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Comment Re:Emergency response (Score 1) 70

Helicopters? Expensive to run and they certainly cannot land everywhere. This vehicle looks like it can land in most places where there are no overhead obstructions, and if the cost can drop to where it becomes a viable mode of public transport, hospitals could replace their one helicopter with a whole fleet of these.

Comment Re:Emergency response (Score 1) 70

Self driving cars will also help alleviate congestion, when there are enough of them. They can drive bumper to bumper. At intersections they can just keep going at speed, passing each other after a short negotiation and small speed adjustment to create and time the right gaps in the flow of traffic, with the traffic lights turned off. (The traffic light would need to be smart as well; it would turn on again when a manually driven vehicle approaches)

Comment Re:Should have gone with blackberry... (Score 1) 53

BYOD isn't a cost-saver, it's a matter of convenience. And playing on private phones has nothing to do with it (so sick and tired of that old "Blackberry is a business tool; iPhone / Android is a toy"-line).

Most employees prefer using their private phones for work stuff over having to carry a second phone, and BYOD can also be offered to employees who formerly did not qualify for a company phone. For a while, having a BB was something of a status symbol, but as soon as companies figured out how to make BYOD secure enough, most people got rid of them even if they didn't have to. The hold-outs who kept their BBs were seen as dinosaurs. The "current state of affairs" at places that did BYOD the right way is just fine and dandy.

Comment Re:In other news (Score 1) 53

Most of my clients that implemented this saw BYOD as a win-win: they no longer have to provide company phones, and most employees seem to prefer using their private phone for business stuff (and bearing the costs as well) over having to carry 2 phones. In case where the employee had a choice between a company phone or BYOD, almost everyone ditched their Blackberry and used their personal device instead. And it certainly was seen as a win by employees who did not qualify for a company phone, but now have access to their work email, agenda, directory and IM service.

Comment Re:This is starting to happen in a lot of places.. (Score 1) 53

Nope, this have nothing to do with private chats or calls during work hours. They cannot ban Whatsapp from private phones, only require that they are removed from private phones that are enrolled in their BYOD infrastructure (on Android and iOS, you can enforce this too). Instead of having a policy that requires employees to only use business-approved channels for business-related communications (and perhaps reinforce that policy with a short mandatory CYA* E-learning course), they opt for the easiest way to comply. As always.

*) CYA = Cover Your Arse.

Comment Re:Triphenyl phosphate (Score 2) 53

Free market economies give us a choice... of course "us" means that sometimes others will do the choosing for you. Phone manufacturers prefer batteries with higher energy densities that are (usually) safe enough, over more expensive batteries that might let the owners of those phones keep theirs a little but longer. And if this flame retardant makes the battery (and the phone) a little bit bulkier, then manufacturers will not use it either. Especially Apple, since they need to placate the growing mob of belligerent protesters outside their HQ screaming for even thinner phones. Because above all we want thinner phones. Right?

Comment Re:Robots paying taxes? (Score 1) 172

When robots start to replace human workers en masse, it kind of makes sense. Our current income tax is predominantly a tax on labour; other sources of income are usually taxed differently (and a lot lower). So if the labour is done by robots, there's a tax on them. The only problem is that that kind of labour is extremely mobile, and will thus gravitate to whichever country has no robot tax.

Comment Re:I heard about this in South Park (Score 4, Informative) 297

You'd be surprised. Maybe this suit is unique (I've no idea) but the phenomenon certainly isn't: this is a common complaint of people dealing with this kind of material; like police detectives. I've heard that the people dealing with kiddy porn on a daily basis generally don't last very long on that detail; apparently it is not something that you get desensitised to very easily. And a lot of them complained of symptoms that are at least very similar to PTSD. Maybe war isn't the only way to get messed up emotionally, tough guy.

Comment Re:Carly Fiorina 2.0 (Score 1) 399

At least IBM still does actual research. Companies like Intellectual Ventures consist only of stink tanks where they get together to make up bullshit patents like that. But not to worry: in a few years, Watson will be able to automate this and spit out patents for all obvious stuff that hasn't been patented yet.

Comment Re:Big - Small (Score 1) 259

Working for a big company also gives you opportunities. Within the company itself you may have the opportunity to try various things in different roles, so you can find out what you enjoy doing best. If you work as a consultant, working for a big firm will open doors that most likely remain closed to you as a freelancer or in a small firm. In my experience, clients are much more willing to look past small "shortcomings" (i.e. lack of bullcrap certificates) and hire you, if you have a big company behind you. At the least that company will be willing and able to replace you if it turns out you suck at your job. Also, working for a big firm (especially as a consultant) gives you a great opportunity to build an extensive professional network. Lastly, a well known company name rarely hurts your resumé.

There are some downsides: as you said, the job might be much more constrained than you'd like. They will try to force you into a well defined role, and if they can't, be prepared to hear this at every annual appraisal: "What the hell are you, anyway?".

If you want to remain working at a large firm but also want to be a generalist, look and prepare for jobs where being a generalist is an asset, like solution or enterprise architect, or working as an "IT guy" in a small innovation or prototyping team. The last carries a bit of a risk: it's often hard to justify such teams in times of budget cuts.

Comment Down with big business... lingo (Score 4, Insightful) 150

"Going forward"? What's wrong with "from now on", or "soon", or simply leaving that little bit off completely since it conveys zero information? I know business people like the term "going forward" because it sounds both positive and purposeful, but it's such an ugly turn of phrase when tacked on to the end of a statement like that.

Comment Re:A watch is a watch (Score 4, Informative) 232

I tried an Apple Watch for a while, to find out what the fuss is about (a more or less work related activity). They are useful for certain things, convenient for others, but in the end I found the bother of having to wear it (and charge it every night) to outweigh its usefulness. But that's just me. I wouldn't call them too expensive for what they do, but too expensive for their expected lifetime. If they'd commit to one or a few case form factors, sell a variety of cases ranging from cheap to luxurious, and let us swap out the electronics every few years for a modest price, then they'd make more sense financially.

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