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Comment Re:Stay Put (Score 0) 772

You show the major flaw in modern management, which is not being able to use a likely much more efficient individual, specifically because you've seen all the tricks and can direct the young, code spewing guns towards better solutions early in the production cycle. Your 'bad attitude' can be golden for a good manager, but we teach our MBAs to build more Wall Marts and nothing much beyond that. Sad.

Comment Why the EU May Be Crumbling (Score 0) 185

This is the backlash of eternal growth promise that we cannot fulfill any longer.

They built row houses in Hungary, and they sit empty. The same happened in Ireland. But where did they learn to throw money away on bogus promises? Remember the Dust Bowl land rush? There were fake pictures advertised in England about a hundred years ago showing a Texas Panhandle paradise with artesian fountains in lush cities; as a result, folks flooded a desert that couldn't sustain them. A couple of folks were convicted of con artistry or something like that, but no one noticed.

And no one learned the lesson, in the least the brilliant minds of the Chicago school of Economics. "We shall will the Colorado plateau sand into arable land; we shall will the soggy Irish skies into a tropical island; we shall will the Hungarian puszta to look like the Tetons." Yeap, we invented it and still sell it, so don't bother explain why people backlash and seek safety away from our superb lifestyle.

Comment Re:Back in my day... (Score 2, Interesting) 114

The answer is commonly rendered invisible in its simplicity, especially in IT deployments: striking the balance between what developers want and what users want is seldom the goal.

An ethical developer should care about how the code is used, how the application will 'feel' to the user; too many developers laugh at this statement, unless they write games.
Conversely, an ethical manager should respect the sometimes incredible effort and dedication developers have to put in to come up with a decent product given superficial requirements.

Ethical people care about their environment and how they affect others, just like a good flight controller's team. For this reason, besides other obvious ones, they use very inflexible software, such as ADA, to run their core applications. This is again ethical because it strips down a developer's choices to script code that could bring about a plane collision probably during someone else's shift - I can only imagine what unreadable Perl or Python code would do to the safety of our aircraft. Most developers hate structured languages, but if one cares of the outcome and keep the job long enough, they get used to the tightness of the language and end up caring more of its application towards human interaction which can be really fun.

Establishing a culture of consistency is much harder nowadays when all young folks expect to change jobs every tow years; one cannot root ethics in short spurts. I hope we stop running soon, or we may be digging our own holes by running around our tails too much.
Thanks for the comment.

Comment Re:Step 1. (Score 1) 1197

The premium payments are exorbitant; COBRA is a useless act for normal folks. Only a few states offer socialized medicine, and once you sign any significant contract on your own it's over, even if that contract can carry you for only six months. Sorry. Moving to another country is still the best option. Sad, too, considering the bruhaha of supporting entrepreneurs in the US.

Comment Re:"Playing Nice" is Not Considered a Virtue (Score 2, Insightful) 736

Right on. There is a good comment on the article's page mentioning that engineers have build the Space Shuttle, but they also blew it up - this due to an inherent ineptitude to deal with the social responsibility of stepping up to the plate and shutting down the launch based on the facts that engineers love so much. There are plenty of brilliant engineers right here in the US who are social misfits, don't go out more than twice a year, don't have kids and they vehemently express their hate for one having to change diapers; living in a box is safe and close to the mental attitude of religious extremists.

One of the issues is what we require from engineers to get a degree, including graduate schools in aerospace and the like; or should I say what we don't require in terms of one's ability to express themselves. A lot of engineers I work with don't have an idea how to write or say what they want in simple ways so they can be heard - and they get very angry when inadvertently reminded of this. Emails that could comprise of two phrases turn into two pages where one has to dig for the purpose of the respective email for hours. Many engineers are angry a lot and they think someone should pay attention to their obscure, but important facts. Guess what: humans read angry first and don't get to the facts most times. So a pissed off engineer, just like the ones who didn't have enough social skills to convince the launch pad managers to postpone the launch until it got warmer, is just that: a pissed off engineer who doesn't make much difference regardless how brilliant she is. Sad; very sad.

