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Comment Frankly it sounds awful (Score 1) 997

we are a startup with almost a year live. None of the employees have ownership/stock and all are salary

No one is invested in the future of the company or what happens to the product because no one is going to be rewarded if things go well. Without ownership or profit sharing of some sort, no one who is worth anything will stick around to work 11 hour days unless the work environment is so amazing that they can get compensated other ways. The reality is, without profitability, those alternative means of compensation (extra hardware/software budget, extra flex time/vacation time, etc) won't hold up for long. It sounds like you are working for someone who has read Spolsky but really has no idea what he's on about. Does your SDLC pass the Joel test? (one step builds, testing, source control, bug database, etc etc). Are you working on brand new computers with at least 2 big monitors and more ram and storage space than any reasonable person should ever need? Do you get to set your own schedules as long as you are meeting deadlines/goals/pushes? Are you in offices or cubicles? If cubicles does everyone have a good pair of headphones? Are the cubicles or offices big enough? Is it acceptable for people to take a break and surf slashdot/Youtube/CNN for a few minutes when their brain buffer is blown and they can't concentrate? I'm not talking about come in and surf for 10 hours, but is it an environment where everyone has to be ultra careful about what's up on their screen and makes extra effort to look busy or stressed out enough to be taken seriously or is it the sort of place where people are treated like adults and given the benefit of the doubt as long as they're getting their commits in, QA'd, and past testing by the next milestone/goalpost/sprint/push/whatever?

If you are working for a startup, you really should believe in and be passionate about the product and the company and they should be passionate about you and your team! If it's really such a great idea there ought to be room for ownership and compensation for everyone involved on the ground floor and even the first couple of floors. People are what make a company great. It takes strong leaders, it takes a lot of faith and inspiration in what you are doing and it takes talented and hard working teams who are united in a common goal of making the best damn whatsy-whosit that's ever been dreamed of.

From your post it sounds like you're talking about a half baked company with tolerable but not stellar management and whatever talent the going market rate could buy. Which can be anywhere from pretty good, to so-so to absolutely dismal depending on a lot of factors.

Comment What is a programmer? (Score 2) 735

Saying, "I just need a programmer" is a lot like saying, "I could totally get this car running if I just had a tool." What kind of tool were you looking for? An OBD-II reader, a flathead screwdriver? a 9mm socket wrench? A hydraulic lift bay? Not all programmers are created equal, and they are not equivalent cogs that can be removed and replaced at will without regard or consequence. Surely there are programmers that are more valuable than others, just like there are works of art or engineering that are more prized than others. There is a widely accepted myth among the industry that nearly everything is a computer solvable problem. At the same time, the technology professionals who will be expected to solve these problems with the aid of technological tools such as hardware and software are often considered a minor and inconsequential part of the equation, without value or merit beyond performing a specific task. Often we are told not only what problem to solve, but how we are expected to solve it. Usually by people who haven't the faintest notion what they are asking for.

Comment Disregarding the relatively young bit: (Score 1) 614

Trying not to repeat earlier suggestions, (though Tesla has always been a personal hero)

How about Chuck Yeager, fighter pilot, test pilot, first person to break the sound barrier.
Any and all of the Mercury Seven astronauts. If your son has any doubts, sit him down in front of a copy of "The Right Stuff", he'll come around.

Comment Re:Sigh. (Score 1) 230

I actually had DSL in 98-99. Relevant factors = Seattle suburbs, Covad business class DSL that we split a cost of around 300 a month for and for the record it was the best DSL service I ever had (SDSL at that) . They pulled ethernet right up to the house, and put a jack in, we plugged that right into our router (10mb if I remember correctly) and that was that. ran wires to every room of the house and we were all set. I've had most permutations of broadband since then, and I'm currently on cable. Tried ADSL a bunch of times but I can never seem to get the 'good' speeds no matter where I live.

Comment Re:3-D (Score 4, Interesting) 261

Maybe if 3D actually worked for more people, was used in ways that improved the overall storytelling process and was less expensive, you wouldn't hear so many criticisms of it. It works for me, marginally, but I usually end up with a headache and after a few minutes I lose interest. It ruins immersion for me, whether it's a game, or a movie so it's safe to say I'm not a big fan.

Comment Follow The Money (Score 1) 261

In so many areas of scientific research, who is funding the study says more about the outcome and conclusions than almost anything else. So whether you're talking about climate change and greenhouse gases, whether it's safe to add more ethanol to our gasoline, whether certain products or procedures have medical benefit that outweighs the risks, or just about anything else, keep your eyes open, keep your mind open, and follow the money trail.

Comment Re:As always... (Score 1) 344

In the real world, your subjective perception is often all you will EVER have to go on. Make as reasonably informed a decision as you can, and live with those consequences. A lot of so called objective studies especially in technology are quite biased. A DBA whose primary focus is Oracle would end up with completely different results than one who works primarily with DB/2 or PostgreSQL or MySQL. That's because each of these databases has different strengths, weaknesses, idiosyncracies, and yes, SQL idioms that make them perform better when done a certain way. The parsers are different, the optimizers are different, the table structures are different, why are you expecting an apples to apples comparison on features?

Comment Corporate Culture often creates techtards (Score 5, Insightful) 450

Sure, there are companies out there doing it right or at least trying, but there are many who are looking to

1. Replace experienced workers with inexperienced ones at half to 2/3rds salary.

2.Hire architects to design and document complex systems and then hire the equivalent of janitors to do maintenance and upgrade work. Eventually the center cannot hold and you end up with a complex nest of band aids and workarounds worthy only of submission to TDWTF.

