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This makes me miss my early days of programming, where no code was too verbose or horrible to stop me from progressing towards my goal, no matter how misguided I was. Nowadays I'm distracted by the first hint that there might be some better way, and all progress stops. I think I'm just beginning to recognize this, and maybe one of these years I'll learn to recognize when the right abstraction is really important and when it's not worth sweating the small stuff.

This is a good example of how Microsoft often does marketing poorly. The text reads like a script for an in-person product launch. On the page it doesn't even make sense "When you think about Microsoft and you hear our mission – to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more – it’s powerful." What?

And then after all of that, you click through to the store and there's no pricing information whatsoever and no pre-order date on the store page (there is a date buried in all the text in the announcement), just an unfriendly "Not available" broken button... no price, no date, and I don't even remember what was supposed to be interesting about the thing. Something about having more pixels than a Mac. Whatever interest I had in the product evaporated a long time ago, but the lack of concrete info on price makes me forget about it entirely.

Edited to add: Oh cool, I just went back to the page and noticed the "Microsoft Band", a product that was officially discontinued over a year ago, is prominently featured in the navigation bar across the top of the page. Good work, team!

TBH, I read this as: we mismanaged the project for months (years?), reduced scope creep by negotiating with the client, and finally implemented what should have been the version 1.0 solution while shifting the blame entirely on the loner dev who worked himself into a corner trying to catch up to our sales department's untenable promises.

Everyone created the problem, the dev was an easy target to eat the blame because of his ego.

"We could not build a hotel, so we bought new hammers and built a great dog house instead."

I'm surprised the "humans don't notice 100 ms" argument is even made. That's trivially debunkable with a simple blind A/B test at the command line using `sleep 0.1` with and without `sleep` aliased to `true`. To my eyes, the delay is obvious at 100 ms, noticeable at 50 ms, barely perceptible at 20 ms, and unnoticeable at 10 ms.

Not to mention that 100 ms is musically a 16th note at 150 bpm. Being off by a 16th note even at that speed is – especially for percussive instruments – obvious.

On the other hand, if you told me to strike a key less than 100 ms after some visual stimuli, I'm sure I couldn't do it – that's what "reaction time" is.


People use ridesharing mostly to go out to eat and drink (62% of trips).

Riders are actually more likely to own cars. They don't want to drive when they're going out because they don't want to deal with parking or drive drunk. They don't ride the bus because it's too slow, unreliable or unavailable.

If ridesharing didn't exist, two fifths of the time they'd walk, bike or use public transit instead, and a fifth of the trips just wouldn't happen. While ridesharing supports pooling, it also wastes "deadhead" passengerless miles between fares. As a result, ridesharing actually increases total vehicle miles traveled.

As a former advertising executive, I can tell you what the problem is here. The writer and his boss who approved the copy aren't addressing the customer, they're addressing the boss's boss. In a dysfunctional organization like Microsoft, communicating up rather than out is how you get promoted. It's a rare Microsoft employee who moves up the ladder by thinking about the customer.

EFF and other privacy groups fought against this for a long time, and eventually succeeded in having the FCC intervene to stop these practices: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/03/victory-verizon-will-s...

Then one of the first things Trump and the Republicans in Congress did after the election was repeal the FCC's privacy rules :( https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/03/five-ways-cybersecurit...

The "traditional understanding" of getting an applicant to your job that is over qualified is that they are just trying to get a paycheck while they look for something better.

I put that in quotes because yes, I've seen it also result in an age bias and as I went from one side of the equation to the other, I spent some time evaluating what was and was not important to me as an employee.

About 15 years ago I came to the conclusion that "over qualified" was never a legitimate disqualifying disposition of a candidate. Simply put, if you are applying for a job that needs less skills than you bring and are willing to take the salary that is offered, how far 'beyond' the requirements you go is irrelevant. I asked a hiring manager at Google once if they would tell a sales guy "No I don't want the Ferrari at the same price as this Mazda Miata, its more sports car than I need to get around." Even if you never expect to challenge the top end of the sports car you probably won't turn it down. Similarly with employees, if you are up front with them about what the job entails and they are ok with it, who are you to say they will be "bored" or "twiddling their thumbs all day" ?

Answer is, you aren't. Hire them and get get a discount on skilz they are offering you. Your company will be better for it.

"Within a month of his arrival, Randy solved some trivial computer problems for one of the other grad students. A week later, the chairman of the astronomy department called him over and said, “So, you’re the UNIX guru.”

"At the time, Randy was still stupid enough to be flattered by this attention, when he should have recognized them as bone-chilling words. Three years later, he left the Astronomy Department without a degree, and with nothing to show for his labors except six hundred dollars in his bank account and a staggeringly comprehensive knowledge of UNIX."

– Neal Stephenson, _Cryptonomicon_ (p. 78). HarperCollins.

I worked at Google in a more technical role but I sympathize with this guy. The culture was awful and empty. It was sugar-coated candies and colors and happy, happy, happy like it was meant for a kindergartener.

