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Comment This could backfire... (Score 1) 301

My kids watched commercial-free TV for a long time when they were young (DVDs and MythTV recorded shows with commercials cut out). However, when they first started watching shows that had commercials (mostly toys and such on kids channels) they were _very_ interested in the commercials themselves. I'd wondered whether I'd made a mistake not exposing them to any commercials at all.

It took a while for them to build up an immunity to commercials before they were annoyed with them, and learned how to edit them out with MythTV themselves.

Comment Re:Tesla works GREAT (Score 1) 310

I would agree. The main reason that Tesla's GPS works well is that they didn't try to invent a new one themselves, but rather use Google Maps for the data and only overlay the charging network information onto that. No need for updates, though one minor issue is that it doesn't work without LTE/3G.

Comment Re: Would be easier to check if potentially harmfu (Score 1) 74

For PNG files specifically, there is a "pngcheck" utility that parses the file and verifies the contents are valid.

If you want to go a step further, you can use "pngcrush" to parse and repack/compress the file and strip out any extra data chunks that are not required to display the image. That should strip out any malicious or malformed content, and can be run on a sandbox that is not directly accessible, so if there is a compromise of pngcrush or pngcheck the effects can be isolated.

Comment Re:I have a feeling that (Score 2) 206

Who cares of the device works or not, can you do work on it? Can you edit a Powerpoint presentation and forward it on to your boss's laptop for him to use at the next sales meeting?

Yes, you _can_ edit a Powerpoint presentation on your iPhone/iPad. All of the Microsoft Office apps are available for iOS for free:

Comment Lazarus saves the day, FoxClocks, Netcraft (Score 1) 353

I work with a lot of web-based tools (bugzilla, Jira, wikis, etc.) that include a lot of writing. Being able to autosave and recover web form input has saved me many hours of effort after the browser crashed, laptop ran out of battery, accidentally closing a tab, etc.

I also work with people all around the world, so Fox Clocks is very helpful by adding clocks for various cities to the Firefox status bar and/or a mouseover popup.

Haven't seen Netcraft Anti-Phishing bar mentioned yet either. It is helpful to detect malicious sites, and always interesting to see a bit of info on websites I visit (Slashdot currently ranks 8806 and has been around since March 2002 it tells me).

Also using NoScript, Tabmix Plus, WOT, Cookie Controller.

Comment OSS projects are great for hiring developers (Score 4, Interesting) 45

When I worked at a small (Linux-centric) startup, we almost exclusively looked for contributors to OSS projects related to our business when trying to hire developers. I was even hired originally due to my OSS contributions (which had been more of a hobby before that point) and have worked for the past 15 years on very interesting (and highly paid) projects as a result.

There are many reasons to look for developers via their OSS contributions:

  1. Their contributions and interaction with the rest of the community (either as founder of their own small project, or contributing to another project) were much more easily visible than any resume or job interview, since it made it much more clear what kind of person they were in real life and not what they were faking up for show.
  2. The code contributions showed the quality of the developer "doing their own thing", and not their hand-picked and cleaned-up portfolio, so it gave a much better idea of what kind of developer they really were. Did they know the details of some code and could solve complex problems? Was their code completely crap and clueless? That is difficult to judge otherwise.
  3. That they even spend time contributing to OSS projects means that they actually enjoy software development, and hacking on code in that area, and aren't just looking for a job to make ends meet.
  4. It allowed us to find a large number of people that would never have applied to our company, but were interested in working for us once contacted.

For the first 3-4 years of that company, we only ever hired developers via our own searching, or other top notch developers they knew from previous jobs.

I would strongly recommend that developers contribute to OSS projects as a result. One of the difficulties of new grads is that they aren't able to get experience in some area, but contributing to an OSS project is "free experience building" for the developer in whatever marked segment they want to learn about. Becoming well known in a particular project (starting small and taking over progressively more complex tasks) not only builds a lot of experience, it increases their reputation in that community, and will make them a much better hiring candidate even if they aren't cherry-picked in the manner I described above.

It may even be that whatever OSS project they get involved in will become a startup of its own and they can get in on the ground floor and make their own job.

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