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Comment Re:No doubt you've heard about Apple's flying sauc (Score 1) 477

Well, Mark Hurd actually had recovered a lot of the ground HP lost when Fiorino sunk the company. But the board of directors were so used to having a complete loser running the company that as soon as they could pin something on him, they ran him out and replaced him with the biggest idiot they could find after a quick world-wide search. Then they felt comfy again, and when they realized that they hired a CEO that was possibly TOO terrible, they replaced him with the closest thing they could find to Carly Fiorino.

Comment Re:Must we call him a genius? (Score 1) 163

There are plenty of prodigies who grow up to continue being quite important members of their particular profession. It's not automatic that someone born with a gift will implode and go berserk just because you see it in movies and you had that "one friend" who was smart but then he found drugs.

A lot of people make this exact point as a result of insecurity. No one really enjoys knowing that there's someone out there who's beating the pants off you and they haven't even gone to college yet. At some point, you just learn to let it go and do what you can.

Comment OpenWebOS is still around... (Score 4, Interesting) 207

It's currently in a second Alpha state (if you're pulling the latest binaries, probably further along) and runs on a Samsung Galaxy Nexus (couple other profiles too). It's fully open source at this point, and even though supposedly LG wants to use it for TVs or something, there's a group that's been working on it for awhile ever since it was divulged from HPs hands. There are also efforts underway to emulate Android apps on the platform. The community also greatly appreciates anyone enthusiastic enough to contribute. You can find everything at webOSInternals. I still use a webOS phone as my daily device mainly because it does the things I need it to do very well (and other platforms come with way too many strings attached for me).

If you want a hobbyist platform that the big platforms still steal ideas from...there you go. That's the epitome of a hobbyist platform. The scripting is all html/css/javascript using the Enyo framework. It's all open standards and there are plenty of tools that were built by Palm and later HP.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 133

A lot of companies boast about their corporate users, but a whole lot of them are situations where some guy in a team downloaded an evaluation copy of a tool and had to fill out a form listing their affiliated company. Then they're perfectly in the clear if they take the best companies from their evaluation request forms and list them on a site. I wouldn't trust that marketing shpiel without verifying it with any of those companies, first...and fat chance that'll happen.

I know full well that I'm probably responsible myself for some of the larger companies I've worked for getting listed in some small software dev house's marketing junk because aforementioned reasons. I always had a long leash and my bosses confirmed that they didn't care one bit since I had to work within a locked down system anyway. Which kind of makes it tough to get to the point where you can exploit the backdoor unless there's an exploit in the locked down server we worked with.

Comment I'm no expert on Canadian law... (Score 4, Interesting) 601

But the reason most of this works the way it does in most governments is that originally, the state or university system covers the cost of the evaluation as part of the law because it's of national importance. Also, digging up the graves of people's ancestors and then throwing the remains in the trash deeply offends a majority of people, especially tribes or such that may claim that person as one of their ancestors.

Then politicians (usually on the conservative side, or the "moderate middle") decide that the government can't be "burdened" with what amounts to a trifle of spending every year (seriously, it's like the equivalent of maybe a buck in your pocket in government budget terms). A reasonable majority of average citizens can't wrap their heads around the average government budget in perspective to their own so they cheer it on, vote it through. Mostly they don't even remember or understand why their parents or grandparents passed such a law in the first place, but not unlike the politicians, feel that they need to "make their mark". So, they turn the cost over to individuals. But the law stays on the books because a lobby or two makes a really sharp point about how the end result is that individuals would end up digging up corpses of their ancestors to install swimming pools and not, you know, properly care for those remains afterward. (aka trash bin coffins)

Then years later, a story gets posted on Slashdot, and the readers are outraged that the government, with it's "highly repressive laws" would dare to impose such a cost on individual property owners without understanding the full history of said law. That their parents or they themselves may have actually been in favor of causing in the first place but they "forgot" because it was "boring".

Comment Re:Bye, Bye Nokia :-( (Score 4, Insightful) 505

Pretty much so. They continued with the clunky, sluggish and buggy Symbian for waaay to long.

Uh, no. As someone who actually USED a Symbian phone and wrote code for Symbian phones (for longer that I wanted to), the problem wasn't bugginess. The problem was that it was terrible to write code for. It took C++ and decided to spin it around and around until it made you want to throw up. They had their own notation, for pete's sake. But as far as bugginess goes? Android is FAR buggier and FAR more insecure than even Symbian circa 2006.

