The example given is an employee who is consistently late for work. If you ask them to recount why they are late one day, a liar will tell you the story linearly: "I woke up, ate breakfast, hopped in the car, was on my way, minding my own business, then someone hit my car. I got out to trade insurance ... [etc]".
A truth teller jumps around, usually starting with the climax "Someone hit my car on the way in. I then realized my insurance was expired. I had just been going through my bills the previous night ...".
This is easily ascribed to the fact that the liar is either making the story up as they go or are repeating a rehearsed lie. A truthful person can jump around easily because they are recounting distinct memories.
Is this technique robust enough to detect implanted false memories (psychologist implants memories of child molestation) or are such recalled "memories" indistinguishable from real ones?
Take the issue of national security (in the USA). To get a national security job, you'll have to go through a lie detector test, where they'll ask you a ton of questions. Say I'm lying about my name. Do you ask a story about my name? Say you ask about my childhood instead. If I was lying about my childhood, I'd tell stories that were as closely aligned with real life as possible, and change as few details as I needed to. A story about playing in the park in the summer with my parents doesn't change a whole lot if it's in North America or Europe.
Bottom line is, I think this method works, with the caveat that you have to know the event or thing that they would be lying about. Trying to find out if a spouse killed their significant other? Check, you can ask the stories around their alibi. Trying to figure out if James Bond is going to sell national secrets? What story are you going to ask about?
Edit: I found it: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10180728. Interesting and related and got lots of attention. But not a duplicate.
Put another way, if a novel is so richly detailed that I feel as though I'm actually in the story, would describing my experience of that novel be interpreted by this system as truth or a lie?
The interview jumps around the story looking for any events that moved customer to or from new solution, and digs into the emotions associated with each event to get customers to recall all details.
However just like with drug dogs, they'll ignore the high false positives and low prior probabilities.
Consider the reverse: someone (yes, hypothetically) living their life on the far side of the Moon would be completely unaware their quiet home is just 1.3 light-seconds away from a brilliantly reflective orb teeming with life.
Now we have no more space exploration and just hot wars in Syria. No troops on the ground - wait what, Russia is in Syria? Troops on the ground!
Hey I know, let's give Russia millions of dollars to fly American astronauts to the space station because we can't do it ourselves because we drove NASA's budget into the ground, that will teach them.
Years ago, I would've been floored by a comment like this. But lately I find myself using them a little less often. These days, the codebases I interact with leverage more and more small-scope unit tests. This usually means that an unexpected test failure requires much less imagination to explain.
But debuggers remain a terribly simple way to identify the cause of a segfault/bus error. Even with code I've never seen -- if armed with just a stack trace I can identify a system misconfiguration or a workaround to avoid the error.
For example, could you record gdb traces with a GPU in a PC with hUMA?
That could allow for gdb traces to be recorded constantly without a CPU performance hit (traces could be truncated if/when the size grew too large).
pure science fiction - instead of recording the change produced by each instruction they are recording what changed between system calls (result of system call is recorded) and scheduling points.
They do record the result of each system call and somehow manage to count the number of instructions per scheduled thread (they can only do that on new intel processors - counting the number of branches not instructions as instruction counter is not reliable. They are doing their own scheduling since the VM is all running in a single thread. It is also very Linux specific - for general case they use ptrace to record the system calls and their result, but tracing of some operating system calls is optimized by injecting stuff into the kernel (!)) - that's the reason why the recorded data is of minimal size.
I wonder how they are dealing with epoll - here the result is passed via shared memory and not via the system call interface.Still i guess they are lucky that there is no kqueue like interface on Linux - with kqueue it would have been even harder to track when the event result comes in.
Step 1. Find problematic code
Step 2. Step back to before problematic statement
Step 3. Change problematic data value and/or code to hypothesized good one (while debugger is active and paused)
Step 4. Continue execution and observe if output is as desired
Step 5. Write test case.
Easy peasy. I'm glad to see the Rust community doing something similar, as the benefits of ease of development are not to be discounted, and Rust seems like a pretty nifty language.
I'm eager to give it a try in a real project.
* TOD: http://pleiad.cl/tod/index.html
* Chronon (commercial): http://chrononsystems.com/
* Jive: http://www.cse.buffalo.edu/jive/
* Whyline (research): http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~NatProg/whyline-java.html
* Omniscient Debugger (discontinued?): http://www.lambdacs.com/debugger/
One problem in outsourcing is the thinking that programmers are somehow easily replaced; the "just find 'a' developer" idea, with little to no thought put into whether it may matter if the chosen team has any idea what they're doing. Two anecdotes. Years ago I was given such a team, to maintain a system primarily written in two different languages; the manager in charge gave me two guys from the other side of the world who were to be "taking over" the project despite not knowing how to program in either language, and there was no arguing this point. On another project, a resource from far away was graciously donated to me to help with a C++ project; I later realized he had chosen to recreate several container classes in C++ as if he'd never heard of the STL.
Another problem is the fundamental misunderstanding of culture. Managers in the U.S. seem surprised when they encounter wildly different behaviors overseas (gee, it's almost as if they had hired someone from a completely different part of the world!). For instance, I have encountered remote groups that are astoundingly good at self-preservation, who will basically change their minds and do whatever they want at the last minute to prop up their team at the expense of your project. Individuals, too, may have side projects that they care about much more than anything you have asked them to do.
To find a better thesis, we might ask, what's the difference between my dentist and WeCodeLikeNoOneElse, Inc?
