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  • Microsoft & Oracle dragged into epic developer wage fixing conspiracy lawsuit

    For some situations there might be a valid reason for some of the restrictions but what's likely is that such "valid reason" was quickly extended to everyone except those with bargaining power.

    One situation could be that there's few companies with tech in which skills are specialist on-the-job learned sort but are also transferable to competing company. (though similar fear could be assumed for transfer of IP or clients). If the new hire learned these skills on the company dime and then soon jumped to the competitor because just not liking the place or got better offers (just when they were about to actually be valuable to the company where they learned the specialist stuff), I could understand if the employer would have serious issues there.

    Now how would the right balance here be implemented in unambiguous manner? To avoid things getting too complicated, perhaps the "test" should be related to what you presented in your CV and what the employer presented in their official job add. If the job you end up is something not in your CV already and is found listed in other peoples CV's, then you probably learned it on the job. In that case the employer should have "dibs" on you actually staying there for some reasonable time beyond just learning the skill. What that would be, no comment.

     EDIT: On the other hand, if the employee begins to feel "trapped", that surely can't be good for the company in the long term either. I'm kind of thinking that the "dibs"/non-compete length should be somehow related to how much the company actually invested in you - eg. if it took you x amount of time to get up to speed and perhaps some other person was not doing what they usually do for y amount of time, then these might factor into how long you should be expected at minimum to stay there. I'm just not sure if having this sort of restrictions is overall a positive because if the atmosphere gets poisoned/resentful or whatever due to someone feeling trapped, that could be really bad in long term for the company.

  • Why no Silverlight or Flash

    Couple reasons why I see the web paradigm having that "value" despite the shortcomings:

    Lower barrier to entry and visibility (html) and then if you want, with js you can gradually get more complicated (=gradual learning curve) and since source is viewable, copying is easy/plentry examples. All this means there is more potential producers which means more content and the "value" comes from the numbers*. Also html & browser has always given a level of standard functionality for free that could at the time been inconsistent in other apps.

    Now contrast this to C# & XAML. C# - it looks simple if you are already familiar with programming but I still remember how it really was when I first started with some minimal LAMP & scripting experience. I kind of feel this is similar issue as with games - the best gameplay is often found in mods - great modder being someone who has some special insight both into the subjective feel of the gameplay and the drive/desire to make it happen - similar to someone composing a score where as developer/programmer might be the type of person building the instrument. 

    What I'm trying to say here is that different kind of tools with different learning curves appeal to different people. C# is just at the extreme of what I can handle and even it has some things I avoid until I really need them because I feel too much "rigor" (or "ceremony") can impede creative process unless one is already a master (of the tool/language). For example in my latest project I said "I don't know what the requirements are yet, so I'll start with what I'm most comfortable with as this project isn't about the elegance of the code but about the creativity in the result" - despite knowing full well this could lead into problems later.


    (* meaning that with enough numbers, you just get the mass and momentum where through statistical chance/law of large numbers you end up having something with wide appeal being produced and the momentum will propel the thing forward. The other side is having a high barrier to entry - that will cause "self selective" group of people getting involved - which can also lead to variety of excellent products but risk here is that the products might end up intimidating to use)

  • After upgrading IE8 to IE11, the most important things started to suck

    @cbae: I meant eg.

    imdb multi-word name of some movie (with many identical matches produced in different decades, or perhaps multiple minor variations of a product)

    ** I did not mention imdb etc in the example because Bing has been clearly tweaked to work with those and I don't want them to "hard-code" other such sites based on my suggestions **

    by "database" I meant that the site is likely to contain dozens of results with slight variation of the search term, so single result like Bing gave in my test is not appropriate. However, sometimes the database-like site might not contain that much results or any, in which case results from other databases would be welcome (this is possible in google by leaving the "imdb" out, then it gives results from multiple databases - how this is implemented while avoiding spam sites and giving the kind of results user would expect is why google is so far ahead of bing). A low hanging fruit for the hinted search would be to just look if any of the terms is exact match with a domain name and then weight those such that the nearest matches in the other terms would land on first page of results - this would imitate the google results for the "imdb movie name" type of search (without " 's since for this search I don't want only exact matches).



  • After upgrading IE8 to IE11, the most important things started to suck

    @DCMonkey: I think last news about IE8 I saw was about the support ending - as far as IE8 users are concerned, nothing has changed except the browser seems to crash more than before and sites full of javascript can be really slow. From this POV it looked like a forced upgrade was coming due to lack of future security updates. If Google served the new "more than 1 click to get what you wanted with some pixel hunting added" home pages to IE8 as well, then I wouldn't have pointed this out here.

