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Comment Speaking of garbage scowls... (Score 1) 95

Seriously never get a job selling phones.

What an ironic foreshadowing!

itunes is looking a clunky relic, and music playing and purchasing from through the cloud with your favourite application can be done on the cheapest Android without any of that ugly legacy baggage. ... and also on any iPhone. Talk about being someone who doesn't know anything about phones! You haven't needed to use iTunes on a PC for what, six years?

Seems like you could probably get a job at Radio Shack with that level of technical expertise.

On the flip side Google offer a competing service on the Apple phone, the embarrassment

It is pretty embarrassing that Apple is so powerful that Google is forced to write apps that work on the iPhone, eh? It's not like Apple has to write map apps for Android. But Google does for iPhone if they do not want to wither and grow irrelevant.

This is strange ... bullshit.

Edited down the helpful summary of your post and general level of mobile understanding.

Comment On Waze & routing (Score 1) 95

Also, the rerouting functionality of google maps is pretty limited

Forgot to comment on this - believe me, Waze has NOTHING to teach Google about routing. As you say they have better information when something happens to trigger a re-route, but Waze has sometimes really bad routing. I would use pretty much any app except Waze for routing (though I do like how Waze displays all known events along the route it has picked).

Comment Not somehow, somebody (Score 1) 95

Google maps has to wait for the traffic to start backing up, and that can occasionally screw you. Waze seems to sometimes be able to warn you before the cars really stack up.

That's because if a Waze user is driving by as an accident happens or just after, they can mark it on the map.

The question is, will people stay after Waze is owned by Google? I used Waze because I didn't want my traffic data fed into Google to correlate with everything else I do.

The problem is, nothing else quite like Waze exists so there are not a lot of options (that I know of).

If people do leave, it will affect the value Waze has... a risky move by Google where all the value is based on a user base that may shift elsewhere (though I 'm sure Waze has some good infrastructure, does Google really need a company to help them with good geolocated infrastructure? I think not).

Comment Tits not what I said (Score 1) 259

more importantly, couldn't be done on current massively parallel silicone chips

Where do you get silicone chips? Old breast implants? Do they only function in supporting roles? And by massively parallel, are you saying that anything below a DD won't work? To start up a silicone chip, do you bra-strap it instead of boot-strap it? Are silicone chips the ideal technology to create AI's without feelings?

I would like to learn more about this. How can I subscribe to your newsletter? I can already tell it's worth at least a nipple an issue.

Comment Re:BBC and NYT confirm this news (Score 1) 536

Others speculate that he's only going to Moscow in transit to Iceland (which has offered him asylum) or some other place.

Can Iceland offer him an effective asylum? It's a (pretty remote) island in Atlantic, with low population and almost no military. What, exactly speaking, would stop the US from simply taking him? It does have a history of invading small countries for whatever reason, and both R and D have plenty of reason to scare other whistleblowers into silence.

Comment Re:Horsecrap (Score 1) 161

exactly. And then there's the more obvious things like RESOURCES. As it is, the Empire of Global Capitalism has to play some very dirty politics to get children to kill their families and villages in order to force other kids into hellish tunnels to scrape together enough coltan for the machine's computer brains. There isn't enough power or fuel in these remote regions to run some hyper computer overlord machine thing, and you can forget about invading the place - the people there are much better adapted than any machine. And that's just coltan. There's a jillion different materials like that. And then there's the problem of fossil fuels - a lot of parts are made of it, or use it to make chemicals that process other materials to make the materials that go into computers. And then there's this little problem of entropy as applied to material systems. Georgescu-Roegen was a fuck nut, but his fundamental point remains: materials degrade and are lost. So, if the materials drop below a certain percentage, they stop being harvestable (% depends on the material) and at that point you have to deal with recycling. And at 99% recycling, you have half the materials you started with after 70 years...

So, basically, this whole notion of the machines taking over is just some idiotic fear driven fantasy cooked up by a bunch of Men who never grew out of being 13 years old and impressed with their penises. It's utter tosh, and the people who advocate it are either charlatans selling snake oil (Kurzweil) or genocidal assholes who need to be put down (the Pentagon / Kremlin / CIA / MI5 etc.)

Seriously. The only thing the machines will do is work for people to do certain things. And so then you have to question WHICH people and WHAT things. I can assure you killing robots will simply be used by one parochial ruling class to destroy another parochial ruling class in order to strip an area of resources to their own benefit and profit. If you want to stop that, get rid of your ruling classes. It's not that hard. Bullets are cheap. They'll use them on you, and if you follow their logic you need to hit them first.

No Superman is going to swoop out of the sky to save your sorry asses. If you want to stop mechanised genocide, it has to start at home, in the streets, now.


Comment Comparison (Score 5, Insightful) 305

I've just gone through interviews at Google and Apple.

