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Comment Re:Salesforce isn't just sales (Score 1) 73

it's a complete WYSIWYG application platform that can build complex business apps without code ("Clicks not Code" in SF parlance). It's basically Visual Basic 6 for the web.

Thank you. I've been trying to figure out what SalesForce actually is for months. This is the most complete, intelligible description I've seen anywhere.

Comment A more optimistic viewpoint (Score 3, Interesting) 154

I work for a company that's reasonably large (8000+ people) and is consistently profitable, and we prize and celebrate innovation. People are encouraged to try out ideas quickly and if they fail, at least they failed fast. We have an intranet website where people post their successes and learnings. I personally know many coworkers who came up with ideas, implemented them, and made money for the company.

I am a technical manager of a team that specializes in automating manual processes and eliminating waste. I very intentionally leave room for my direct reports to innovate. If they come to me with an idea -- this is a critical point -- I treat my opinion as a HYPOTHESIS, not as absolute truth. After all, I am just guessing whether their idea will work or not. I'd rather have them build a minimum viable example to get some empirical evidence if their idea will work or not.

If I think their idea has no chance whatsoever of succeeding, I'll put forward my objections and see if they have good answers for them. This discussion is important. Sometimes they show me I am wrong, which is fine with me. (Nobody's perfect.) Other times my objections spur them to come up with a more robust idea.

Anyway, not all companies are pits of innovation death.

Comment Bad interviewers, not bad questions (Score 1) 1001

Whiteboard coding questions aren't bad in and of themselves. The real problem is bad interviewers who don't know what's realistic in an admittedly artificial interview situation. Questions that require rote memorization should be obsolete today. Common flaws include:

* Requiring perfect syntax off-the-cuff
* Requiring exact names of library functions
* Asking questions that have just one correct answer (because a wrong answer tells you very little)

A good interviewer can run a beautiful coding interview on a whiteboard, keeping the candidate engaged and displaying his/her skills. You run it like an ongoing conversation with the candidate. If they hit a wall or don't remember something, you simply give them a hint or even the missing answer so they can continue. The end goal is to make the determination: does this candidate know what the hell he/she is talking about, and do I want to work with him/her? The end goal is not to determine if the candidate can take the length of a string in Prolog.

I have personally trained hundreds of technical interviewers in these skills. The problem at many companies is that nobody evaluates people's interview skills and separates the good one from the bad ones.

Comment Oh, Very Fscking Hilarious, Pai... (Score 5, Informative) 119

Not fooled.

How convenient that Mr. Pai neglected to mention that AT&T was sued in 2014 by the FTC for false advertising -- namely, describing their mobile Internet service as "unlimited" when in fact they would throttle you or cut you off after you exceeded undocumented limits.

AT&T argued that, because the package included voice service, the dispute was outside the FTC's jurisdiction and should properly have been brought by the FCC. Mindbogglingly, the 9th Circuit agreed. ( )

So Pai's claim about wanting to achieve regulatory harmony and improved demarcation between agencies is unvarnished bullshit. He's trying to create more opportunity for regulatory arbitrage and pitting one federal commission against another.

Comment And The Server Component Is...? (Score 1) 213

I really have to wonder what Microsoft is doing such that git status on a "normal" repository allegedly takes ten minutes (maybe NTFS just sucks, guys).

But what's being unsaid throughout this is whether this works with a standard Git server, or whether it only works with a special Microsoft-kluged server. While the former is vaguely interesting, the latter merits only a derisive snort.

Submission + - Update to Amazon Alexa/Echo Lets You Address It as "Computer"

ewhac writes: "Computer, what is the time, please?" is now a spoken command that will actually work with Amazon's release of an update that adds a new wake word for the Alexa/Echo. Previously, your options were "Alexa," "Echo," and "Amazon." Now you can also choose, "Computer." In practice, it's a bit clunkier than you might hope, depending on how often you speak the word "computer" on a day-to-day basis; and "computer" is harder for machine speech recognition to pick out than "Alexa," so it may not hear you as reliably. But for those who've been yearning for a Star Trek-like future, this small bit of silliness gets you one step closer.

Comment "Improvements" (Score 4, Insightful) 156

The newly-minted update changes are just one part of the improvements added to Windows 10 with the build released Monday.

Nice Newspeak(TM) spin there.

It's not an improvement. It's a fix, to a facility they broke in Windows 10 -- namely, the ability to control the update system.

And if we're being perfectly honest here, it's not even a fix. It's a workaround to a facility that never fscking worked in the first place , i.e. installing device drivers through Windows Update. Never. Worked.

And deploying this workaround serves as tacit admission by Microsoft that they they haven't the remotest clue how to fix it. Even after locking out those terribly pesky, annoying users and arrogating all administrative control to themselves with Windows 10, it STILL. DOESN'T. WORK.

Comment Sounds Cool -- How Do I Disable The "Smart?" (Score 1) 238

OLED displays look gorgeous, and that will probably be what I get to upgrade from my LED DLP.

Just one concern: How do I lobotomize the "Smart" that seems to be infecting all TVs these days? Stories concerning massive security and privacy issues with Smart TVs are all too easy to find, so you'd think it would be just as easy to find TVs that are "dumb", or at least articles on how to rip the "Smart" out of any given smart TV.

I know Vizio has a (small) line of tuner-free displays, but then they foul it up by bolting on a Chromecast and including an Android tablet as a remote (!).

Comment Re:Premium IPs (Score 1) 54

*snerk* Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. But Star Citizen, while it uses the Crytek 3 engine, is a third-party project (mis-)managed by Roberts Space Industries/Cloud Imperium Gaming. Given what they have to show for USD$130 million and five years of work, Crytek would be insane to bring it in-house.

Comment Omnirax + EndPCNoise (Score 1) 303

15+ years ago, I sprung for an Omnirax desk (this one). I can't rave enough about it. The height is perfect, the surface big & durable, and plenty of rackmount space. It still looks as good as new. The company is well-known in the music industry but not so much outside.

Set up a few big monitors (with Ergotron monitor arms) and a beefy, silent rackmount PC from, and you'll have an enviable work environment (speaking from experience).

Comment Ten Years Late to The Game, As Usual (Score 1) 72

Install Firefox. Install NoScript. Poof! You now have click-to-activate on all plugins -- not just Flash, but Java, Silverlight, and others. Moreover, you authorize each occurrence of the plugin on the page, i.e. you can run the video player, but keep the frame with the Flash ads disabled.

Yes, Microsoft, very "innovative"... (*derisive snort*)

Comment Re:Incredibly misleading (Score 1) 403

He's saying, "Hey developers that use Linux. Try doing the *the same thing* you do on Linux within the new Bash on Ubuntu on Windows project.

There is no "new BASH." There is only one BASH, and you get it from What they've got is MASH (Microsoft Adulterated SHell), which is a fork of BASH. Now, maybe Microsoft can find some success with their forked project and, seriously, good luck to 'em. But, seeing as how the current state of the law is that APIs are copyrightable, many of us don't see the value of contributing to a project whose benefits will accrue only to Windows, particularly given Microsoft's malicious stance toward Open Source/Free Software over the past 20 years.

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