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Comment Works for us (Score 2, Informative) 395

I work in customer support for Agile Web Solutions, the makers of 1Password (a password management system) for Mac, Windows, iOS and Android. Agile development seems to work well for us.

I think that there are two reasons why this has worked well for us while not for others.

  • Our managers and our coders are the same people. So this isn't some management fad that is used to place unwanted demands on our coders.
  • We are not rigid in our adherence to agile principles. We plan ahead where it makes sense to.

There are drawbacks, of course. What we like to think of as "surprising and delighting" and delighting our customers usually works, but sometimes we have to take steps back from something visible which we've tried. I think that over all this still is a "win" for us and our customers, but it can sometimes be disappointing.

A perceived (but imaginary) drawback is "wasted effort". We put a great deal of effort into getting data syncing among machines and devices to work via webDAV (and in particular, MobileMe). For a variety of reasons we had to abandon that approach and go with Dropbox (with which we are very very happy). To some this might seem like wasted effort, switching to a different approach after a great deal of effort has gone into the first one. But in fact, agile principles in this case simply mean that we don't fall victim to the sunk cost bias.

Comment Why I moved to FreeBSD (Score 3, Insightful) 617

Probably Debian would have been OK, but I was finding admin of most Linux distros a pain for exactly these reasons. I couldn't find a layer where I could do everything that I needed to do without worrying about one thing stepping on another. No doubt there are ways that I could manage a Linux system without running into different layers of management tools stepping on each other, but it was a struggle.

There were other reasons as well (although there is a lot that I miss about Linux), but I think that this was one of the leading reasons.

(NB: I realize that this is flamebait (I've got karma to burn), but that isn't my intention here.)

Comment Anyone remember Iridium? (Score 2, Interesting) 140

In the late the late 80s, Motorola had a scheme to launch 77 LEO satellites to provide global satellite coverage. I thought it was a great idea at the time, and bought a bunch of Motorola stock. It didn't work out very well. They eventually launched 66 satellites, but didn't change the name of the project to whatever has atomic number 66.

Comment Way out of town (Score 1) 207

I was disappointed in it because of the location they shot from. It's taken from János hegy. Although this is the highest point in Budapest, it is so far from the city itself that there isn't much to see.

There is some waffle on the page about why they chose that point. They say it is the highest point and that the observation platform there will have its 100th anniversary in September. But then there is mention of the support and cooperation that they had from the district council for that district of Budapest.

So presumably the authorities responsible for the other more reasonable vantage points were less cooperative.

Comment Moldova and Romania (Score 1) 23

But Moldova should, by every right, be a part of Romania

So by the same logic would you say that Transylvania should be part of Hungary?

I'm sure that you will be able to come up with some contorted rationalization that justifies only the particular border changes that support your national views, but the rest of us would laugh if it weren't so tragic.

Comment Re:Talk about a stupid pissing contest (Score 1) 59

I would say that the latest OMG action was an unstylish and rough joke.

As I suggesting in another comment, it looks like another attempt to humiliate the opposition. And, as I said, with such a resounding electoral win, Fidesz can afford to be more gracious.

I left Hungary in late 1994. The (two) websites were terrible back then.

Comment Re:Talk about a stupid pissing contest (Score 2, Insightful) 59

First of all, we've all been operating under the incorrect assumption that the prior content is down. It isn't down. There's a link at the bottom of the OMB page that takes you to the old site. So there is nothing really pernicious here (just bad design)

This "unworthy" business is an attempt to humiliate the previous government and plays into the tone of the campaign. Considering that Fidesz won so overwhelmingly in the elections, they could afford to be more gracious now. But no doubt they want to continue with the message that the parties to the Left of them are unworthy to be considered Real Hungarians.

Still, I wish Fidesz well. They have an enormous task ahead of them. This is where the real test lies. Will they do what is necessary but unpopular or will they just work to stay in power? Certainly they will be able to go after local government spending (where the largess and patronage of the previous government really was), but will they get rid of the various child support programs (which give a lot more money to rich mothers than to poor ones). Will they get serious about property taxes (which will end up sending pensioners out of their big empty nests in the countryside)? Maybe if they keep picking symbolic fights with Slovakia and Romania so they'll be able to maintain their True Hungarian credibility as they swallow the IMF pill.

Comment Re:Isn't April Fools over already? (Score 1) 59

or whether this is just an attempt to limit access to embarrassing data

WTF? You mean FIDESZ wants to cover up the previous government's failure?

As I said, this is not what I'm betting on. But if asked to speculate in this area, suppose that a government website had information on poverty among Gypsies. That might be the kind of thing that the new government may not wish to emphasize.

There is another things as well. Fidesz will have to implement enormous and extremely painful budget cuts. If the MSzP run sites had bragged about social programs and how many people they helped, Fidesz may well want those squirreled away.

But on the whole, I take their OMG message at face value. The previous websites were a mess. It's just disturbing that at the moment for those ministries there is no online information. It's like when the radio news is replaced with Beethoven.

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One possible reason that things aren't going according to plan is that there never was a plan in the first place.