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Comment Re: Wasting time on fiddly shit (rant) (Score 3, Informative) 148

I think I used to work with her!

My favorite is:

$user: I can't find my document!

$me: Where did you save it?

$user: In Word.

$me: Yes, I understand it was a Word doc... but where did you save it? Was it in your network documents folder? On your team's shared folder?

$user: Oh, yeah. Sorry. It was in Word. .... Fast forward 10 minutes as I look through recent documents and other breadcrumb trails and ask questions about the contents of the document in question.

$me: Is this what you were looking for? (pointing to an excel spreadsheet)

$user: Yes! That's it! Thank you so much! I hate this computer..... it is always losing my documents! Can I get a new computer?

Comment Re:Your milage may vary (Score 4, Interesting) 148

This was exactly my reaction. It entirely depends on the people involved and the job to be done.

The most productive programmer I ever worked with was remote for more than half the time we worked together. She'd have her kids running around in the background while we were collaborating. But as I'd describe an idea I had for solving some tricky multi-system, multi-business problem you'd here the clickety-clack of a keyboard mixed with the sounds of preschool children playing. And usually by the time I had finished explaining the idea to the team she'd say, "you mean something like this" and post a preliminary version of the solution I was describing.

She was crazy fast - both mentally and with her keyboard skills. So you could work with her being anywhere. And in her particular case, I think she was better remote... because she didn't have to do the office dance and chat in the breakroom or any of the other stuff that wasn't really her thing. She could just build amazing stuff.

On the other hand, I have worked with guys who needed their hand held in order to get their best work. Not just someone looking to make sure they were working instead of goofing off, but also a team concept to make sure they kept moving in the right direction. There are a lot of programmers who get excited about an idea they have and can go off on a tangent. I've had several guys who would, if left to their own devices, build a really cool bit of code that doesn't actually address the issue at hand. Because they lost sight of the forest and got way too interested in the trees. For these sort of folks, having a team in the same room is a big help. Because they are going to say "hey, check this out" before they get too far down the wrong path. Whereas they might work for 5 hours on the wrong thing before saying anything if they were remote.

Comment Standard answer for new technology (Score 1) 120

I wonder how long it will be before these are more than just a prototype?

They'll be ready for production in about 5 years. Cool tech always is about 5 years away from production. New batteries with double the capacity, new processor with half the power consumption, new hard drive tech that exponentially increases capacity..... all 5 years out.

It is 10 years if it is a basic science breakthrough, like room temperature superconductors or desktop fusion reactors.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 1) 798

It looks to me like your logic is completely backwards on this one.

Cajoling, threatening, ostracizing and assaulting people who take on non-traditional gender roles would certainly reduce the number of people who chose to outwardly express this desire. But would the absence of such coercion really increase the number of people who had those feelings in the first place?

Bruce Jenner lived the life of the uber-male, being a world-renowned athlete and spokesman. The entire time he felt that he was truly a woman. But he was too afraid to admit it in public. Or even in private. Precisely because of the social mores you are talking about.

If "The World's Greatest Athlete" can be transgender but be too afraid to admit it, the same could certainly be true for a whole bunch of skinny little kids who aren't likely to ever win a fist fight.

No, this knife cuts the other way. It is prima-facia evidence that people are being coerced into hiding their true feelings out of fear.

All that being said.... I agree that running around calling the other 95+% of people "cis" is a bit weird. I realize that we are just trying like the dickens to avoid using words like "normal" because that might hurt someone else's feelings by indirectly implying that they might not be "normal".... but really folks, it is a bit goofy. When a label applies to well north of 90% of the population, we don't usually see fit to mention it. You don't go around calling everyone who can see "sighted". Nor do you run around prefixing everyone who can walk with "ambulatory".

But we are in a transition phase, so some of this overreach is to be expected. Give it another 10 or 15 years and this goofiness should all be a distant memory. The activists will quit trying to insist that everyone use nonsensical pronouns like "Xe", and the throwbacks will quit insulting people by refusing to call them by the name they chose or by a gender other than their choice.

Comment Re: Unlimited? (Score 1) 196

Small cells negate the "limited amount of spectrum" argument. It's a financial + logistical + political/regulatory limitation, not a technical one.

Technology will eventually advance to the point that the financial consideration is less important. We're already working with beam-forming -- a technology that's existed for decades, in radar applications -- for instance. Wireless is the future, no matter what the naysayers think, and if you're still thinking of "spectrum" as the limiting factor you're behind the curve. Makes me think of the folks who deploy IPv6 for the first time and start worrying about the "waste" of addresses.

Comment Re:Unlimited? (Score 1) 196

There's no technical reason why an LTE network can't be engineered to provide truly unlimited data with acceptable speeds in most instances. There is, however, a financial reason, plus the usual regulatory/political concerns that get in the way of new cell sites. It's worth noting that T-Mobile manages to offer unlimited with an asterisk (video throttled to 1.5Mbps) and in many cases delivers superior speed than Verizon, so it's clearly POSSIBLE and PROFITABLE to use as a business model.

In rural/fixed-wireless settings LTE is actually cheaper than DSL/cable and the favorable contention ratios (i.e., low population density) make unlimited possible with today's network. It's a mystery to me why they won't offer an unlimited product for this market segment at least; it would be the death blow for satellite internet.

Comment Re:Jobs (Score 1) 30

$256 Million! Hey, that's about 1/3 of the amount the state of New York is investing in this project!

New York state has committed $750 million to build and outfit the plant at Buffalo's RiverBend site, the centerpiece of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's "Buffalo Billion" program to revitalize the upstate region's largest city.

To put that in perspective, they could have simply given each of the 1,400 people expected to be employed in this operation a half million dollars and still come out ahead on the deal.

Not that it is necessarily a bad investment long term, but a half million per job up front for something in this tough and competitive of a market is risky, to say the least.

Comment Re:I prefer regulations that promote safe operatio (Score 1) 150

No, they were pretty explicit about what the disagreement was. California wanted to permit them as special driverless cars that required extra permits, dollars and hurdles. Uber insisted that because they had drivers in the seat who could take control at any time, they were no more "driverless" than a Tesla, Mercedes, BMW etc. equipped with autonomous cruise control. Since they don't require the extra permitting for the owner of a Mercedes E class with Drive Pilot, Uber says they shouldn't be required to pay the extra vig to the state and put up with the extra paperwork for their version.

They do have a point, from that point of view.

Comment Re:Perfect for Satellites... and Nukes (Score 1) 107

Oh, and whoever modded wisebabo offtopic is a little slow.

The adaptation of the solid rocket boosters from the HII-A into a stand-alone rocket has always had military implications. I don't think anyone is pretending otherwise - at least not with more than a fig leaf.

Just because his tack-on attack on Trump was silly doesn't make discussions of the possibilities as an ICBM offtopic.

Comment Re:Perfect for Satellites... and Nukes (Score 1) 107

That's funny.

And the "this could be a missile" take isn't new, nor is it in anyway a response to today's political news.

To the wiki!

In November 2012, JAXA reported that there had been a possible leak of rocket data due to a computer virus. JAXA had previously been a victim of cyber-attacks, possibly for espionage purposes.[23] Solid-fuel rocket data potentially has military value,[23] and Epsilon is considered as potentially adaptable to an intercontinental ballistic missile.[24]

So way back in 2012 someone was trying to find out about this rocket, and probably because of its potential as an ICBM.

But yeah... because Trump.

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