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Comment Maybe not the Best Solution, but a Real Issue (Score 1) 531

My father has very poor eyesight and is also hard of hearing. He relies on hearing car engines to help him judge his surroundings when walking near or crossing a street. He's mentioned to me that hybrids give him trouble because he can't hear them.

I don't know that emulating the existing behavior of other cars is the best solution, but this definitely targets a real issue for some people.

Comment Killing Civilians with Terrorists... (Score 1) 543

How, exactly, do you kill a civilian with a terrorist? Do you drop the terrorists - like bombs - from a high altitude in order to crush the civilians? Perhaps you use the dismembered limbs of the terrorists to beat the civilians to death? Maybe something more like the Human Cannonball routine, except with terrorist corpses?

Comment Re:From My Simpleton Point of View (Score 1) 535

So for those of you reading this, I will offer you an alternative to what the blog suggests. I imagine most developers (even agile developers) have a system for tracking completed requirements and also for fixing reported errors/bugs. If you spend your time chewing up those outstanding items and forget about all this near-Machiavellian bullshit manipulation Spiegel is proposing then you've got nothing to worry about. If your manager wants to fire you, just pull up the numbers if he or she hasn't already and show them. You can't fire a developer that's leading in resolutions and completed requirements. It's that simple. Skip the drama and get to work.

That's a double-edged sword though. You might think it would be great if you were simply judged based on a metric like how many bugs you fixed or how many requirements you completed the code for, but metrics like that can also hurt productivity. If employees know they are being judged by these metrics, they will often search for ways to inflate their appearance as far as the metric is concerned. This almost always comes at the cost of actual quality, and can really get in the way.

Managers that know this tendency might very well fire a developer that's leading in resolutions and completed requirements if that manager goes beyond the metric to see the real quality of the work that developer does. Not that I disagree with your final point (skip the drama and get to work), but ass kissers and bullshit artists often make it difficult to do.

Comment Re:More interesting quote from Palm (Score 1) 396

It looks like the paragraph Palm is referencing can be found towards the top of the second page of the USB-IF Membership Application, specifically this sentence:

Unauthorized use of assigned or unassigned USB Vendor ID Numbers and associated Product ID Numbers are strictly prohibited.

Although, at the same time, the way Palm restored iTunes syncing with the Pre was to have it use Apple's Vendor ID Number, which is also expressly prohibited by another couple of sentences in the very same paragraph:

Each Vendor ID Number is assigned to one company for its sole and exclusive use, along with associated Product ID Numbers. They may not be sold, transferred, or used by others, directly or indirectly, except in special circumstances and then only upon prior written approval by USB-IF.

So unless Palm has already acquired said written approval from the USB-IF, they are also in violation of their agreement.

It looks to me like Palm is very clearly in the wrong, and that Apple may or may not be, depending on who gets to be the official interpreter of the phrase "unauthorized use." I have to say, in a world where "ID" is normally short for "identification," using a "Vendor ID Number" to identify devices that came from that vendor sounds pretty standard.

Comment Re:What does this get them? (Score 1) 841

If we allow this type of behavior in a very short time we will see vehicles which can only be refueled at specific gas stations.

This analogy is flawed. To make the analogy sound, the car manufacturers would also have to own the gas stations.

Appliances which can only be repaired by authorized vendors.

Actually, I think we already have this one. Many gadgets will require you to go to someone who is authorized to deal with them correctly. Just google "Authorized Service Provider" (Apparently, even Hot Wheels is in on this one). Similarly, many things can only be sold by authorized sellers, such as cell phones. We may not like it all the time, but this is how business works.

Comment Re:What does this get them? (Score 1) 841

It is not technically impossible for iTunes to sync with other devices, when functionality like that is removed, you have a right to be mad.

  • Apple has no obligation to maintain features that it does not officially support. The Palm Pre is not officially supported by Apple as a device that you can sync with iTunes, therefore if the Palm Pre can sync with iTunes, it is not intentional and should not be expected to be permanent.
  • In all likelihood, Apple intentionally made a change that would break the Pre's ability to sync with iTunes. Since Apple makes both hardware and software products, this was a business decision made to protect themselves and their profits.

Apple has not only acted in a completely legal manner, it has also acted in a completely logical manner, from a business perspective. You may not like it, but they are completely within their rights to do what they have done, and there is really nothing that can or will be done about it, at least not by Apple.

Comment Re:I hate this new trend in gaming (Score 1) 242

I'm not sure that post warrants a +5 Insightful...

1. games like this are not the future of gaming. They are part of the future of gaming.
2. If you don't want to play games like this, don't buy them. Buy the type of games you like to play.

Problem solved. A true +5 Insightful post wouldn't have needed that explanation.

Comment Re:My take as someone who works at a university (Score 1) 834

Parent wins. Period.

Don't listen to anybody that tells you what you should do. Most likely their advice would have you following in their footsteps, but no one path is right for everyone.

Your best bet is to understand why those other people chose the paths that they did based on who they are. Then (and here's the hard part), you have to figure out who YOU are, and choose your own path accordingly. Parent post gets you at least 50% of the way there.

Comment Re:Opt-in actually makes more business sense. (Score 2) 162

This reminds me of the car recall formula from Fight Club (If the defect rate * the average out of court settlement amount is less than the cost of a recall, don't do a recall).

For some media (e-mail especially), the cost of implementing a legitimate opt-in campaign is probably higher than the cost of blasting anyone and everyone with advertising materials. The cost of implementing an opt-out option is probably negated by the additional profit you get from the small percentage of people who wouldn't have opted in but still respond to the ad. You also have to take into account that the majority of the people running the type of campaigns that we think of when we think of opting out could care less if they get complaints and threats.

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The first myth of management is that it exists. The second myth of management is that success equals skill. -- Robert Heller