I think the main difference is reputation, the role it plays the given marketplace. I'm not sure why, but the market for offshore development has never counted on reputation. I can't name a single firm. I can't even remember the name of the firm I recently interacted with as a contractor coming in to to clean up their mess. If I were to suss out any one of the unsolicited Linked In offers for cheap development I get each week, where would I even start?
My dentist has built up a loyal clientele by word of mouth in the community over a lifetime. The community is small enough that a shady dentist would be run out town in no time.
Conversely, I do know the names of some local dev shops, and I know their reputations. The ones with good reputations do not treat their clients purely as cash cows. Although they face the same, or worse pressures on utilization, they do quality work, at a premium. They have built brands and will grow or sink mostly on reputation. They still constantly face incentives to pump out shit, but there's a counter balance that's missing in the offshore outsourcing market.
Generally these are the most vocal proponents at first, only to become some of the most vocal opponents later. The way I would classify them, generally speaking, are: (a) business people looking to keep costs down but don't know the first thing about running a technology project, (b) those who think "outsourcing" means "I tell you the idea, and you do all the work".
Technology projects (especially custom ones) are hard, and they require a lot of due diligence and hard work from all parties involved.
I would never recommend a non-technical person / company to try outsourcing. It's a recipe for disaster. That is unless you fully trust the person / group of people who you're putting in charge of the project.
EDIT: Thought I'd add a clarification here. Never recommend outsourcing of CUSTOM projects that is. Cookie cutter solutions it's obviously a different story...
And I guess another edit would be to differentiate "scale" of a project. Large scale projects which will be "centerpieces" to a company, are the kinds of projects that I read about being outsourced which alot of times seem to turn bad.
I can't stress this enough, this is a mistake, having your management/architecture teams from outsourced companies is just stupid. Nobody is responsible for anything they have no risk at all, it's the best job on earth.
You see those guys come, change everything to their management/architecture style, manage it like they own the company making reckless decisions and before the boat hits the rock they jump ship preferably to join the competitor in a similar project (because they copy each other), because now they have experience and know-how... This cycle is still going on and I know people making a living from this, some are completely clueless but can successfully switch jobs because "They were part of XXXX team in YYYY company" that nobody knows was a complete failure yet.
They still have not finished it ( 2 years after ) all personal from the initial setup are gone, all fault of course is on them now, so new guys can continue to make reckless calls that will probably cost billions of dollars and they will receive nothing in the end.
This is a terrible waste of resources and it's the Cancer to business nowadays.
Like everything, working with remote teams is also a skill. May be you worked with some team in poland and they were brilliant, good for you; you don't have to manage. But all remote teams aren't like that. The mantra for working with any remote teams is to micro manage. Have everyday calls with them, specifically tell them what you are expecting.
Before that, I myself was a remote developer, before traveling to US. As many of you already pointed, this depends on the vendor you go with. There are lot of multinational companies who outsource work and some of them are really good. A lot of discussion is going on that the teams have reduced the specifications given to them again I would tell you that it all depends on the team you choose. I never did that myself, hell the person who outsourced the worked to me, was not very knowledgeable. So does that mean I can judge everybody who outsourced work to us?
makecheck said, the software outsourcing never really worked, when I was working in that MNCs we had projects ranging from huge telecom companies to Aviation companies. And those projects ran close to 5 years - 10 years. How did the CXO reap the benefits for 10 years if he doesn't see value in it?
I did spot a few problems with the article though. Firstly, you should never outsource in order to save money. The author kind of assumes that is why you're outsourcing. That doesn't work.
The main reason to outsource should be to buy in expertise. Many companies do not really know how to document software requirements, or what a non-functional requirement is, or how to design user interfaces, or what makes good UX, or what a good test plan looks like, or how to run user acceptance testing.
Some companies don't even realise that those things are important. They just think that if they just hire a few Ukrainian Java Devs, they will get good software out the other end.
Some dev shops don't even realise that those things are important either. They just act as a middle man. Connecting you to the Ukrainian Java Devs.
Even if the customer does understand what's involved in running a software project successfully, sometimes it just has no desire to employ developers. Maybe they are not the kind of company that can attract and retain good technical talent, maybe they just prefer to stick to what they do best. Either way, using a dev shop offers an attractive alternative to contractors because the team doesn't disappear the moment you stop using them. The team sticks around and retains a certain amount of knowledge ready for next time you need some changes.
For quite a while everybody has realized that out sourcing was never anything more than labour cost arbitrage, dressed up with fairly empty "sales" rhetoric.
However he misses a more fundamental way in which clients and outsourcers interest are misaligned.Because outsourcers are essentially selling bodies they have no incentive to become more efficient through labour cost reduction.
I suspect this failure is the real reason for the current "in sourcing" vogue. As software development and delivery becomes increasingly automated the labour cost component will drop, along with the pressure to outsource.
The outsourcers business model is fundamentally broken and it's only a matter of time before this shows up in the bottom line.
The entire contracting industry fits into his description of "outsourcers". Lots of contractors work effectively for their clients. As a person in ANY business, if you believe that your only incentives are to get your clients to pay more, more often, then you will fail. Fucking your customers will wreck your business in any market. The customer has to feel like they got some value out of the deal.
The real incentive for a contractor is to provide the best (perceived) quality of product, for the highest competitive price possible. Even the bottom-price bargain barrel shops know this. They're just bad at it.
> OK, what's the solution, then? Just pay more? I don't think that's going to solve the problem; I'll just burn more money.
Sounds like the author hasn't actually tried to solicit a company with higher rates and therefore assumes way too much here.
