Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Deliberate actions (Score 1) 743

As someone who has been in the past subject to the UCMJ, i.e. I served in the military, I'm careful about using that word. In this case, I believe there would be sufficient cause for the charge. Whether that charge "sticks" is something for the Courts to decide.

But again, as someone who has actively served in the military (although not in either the current set of wars or in the first Gulf War of 20 years ago (but it was close - they called two units like mine), the more details that get disclosed, the more potential damage in terms of 'means and methods.'

On the other hand, I don't think the Top Secret Intelligence establishment had sufficient safeguards in place for someone who thought that the law was being violated to handle these kinds of complaints. That does not forgive Snowden, he could have, for instance, gone to a member of the Senate or House Intelligence Committees (selecting a Member that would have been particularly sympathetic to his position.) Or gone public inside the US, like Daniel Ellsworth did with the Pentagon Papers. Instead, he ran to China and then Russia. Those actions speak much louder to me than any protestations of 'morality.'

Comment Re:Deliberate actions (Score 1) 743

Good comment. When Mr Snowden is brought to trial, that's something for the courts to decide, as the Court-Martial did for Private Manning.

A HUGE difference between Ellsworth and the Pentagon Papers and Snowden is Ellsworth remained in the US to defend himself and his actions. Snowden ran first to China and then to Russia, two countries whose history over the last 70 years is antagonistic to the US. That alone would tend to support, if not fully justify, part of a Treason charge, along the grounds of "adhering" and/or "giving aid or comfort." But IANAL.

Comment Re:If you are afraid to be known for your comments (Score 4, Insightful) 582

Anonymous isn't the same thing as pseudonymous. I have a lot more invested in "seebs" than I do in the name on my driver's license.

Even ignoring that, though... Your point is still ill-considered. The "lawsuits" and "termination" are just where it starts; the world is full of people who are going to be threatened with all sorts of things if they identify themselves. And, of course, you can provide for that, but if the way you provide for it involves people having to prove to someone else that their reason is good enough, that can also effectively "out" them.

So far, if I compare all the things I've ever read from people who insist that anyone not identified by a "real name" isn't serious or real, and all the things I've ever read under arbitrary pseudonyms, the latter have been a much, much, more valuable resource.

Comment Re:"We love your game Mr Notch!" (Score 1) 178

I have never known a creative type who didn't get frustrated with projects when people were getting up in their face about what they were working on. So I guess I don't feel much reason to complain here. Yeah, he sort of caused it, but lots of people make that mistake a few times before getting the hang of it.

Comment A topic I have some interest in... (Score 4, Insightful) 381

MMO devs often take a fairly hands-off attitude about their community, don't do anything about harassment and griefing... then are confused that their community is dominated by toxic people.

Yes, it's a great thing to be thick-skinned, but it's not a moral virtue, it's just really useful. The people who are trying to offend other users and mock them for being sensitive are not really good for your community, and if you keep tacitly endorsing them, you end up with a community of people who have learned that abuse works, because the people it worked on mostly left. Then they do it to you too, and suddenly it's a problem...

Comment Re:Just think of it as a courtesy. (Score 1) 892

No, it's a good thing. I could, indeed, keep someone else prepped to handle my stuff all the time. Doing so would take at least 20% of my time. Forever. Is it really a good bet? It's not. The fact is, I'm not hit by trucks very often. It's just not cost-effective to try to keep everything in that state. So we accept the risk that things will be expensively bad in the very rare cases where people are suddenly incapacitated, and we expect people to keep them from being expensively bad when there's no need for a departure to be sudden.

Yes, it "makes companies lazy", but only in the sense that laziness is one of the great virtues of programmers. There is no meaningful way for companies to "get their shit together" that would reduce the social benefit of giving reasonable notice, which would not cost much more than it saved.

Even if no one ever gave notice, the current practices would still be pretty much the best choice. Just think about it: Average length of employment is way over a week. A constant time sink during your entire employment is way more expensive than one large hit when you leave.

Comment Just think of it as a courtesy. (Score 4, Insightful) 892

Giving notice is a way to give people time to wrap things up -- make sure your stuff is handed off to someone else if needed, start looking for a replacement, or whatever. It's done to be courteous, and to make things less troublesome for other people. I was in a small department where someone just suddenly left one day; out of the blue, email telling us he got a job he likes better and is gone now. Which sort of sucked, because we suddenly didn't have enough people for the workload, and we'd had things like vacations and whatnot planned, and everyone had to scuttle around madly making up for things with no notice, and any recovery plan (like finding a new guy) had to happen on top of suddenly dealing with this. Which sucked. If he'd given us two weeks' notice, we could have done stuff like ask him to update/annotate work in progress so we knew what was happening, and started looking for people, and had time to discuss who was rescheduling what to make up the hours.

So it's a nice thing to do, and if you don't do it, people might be mad at you. Sometimes that might be okay. Sometimes you know they'll be mad at you regardless. Sometimes you just can't deal with someone or something a day longer. In which case, well. You leave.

Think of it like any other courtesy. It's there to make things more pleasant for other people. Usually, things like that are a good strategy because they make other people like you better, which makes them more likely to help you if an opportunity to do so arises. If I run into a job that I know a bunch of my former coworkers could do, and I know a lot of people are looking for work, I might try to put some of them in touch with the prospective employer, right? Well, not the guy who ditched out without warning, obviously.

As with all social niceties, it's somewhat cultural, and somewhat role-dependent. The importance of giving notice is wildly different between, say, the sole sysadmin at a company, and one of a team of thirty junior sysadmins, none of whom ever "own" any project, but who are just going through a series of small assigned tasks which are always done or handed off by the end of the day.

Comment Pricing matters... (Score 1) 323

I have certainly bought ebooks.

But... I went to look for a book which has been out for a few years. I could buy a paperback for $8 if I wanted to drive somewhere. Or... I could buy an ebook for $12.

That's gonna cut back on sales a fair bit.

Comment Leadership is harder than followership (Score 1) 252

It takes talent and/or training to lead a technical team, let alone larger groups. That's a skill that some companies are desperately searching for.

It's worth taking some training and trying the leadership/management track. If you're not good at it, or not happy at it, that should be OK. The problem, though, is that in many companies these days, experience as a developer is not valued. There's the view that developers/engineers are "plug replaceable resources" that they can get for lowest price.

If you're a senior tech person (and you're good at it,) you'll want to find companies that value experience. (Hint, if they do 'buzzword matching' on your resume for this year's "hot technologies" and that's all they ask about in an interview, it's probably not a god thing...) Or, you're going to have to establish a value proposition some other way, e.g. expanding to other kinds of engineering/roles within the company, sales/marketing/field engineering, etc.

Unfortunately, it's not a good world out there those with technical expertise and not much else on their resumes. (And a lot of the sh*tty software we have to put up with reflects the lack of experience by those that developed it....)

Comment Huh, interesting. (Score 1) 347

I do that. Only I'm told by a shrink that what I have isn't "really" empathy, because I am thinking about other people's feelings, not experiencing them immediately without consciousness of them.

It's useful. Empathy is a really good first approximation of a way to make people be nice, but it also makes people do really shitty things because they are Trying To Help and can't stop to consciously think through their actions and their effects. Since I conveniently happen to care whether people are happy or unhappy, for reasons other than empathy, I am more effective at making things better than people who are constrained by the limits of an unconsidered intuition.

Slashdot Top Deals

There are two kinds of egotists: 1) Those who admit it 2) The rest of us