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Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 91

It's a bit harsh to call the conclusion of a study "absolute bullshit" solely on the strength of your personal experience. Maybe you're god and you only need 1 minute to recover from an interruption, but most people need more time. 10-15 Minutes sounds about right for me.

Your remark about team productivity is spot on. However I strongly disagree that most interruptions during the day are team members getting stuck and needing help. In my experience it's often pointless crap, or stuff that can easily wait until the end of the day. If a team member does need help on something, does that really drop their productivity to 0? Perhaps they have other stuff to work on (though I do understand that such a context switch is a thief of productivity as well).

I've actually heard managers use that argument of team productivity to justify pointless interruptions.

Comment Re:Are local managers more destructive ? (Score 1) 91

Not the manager, but perhaps the environment or the office culture. I've had times where I wasn't getting much done working from home, and I have had great runs of banging out code at the office (sometimes in a cube farm no less). Some people can't stand distracting noises but I have no problem with them. I do have a problem with interruptions. As the articles states: a programmer needs 15 minutes to resume work after an interruption, which is true in my case. On top of that, after a day full of interruptions I am exhausted, both physically and mentally. But: getting up for a coffee is not an interruption. "Are you coming to Lisa's barbeque later?" is not an interruption. An interruption is when you have to engage your brain on another task: a phone call, someone asking a technical question, your manager asking for some document, etc.

A good manager understands this, and is able to create a work environment for differing work styles, or work out reasonable compromises (keeping in mind the consequences). Such a manager will also make sure to create a culture where these work styles can thrive. It's ok to ignore your email for most of the day, as long as you make that clear in an out of office reply. Don't disturb coworkers with headsets on, or those working in isolation pods. Do disturb others in case of emergencies, as long as you understand what those are. Seat the more chatty people together. It works, but it isn't always easy to create such an environment, and it does cost money.

I've had a rare few managers who understood this, and who created a work environment suitable both for solitary coding as well as collaboration. And in my experience, in such an environment the coders are just as productive as they are at home, but the collaborative parts like design meetings, brainstorming sessions or daily standups were vastly more productive compared to conference calls. In contrast I've worked in toxic environments where productivity was low. But it wasn't a case of toxic management, just poor management. And they might do as poorly when managing their teams remotely.

Comment Re:Well, duh! (Score 1) 138

The problem is that Facebook T&Cs, as well as granting Facebook an almost unlimited license to anything you upload also includes a clause that you agree to indemnify them against this kind of claim. So, while you might be able to take Facebook to court and win if they took a video your friend uploaded of you and sold it, they would then be able to turn around immediately and sue your friend for whatever amount the court awarded you.

Comment Re:I'll never understand (Score 1) 138

Presumably he read the bit of the Facebook T&Cs that says that you grant them a non-exclusive, sublicensable, transferable, commercial license to anything that you upload, and that you agree to indemnify them against any claims of copyright infringement. They are entirely at liberty to take anything that you upload and sell it and are not required to give you a cut (remember the Starbucks posters with pictures of people who had uploaded Facebook pictures from their shops?). The only surprising part is that Facebook didn't manage to get paid for this.

Comment Re:Gartner "analysts" (Score 2) 89

To be fair, they weren't the only ones predicting this. I've seen Windows in action on phones and it looked pretty good. Coupled with cross-platform technology like Xamarin that lets you produce a Windows version of your app almost for free, I too believed that Windows would gain market share in the mobile market. It was too little too late though, Xamarin wasn't mature at the time and is still not widely used, and by the time some major apps started appearing on Windows, they had already become largely irrelevant.

Comment Re:0.4 of a phone (Score 3, Interesting) 89

Gartner are vigorously trying to shove it up Apple's arse) is that the smartphone market is really the Android market.

That's not really true. From the report, the iOS market is around 22% of the size of the Android market. That's a much higher ratio than the size of the Mac market to the Windows market has ever been. Even that doesn't tell the whole story, because a large part of the Android market is very low-end phones, with razor-thin margins for the manufacturer and very few app sales. This is important to the sort of people reading this kind of report, because they care about what the return on investment will be from supporting a given platform. It doesn't matter that Android completely dominates in the poorer parts of Africa, India, and China to the extent that iOS is a rounding error, it matters what phones the people with money to spend on your product have.

Comment Re: Yay! Cruelty-free bacon! (Score 2) 126

You need to grow around 40 times as much plant matter to feed a food animal and turn it into meat than you need to produce the equivalent amount of nutritional value directly from plants. That said, part of the reason that we eat ruminants is that they can digest a lot of plant matter that we can't. Some land is suitable for growing grasses but nothing that humans can eat. The most efficient use of this land for providing food is to use it for feed crops (though much of it could also be used for biofuel these days).

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