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Comment About "fun" (Score 1) 308

Thank you for connecting to what's missing from almost every current art form and modern hobbies. I've suspected all along that it's not just that I'm getting old. It's that all technology has been done more by the MBAs than the engineers, more for the clueless mainstream than for the people who love it and is willing to dedicate long hours to it. Computers, the Internet, mobile connectivity, music, movies, home audio/video, are all focused on the masses because they must make billions. Therefore they are unappealing to the really dedicated enthusiasts. The only technical hobby that still has some appeal to me is photography. For some reason it's still possible to buy a decent SLR and take the time to learn and get better at it. There is, as the original poster says, still some challenge there.

Comment Re:Apple didn't kill it, Microsoft did. (Score 1) 933

Nah. In the last 5 years I saw a LOT of people abandon Linux. I work at a research university, I'm talking people who have been running Unix for ever and Linux since the early 90s. All of them, no exception, went to OSX. I don't know anybody who just abandoned Linux and happily moved to Windows 7. Why? Because OSX has Unix underneath. It provides basic compatibility not only of software people write, but of the way they like to do things and the way they think about systems. All of that AND a GUI that just works. I have seen the latest Windows be credited for the demise of Linux on the desktop since the late 90s. During all this time, Linux on the desktop has only grown. It has been shrinking in the past 5 years, and it correlates nicely with the growth of OSX.

Comment Re:Paging Mr. Roark (Score 1) 616

Yes. But I think de Icaza philosophically agrees with Microsoft, besides being simply payed by them. To him, and to both the KDE and Gnome crowds, "Linux on the Desktop" is synonymous to "Windows experience on Linux." That's their mistake. The Linux kernel never stopped plowing ahead, innovating, incorporating things before Microsoft even realized they were good ideas, while the desktop has been lagging behind, trying to be Windows. I say throw the whole mass down the drain and start over. Apple has showed us that a Unix system can support a highly functional, highly polished GUI, and not be Windows. Get to work, guys.

Comment Good luck with that (Score 2) 326

The people who run the world are the ones who want to rule the world. They do what it takes. People want to hear familiar ideas framed in familiar terms. Politicians and marketers deliver just that. Moving to an evidence-based society, if accomplished, would remove all the alpha-male characteristics from leadership. It would favor hard thinking and research, and it would not favor personality and manipulative abilities. The world is as it is. I know deep in my heart that Facebook is evil, that people could be doing exactly the same thing without relinquishing their privacy, and that what people are doing on Facebook is idiotic in any event. That does not change the fact that influencing people and weaving a web of social relations is what people want to do, and what they will do. Denying human social traits is stupid, in politics, in social networking, in religion, and everywhere else. People are what they are. If geeks want to change the game, they need to learn to play the game. To be manipulative, to believe that the end justifies the means, and to not let ethics interfere. Yes, wielding power is incompatible with geek values. The sooner we learn that, the better.

Comment Re:Buffer overflow (Score 1) 611

No. What is irresponsible is not testing the heck out of your code before shipping it. You should be doing that anyway, why not code according to safe procedures and doing some real QA while you're at it? It is also irresponsible to create a whole generation of developers with no concept of security and efficiency, because modern languages are supposed to do that for them, at great expense of everybody else.

Comment Re:Buffer overflow (Score 2) 611

No matter what the question is, "switch to a different OS" is never the correct answer. People should be able to pick the best OS for the job, as well as the best language for the job. C# and .NET integrate well with Windows because they don't run on anything else. I would rather have options. And the term "premature optimization" is a good example of the kind of idiot that writes code these days. Not doing what you call "premature optimization" is what I call being sloppy. Being lazy. Do it right in the first place so you don't have to do it again.

Comment Re:Buffer overflow (Score 4, Insightful) 611

Sure. As soon as someone comes up with a language that produces code that runs half way as fast as C on any OS, and that at least pretends to integrate with the rest of the OS. You know, make it nice for everybody else other than developers. Oh, here's a though: how about developers get their heads out of their butts and learn how to be programmers, instead of whining that real languages don't do everything for them?

Comment I am old (Score 1) 203

Yup. I am now officially old. I've been ranting for quite some time that video is replacing everything, and for no good reason. For almost everything useful, text is so much more efficient. For you half braindead so-called "developers" out there, the reason is simple to grasp: text can be random-accessed, can be easily searched, and can be grasped pages at a time with proper training. In contrast, video is sequential. It forces me to watch things in whatever order the person making it wanted me to. For us old timers, watching video when compared to reading documentation feels like what e-mails feel to you, when compared to texting. Slashdot, you are becoming less and less relevant to me as time goes on. I get that that's the point, though. You need to attract nerds who grew up watching, not reading. It's sad, though.

Comment Just don't do it. (Score 1) 1091

Linux is what it is because it fills a niche, the niche of people who want to be free to tinker. That is incompatible with marketing. Marketing is about making a product appealing to as much people as possible - and then maximizing the profit derived from it. This means branding, limiting, artificially segmenting, making it fit into help desk scripts. In other words, this would kill Linux.

Comment Re:Ask your boss (Score 1) 201

"We also hire immigrant or work-visa employees who are willing to work for around 2/3 the salary of an American born and bred here."

Please stop spreading this. It is just not true. Yes, plenty of employers hire foreigners for less money than they would pay a domestic worker, but in almost all cases those are illegal, undocumented workers. A work visa requires a review and certification by the department of labor to establish what the appropriate wages are in the place of employment. The process requires an ad being posted in major newspapers in the area and documentation showing that no citizen or permanent resident qualified. The work visa expires in 1 to 3 years and can be renewed exactly once, for 1 to 3 years. The renewal process requires an audit. Also, as a work-visa employee, your view of "the conditions back home" are mistaken. There are many reasons why somebody would work abroad, and escaping the backwaters for the promised land of America is more cliche than anything else. That being said, I am sure there are those who abuse the system. Like any system. But don't generalize. It's a lie, and a harmful one.

Comment Re:Wrong People Always Get Promoted (Score 1) 378

I have just been promoted to management, after 20 years in the front line. I still haven't moved from the cube farm to my new office, and I've only had one meeting with my new reports. I was doing the same job as always up until last week. So a new manager, or old IT guy, if you will. I used to think like you, and in some ways I still do. But I can tell you first hand that management, even IT management, is not about technology, computers, or network security. Management is about people, and it only took me this long to get this promotion because this is how long it took me to learn that fact. Understand that managers are not typically worried about user interfaces, operating systems, coding, or even network security. That is *your* job. Managers are worried about people, goals, and budget. If you're lucky, in that order. Don't get me wrong, your technical expertise and opinions are important to your manager, or should be. But thinking about a way to let an employee take an extra day off to go visit his daughter he hasn't seen in two years because her ship will only be in port for two days before going back to Afghanistan, without affecting the bottom line too much, without affecting the deadline too much, and without being able to discuss this very personal issue with the guy's coworkers, sometimes take precedence. Then you are left with no explanation why Joe gets an extra day off, it's probably the slacker manager protecting his own kind of people because he's a slacker himself. Try to remember this: IT is about technology, but management is about people.

Comment Stop calling use users! (Score 3, Informative) 278

In this instance, we are not simply "users." We are owners. We have purchased devices, we have payed for them with our money, either upfront or by signing up for a multi-year contract, after which time the device belongs to the buyer. We are owners, buyers, proprietors, NOT users. We may be users from the point of view of the software licenses that usually come attached to these types of devices, but we should be able to wipe that software and install whatever we please on the OUR devices...

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Disobedience: The silver lining to the cloud of servitude. -- Ambrose Bierce