I think a lot of devs/shops who are more expensive are so because they're demonstrably better. According to free-market logic, they can charge more because the market is willing to pay them more. Why would the market be willing to pay them more? Because their services are worth paying more for, due to them being better.
> Present us with your requirements, be it a web system, mobile app, or Big Data who-knows-what. We will give you our best team of freelancers, all working remotely, and we will orchestrate their work, keeping you an active participant in the project.
There's a huge number of outsourcing companies on my country, but the ones that are able to attract more clients are the ones who don't care for their products, since their business model is like that.
Normally those ones focus on showing you their teams not their works.
One of my last companies that I worked for got bought out. We only had around 8 software devs and the parent company had a 300 man team in India! Needless to say, any new problem that popped up had a strong push from the new management to send it off to the offshore team. And there was also a dumbing down of our solution stack since all the offshore team knew was Windows, Java, and Oracle (none of which we used). After two years, I left and so did half the team.
Lack of clear requirements specifications, payments agreed to on-paper milestones vs. payments against actual working code, insistence / payment of advance money to the tune of 50% even before any actual deliverables (Some firms don;t even start work with that. Their logic is that - start ups go bust more than they succeed and they do not want to wait till you succeed to get their money.), lack of technology awareness from the founders (founders were non-technical in the web domain), etc.,
The factor of cost arbitrage did not play any role here.
These were the learning points:- They should have picked up a good firm based on known references rather than go with the cheap one based on a google search.
- Tie payments to working deliverables rather than abstract things like design sign off etc.,
- Track, monitor regularly
- Be aware of the technology you are outsourcing. If you are an enterprise IT consultant and you are going to outsource the web work. Be sure to read up on Php or whatever technology they use and ask/think through relevant questions/ improvements
Edit: Modified the list into bullet points.
Take example of Outsourcing Success storieshttp://www.entrepreneur.com/article/247462
Slack: Now valued at nearly $3 billion, this company used outsourcing to develop its solution in its earliest days. Fab: This large startup partnered with developers in India to maximize funding while scaling up when their business showed signs of growth. Skype: They used a team of developers in Estonia to help them build out their business. Klout: To get its technology in the right place before launch, Klout relied on many outsourced developers
A lot of start-ups coming up with good ideas and quality products doing good in so called developing countries
Calculate Software revenue generated in developing countries, You have only showing negative side why you dont you write article about outsourcing guidelines?
what should they do use Made in own country Product strategy?
My thought/question for the author would be: how then can companies that work together do so without operating as charities, or are all businesses in relationships deluding themselves? Should everything be brought in-house, for example, house building? Is there a line, or a particular type of outsourcing that works or that doesn't? (Executive management, sewing employees' clothing, trimming their neckbeards?)
The second you have a single "employee" your sole focus shifts to making payroll on time every month. Completely changes the formula.
And it's not outsourcing...
It IS the misalignment of goals.
Clients fail when...They feel like they're paying someone to do something, so they become their agent. That agent is now assumed to do the most amazing job possible with unclear specs. -- Root: bad specs, bad product management.
Providers fail when...They take on work that's unclear, or understandings may not be totally aligned. Good providers aren't just inflating hours -- they're hitting on their understanding of deliverables. If that understanding is misaligned, success is impossible.-- Root: bad specs, bad product management.
Bad specs, bad PM don't cover everything (you could have bad ideas, bad design, bad devs, bad architecture, bad QA, bad adoption/inner-circle feedback processing), but it's the most common root.
I think if you are a good outsourcing shop, you want money to pay salaries, but you also want referrals and repeat business. So you want to do a good enough job. It's the same with every company struggling to meet payroll, except a little more distant. But with globally accessible reviews, the world is a smaller place nowadays.
It addresses the question of why companies exist, rather than adhoc gatherings of independent economic actors held together by contractual relationships. Coase suggests that this is due to "transaction costs" involved in negotiating everything into a written contract structure upfront rather than adhoc managerial coordination as needed.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behavioral_theory_of_the_firm is also well worth reading.
As the main argument I saw in the article is: you can not get these profit margins anymore.
Ie, it doesn't work anymore .. except when it does.
I had this discussion with a friend who was charged with controlling costs as the new head of IT for a company he'd worked for since graduating. He had no prior experience in IT and was discussing his plans to "fire IT and offshore" in 2002.
The issue of "motivation" between an internal and external team was touched upon but it was the biggest factor in the failure that wasn't already obvious. He points out a good customer for [the outsourcing company] is a paying customer. Not a customer with a successful project. That's a little more cynical than I'd be, but the point of competing priorities is important. Prior to offshoring, the internal staff's motivation was to create software for internal staff that made the business more successful. Their bonuses were paid when the company beat their profit targets, but that wasn't the entire motivation. They were a sciences company and much of the IT staff came from the company -- they were folks who were augmenting their work with code, often writing something so useful that the rest of the team used it and their job became maintaining/extending that software. They knew what to write because they either had previously done the work or were still somehow involved as a user of that software. The IT guys and the main staff were all science geeks and friends with one another so "Jan knows what Bill is expecting to do with this and he won't like it if it's designed that way." That tribal can't exist with an offshore team.
The plan was a complete failure; the offshore shop never got up to speed on the existing code-base, outages became a way of life (IT support was also offshored) and the decision was reversed after about two years. When they brought IT in house, they couldn't find anyone who wanted to work for them. In retrospect, they should have predicted this problem since they started having hiring problems almost immediately after the move -- they couldn't get the needed STEM graduates for their main work due to the poor reputation caused by the move. Interviews were outright refused -- most said they weren't interested due to fears of being replaced later. They made a series of bad hires with onerous requirements in their work contracts--bonuses paid out regardless of being employed at the time they were paid--basically "protection" measures built in to calm the candidate's concerns. This was made worse by the economy improving and them no longer having access to more desperate candidates.
