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Comment Re:Maybe if you're single (Score 2) 207

I have two elementary school kids, and completely agree. I find their screaming and fighting less distracting than people in the office coming to my cube and demanding attention to issues which could be resolved in a minute by reading documentation.
I've found that when I need to do actual coding, the only place and time is at home after kids go to sleep.

Comment Re: Skynet. (Score 1) 126

Seems like a reasonable thought experiment. In order to paralyze and maybe control human society, would a sentient computer intelligence really need access to guns and bullets, if they could create, steer and accelerate many wheeled steel objects along our road network? If fully coordinated, many could never leave your building, or at least street block, without probably getting killed... at least until gasoline supplies run out.

Comment Re: Crybaby (Score 1) 164

Actually you can argue that it's worse in Canada. You only get to vote for a local riding candidate, and the Prime Minister is essentially/usually the leader of the party who wins the most ridings.

you can still have lots of rounding error like the USA, and you can't even directly vote for the leader, even though most treat their local vote as such.

Ironically, Russia does this part right. While their elections may be invalid for other reasons, their voting system makes more sense. You get a country wide horse race for the President, no rounding, and a separate riding system to ensure local ministers represent you.

Comment Re: Cry me a river (Score 1) 56

Meh, that's one of my favourite xkcds, but it rarely happens. Amp is horrible as stated. I go out of my way to find plain links instead of the higher up amp link, and in general I'm a fan of most things Google.

Yet another example of marketing / business interests ruining a perfectly good engineering technology accomplishment.

Comment Re-writing History? (Score 1) 138

Does anyone else remember Obama _insisting_ he get to keep his BlackBerry when he took office, and him winning a lengthy battle with the secret service which ended with BlackBerry making a custom hardening for them? He said he refused to ever be separated from the BB.

Now yes, BlackBerry is pretty much dead in the handset space, but if his phone has been disabled from running most publicly available apps... well BlackBerry always had superior email, typing, and productivity management capabilities, and the reason people stopped buying BB was exactly because they couldn't get the latest or hottest apps... so... aside from not looking cool, it seem his best move would have been to stay with a BlackBerry (which has, or a least had) thousands of US employees working on making phones back when you people were still buying them.

Comment PSA (Score 1) 512

We don't have to put up with far too obtrusive advertising. Please never link to websites that autoplay sound (or video with sound) as you scroll through an article. At least not without a warning beside the link.

There are many situations where you want to read an article on your smartphone, but don't want everyone in the room to hear from loud ad. And you shouldn't have to remember to go change media volume before clicking on what you thought was an "article", not a video.

Not to mention all the false revenue generated by clicking the video to bring up a pause button button ending up counting a click through to the advertiser before deleting that tab...

Comment Re:That's a funny new definition of "entitlement" (Score 1) 438

and if they choose not to make it available to you, that's their right

So, if a movie theatre owner says "we choose not to sell tickets to black people", that's fine and dandy?

Taking race out of it, this kind of behaviour is defined as "Social bullying" at my kids' school, and my daughter has been victim to it for years. You don't get to go around broadcasting how awesome everything is and then pointing to a smaller group of people saying "even if you want to pay the admission, you can't come to our party". The rest of us have decided "That's not cool".

So if you wanted to buy tickets to the local rock concert, but they won't sell them to you even though there are empty seats, and then you find a tall hill nearby from which you can view it anyway, not taking anything away from anyone else, what's morally wrong with that?

Also keep in mind we are tired of paying 30-50% more on most everything - even the EXACT SAME PRODUCTS, just shipped a few km further north, including big ticket items like cars and appliances. And this is even without the exchange rate - the price difference continued back when we were 1:1 with the USD just a couple years ago.

Comment Re: company serves customers (Score 1) 263

I'm glad I'm not the only one who has been unable with this trend.

I can think of two reasons for it:

I'm an engineer, prefer dense/useful information more than the average person, who may respond more to pleasant look/feel first. Others on Slashdot are likely more similar to me than to the average user.

Also, maybe the problem is that Google Maps is free. If they had to compete for my money, they would have probably lost it when they forced me off the legacy version a year or two ago. But if they add a feature which makes it worse, but directs 5% more Web traffic to a photo printing service, or serves more ads or something, unfortunately they should choose profit over a better product... and I'm getting what I paid for.

Comment Re:Sit/stand *feels* better (Score 1) 134

Health effects, whatever. I feel better when I can change positions every now and then. Sitting all day leaves me feeling tired and my back gets sore (yes, I've tried lots of different chairs). With a sit/stand desk I change positions every hour or two, switching between standing, sitting on a moderately-ergonomic desk chair and sitting on an exercise ball. The latter is actually fairly hard work to sustain for a long time, but I think my core has gotten stronger for doing it. Standing eventually makes my feet hurt. No one position is ideal, but changing it up seems to work great.

My experience is identical, although I have rarely used the exercise ball. I had serious back problems a few years ago, and still find it gets very stiff and close to dangerous territory if sitting for more than 1/2 hour or so - but it's so nice not to be pulled away from work that I'm focused on when the back tells me "you have to move now". Just push a couple buttons, now I'm standing and still comfortably typing and looking at my screen.

I needed a doctor's note to get the standing desk, because from luck of the draw, my group wasn't in the majority area that already had them, but it was great for my SHORT-TERM (every day) well being and health and productivity. I don't NEED a long term study to see the benefits.

(side note, I've since been laid off, but haven't had any more back spasms since moving to the standing desk, and I remember how much better I felt, daily, at work). Trying to save money, but thinking about getting one at home.

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