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Comment Successful products are swimming in suggestions. (Score 1) 384

My experience with successful products is that they get a ton of suggestions which fall into one of two buckets:

1) The suggestion is just plain dumb, either completely unrelated to the project, or showing a gross misunderstanding of the goals of the project.
2) The suggestion is obvious, but very hard to implement.

The reason this is the case is because with a successfully project, all of the obvious and easy suggestions have already been implemented. All that's left are the impossible ones and the ones which don't make sense.

[Here I use "successful" to mean "Enough people use it and work on it that people constantly volunteer suggestions without volunteering patches."]

Comment The Internet was regulated when it started. (Score 1) 305

"And the thing is that if you start regulating the Internet like a utility, if we did that right at the beginning, we would have no Internet..."

In the beginning, the Internet was an educational system and commercial activity was HEAVILY proscribed. It worked fine. Admittedly, it wasn't the Internet we all know and love today. But IMHO his above statement is simply random ignorant speculation.

Comment Welcome to the real world! (Score 1) 178

I want to embark on an epic rant about how in the real world we get up at 6am and we LIKE IT, but ... eh, as a software engineer, I get up and roll into work when I roll into work, sometimes earlier, sometimes later. Sometimes I'm hacking something out at 1am, etc. My schedule is about as reliable as it was in college, I'd say. So I guess someone else will have to welcome you to the real world.

Comment Is this a homework question? (Score 1) 474

Honestly, go read textbooks. This isn't some big cover-up, increasing performance is _hard_, it takes hard work, there's not some Slashdot poster who knows the magical answer. If you literally can't spend the hour and a half to read Ars Technica articles about the complicated GPU or CPU pipelines, then it's not like a pithy three-sentence Slashdot post is going to enlighten you.

Comment Re:$24 question (Score 1) 66

Back during the first bubble, particularly around the time that Redhat went public, I was fascinated at how many IPOs were priced in the $15 to $30/share range regardless of what that implied about their total value.

These folks have figured out how to game the uninformed investor looking to make a quick buck on IPOs. $5 makes people think the company is a dog, $50 to $100 makes them think it's overpriced. The fact that neither number says anything about valuation is immaterial.

So sure, $24 looks like a great price for a piece of stock, who cares if it implies a grossly overvalued stock.

I'm not sure where you're going, here. If people are more comfortable buying a $15 stock than a $150 or $1500 stock, regardless of the share multiplier, then the industry is going to figure that out and target it. They aren't "gaming" the uninformed investor, if the uninformed investor is out there throwing money at random stuff, it is not the job of investment banks to step aside and avoid that money.

My experience with tech IPOs is that there are probably a bunch of brokerages who finagled "friends and family" type access and locked clients into purchases which are inappropriate to their portfolio. _That_ is bad, but it's not really specific to tech IPOs (if you're letting a full-service broker tell you what to do, you're already in a world of hurt).

Comment Compression won't solve buffering. (Score 1) 67

Except in edge cases, videos don't stutter because they take slightly more bandwidth than you have available. They stutter because the buffers aren't deep enough to overcome network jank, and my understanding is that streaming providers use shallow buffers for content-protection reasons (it's not like you're going to suddenly switch streams 45 minutes into a movie).

Put another way, the difference between a 500 kbps stream and a 250 kpbs stream isn't going to improve your rebuffering experience on a link with 25mbps of bandwidth available, because the problem is an artificial barrier between you and Netflix.

Comment Re:Timeout (Score 1) 325

Why does my browser open up 6 TCP connections to try to download six images at once when I'm on a slow satellite connection? That just guarantees that all six images will time out!

The problem is not opening 6 connections, or failure to retry, but a timeout that's too short.

The problem is having 279 sub-resources on a page, which makes serializing the requests unreasonable.

Comment Re:Coding achieves the "expand your mind" objectiv (Score 2) 328

So, if you look at the foreign language requirement for what it is (an "expand your mind" requirement), then it is plainly obvious that coding achieves the same objective.

Isn't that the entire point of school, though? So pretty much anything goes, as long as it's taught in the school system?

Software engineering can substitute for a foreign language in much the same way that home economics can substitute for economics.

Comment Now every trivial web app needs packages! (Score 1) 133

The best thing about npm is that it can re-create the Ruby experience where the first step of running some trivial app is to install 230 packages! It's a real language!

And god help you if you actually decide to use the app for the long term, because in twelve months half its dependencies will no longer be maintained, and the other half will require updates after you do an OS upgrade, so you'll be in there debugging errors yourself. This will help train you for a 21st century job!

Comment Re:And the next food craze starts (Score 1) 176

But ok, let's assume for the sake of argument that it's determined that the exact diet described here as the "Mediterranean diet" prevents "brain shrinkage". Ok. Now what? What is "brain shrinkage"? Is brain shrinkage bad? What are the negative effects of it? Are their positive effects of brain shrinkage? Oh, and are there other negative effects of the Mediterranean diet that outweigh the benefits of preventing brain shrinkage?

Maybe it's like the "brain cloud" from "Joe Versus The Volcano"?

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This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.