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Comment Et tu, Brute? (Score 1) 267

I'm afraid Google may have reached the tipping point. Companies generally start off with high goals and innovations, but they eventually degenerate into lumbering behemoths who's only goal is to squeeze every last penny out of their customers.

Comment Re:Already tried and shut down (Score 1) 388

It wasn't shut down for no reason. Someone stole a laptop out of one of their airport offices with their entire customer list including all of their customer's private security information that the system required. Needless to say this resulted in a big privacy scandal and the company got smacked by the government and disappeared.

Comment Friedman vs Freeman (Score 2) 314

This is a clasic issue of business ethics and Friedman vs Freeman is typically cited. In "The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits" Friedman argues that companies should act in their own self interest and the interest of their share holders. Social issue are only a concern if they are in the self interest of the company. Freeman presents an almost diametrically opposing view in his article "A Stakeholder Theory of the Modern Corporation". Freeman's view is that companies have responsibility to benefit all stakeholders which includes employees, shareholders, vendors, and society in general.

Comment Re:"Creative" (Score 2) 460

You cannot manage your way to good code. Good developers write good code and bad developers write bad code. At best these processes help you mitigate some of the risk and ensure your requirements are being met. If management spent as much time working on the hiring processes as they do on managing the development process they’d see a much higher return on their investments.

Comment You must specialize to advance (Score 1) 487

All the low hanging fruit is gone. A hundred years ago you could be a scientist and know chemistry, physics, and biology and still make new discoveries. We have so many scientists and so much progress that in order to actually discover or invent something new you have to narrow your focus. Scientists stand on the shoulders of giants, but it's a very long climb to the top. You can spend many years just learning everything the people who have come before you have done in a field before you can even think about adding to it.

Comment Real World Example (Score 1) 694

This is a repost of mine from a previous conversation on this subject:
My wife got a Ph.D. in molecular biology. She did a postdoc and NIH and then started to look for job. She wanted to be a professor at a University. After talking to some of the recruiters at Universities we found out they were getting hundreds of resumes for each position. In addition, the research field is brutal. You constantly struggle for grant money and tenure is pretty much a thing of the past. Universities want you to come in with grants, they take half the money, then they boot you out if you lose your grants. It's a very stressful environment to be in. Another thing I ran into while doing research was that the number of teaching positions at Universities has gone up about 50% since 1960, however the number of Ph.D.s has gone up 500%. Of course there are commercial research positions as well, but at least in biotech there is a lot of turn over as companies come and go. She has friends that get laid off every couple years and spend six months to a year looking for a new job. There were also a lot of sales jobs where you go around and sell equipment to companies, which she didn't want to do. Do you really want to spend all that time in school to be a sales person? My wife eventually ended up with desk job with Genebank at NIH and no longer does research. Note that she was 31 by the time she got her first real job. That's a lot of time to put into education for not much reward. She is especially annoyed that she will never make as much money as I do in IT even though she has a doctorate degree and I have a master's in CS. We have encouraged our son not to go into science.

Comment Re:WTF? (Score 1) 357

I believe he's referring to Transclusion where you can include content from other sources as part of your document. He's tends to ramble a bit, but it makes more sense if you understand where he's coming from. I read and his book and did some research on him when I was working on my master's thesis for my CS degree. He spent a lot of time studing the nature of literature and how information builds upon a foundation of information from other sources and how these information sources relate to one another. He has some interesting ideas, but many of them are hard to implement. One of the reasons the Web took off as opposed to other sharing technoliges at the time is because it is so simple.

Comment Re:Obama Brought back Jobs and Growth (Score 1) 639

That's amazing. He was able to turn the job market around the month he took office before he enacted any policies. The reality is that the economy collapsed and a rebound was going to happen no matter who took office. Of course had it been a Republican they would have taken credit as well. The president has a limited ability affect the economy and it takes years after policies are enacted before you see the effects. One of the big causes of the crash was the real-estate market. This was caused by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which allowed banks to shift all the mortgage risk to organizations backed by the government. Fannie Mae was created in 1938 as part of the Roosevelt’s New Deal. It took almost 70 years for program to implode. The funny thing is that it was created to loosen credit and make houses more affordable. It certainly loosened credit to point of ridiculousness and was also one of the factors in the constant increase in home prices over the past 70 years which actually made houses more expensive.

Comment Re:Is it really so outrageous? (Score 1) 853

A corporation is made up of people. The livelyhood of those people depends on producing a service that other people pay for. Even in an autonomous collective you have to weight the rights of the producers against the rights of the consumers.

I managed to squeeze a Monty Python reference into a serious post.

Comment Battle Lines (Score 1) 583

Does anyone else find it a little too convenient that Apple decided to the drop support for their JVM recently as well? Of course they may have already known this was direction things were headed and just preempted it. I’m wondering if it’s not just a war brewing in the Java world, but against open source as well. Open source projects have become competitive with commercial offerings cutting into the profits of big companies and they are taking steps to eliminate them. So far big companies have been pretty effective destroying the communities around projects which call into question the viability and therefore the adoption rate of open source software.

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Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"