The failure of this project was bad enough to eliminate most companies of their size. They were lucky that they were a business who's customers had a regulatory reason to use and they lacked any competition (mainly because they're very good at what they do). This would have been a time when someone could have stepped in to compete with them. The delays caused by this were passed on to customers who had the potential to fail regulatory compliance as a result.
I've been intentionally vague about the business to ensure I can keep the friendship. I realize this post makes him sound like "an idiot" (I called him one at the time)--but bear in mind this was 2001-2002. 9/11, bad economy, and an IT budget ("new" at the time) growing like crazy were huge problems for them. IT then was seen as a necessary, unwanted, expense in most businesses their size. Coupled with prominent stories of offshoring success with little actual data about the details, it looked like an obvious choice. To the credit of his character, he set his ego aside and reversed his decison in just short of 2 years. They still occasionally augment with offshore for technically easy but time consuming work, and do so very effectively, but nobody is interested in replacing tribal knowledge with outsourced talent at his company (in 2007-2008, it never came up once as an option to improve the balance sheet). I've e-mailed him about this post in case he wants to provide detail that I wasn't comfortable sharing; but I'm leaving that to him.
 The obvious was having no transition in place between letting everyone go and spinning up the off-shore plan. The team literally inherited tens of services and a large code base to both support and expand on with nobody from staff able to tell them how any of it worked. Being that he failed to account for that problem you can use your imagination about every other thing that wasn't accounted for.
 A google/twitter search of the company yielded blog posts and other related items about the offshore move. IT folks communicate publicly when they're treated badly by an employer and they were treated terribly when they were let go. The worst thing was that despite being 2 years prior, most were convinced the company had done this only a few months prior. Objects on the internet are closer than they appear, I guess.
Disclosure: I am one.
Their company home page talks about constant value and quality approval / adherence, but it sounds like the same sort of marketing schtick that ever outsourcing company promises.
If you are able to specify the deliverables needed in enough detail, then you can make payment contingent of milestones. That way the outsourcing company gets a steady stream of guaranteed income, but it's continent in them completing the work. It also allows you to cross check the work frequently.
This, of course, means that you have specified what you need clearly and in sufficient detail that you can actually go this. That means though that you need a very technical lead who has the ability to do project management. I can't see how else it could work!
Then the outsourcing shop no longer has the incentive to drag things out so you keep paying.
Of course, it may be necessary to pay a large premium to get such terms since the developers take all the risk.
Of course, he does it the clever way (I read the description at teamed.io, how he makes software-development cheaper by paying "more"):
By breaking down the tasks into 30 minutes microtasks, he will only buy the "fat" from the programmers cow. The muscles, filaments and veins, he does not buy.
Of course, you can buy only the raw implementation part (at best, only the typing) of a software -- but somebody will have to do the reading of the specs, to do some guesswork ... and so on.
By buying micro-tasks, this company does use the fact, that many people will only count the "real" net programming time but not the time in-between those micro-tasks -- reading the specs, preparing the next job, doing the thinking, maybe communicating, waiting for the next assignment ...
And the final clever way is: The time estimations come from the company and that is the base for the payment. When a contractor took over a job for 30 minutes and worked on it for 59 minutes (without all the reading and other stuff as said before) ... will he go and reject the money because he nearly worked 100% more on it than expected? Will he really tell the company, that he is not that big talent, he was hired for in the first place?
we experienced exactly this
failure built into the model
never again jeeez
The main reason this type of work is drying up, in my experience, is that there is too much free money flowing around. Why deal with a temporary worker when you can afford to hire them full-time and have them sit in your office?
Furthermore, full-time engineers add a lot more to your valuation than freelancers and consultants do. A client once told me that adding a consultant to their "full-time" force increases the company's valuation by $100,000, but a proper full-time engineer adds $1,000,000 to the valuation.
I'm not sure why, but if I had to guess I'd say it's a combination of a company showing clear signs of growth (more employees == growth), and the lower churn because of 4 year vesting plans.
Obviously, I wouldn't outsource the system that is my main revenue earner, but getting someone in India/Poland/Wherever to fix bugs in your room booking or hr system makes sense.
And here is the problem - articles like his one, saying how outsourcing doesn't work, are actually why outsourcing doesn't work. For example, consider someone who reads one article daily which says outsourcing doesn't work or that the resources are not very good. In last 10 years I have yet to meet a single client that gave the kind of independence you get as a developer in US. Yet every time all I read in a client's bad experience is that he/she had given too much independence.
I am in Bangalore and I work for a British Client. I WILL take the name, it is 3ds (French one). And here the only thing that matters is that client remains happy. Here is what happens here in Bangalore:
1. Client doesn't give any work which requires cognitive skills, since he is sure the return will be bad and he doesn't have time to take chances.
2. This in turn discourages good developers and forces them to:
a) Suck it up, forget about any career achievements and keep doing the maintenance job as mortgage payments are a bigger threat. Slowly the quality of output decreases.
b) Switch clients/jobs, which means sudden requirement of a resource and investing even more time in training him/her.
