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Comment Uhhmm . . . (Score 1) 312

"Should such behaviors simply be accepted as a sign of the times?"


Is being 50 pounds overweight acceptible because of all of the fast food restaurants?! It's a problem. If you want to get your attention span back, buy a 7 dollar paperback book and actually read it. Not a comic book. A book without pictures. Your attention span will return. And throw out your smartphone, delete your social network accounts, and learn a new skill. Problem = solved. If you're attention span is desolving, it's because you're not doing mentally taxing tasks.

Comment Use whitelists (Score 1) 265

Whitelists used to be a pain to maintain because you would have to go into your mail settings and explicitly allow someone to email you every time someone new wanted to contact you. These days, with people mostly communicating to strangers and new people in social media, email whitelists are the smartest way to handle the issue and it doesn't require any "learning" or spam fighting email at all. 100% effective. My postfix server recieves a storm of garbage all day, nothing gets through except the stuff I want.

Comment Re:No such thing as future proofing, of course . . (Score 1) 509

It depends. Some tasks are super repetitive and tedious, a person does the same thing over and over and over and over and over again. Some people can do these kinds of jobs for decades, but as a species we generally detest situations where chronic repetition is involved and we're always trying to automate these things. Have you seen a package delivery sorting facility? Pretty automated. And before they were automated, they had people moving the packages around. Robots and automation didn't get rid of the jobs, we did. We got rid of them because we want things cheaper, delivered faster and reliably. We did this.

Comment Familiar sounding cycle (Score 1) 171

This is common for almost anything in technology, didn't this happen in the early 2000's with IT in general? Quite common. The good news is that good software developers are still needed and are paid well, but everyone in the market has to adjust. The independent developer probably will have to go back to working at IBM and still create their best work on the side. I'm grateful for the software explosion because it lead to a the development of huge communities of budding developers or people who just wanted to develop enough of a skillset to build useful things (myself included). Thank goodness for StackOverflow.

Comment Re:No such thing as future proofing, of course . . (Score 1) 509

Yeah, I think it FEELS like automation is replacing people but it's really just shoring up big traditional problems in orgamizations. It seems like there are a lot of people in the world who make careers out of these kinds of jobs - I don't have an answer for that. I remember what Accounts Payable departments looked like in the mid 90s - a LOT of paper and staff who were basically doing data entry that would eventually be done via process refinement. It would blow my mind, people would just sit in chairs all day and do mind numbing work, it was obvious that those positions were there because the companies just didn't have technology or methods at the time to do it any other way. Those jobs aren't around any more, I can't figure out how someone can say with a straight face that automation gobbled up those kinds of jobs.

Comment Re:No such thing as future proofing, of course . . (Score 1) 509

I think you've inadvertently made a very strong point. Transportation is a super-critical part of any economy and human beings are absolutely terrible at it. Even the best drivers in the world are not that great at all when you think about it. Most people are terrible at driving. Automation of transportation, if we're lucky, will happen. We just can't do it now because the technology isn't there. And, also, I think it's childish this idea that automation is taking the jobs away - people are getting rid of the jobs, not robots.

Comment No such thing as future proofing, of course . . . (Score 2) 509

People fear automation and the progress of technology, that somehow it's going to put society out of work. I think this view is backwards. If you've worked in the labor force for a decade or more, you might have noticed that historically there have always been jobs where people sit around all day and do practically nothing. It's parodied in movies constantly because it's a reflection of what's pretty much always been the case. Like Patrick Bateman in American Psycho - just one character from a whole cast of characters who put their feet up on desks and got paid copious amounts of money for seemingly nothing. Or Sam Lowry's desk job in the film Brazil. That's just how it went, the technology didn't exist at the time to make companies efficient, and they needed to get certain work done, so companies just had tons of these almost meaningless positions. This is mostly the reason why global competition was such a wake up call in the 70s and 80s. We've gotten a lot more efficient and a lot of positions are just removed. There's really no future proofing of anything, and the term itself is marketing junk. If you want to provide value in the job market, have a career that requires creativity and has a high learning curve and high market value. Also, always be willing to learn new skills that will help you maintain this value since skills inevitably become obselete.

Comment Re:Never meant to upset? (Score 1) 160

FB users can't possibly care about this issue, there's nothing for them to "wake up" from. This is a scandal because we're in the middle of summer and there's really no news. The consumer who cares about privacy left FB before the IPO. It's a total non-story.

Some people just don't care about this kind of stuff, even fairly intelligent people can be indifferent to privacy just because they're not terribly concerned about the worst that can happen.

I was watching a friend use their Facebook the other day and I was shocked at how noisy and sticky it is.

Comment No surprise (Score 1) 337

This is a very old position, and there's nothing unusual about it. Cisco's traditional view of of treating traffic has always been that more sensitive traffic, like voice, should be given preferential treatment over SMTP on LANs and WANs (which it should). Extending this to the net in general means that Netflix and gaming traffic would be given priority over web and pretty much any other kind of traffic. That's not the same as paying for preferential treatment irrespective of the nature of traffic, which is wrong. Should Facebook traffic take priority over Teamspeak traffic? That's where the real debate begins.

Comment Define your terms (Score 1) 153

Hacking's definition has become such a mess that it should be retired forever. The nerd community needs to come up with a new term and never tell anyone. And, as a sidenote, this also goes for the terms "geek" and "nerd". When I was growing up, non-techies never wanted to be called these things, they were derisive. The geeks, however, were pretty comfortable with it. Today, anyone with an Atari shirt and/or Android phone is called a geek, but let's face it they're really just modified hipsters. So, if by hacker you mean someone who enjoys coding or customizing technology (the traditional definitions), let's face it the age of the BBS was truly the frontier. Born in an age when technology was cryptic and required a learning curve, these "walled ecosystems" were where the true geek wanted to be. Either playing in it or being a sysop. What an amazing time. Today, web scripting database programming are wonderful fun and something that can be shared easily with others.

Comment People are really waiting for Steam machines? (Score 1) 134

Valve needs to put out their controller and that's pretty much it. Most Steam users who want to use a PC in the living room are going to build their own rigs. Alienware even mentioned that there's not a heck of a lot in it for them (http://www.gamespot.com/articles/alienware-s-steam-machine-will-be-their-least-profitable-system-ever/1100-6419770/). The whole issue doesn't feel that important.

Comment Re:Google is dropping XMPP and Talk/Chat anyway (Score 1) 121

Joking? Don't need to be a 24-7-365 technician or engineer, any technical person knows this. Small, 5v server costs 80 dollars (cubieboard or cubietruck). Debian costs nothing. I run xmpp and mumble on it. System updates with cron. Can't remember when last I actually logged into it, it's just there and I use it. My toaster gives me more trouble.

Comment Re:Not evil, but definitely rotting from within (Score 1) 121

Going to have to disagree. "Mostly" open source can be as much of a problem as no open source at all. It depends on what parts they don't subject to public scrutiny, no? Also, not sure why you would mention how popular a platform is as it is irrelevant to the central issue. Something can be popular and terrible. The biggest problem is that companies can afford to do whatever they like and be altruistic when they're small and struggling, but when they become giants they must inevitably play by a different set of rules. In previous generations, this used to be reffered to as "selling out", but millenials are not familiar with this term because it has become the standard in modern culture. I understand the need to succeed and excel, but what is our culture left with if we compromise our integrity for sports cars.

Personally, I'm highly suspicious of anything that is wildly popular. It's never long before that thing is covered in controversy.

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