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Comment Re:Irrelevant - private cars are not a problem (Score 2) 559

I don't see Tesla Buses coming any time soon

You don't? Well, OK, they aren't made by Tesla but electric buses have been running in San Francsico for decades. Neat thing about buses: they run a set route so you can power them from overhead wires and not even have to carry batteries. Hybrid buses are common in the South Bay, where densities do not support the infrastructure for electric buses.

Buses are generally way ahead of private cars in terms of propulsive technology. A lot of buses around here run on compressed natural gas. A decade ago there were buses (in Toronto, I think) that used fly wheels as a form of regenerative braking.

Comment Re:Only when (Score 1) 189

If you steal billions and proceed to give that away, you should go to jail.

If you earn billions through a successful business and then proceed to give that away, then yes, you should be held in awe.

Out of interest, what percentage of your total lifetime earnings have you committed to giving to charity?

The relevant question would be what be what percentage beyond that required for a comfortable existence have you committed to give to charity. The saints give over 100%. They live in poverty so that others may live better. Bill Gates is able to give a large percentage of his total income to charity because his has far far more than he needs. What remains after his charitable donations is still much more than most of us here can hope to earn.

Comment Re:There's a time honored solution .... (Score 1) 509

It's simple. You promote them to management.

Where they can use their authority to force everyone else to use obsolete and "considered harmful" methods as policy because it needs to be done that way so they can still understand it.

No that I've ever had to deal with this situation.....

Comment Re:No more Barnes and Noble? (Score 1) 157

Please notice very few small locally owned booksellers have gone out of business recently. Books are apparently a business where small companies do quite well.

When is recently? Keep in mind that when a locally owned bookstore closes, it doesn't usually make the national news. Palo Alto has lost two. Stanford Books Store doesn't operate Downtown any more either so maybe that is three. Adjacent Menlo Park has only managed to save Kepler's through extraordinary measures. Now, I don't think any of these events occurred within the last two years but there weren't that many book stores to start with.

In many areas the chains were all they had.

Comment Re:Legislative, Executive and Legal (Score 1) 405

If the government fixed itself, the other things that the government is in charge of would get fixed. Problem is, too many people "believe" in the political "process", when it clearly hasn't worked.

Moving the power from Federal, to local would help, rather than the current trend of the other way around.

From what I see of how local government works around here, I find it hard to agree with you. About the only reason "local" seems more competent than federal is that there is only one federal but many locals to chose from. At any given time for any given function, you can usually find at least one local government doing the right thing. The rest, though, and the rest of the time, it is not so pretty.

Comment Re:Not just chatting. Forum discussions suffer, to (Score 1) 242

True, and Usenet could be handy. But basically it became a spam forest, and you'd have to wade thru 200 spam emails for one on the topic. Maybe if they would have developed filters for it, it could have gone on further.

No, it didn't. Spam was a big issue for a while but server side spam filters like cleanfeed and distributed systems like nocem became very sophisticated and effective. Unlike email filters, Usenet filters have the advantage in being able to see *all* the destinations. If an article that appeared in more than a handful of groups was quickly squashed. Spam never entirely went away but it well under control long before the decline of Usenet.

There were also efforts like Usenet2 that created a network of trusted servers who would keep spam out. It worked fairly well but interest waned initially because the spam problem was effectively controlled in regular Usenet but even more so as total volume declined and the Usenet2 corner became too thinly populated to be of much use.

Now there is still the problem of idiots posting things in inappropriate places but that's a problem of moderation, something Usenet never did well. (Usenet *did* have moderated groups but it drastically slowed conversation and did not scale well)

I still run a small news server. Spam is only a "problem" is groups where the posting volume has dropped near zero and spam is all that is left. A bigger problem is that I keep losing peers as people give up and shutdown thier servers.

Comment Re:Not to mention not nice (Score 4, Insightful) 267

Ah come on, what sort of a relationship do you have with your family if you can't play a little prank on them from time to time.

Probably the kind where the parents can not entirely dismiss the notion that their child may be doing something quite serious that they don't know about. In other words: virtually every parent of a teenager who is honest with themselves.

Comment Re:Most frequent? (Score 1) 413

Is it just me or does asking for the "most frequent" option make no sense?

I guess it's for fickle people. My path is essentially: DOS -> AmigaOS -> Solaris -> Linux, with the qualification that the old systems never entirely went away, it is just a change of focus for my desktop usage. I've never gone backwards or done the same migration twice.

Now if it was about data migration between OS's that would make a lot more sense. I move data between Solaris, Windows, and Linux all the time.

Comment Re:Unpleasant Trend (Score 3, Insightful) 110

I've had a couple of cases where I needed a feature, that there had been lots of requests for, in existing software whose development had slowed or stopped. I offered to hire the developer, bounty style, but they weren't interested.

I hired professional programmers to add the feature or make necessary changes to the existing code. I then submitted the code as patches to the original developer, hoping that he would accept the patches and make it so I didn't have to patch and compile everytime there was an update or distro change. My patches were always GPL and there were no restrictions on them, so if the developer didn't like the style or specific implementation, they could use my patch as a starting point or model and change whatever they chose.

In all cases, the developers have not incorporated the patch. In most cases, they have done nothing at all. I'd likely have been better off just buying Windows COTS.

Have their been any updates at all since you submitted your patch? If not and the time period is long enough to believe there never will be, then your best course of action is to fork. As one with enough vested in the project to pay for further development, you are probably in a better position to steward the project than the original developers, who likely have no more use for the program.

If there have been updates, then you have a more sticky position. Most likely, the maintainers considered your patches to be too narrowly applicable at least relative the difficulty required to integrate and maintain them. At that point, you are pretty much stuck re-integrating your patches with each release.

Windows COTS wouldn't necessarily solve your problem either. It just takes away the option to patch your own. If the company is not interested in making the changes you request, there isn't much you can do about it. The exception would be of the commercial software is more popular and better maintained but that's true in the open source world too. If you have a choice between two projects, both of which an do the job with adjustments, you are most likely better off contributing the one that is actively maintained than the one that isn't, even if the required changes are more extensive.

Comment Re:Level of Detail (Score 1) 297

His point was to go into a deep level of detail. Instead of handwavy "code the GUI" the only way to really get anything remotely close to a real time is to estimate everything down to at least half day, if not lower granularity. It's not the "oh you feel the time better" as much as to think of EVERYthing you need. If you go to a lower level, you may remember that dialog box that you didn't think of at the 25,000 foot level.

Unfortunately, making an estimate to half-day granularity takes a great deal of time. So much, in fact, that you will likely need to give an estimate for the time to complete the estimate because it will be significant part of the total project time.

And you will still likely be wrong because what you are really doing is a sketch implementation without the feedback that prevents small errors from exploding into total nonsense. A course estimate may actually be better since it forces you to factor in unknowns rather than assuming unknowns don't exist because "look at all the detail!"

Comment Re:Maybe good advice, but... (Score 1) 400

Having had a company for 4 years might not be enough to qualify for giving advice people should listen to.

I've worked for several startups. Four years is long enough to expect some turnover if the headcount is non-trivial. The pointed questions to ask are:

1) How many employees?
2) What kind of roles to they serve?
3) Is the company obscuring turnover by keeping traditionally high-turnover roles like sales as contractor?

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