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Comment Re:wealth generation by industry (Score 1) 362

Fashion takes less than a second to deduce. Quality, however, can take much longer and can be nearly impossible to determine. People expect computers to break and don't seem to notice when they don't. It's a black box that most people don't have have any hope of understanding and don't have confidence in determining its quality.


Comment Meetings should be used to solve problems (Score 2, Interesting) 274

Meetings should be used to solve problems. Information can be passed by email, or better yet through formal documentation. Status reports can be done by email and should only contain tasks completed on time, tasks not completed or will not be completed on time, and why if there are any of the second. Regular meetings should be held one on one to help employees meet individual goals and discuss any problems in a private way. Beyond that, "meetings" like kick-off events and celebrations for meeting goals can be held to motivate and provide recognition. Though I wouldn't call those meetings in the traditional sense. In an Agile environment, stand up meetings are effective as long as they are short and to the point.


Comment Re:What HTML 5 should have been (Score 1) 640

I guess my real beef is that I see so much potential in the web platform and the reason that it doesn't advance is because two of the major players have their own competing platforms. Neither Microsoft or Apple have an incentive to make the web platform powerful. Their only motivations are to make sure that the web platform works well enough. If it becomes too powerful, their OS's become irrelevant.

I understand the reasons, but I just cringe at having to keep backward compatibility. It's just really sad and depressing that over several years we can only come to a standard that is incrementally better. I'm not suggesting to break old website but to have separate renderers for each of the major HTML versions. If the doctype says HTML4 use the old one. If it says HTML5, use the new one. If it's not specified, use the old one. Require it for 5. Yes, I realize that requires a lot more work, but we can't get to there from here dragging the burden of backward compatibility.

Maybe I paint it more sinister than it really is, and some may be offended at the way I characterize things, but I feel we should have been further by now. There has already been a lot of advancement in the GUI arena over the last three decades and it seems that WHATWG just wants to close their eyes to it and go on their own. I could be completely wrong about that, but it's disputable because HTML5 is what they came up with.

If you think that these opinions would be welcome on the list, I will join, but otherwise I would rather not exercise such futility.


Comment Re:What HTML 5 should have been (Score 1) 640

While I can understand all your counter points to the GP, it sounds like you are closer to the browser implementation side than the web development side. I'm on the web developer side and I deal mostly with writing web apps. On this side, development is a beast. There have been many improvements and I am grateful for the work that has gone into things, but it's 2009 and we are still writing web apps in a language targeted at documents! It's also sad that I don't see any easy way to make web development easier than grossly misusing the platform. Let me analogize:

Think about how silly it is when you encounter some accountant that has built this elaborate spreadsheet in excel, one with thousands of lines of VB that may even span multiple documents. I think any programmer is going to look at that as a tremendous feat, but also with a great deal of scorn for really extending the platform beyond it's intent. I remember feeling the same thing when gmail first came out. I thought, wow, what masochists!

But here we are years later. The revival of the browser wars has taken a good amount of that pain away, but web development is still a huge pain! Sure it's better than a lot of things, but I pray every night that ten years from now web development doesn't look anything like it does today! I think the div, float, clear model is probably the the source of many of my woes and I don't think that problem can be overemphasized! Perhaps if they chose a simpler rendering model we wouldn't have so many cross-browser issues?

I think that part of the problem is that standard makers are still hoping and pushing for a semantic web. They still see all pages as documents/resources. I agree that many pages are more documents than applications, but we still have applications. Even still, at this point it is still impossible to make any non-simple page design not have layout and style related markup. Many of the new web 2.0 type apps are a single page, which are basically just bootstrappers for their apps. Beyond the hype, there are many principles in web 2.0 apps that are good. Round tripping to the server for full screen renderings is such a drag and I don't understand why we would still want to imply in our standards that should be the SOP. You know this. What I'm talking about and what I am begging for is a spec that makes web apps full citizens of the web rather than its bastard child.