As an engineer going through a decent business school, I had a crazy hard time with the writing-for-a-purpose courses. But once I learned to chill and revise multiple times, taking the volume of my message or documents to the key facts and cut the anger down, I noticed that a majority of people respond much better to a kind context that included critical data. It is still surprising sometimes how much more attention this gets: "Please do this today; it may prove a critical asset to our contribution to this major project" rather than "If you don't do this today, your ass is fired." The former format gets the job done while the latter gets a knee-jerk reaction of "yeah, right, you don't have anyone to replace me with, so I'm going to play my video games instead."

It's pitiful the level of writing and social skills required to graduate with an engineering degree, even at our best schools. This leaves engineers in their safety little box from where they can justify blowing up things in the name of whatever. Sad, very sad.

Comment Re:Obsession (Score 1) 485

We use pagers that display a certain number of characters. This tells one if they have to jump in their boots and drive like mad or log in to stop the alarm and write a report in the morning.

I am the one who tried to promote the iPhone, but the argument that a text message alert doesn't wake most people or make it trough the restaurant noise at dinner really bogged me down. I know that there are plenty of doctors, nurses, other emergency services folks that have been asking for a longer sound file in the texting dir of the iPhone for a long time. Pitty, it's a small effort to add one.

Comment Obsession (Score 2, Insightful) 485

What, the iPhone is not the second coming of christ? What the hell are we going to do now? Maybe 2012 is really coming since the iPhone doesn't have an app to keep the bloody Earth spinning properly.

Who has time to know of/check-out/use/have-fun-with the million apps out there? Right, I know a few guys like that, with iPhone or purple berries or paranoid phones (oh, it's andropovid or something?) and try to avoid them outright; in order to be aware of all the apps, that's all they do - maybe the apps sleep for them, too.

A device is inferior if it performs simple but common tasks poorly out of the box. The iPhone is an inferior device since it cannot be used as a pager out of the box ("but you can do this and that, you ponzy looser that doesn't know squat about thechnology; just unlock it and see the light"). Ok, I give up, you feel superior with all the tricks one can implement, and I should not expect a $200 device to have a long enough text message sound file to wake me up when I'm on night shift. Or should I? Quite a few guys still have 800 MHz pagers at work and it's for a damn good simple reason: to be within reach if on-call in a noisy place, fishing, on top of a mountain, and all the other places on can be while performing her duties - all places within 3G coverage, yes there are mountains close by.

One more thing: all these bio scan based devices seem to be designed only for indoor or warm climate folks since I can't answer the crappy thing with my gloves on. So if I'm helping some poor folk in freezing weather and need to call out, I better have good peripheral circulation; otherwise, we're both doomed. Or we can make a fire with and eat some apps while waiting for the white light. Right.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 47

None; there are good space and aero news feeds on the web. Apple should get on track with making the basic iPhone features useful to people in the industry; for example, we can't even use the iPhone as a pager since its audio notifications are too short. Of course we can break into the phone and make them longer if we care to swallow the iPhone dev hype. The coolest feature about this app is where a spacecraft is, right? Who cares? If one flies or knows how to track a bird they know where it is using much better tools. Pretty soon we're going to be sold to cooking our eggs on the fancy iPhone. Caramba.

Comment Re:That's OK... (Score 1) 414

It it absolutely worth it, if only for one reason: human creativity. This is enough. Without creativity, we'd be plants happy basking in the sun for a relatively specific period of time on this planet. And besides the creativity to design/build/fly these amazing machines, there is a creative piece in the industry often missed: how to get the $$ to keep it going and see the folks you work with all exited during an integration and testing or launch/commissioning period, be the result good or bad. Maybe just for those few that are superbly devoted, there are some left, it's all worth it.

Comment Re:100%? (Score 1) 414

The survival rate for exploding Soyuz rockets is 100%. It happened once in 1975, and again in 1983. Both times, the crew escaped without major injury. The Russian/Soviet space program has never had a launch failure that resulted in fatalities to crew aboard the ship.

The 1983 incident occurred as the rocket exploded while on the pad, and threw the capsule 6,500 feet into the air, subjecting the cosmonauts to approximately 17g of acceleration. According to popular legend, the cosmonauts destroyed the capsule's voice recorder due to the lengthy string of profanity that it captured during the incident.

And you know this how? Hollywood drama? Any clue how the USSR news were written, read fabricated?

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