* Posts by RyokuMas

1927 posts • joined 29 Oct 2009

Sick of Windows but can't afford a Mac? Consult our cynic's guide to desktop Linux

RyokuMas
Coat

If only it were that easy...

Right. Time to rack up some more downvotes!

I've tried to go to Linux several times over the last fifteen-or-so years on various machines I've had during this timespan. Every time, regardless of the variant I've been looking at, something has gone wrong during the installation process which has required information I don't have in order to correct - or worse, resulted in an error message so ambiguous that diagnosis has been impossible.

Maybe I've been unlucky, but on the occasions I have then asked for assistance on forums, I have been confronted by responses along the lines of "well, it's worked for me, so it must be something you've done", "did you make sure the machine was working before you tried the installation?" etc.

Ultimately, every attempt has ended in one of two ways - reinstalling Windows, or chucking the machine out because it was too old to support a minimum installation of Windows.

Now if there were a Linux distro that you could just install and it would get to the point of "functional desktop", regardless of any problems, followed by additional, specific information on the issues that have come up during the installation - that would get my vote! I don't know - maybe there is one now... but thanks to these historic issues, I'm reluctant to invest the time even looking for such a distro, let alone trying it out.

For all it's issues with telemetry, updates et. al., the extra cost of Windows is worth it knowing that your machine is going to "just work".

... mine's the flame-retardant jacket...

Dell's rugged Latitude 5430 laptop is quick and pretty – but also bulky and heavy

RyokuMas
Coat

But...

... can it run Bioshock?

Google blocks paid apps from Play Store in Russia

RyokuMas
Coat

Paid apps...

Given what I've seen of the average Android user's willingness to pay for apps, coupled with how easy it is to find, download and sideload a cracked version, I'd say this will have very limited impact...

Europe's GDPR coincides with dramatic drop in Android apps

RyokuMas
Facepalm

Sponsored research much?

In a paper titled, "GDPR and the Lost Generation of Innovative Apps"...

Okay, that title just screams "research sponsored by Google"...

iOS, Android stores host more than 1.5 million 'abandoned' apps

RyokuMas
Holmes

Hardly surprising...

The majority of mobile "apps" are games; of these, a significant number can be classed as one of these two types:

"My first game" - typically made by a wannabe game developer who has spent too much time playing games and has read about the one-in-a-million run-away successes, and has concluded that making games is a fast and fun way to get rich, these games are usually a cludge-together of downloaded tutorial projects and assets from asset stores, possibly with a couple of extra features hacked in after multiple stack overflow look-ups.

Reskins/asset-flips - much more polished than "my first games", these are easily spotted as, while the visuals and audio may differ, a bit of digging will reveal that it's exactly the same as other games of its genre underneath. These are mass-produced with a fast turn-round and the goal of extracting as much money from the suckers who actually pay for the IAP before whatever trend they are based on goes out of fashion.

In either case, there is no reason for these to be updated - the "my first game" developer will abandon their game as soon as they realise they have not become a millionaire in a week and that making a game is actually hard work, while the asset flippers know that there is no point updating a game that is no longer bringing in the money it once was.

So the App Store and Play being a dumping ground of dead apps is hardly surprising.

Google cancels bi-annual performance reviews, shifts to GRAD system

RyokuMas
Joke

Turning upon their own...

I guess someone decided that they weren't gathering enough data about their own people...

Why the Linux desktop is the best desktop

RyokuMas

It's normally some error about an "unknown device", without sufficient information to determine what said device is or what driver I need to download in order to fix it.

RyokuMas
FAIL

"But, honestly, it all boils down to knowing how to burn an ISO image to a USB stick, rebooting your computer from it, playing with it to make sure it works, and then pressing the install button."

I have three PCs that are now good for either doorstop duty or Windows re-install that would beg to differ.

Google's plan to win the cloud war hinges on its security aspirations

RyokuMas
Facepalm

People in glass houses...

Security...

... from those who, without consent, have obtained and used NHS records, location data, home wifi data, email content, etc., etc..

With 90% COVID-19 vax rate, Intel to step up return-to-office

RyokuMas
Facepalm

Re: It's about conversation

"... of course you could get a message on IRC or slack saying "hey we wanna do a conference call at 1PM today" and there ya have it..."

