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User Journal

Journal Journal: The 2016 Hugo convention 1

(Version with photos and without slashdot's patented text borking is at My web log)
I had more fun this weekend than I have in years! Patty and I attended this year’s World Science Fiction Convention in Kansas City.
Patty had said that she would be at my mom’s house in Belleville around one, and I got there a little before.
She got caught in constru

Comment Re:Stagnant? (Score 1) 98

I was just looking at this article which points out that Apple's R&D has gone up many times over since Job's passed on...

The thing is, that's usually a bad sign. It means that your development teams are growing very quickly, which has two effects:

  • The median age/experience level drops precipitously, resulting in poorer output quality.
  • The amount of effort required to maintain the products designed by more people grows by the square of the number of people involved.

Eventually you reach a point where every additional person makes the product worse or more delayed, rather than better or faster. These days, I keep getting the feeling that Apple passed that point a while back, and they just haven't noticed yet. This is one reason why innovative ideas almost invariably come from small companies, not big ones.

The other reason is that the larger Apple grows, the harder it will be to innovate, because the breakage caused by doing so will become an ever bigger problem as the code base increases in size. At some point, it will be necessary for Apple to start over from scratch—probably by buying a company that creates some innovative alternative. At that point, it will have fully become Microsoft or IBM. And that's okay. Eventually, somebody else will come along and become the next Apple. It's the circle of life.

Comment Re:Sterilized long ago (Score 2) 147

In our solar system only moons are tidally locked to planets, but no planets to stars.

Mercury comes pretty close with its 3:2 spin-orbit resonance. It spins 3 times for every 2 orbits. That's close enough to being tidally locked that the difference is mostly moot from a "cooked on one side" perspective.

Comment Well... (Score 1) 7

That's fine if you only care about yourself. I have a friend (actually an ex-brother in law) who does have kids who shares your opinion.

Personally, I'd like to have the species continue, even though once the Earth dies a natural death by then (4 billion years from now), humans will be less like us than a bonobo.

Comment Successful? (Score 1) 7

I wouldn't call someone who was born into riches and loaned a million dollars interest-free who later declared bankruptcy four times and is being sued for fraud a "successful businessman." Actually, that may be a good thing, look how Bruce Rauner, a truly successful businessman, is totally screwing up Illinois governance. Christ, he's worse than the incompetent Quinn and the two jailed felons who came before him.

You can no more run a government like a business than you can run a business like a government. Just because you can drive an eighteen wheeler doesn't mean you're fit to race a motorcross, or even a Formula One.

The press is anti-Trump because they're not mindless fools.

Submission + - Malibu Media stay lifted, motion to quash denied

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In the federal court for the Eastern District of New York, where all Malibu Media cases have been stayed for the past year, the Court has lifted the stay and denied the motion to quash in the lead case, thus permitting all 84 cases to move forward. In his 28-page decision (PDF), Magistrate Judge Steven I. Locke accepted the representations of Malibu's expert, one Michael Patzer from a company called Excipio, that in detecting BitTorrent infringement he relies on "direct detection" rather than "indirect detection", and that it is "not possible" for there to be misidentification.

Comment Re:There is no "removing" of anything... (Score 3, Interesting) 366

If the new phone doesn't have a headphone jack, it'll be all over the Internet. There will be almost no way to avoid knowing that the iPhone 7 doesn't have a headphone jack.

That's not where the user impact comes in. Most people don't use headphones constantly. They use them occasionally. And they will think to themselves, "That's not a big deal." Then, at some point in the distant future:

  • They're at a friend's house and want to play some song. Their friend has an Android phone, and a stereo with only an 1/8" plug.
  • They're out somewhere and think, "I'd like to listen to some music while I walk from A to B" and then realize that their Bluetooth earbuds aren't charged.
  • The stewardess tells them that they can't use wireless headsets (that's a per-airline policy decision) and offers to sell them a headset for $3, but oops, no adapter.

And so on. And suddenly, what seemed like it didn't matter suddenly matters, and you have a pissed off customer.

Comment Re:Fix Apple (Score 1) 366

Apple will do no fixes of anything until it learns its lesson with very bad iPhone 7 sales because of the removal of the 3.5mm audio jack.

What would be worse for Apple would be if they don't lose sales, because there's definitely a non-negligible percentage of their customers who will be negatively impacted significantly by removal of the headphone jack, and if those folks buy the phone anyway, then they're going to end up with a bad impression of Apple products, and Apple will lose them as customers. In the long run, Apple should hope that they lose those sales, because at least they'll have a chance to make up those sales by releasing a future generation that isn't missing critical features.

The ultimate destruction of Apple as a brand of amazing hardware will come if they ship a device without a headphone jack and 30% of their users don't realize how much they'll miss the headphone jack, buy the phone anyway, and then start trash-talking their new iPhone on social media before switching (permanently) to Android. If Apple ships this product, I may start doing covered calls on my Apple stock to limit my losses. As a user, this is just a big annoyance, and I'm hopeful that they'll pull their heads out of their a**es before I'm due for a new phone. But as an investor, this is absolutely terrifying, oddly reminiscent of the period where a certain Pepsi exec was running the show.

Comment Re:Cat got my tongue (subjects are dumb) (Score 1) 38

Question 1: Who the hell reuses passwords, and why? Anyone left not using password managers?

Statistically, almost everyone:

  • Anyone who created at least one account more than a few years ago and has continued using it without changing his/her password
  • Anyone who is using a site that doesn't support the browser's build-in password manager (usually by not showing a username field)

There are probably others, but most users have at least a few sites that use shared passwords, and most of them are the fault of the people who designed the websites.

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