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Comment Re:I guess I'm the only one who likes Thunderbird? (Score 3, Informative) 418

Nope - I use it extensively. As someone who gets emails on many different channels depending on who is sending them I want an offline aggregator. And no - I don't want to delegate that to Google.

I'd happily try any other multi-platform solution to this but so far Thunderbird, despite its limitations, is the best I've found. I'm open to argument though.

Comment Re:Personal Anecdote FWIW (Score 1) 144

Not only popular with climbers but with handgun target shooters as well. I seriously doubt that it would 'cure' RSI but I could believe that regular use would help prevent it. Of course - correct posture/technique and frequent rests will do that as well.

Anecdotally - I have a powerball and use it reasonably frequently - it does a great job of strengthening grip and forearms.

Comment Re:Suspicous (Score 1) 143

But you have to start somewhere. The New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association seems to be as good a start point as any. Ideally we need some objective metrics so that we can gauge the quality of life improvements for humans when various lawyer sub-species are reduced. Note I don't support extinction - leaving some around as an object lesson for future generations is, I think, required. The real question is - can we then jettison that portion of politicians which aren't (failed or otherwise) lawyers?

Comment Some more thoughts (Score 1) 228

Much interesting stuff ahead of this, one or two more things

QA is basically the meeting place of business/customer requirements and the developer's interpretation of that. So - as a software test engineer you should be able to create a test environment that will sufficiently (and there's a critical value judgement right there) mimic the customer environment. That environment needs good enough controls that it can automatically run through enough of (another value judgement) the functionality to ensure that there are no regressions, it needs to report well enough (ooh look - another value judgement) so that you can write a useful bug report when things go wrong. This needs a historical context of actions so that a good developer can look for a generalized fault (the bad ones just generate point fixes that make that specific problem go away) and enough of a data variance to establish some boundaries for the known good performance envelope for the product.

Having done all that - you need to do enough of a business analysis and provide enough domain knowledge to craft a set of test cases which aim for optimal coverage with minimum effort.

For the new stuff - don't bother automating until it becomes relatively stable, use automation for the things that you think (value judgement - are we seeing a trend yet?) won't change much because people are not good at repetitive tasks so that manual key bashing testing is doomed to expensive failure. Save the warm brains for the new stuff where you are trying to make sure that what the customer ends up with will actually do what they want.

In essence, assuming you avoid the human monkey organisations, you can expect to do everything a developer is called on to do - and then more. Although you may not go to the same depth in any particular sub-field you will be expected to wield a much broader skill set on a day to day basis. If you get lucky and work with good developers then it makes a great team. Of course - there is a more than adequate supply of assholes on both sides of that fence to make that a crapshoot.

You can also expect to be 4th line support once the thing ships - because by that point you will probably have (or at least should have) more practical operating knowledge of the system than anyone else.

Oh - and one other thing - broken by design is still broken :-)

Comment Re:Black Friday 2011: The Nightmare (Score 1) 491

Depends on the store I guess. We had a local Circuit City and I was consistently amazed that they had a few folks in there that knew what they were selling. A couple of them even survived the purge of the high priced employees. It was heartbreaking to see them during the closing down sale - still trying to do a decent job and apologising that there wouldn't be any returns on anything.

A statistical outlier of course - I could travel 20 miles and experience the standard CC crapfest which made it stand out even more.

I would agree that BB are to be avoided at all costs. Even Frys have better customer service.

Comment From our experience (Score 1) 343

Having moved between continents and school districts within them, look for an area with educated and involved parents. Check out the PTA (or whatever the local equivalent is), what fundraising activities are going on to support extra-curricular activities, how willing are the school staff (principle / headmaster) to discuss the integration of your kids into the local system.

If the parents truly support, and are involved with, the schools then the incidence of problems seems to be far less (yeah, I know it never goes away completely) and more time is spent actually educating the kids. This attracts good teachers. With extra fundraising and parental support those good teachers can think of ways to make the syllabus (which is designed to generally turn out good little proles who will blindly consume and obey) into something a lot more interesting. This makes the kids more interested in their education. It's a virtuous circle.

Of course - this does mean finding somewhere where the local populace treat the schools as something more than state provided child care.

This may mean changing jobs, paying more in mortgage/rent, actually spending time with your kids etc etc. We thought it was worth it. YMMV.

Comment Re:Why not use it as a bargaining chip? (Score 1) 735

Just finished that myself. 6 weeks into the new job. Gave the old boss 'informal' 4 weeks advance notice of the formal 2 weeks so that we could transition everything neatly. Not that the megacorp that I left gave a shit, in fact they're probably pleased because I cost a *lot* more than the Indians/Chinese/[select low cost location] people that they'll eventually replace me with, but making life easier for a boss that really did try despite the crap handed down from on high didn't cost me anything. The destination company were fully at ease with that stance as well. Also means I can be a lot more relaxed about it - which is important to me. I'm just not enough of a bastard to screw people over for minor reasons. Probably explains why I have no interest in climbing a company career ladder,

Submission + - Apple serves FOSS startup Amahi, game ensues (

thecpg writes: "Apple hits Amahi, an open source startup, with a cease and desist notice over the words App Store being used in their site. Amahi responds with a retro videogame in HTML5 and a "Name the App Store" contest. Amahi started as an open source hobby and now has evolved into a large stores for media apps and web apps, many of them among the top Open Source webapps. Microsoft, Nokia and Amazon are opposing this trademark claim from Apple. Apple is suing Amazon. Google at 11 :-)"

Submission + - Google Released a Browser Interception Tool (

An anonymous reader writes: Google has released an experimental browser interception tool, called the "DOM Snitch". While most reconnaissance tools focus on testing server-side code, client side vulnerabilities have received less test attention. By intercepting JavaScript calls to the browser infrastructure, the tool allows detecting cross-site scripting, mixed content, insecure modifications to the same-origin policy for DOM access.

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