At Google, I was asked mainly theoretical questions - big-O, maths/stats, etc. And one "real" architecture/design question at the end. There were 5 interviewers and maybe 7 questions, sometimes 2 per interviewer but usually just 1 that lasted the whole hour. According to my recruiter before the decision, it was maybe 50/50 that I'd get an offer, and I did very well on the real-system design question (by inference, not so well on the others :). I didn't get the job.

At Apple, I had a seven-hour interview with seven interviewers. There were many many questions, far too many to easily remember categories, but they were all focussed on things I might end up doing, or problems that I might end up encountering. I got the job. I guess I do better with "real world" issues than the "consider two sets of numbers, one is ... the other is ...) type.

I have the self-confidence^W^W arrogance to believe I'm an asset to pretty much any company out there, but interview processes are nothing more than a gamble. Sure you can weed out the obvious under-qualified applicants, but frankly (unless the candidate is lying, and in the US that's a real no-no, in the UK padding your CV seems to be sort of expected...) that sort of candidate ought to have been pre-vetoed by the recruiter before getting to the interview.

I've yet to see the interview that guarantees a good candidate will do well. It's all about preparation: can you implement quicksort or mergesort right now, without looking it up ? The algorithm takes about 20 lines of code... Some interviews will require you to have knowledge like that; others are more concerned with how you collaborate with other candidates; still others are concerned with your code quality (I've seen a co-interviewer downmark a candidate for missing a ; at the end of a coding line. I wasn't impressed ... by the co-interviewer. But that's another story); still others are ... you get my point. Whether you do well or not can depend more on the cross-intersectional area of the interviewers style and your own credo than any knowledge you may or may not have.

So go in there expecting to be surprised, prepare what you can, be prepared to do wacky things to please "the man" interviewing you. For a good candidate, over a large number of interviews, you'll do well. The problem is that we often want a specific job, and we get depressed by the first dozen or so failed interviews. There's nothing more you can do than pick yourself up and try again. It's instructive to note that second-interviews at companies often go better than first-interviews, possibly because you're forewarned about the style a bit more, and therefore a bit better prepared...

Comment Re:PHP 6.0 without the stupid? (Score 1) 219

No you wouldn't. If you did if("false") then yes, solely because you're passing in a non-null parameter (no attempt is made to examine the string - remember that if("") will have different results in PHP and C with the former treating "" as false, and latter seeing a non-null), but sprintf(buffer, true); if(strcmp("false", buffer")) will fail.

Comment Re:By voting for Obama, one voted against Romney (Score 3, Insightful) 442

No. I believed *Romney* when he said he loaded his dog on the roof of his car, and kept him up there until he was covered in his own shit. I believed *Romney* when he said the 47% would never take personal responsibility and care for their lives. I watched in horror as Romney went to England, and in a canned, pre-arranged situation any moron could have handled, managed to say exactly the wrong thing to the wrong people at the wrong time. I heard him say "Corporations are people" when I know damn well they are not. I listened in amazement when he demonstrated that his science knowledge stopped at about 3rd grade, when he plaintively queried why they can't open the windows in an airplane when it's on fire. I laughed when he said "Syria is Iran's only ally in the Arab world. It's their route to the sea" demonstrating his geographical knowledge was right "up" there with his science.

By the time the ballot box rolled around, I was quite sure that Romney was a complete idiot and a tool.

Under Obama, some good things got done; he had failed at others, and particularly so when blocked by the republicans in congress. But we got consumer credit reforms, we got a reverse in the jobs mess the republican administration had presided over, we got a marked improvement in gay rights, and most importantly, we got the ACA, which, while not what Obama had asked for -- congress really mangled it -- is at least a step in the right direction.

So my choice was more of the latter, or pick the man who hadn't a clue, and no idea what do do when sent off with a clue in his pocket. The decision was easy.

Now, compare my post to yours. There are some differences. You might want to think about that.

Comment Re:Misses the point (Score 0) 419

Why does it matter, as an app developer?

Because each iteration makes a number of things easier, some substantially easier.

You are about to see a huge wave of iOS application updates with iOS7, incorporating lots of advanced system features. As Android updates lag in adoption it becomes harder and harder to maintain parity with iOS versions of applications that are just plain simpler to write and have more powerful features.

Why as an app developer would you exclusively target a version and lock everything else out,

Why as an application developer would not not make use of updated OS features that shaves tens or hundreds of hours of coding time, when you know that 80-90% of the target market will be able to run it?

You are not locking everyone else out. You are helping to provide a reason to move forward.

Comment Re:Good for the economy. (Score 1) 451

Why does it matter if someone is a "us person"?

Humans are tribal, so "us persons" matter while "them persons" don't. This is especially true for something ligh the NSA which is specifically tasked with defending Us from Them.

Or, put another way, the people who sit around my campfire are real since I can see them with my own eyes, while the people who allegedly sit around some other campfire somewhere are vaguely human-shaped mythical beings that may or may not even exist. Why worry about them, any more than you would about fairies or unicorns?

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