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Comment "Who cares about diversity?" (Score 3, Interesting) 435

Several posts have said, essentially, "shouldn't you hire the best person for the job, ignoring everything else?"

Thats what both Yahoo and Google are saying about why they want to hire a diverse workforce. Both of them realize that their clients and customers are a very diverse group of people, and they hope that by hiring a diverse group as well, they can better create products to meet a diverse set of needs. You can argue that gender and skin color still aren't great ways to find a diverse set of perspectives, and you'd be right, but its one small tool in the arsenal.

Comment "opportunities" (Score 4, Insightful) 435

I find the last line in the summary pretty... odd. Both Yahoo and Google in their reports make it pretty clear that there are plenty of opportunities for anyone who is interested in working for them. This isn't about opportunity - it's about outcome. In the interview that Google's Laszlo Bock did with PBS ( he cites the example of hiring 50% of the Black CS PhD graduates in one year - one person. Both companies, and many more in the industry, are trying to fix the problem at where they see the source is - candidates not going into the programs that feed into the industry.

Comment The big differences... (Score 5, Informative) 136

It seems like there are three big differences between how Google is handling this and how Facebook handled this:

  1. Google is blasting the notice pretty visibly all over the place. Open a tab and you can't help but see info about it. It is in your notifications. They are making it loud and clear that this is going to happen, and being pretty transparent about what it means.
  2. Google is making it easy to opt out. If you opted out of some things, or if you're in an apps domain, you're already opted out. If not, there are prominent links telling you how to opt out of this.
  3. This is only happening for public activities. You can argue if a +1 or a review should be public or if it violates Google's own concept of circles, but they're making it clear this won't apply to things you share privately.

I may have issues with how they're forcing some activities to be public only, but I can't fault them for trying to make it very clear what is public, what is private, and how they intend to respect the difference between the two.

Comment Re:Copper? (Score 2) 347

I can tell you one telco that is absolutely desperate to shed itself of copper.


Specifically, Verizon in New York City, who has so much rotten copper that six months after it was submerged in salt water after Sandy, they have absolutely no idea when they'll be able to finish yanking it all out and replacing it with fiber.

Comment Oath (Score 4, Informative) 307

The oath that one takes when enlisting is:

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Comment Export all the data nobody cares about (Score 1) 102

Google Takeout - lets you download all the data from google services that are almost completely unused in one easy step.

The Data Liberation group has a noble goal... but this is an incredibly lame step in that direction. Given how many years the group has been around, it is pretty sad that they've made such minor inroads. Perhaps this is the first real step in that direction... we'll see...

Comment Re:The US already adopted the Metric system (Score 4, Insightful) 2288

And what this means, in reality, is that if you're doing work for the Federal Government, you do all your work in Imperial Units, and then convert them to Metric. So you don't actually get "standard" metric sizes... you get "standard" Imperial sizes with metric units labeling them.

Comment SMS? (Score 1) 115

Any indication how the SMS will be handled? Google Voice has a pretty bad reputation for dealing with SMS messages, particularly Short Codes, although a lot of companies that promise to send you an SMS message are unable to handle a Google Voice Number and will silently drop the SMS message in these cases.

Comment Virgin Mobile? (Score 2) 115

Has anyone seen how this will impact Virgin Mobile users, who use the Sprint network? Last time I tried to get Google Voice working with VM, I was told that conditional call forwarding was not available, thus making it a bit less than useful.

What this does demonstrate is that the cell carriers should focus on what they're at least moderately competent at - building and running the infrastructure and letting someone else run the features that make use of it.

Comment Prezi (Score 1) 233

When the web was new and I had to make presentations like this, I would do HTML pages (with bullets) instead of powerpoint slides. The big difference was that I would also provide lots of links to additional information and details on each point. It took longer to write (both because of the additional information, but mostly because we didn't have great tools to assist), but was more engaging with the audience and did provide the additional details that a bullet-list-slide didn't.

Nowadays, I might think about using something like Prezi for some of my briefings. While it does allow a linear path through a presentation, the information is layed out spatially and allows zooms and pans both through the path and independent of the path. This makes it pretty easy to provide additional information and show the relationship between some of the points. It does allow bullet points, but mostly so it can mock their use.

Comment Re:Why digital cameras create blurry photos. (Score 1) 256

The problem with digital cameras is that you hold them with your arms out to see the screen instead of holding them tightly to your eye, which makes it much harder to keep the camera steady.

This is why you should:

  • Practice with a camera before you need to use it for something.
  • Use a digital camera where you actually have an eyepiece (like most DSLRs).
  • Use a tripod or other stabilizer.
  • Hold the camera in close to yourself, so your arms aren't fully extended, or stabilize your arms in some other way (lie down on the ground, lean against a tree, etc).

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