So pre-arranged then - not spontaneous.

RyokuMas
FAIL

Re: It's about conversation

"I'd average 3-4 spontaneous electronic conversations a day (whether text or call/video)..."

So not actually "spontaneous" then in the spirit of the question I asked? Not actually the electronic equivalent of bumping into someone, getting talking and ending up coming up with a new idea, or a way to solve that problem that's been bugging you? Basically, just conversations (and I'd be willing to bet that the video calls were led by a text chat of "hey can you give me a hand with[whatever]?") that were brought about entirely by what you were working on at the time?

Of course, if that is the case and you are part of a team that genuinely care about each other's wellbeing to the point where you do call each other out of the blue then I envy you - but from what many have said, it would certainly be the exception. And given your comment that anything not to do with work is "innane rubbish", it sounds more likely that it's just a case of you being happy in your little silo, willing to just do what you are told and not caring about your wider team or the bigger picture.

Studies - I'd start with this. There are more out there - the ones I read were from the various emails I subscribe to, and I tend not to keep mailing list emails once I have read through the links that interest me. But seek and ye shall find.

As for being stuck in the past - I'll refer you back to my comment about being happy in your silo. I've been doing agile development for the best part of a decade now, and in my experience, the workplaces which implement this process the best, and have not just the fastest delivery rates but alos the best designed systems and the happiest employees are the ones that actively encourage open, spontaneous - "innane" as you would put it - conversation between employees. Going back to the waterfall world of getting a half-baked spec that you had had no input in the making of, slavishly building your take on what it is trying to explain and then finding out after weeks of work that it's not actually what the customer wanted (or they changed their minds) - that's the archeic face of software development.

And then of course, there's that tiny little bit of ad hominem in there: "one of those odious people who have zero social life outside of work" - the implication of which is that your opinion is that it's wrong for people to want to socialise with their colleagues. In which case, yes, I am one of those "odious" people. It tends to happen when you move halfway across the country a few months before lockdown starts, your old friends are all at least two hours travel away and the only people you've got to know in your new area are your work colleagues... but never mind that, you just keep on thinking of your co-workers as just that, heaven forbid you start thinking of them as actual human beings who might become new friends outside the workplace if you actually bother to get to know them...

RyokuMas
Stop

It's about conversation

Okay those who are all for working from home forever: hands up how many of you have had a spontaneous - ie: not pre-scheduled by a meeting request invite or some precursory discussion over a text-based system - conversation with one of your colleagues or team in the last... oooh, let's say three months?

Or let's try this one - how many have had to deal with multiple "conversations" at the same time because person B did not realise you were already on a chat with person A?

Businesses thrive on communication - the more fluid this is, the better the chances of delivering the right result in the shortest possible timeframe. And in this day and age, in an arena as competitive as IT and software, if someone else delivers the right result faster than you, you're in trouble (I'm looking at you, Internet Explorer and Chrome).

No matter how intuitive the interface or how fast the connection, video calls and text chat will never be as slick as talking face-to-face. And in some cases these systems are a barrier to communication - who has ever switched on a video call while they go to their kitchen an make a coffee just in case of of their colleagues is doing exactly the same thing at the same time?

Senior management may be old and crusty, but they do understand this pressure to deliver. And the more forward-thinking will have realised during the pandemic just how much impact this lack of face to face communication will have had over the last couple of years - yes, individuals might still be performing at near the same level but studies have shown that team productivity is down by anything up to 30%, which is a huge hit in any senior manager's eyes.

At the start of the pandemic, it was those who were able to pivot to home working that took the smallest hit. Similarly, it will be those who can get their people back in the office and talking freely again that will do best over the coming years.

Google helps develop AI-driven lab machine to diagnose Parkinson's

RyokuMas
Big Brother

Would you trust it?

"Engineers at Google Research pushed the system one step further by installing AI software trained to diagnose Parkinson's disease from skin cells..."

... and send the subject's genome back to Google for profiling - without their knowledge or consent of course.

BOFH: Putting the gross in gross insubordination

RyokuMas
Coat

Oh dear...