3.Replace creative thinking, problem solving and innovation with documentation of procedure whereby routine tasks are accomplished by following rote procedures and recipes that a trained monkey can follow, but which don't really address all the real world failure points in the process or how to even detect them much less correct them. Worse yet, since policy is to follow the procedure, updating said procedure is usually next to impossible to get approved.

Most of this comes from a fundamental mistrust and misunderstanding of the value and role of IT within an organization. IT as a whole is viewed as a sausage grinder into which many companies pour their most critical business problems and hope that what comes out is a solution everyone can stomach. IT doesn't fix business problems, it fixes Information and automation problems. If you make poor decisions and ask IT to implement them, and the whole thing goes up in flames it doesn't mean IT failed you and many companies don't seem to grasp that.

Comment Re:Cue increase in accidents (Score 1) 825

The issue with your argument is that not all cars are created equal. Many cars on the road are equipped to operate well above operating tolerances assumed for these so called 'maximum safe speeds.' That said, the problem isn't the cars, it's the drivers. No matter how awesome your car is, the real limiting factor is the other people you share the road with. If you want to be remotely responsible about it, you have to assume a bare minimum of driving ability from each and every other driver on the road with you.

Your sudden lane change to avoid creaming them while they crawl along in the fast lane, even though you've been approaching them at high speed for the last minute and a half doesn't mean they won't see your front grill in the rear view and immediately swerve into the lane they should have been driving in in the first place. You see, your reasonable expectation that they won't drift into your lane as you attempt to pass goes right out the window when put up against their important cell phone call, while they're trying to pick spinach out of their teeth from lunch and change the DVD for the three kids in the back.

For your safety and theirs, it's always best to drive as conservatively and defensively as possible. No matter how much less fun it is. Find a track, or a truly deserted place to let loose instead of your local interstate.


Xbox Live Pricing To Go Up To $60 Per Year 199

donniebaseball23 writes "Microsoft has raised the annual price of Xbox Live Gold to $60, which is a price hike of $10. The new price goes into effect on November 1, but gamers can lock in the current Xbox Live price by renewing now. EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich is not surprised by the move, nor does he think it will really have much impact on the Xbox momentum."

Comment Start with what interests you. (Score 1) 565

There are all kinds of different 'coders' these days. They have their own idioms, ideals, tools and culture. You will find people who will try to convince you that Python is the Holy Grail, others will tell you that Ruby is the one true path. (Although usually the story is so over the top, you end up missing the simplicity and beauty of Ruby, all you know is she got "Railed" for three days straight and is now servicing millions of requests, at least when she's not busy batting eyelashes at some Mongrel or really anybody as long as they have a really Fast CGI.)

Most development these days is taking place between all these tubes that make up the interwebs. That means you're usually looking at something that runs on, through or near some sort of web or app server. Set yourself up with a local web server or app server configured with whatever jingles your bells, and get to it. There is no right or wrong way to go about it, and even if you kiss a lot of frogs, you'll eventually find your favorite way to php/jruby/jython/plone/java/flex/lasso/squeak/perl_mod/whatever your way into web programming and Service Oriented Architecture (Which is just a fancy way of saying functions (which are now methods) are actually now web services, that you call remotely (But not like COM or CORBA remotely) but more like REST or SOAP remotely, but at the end of the day they do the same darn thing. Along the way if anyone asks you about relational databases, give them a smug look, shake your head knowingly and walk off muttering something about an impedance mishmash and threaten to hibernate until they propel the conversation elsewhere.

Of course, none of this is going to matter because the world will end tomorrow. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to pack my towel and go get some beer.

Star Wars Prequels

Big Changes Planned For The Force Unleashed 2 100

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed debuted in 2008 to less than stellar reviews, but sales of the game were strong. A sequel for the game is due out in October, and the developers spoke at length with the Guardian's Games blog about the improvements they've been working on. One of their priorities was adding depth to the combat system to make it less of a button-mash. "The team has completely redesigned all the familiar Force powers from the first title including Force Push and Force Grip, and has added a few newcomers including the potentially amusing Force Mind Trick that'll allow you to trick Storm Troopers into leaping from high ledges." Enemy AI is another area that's getting some love, and they're trying to make level design more open and less linear. The team's confidence in the changes they're making stems in part from much greater familiarity with their game-building tools. "Like its predecessor, Force Unleashed 2 will combine three third-party physics engines, Havok, Euphoria and Digital Molecular Matter, to provide cutting edge human animation, materials effects and authentic physical forces. ... 'Whenever you're building the first iteration [of a game series] and a brand new game engine at the same time, everything comes in hot and fast – we were literally figuring out how to get the most out of those three technologies all the way up to shipping. The DLC then helped us to learn more, and that knowledge has given us the biggest leap forward.'" A trailer for the game was released at E3.

Submission + - Android gaining on iPhone developer mindshare (

nixNscratches writes: SFGate (San Francisco Chronicler) is reporting that while iPhone still rules the roost in terms of mobile development, more developers are developing for Android than iPhone these days. Other historically important mobile platforms (RIM, Windows) seem to be falling out of fashion. From the article:
Vision Mobile says, "anecdotal developer testimonials suggest that half of Windows Phone MVP developers (valued for their commitment to the platform) carry an iPhone, and would think twice before re-investing in Windows Phone.

Read more:


Submission + - The demographics of Web search ( 1

adaviel writes: Reported in New Scientist, Weber and Castillo describe research indicating that demographics may help Web searches, e.g. for women "wagner" is a composer, while for US men "wagner" is a paint sprayer.

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