Not like this mattered much in regards to the top level story anyway, Nokia's CEO was desperate to push Nokia back into the US market again (they had always been solid in Europe), and figured teaming up with a very US-ish company like Microsoft would give them a market edge (as if they adopted Android, they'd be just another Android blah blah phone manufacturer competing with the rest of them...and Google itself). It turned out to be a bad call...Windows Phone is the latest in a fairly tainted line of mobile OSs and that taint still haunts all of the children of WinCE to this day. Every new regurgitation has something wrong with it that drives its users up the wall. Microsoft just never "got" mobile. And when it was too late, they started paying off bloggers to write good press about their stuff. Instead of doing what Apple and Google did...basically, imitating and building on the successful points and user interaction flow of previous mobile OSs, Microsoft was transfixed on making its users enjoy their own generally jarringly different user experience and flow. They always had to have things work their way, even if their way wasn't very practical. Mobile client OS design isn't easier than desktop client OS design, and there are way too many people at Microsoft that didn't understand this.

That said, if Microsoft decided to drop mobile, their shareholders would be furious. They'd lose a lot of stock value. The press would be terrible, PR damage control would be too much to deal with. They will continue to count on that handful of very headstrong people, typically older people, who have been using Windows for 20 years, refuse to ask anyone else's advice, and just conclude that Windows Phone would be the easiest for them to use. Then they get frustrated and complain about it at me. They may continue to ride that 10% of the market for the next 10 years if they have to, because quitting for them would cost them more than losing cash on it for the next 10 years. Just ask Meg Whitman over at HP about that one.

Comment Re:It's very possible (Score 1) 526

I wouldn't say it's tanking because it's "dull and irritating". I'd say it's because there's a very locked in user base that is very terrified of change in any form when it comes to Windows, and every time Microsoft releases something that is "very different" from what came before, those people drag their feet.

People use Microsoft products and approach them in a different way than people who use Apple products. There's a fairly different mindset. Apple people tend towards wanting "new and shiny" and Microsoft people want things that "work and do stuff". Changing stuff drastically flies in the face of "work and do stuff" the way they're used to. Every new major release has a year or two of gradual adoption, unless the previous release was a total mess (Vista springs to mind, but the difference between Vista and 7 is relatively minor). Only with Microsoft users do you find people using revisions of the OS that are over 10 years old. That's because they're used to using computers a certain way, with specific software, and they don't consider technology important enough in their lives to relearn it all.

Comment Funny...there's an exception there. (Score 1) 334

My parents started me on Sesame Street and Electric company at around 2 1/2. They started buying me the workbooks at around 4 and rewarded me when I completed them. Both of my parents had to work, and babysitters don't often get paid to tutor 3-4 year olds.

I was reading and writing at a second grade level as a result by kindergarten. That feeling like you've got a easy handle on things carries over for several grade levels and builds a lot of confidence. As a result, learning more and more doesn't really become a big deal as it does to some kids. I am tremendously thankful to my parents and to all the taxpayers and supporters of those sorts of programs. I don't know if I'd be making just about upper-middle class wages now if I had been raised on a steady stream of advertisements and garbage television.

I wouldn't let a kid under 5 watch the commonplace rot-your-brain staged reality shows, ever, nor most of the American cartoons you get on Saturday mornings. That would have the exact opposite effect that PBS had on me as a kid. Obviously that stuff is no good.

Comment I call BS alarmism on this. (Score 2, Insightful) 577

You're taking a fairly clear case, such as Google's use of Java APIs (which are being used by Google as if they were completely free and under public domain, even though a really big chunk of Oracle's business is in tight integration of Oracle database products with Java, which is technically their property as it was Sun's), and trying to extend it to cases that are really, really unclear. The owners of C suing C++? What are you talking about? Someone...maybe one of the various Unix variation's owners...who owns some of the algorithms behind the stdio apis suing Bjarne Stroustrop? Random companies? And wouldn't they get sued themselves for deriving from earlier works if that were true? That's highly unclear. Just like it is with a lot of those other technologies you rattled off, many that are at least partially IN the public domain and can be derived from as is their nature as object oriented languages.

In a nutshell, I know how many of you are Android fanboys and I understand that there will be some who whine about Oracle suing Google over their misuse of their technology, but basically anyone even slightly familiar with Android's Java implementation knows that it's not quite "real" Java. And Microsoft got their pants sued off for doing basically the same thing (and people didn't complain so much about the end of programming as we knew it because it was Microsoft), so there is certainly a precedent for this lawsuit. Google just needs to remove all that Java from Android and replace it with their own framework. Other mobile operating systems have done that already. Everyone who knew anything knew this was going to happen, but Android got too big, too fast, and by doing so they would break a huge number of third party apps (as in, probably all of them) and anger a lot of vendors who've been selling systems with Android on them. That's the main reason why Google would settle this case and pay up if it keeps going. However, it's awful doubtful to me that the Netscape people will have a solid case to sue everyone who uses javascript, and that Bjarne Stroustroup will get sued for C++ by some Unix property holder. Any judge would throw that out because there's no clear cut case there with companies sitting on those properties that they are being negatively impacted by the "misuse" of one of their properties (and that's even if their patent holds up under review anymore).