The politics were thick and covered everything. Executives got on stage at a company meeting and cried about the election. It was a cult, and not in the good way that a startup can sometimes be, but in a stale way that felt like death.

Although it would be unfortunate if this was the case, this paragraph from the about page (https://woz-u.com/about/) leads me to think that this is just using Steve Wozniak's name for branding:

Inspired by Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer, we specialize in technology and career-based programs designed to get people into the workforce quickly and affordably...Led by higher education experts, Exeter Education, students will learn the skills necessary to take flight within the technology industry.

It looks like Woz U is affiliated with Exeter Education and Southern Careers Institute. Exeter Education appears to be a new company in Arizona (more info at http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/tech/2017/10/1... and https://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/news/2017/04/14/former-g...).

Southern Careers Institute (http://www.scitexas.edu/) seems to be a vocational school of sorts. Neither of these are bad things, but they temper the initial excitement I had around "Steve Wozniak is launching an online education platform."

I'm not a fan of this style of management at all. I won't knowingly go to work for a company that behaves in this manner. I've read that Netflix does it, and I've seen inferences that they acquired the practice from Disney.

If you have a low performing employee that you want to get rid of, fine. Arbitrarily destroying the lives of a percentage of your workforce in an annual purge is not OK.

People always seem to put Musk on a pedestal. Personally, I've always been (and always will be) leery of a company run by a PayPal founder.

"Humans violate the rules in a safe and principled way...."

Thanks, it's nice to start my morning with a good laugh.

Maybe the author lives in some magical wonderland filled with good drivers, but this is not what I observe at all. People drift out of their lane for no reason. They careen past the stop line because they can't be bothered to push the brake pedal a bit farther down. They refrain from signaling because they just don't care. They blast through stop signs and red lights without heed to traffic or pedestrians. They brake spontaneously in the middle of a fast moving road. They drive fast in dangerous conditions and slow in safe conditions. They spend half their drive texting because they think they're the one person on the planet who is able to safely text and drive. How is any of that safe or principled?


This is already in your commit history, so why hardcode it into the source?

> FILENAME: functions.php

This is obvious because you just opened the file. So again, why even put it there? When the file gets renamed the documentation is no longer correct? These things are also hard to refactor.


Every part of the code is always active...

> PURPOSE: All of the functions for this application (app name)

Okay, probably the most useful one here. But what if we're refactoring the code and the purpose changes? Or if someone adds a few functions and the documentation no longer covers the purpose?

> NOTES: There are several unused functions in this file that are commented out but once in production They can be deleted as we likely will not be needing them at all.

Very dangerous, again because the source might change while the documentation doesn't. But why even write "they can be deleted"? Why not just delete them? That's what version control is for.

My girlfriend needed to be texted everyday otherwise she would turn sour. So I made an sms generator that randomly composed sentences combining words from three tables and sent to her at random times. It took her many months to notice. When she found out, she was angry for 10 seconds, but that anger faded to curiosity about how the random sentence composer thing worked. After I showed it to her, she got mad at me again for not updating the tables more frequently :P

"Between January and June 2017, Flatiron claimed that 98.5% of its students received employment less than 180 days after graduation and that Flatiron graduates had an average salary of $74,447. However, Flatiron did not disclose clearly and conspicuously that the 98.5% employment rate included not only full time salaried employees but also apprentices, contract employees and self-employed freelance workers, some who were employed for less than twelve weeks. Similarly, Flatiron failed to clearly and conspicuously disclose that its $74,447 average salary claim included full time employed graduates only, which represent only 58% of classroom graduates and 39% of online graduates."

Good to crack down on this.

"In order to obtain a SED license, a non-degree granting career school must meet a number of criteria, including using an approved curriculum and employing a licensed director and teachers."

This is worrying. Part of why these bootcamps have been a valuable addition is that they've been able to use their own curricula and train their own teachers.

To be honest, I haven't cared for Humble Bundle for a very long time. The first few were amazing: all cross platform, great stuff. Since then they've branched out... Into becoming a glorified Steam sale. It may be a viable business model, but I don't find it terribly enticing.

I feel like this has to do with Equifax basically not being punished in any major way over the last breach. Their stocks are still priced reasonably well, most of their board is still intact, and US citizens are still required to work with them for credit reasons.

And the worst part is, I have no idea how I as a person could say "I don't want to do work with Equifax because I don't trust them." And if anybody has suggestions on that, I'm totally open, because if Equifax was a dripping faucet, they'd be flooding the house by now.

No. It's a great way to turn people off from the whole idea.

I suffered through a course in Haskell and functional programming in college, and the course material was so up its own butt about monads and type classes and algebraic data types and such, that I essentially wrote the whole thing off as academic flubbery. It didn't help that whatever version of GHC we had then gave off error messages more cryptic than C++ template metaprogramming, and it was such a cluster to have to bounce into the IO monad to just to do some intermediate printf debugging.

It wasn't until years later and exposure to .NET LINQ that it started to click and the motivations for why you would want to use functional programming became apparent.

"Professors usually have this legacy code on hand (often code they wrote themselves decades ago) and pass this code on to their students. This saves their students time, and also takes uncertainty out of the debugging process."