    (the "google." meant that I suspect a variety of google ctld's/regional sites might be affected, so I don't want to single out any)


  • After upgrading IE8 to IE11, the most important things started to suck







    I'm not sure what Google is using to select what regional site they show. If you install a clean Windows 7 and set your IE8 homepage to google.com, then click the homepage button and it goes to google.xx where xx is a country tld, you can click "google.com" to switch and persist it - repeat this with IE11 and that link is gone. This issue can be worked around by changing the language settings in the browser, however if you set english first then your browser becomes uniquely identifiable through browser fingerprinting as proven by a site that was made to demonstrate that because so few people alter that setting.

    However even with the changed setting, Google still serves IE6-8 users completely different homepage that works much better and has all the links you'd expect. These links are different for atleast some Google regional sites and the ones I use most aren't available in the non-.com site.

    About "stuck": As I just said, in IE8 you get links so you can switch between .com and non-.com google sites so that this switch persists. With IE9 even if you change the IE language settings can get it to visit the .com site, then if you click the "use google.xx", that now persists and you can't get back to google.com even though that's your set homepage.

    And top menu bar with the links are missing (youtube, news, finance, maps, images, translate & link to the page with rest of the google web services) if user agent is set to IE9,10,11 using IE11 emulator.


  • After upgrading IE8 to IE11, the most important things started to suck

    @magicalclick: I just tried it again and Bing is still lagging behind in several ways. I've outlined the issues twice here and once walked through this with a Lumia sales person arguing why no one will buy it if they don't default to Google.

    Bing has clearly improved in english/US-centric searches, however it's a complete joke when it comes to foreign stuff*. For a particular search I just made, Google gave 700 results, first 5 pages look all relevant. Bing gave 70 results and even among first page there's completely non-sense results (eg. homepage of some ISP, when the search term was extremely obscure - this reveals that Bing does some simple string match that is satisfied if even one term is found on the page, where as google appears to know what the search result meant and rank the results so that even without parenthesis, it knew that this search was not 'two words' but "single name" - one word in the name was extremely common word in advertising in obscure foreign language which fooled bing to give random web pages).

    The biggest issue I have however is not Bing's capabilities with obscure foreign stuff but the fact that even if you hint it in a big way, it still gets tripped up. "database search term with multiple correct results" (without " 's) into google, you get full page of results from said database. With Bing you get 1 result, the rest of the bing results are other web sites. I know you could probably use something like google's site:database.xx to coerce bing into looking from that site, but that involves typing 8-9 more characters. Google also seems to tweak the results based on what languages are in the browser and their order, so if I use just "search term" I get list of results from databases in those countries.


    (* this makes me think that Bing may've hardcoded some popular databases to be at the top of the results - this time I'm not mentioning any specific sites/databases - if I'm giving it the domain name in the query, it should find much more than just one result from it - and if I'm doing these searches a lot, then perhaps later it should find results from that place even without me needing to type the domain name again - though implementing this in a nice way without all that Google presence and click tracking is a bit more fragile but dozen lines of javascript can solve this in less annoying way than what google has implemented)

  • After upgrading IE8 to IE11, the most important things started to suck

    For instance, in IE11, try going to google (not .com) site. You're stuck there. All the links to stuff you use are gone, including link to use google.com. If you manually go to google.com, then you get redirected back to google.governmentcensoredsitethatdoesntfindanything.

    Now if you change user agent to IE6,7 or 8, then things look much better, links are back and you can set google.com as default.

    Clearly Google is trying to steer people to try other browsers which can actually persist their user agent/document mode settings on per site basis.

    So what does MS officially recommend? Going back to IE8? I've tried Bing every couple years and it still doesn't find anything (ok - maybe on results page 5 if lucky, where I was expecting the stuff I want to find in the immediately visible results on first page of any common resolution without scrolling).

  • Mil-spec Lumia for ASW?

    Since it's popular here to browse job offers for "leaks", I just found this:

    Lumia team posted offer that says this much: "main responsibility area is ASW C-Vision domain" (+ list of usual acronyms).

    So I googled that terminology and found this "Accurate, rapid interpretation of sensor data is critical to modern anti-submarine warfare (ASW). Computer vision algorithms ..."

    I'm thinking there has to be so many unsold Lumias that perhaps they are repurposed with some mil-spec case and then sunk to find the subs? There just was a news of a large scale sub hunt (pos.russian), so perhaps there is something to this...

  • ipad air 2, you just have to hold it right

    As it still seems to have those sharp edges.

  • Windows 10, first thoughts.

    Soooo.Any new features in explorer? I'd particularly like being able to filter search results in the (file/folder) explorer with regular expressions. Perhaps not full support but atleast something like ^startswith.. and ..endswith$  or are those already supported with some other syntax?


    Soooo.Any new features in notepad? I'd particularly like being able to search and replace with perl style regular expressions...

    The day after tomorrow:

    If dir *blah finds stuff ending in blah, why doesn't move *blah find and move that same stuff? How about some regular expression support across all the commands?