* Posts by ImpureScience

21 posts • joined 14 May 2014

Does the boss want those 2 hours of your free time back? A study says fighting through crowds to office each day hurts productivity


Not Going Back Any Time Soon

I work in a major hospital in NYC, and they're taking the plague very seriously. Despite my administrative drill thrall's natural distrust of remote work (before the plague we didn't have a telecommuting policy...by design) my IT group has been working from home as much as possible for the last year. Since I'm doing development and admin, and not doing any hands-on tech work, I can do everything from home. And I have to say I've been waiting for this for 30 years.

Before the plague, I was in a crowded office, with others talking full voice a few feet from me, several phone lines ringing at once all through the day, no privacy, and a one-hour bus ride on either end of the day. I now have the proverbial 2 extra hours a day for myself, I save quite a bit on transportation and meals at work, and most importantly, the environment allows me to concentrate properly. I am quite a bit more productive than I was when I had to go to the office every day. We have heard from On High that things will remain like this for the foreseeable future - it's possible they're figuring out that remote work is a Good Thing.

COBOL-coding volunteers sought as slammed mainframes slow New Jersey's coronavirus response


Wait a minute...VOLUNTEERS? Damn, if it were PL/I and there were decent $$$ involved (MVS, TSO, Panvalet, and PL/I were us in the Before Time) I would do it in a NY minute, I'm right across the river.

Furious gunwoman opens fire at YouTube HQ, three people shot


Re: Of all places

Yes. As The Onion has said: "‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens"


Re: Of all places

Yes, but as you say, the tools limit the awfulness of the outcomes. Someone with a knife may injure or kill a few if they're really determined, but nowhere near as many as they would with an automatic military weapon.


Re: Of all places

Open/concealed carry guarantees that e.g. when people get into arguments that escalate out of control, the guns will come out and there will be at least one serious injury or death instead of a bloody nose. I don't want to see my frequently unaccountable fellow citizens walking around with the means to extinguish my life on a whim readily available.

Also, if there's a shooting incident and you're carrying a gun when the cops show up, please tell me how they will differentiate you from the person carrying out the crime.


Re: Of all places

Correct observation, but incomplete conclusion. Local laws only go so far. Forex, Chicago has strong gun laws, but is surrounded by states that practically encourage gun massacres, and of course people aren't checked at the border when they go from state to state. It's a bit like designating a non-smoking area of a restaurant in the same room where others are smoking.

What's needed is a more comprehensive program on a national level. This has worked in several other countries, and it's needed badly here in the US.


Re: Of all places

No. People are unaccountable, guns are amplifiers of their bad behavior. I live in NYC and I cannot tell you how happy I am that our laws make it possible for me to ride the subway knowing that the nutcase sitting across from me (probably) isn't carrying a gun. As evidenced in other countries around the world, strong gun laws and removal of guns and gun-worship from everyday life actually do prevent the sort of gun violence we experience in the US.

For example, violent gun deaths per 100,000 people in 2016:

Japan: 0.04

U.K.: 0.07

USA: 3.85

Ex-Google recruiter: I was fired for opposing hiring caps on white, Asian male nerds


Need To Address This More Comprehensively

From what I've seen, the balance of demographics at tech/software companies more or less tracks the balance of demographics in math and computer science classes in the schools that feed those companies, starting in high school and extending through college. In NYC, for instance, Bronx HS of Science has a student body that is 62% Asian and 22% white. Also, 56% male and 44% female. The gender thing gets worse if you look at math and computer science - it becomes a sad parody of an old Beach Boys tune: 3 guys for every girl. BxSci, like almost all of the NYC specialized schools, has just one entrance requirement: you have to do well on the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT). That is IT. There is no consideration of ethnicity, gender, income, or anything else that isn't your test score. It's probably the fairest entrance process I've ever seen.

College is much the same, says my kid who just graduated in math and computer science. And when he transitioned to work, the balance was more or less what he had seen in school: Asian and white, mostly guys.

I am completely supportive of hiring people from groups previously denied a fair chance at full participation in our culture and economic life. I also applaud the effort to find qualified candidates in all demographic groups. However, I feel that trying to address this problem in a serious way needs to happen at a much earlier age, probably preschool or even earlier; it's systemic and pervasive.

