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I'm a male in my late 30's. I do not use facebook. I stopped a while back because I learned that there are certain things I don't want to know about my friends and family. Among those things are whether you thought that funny quiz result was worth sharing, or that you blindly follow the latest idealogue on whichever side of the political aisle you fall.

I'm much happier not seeing the mundane drivel they mindlessly shared. I know it's not really representative of who they are and I'm no longer annoyed at them all the time.

While not directly the point of his article I found the example of time tracking to perfectly line up with my experience.

The hidden problem exists because there is a disconnect between the people who fill out those timesheets and the people who consume them.

The people who fill them out can't use the data. As a result the data is almost never correct and is largely useless and the people who consume them are picking out the wrong patterns from bad data.

The only reliable unit of measurement for time tracking is days spent. Anything else is measuring a largely made up number.

Further more they feed this idea that cramming at the end of a project is a good way shorten the time. Since you are tracking hours not days it's a short step to just upping the hours without upping the days as a short cut. But none of these apps give any data on the quality of those hours spent.

Author here.

Exactly and and so if people aren't aware of this it will just be considered annoying but just the way things are.

This is where passion for the work is a mark for quality. A person who loves what they are doing works long hours from the start and is never done because they always can make it better.

That isn't the mark of a person who loves what they do. It's the mark of a person with an unhealthy obsession. Working long hours is neither necessary for a quality product nor healthy long term.

Sounds like a case of too many eggs in one basket. Why didn't they diversify more into the micro transaction space with a different game I wonder?

I think they did try that - I loved the Rovio game Retry, which was a tiny plane flying through a Sonic-The-Hedgehog-like world, with a Flappy Bird mechanic and a retro 80s synthpop aesthetic:


Levels were split into checkpoints (ala Sonic), and you could save your place at a checkpoint by either watching a video ad, spending a coin (collected in game or bought with real money), or you could fly on and get a bonus for completing a level without any saved checkpoints. I'm not much of a gamer, but I've apparently spent nearly 15 hours playing Retry (yikes).

They certainly tried with Angry Birds Fight! (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/angry-birds-fight!/id9339580...) and Angry Birds GO! (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/angry-birds-go!/id642821482?...)

A few of the more recent physics games had strong freemium mechanics, like Angry Birds Transformers (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/angry-birds-transformers/id8...) as well.

My favorite Rovio spin-off of the Angry Birds franchise was Bad Piggies, sort of an Incredible Machines take on the physics game, where you had to build a contraption to complete the level objectives. So yeah, they certainly tried.

I can't find the quote anymore but I remember their CEO, while the company was still very new, saying that they'll never need to move away from Angry Birds and people won't get tired of it because they'll keep releasing new Angry Birds stuff. Or something to that effect.

So I can't say I'm surprised. In fact I would have thought this would have happened a long time ago. They should look into creating some new IP. In my opinion anyway. That way they could become a gaming company instead of an Angry Birds company.

Protestants if you go back to their roots actually expected you to become an expert in scripture in order to recognize when your "priest" is wrong. But they didn't promote anything goes. It's more that you should learn and be able to apply scripture correctly. This didn't prevent the proliferation of denominations because of course different people would interpret a piece of scripture differently and get really worked up about it.

This is in contrast with Catholicism, where pretty much everything was conducted in Latin rather than local languages; the emphasis on layperson understanding of theology was a direct response to the trend of most followers having zero understanding or ability to understand the scriptures and sermons they were expected to follow.

Of course, this also resulted in the more decentralized power structure relative to Catholicism's. Quite a bit of Protestant philosophy and tendency stems from immediate responses to a perceived-to-be corrupt and exclusive Catholic Church.

You have to be careful there though. When it comes to computer software even perfect code can require a restart if different code on the same machine is interfering with it. The story has gotten much better but even now occasionally I'll have a reboot a Game or 3D visualization app because the graphics driver got wedged. It's not the applications fault it's the drivers fault.

The reason power cycling is such a useful tool is that most computer systems are running in an environment where the things outside of it's control way outnumber the things within it's control.