After two decades, you think you know someone... then they go and disappoint.

Surely the PFY should know that it's better to be the right-hand man, the grand vizier, than the king? Enough power to influence and push through decisions, but not the first in the firing line when it all goes wrong?

Android's Messages, Dialer apps quietly sent text, call info to Google

RyokuMas
Facepalm

Re: Because hoarding data is their MO.

Hate to say "told you so", but...

US is best place to be a software engineer, salary survey finds

RyokuMas
FAIL

Re: Erm...

Funny how many people seem to think "getting by" includes a holiday overseas...

There's plenty in this country, pre or post Brexit.

RyokuMas
Stop

Erm...

I think I'll stay on this side of the pond with my 29 days per year holiday (plus bank holidays, of course).

Once you've got enough to get by, time becomes far more precious than money.

How experimental was Microsoft's 'experimental banner' in File Explorer?

RyokuMas

Re: Usual answer

"... unless I forgot to get the nvidia build for certain distros..."

... and therein lies the problem.

Hardware and me have a history, ever since I destroyed my first Atari ST trying to upgrade the memory. Anything that requires my knowing exactly what my hardware spec is and entering details/downloading specific drivers etc. just plain doesn't work - hence the various PCs that are now good only for either a Window re-install or doorstop duty.

Why this happens, I don't know. Maybe I angered some heathen gods or something in a past life :) But right now, the fact that whenever I've done a Windows re-install, it's picked up what hardware I've got and configured it at least to the point of being operational is what keeps me tied to MS.

RyokuMas
Facepalm

Re: Usual answer

Tried. Ended up with a number of computers that won't start unless I re-install windows and a bunch of people sneering at me when I had the audacity to ask for help.

It's a pity, because I'm all too aware of the situation with Windows, but until I can find a Linux that I can install from a USB that detects and sets itself up for the hardware I'm trying to install it on with minimal intervention, I'm stuck...

Half of bosses out of touch with reality, study shows

RyokuMas
Stop

Re: Employees hold all the cards, it’s too late…

... for now.

What these manager see - and, ironically the on-the-ground staff don't see because so often managers don't share the full picture - is that as handy as working from home is, it's blocking innovation: with almost all communication now either as part of a scheduled meeting, or following a specific request on whatever messaging service your company uses, the life has been choked out of that spontaneous conversation that solved the problem or came up with the germ of the next big idea.

For all their faults, senior management know that innovation is business critical: the right idea in the right place at the right time can make or break companies dependent on who gets there first or does it best. Senior management know that if they don't get people innovating again and a competitor does, it could be the death-knell for their business... and all those employees who are currently digging their heels in because they are comfortable in their own spare rooms will be out looking for new jobs.

If there's one thing that all my years as a professional software developer has taught me, it's that you have to balance immediate practicality and convenience against the long-term view. Yes, it may be that you are working to a tight deadline and despite your best efforts, you have to put in a few hacks - get that client requirement fulfilled then make sure your next round of estimating factors in time to put things right.

Working exclusively from home - as with pretty much all the measures that were rolled out to combat covid - is a short-term hack that was born out of necessity. As an industry, we are now in a position which is dangerously close to what in the coding world, the developers on the ground are always fighting against while the management are pushing to leave in - leaving the hacks in place for good.

It'll be very interesting in five to ten years time to see the correllation between which companies have become leaders or bombed, and whether or not they got their teams back to interacting in person or not.

Only 29% of techies truly want to stay in current job

RyokuMas
Stop

The trouble is, we're still in the "reaction" phase of WFH: management were forced into this change and are still figuring out exactly what it will mean when the scales tip back towards balance.

Right now, it sounds peachy to developers - no distractions, able to just get on and code, nobody coming over and asking "did you see my email"...

The long term, however, is bleaker. With almost no sponteneous conversation, there will be less scope for developers to get involved with things until managers have made their decisions and handed over the woolly specs which they expect delivered by the end of the week - much as they did in the bad old days about 20 years ago. There will be no change for devs to get together, discuss and push back. And before you know it, we'll be back to full-on waterfall.

