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Comment Not really a new problem (Score 1) 216

This isn't any thing new. People are bad at estimating how long a task will take, wether it is developing or building a skyscraper. There is a lot of literature on why people are bad at estimating the time it will take to perform a sequence of tasks. Development is simply the next in a long line of activities that people try to estimate, and do badly.
Government

Energy Star Program For Homes And Appliances Is On Trump's Chopping Block (npr.org) 272

Appliance manufacturers and home builders are in Washington, D.C., today to celebrate a popular energy efficiency program, even as it's slated for elimination in President Trump's proposed budget. NPR adds: You probably know the program's little blue label with the star -- the Environmental Protection Agency says 90 percent of U.S. households do. [...] The 25-year-old Energy Star program appears to be targeted simply because it's run by the federal government. It's one of 50 EPA programs that would be axed under Trump's budget plan, which would shrink the agency's funding by more than 30 percent. Critics of Energy Star say the government should get involved in the marketplace only when absolutely necessary. But that argument doesn't hold sway for the program's legions of supporters, which span nonprofits, companies and trade groups.

Comment Re:It's true (Score 2) 284

Pixar was unique in Silicon Valley companies in that we had deadlines that could not move. The film had to be in theaters before Christmas, etc. I'd see employees families come to Pixar to have dinner with them. I took the technical director training but decided to stay in studio tools, first because Pixar needed better software more than they needed another TD, and second because of the crazy hours.

Comment Re:T-Mobile, despite issues (Score 1) 208

same here. For the price and extras they are the best deal for me. Coverage is fine and I travel overseas so the free data and texting are a big plus. I can Skype on the slow speed data just fine so calling works and my clients Skype routinely so they are used to reaching people that way, and 90% of my needs are covered by texting for non-business needs. Even with clients a quick text is generally the prefered method anyway. Their customer service is great, any issues I have had with billing were resolved quickly. The last time I had a problem they even credited a full months service, above what I was owed, for my troubles even though I only asked them to credit what I was owed. The free line lets me use unlimited data on my iPad; before that the 200mb free per month let me use email without any overage. Coverage is good as I live in a major metropolitan area. I'm paying 1/2 of what I paid with ATT so I left them after quite a few years and don't regret it. YMMV but my mileage is fine.The best hint that happened for consumers, IMHO, is ATT didn't buy them so T-Mobile has been able to shake up the industry to everyone's benefit. ATT, in contrast, sent me bills for 0 dollars every month for a year before they realized I was no longer with ATT; even though they had already ported my number to another carrier. When I calle dream they said since I was on a corporate account they could not close the account unless the person in charge of phones closed the account. I worked for a major international company who had no one "in charge of phones" and all it took to get their rate was for me to call ATT and say I worked at X and they put me on the account. I eventually had a friend still there call, say they were in charge of phones and to take me off the account. ATT's coverage was great but their customer service wasn't; at one point I kept getting transferred from corporate accounts to personal ones, while I tried to get them to fix the problem, because neither could figure out who was responsible for it since it was my personal number with a corporate rate. As I have had the number for years, even pre ATT when I was on VZW so I could not afford to lose the number and have clients all of a sudden not reach me or get a black mark on my credit score for not paying 0 dollars. When I asked what would happen if I simply didn't pay if I had a bill they said "No problem we just would bill the corporate account and not cut off service." At one point I even called the President's office to get it fixed (I had a friend who worked with the CEO so he gave me the number to call) and even they couldn't figure it out. My friend there said if I didn't pay they would just write off the loss eventually; but I didn't want to go that route as it wouldn't be right. They magically stopped billing me finally and all is well but I would not want to be held hostage by the Death Star so I will not go back to them. I also had VZW for a few years and was happy with their service. VZW, while they were a lot better than ATT and even sent me new phones for free before my contract was up, their CDMA technology limited my ability to use a phone overseas and I didn't want to have to get a new number on a prepaid card every time I traveled and give clients a new number every time I traveled. I realize they now have world phones but since TMobile meets my needs there is no compelling reason to go back to VZW.

Comment Scott Adams disagrees (Score 2) 148

Scott Adams would like a word with you:

Kahan found that increased scientific literacy actually had a small negative effect: The conservative-leaning respondents who knew the most about science thought climate change posed the least risk. Scientific literacy, it seemed, increased polarization. In a later study, Kahan added a twist: He asked respondents what climate scientists believed. Respondents who knew more about science generally, regardless of political leaning, were better able to identify the scientific consensus—in other words, the polarization disappeared. Yet, when the same people were asked for their own opinions about climate change, the polarization returned. It showed that even when people understand the scientific consensus, they may not accept it.”

Notice how the author slips in his unsupported interpretation of the data: Greater knowledge about science causes more polarization.

