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Comment Pilots don't work (Score 4, Insightful) 510

If people know that this scheme will have an end, they will take that into account and not change their behaviour as they would if it was permanent.

Therefore the data collected and the conclusions drawn from this scheme (and all the other UBI pilots that have come and gone) is incomplete. We need to gauge the effect it will have on populations not for a few years, but how will it affect generations? Will a child growing up in a UBI household have a different attitude towards the need to get a job or attend school? Is there even any point in getting an education if you know that the state will provide everything - and that there probably won't be any jobs for you anyway?

A three year experiment won't tell you about the long-term consequences.

Comment Re:19th and 20th century powerhouse (Score 1) 206

any 'major city' in GB was built in the 19th century.

All the little villages that were close to natural resources or advantageously located were the ones that developed into major cities. The move from the countryside and an agrarian life to a city and an industrial life is what made those cities "major".

So yes, the OP was correct, indirectly.

Comment Anything except coding (Score 3, Funny) 149

... the top cause of unhappiness was being stuck while solving a problem, followed by "time pressure," bad code quality/coding practices, and "under-performing colleague.

In my experience what makes developers unhappy is having to write documentation, perform testing and fixing bugs.

Of course, that might simply define the habits of the "under-performing colleague" that then drags down the happiness of other, more diligent and professional, developers.

Comment Hardware great! support sucks (Score 1, Flamebait) 80

The hardware side of all these Pi "clones" is fantastic. They blow past the original Raspberry version all the time. There are varieties that are smaller, cheaper, more powerful, more innovative, more features.

However their operating systems and general support are awful. What little information is available is usually only made known by amateurs who's interest waxes and wanes, The operating systems are largely undocumented, old, and hit'n'miss as to whether they will work on any particular board - and frequently don't have features like SPI implemented, (Although part of this is due to the system config file and its vagaries.)

If the hardware manufacturers put half the development skill into the software as they do into the hardware, they would dominate the world and leave the RPi crushed into a stain on the rug. It is only the support, forums, and large amount of "how to" information that keeps the RaspberryPi viable. If the others ever caught up, the RPi would cease to exist.

Comment Who gets the prize? (Score 3, Interesting) 81

the prize money will go to Strategic Machine, a firm founded by the duo.

That seems a little unfair. If I had won, the prize money would not have been given directly to my parents. If a machine wins, it should receive the prize. If it cannot actually spend it, then that would appear to be a rather basic limitation to its AI-ness. But it wouldn't be a problem for the competition or whoever awarded the prize.

You would also hope that the authorities would keep an eye on the money to ensure that whoever had access to the AI didn't defraud it of its winnings. Maybe it is time for machines to have property rights. And if they are going to be awarded assets, maybe they should be taxed on them, too.

Comment So what are the benefits? (Score 1, Interesting) 50

I have read the information on the release page
It contains a long list of various stuff that has been updated from one version to another.
It adds some new drivers for a few bits and pieces
It changes from one database to a different one.

But nowhere does it tell me what wonderful new functions I would benefit from using if I installed this "feature" release. In fact, it doesn't mention any "features" at all. Just support for new hardware, which wouldn't be useful to people upgrading on their existing hardware.

If I (assuming I hadOpenElec installed on anything) was going to upgrade to this version, I would want to know what new things I would be able to use it to do. I would want to know what worked better, or faster. I would want to know how I would be more entertained, or find things easier, or become richer, or taller.

But these things, which I expect to be important, are not mentioned. Should I assume that there are some persuasive reasons to upgrade, or is this just a new release for its own sake?

Comment The traveller (Score 4, Insightful) 116

What archetypes, if any, are we missing?

The type for whom the journey (or development process) is all. They love creating something: code, hardware, paintings. And for them, it is the production that matters, not the the final result. You might call them "perfectionists" because they will never finish anything (until they get bored and just drop it, to start travelling on a different journey) and will constantly be adding new parts, features or functions.

Their favourite saying is "just another couple of weeks" when asked by their team-leader, project supervisor, manager when their assignment will be ready. But 2 weeks later, the answer is still the same. Although they are enthusiastic, their failure mode is that they never produce an end product and their office, lab or home is full of half-completed projects.

Comment Burnout has many contributory factors (Score 4, Insightful) 262

it's usually the organization, not its employees, that is to blame

It is incorrect to suggest that only factors related to work are the cause of burnout and that therefore it is a "company" problem. There can be many issues with an individual's personal life (or their finances, children, partners, parents, neighbourhood or many other sources) that means they are more or less susceptible to "burnout".

Even two people doing the same work: subject to the same level of professional stress can have vastly different reactions to it, depending on how pre-stressed they already are, or what coping mechanisms they have developed, or not - or even due to their personalities.

So while the pressures of a job may well add to an already stressed individual's burnout, it is unlikely to be the sole reason for it. Consequently a proper study would have to look at all aspects of a person's life to determine the extent to which their job or their boss or something else caused them to have problems. And therefore it seems reasonable that the solution to a person's recovery could, in many cases, be found outside of their work life, rather than within the company they work for.

Comment amateurs or professionals? (Score 1) 169

After all, we're just like lawyers, librarians, electricians and cab drivers.

Developers are nothing like lawyers (at least, not in my country). Lawyers and other professionals belong to chartered, professional, bodies that uphold standards of behaviour and work-product.

If you want to see IT professionals portrayed as professionals they would need to act in a professional manner. One that instills confidence in their ability, one that stops "amateurs" from being indistinguishable from career IT people - either in approach, quality of work or social standing.

Comment Well, *I* know what it means ... (Score 1) 548

Not mentioned yet:

* Every user speaks my language (so my text can all be ASCII), So Y and N are always fine. So everyone's address includes a city.

* It doesn't matter that error codes are meaningless, or that the same catch-all message appears for several different conditions.

* Every user will know what "enter a 6 character alphanumeric field" or "please assign a unique key" means

* Using technical jargon in user interfaces is good, Plain English is for WIMPS

* it doesn't need documenting, it's obvious how to use it.

* The website doesn't need a description of the product, everybody knows what it is
(So let's make the first page a user will encounter a list of the change log, or a name-check for everyone who worked on the project, instead)

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