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Comment: Re:Bought a Sony product? (Score 1) 384

by virtualflesh (#38444892) Attached to: Sony Sued Over PSN 'No Suing' Provision
I think this is a subtle, simple, and excellent question. To every business, the only vote that counts is the greenback vote. If a company is so distasteful that it goes against your very nature/religion/values, then *don't buy anything from them*. It's your choice. Soon they will go out of business or change their business to your liking. The only thing that matters to any company is the bottom line. It is a simple concept, upon which every simple or complex business decision is made. When they claim customers are #1, why do you think that is? Because customers vote with money. It is very simple - the consumer is in control. Consume deliberately.

Comment: Social gaming (Score 1) 418

by virtualflesh (#34342994) Attached to: Have I Lost My Gaming Mojo?
Great post. I, too, turned 40 this year. What I'm finding is that when I play with others that I know and love (or like - a lot - if love offends you), the game becomes much more enjoyable. Even for games that I've played before, when my kids get a hold of them, they are a ton of fun because it's great seeing them getting into them. If you don't have kids, the games I'd suggest are the ones developing characters.. like D&D. Dungeons and Dragons Online is good for this, and is especially fun when you can join up with someone you know and with the same character levels, dropping in and out much you do.

Comment: It is my device or not? (Score 1, Redundant) 195

by virtualflesh (#32549916) Attached to: Apple Eases Restrictions On iPhone Developers
If I bought the device, then I should be able to do whatever the bl#^p I want on it. Of course I must take responsibility for my own actions. That's the point. Feels like I'm renting the device from Apple and they still own it. So, despite my best efforts, I will never own (nor be able to own) one of these devices.

Comment: What's the point of open-source? (Score 1) 487

by virtualflesh (#32535312) Attached to: Why No Billion-Dollar Open Source Companies?
Don't be alarmed by the title, it's sarcastic. I'm on the side of open-source. And in my opinion the point is to enable humans to be creative without being taken advantage of, a place for human ideas to flourish without being tied down by a subset of greedy humans whose only purpose is to profit monetarily off those ideas. Ideas were meant to be set free for the benefit of humankind. Now, actually DOing something is different, and the skilled should be paid handsomely for their actions. When such a form exists that provides both ideas and action, then the idea should be shared, but the action is unique. The argument is appropo to decoupling the person from what is right or wrong (subjective vs objective). When someone says "I'm right, you're wrong," then they tie themselves down to the problem and stagnate. If instead they say "that's right, or that's wrong," then the problem stands on it's own and doesn't hold hostage the human who so desperately wants to be right and be recognized for it. So, decouple ideas from action for money's sake. But attempt in all cases to develop both from within, and I project both you and the royal "I" (the rest of humanity) will be both rewarded. Live on open-source.

Comment: Re:Mutiny? (Score 1) 1019

by virtualflesh (#30415026) Attached to: Music While Programming?
Oh, and my perspective on music at work? It helps productivity for some, hurts others. It helps me. I listen to electronic music. It keeps me focused on problems that require no distractions to understand/solve. When I'm needed, though, I turn off the music. The needs of the people are usually more important. The trick from this point - how to solve the people problems quickly and effectively enough so that they won't return and you can get back to the code.

I consider myself to not be a people-person. Perhaps the most effective developers, though, are the ones with the highest people skills - solve their problems effectively (aka - help them help themselves) and you can get back to the cool problem at hand.

Comment: Mutiny? (Score 1) 1019

by virtualflesh (#30414978) Attached to: Music While Programming?
Analogous arguments have been made by worried, but uninformed, parents about videos games leading to violence. There is no evidence that it's true. One should never create policy based on personal beliefs.

If there's a productivity problem and the manager is trying to change things, then I would suggest you rally the troops and gather ideas, present your manager with some useful tips. If s/he is unwilling to listen, take your skills elsewhere. There are better managers. Perhaps more accurate effort estimation is needed - this could be a case of just too much work for too little money. If you don't take action to resolve the apparent productivity problem and hope that the manager "does his job" by taking full responsibility for the productivity problem, then you need to find a new job - the team is broken.

With respect to managers everywhere - a team without a manager is like a team without an objective. Someone has to keep things in check or the customer will no longer pay the bills - and all of your jobs are out the window.

If this is a political problem where the manager is "safe" from ever being questioned, then a mutiny may be at hand for an uninformed/unwilling manager. I've seen it happen to managers who impose nonsense policy on their teams. In this case, the team had very high attrition of the engineering staff.

My credentials: successful professional developer and technical lead for 6 years (getting paid for my hobby - woohoo!), promoted to manager of software development teams for 3 years. Over the course of my management tenure, the team size and budget both doubled roughly with about 12 engineers in the budget before I moved on. Went back to being an analyst/developer because making money was not my only objective. Now I can effectively support my manager with useful feedback that can make everyone on the team successful. I am on a totally kick-a$$ team where everyone respects the others' positions and responsibilities. Play together, win together.

Comment: Re:Kinda sounds like (Score 1) 118

by virtualflesh (#29923581) Attached to: <em>D&amp;D</em> On Google Wave
IMO, technology isn't bad or good - it's common or cool. Technology that is common (i.e., uncool) loses it's appealing luster when everybody thinks it's cool and when the majority of them neither know why it's cool nor have interest in how it works. True coolness comes when something not previously possible becomes possible, when those using it know how it works and exploit it, and when those not using have no interest in how it works.

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