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Comment Re:Who needs them anyway (Score 1) 205

I stopped wearing a wristwatch 10+ years ago. It was annoying to wear while using a laptop. There's clock on my phone, computer, car, radio, egg timer.. I don't see the point in carrying extra one on my wrist.

To me it's exactly the opposite, sure there are all these different context-dependent places I could see the time but my watch is always there and I can just glance down 0.2 seconds to see how long do I have to get somewhere or be somewhere or have spent on something or have left of something. I feel it gives me more control over the day than if I don't wear one because the overhead is so small, if I have to pull my phone out of my pocket I don't really do it unless I need to know the time. I put it on in the morning, take it off when I go to bed and it runs years on a battery so that very little "nice-to-have" is balanced by a no-fuzz experience. Don't know how your watch is or how you type but I don't have a problem using a keyboard all day with mine.

Comment Re:Staff have to be smart again (Score 1) 61

Oh lord the puppies don't remember their history!

DirectX became a "thing" because of "The Lion King" on PC. A lot of the OEMs sold a shitload of units with the Lion King game preloaded, IIRC it was Xmas season 94. All these kids came down on Xmas morning to play...only to find out the game didn't work on like 90% of the hardware out there. Of course nobody blamed the shitty programmers for only supporting a couple of chips, nope they blamed Windows 3.1 and MSFT and had a royal stinking shitfit, even ended up on the nightly news, kinda a "MSFT is the Grinch that crapped on Xmas" angle.

Well if there was one thing that MSFT under Billy didn't like? It was bad press, so next thing you know they announce "Direct3D" and "DirectDraw" to solve this very problem of every game needing drivers for every bit of kit. Later on they combined the different APIs into what is now called DirectX.

Comment Re:But what is a lie? (Score 2) 72

I have the same problem.

I took to highlighting emails for "Short version" and "Long version". The only people who bother with the long version are the people with an axe-to-grind with what the email is about, people who are similarly autistic-like (yeah, I'm definitely on there somewhere too), and those with an interest in the actual fine details of that particular area.

But I work in schools so I can tell you now that, however hypocritical, the entirety of education is set up as "lies to children", in fact "lies of decreasing magnitude". At first atoms are the smallest thing. Then electrons. Then quarks. Then strings or whatever. We do it to ease them in, and allow them to understand at whatever macroscopic scale is necessary at that time.

I'm not sure it's an entirely bad method, but the phrase "You'll see later / when you get older that this isn't exactly true" doesn't HURT anyone to say and we rarely say it.

To be honest, when I'm asked to summarise, e.g. in meetings, I struggle immensely because I don't see that you can sum up anything that easily without just providing opinion rather than fact.

"So what's best, X or Y?"

I can give an impartial, fact-based, long answer.
But if you want one or the other it will be opinion unless the answer is blindingly obvious. And your opinion may differ.

The problem I get is that when opinion differs, the next question is always "Why" and despite lots of reasoning from an expert hired for exactly that purpose, there's often no convincing someone anyway.

But, as this post probably shows, I find that the REASONING for an answer is often more important than the answer itself. It tells you how much people have thought about it, how long they've been working with such things, how detailed their knowledge is, and that - ultimately - tells you whether you should be trusting their opinion against others.

I get told off for overly-long emails and posts all the time, and yet I often hold back much more than people know.

(Pity the poor guy who tried to argue Data Protection legislation with me and got a written-up explanation, with citations, all my own wording, from memory, in under an hour that took him a day to read).

Comment Re:Was Obvious from the Start (Score 1) 205

I would say not only that but people that are into watches? These things are about as appealing as ass cancer. You talk to people that actually spend real money on a watch? They will talk your ears off about Swiss movements and dial faces and all the beautiful craftsmanship and details....you are NEVER gonna get that level of detail and care in what is essentially a little computer strapped to your wrist, you just aren't. Great watches are really these things out of time, with their little gears and springs, you can almost picture some watchmaker with an eyepiece working on this delicate little instrument, you just aren't gonna get that kinda vibe from a circuit board and an LCD panel, you just aren't.