The idea of a "friendly" culture will die out. Employees will either be expected to log all their hours, or increasingly be asked to start early/run late, simply because by the fact their desk is at home, there is no separation between "work" and "not at work".

Innovation will slow down, potentially damaging companies, or even putting them out of business as people stop talking to spark new ideas.

In the next five to ten years, it'll be the companies that get people back into the office - if only for a few days a wek - that come out on top. Google (for example) realise this. People work better together.

Google expands Privacy Sandbox to Android

RyokuMas
Paris Hilton

Re: Go on, say it...

Can you put yourself on notice?

Linux tops Google's Project Zero charts for fastest bug fixes

RyokuMas
Stop

Hmmm...

"Project Zero reported more than 10 times the number of flaws in iOS than in its home operating system..."

... funny, that. Especially when the same team decides a known bug for which a fix is being worked on in a competitor's product warrents the same level of severity as breaking the the most widely used cryptographic algorithm at the time...

COVID-19 was a generational opportunity for change at work – and corporate blew it

RyokuMas
Meh

On the flip-side...

Like it or loathe it, in the software development world aglile was a game-changer. Yes, when executed badly - as I have seen plenty of times over the years - it becomes a millstone of meetings and process that can be every bit as crippling and demoralizing as the waterfall approach.

But I have also seen it done well: I've seen developers pushing back against unrealistic commitments and deadlines, I have worked in places where capacity is allocated every sprint in order to clear technical debt, and where time is given over for R&D and innovation to allow the development teams to stay in touch with new and upcoming technologies. And the key to these success stories every time has been rapid, fluid communication.

Much of this communication - as far as I have seen - has been lost since we were told that we could no longer work in a common location. Gone are the days when problems would get solved because you happened to take a coffee break at the same time as a colleague, or that you could lok across to someone else's desk to see if they could spare you five minutes. And with it has come - again, from what I have seen and heard - a feeling that we are sliding back towards the days when software developers were expected to sit in their little silos and code what they were told to, with vague specifications and very limited time.

While I fully agree that working from home is a boon and choice should lie with the individual, I think that once we are allowed to group together once again, it'll be the teams that come back together that will do the best - not just in terms of productivity for their companies, but for their own general wellbeing and work satisfaction.

Microsoft seems intent on buying the gaming industry with $68.7bn purchase of troubled Activision Blizzard

RyokuMas
Stop

Re: Oh No!

I stopped developing games on mobile some time ago, when it became obvious which direct the market was going in.

Mobile gaming is a cess-pit of ad-delivery and/or microtransaction platforms based around psychological trickery on order to make people feel as if they will miss out if they do not keep "playing". Like SEO before it, the roost is ruled by a few big players who can buy their way to the top of the search lists, and the few decent titles out there drown in the tsunami of asset flips and re-skins, and also "my first games" hacked together by those who still foolishly believe that mobile gamedev is an easy way to make money.

RyokuMas
Stop

"There's a whole world of gaming out there that isn't AAA."

If you're talking about "indie" - especially indie that doesn't have a AAA budget or connections - then Sony really need to improve ease of access to their platform: for Xbox, all you need to do is apply with suitable evidence that you have a half-way decent game in the making. For Playstation, you need a fixed IP address before you can even sign up for the indie programme.

Apple warns sideloading iOS apps will ruin everything

RyokuMas
Stop

It would certainly drive competition and innovation in app stores - although since it appears that it's not "who has the best stuff" that wins but rather "who can make the most noise", I rather fear that Google would end up in prime position here by virtue of how they can abuse their monopoly on search, video etc...

Google's VirusTotal reports that 95% of ransomware spotted targets Windows

RyokuMas
FAIL

Re: The hubris of Apple (oops I meant Google)

"If there was a target that would be quite easy to attack, it would be school children."

... but where's the money in that?

Spend six months designing malware that targets an OS that is mainly used by school children who have a few quid a week in pocket money (and that, by virtue of not having to support aging systems, can afford to implement better security), or spend six weeks build malware that targets businesses that make thousands of pounds per day and have old legacy systems to support that block security updates...

I know which would be the smarter time investment.