Old Navy Jeans fall apart way too fast for me and I don't even wear them very hard. I've stopped buying them after the last two pairs wore holes within 6 months. Maybe I just got unlucky but examination of the material shows them to be much thinner than a pair of Levi's or Wranglers.

    Stick to the facts when opining, Thomas :).
Where in his comment did you see him speak to the intent of the leakers. He's just pointing out the consequences and the hypocrisy of spreading the leak all over the internet when you complain about widespread spying. Hurting someone in order to get back at someone else is a very poor justification.

>If it's O.K. to hack into someone else's server and mass-out people for having profiles on a dating site because you suspect most of them might be "guilty" of the crime of "marital infidelity" --- and come on,

To me, Thomas's opinion doesn't appear to be based on facts simply because Impact Team specifically said, "it decided to publish the information in response to alleged lies ALM told its customers about a service that allows members to completely erase their profile information for a $19 fee."

Maybe if he edits his original opinion to not suggest Impact Team released the Database because of marital infidelity?

I think there's enough moralizing dripping from Impact Team's preamble to the release to support Thomas' suggestion.

"We have explained the fraud, deceit, and stupidity of ALM and their members."

"Chances are your man signed up on the world's biggest affair site, but never had one. He just tried to. If that distinction matters."

"Find yourself in here? It was ALM that failed you and lied to you. Prosecute them and claim damages. Then move on with your life. Learn your lesson and make amends. Embarrassing now, but you'll get over it."

These are the quotes you're using to suggest that Impact Team's intent was targeted against the guilty marriage infidels? I don't know if I agree that those are reasonable enough quotes to ascertain that was their true intent.

This sounds like the real intent, "The Impact Team said it decided to publish the information in response to alleged lies ALM told its customers about a service that allows members to completely erase their profile information for a $19 fee."

It sounds like the Impact Team can't get their story straight on what their real intent actually is.

A programmer with a law degree can be really useful to a company. Particularly if a company uses open source. You have a perspective on software licensing that many do not have. Programming remains a profession where certifications and degrees are much less valued.

If I were you I would leverage your unique perspective as both someone who understands law and code.

Being a fellow law student who decided against a formal CS education, I can second that. It also works the other way around, a lawyer who knows about computer science is (in my experience) pretty rare, and issues that also require a thorough understanding of technical processes (e.g. privacy legislation) are becoming more and more important.

This may be philosophically correct. But in a non platonic realm you must somehow fund these sorts of things. If it's not possible to make money on them then it may not be feasible to implement for the masses. The keyword being masses there. There all kinds of distributed p2p web projects out there. None of them appeal to a majority though they are all niche products.

Most of these proposals forget the need fund marketing, promotion, and scale.

Wikipedia is one of the best sites on the web and didn't think in this way. The whole point of such a system is to remove capital requirements (hardware) from the process of building massive websites. It inherently means less funding is required.

Hardware is only a tiny, tiny part of the cost of developing a system for general use by huge numbers of people. If you don't believe me, do a price check on cloud hosting and then keep in mind that cloud hosting must be profitable so the prices you're seeing have some non-trivial margin attached.

Software development isn't free. Sure, OSS developers can donate their time, but there's a selection process that comes into play.

OSS developers do what they do partly because they enjoy it, and so they tend to gravitate to the types of development that is fun. Fun stuff includes deep systems stuff, algorithms, distributed systems, the flashier aspects of UI/UX, machine learning, etc.

Fixing stupid bugs that stem from stupid compatibility issues and adding stupid features for stupid use cases is not fun. Debugging edge cases that afflict 1% of your users occasionally is not fun. Porting to popular but crap platforms is not fun. Supporting legacy platforms and APIs is not fun, nor is maintaining backward compatibility. Accessibility features and translations are not fun. Supporting right-to-left language is not fun. Rewriting your entire already-working app to support the next web fad (e.g. "responsive mobile design") is not fun.

I could go on forever. There is a really really really long tail of these horrors.

This is why OSS rules in the systems/algorithms/etc. space but drools when you get close to the user. This is why every major end user OS, site, or platform is commercial. People have to be paid to torture themselves with that stuff.