This is so true. I'm a PhD student in physics using Fortran for pretty much that reason. At the start of my PhD, in response to my supervisor telling me I should learn Fortran to modify our current codebase, I asked if I could rewrite what I'd be working on into C++ first, since I was already familiar with it and wanted to bring future development into a more "modern" language.

His response was "You could do that and it would probably be enough to earn your PhD, since it'll take you at least three years. But I suspect you'll want to work on something else during that time".

He was right. I later learnt one of our "rival groups" attempted the same thing and it took three phd students working full time for a year to rewrite their code from fortran to C++.

That seems both super dangerous, and super awesome.

It's not something that we should have to consider. But this is the world we live in, now; legitimate supply lines of life-saving medicine have collapsed for a fair number of people. I understand why people might be troubled by someone actively going out and advocating this as opposed to simply making the information available, but if you're offered medicine with 95% efficacy that you can afford and use vs. a well-regulated 99.99% that only exists theoretically...well, come on.

> who are you to say they will be "bored" or "twiddling their thumbs all day" ?

But that's not the real reason. The reason is they are afraid because the experienced person can see through bullshit better. They are harder to fool and brainwash to work for free. With stuff like "There won't be a paycheck next month, but don't worry we are turning corner, once we exit you'll all drive Ferraris!", "We are changing the world, just need to finalize this feature by next week, so let's all work a little harder (and by all I mean you all)". Someone with experience will say something "Thanks but no thanks, I've heard this before" a new college graduate will say "Yay! Let's do it, I'll impress everyone with how little sleep I can get each night".

And I am not being too hyperbolic here. I've heard from owners before confessing that hey love hiring college grads because they can drive them hard, they are full of enthusiasm and are not "tainted" by other corporations.

Another friend from another startup, confessed that they like those take-home interview problems. Stuff like "Implement a distributed database over the weekend and show us the code on Monday during the interview". The reason is because they can get the really desperate and dedicated people willing to invest that much time into projects. As when crunch time comes, they'll need those "skills".

IMO, a better measure would be from activation of the switch, as opposed to the beginning of key travel. I don't start waiting for the character to appear on my screen from the moment I begin to press down. My anticipation begins when I feel the tactile feedback of the switch activating (or the switch bottoming out on switches that don't offer tactile feedback). On a keyboard with good tactile feedback, I might not move the switch through it's full travel -- just a little bit above and below the activation and reset points.

Finally a way to get all IoT devices connected to WiFi!

Remember, 'S' in IoT is for Security.

I cannot drive. I take Uber to and from work every day using a Uber pass. If my alternative were public transit, a bus to a train to another bus or train depending, it would take me 1.5 hours per trip, for a total of 3 hours a day. I would not work in the corporate world if this were the case. Does this study capture these positive externalities? For blind people, these often-derided services are the difference between a full life where we can participate, and being marginalized outcasts who are constantly late, smelling like the bus, and totally inconvenienced when compared with the guy who can just hop in his car.

In Ontario, you simply are not allowed to build in a flood plain. This is in response to Hurricane Hazel in the 1950s, who's floods killed people.

Even further, if your home is destroyed in a major flood, you aren't allowed to rebuild it- clearly, wherever you are it's not safe from flooding.

It's a very effective system. The only problems is has these days are A: people who fight it because they bought property they want to develop, but can't, and B: the fact that where flooding occurs is changing due to climate change and geology/geography changes in the last 50 years.

Texas may want to consider such a system.

In California, there is a law that basically everywhere (e.g. all apartment complexes) must have a sign that specifies that the compounds used on site can cause cancer or birth defects or whatever. But because the signs are pervasive, they are basically useless.

This feels kind of like that.

In addition to both sites correctly showing my full name, phone number, mailing address, and e-mail address, (and the Danal site showing my T-mobile phone plan info) the Payfone site shows this ominous description:


I've had someone tell me they visited a shopping site once and without giving the company any information, they got an e-mail from that company a day later. I told them it wasn't really possible (from just the browser's perspective) and that they must have been tracked through some 3rd party cookies.

Apparently that was false and it's totally possible for a site to use one of these APIs and instantly get your full name, phone number, e-mail address, and physical address just by looking up your IP, and then track you across "switching carriers, changing phone numbers, upgrading devices, and replacing lost devices". Scary shit.

I grew up reading 2600 and the jargon file and early slashdot, and hanging out on freenode and usenet, so i've been indoctrinated in this way of thinking this way for 20 years. In my experience, the people who built the net are among its sharpest and most vocal critics, and there's some cause for that.

I'm not sure what the implications of everyone else thinking this way will be.

Of all the problems facing construction of "viable high speed rail" in the US (they already exist in many other places), I don't think Hyperloop competition is among ... the top 50.

Practically anything could be "a clever political ploy", but where's the evidence for this? Any in the absence of such evidence, why speculate?

Just as a thought experiment, could HN user daemin's comments be part of a clever ploy to invent a fake persona to distract from a SECRET AGENDA? ;)


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