BOFH: You. Wouldn't. Put. A. Test. Machine. Into. Production. Without. Telling. Us.

RyokuMas
Thumb Up

Re: You always need a mallet...

Thor's hammer... percussive maintenance device and over-voltage cattleprod all rolled into one... the dream tool of any Bastard, surely?

Motivated by commerce, not conscience, Google bans ads for climate change consensus contradictors

RyokuMas
Coat

Own-goal...

"Google has decided not to run any ads alongside content that "contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change"

... thereby ensuring that more people watch this content because it's not stuffed full of ads, perchance?

Microsoft's problem child, Windows 11, is here. Will you run it? Can you run it? Do you even WANT to run it?

RyokuMas
Unhappy

Would love to jump ship, but...

I would love to make the jump away from Windows - if only to find out what the alternatives are (other than "getting a Mac"), but I keep hitting one key issue:

Every time I have tried to install Linux on one of my old laptops, something has gone wrong which the guide I have been following has not covered; trying to diagnose this subsequently has usually involved a degree of hardware or configuration knowledge beyond that which I have, or some kind of information which I would have been able to locate through Windows prior to the attempted Linnux installation, but I cannot obtain on the half-installed machine.

The community support I have received tends to be of little help - largely a mixture of elitism ("I've never had problems installing Linux") and pedantry ("Did you make sure the machine worked before trying the install?").

So yeah, I'm pretty much stuck with Windows - I'm loathe to even buy a machine with it pre-installed in case something goes wrong and I end up with something I can't fix...

What do iOS and Android have in common? Their apps suck at privacy, boffins say

RyokuMas
Stop

Re: Two-fold problem

"Don't blame the developers, blame the accout managers and senior management."

If I had a quid for every two-bit wannabe "indie" mobile game developer who has posted something about what the best (read "least likely to be objected to") approach for adding tracking to their app...

RyokuMas
Devil

Two-fold problem

So the problem here is two-fold: that many app developers have the morals of an alleycat and therefore no qualms about mining data regardless of whose it is or the legality of such actions in the user's geographical location, and the both Google and Apple are turning a blind eye to their doing so.

Google's the easy case here - they're doing exactly the same thing themselves (albeit with abit more lip-service to the law), so no surprises there.

Apple... well, they're almost certainly doing it too - but with the hypocracy that they are "the advocates of privacy" and also that their app vetting process is insaley strict compared to Google's, so you would think that on of their checks would be for such tracking.

So yeah - both platforms are equally crap at privacy, but at least one - Google - doesn't have the gaul to try and pretend that it's not happening.

However, with the current situation with regards to Epic vs Apple/Google, it does make for an interesting possibility of a third-party store that only allows in apps that are verified to have passed strict data mining checks...

Google says it's gonna put Intel's 10nm Ice Lake Xeons into its public cloud soon, any day now, just you wait...

RyokuMas
Coat

Probably trying to figure out how to bolt their telemetry in over the top of it without ruining performance...

Don't look a GriftHorse in the mouth: Trojan trampled 10 million Android devices

RyokuMas
Facepalm

Flashback...

Wow... substitute "Android" for "Windows" and it's like I'm back in the late 90s/early 2000s...

Amazon's AI chips find their way into Astro butler bot, latest wall-hanging display

RyokuMas
Joke

Ultimate Mechanical Turk!

"It is loaded with AI hardware and software that fuses computer vision, autonomous navigation systems, and voice recognition into a box-on-wheels, we're told.""

Given the way Amazon treat their workforce, I wouldn't be at all surprised if this turned out to be loaded with a very small mechanical turk...

As Google sets burial date for legacy Chrome Extensions, fears for ad-blockers grow

RyokuMas
Facepalm

Re: But privacy

"If Google truly gave a damn about security and privacy..."

... and on that day, Satan will be skating to work.

RyokuMas
Stop

Upgrade...

... to Firefox. With Duck Duck Go as your default search engine. The end.

Epic trolling: Microsoft allows third-party storefronts into its app store

RyokuMas
Go

Popcorn time!

See title.

Google experiments with user-choice-defying Android search box

RyokuMas
Stop

Re: Ban the Blob

"Nobody forces anyone to use their shit."