Things I want to when developing web apps:
  • Easier layout
  • Ability to make custom, first class controls/inputs
  • Easier styling, something less complicated than CSS

What sucks hard core is that the reason this is impossible is because everyone is either way too self interested or they are stuck hanging on a vision that is flawed and lacking all touch with reality. It will probably take 5 years to be able to safely use HTML 5, and maybe by then someone will have the balls to make the web the universal platform it ought to be.

And if anyone says that I'm totally missing the point on the web and that if I want to develop apps, I should choose an application platform and not a document platform, I swear I will go ballistic. I mean really, I hope no one really believes that. The web wants to be both an information platform and application platform. I wish we would stop fighting that. The web is more than information and porn.


Comment Re:Err.. (Score 1) 326

Nobody owes you anything. If you decide you want to be an artist and only record albums, then YOU have to figure out how to make that work. Society is not responsible for your financial well being--that is YOUR responsibility. Just because you want things to be a certain way, it doesn't mean that society is responsible for making that work out for you.


Comment Re:Mine (Score 1) 188

I'd be really interested how you put together your chair. I had the same thought a couple months ago about a car seat being almost ideal for the reason you mentioned. I didn't find any one selling chairs like that from searching, though my co-worker did send me this link:

Maybe one day... :)


Comment Re:Venture Capital isn't doing its job (Score 1) 445

IANAVC, but know a few things about venture capital and private equity.

To state it plainly, the goal of venture capitalists is to invest money and make a return. There's nothing that they are "supposed to do." This isn't bad or good any more than buying bonds is bad or good. VCs specialize in looking at ideas and funding the promising ones. They put together a pool of money from people that believe in their skill to choose winners. After they put that pool together, they have to get the money out and invest it. After they invest it, sometimes they step in and provide additional assistance to make sure that they get a return for the people that invested the money. This behavior has the effect of stimulating innovation.

VCs are often painted as bad buys because of the changes they make to companies that are disagreeable. They have also received more scrutiny lately because they have been able to operate in a tax loophole that allowed their earnings to be taxed at a lower rate (iirc, their income from gains were taxed as investments at the capital gains rate and not as regular income). Not renewing the Bush tax cuts has the effect of removing this loophole.

I think you're on the right track on not having blockbusters to invest in. In a general sense, I think that investment opportunities began to become more scarce. There were more dollars following fewer investments. This caused the price of the investments to rise and which caused the value on the investments to kind of rise like inflation. Since there was more demand for real estate for investment, the prices rose.

Just my 2 cents. /br

Comment Decouple (Score 1) 161

What needs to happen is the one that provides the connection to the house should not provide the service. The government then regulates the infrastructure provider/maintainers. The service providers then sit on that infrastructure.

For example, here in Utah we have UTOPIA (Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency, UTOPIA themselves provide the fiber to the premise. Then you sign up with the providers on the network. There are a handful of different ISPs that provide service over it (including Qwest!). You can choose based on whatever meets your fancy. ISP too oversubscribed? Choose another one.

The fiber delivers internet, phone, and tv. Here at my office we have a symmetric 30Mbs connection for about $110. Makes me hate to go home to my Comcast connection...

The problem is the only motivation for the infrastructure provider is to keep the ISPs and governments to off their backs. The government should own the infrastructure and then private companies should compete for the maintenance contracts. Hopefully somebody in the city knows something about an SLA... /br

Linux Business

Submission + - ASUS Motherboard Ships With Embedded Linux (

Michael writes: "ASUSTek has introduced the P5E3 Deluxe motherboard, which in addition to using Intel's new X38 Chipset also features a soon-to-be-announced technology by DeviceVM. SplashTop is an instant-on Linux desktop environment that is embedded onto this motherboard. Within seconds of turning on the P5E3 Deluxe motherboard, you can boot into this Linux environment that currently features a Mozilla-based web browser and the Skype VoIP client. Browser and VoIP settings can be saved and this SplashTop Linux can be updated to provide new features and support. The motherboard's dual Gigabit network interfaces and its draft-N wireless also work from this lightweight Linux desktop. At Phoronix is a review of this $360 motherboard embedded with Linux and a web browser."

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