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31
So by having a Google email account, you're allowing unknown companies to read your "mail".

What if the US Postal system did the same, say 20 years ago? You can pay postage and nothing changes or you can mail your stuff for free but before delivering it, unknown parties will read your mail?

Would people have been OK with it?

Also I guess email can be routed directly but doesn't it "bounce" around a bit before it reaches the final server? If so, what if Google is one of those in the middle? Does it read that temporary email too before passing it on?
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Discussions - Public / Re: Amazing Maine Picture Shot With Cheap Samsung Phone
« Last post by The Gorn on September 20, 2018, 07:08:06 pm »
I think it's amazing as well, especially when you consider what early digital cameras looked like and the quality you got. Still have one of those bricks laying around here. I wonder if it still works?

Digital cameras became sort-of affordable for amateurs in the late 90s. But (I think) the microelectronics necessary - high speed compact CPUs, image CCDs, and memory - were still almost as expensive as during the bad old pre-Windows 95 days. You could buy a digicam then if you insisted but it would suck.So a camera that by today's standards was ridiculously underspec'd back then was extremely expensive. 480 x 640, or 1 megapixel, an HP Photosmart camera I had without live previewing was $300 or so.

It was the edge of the knee of the curve of price: performance in the late 90s. Then wait a few years...

Sic: In 1998 I had 4 GB of disk  and 256MB ram on a development PC and I thought I was hot shit. DIsk and memory specs exploded in the next 10 years which was when prices of components got really cheap, and by 2005 a digital camera was usable for almost everything except commercial work.

I have two pet peeves about phone cameras that makes me want to carry a "real" camera if I'm intentionally going out to shoot photos. First most phone cameras are wide angle and don't zoom in much. Second I like pressing a real button that I know when I pressed it, it took the shot.

Do any camera phones have ANY optical zoom, which is what you're talking about? Optical zoom lenses are a quantum more complicated than fixed focus lenses. They also demand a lot of physical space for focusing and zooming. And phones are very thin.

Tactile feedback or clicky buttons are another matter. Manufacturers don't want to put moving buttons on anything because they increase manufacturing costs and are failure prone.
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Discussions - Public / Re: Amazing Maine Picture Shot With Cheap Samsung Phone
« Last post by Richardk on September 20, 2018, 06:57:49 pm »
I think it's amazing as well, especially when you consider what early digital cameras looked like and the quality you got. Still have one of those bricks laying around here. I wonder if it still works?

I have two pet peeves about phone cameras that makes me want to carry a "real" camera if I'm intentionally going out to shoot photos. First most phone cameras are wide angle and don't zoom in much. Second I like pressing a real button that I know when I pressed it, it took the shot. I've had problems pressing that virtual button repeatedly trying to get the shot. Sometimes you're "in the moment" taking pictures only to later realize half of them are missing. Now maybe that's just my dry cracked fingers but that's annoying.

As for the technology, it's amazing. Full manual control would be nice but I keep telling myself, it's a phone, not a camera. Though with that said, what constitutes a camera today? As a point and shoot, it's pretty darn good.
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Whoever wrote the absurd manifesto is too left-leaning even for me  :-X .

 ;D

I was writing in absurdity taking the ideas from the manifesto and showing how they could be implemented in real life.

What I find the most disturbing about the mindset behind the manifesto is the concept that experience, talent and achievement are all equivalent to privilege. You aren't allowed to be counted for your work. Everything you made or made or yourself is privilege.
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In all matters a learning curve exists (as well as aptitude), so that competence is going to come from experience and natural capability.    So, no, you can't take anyone who shows up and put them on a project and hope that it succeeds.

That being said, if you have *mostly* capable people they might do better if they are motivated by "team spirit" -- i.e. they feel good about the work and their coworkers.  If someone with psychological problems runs the project as a dictator subconscious passive-aggressive acting out can get into the product which makes it sub-optimal.  Remember what Weinberg said about all problems being people problems.

A benevolent dictator is probably okay, but most driven people like Torvalds is not going to be relaxed enough to be benevolent. 

Whoever wrote the absurd manifesto is too left-leaning even for me  :-X.





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In related events:

Linux Torvalds is temporarily leaving his role of head of Linux kernel development due to being called out on his alleged bad and disrespectful behavior toward other developers participating in development.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/linus-torvalds-takes-a-break-from-linux/

Kind of simultaneously, a weird manifesto (which Linus T is a signatory of) has been released on the web:

https://postmeritocracy.org

This manifesto basically seems to say that everyone working in SW development is deserving of respect and deserves to be respected regardless of experience level, specialization, or even capabilities. It says more or less that "meritocracy" should not be used as a value or goal.

The author of this manifesto is a person named   Coraline Ada Ehmke who is an outspoken open source advocate. Who is also a SJW and transgender. And who apparently had big fights with Torvalds over his management of Linux kernel development.

The manifesto starts like this:

Quote
Meritocracy is a founding principle of the open source movement, and the ideal of meritocracy is perpetuated throughout our field in the way people are recruited, hired, retained, promoted, and valued.

But meritocracy has consistently shown itself to mainly benefit those with privilege, to the exclusion of underrepresented people in technology. The idea of merit is in fact never clearly defined; rather, it seems to be a form of recognition, an acknowledgement that “this person is valuable insofar as they are like me.”

I'll reflect on this leading statement:

When I started working as an engineer 30+ years ago I heard a manager say that their organization was a "meritocracy". I took it exactly as stated: if you did good work and created value, you had merit, and you could expect respect and rewards based upon the value of your contribution.

