% or more for comparable hardware on the basis of aesthetics.

People don't pay more for Apples devices because of the aesthetics - not much anyway. They're nice and all but what people really are paying for is the software. Apple at it's core is a software company. If you put Windows on a Mac or Android on an iPhone (easily done) you'd have no idea if it was made by Apple or Dell unless you looked at the logo. Apple doesn't make their own hardware but they do make their own software and that is what people pay extra for. Their hardware is nice but nothing really special. They just won't sell you their software (usually) unless it is attached to a piece of hardware.

Don't believe me that Apple is a software company? Here's Steve Jobs himself saying so.

Apple does make servers, nobody wants them.

They've made a number of half hearted stabs at making servers over the years but they've never really been serious about it.

Comment: Paths to success (Score 1) 203 203

Jobs is uninspiring to me. Without Woz, there would have been no innovation to sell, but with those two, they had an actual product to show off first thing.

No company of any consequence is built by just one person. The error in your argument is you are presuming that Jobs couldn't have found another path or partner to success without Woz. Given that Jobs built three companies (Apple, NeXT and Pixar) it seems somewhat reasonable that chances of Jobs succeeding without Woz would be fairly high. We wouldn't have Apple but perhaps we would have had something else.

Whether Jobs is inspiring to you or not is a matter of personal choice and I don't disagree. Clearly he was very inspiring to a lot of people. It's ok if you aren't one of them. Personally I respect what he accomplished professionally (hard not to) but he's not someone I idolize or care to emulate personally. I doubt I would have liked to work with/for the man.

virtually every other CEO has done something to better the world... and Jobs's legacy doesn't seem to be one of philanthropy.

There are more ways to improve the world than through philanthropy. As just one small example: the iPhone I have sitting on my desk allows me to easily Facetime with my mother in Texas who is in a nursing home in hospice. I assure you that I regard that as an improvement to the world and Mr. Jobs is in no small way responsible for that being possible. Yes the guy was a major dick in some very tangible ways but to claim he's done nothing positive really isn't fair or accurate.

Comment: Testing a man's character (Score 2) 203 203

All of us may be dicks, but very few of us are so dickish as to fuck over even Woz.

That's because very few of us will ever have such an opportunity. While I think most people are generally good and decent, experience has taught me that an awful lot of those same good and decent people are not above temptation. There are a lot of people (including some reading this most likely) who would screw over a friend for financial gain. People will steal if they think they can get away with it. I think Abraham Lincoln said it best - "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

Steve Jobs said two years ago that X is brain-damaged and it will be gone in two years. He was half right. -- Dennis Ritchie