Well, maybe. That’s a reasonable hypothesis, but it seems incomplete. Here’s another hypothesis that fits the same observed data: The people who know the most about science don’t think complex climate prediction models are credible science, and they are right.

In fact, there's more incentive to lie about climate science than cancer research: More immediate funding is at stake, more groupthink applies, it will be decades before others can prove you wrong, and unlike falsified cancer research, people won't die because you misdirected searcher.

And as for saying "the fraud was in the review process, not the work itself," that's like saying "Well, Anthony Weiner was only caught sexting. He never actually cheated." The odds that the fraud we've caught is the only fraud committed by those willing to commit fraud would seem pretty low...

Comment Re:I'm curious (Score 1) 50

I'm very apolitical and don't care about Trump or Clinton. Trump is the elected president and therefore it makes no difference to me if he has a low approval rating or if his approvals were to spike to the highest levels on record. The American people wanted him as their president. Russia poured a lot of money into his campaign, it is reported, but they could easily do that to anyone running so I see it as a fair playing field under the current rules.

If Americans lack critical thinking methods to distinguish between astroturf or genuine appeal, then their democracy will extend that lack of intelligence and eventually it will cost them their place in the world as the #1 superpower because the only decisions that weaken the USA in the long run are the ones anyone voting should be concerned with.

I may disagree with all of Trump's policy but my opinion is not important. Only facts are important, which Trump's people are certainly deadset against; they say anything they want and deny factual accounts consistently.

This won't help the USA in the long run and they will certainly pay a high price for this administration's ineptitude in lost GDP and lost global relationships.

But at the end of the day, USA elected him and I believe in democracy.

If I place my hand in a fire and it hurts and my reaction is to place my other hand in the fire so that I notice my first hand's pain less, well then I certainly deserve the consequences of that stupidity.

Comment Re:There's plenty of good reasons (Score 2) 388

you're just not deep enough in the guts of the app to know what they are. UI re-writes are seldom if ever for the hell of it. There's a few good ones:

Yes, there are, and there are also a lot of bad ones:

1. I think a new interface will give my program a fresh look even though the one I have works great and users like it.

2. I think a feature is better implemented in a different way so I'll change how it works.

3. I don't know how to implement this in our current UI so I will redo it to allow me to add this feature.

4. I think this is cool and current so let's get rid of the old UI without thinking about how users actually use the UI.

UI changes need to be carefully thought out. People don't like change and if the rewrite requires learning a new way of doing things or removes features / ways of doing things users will have problems. The developer of one program I use regularly decided to completely redo the interface which resulted in many complaints and the rating to drop from 5 stars to 1 star. He completely broke the old way of doing things and changed features so the program became essentially useless for many users. Fortunately, he quickly returned to the 'classic' interface and all is good again. If it ain't broke don't fix it is a good rule for UI design.

Comment Re:Potential to be quite the powerful lawsuit! (Score 1) 84

You go to the corner store every Saturday to buy gum. The cashier knows you (and your purchase history) and tells you about a new gum that came out. He just violated your ban.

While I agree such a ban would be unworkable, in the case you described I would think there was an implied consent to collect the information you provided based on the purchase.

Comment Re:Why are those responsible not in prison? (Score 1) 84

They are putting personal data like names, photographs on social media. That isn't anything different from having year photographs on school noticeboards and yearbooks.. If they were taking live streamed photographs and recording audio that would be a wiretapping crime.

Except parents explicitly opt in to allow the photographs to be taken and sign a release for their use. If parents do not sign the release photos are not take. I know of parents with special ed kids who do not allow them to be photographed and the school complies with those wishes. At a minimum, the school is misrepresenting themselves as the student to establish the accounts, which probably violate TOS if not any laws. If enough parents complain to the school board and the head of the local school district this type of crap would stop. I can see this winding up in a lawsuit; especially in a district with affluent parents who know how to work the system.

Comment Competition (Score 2) 388

...its not the developers of the software rejecting the suggestions -- its users of the software that often react sourly to improvement suggestions that could, if implemented well, benefit a lot of people using the software in question.

When you arrive to some forum and post a suggestion, you are in competition with other people who use the software and might not want to divert developer attention away from bugs or improvements already slated. Another probable reason is competition between suggestions by users vying for developer time. These people shooting down your ideas probably made some other suggestions and had them shot down by other users, or alternatively have some suggestions still pending, so they view your suggestion as a threat.

There could be technical reasons why your suggestion shouldn't be implemented and users may instinctively know this because they are often experts on that particular piece of software as they use it daily.

However, as a developer myself, I can assure you that I always dig deeper to determine if the users have valid feedback or if their feedback is only playing politics.

Good ideas always influence me, even if they are imperfect ideas and would need some adjusting to become viable.

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