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Comment the underbelly of entrepreneurship (Score 1) 84

My last two reads in this area were The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon (2013) and When Genius Failed (2000), both of which I found highly engaging.

Is that what you were looking for?

On my near-term list is The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers (2014).

Perhaps that's more what you're after.

I also liked The Man in the Machine (2015).

Comment a poor-man's wild west (Score 2) 92

If you haven't got a billion dollars, you can't blather on about colonising Mars. How admirably crytocurrency fills its niche as a poor man's wild west. It's got everything. A Chinese Boss Hogg with a Fu Machu mustache can suddenly jump out of the woodwork at any moment. Hot damn!

I was never much of an Oregon Trail dreamer myself, so this whole scene amuses me greatly.

Comment the moderation gap (Score 1) 266

Almost any controlled diet (short of rice-cakes and water) improves health outcomes over what people eat when they're paying less attention.

Almost every controlled diet excludes most of the same extremely suspect foods (high-fructose bonbons, anything out of the smokey, rarely replenished deep-fat frier from hell).

It probably is true that inflammation is the underlying malady. High LDL levels probably exacerbate the negative effects of inflammation. Refined-carbohydrate–rich diets combined with a sedentary lifestyle are known to be inflammatory.

As I recall, studies of hard-working farmers who ate six eggs a day (with bacon) and not much sugar haven't shown unusually high rates of coronary heart disease. Thus I've begun to suspect that the problem comes from overloading the metabolism on two axes at the same time (lipids and carbohydrates) while also tying one-hand to the sedentary-lifestyle bed post.

In paleolithic times, it was possible to gorge yourself (from time to time) on one food group or another (bananas or bison), but rarely both at the same time (and certainly not without taking a long hike at some point either before, during, or afterwards, plus there's no shortage of labour involved in harvesting a side of bison with a stone axe, or spending an entire day climbing banana trees). These days we hang around in coffee shops playing chess, and the forty-move time control rarely elapses without inducing yet another mocha frappe and a "small" serving of cheesecake (it sure looks small beside that sugary 20-ounce drink).

It seems like any one of three corrective actions: elimination of excess sugar (rice cakes are 100% sugar), elimination of excess fat, or a vigorous physical lifestyle has an enormously beneficial effect. I suspect that any change will do, just so long as your metabolism is not confronting the triple-risk zone on a regular basis.

Of course, if they convince you to stay out of all three risk zones at the same time (carbs from green vegetables only, no animal fat, high exercise) your risk of crossing through the triple-risk zone at any point in time goes almost to zero. I tend to think of that as the belt and suspenders and sneakers approach. Or, if you convince someone to achieve a half-hearted three days of out seven compliance on each of those, he or she is probably mostly out of the weeds, as well.

Evolution tends to make us pretty adaptive. Two out of three stress factors poses only a moderate problem. Three out of three stress factors (a condition almost impossible to achieve in our evolutionary history) and now you have a big problem.

Pure approach to at-worst two-out-of-three:

* farming with ox and plow (always work hard, eat whatever you damn well want)
* total elimination of refined carbs (it's not easy to get or stay fat on this diet, unless you've already got metabolic syndrome)
* total elimination of animal fat (combining balanced nutrition with a green lifestyle is now your biggest challenge; almond production requires six-times more water than industrial chicken meat, per delivered ounce)

Impure approach to mostly at-worst two-out-of-three:

* vigorous exercise two days a week (with sustained spurts of 8-10 METs, ya lazy yoga-pant moron)
* complete elimination of sugary beverages (requires moderation of alcohol, too)
* plenty of animal fat, but not in the form of steak and cheesecake dinners (bad fat+ sugar), or all-you-can-eat fettuccine Alfredo buffets (also bad-fat Hoover Dam + sugar Niagara)

Of course, in any controlled study, interventions that ask for the moon have more margin for non-compliance, and that effect will definitely be measured, and found statistically significant.

That doesn't mean that impure moderation doesn't provide 80% of the benefits for 20% of the religious conviction.

But our research is never geared to tell us this.

Submission + - Backdoor Could Allow Company To Shut Down 70% Of All Bitcoin Mining Operations (

An anonymous reader writes: An anonymous security researcher has published details on a vulnerability named "Antbleed," which the author claims is a remote backdoor affecting Bitcoin mining equipment sold by Bitmain, the largest vendor of crypto-currency mining hardware on the market. The backdoor code works by reporting mining equipment details to Bitmain servers, who can reply by instructing the customer's equipment to shut down.

Supposedly introduced as a crude DRM to control illegal equipment, the company forgot to tell anyone about it, and even ignored a user who reported it last fall. One of the Bitcoin Core developers claims that if such command would ever be sent, it could potentially brick the customer's device for good.

