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Comment One pro of e-mail (Score 1) 83

E-mail has this one thing going for it that it is standard-compliant. So you can pick and choose which client program(s) you want to use to access your messages. Many of these clients are free. And You must have a very niche platform that doesn't have some sort of e-mail client.

Comment Re:Brainstorming is best (Score 5, Interesting) 84

It's the uncensored moments that make brainstorming work; that's why it tends NOT to work in most corporate environments, where failure to self-censor may be career-limiting at best, and career-ending at worst.

Edward de Bono observes the same in his writings on "Lateral thinking" - lateral thinking in his definition is the quintessential uncensored, creative thinking were one (or the group) generates as many ideas as possible, no matter how whacky or impractical. Only after this process has finished, one applies "linear" (critical, rational) thinking to select the workable out of the rest.

According to him, doing the former in group sessions (brainstorming) has the benefit that one person's whacky, playful, and not-serious idea may trigger an association with another person that may very well lead to the needed solution. But he suggests a fairly rigid methodology of conducting such brainstorming sessions, in which critical, judgmental "linear" thinking is verboten.

Unfortunately many orgs do something (e.g. brainstorming, or agile) because they've heard the name and benefits somewhere, but have no idea about the critical workings under the hood - and what they do is that thing only in name. And THEN there are organizations where the vast majority of us work, where creativity is frowned upon...

Comment Re:Private Offices (Score 3, Interesting) 347

Last night I read a bit about the Pomodoro technique and specifically what is said about distractions and how to avoid them. One view was that many websites (esp. social media) are geared to grab more and more attention to keep eyeballs on it longer (e.g. YouTube suggesting more similar videos, Facebook trying to serve up stories in your story line that they think will interest you, StackOverflow having all these very interesting questions from other StackExchange sites on the right - even Wikipedia that has hyperlinks to more interesting articles :-) ). And the one suggestion is to avoid such web browsing during your short rest periods, since they will inevitably lead to those rest periods becoming much longer...

Then it hit me: Open plan offices are social networks embodied in physical workplaces - long before social media even was a thing.

Comment Re:"Accident" waiting to happen (Score 2) 123

Y'all have it all wrong though. There is no equivalent to the American, semi-inebriated uttering "hold my beer" ("beer", when referring to the stuff made in the USA, should be in air quotes) in German, and for the following reasons:
* German beer is still proper beer full of natural goodness, not so dissimilar to that effervescent multivitamin some people like to pop into a glass of water and drink daily for good health. Only better tasting and more effective.
* Germans grow up on beer. They drink it at breakfast instead of coffee or cacao. They have beer dispensers instead of water coolers at the office.
* Germans don't get drunk. After consuming copious amounts of beer, their noses may turn red, but that's it.

Source: I'm German myself. Also, if some humor-deficient mensch claims that Germans have no sense of humor, they may just find out how little humor I do have.

Comment Pearl Harbor was an inside job (Score 1) 319

Yeah, the Mercator is also the reason why there are people that think that this meme about Pearl Harbor being impossible for Japan and thus an inside job is not a joke but the truth. {/sarcasm}

Seriously. Having latitudinal lines on the a map is a big clue that the map is a projection that distorts shapes progressively towards the poles. Also, the occasional globe in the geography classroom or at least the library. Oh and before I forget, the ubiquitous Earth as seen from space photographs and reproductions, often featured on posters, the corners of world maps, atlas covers, and the introductory pages of atlases where projections are discussed.

Maybe there is something more fundamentally wrong than the choice of map projection - perhaps the lowest common denominator approach to education?

Comment I'm using an Orange Pi (Score 3, Informative) 55

I recently picked up an Orange Pi Zero due mainly to price and availability, just to tinker with. After some initial struggles I got Armbian running on it and some other basic software - the Java Dev Kit and Tomcat to be specific, although once you have some sort of Linux box (Windows also available) you can obviously set it up in whatever way you like.