Okay, can you show me how I can do everything I need to on the web exclusively on sites that do not implement Google analytics?

I too do my damnedest not to use anything Google -based - including blocking as much of their telemetry as possible - but it's a hell of a setup for your average Joe Sixpack...

RyokuMas
Facepalm

Re: Oh FFS.

Some people just can't let go of a 20+ year old grudge...

Apple, Google yank opposition voting strategy app from Russian software stores

RyokuMas
Angel

Well this should be interesting...

... considering how cracked APKs show up on various sites within hours of the "official" release on Google Play, I'm betting that there's several dozen places you can go to download and sideload this app now.

And taking into account Russia's reputation for hacking apps etc., this coule be very interesting to watch - on Android at least, it may well be that the genie is already out of the bottle. Popcorn time!

Google is designing its own Arm-based processors for 2023 Chromebooks – report

RyokuMas
Devil

What's the betting...

... that with this, telemetry will be baked into the hardware and thus be impossible to bypass?

More than half of companies rethinking back-to-office plans amid variant uncertainty and vaccine mandates – survey

RyokuMas
Mushroom

Simples...

When I first started out as a software developer - some 20+ years ago! - everything seemed to be this horrible, demand-driven waterfall model: either a client would want a feature which someone in management would promise by a ridiculous delivery date or management would come up with an idea and a required delivery date, then spend three quarters of the time before said date "thinking about it" before handing over a spec. Either way, it ended up with devs in their little silos, expected to jump and pivot on a moments notice and deliver something based on a woolly spec within an utterly ridiculous timeframe. Not for nothing did the "developers - turning coffee and pizza into code since 1990" t-shirt design exist.

Then things changed... suddenly, collaboration became a thing - developers and QAs started being being brought into the design and planning phases. We could push back against ideas that wouldn't work with the systems we had written, timescales became more realistic and specs, thanks to earlier discussion, were made clearer.

In short, we began communicating. And this spilled over into other aspects of development: I've lost track of how many solutions or good ideas have come out of conversations that started simply because two people were at the water cooler or coffee machine at the same time...

And then COVID hit. More importantly - lockdown hit. And suddenly, we're back in our silos, with pretty much all communication timetabled through calendar software. And once again, teams have started to become more "collections of individuals", with little more than an obligatory start-of-day conversation and a couple of weekly planning meetings in contact with each other. No banter. No "good morning"s. No "how was your weekend" or any such chit-chat that can take the pressure off.

Businesses used to sell themselves to potential candidates as "startup feel" or "friendly office culture". Okay, so in a number of roles, I've found that that's turned out to be bull, but there have also been places I've worked that did have that friendly culture... how do you promote a culture when your employees/teammates don't actually see each other for more than ten minutes per day?

Don't get me wrong - working from home is a boon, and very useful when you know you have a delivery coming, or the kids are finishing school early. But without that collaborative, communicative environment, I can see a future where software development slides back into the dark days of "make this thing for this client by the end of next week".

Yes, I know this is going to get downvoted to hell. Just don't come crying when you're back to crap specs, insane deadlines and no push-back - because switching jobs isn't going to fix the problem any more.

Firefox 91 introduces cookie clearing, clutter-free printing, Microsoft single sign-on... so where are all the users?

RyokuMas
Unhappy

Monopoly abuse...

... so where are all the users?

Simple: whenever anyone goes onto Google search, Gmail, Youtube or any other of the various highly-trafficked services Google... sorry, "Alphabet" offer, they have the capacity to detect what browser is in use and display a call to action in a prominent place advising the user to download Chrome - which is exactly how Chrome rose to it's current market position.

If Mozilla were the defacto provider of a service that wasused on a day-to-day basis by vast number of people then perhaps they could funnel people towards Firefox... but given Google and Microsoft's iron grip on the most common web services and operating systems respectively, I don't see how they could achieve this, unfortunately...

RyokuMas
Coat

Re: Chrome is a big problem

Are there really "pro Google trolls"?

There were... I believe that they have slunk off into obscurity upon the vast majority of El Reg forum posters realising that Google was worse than Microsoft ever were.

I'm not naming names as last time I ended up with zapped posts...