Bitmain is today's most popular seller of Bitcoin mining hardware, and its products account for 70% of the entire Bitcoin mining market. If someone hijack's the domain where this backdoor reports, he could be in the position to shut down Bitcoin mining operations all over the world, which are nothing more than the computations that verify Bitcoin transactions, effectively shutting down the entire Bitcoin ecosystem. Fortunately, there's a way to mitigate the backdoor's actions using local hosts files.

Comment Re:EE Degree (Score 3, Insightful) 191

It's a piece of paper that says "You can work hard, study, make your own mind up and evaluate things critically, research and a whole host of other extremely advantageous traits while operating in a field of rigor and discipline". Coupled with the experience that also says "I can do the job you're asking me to do as described".

It's a piece of paper that says a lot...

Submission + - Intel Puma6 modems highly vulnerable to DOS attack (

Idisagree writes: It's being reported by users from the dslreports forum that the Puma6 Intel cable modem variants are highly susceptible to a very low bandwidth DOS attack.

To add to this there are class actions lawsuits already going forward for performance issues with the Puma6. (

It would appear the atom chip was never going to live up to the task it was designed for and these issues may have been known within Intel for quite some time.

Comment Re:Why would anybody live in a city? (Score 3, Insightful) 107

Because cities have a lot of different kind of people, different kinds of shops, art spaces, restaurants, performances and so on. Suburbs are far more homogenous. They're like that bar in Blues Brothers that have "both Country and Western".

And cities are a lot more accessible; when you get older you may no longer be able to drive or get around easily, and you will certainly start to appreciate the closeness to various medical specialists, nursing facilities and emergency services.

One major trend here in Japan is that as the population grows older, so does the move into urban centers accelerate, and that's exactly for this reason. Baby boomers are selling their suburban homes and rural houses to get convenient, accessibility-adapted apartments in the city.

Comment if not, fake news (Score 1) 538

on average millennials expect to retire younger than other working age generations.

Did you mean:

on average millennials expect to retire younger than other working age generations expected to retire when polled in the same way, at a comparable age and state of employment?

If not, fake news.

Comment preexisting malaise (Score 2) 216

What he wrote:

UPDATE: as a direct result of "the views espoused in my engineering article on Medium" I have been terminated from my contracting position at my current employer.

What's he's hoping people read:

UPDATE: solely as a result of "the views espoused in my engineering article on Medium" I have been terminated from my contracting position at my current employer.

Unfortunately, version 1.0 typically falls under the thick veil of he said, she said.

Here's the exact point where he wanders off into the weeds:

Its intractability comes not from incompetency or from a lack of discipline, ...

It doesn't take a 4-Sigmund review to spot the out-of-school litigation here. No one in a state of conflict appreciates the lateral spread of subtext.

I know estimation is often used as a management bully club, and I've had some pretty dark thoughts about some indivisuals who have chosen to behave that way, but sorry, I'm just not feeling the sympathy in this instance.

Comment Re:Enough whipping Uber to death (Score 1) 280

I've run companies, managed people, and worked shop floor in my time. And there's one thing about management; they're hired to represent the company, and they're responsible for keeping track of the workers. This involves their health, physical and mental.
As this was extreme comorbid anxiety and depression, this would have been impossible for a manager not to notice. Which brings about the question of whether the lack of action was due to incompetence (not noticed extreme distress in employee) or negligence (noticed, but never did anything about it).
As the manager in question was acting on behalf of the company (that's what managers do, and why they carry authority), his actions are thus backed by the company..
If it's a lone manager that's failed, then they've got a heavy whack on the head to say "hire real managers, not spreadsheet pushers".
If it's endemic, then this may be uncovered by the investigation, and it could be a whole lot nastier.

While Uber may not have directly caused the death, they're culpable for it (the same way as bullying someone into suicide is an indirect way of killing). And when someone's as mentally compromised as he was, then the simple "get another job" just doesn't work. Things really aren't as simple as that.. Been there, got that tee shirt..

I don't like ambulance chasing, but Uber seem (from all available information presented) to be culpable as they have failed in their duty.

Comment Re:Suggestion for this (Score 1) 280

In all the back and forth that goes on, with people taking sides, and building up walls, it's lovely to see someone go back to basics, and actually say something simple and constructive!

Alas, mental illness being what it is, finding another job becomes impossible when you start suffering from some variants of it.. That's what led to the sad outcome.. But if there had been more of the friendly engagement, I suspect that it would never have gone as far as it did..