When I heard this I was humbled. I took the statement as a self evident given. If I wanted respect in the workplace I needed to generate it through my work.

This manifesto immediately distorts the idea of achievement and turns it into a political grievance against those who have current power and/or those who have actually achieved things professionally in the same context.

Overall the manifesto is political - the concepts of free market, competition, and value creation are not uttered at all.

The thing also goes on to say:

Quote
We do not believe that our value as human beings is intrinsically tied to our value as knowledge workers. Our professions do not define us; we are more than the work we do.
...
We can add the most value as professionals by drawing on the diversity of our identities, backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. Homogeneity is an antipattern.
...
We can be successful while leading rich, full lives. Our success and value is not dependent on exerting all of our energy on contributing to software.

In an overall life context this is correct.

However, in the scope of a software development job, you're rightfully respected by the measure of how much work you put out. If others are depending on you to complete a job or task on time and accurately, it doesn't matter if you "resist", if you're "woke", if you treat animals kindly, if you volunteer.

This manifesto seems to be saying that you should not be judged at all, ever, by job output.

I'll reflect on these ideas in my own case:

I was a "top", hard core software developer in C, assembly, C++, and Delphi, at many system levels - libraries and real time to application screens - for a period of about 20 years. I was good enough to compete for that period as an independent contractor in a local market that has been extremely hostile to my kind of  work style. Finally the market changed against my talent set and I stopped looking for the work.

Would I expect to get any respect whatsoever as a developer if I just walked into a software development shop today and started working? I would expect to earn it, not have it handed to me. The answer, a flat NO.

I'm saying that I would have NOTHING AT PRESENT to contribute to, say, R database analysis, or Android development.

I also have the detriment of being well outside the zone of caring of SJWs. Their manifesto is about them, not me, a white older male. They would consider me "privileged" because I was older and had prior experience. In fact my experience has been that age and experience are used against you as reasons not to hire.

If I had a hard time in finding or keeping a job today, I suppose I could fall back on these tenets. For all the good it would do.

The scope of technical work and rewards for it are quite narrow. You do THAT work well, you get respect. In no other way and for no other reason should you get respect in a tech job.

Lastly, people that act like Linux Torvalds are VERY common at the OS kernel and systems level. They are all impatient, gruff, and demanding.

Because the work is both abstract and very difficult to understand and the work product is hard to test completely. When you work on stuff that detailed you get "nervous" about the end result, and I think that contributes to shortness of temper.

I think the manifesto should be tested as an effective development organization building tool in this way:

Assemble a commercial software development team consisting of undocumented ("illegal") immigrants; homeless; long time laid off; and recovering drug addicts. PLUS a few gender and racially diverse experienced developers. But task EVERYONE. Each undocumented, each homeless must be assigned a meaningful role.

In other words, assemble a team where even current development skill is considered a granted privilege and not something attained or achieved. Give any conscious person the benefit of the doubt.

And appoint a journeyman/woman/wyman/whatever project manager. Someone with maybe 1+ month's professional or open source development experience.  Not a mean guru like a Linus T. An ordinary developer. Let's not be exclusive or patriarchal.

Then give the team a commercially valuable task to complete. Such as designing and building an app from specs. They should be able to do it. Almost everyone has a smart phone these days. There are quite a few billion around the world by now. So everyone can be assumed to have basic tech operational skills such as being able to read computer screens and respond with input.

Give them 6 mo- 1 year.

Judge the team's work output by the manifesto.

And then try to sell the result in the open market.
38
An old coworker I have known for 7 years got canned at his gig.
His confidence level is very high he can find something soon.
He is late 30s, no kids, no debts, no commitments.
39
FTE, Job and Career Discussion / Re: Repair jobs wages declining
« Last post by The Gorn on September 12, 2018, 05:55:14 pm »
Repairs that are amenable to self educated amateurs include those repairs:

- That are non-life-critical to a high degree of confidence (example: I would never work on my own auto brakes. I don't know enough about the system or have the experience with it.. There are several interrelated elements like hydraulic lines, fluid that has to be absolutely clean, etc. Someone else with confidence can do this safely.)

- That don't have expose you to a high degree of risk to financial loss (example: doing your own electrical work might compromise your fire insurance coverage. A bad plumbing job could flood your house.)

- That don't require access to tools and materials that require certificates or licenses, or special handling of materials or waste products (air conditioners and other refrigeration systems are a case in point.)

Handymen are cheap because they only deal with non life critical projects that don't have legal ramifications.

Licensed trades such as electricians are extremely expensive because all areas demand licensing and apprenticeships. The cost of electrical work is so high and I have so much confidence with most electrical projects that I will take on pretty much any electrical project in the house. In part because since I have hired remodelers and electricians in the not distant past, I could blithely claim that new electrical outlets, etc that I put in were installed by them and inspected.  In my case the risk is well outweighed by the cost savings and certainty of a good result.

Also I see extremely low risk of anything I install causing a fire because I am so anal I test the crap out of things.
40
FTE, Job and Career Discussion / Re: Repair jobs wages declining
« Last post by I D Shukhov on September 12, 2018, 05:48:13 pm »

So there are people still out there that need help or have enough money that they don't care to do it themselves. For the rest of them, the number of DIY or "handymen" is quickly growing.
I'm amazed at the wage rate for handymen. 

Quote
Our research indicates handymen charge about $83 per hour. Handyman projects are more likely to be unique - expect a general range of $50 to $100 per hour.

https://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-much-does-it-cost-hire-handyman.htm

Angie's list may be biased to the upside, but I've commonly seen $50 - $60/hour.   
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