Hell even the geeks I talked to that like watches didn't want these things, they want a Nixie watch like the woz has or one of those cool LED watches from the 70s, so I have no clue who they expected to buy these.

Comment Re: Oh noes!!!!11111 (Score 1) 461

Affordable day care is also for men. It's a good benefit for a company so that women AND men can afford to have children and be happier at work. If you think child rearing is only the woman's job then you may be a part of the problem.

Meritocracy is a myth. Just look around at all the mediocre men in the workplace and ask whether morons were the best of the bunch. Why does the below average male get a job in computing or engineering but the few women who get hired are above average? Because there's a different set of standards being applied. People don't hire based only on skills, abilities, and experience, they have biases. I hear those in candidate reviews sometimes: "I didn't really get along with so-and-so", "he seemed like a nice guy, I liked him", or "he had good skills but didn't seem like he would fit into our group". Hiring decisions are more emotional than logical, and that in itself is a problem.

Comment Re: Oh noes!!!!11111 (Score 1) 461

If I was the one in a hostile environment, I'd change instead of sticking it out. That's human nature. Which is a great excuse if it's only *other* people who have to put up with it. Lack of empathy showing here I think. It means that only those with the most endurance to stick it out get represented, which really is not a fair representation. A guy that shows up that doesn't want to make waves and just wants a conflict free work space has a much easier time than a woman who doesn't want to make waves and have a conflict free work space.

Men don't have to be better than average to get hired, but it seems that women do. Just look around at all the male idiots who get hired and retain their job. Much higher proportion of mediocre males than mediocre females in computing and engineering from what I've seen.

Of course you don't have to be in the majority to set the tone. You could have the tone set for you by HR or management (oh, but then the whining starts that they can't joke around anymore, have to watch what they say in the hallways, or otherwise behave like human beings).

Comment Re: Oh noes!!!!11111 (Score 1) 461

Recruiting doesn't start at the corporation. It should start in grade school. Stop telling girls and boys about which jobs are for girls and which jobs are for boys. Retention is a problem because there are workplaces that are just too uncomfortable if you don't like a frat boy style of work, but the numbers are women going into computer science have been declining over time and that's long before retention should start being an issue.

Comment Re: Oh noes!!!!11111 (Score 1) 461

I don't understand why people don't see this as a problem. Why don't we have a 50% representation, like the demographics suggest, without resorting to lame "girls don't like tech" excuses?

More importantly, why are the numbers *declining* over the years? If there was some innate bias like some here insist, then why is it changing? Are our genes changing and mutating that much in only a few short decades? Or perhaps there are other factors at work,.

Comment Re: Pretty sure I read this story last decade. (Score 1) 270

Same excuse was used against smokestack scrubbers, pollution cleanup, healthcare, social security, you name it.

Being right about one (smokestack scrubbers) out of four ain't bad. The obvious rebuttals to your other three (US-centric of course) is that Superfund is a disaster both in terms of cost and abuse of the law which demonstrates that the cost of pollution clean up can indeed be too high. You might have heard that US health care is like 50% higher cost than the runner up. Too high? Youbetcha.

And of course, social security pays more out than it gets. That's a Cost Too High.

I have to wonder when three of your examples really are costs that are too high.

Comment Re:No Von Neuman Machines yet (Score 1) 204

You have lots of rust, contaminated with other stuff. Even primitive smelters were really resource intensive and used LOTS of coal and free oxygen. Hint, what atmosphere mars has doesn't have lots of oxygen and as far as we know, there's no coal. So turning that rust into steel is in itself a non-trivial exercise.

It was a nontrivial exercise in the first place so I'm just not seeing the big deal here. My view is that getting 1000 people to Mars alive is going to be far harder than figuring out how to make stuff and grow food once you get there. It's also worth noting that Mars probably is littered with a vast number of iron-bearing meteorites which aren't oxidized.

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