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Comment We were ubered before uber was uber (Score 1) 233

I spent my career in IT. In the '70s, the 'big thing' was shrink wrap software. It was as transformative as Uber-ish companies are today. It took the 'custom software only' model, and made it 'commodity software.


Uber took the 'establishment hack owners' that had all been vetted, insured, regulated, taxed, all in the name of public safety, and threw it out the window, because the customer wanted a lower cost option, and was willing to take risk for the sake of flexibility.

Market disruptors ALL take on new/change everyday. The latest round is just same song, next verse.

Data centers are now 'cloud service centers' because of a perceived difference due to a name change.

Easy to install software (typically at consumers request) is called an 'app' rather than software or an application. The biggest change is many are developed in basements and garages and starbucks, and uploaded to stores rather than heavy development teams.

Many more examples can be thought of quickly. Again, just more examples of same song, next verse.

My question is 'what next'?

Comment Yep, public price-blocked from scientific papers (Score 1) 131

As a techie, that does have trouble understanding some scientific principles (at least deep ones in many fields), I do like to still TRY to understand the things I don't. Following up on references in open papers and books, where even government sponsored research is published and put behind commercial pay-walls I find tough to stomach as a taxpayer who helped pay for the research and publication. Yes the scientist still has access to their own work, and many 'people that matter' have access either by paying or agreement with supporting associations, but it still leaves the Joe-Blow-technophile in the dark other than a few line summary of teaser.

Comment Re:Amazon's Self-Reinforcing Decline in Hires (Score 1) 396

Most of us have worked for bad bosses. Over time, the only ones left are the ones without options. ... I stayed because I had a morgage, wife at home, 2 kids to finish high school and put through college while trying to safe for some kind of retirement.


Finally one kid got a full ride at a good school, wife found a job that paid OK but we had to move, and we could make it on what she brought in. ... Now I am retired, she still loves her job, wifes employer furnishes house (requirement of job to live on site), and my kids are out of college for 5 years on their own.

If I had seen a 'way out' in the market then, I would have left. It took 6 months after leaving last job to finally decompress (IT for a regional bank in TX). Wish I could have left sooner, but to old (getting IT jobs after 50 is very hard, even with 25+ years of experience. Yes, age discrimination but hard to prove so I just tried to let it go.)

Comment Different... yes. What they said.. No. (Score 1) 417

In the 1960's the scientists were talking of the coming man-made Ice Age. In the 2000's to now, we hear of Global Warming, turning PC to be "Climate Change". Check the records and we surprisingly find "CHANGE HAPPENS". Ice melts. Ice forms. Oceans go UP and DOWN more than just tidal changes. Continents move and oceans change in it all. Some life adapts. Some doesn't and goes away. Few living today will see 2100, but we all need to have a health, but not alarmed concern. ... If you need to go to the store and get groceries, or go to work, DO IT. Make local decisions that effect global systems. That includes electing 'reasonable individuals' to political office. Be a good consumer (buy what you need, but don't over do it ... insist on sustainable packaging, agriculture, etc, etc). Be a good steward of what God gives you (no matter what name, if any, you give to Him).

Comment Shooting Drones is like shooting skeet... (Score 1) 528

Skeet shooting is normally focused in the 20 to 30 yard range, but some work as far as 200 yards using #9 shot.

For those metrically oriented, think of meters instead of yards, a meter is about 10% longer than a yard.

That means 'normal folk' do sport shooting 60 to 100' away without much problem with a 'choke' on their shotgun to keep the pattern clustered. 200 yards would be 600', so anywhere in the legal flying range, they are susceptible to shotguns. Even though I would have trouble hitting the broad side of the barn from the inside. --grin--

Yes, I don't like the attitude that has been started, so, if you fly, fly in YOUR authorized area, and stay on good terms with your neighbors. Let them know what you are doing (invite them to join in!). It is much easier to deal with friends than folks that think you are just trying to take pictures of their daughters!

Comment Re:BBC - hammered by its own Political Correctness (Score 1) 207

Clarkson was at fault. BBC is at fault. Society is at fault. We like to watch Clarkson BECAUSE he is not above being non-PC if he thinks he has a reason. Then he lets the rest of us judge him after the fact and laughs all the way to the bank because we (indirectly) pay him for the privilege.

If you don't like him, don't watch him.

Personally, I think BBC shot their golden goose, but hey, they have tax money to fall back on so who cares! (BTW, I might not be right, but I really don't care.)

Comment From the Dept of Duh (Score 1) 305

Washington has just been cashing lobbyist cheques for years and not watching the results of their actions. Who knows, if BO and his cronies wake up and actually DO SOMETHING, I MIGHT consider a vote for that side of the isle, but I am still skeptical. BTW, Republican's aren't 'correct' either (even if they are on the 'right'). They just currently seem to have less wrong than the Dems do, and that I how I have seen politics for a long time. No love for ANY party.

Comment Re:Unchanging UIs? Not just for old people (Score 1) 288

I agree. For some the 'dial phone' is a wonderful example. It is a great advancement from the 'ring the operator' days, but much simpler to use for those that have trouble with re-learning than ANY of the 'smart phones' that must be changed every few years. ... Some of my 80-something friends go for the simple, large button, feature phones instead anyway. They use a camera for pictures, AOL to go online (I still don't understand that, but they love it - it is what they learned 'back when' and is still the way they think of the internet). Changing their view of the world is almost inhumane. They brought us from the dust bowl through horrific wars and went to the moon and beyond. We still live on their backs, and they deserve our respect and to give them support they need to live good lives without having to live like we choose to.

Enough preaching. Changing just to change doesn't make sense. The cost of re-training users is born by the consumer AND the vendor. If you drive away more (users, revenue, views, whatever you want to measure) than you get the 'new' method is a step back.

Comment Re:Drone It (Score 1) 843

I wonder if that is it, or if it is the bird just can't do it! My guess is the 'built by committee' issue is at fault. In any case taxpayers pay. Let's all hope something reasonable can be salvaged from this project. Then it might be the 'Flight of the Phoenix'.

Comment Who says you MUST use Google? (Score 1) 133

Yes, it is the most ubiquitous and 'easy default' for those that don't trust M$ either. Users are free to choose their own search engine. On M$ machines BING is put up front unless overt action is taken to force google or some other engine to be the default. Most desktops are still owned by M$/Winders. I have no clue what Apple does... They probably don't care if they can't make a buck off it or it doesn't sway public opinion toward them. Android uses either Google and Chrome or Opera as the browser (chrome is the default I believe, so Google would be the default). But Android does allow the users to choose their poison. I am sure that some chinese black hat would love you to use their preferred service machine, and it will be tooootalllyyy secure (best sarcastic voice) that someone would rather use than Google or M$!

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