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Discussions

Bass Bass Knows the way the wind is flowing.
  • Apple ​Announcemen​ts

    , cbae wrote

    *snip*

    The Samsung Gear S has 3G, so it's one step closer to having a wearable replace your phone. The display on the Gear S has the same resolution as the display on the original iPhone.

    Sure, resolution is important. But the screen is too small, and there is no way around that on a watch.

  • This has to be a joke

    Notch is a very lucky (and brilliant) man.

  • Apple ​Announcemen​ts

    The features of this watch very strongly overlap with the features of a smartphone. I can see maybe a watch replacing a smartphone one day, maybe interacting with a display embedded in contact lenses (to get around the limitation of a small screen). But I don't know if I'd get a watch (don't wear any) if I always have my phone with me anyway and the lock screen of course tells the time in real big letters.

  • Apple exemplifies everything that's wrong with Silicon Valley

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window

    Technology makes it so society has to spend less human labor for equivalent economic output. The obvious answer is not to create pointless jobs, but for people to work less.

    Maybe the whole goofing off thing is representative of the fact that increasingly people do less actual work when at work, because there is less actual work to do.

    Eg:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/150383/majority-american-workers-not-engaged-jobs.aspx

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/05/14/obamacare-contractor-pays-employees-to-do-nothing-whistleblower-says/

  • What Windows needs

    Windows Phone has no hope of ever being relevant. It's chasing a market that has already been claimed by very strong companies. It's about as likely as OS/2 or Linux winning on the desktop [and I say that as someone who really likes Linux on the desktop, posting from Ubuntu right now.. :)].

    The only way to win against Google or Apple, is to not try to compete with them at all. How? Make a technology that makes the smartphone obsolete.

    This applied to competing with Microsoft too by the way. Google and Apple got on edge over them by bypassing the idea of competing with their core competencies (desktop OSes), by creating a market that largely didn't exist (smartphone OSes) and growing that to be arguably more relevant that Microsoft's traditional market. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

    We are still in the stone ages of computing. As such, it's largely pointless to enter markets that are already occupied, when there is so much left yet to be invented. Of course, creating an entirely new technology that changes the world is hard. It requires a great deal of creativity and ingenuity. And arguably a strong desire to push the human race forward.

  • The Year of the Linux Desktop

    , cbae wrote

    *snip*

    Sure, FOSS-based, off-the-shelf products exist, but companies usually have this nagging problem of generating revenues somehow, and usually if they can't make it by selling support, they don't make the software at all. And if this software is designed to generate revenues based on how much trouble you have using the software and need to call support, one should think really hard about whether or not the software is right for one's organization.

    I think we've been over this enough times. This alleged benefit is not a benefit at all, especially if we're talking about government agencies that don't have MIT graduates on staff to examine the code let alone modify it.

    So there is this big private-public partnerships around FOSS. OpenStack is a great example here.

    I've mentioned this before. It's not necessarily a comparison between what is cheaper. The case for public development of FOSS is no different then the case for public scientific research in general. It's like saying the government could save money by shutting down NIH, NSF, NASA, etc. Well that would miss the point. It's not all about saving money, it's about the advancement of humanity.

    Like public science, FOSS provides a baseline commons anyone can derive from. We should not be making a comparison between the costs of FOSS and proprietary software. The government should be developing and cultivating free software for its own sake.

  • The Year of the Linux Desktop

    , cbae wrote

    Which is why it probably makes more sense for government agencies to use off-the-shelf software as much as possible, even if that software happens to be proprietary. It's not like the DoD stays away from jet fighters made by Lockheed-Martin because they're proprietary.

    Right. FOSS has that same property of being off-the-shelf stuff you don't have to write yourself. Well except you can examine how it works (kinda important) and modify it as necessary. Which actually makes it significantly better then proprietary software.

  • The Year of the Linux Desktop

    , cbae wrote

    *snip*

    Google wasn't hired. A guy working for Google was hired away from Google.

    It's a bit ambiguous. This press release says he is "on leave" from Google, implies something different then a simple recruitment effort.

    http://www.hhs.gov/digitalstrategy/blog/2013/10/more-on-the-tech-surge.html

    That's a straw man, as it doesn't take a degree from MIT to "fix HR Sally's Exchange connection". OTOH, if there's no software available that provides the equivalent functionality of Exchange on the OS that you choose, you may very well need to hire 20 MIT grads to create that functionality for that particular OS.

    Right the only reason MIT grads aren't working this kind of IT is because they have better opportunities. If they could attract elite computer science talent, they'd look like organizations that have lots of elite computer science talent. Because, well that's what an organization is - a group of people. Unfortunately, it is more difficult for a city government to attract the best and the brightest (this is true for non-technical employees too, especially bad leadership, which poison even the best efforts). My point was more that it's not true for government as a whole, or rather, the whole government isn't run like the DMV.

  • The Year of the Linux Desktop

    , figuerres wrote

    *snip*

    so you think that someone can walk into a business of any real size and sell them on massive changes to all of their current practices as "cost effective" ? really ?

    the scale of the changes you seem to be talking about remind me of recently when the US government launched the new healthcare web site....  EPIC FAIL.

    Now do not get me wrong in this, yes from a pure tech and "best practice" side you are right, a lot of things should be done differently.

    but for the day-to-day operations and the costs in time it takes to make the changes it is just not practical to do that all at one time.

    so you have to create a plan that might take for a large system several years to do with small changes at any one time so that the ongoing business does not stop.

    being right does not mean it will work.  and laying to many changes at one time on users is a sure fire way to create turmoil and bad impressions and push back.

    in fact if you want to make the sweeping changes then the last step would be to replace the desktops, start with the app and servers and the work flows, get them right and then later swapping the desktop would be much less of a problem.

    Consequently Heathcare.gov started to work around the time Google and Red Hat were hired to fix it.

    The #1 issue is attracting technical talent. There are government agencies capable of doing this. CERN produces Scientific Linux and uses it extensively on some of the biggest coordinated computer systems in the world without much fanfare. I guess it is more interesting that a city government uses Linux, because of the stereotypes?

     I realize this is difficult to attract talent for many government agencies, especially ones without the sexy factor (CERN/NASA = sexy, city government = not really). This makes it quite difficult to attract the right talent that a high end scientific government agency can. I mean, if I graduated from MIT, would I rather work at a place where my job would be to help discover the fundamental laws of Nature, or a place where I fix HR Sally's Exchange connection? Hmm?

  • The Year of the Linux Desktop

    I don't think they took the best approach with LiMux/WollMux, which seems to mainly focus on catering to fat-client office productivity software. So I'm not sure what Munich is using word processing software for, but probably not for too much printed materials (which anyway the compat problem doesn't make sense). It seems to be a common problem with public sector, the use of documents like word docs or PDFs for forms and business processes and what not. This is stupid, technologically backwards, and should stop.

    Instead of making tons of office macros for OpenOffice, they ought to have taken the time to convert business processes away from operations on unstructured, file-centric, local-centric document based processes to structured, computer-readable data in enterprise-maintained cloud storage, with humans interacting via web apps. In processes where unstructured data doesn't make much sense (pretty much should only be documentation), the best thing for managing that is wiki software (like Confluence or MediaWiki).

    It's not just about saving money either, it's about being better run, and being able to do new things that weren't easily possible before (AI/machine learning/automation).

    Failing that, they should have just used Gentoo. :)