It's 30 years ago: IBM's final battle with reality


Still Sort Of Miss It

I really liked OS/2, and for a while I thought it would take the place that Windows now owns. But IBM had no idea how to sell to single end users, and get developers on board. Despite having a superior product their financial policies guaranteed only customers ended up being banks and insurance companies.

I'm a musician, and I remember going on for over a year with the guy they had put in charge of MIDI on OS/2. It never happened, because which bank, or what insurance company, would be interested?

China gives America its underwater drone back – with a warning


Re: Erm...

So, do you really think that the content of the daily briefings is: "everything is in the same state it was in yesterday..."? Are you saying you think that if something big happens in between regular briefings they'll let it keep until the next day? Seriously?

There have been plenty of people in the White House with better minds than Donald Trump, notably the guy now leaving the office, and they haven't foregone their briefings.

Burn all the coal, oil – No danger of sea level rise this century from Antarctic ice melt



Foiled again. I was looking forward to my new waterfront coop in Manhattan.

Google MURDERS Google Code, orders everyone out to GitHub and co



Google comes up with some nice ideas, implements them partially, turns them into lights-out operations with casual users as tech support, and pulls the plug once there is a critical mass of people dependent on them. Sometimes it feels like Charlie Brown and the football...

Clinton defence of personal email server fails to placate critics


Re: Of COURSE her defense/defence "fails to placate critics"

"...try Nancy Pelosi visiting Syria, Obama assuring the mullahs that once he was president he's be easier to deal with, democratic senators going to visit Saddam Hussein....fair bit of deliberate treason there one could say."

Nice try, but horsehockey, nonetheless.


Re: Nothing Is Illegal For A High Government Official

You may be correct, but In this case it certainly wasn't illegal:

"During Clinton’s term as secretary, regulations were tightened concerning the preservation of e-mail records, and concerns were raised about the use of personal e-mail accounts for official business. But the legal requirement to immediately preserve e-mails from nongovernment e-mail accounts was not made mandatory until nearly two years after she stepped down."

3/10/2015 Washington Post Fact Checker: Hillary Clinton’s e-mails: a timeline of actions and regulations


Not Illegal Yo

From the Washington Post: "During Clinton’s term as secretary, regulations were tightened concerning the preservation of e-mail records, and concerns were raised about the use of personal e-mail accounts for official business. But the legal requirement to immediately preserve e-mails from nongovernment e-mail accounts was not made mandatory until nearly two years after she stepped down."

You may have concerns about Clinton's judgement or intent, but for those who are hyperventilating that OMG NOTHING IS ILLEGAL FOR HIGH GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS: what she did was not actually illegal. Clueless, maybe, but not illegal.

Five years of Sun software under Oracle: Were the critics right?


Somewhat Pleasantly Surprised

When Sun was for sale I was hoping against hope that IBM would buy it instead of Oracle. I was in corporate IT when Oracle was young, and we knew them as a bunch of, well, tellers of things not intended to be taken as true statements, while at least IBM has amazing engineers if questionable management and strategy. I'm happy and a bit surprised to see that Java and MySQL have survived, since I spent a large part of my career working with them, especially Java.

Satya Nadella: Microsoft's new man presses all the old buttons in LONG memo



"...re-invent productivity...empower...organization...do more...achieve..."

...written by resume-writing software in its spare time.

SpaceX 'Dragon V2' rocket podule can hover-land on Earth - or MARS


Rocket Poodle?

For the last few hours I've been glancing at the title of this story in my Register email and reading it as "SpaceX 'Dragon V2' ROCKET POODLE..." and assuming that it was some sort of British snark, or possibly a new canine breed, but no, just random brain damage on my part...

I so love what Elon Musk is doing RE cars and space (what else is there, to a kid who grew up listening to the Beach Boys and watching us go to the moon?) Imagination, balls, and the resources to do something with serious, positive, lasting (I hope) effect.

Apple, Beats and fools with money who trust celeb endorsements



3.2 billion dollars for an eq setting. That, people, is genius.


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