Comment Re:How do they know it's work related? (Score 0) 280

There's lots of "could have", but there are some cold, hard facts:

* One of the duties of the duties of man management is to ensure your staff are functioning correctly (not just meeting targets, but that they are not overloaded to the point of breaking them). If you don't believe someone is capable, you performance manage them (and either improve them or fire them).
* The man had proved that he was eminently capable, by performing very well in similar roles at other companies.
* His family had correctly identified that he was suffering from comorbid anxiety and depression and referred him to the doctor.
* He had stated that his boss didn't like him (indicating problems with management).

As he had been performing extremely well, in well managed environments, then he is shown to be capable.
As his family had identified this, it can be considered that he was dispaying symptoms serious enough that any person who dealt with people as a profession could have determined that there were serious problems.
As it could, and should have been identified by management, why wasn't it? This is either a case of incompetence, or negligence. Either one leaves the company culpable, as management are there to act on behalf of the company.
If it was identified, but company culture is to burn up and hire again, then this needs to change, or this will happen again. Legal action in this case is extremely well supported.
If company policy isn't to run employees on maximum burn all the time, and this was a management failure, why was this manager in post if they were incapable of performing a core function of their job? The company hired them for this, so they take responsibility. Again, company culpable. Management isn't just about calculating figures and generating reports. If that's all they test, then they need a wake up call. Heavy legal case would help them re-evaluate.

I've had an episode very similar to this, and was very well on the way to "taking the 'easy way out' too". Management caught me in the spiral, brought HR in, and supported me though a heavy cycle of medical treatment and an analysis of the role, to bring it in line with what is actually workable (the role wasn't possible, though that's not how it was advertised to me before I joined). That's management and company working how it's supposed to work.

I'm definitely with you that the west lives to work though, in the main.. I've travelled a fair old bit myself, and consider Western values to be very skewed. But I'm very much of the opinion, from available information, that the employers have failed in their duties.

Comment Re:Choice (Score 3, Interesting) 280

If.. If only he hadn't been that depressed.. I've been there and very narrowly survived the experience. It cost me dear, in many ways.. If it'd been caught and handled internally with HR referrals, and occupational health evaluations, and company referral to counselling services, along with management supporting a valid workload. Lots of ifs, and none of it happened.. Which resulted in a guy topping himself..
This is a sad story, and I don't see any way that Uber can come out of it looking good, as management should have intercepted (that level of depression is extremely obvious, and any manager tasked with man management can see it and can at least find the right person to refer to. If they didn't, they're either incompetent, or negligent. Either way, Uber as a company put that manager in place to represent them, so they carry the can).

Comment Re:Cry me a river (Score 5, Insightful) 280

You what? Nowhere does it say he had a bad family life (actually, the fact she got him to see a doctor indicates that she was doing all she could). So blaming his wife is flat out contrary to what the article indicates.

This is purely and simply a management issue. If the manager didn't catch severe depression from overwork coming up on one of his employees, they're no manager at all. It's a _huge_ part of management, ensuring that your staff are performing correctly (and that doesn't mean just 'hitting targets', that's easy, it means "they're performing as human beings, with resilience and sufficient endurance"). And yes, I do management as well as having done the working all the way up to it. Hell, I've run companies before, and keeping people with high morale as much as possible is what gets you through the tough times.

When you become depressed and anxious (the article indicates he was suffering from comorbid anxiety and depression), then looking for an alternative is _not_ an option. The brain convinces you that you're not capable, or that nobody would want you.. Or that he'd fail his family and it would all go wrong unless he kept the money coming in.. All sorts of things, so it makes you prone to trying to keep what stability is there... Though his history shows that he was clearly able to perform in well managed environments, and excel.

There is one obvious variable that changed, and that's his workplace. After working at Uber, he tanked, after excelling at previous similar roles. This points to management and environment causing undue anxiety leading to depression. This was not identified at Uber (him saying that "his boss didn't like him" was quite possibly true, and at least shows that there was a huge disconnect in his direct management).

Not sure what the internals of the company are generally like (though it sounds like there's vast rumbling of discontent, which indicates that it's not being run properly), but it definitely points to a failure of management, and management represent the company. It's going to legally be tough for them to wriggle out of.

Much though I dislike 'Ambulance Chasing', I don't think this is chasing ambulances. It's a failure and negligence on the part of the management chain, and possibly general management focus too. If there's no penalty to doing this, it'll continue.

Comment Re:Online ? Authors never shopped in real life (Score 1) 248

Because I hate to tell you, but stores in Beverly Hills charge more than they do in Compton for the exact same product.

Personally, I would lump the surcharge for blowing smoke up the customer's ass as part of the actual product for most of the merchandise available in Beverly Hills. When you're wealthy enough, the retail experience is the product, and what you actually take home is just the Broadway playbill souvenir.

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