Comment Re:senior software architect (Score 4, Insightful) 738

That's odd. Most architects I've worked with have the very unenviable job of having to listen to "the business" hand them a flurry of requirements, and they've had to write them down in ways that make as much sense as they can make of them. Doesn't matter if its an Agile shop or Waterfall, it's all having to wade through a pile of demands and ferret out the useless ones or the impossible ones or the infeasible ones and line up the ones that actually make sense so the developers know what they're doing. The ones I've worked with that actually write code usually are doing so to kind of prototype what they want because they aren't able to properly explain their requirements.

Frequently, you have business people asking for things like "Can you make it so it doesn't go into weird modes?" Now how do you explain that to a 25 year old software developer or QA engineer tasked with writing tests for that? What defines "weird"? What do they mean by "mode"? That's the sort of situation architects deal with. They end up in long phone calls with business people and customers who don't have the technical vocabulary to put their requirements in a state where you can transcribe them into requirements, stories, or whatever.

The way you can determine if an architect isn't worth his/her salary is if you sit down to read his assessment and requirements document, and it looks like a bunch of random demands without a point. You can tell that person just transcribed everything word for word and didn't clarify anything. At that point, that architect has become a phenomenally well-paid office assistant.

Comment Re:Cool, so where do you go next? (Score 5, Insightful) 738

Hold on there. People skills are important if you're ever going to be a successful manager. I've worked with plenty of developers over the years who've been promoted to management positions, and they have development skills that are out of date to go with bad people skills. That's basically the worst of all worlds. Every project I've been on with guys like that has been an uphill battle.

You have to be the sort of engineer who genuinely cares about the success of others on your team above your own personal success. (I've seen one too many technical managers who covered their own tails by tossing one of their employees under the bus...only to discover that employee had critical knowledge about a project that sets the whole team back in the long run.) You have to be the sort of engineer that is interested in time management, personnel skills, putting people in the right place to succeed, and getting the right people to work together to achieve the best results for both of them. Yeah, I know it sounds corny, but it's the truth. You have some of those concepts pounded into your head when you do an MBA with a focus on management because you're stuck doing a pile of Industrial Psych courses (depending on where you go) and you have to take them seriously. If you're coming into a team without a lot of technical background, those are the concepts that your employers will grill you on in your interviews...not whether or not you know what a regular expression is or what SOAP stands for. You have to be able to see personal friction between your team members and deal with it before it gets out of control...not just wait for it to become a problem then fire someone. You have to be enthusiastic about process improvements, and not cling to doing things the way you personally feel comfortable with. A whole lot of managers with technical backgrounds have that problem, and it never turns out well.

If you, as a developer, don't really embrace those traits as well, I'd think your best bet is to go back to school. Start a coffee shop. Start your own business. Marry a doctor. One of those things. Don't be a manager, it won't end well for you.

Comment Re:Can't possibly be in Oregon (Score 2) 148

Heh, keep on believing that. Oregon likes it when you perpetuate that stereotype because it's been fantastic marketing. Almost all of the state is pretty granola...just so much flyover country between Seattle and San Fran. The media has done wonders to trick people into stopping over here and spending dollars. And mostly, the weirdness is confined to Portland. Eugene is just a college town that, for whatever reason, the rest of the country still believes is a big hippie commune. Oh, yeah, and it's TOTALLY the Springfield in Oregon. We Portlanders have always known that. Next time you're in Portland, take a walk through NW Portland and look at the steetsigns. You'll see names like "Flanders" and "Lovejoy". Get it?

Comment Re:wait a minute... (Score 1) 143

I wouldn't normally be one to stick up for Apple, but yes. If the company actively scans and rejects illegal material (and we know Apple does, because if you haven't gotten a rejection notice at least once, you don't have a lot of experience dealing with Apple...), and illegal material gets submitted and is accidentally approved regardless of the state of its legality, the only thing that Han Han can get out of a lawsuit is a takedown of the illegal works, as far as I know. IANAL, of course, but logically speaking that's the best he could expect out of a lawsuit. If it weren't Apple, and they were suing to get a link removed from your website, the best you'd expect them to do to you would be to make you delete the link.

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