UK chancellor: Getting back to the altar of corporate dreams (the office) will boost young folks' careers

RyokuMas
Stop

Let's get back...

While the ability to work from home as required is no doubt a boon to everyone, Mr Sunak is s right - as much as it pains me to say it.

In my 20+ years as a commercial developer (first desktop applications then web), I have lost count of the amount of problems that have been solved by "water cooler" conversations - just that off-the-cuff conversation with a colleague over a coffee (and thus away from keyboard) provided the alternative approach that had not been thought of, and the issue resolved.

Expanding this out logically - team-wide design sessions, while possible with online tooling, certainly do not have the vibrancy and out-of-the-box thinking that their in-person counterparts do, plus anyone can wield a whiteboard marker or post-its (as opposed to having to create accounts with x/y/z software then figure out its particular quirks). Mentoring and pair programming - again, possible online but vastly ineffective compared to having two people at one machine.

Working remotely also puts us in the worst of both worlds when it comes to focus and getting assistance: pre-lockdown, if someone was at their desk with their headphones on, I could see this and know to go bother someone else with my question, thereby not breaking their concentration. If I had a quid for every time I'd received some kind of chat message notification expecting a response when I was in the middle of some tricky piece of coding (this but ten times worse), regardless of my "do not disturb" status... similarly, if I needed a hand with something, I could go and see if someone was around, wait if they were in the middle of something else (thereby avoiding breaking their concentration until they were ready) and talk through the problem... again, if I had a quid for every time I'd posted a request for help only to get a bunch of people pointing me at stack overflow links and not actually discussing the details of the issue...

Then (and this is the web developer coming out in me) there's the whole "security" chestnut. How many stories have we seen on here about compromised routers? Of course, there are steps that can be taken from as simple as changing the default password through to VPNs and the like, but the simple fact is that working in an office, it is a lot easier for security to be controlled by a professional whose job it is to do just that than it is for a whole bunch of home-based connections each being administered by the individual employee, who almost always not an IT/networking professional. Remember, it only takes on weak point for a data breach and the company being slapped with a massive fine...

And this is before we come to the whole question of work-life balance and tha sort of thing - which has been covered by many others, so I'm not going to re-tread that ground - except to say that while individual productivity may be similar from home as in the office, it has been noted that team productivity is down by anything up to 40% (there was an article on ZDNet a while back but I can't find the link right now) due to lack of collaboration between team members.

I get that the commute is a pain in the ass (personally, I can live with it as it creates a nice buffer between "work" and "home"). And sure, working from home is great when you do have something happening that you need to be around for, or when you just want to get on with something (assuming you're allowed to switch off that messenger app). But ultimately, for any team to function optimally, there needs to be face-to-face contact - and that requires a central location.

Ubuntu on a phone, anyone? UBports reaches 18th stable update, but it's still based on 16.04

RyokuMas
FAIL

Re: Funny thing...

"you can guarantee that... they would have added all that Windows 10 telemetry to Windows Phone 10!"

Wow.

I suggest you take a look at the second line of my post - here it is in all it's glory:

"... that's not to say that I don't believe for a second that they wouldn't have added it."

RyokuMas

Re: Funny thing...

"since they added all the telemetry to Windows 10"

WinPhone 7 / 7.5 / 8 predates WIn10 and its telemetry... that's not to say that I don't believe for a second that they wouldn't have added it.

In fact, I think that one of Microsoft's greatest own-goals (of which there are too many to count) is not taking advantage of the growing concern over privacy - had they continued supporting and developing WinPhone/Windows Mobile (and by that I don't mean "totally rewriting it every version) and made a public commitment to not collecting data, they would have stood a reasonable chance of grabbing and holding a decent chunk of the mobile market share.

... but then this is Microsoft we're talking about - the only thing they've got anywhere near right recently is cloud technologies - and I'm pretty sure that that was only because the law of averages means that they had it had to happen at some point.

Tencent to acquire Brit games developer Sumo Group

RyokuMas
Joke

Re: "Chinese games developers"

"Wouldn't you prefer a nice game of chess?"

... but anything other than pawns is paid DLC.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022