3. A lot of companies hear only bad stories about China stealing tech and making knock-offs, never mind that most of these knock-offs don't have any effect outside China and China is a closed market in the first place, that they have trouble handing over critical software/hardware for development. Half of my friends I know work via VPN even in office. In my office it is not possible to work on a laptop. I need to come to office and then work remotely. This is shit. Even with internet speeds in India being faster and cheaper than UK/US, when 2k people suddenly connect to VPN from a single point cursor stops responding immediately. This means slower work.
4. All meeting times are decided by client according to his/her convenience. Almost all of clients from UK that I have worked so far had literally 0 idea what its like to attend a scrum after lunch. Too early to start asking questions, too late to completely absorb the answers. US is even worse - most American clients set up a meeting at around 10:00pm (9:30am PST). Then they complain that people from India don't talk a lot.
5. Worst is pacifying a client's ego. It is not possible to tell him that he has done something wrong. It is not possible to squarely go over his authority and fix it. So Indian managers let the failures lurk for longer than necessary, and at the last moment find some scapegoat and hope the client doesn't fire him.
Mediocre developers are who make it big at the end. They stick around until H1B and then earn hefty amounts abroad.
It's not just about off-shore devs. Any time you hire someone part-time / short-term and pay them hourly... what's their motivation (keep in mind they were the lowest bidder)? To give you the best quality code, or to extend / prolong their contract?
If you want to make sure your priorities and goals are aligned with your developer, make sure they are on-staff and have a percentage of the company. Or better yet, learn to code yourself.
I want to like Ceylon because it's the language Scala should be (assuming that higher-kinded types made it in - I could never work without them). It's Scala with all the ugly parts polished away, Scala with ten years' progress in language design.
I'm glad it exists, but I just can't see people choosing the more polished language over the one with ten years worth of library and tool support when there's no USP beyond that polish.
:( This is something that would, in itself, direct me to Kotlin or something else. I know that Eclipse is a better fit for Ceylon (because both are intimately related to OSGi), but I really wouldn't want to go back.
Since moving to Kotlin for my projects, I really enjoy the power that these provide: https://kotlinlang.org/docs/reference/extensions.html
What does Ceylon give me over Kotlin?
Maybe others feel differently.
* Hello World web application
* Simple online store implementation (authN, database access via ORM layer, logging)
* Todo MVC implementation
* RESTful/XML/SOAP web services
* RESTful/XML/SOAP clients
* Examples for writing AngularJS and React front-ends with Ceylon back-end services, with info on how to host such as to minimize and cache assets and server-side query caching and either side-loading or multi-table joined/extended data structures, updating and reading/accessing those data structures partially.
* Examples for easily timestamping and userstamping models
* Examples for using testing frameworks: unit, integration, (web) acceptance
Here's what I found in looking for that:
* This hello world: http://ceylon-lang.org/documentation/tour/basics/
* No Ceylon JS example at http://todomvc.com/ but this Todo list: https://github.com/vietj/cayla-mvvm/blob/master/source/io/ca...
* Two examples in what I assume is the official examples git repo at: https://github.com/ceylon/ceylon-examples containing N-queens and Game of Life only.
Also, I'd want to see benchmarks. Show me how much it is "like" performance of equivalent Java, Dart, and JS as is claimed by comparing to maybe a Play Framework app, the Dart example client-server https://www.dartlang.org/server/google-cloud-platform/app-en... , and a simple MEAN stack and/or full-stack example using ReactJS.
In addition to those examples, I'd want to see a larger community behind it with a variety of projects, e.g. specialized ORM, larger web app/services framework, simple web app/service framework each that have their own communities using it.
I think it is cool, but I don't think it is even in the same ballpark with solutions/combinations like Play+Scala, MEAN, Rails, Elixir+Phoenix, etc. for wide application in web/services.
Does anyone know which blockchain the Media Lab is using? The actual Bitcoin one, or Namecoin, or some other one?
For example, I'd dearly like to take some advanced math courses like those in the junior/senior years of any good undergrad curriculum. But no college in the Philadelphia area offers these on evenings or weekends, and no college (I know) offers them online. I can't imagine that there's no market for this. Why should this be?
Given the wide availability of community colleges and today's computers and networking infrastructure, it should be easy to teach strong challenging uppergraduate courses in a wide range of useful tech subjects like engineering, physics, astronomy, chemistry, etc. Using the physical resources of local community colleges, even many uppergrad lab-based courses could be supported.
But to expand their charter, community colleges will need better support, and not just from their local communities. Most CCs today are overwhelmed with lowergraduate demand, given the universal unaffordability of college education.
If congress wants to do something constructive, they should shift their support and attention away from for-profit schools and transfer to community colleges.
The other side of this industry are charter schools. These are for-profit K-12 schools, often paid for by state / local governments. The problems with them are:
1) Graft is common, with charter school administrators sometimes taking home ludicrous salaries ($500k+ for schools with ~1,000 students)
2) Funding often comes directly from the local school district, most of which are already severely cash-strapped. The problem here is that the cost of a single student attending a school district is largely buried in fixed costs: when the state takes $6000/yr from a district and gives it to a charter school, the district's costs do not decrease by $6000. This makes school districts worse, which accelerates flight to charter / private schools.
3) Educational standards are different -- in most states, faith-based charter schools are totally ok. As long as they teach some bare-minimum requirements, they can teach as much religion as they want. Also, most states offer some sort of funding incentive based on test scores -- which just encourages schools to play the numbers game by finding reasons to suspend/expel struggling students, encourage cheating on tests, etc.
To be fair, not all charter schools are for-profit, and there are good charter schools and bad ones. But the entire system stinks; it cuts funding to struggling districts, leaving them in a perpetual budget crisis. It often does little to improve the education of students, while placing more of the burden on parents to go shopping for a school.