While competing mainly with the Raspberry Pi "ecosystem", the Orange Pi "ecosystem" lacks a lot in terms of support (official and community). Official support is all but nonexisting - needs a lot of googling and trial&error to find the right pin outs, ampere requirements, where to find (working) OS and other packages, etc. etc. etc. (in unambiguous, complete and standard English). In short, not really hitting the mark for a cheap system where a complete noob can learn about computers and programming easily. At least Raspberry has some momentum behind it in that regard.

Both the Raspberry and Orange Pi user communities have a lot of potential to spew ill-informed "help" by users with more enthusiasm than knowledge - the RPi community being so much larger.

Can't really comment on the quality of the hardware. My sample size of one, with only anecdotal testing, seems to run along fine - so far. I'm still in two minds if I would continue with the Orange Pi if I wanted to develop some more serious (semi-commercial) IoT device on it.

Comment Re:Leave the original (Score 1) 542

the reason is that they are lazy and just re-use what did work one more time.

The irony is that The Matrix's success/cult following took them quite by surprise. Seems elements of success are not well known even in that industry, and they may just miss them the next time around - culture changes over time, after all; what may have been great in 2000 may be meh 2 decades later.

Comment How I solve it (Score 1) 456

I solve the "problem" by not being connected 24/7. This thus removes the "problem" of constantly having my 2-bit attention span interrupted.

Or did you refer to any other so-called "problem" with IM?

Want to contact me? There's always e-mail. Which I can use on my computer, no telephone number needed (or on my mobile phone if I want to). Which I can mark "unread" when I want to come back to it later for a reply or action on it. And I don't need any proprietary app - anything that is nice to use goes.

By the way, if I have my phone's data switched on, I get notified as an e-mail comes in; same with my computer - like any other IM. I would reply using the same little keyboard as I would for an IM.

Not "instant" enough for you? Well, you probably also save hours and hours of time by typing "ur" instead of "your" and "k" instead of "OK".

Comment Re:The following would happen: (Score 1) 383

Some manufacturer makes an device that is incompatible to the universal software ecosystem, but cheaper/faster/better/better marketed.

And the situation is back to the current state.

Agreed. And I bet in the majority of cases it would be option (a) (cheaper). Because not so well tested and/or documented.

Comment Re:It sounds great (Score 3, Interesting) 136

I love grocery shopping because I usually strap on a backpack and get on the bicycle to do it, so I combine the chore with exercise, in lieu of the gym etc. It's not the destination, but the getting there.

Even more important, though, is that my shopping basket mostly consists of fresh produce and other perishables like meat and dairy. Hardly any processed foods, tins, sealed bags, boxes, or other long-shelf-life goods. Furthermore I am the single person in the household. For all these reasons, I pay close attention to the quality and freshness of the things I buy, as they need to last a couple of days at least until they are consumed and need restocking. I inspect e.g. apples and tomatoes for damage sustained during stacking (shelf packers in my city all seem to think they are handling bricks or bags full of golf balls, across maybe a dozen stores), make a selection of bananas were some are riper than others for staggered availability. I closely look at the Best Before dates and choose items that have a date furthest in the future. Wrappers are inspected for damage (e.g. cheese, butter). One head of lettuce is not fungible with another like one can of soup is with another. None of this will work too well if some could-care-less minimum wager selects items for me and subjects them to more of the same handling. We in fact do have a supermarket chain locally that offers online shopping and delivery. Last I heard, that program was on its last leg. I'm not too surprised.

Mind that grocery retail practices (and quality) in my locale differs somewhat from what I have experienced in the USA, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. So obviously someone else's mileage may differ.

Comment Cool, almost like (Score 1) 138

That's nice. It's almost like the Orange Pi Zero, only with a single core instead of quad, and only running at 1GHz instead of 1.2.

I only mention this as I recently wanted to become more acquainted with the RasPi ecosystem, and this looked like a cheaper option than the Revision 3 Model B, albeit still sufficient for my purposes, so I picked an OrPi up just today.

At least the included networking should make either Zero board easier to set up in a headless configuration than the plain Zero.

Costs in my locale are still crazy, about 30 USD for the Orange Pi Zero and around 60 USD for the Raspberry Pi 3B. There are some other boards (and clones, and stuff like PcDuino) around, but these 2 seemed to me the most likely for my purposes, prices are usually even steeper than those given.

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