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Comment Re:Why this is wrong: (Score 1) 69

Treaties that align laws governing stuff like copyrights and extradition are part of the system protecting the NZ constituents. If someone in the USA pirated content of a NZ rights holder, then these treaties presumably ensure that the rights holder has some recourse. Whether NZ got a good deal in this case is another matter. IIRC NZ used to be fairly lenient on pirates since they got hosed on a regular basis with region locking.

But the piracy thing apparently didn't stick, or it's not enough to warrant extradition. So they added fraud. What is that allegation actually based on? Also I recall something from rules on extradition treaties in my own country, which say if you're being extradited for crime A, a condition of that extradition is that you're not tried for crime B as well. How does that work in NZ?

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 140

It's a bit harsh to call the conclusion of a study "absolute bullshit" solely on the strength of your personal experience. Maybe you're god and you only need 1 minute to recover from an interruption, but most people need more time. 10-15 Minutes sounds about right for me.

Your remark about team productivity is spot on. However I strongly disagree that most interruptions during the day are team members getting stuck and needing help. In my experience it's often pointless crap, or stuff that can easily wait until the end of the day. If a team member does need help on something, does that really drop their productivity to 0? Perhaps they have other stuff to work on (though I do understand that such a context switch is a thief of productivity as well).

I've actually heard managers use that argument of team productivity to justify pointless interruptions.

Comment Re:Are local managers more destructive ? (Score 2) 140

Not the manager, but perhaps the environment or the office culture. I've had times where I wasn't getting much done working from home, and I have had great runs of banging out code at the office (sometimes in a cube farm no less). Some people can't stand distracting noises but I have no problem with them. I do have a problem with interruptions. As the articles states: a programmer needs 15 minutes to resume work after an interruption, which is true in my case. On top of that, after a day full of interruptions I am exhausted, both physically and mentally. But: getting up for a coffee is not an interruption. "Are you coming to Lisa's barbeque later?" is not an interruption. An interruption is when you have to engage your brain on another task: a phone call, someone asking a technical question, your manager asking for some document, etc.

A good manager understands this, and is able to create a work environment for differing work styles, or work out reasonable compromises (keeping in mind the consequences). Such a manager will also make sure to create a culture where these work styles can thrive. It's ok to ignore your email for most of the day, as long as you make that clear in an out of office reply. Don't disturb coworkers with headsets on, or those working in isolation pods. Do disturb others in case of emergencies, as long as you understand what those are. Seat the more chatty people together. It works, but it isn't always easy to create such an environment, and it does cost money.

I've had a rare few managers who understood this, and who created a work environment suitable both for solitary coding as well as collaboration. And in my experience, in such an environment the coders are just as productive as they are at home, but the collaborative parts like design meetings, brainstorming sessions or daily standups were vastly more productive compared to conference calls. In contrast I've worked in toxic environments where productivity was low. But it wasn't a case of toxic management, just poor management. And they might do as poorly when managing their teams remotely.

Comment Re:Gartner "analysts" (Score 2) 90

To be fair, they weren't the only ones predicting this. I've seen Windows in action on phones and it looked pretty good. Coupled with cross-platform technology like Xamarin that lets you produce a Windows version of your app almost for free, I too believed that Windows would gain market share in the mobile market. It was too little too late though, Xamarin wasn't mature at the time and is still not widely used, and by the time some major apps started appearing on Windows, they had already become largely irrelevant.

Comment Re:Myopia... (Score 1) 356

Just doing what you know is not enough. Most innovation I have been involved in didn't focus on generating ideas, though that was certainly part of it; the focus was on selecting and evaluating them. Not "is this a good idea", but "will this work for us, and how?". For example: we set up a corporate Wiki when such things were virtually unheard of. The challenge there was not the idea, nor doing what we know (setting up the servers and software, doing a bit of training, etc). The challenge was in changing the culture: selling the idea to decision makers, getting everyone to make effective use of the new tool, and continuously evaluate the outcomes. As Linus says: "Process problems are a pain in the ass. You never, ever want to have process problems". But the truth is that changing culture and process is a large part of innovation.

Comment Myopia... (Score 2, Interesting) 356

Torvalds said he subscribes to the view that successful projects are 99 per cent perspiration, and one per cent innovation. 'The real work is in the details'

As is often the case, Linus presents his rather myopic view thinking that it applies to all of IT. There's no doubt that there is an awful amount of bullshit going around in IT on the subject of innovation. It may also be true that many successful projects only have a 1% innovation component in them, but those are probably not very innovative projects. Such projects actually tend not not spend a lot of time on details, certainly not at first, because that's not where you succeed or fail; you need to understand which details are important and focus only on those. If you think innovation is just another project that needs getting done, then you don't understand what innovation is. For starters, a good innovator knows which ideas to pursue, what to turn into a POC or a project, how to evaluate those projects on an ongoing basis, and when to quit. And if you, as an innovator, never quit and bring all your projects to conclusion and launch, then you are most likely not casting your nets wide enough.

Comment Re:Still playing catch-up (Score 5, Interesting) 113

And hopefully Apple will get it right. My android phone has two "soft" buttons next to a physical home button, and I hate those little fuckers. It's entirely too easy to accidentally press them. Since the screen on the iPhone is pressure sensitive, they better make the buttons react to a forceful push rather than a touch, but they probably will; they usually pay a lot of attention to this stuff.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 373

Good one. IT security already seems to be a fairly in-demand skill, combined with the worries over IoT you'll be set for the foreseeable future.

But what is IoT? Home automation? Smart appliances? Industrial sensor networks? Inercommunicating cars? What? For now I'll think of IoT as "Any networked stuff, other than servers, workstations or network equipment"

Comment Re:Our society is fucked (Score 2) 158

Depends. If someone can execute 10 tasks in 8 hours, and I can perform the exact same tasks in 4 hours, then what are you going to do?
- Send me home early?
- Assign me additional tasks?
- Assign me additional task and give me a pay rise?
- Ask me how I manage to work so quickly, and if my methods could help other employees improve their throughput?
- Promote me?
- Request a "random" drug test?

Comment Re:bitwise math (Score 3, Insightful) 605

We really take our faster computers for granted, and our code is far from the level of optimization we were once required to achieve.

And that's a good thing too; now we can focus on more important things. It also makes our code better in terms of readability and maintainability. I once had to optimize the crap out of a routing algorithm to bring the execution time within acceptable limits. I made it work within the time allowed, but the resulting code was extraordinarily hard to understand and maintain. On better hardware we got away with a straight-up, clean implementation in C.

But knowing weird ways to optimize code still comes in handy from time to time. I know programmers who manage to squeeze a couple of ms from a routine and turn a sluggish bit of UI into something that performs smoothly. And I see others who give up thinking "this is as good as it'll get".

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