Any negative news about the effects of privatisation elsewhere, such as this, is sidestepped deftly, as, you see, academies aren't privatisation, they're, uh, enabling, um, better education, for the children, saving the taxpayer.... look over there, shiny thing!
Academies have already come under fire for all varieties of corruption and improper practice, but individuals ("a few bad eggs") are being blamed rather than the system which promotes the viewing of and engagement with children as nascent consumers.
Sure, but why would we want to encourage anyone to attend "colleges" like Corinthians and University of Phoenix, if the effects are on average as harmful as described in the article? Not sure if this is just the author trying to shoehorn in some "debate" at the end of the article but it feels like it, given the details of the rest of the piece.
If what the dealerships do is valuable enough to the customer, they would exist even without the ban on direct sales. But I think we can all intuit that if the ban were lifted, buying a car would be a very different (and better) experience.
First, dealerships don't really make that much of a profit on new car sales. At least not Honda dealers. Used cars averaged around $1000 profit, but new cars were around $200. Yes, they really do lose money on some sales. That's not to say that there weren't expenses that were being covered in the price that are exclusive to the dealership, such as the salesperson's commission, but the total profit going to the dealership per new car was low. One of the older, wiser managers, who had come from Toyota told me, "A properly-run dealership pays for everything on Parts & Service. Car sales is just the profit." There are a lot of lean years in car sales. I can attest that no one in management was panicking when gas prices hit $4/gallon and we couldn't give a car away (car managers don't hold back their emotions). Sales stopped, but people kept getting expensive oil changes.
Second, at least within Honda's North American division, you cannot just buy inventory. A dealership inventory is controlled in such a way that area dealerships are forced to compete heavily with each other. In order to sell a car, you have to have a car on your lot. In order to have a car on your lot, you have to order it from Honda. The number of cars you can order from Honda is restricted to a percentage of the number of cars you sold last year, something around 106-110%. You can't just take a big loan and buy yourself volume. To a dealer, inventory is life and must be protected. As a salesperson, I would lose so many deals to other Honda dealers who would lie through their teeth over the phone to sell. Dealers will cut their own throats to steal a sale from another dealer because each one is a net +2 in the inventory war. In theory, this is great for customers on cost, but terrible for customers on experience.
The owner of the first dealer I worked for had just sold the dealership to a Fortune 500 company. He spent years and years basically giving cars away until he had the largest inventory on the entire East Coast (a big deal for Honda) and then had something very valuable, something that couldn't be bought. Somewhat like how Amazon, in theory, operates.
You can't write a balanced article on car dealerships without researching why these laws were enacted in the first place. So many people here just assume "oh, it's because of greed" - but perhaps you should spend a short time first of all investigating why these laws were created and the problems they were trying to solve.
Likewise, you can't write a convincing article about removing these laws if you don't speak of the reasons why the laws were created. You need to show why these reasons are no longer good.
We shouldn't be having this problem anymore. It's a massive detriment to the economies of scale model. Most people don't need to buy a car overnight, which ironically is because they are so expensive.
Keeping a small amount of cars for test driving and personal inspection is all that is needed. Then all that needs to be done is to batch up requests for production and shipping. Charge more 2 day shipping. Maybe Amazon can get into selling cars and same day deliveries for free with Amazon Prime.
That is, you pay, say, $50, and you get to try a bunch of cars or in general products that they have on loan from various manufacturers and get some guidance from the staff if needed.
Then once you figure out what you want, you buy it online and get it shipped to you.
Then there is no need to "protect" those shops, since the customer is paying precisely for the only value they add, which is the ability to try out things and ask for advice, and in fact the value of the advice would increase since there would be no conflict of interest.
The RIAA has a vested interest in keeping "direct to consumer" models sidelined, or, once enough critical mass is achieved, to bring that artist/group into the fold. In reality, the RIAA system spends a lot of money on behalf of artists/groups, in a similar notion that car dealerships are at the forefront for manufacturers and brand stability. Sometimes dealerships go bust, sometimes labels go bust...sometimes dealerships do so well they become multi-million dollar enterprises (Don Huffines in Texas...now State Senator Don Huffines), and same goes for record labels (Big Machine).
Both the dealership association and the RIAA push very hard in lobbying for their own ends. As can be seen in the music industry, fans nor artists haven't exactly jumped ship away from the RIAA system. There may be some similarities in the dealership scenario, but time will tell.
If you advertise something as $X then that is the maximum total amount you pay (tax-inclusive, all fees, etc.) Almost every other developed country does this (except for hotel stays and some large ticket items, like houses and -- ironically -- cars, but we can do better, right?)
Now, I can imagine a sudden wave of protest -- but wait, what about state-wide or nation-wide advertising campaigns -- this happy meal for only $2.99? Sales tax varies from county to county, and then there are crazy exemptions, tax holidays, etc.
EXACTLY. If you believe in markets then you should, at minimum, believe in price transparency. (Free markets assume perfect information -- how perfect can your information be if you can't even figure out the true price?) If this puts pressure on states and counties to simplify their tax rates (under pressure from businesses) then GOOD.
If the prices that get advertised have to be real prices you get a huge improvement in market behavior -- from real estate to healthcare to cars to food -- immediately. And it will effectively demolish most of the issues with car dealers since they'll need to quote actual prices.
