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Comment How to Solder (Score 1) 615

My first computer came as a bag of components that needed to be soldered to a board before the computer was operational. Early hackers were electronics geeks because there was nobody else. If you didn't have a background in electronics you weren't in the game.

I miss the days when digital communication wasn't easy and you had to be particularly motivated to be part of the community.

Comment Management Is Hard (Score 5, Insightful) 229

So this comes down to actually being a good manager. It's hard, and lots of people do it wrong / pretend they are good but aren't / etc. Ask yourself what you really want in a developer and then manage your team to that standard understanding that each member has their own strengths and weaknesses. Something like:

- Elegant and easily understood code
- Good at estimating and meeting deadlines
- Productive and participative in scrums
- Thoughtful and supportive of alternative views
- Etc.

Coders are people. They are a unique breed of people, sure, but if you want to gauge their worth, then you manage and treat them like people. Not monkeys at a typewriter. A small group of talented and creative coders can save a company millions in just a day of work. I've seen it. You need to appreciate their value by paying attention, not coming up with some arbitrary metric that makes your job easier.

Comment Re:Some helpful context: (Score 1) 406

If I were developing, deploying and operating multi-million dollar drones in an area currently under a great deal of military and economic tensions, I'd be loading that drone with every type of sensor, (active and passive) that I could possibly fit in its hull.

The drone was worth $150,000.

It's just sabre rattling.

Comment Re:Not -Exactly- Renewable (Score 1) 160

This sounds like bad news for the Earth's outer core (and eventually our magnetic field and atmosphere). Serious question: Is the cooling of this a long-term problem or will it re-heat on the basis of the mass of the earth over time?

I'm assuming that this is not dangerous so long as the total rate at which we cool the outer core does not exceed the capability of it to re-head through gravity. Is that correct? (not a geologist).

Comment Re:It's not the vinyl, it's the subscriptions (Score 1) 188

There is another aspect to this that I have not seen mentioned yet too. When you buy a vinyl album you will often get either download codes or FLAC files or in the case of a retailer like Amazon they add the digital version right into your amazon music library.

So you don't actually have to play the vinyl if you don't want to -- but you still have music that you can hold in your f*cking hand and know that you own it.

Comment Competitive Advantage (Score 3, Insightful) 416

If you train them in your country, you should try to keep them in your country unless you think your educational institutions are no more than money makers. Otherwise you will eventually lose the competitive advantage that you have over other countries that do not invest as heavily in education. If you are concerned about immigration in this regard then you should change the caps you place on the number of foreign students you allow.

Also, China can chase all they want, but I doubt that there is going to be a mass exodus of top talent to a country with a stifling authoritarian system in place. Top talent really requires freedom -- I think history teaches us at least that much.

Comment So Much for the Pro or Prosumer Market (Score 1) 675

Professional cameras are expensive. Even amateur photographers will have many thousands, even tens of thousands tied up in their equipment. These people are not going to buy one of your new "pro" laptops Apple, because you've taken away the ability to either plug the (camera end) proprietary USB cable into it or the the SD card. Your solution, which is to hope that we all upgrade our camera bodies to something more convenient to you, or buy a dongle from you so we can use our cables is not going to cut it. You also killed your Aperture application after we all spent hundreds of dollars on it, and your solution to that is to use your crappy consumer-friendly Photos app.

Clearly you don't want our business anymore. I suspect Microsoft will be more than happy to take our money.

Comment The Oral Tradition (Score 1) 348

What is interesting is in some ways we are moving towards (back to) a more oral tradition. As our machines get better and better at understanding us we will inevitably do more talking and listening than writing (just look at how people are starting to dictate their text messages). I recently had a conversation with someone who postulated that our ability to write would disappear entirely. I don't think so, certainly not in the next 200 years or so. Our ability (and need) to express ideas through writing and imagery is much too ingrained in our culture to die out quickly.

Ultimately Cerf may be right, but perhaps not for the reasons he thinks. We will certainly lose a historical record of civilization but it may be because we stop writing.

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