Yet these sorts of problems are precisely the ones that make the difference between something only geeks (with time on their hands) would want to use and something regular people who aren't computer experts would want to use (or computer experts without time on their hands).

For a distributed, decentralized system to challenge the silos of the web, it would absolutely need funding. Eliminating hardware and bandwidth costs is easy; eliminating HR costs is not.

There will never be a volunteer-developed mainstream platform for the same reason there are no volunteer-developed mainstream anything elses. To make a truly polished product of any kind requires pain.

Disclosure: I currently run a distributed networking / SDN startup. The core technology has been up and running for years with few modifications. It started as a side project so I haven't kept careful account, but I'd easily estimate that upwards of 90% of the development time spent on this project has been on trying to get it to the point that it can install and run trouble-free on multiple platforms and is easy enough for mere mortals to use. Getting the core plumbing, crypto, etc. working was the most fun and the most intellectually challenging, but it was a huge minority of time spent. Had there been no chance of a commercial application I would have stopped there and it'd be yet another piece of interesting GitHub networking orphanware, because for the love of God who would voluntarily try to port such a thing to Windows?!? let alone Android (It's in C, so enjoy your JNI pain).

Clearly there are many major free software projects which are formed as NPOs and receive adequate levels of funding. These may further be improved through use of quadratic base-level pledging, crowdfunding, consulting work, academic grants and so forth.

Marketing and promotion are perfectly tractable. I do not see how appeasing to interests of proprietary service companies will suddenly have the funds funneling in, in any case. Not sure what is meant by "scale".

Here's the thing. Hacking in the sense of the word he wants it used didn't go away or get subverted. It just lost a label.

Words in the english language change all the time. Hacking in the sense of gaining a deep understanding of things by tinkering is alive and well and isn't going anywhere. So some one co-opted our label. So What? We can get a new label. It doesn't mean we somehow vanished or are dying out. We're still here. We still buy kits to get screw drivers that let us open that box and void the warranty. We still poke and prod at computer systems in ways they weren't designed to be poked and prodded. We still create things with materials no one else thought to create with. And in the sense of hacking he is referring to we still do it whether it has a label or not.

He even talks about hacking being something as old as the human race. And then he goes on to complain that this label got co-opted. Of course it did. Everyone is a hacker. Everyone is looking to game the system. Hackers don't have a monopoly on hacking. So the "yuppies" hacked our terminology. Good for them. Now we get to go hack some other terminology. Hack used to refer to a kludge. We co-opted the term to mean something else. Now it has been co-opted again.

The author is in many ways complaining about something that isn't a real problem. We were hacking before there was a label for it. We will still be hacking after the label is gone. Nothing has been lost here.


I think the new label he's looking for is "Maker". People who go to Maker/Hacker spaces or consider themselves part of the Maker movement are exactly what hackers used to be.


This is an over-simplification of the article which talks about much more than just labels. It talks about things like control of the internet, the destruction of the culture of Silicon Valley, and the people that co-opt hacker culture in an attempt to make money.


Control of the internet does not mean the hacker ethos is somehow polluted. It just means the hackers have a new target. Silicon Valley doesn't define hacker culture. I didn't grow up or go to school in Silicon Valley and I don't live there currently. Yet, I'm something of a hacker as the article defines it.

And how does one co-opt a culture? What does that even mean? I can see how one might destroy a culture, force a culture into hiding maybe, but co-opt it? That's a fancy way of saying they took our label. That's the thing about label's though. They change meanings over time.

I think the real reason the author and many others are upset is because they thought the "hacker ethos" was going to go mainstream. Then they looked around and realized that what went mainstream wasn't hacking as they saw it, and got upset.

Hackers have always been a minority. We were a minority during the internet revolution. We are minority now. We'll be a minority in the future. Expecting anything else will just result in dashed hopes.


A shifting label can be a problem, when it attracts tinkerer's to the SV tech scene, instead of places where they could find more joy.


hope you don't mind -- I've shared this quote publically on my diaspora page. I can link you if you would like.


Help yourself. My ideas are free for the taking no charge :-)



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