Dealer direct, sounds good. Until you find out that car you really want has a demonstration center that is too far away, in a place you don't want to go. Until you find out repairs are done at an authorized shop that handles so many brands they cannot get it right. Until you have serious problems with your car and that manufacturer is so far away they can ignore you for a good amount of time... and so on.
While not everyone has a good experience at a dealer I have never had a bad one and considering the number of vehicles I have gone through, well. Dealers aren't there just to sell cars. They they maintain them, they work to keep you happy so you come back. This means they act as go between consumer and manufacturer and can often push the manufacturer to fix things they might just overlook.
Tesla is fine as it is now simply because they don't sell enough cars to matter, let alone to the majority of people their cars are not affordable and the customers who do buy have the time to go anywhere they need to to buy a car or even have someone go get it. When, and it is a very big when, Tesla has any real volume let us watch how they handle problems
Manufacturers hate dealers. It's mutual. The only reason consumers don't hate the manufacturers so much is that they have never had to deal with them directly. Dealer protection laws are there because manufacturers have a long history of trying to steal from dealers, cheat them, and put them out of business at whim. Those are the manufacturers that consumers are asking to deal with directly. I'm sure they'll treat consumers better than they treat their business partners!
According to Bob Lutz having car dealerships is a pro. LOL, I am yet to talk to anybody who actually enjoyed the car dealership experience weather it's buying or servicing the car.The whole car dealer enterprise is a rent seeking business. In many states you cannot have the manufacture sell the cars directly. That's changing slowly -- thanks to Tesla -- the dealer lobby is a big contributor in many local and state wide elections. The pricing for the automobile / features is not clear to begin with. It's to the point that there's many competing business that try to give you true car pricing. And, every step of the way the dealership tries to extract another fee / charge for you via various tactics like destination fees, myriad of financing fees, unneeded insurance (tire insurance, ones that overlap with the manufactures warranty).
Personally, I would love if the dealership model died. The alternative being ordering a car online and having it show up at home at a scheduled time. I imagine the same experience can be replicated the other way when the car needs servicing, schedule it online and have it picked up / drop it off and a point of aggregation of the car maker where they handle volume.
And before you tell me about the test drive and getting a feel for the car. Meh. Your fooling yourself if you think that a 15 minute test ride will tell you much about the cars performance, comfort or even layout. You will only learn that the seats are uncomfortable on a 3 hour trip once you take that 3 hour trip. If a test drive is really important to you, you should really rent the car for a couple days.
One could also make the argument that dealerships should go away based on their general discriminatory tendencies. Here's a recentish paper quantifying it: http://islandia.law.yale.edu/ayres/Ayres%20Siegelman%20Race%... . The quantify how much more dealerships by different gender / race. The recent book named Phishing for Phools dedicates some time to this topic as well.
Find a jurisdiction anywhere in the USA where direct manufacturer sales are legal. Negotiate with the manufacturers to handle direct-to-consumer sales for them. Write your "app" so that customers can build their car online and have the order go straight to the factory. Charge the customer a "delivery fee" to get their heavily discounted car to them, from which you make your profits.
Seems like a lot of work, and a lot of fighting with a lot of bureaucracy, but that's what all these "disrupt the industry" startups like to spend their billions doing. I'm surprised that nobody is doing it today.
Make the car -> sell the car
Sell the car -> make the car
This switch should have happened a long time ago. The near total elimination of the vast inventory system. It would make most automakers dramatically more profitable.
Dealerships should be replaced by small automaker-owned sales venues, stocked with one of each model for test driving purposes. Customers order their car, with some limited customizations. They come back in a week and pick up their car, and save 20% off current prices. The automaker never builds a car that hasn't already been sold.
Integrate the best supply chain management, best logistics, best customization processes, best personalization processes, best servicing processes, best retail sales force, best legal compliance/adherence processes.
Then look at how to make a giant iPod on wheels then deploy.
Can be broadened to "why does <insert aspect of creative culture> suck, blame copyright.
- Revenue 2013: 197 billion (over 1 year)
- Profit 2013: 6.4 billion (over 1 year)
So the scandal cost them 1 year of profits, 3% of their revenue.
At least EFF had a small win here https://supporters.eff.org/civicrm/mailing/view?reset=1&id=1... despite losing the fight against idiotic CISA.
Both our apps appear as top results when "LoyLap" is typed into App Store search. In your results only our merchant app appears when queried with "LoyLap".
Do you plan on making it a real app for iOS ? Will Apple allow it on AppStore ?
And for my taste Small Basic appears ugly for a beginner's language, the "Hello World" is:
PRINT "Hello World"
In other words, the US acted like a good government and helped the arts flourish, because it had a competition. It sounds like a joke, but in Us if you want to fund anything, you have to describe it as a weapon.
Write that open source software is a weapon against Chinese industry and you'll get CIA funding. Heh, after all Tor got funds from the Navy...
- The entire entertainment industry.
- The LGBT-movement / Pussy Riot.
- Social networks, the internet, email providers and search engines.
- Quantum computing and advanced NLP.
Clearly they wanted to keep "the (perpetual) fight against terrorism" on this list, but Russia did not listen.
Adam Curtis spoke about Russian government vocally backing various organizations, some hostile and some friendly to it. That way people are never sure who to trust, because even opposition is funded by gov. One difference is that Russians broadcast who they sponsor, given their target is the public.
Makes me wonder if CIA let slip it was using art as weapon to Russians, then watch them panic.
Does a painting like this http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/images/h2/h2_57.92.jpg lose or gain new value in the context of being an unwitting participant in a sophisticated exercise of distraction?
Does the artist's original intention behind his or her art take a second place to the newly revealed absurdist quality?
Would Abstract Expressionism have been the dominant art movement of the post-war years without this patronage? The answer is probably yes. Equally, it would be wrong to suggest that when you look at an Abstract Expressionist painting you are being duped by the CIA.
Perhaps not duped. But, how many other types of art were stifled by having a secret fund devoted to creating, promoting and praising one type of art.
Which raises the question of why the CIA chose abstract expressionism as the vehicle of choice for its propaganda. Perhaps because it is hard to be subversive with a work of art that every observer will interpret differently. Or perhaps because unlike other art that has some common ground for discourse between two observers, abstract art is like watching clouds pass by. "I see a baby!" one watcher will say. "I see a puppy!" another watcher will say. And that's where the conversation ends. It's the ultimate expression of individualism, but also the ultimate killer of dialogue.
Sites like FiveThirtyEight and The Economist usually have separate graphics departments who use nonstatistical tools like Illustrator to annotate and apply custom theming. Good visualization is an huge part of a persuasive argument, and so being able to do both is important (and languages like R have good native plotting as well)
Additionally, looking at the agate code Jupyter notebook, it appears that the processing syntax is very, very similar to pandas (despite the warning against it) aside from the print_bars method, so I'm confused about the specific utility of the module.
From the post comments, after someone else noted the similarities too:
> You're right, most of my problems with pandas are not in its interfaces. My problems there are with the overhead of the numpy dependency, its confusing handling of text, nulls, etc. (inherited from numpy) and its documentation aimed at advanced users rather than beginners.
Seems weird to have this type of tool as a local tool rather than a cloud based tool.
It would be neat to have a service you can query with a snippet of IR, and it gives you back an optimal version of it. One can continually increase the side of these snippets as you get more cloud resources.
Having statistics on which patterns are common, even if they are not optimized would be really interesting. You could then use these statistics to target future optimization research.
By the time you hit 18, suddenly the reins are off, and what was once forbidden and done in stolen hours becomes acceptable, and without fail, uni freshers and those in college go off the rails, often developing habits that last the better part of a decade.
My current partner is Spanish, and talks of a culture that has never made drinking a forbidden fruit, stories of drinking at home with family, in moderation, abound.She, and her peers, simply don't have the "you're an adult now, DOWN IT FRESHER" attitude my Scottish peers do.
It is very interesting to see how the drinking culture has been shaped and how that we are sheep by partaking. Well in a way we are sheep and wolves.
Because there is something in drinking culture in the UK that is about 'egging on' other people to drink more, so if someone who is known to drink decides to take it easy (like just drink a bit slowly) then they are often cajoled into drinking more.
In addition there is the social pressure of buying rounds, so the next drink is always coming and many pints of beer all on the table at once. And you have to buy your round or you are a cheapskate - even if you didn't drink as much on the other rounds!
Then in the workplace there is the bonding and social cohesion you miss out on if you abstain at work lunchtimes or functions. Drinking increases your chance of greasing the wheels of promotion and advancement. I've worked places where people would get drunk at lunchtime. And not always on a Friday!
I'm glad it is at the peak and now declining. Probably a good thing.
Living in Australia now. Drinking culture is definitely less but it is certainly there. I think the fitness and coffee culture trumps it.
So it's probably not the generation as a whole that has an abnormal relationship, but a small minority of the generation.
Couple of points...
"Alcohol makes many of us unpleasant: verbally abusive, angry, destructive."
That's a bit of a stretch. Yes you do get the 'angry drunk' phenomenon, but the number of drunken fights I've seen has been relatively small. I think this is different from place to place, there are cities where I know this is a bigger issue, but in general people tend to be more friendly when they're drunk.
"This generational difference isnt just anecdotal. Young people are drinking less frequently, and more of them are teetotal. We dont know why: it could be financial hardship, an increase in the proportion that dont drink for religious reasons, or increased time spent online."
If I had to guess, I'd say it was the rise of importance in gym culture.
As an alternative, cocktails had a small resurgence in the 90s that continues today. But most bars make their cocktails with different proportions and different ingredients. So not only could the number of possible cocktails reach infinity, but the number of possible locations to find a 'well made' cocktail increases. If you want a good (or new) cocktail you're always on a search for that new special drink.
It used to be that drinking the cheapest beer you could find in as high a quantity as you could find made for a fun night out [for young folk]. But new drinking establishments are tailor made to provide you a new product which costs more money, with the promise of a more sophisticated (or at least variable) flavor palette; the availability of flavored spirits in every bar and club shows how hard the industry works to try and gain new customers.
All of this comes at the same time that wine is probably as cheap as it has been in centuries. The increase in new markets such as China, Brazil and India have created a giant global marketplace for wine, which New World growers such as Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States have happily provided for. We're awash in wine that is not just cheap, but tasty, too, growing the market even more.
We have more products than ever, more choice than ever, more customers than ever, more availability than ever, and a lower price than ever before. And they wonder why we drink more?
Surely the test, if it is to be used at all, should outlaw games where there is no skill involved at all (e.g. roulette, lotteries)
There's an American site: http://www.williamhill.us/ though it seems they've just licensed the name.
How does the latter exist if online sports betting is illegal in the US?
It's 1860something, when the last bits of terra incognita were being mopped up. Like to be reminded that only recently there was still wonder and mystery in the world.
How Old Is Your Website? :-)
(And the list is missing South Sudan, which gained independence 4 years ago)
>Related: 13 people trying to figure out how old a globe is on Quora https://www.quora.com/How-old-can-this-globe-be