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The iPad Zombie

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Allen Pike:

The only thing we can do as developers to disavow support for these devices is require a version of iOS that won’t run on them. Unfortunately, Apple will surely continue support for the A5 in iOS 9. If they do so, we won’t have a mechanism to cut off support for these old iPads mini and iPods touch until iOS 10 has reached wide adoption, likely in early 2017.

2017.

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rafeco
4 days ago
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My iPad Mini doesn't feel obsolete to me at all.
wreichard
3 days ago
I tend to agree, though I'm starting to notice the low RAM and how every time I switch apps, it has to reload whatever I was doing. But that's worse on 8 than before. In any given app, it's rarely an issue.
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2 public comments
kiyote23
4 days ago
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As an iPad 1 owner, I hear you, but I think the problem the devs are facing is that while the device might run the OS, it might not support the features they need for their app. Then you're adding additional overhead to your code to check what device is being used, and what features are available.

But yeah, it strikes me as whiny, too.
Iowa City, IA
jepler
4 days ago
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f---- all companies with aggressive discontinuation policies. wikipedia's iPad mini article (updated with ipad mini 3 information) says the A5-based ipad mini is still in production. Google's cached version of the apple store page from earlier today shows it for sale (the apple store itself is down for me right now)

And developers are already bitching that they can't discontinue app support of them, like, now? For a device that Apple was 6 hours ago? "Powerful processing and fast graphics make everything quick, from launching apps to browsing the web. And its power-efficient design delivers up to 10 hours of battery life.2"

(sarcastic remarks about android 2.3 phones to appear below vvvvv)
Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
acdha
4 days ago
I can understand *game* developers needing a better way to present minimum hardware requirements for high-end games. As far as I can tell, this guy makes two apps which give you different ways to queue and play music from your iTunes collection.
trekkie
4 days ago
My son uses an iPad 2, my wife has an iPad mini. They have no problems with the apps they use. I'm surprised at all the bitching, you'd think Apple would have the same problem but amazingly all their apps work just fine. not even 'super lag but fine' but they just work too. Odd.

Google Drops Membership From Conservative ALEC

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Dustin Volz, writing for National Journal:

Last week, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said in an interview with NPR’s Diane Rehm that the company was dropping its membership with ALEC, a coalition of corporations and state legislators that works to create and share model legislation in statehouses around the country.

Responding to a question from a listener, Schmidt attacked ALEC for helping to sponsor legislation that opposes environmental regulations and “just literally lying” about climate change.

“Everyone understands climate change is occurring, and the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place,” Schmidt said. “And so we should not be aligned with such people.”

Great to see Google and Schmidt speaking out on this.

But Nelson, who was installed as ALEC’s chief executive just two weeks ago, said that Google’s departure, while disappointing, hasn’t hurt the group’s standing with other members, despite a wave of other companies announcing they, too, were leaving.

“Quite the contrary — I’ve had calls from companies that want to join,” Nelson said. “I am totally focused on growing the organization, and I am convinced we are poised for growth. We certainly are very optimistic about the future.”

In the wake of Google’s decision, several major tech companies — Facebook, Yahoo, and Yelp — announced they either already had or soon intended to leave ALEC as well. Microsoft also announced earlier this summer it was cutting ties with ALEC. The exodus was followed by a decision by Occidental Petroleum, the fourth-largest oil and natural-gas company in the U.S., to also divorce itself from ALEC.

You know you’re pretty far out on the right wing when you lose Occidental Petroleum as a member.

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rafeco
18 days ago
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Why did these companies join ALEC in the first place? This organization didn't just start ruining America yesterday.
petrilli
17 days ago
They joined them because it potentially increased their profit margin. "Don't be evil" has never been more than a smoke screen. It wasn't until people realized the evil that they discovered it was "Don't be evil".
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StartUp Podcast

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terrible name, great podcast; Alex Blumberg from Planet Money/This American Life tries to start a company  
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rafeco
20 days ago
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This podcast is mind-blowingly good.
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I, Cringely The Enemy in HR

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tymaRight now, depending who you speak with, there is either a shortage or a glut of IT professionals in the USA. Those who maintain there is a shortage tend to say it can only be eliminated by immigration reform allowing more H1-B visas and green cards. Those who see a glut point to high IT unemployment figures and what looks like pervasive age discrimination. If both views are possible — and I am beginning to see how they could be — we can start by blaming the Human Resources (HR) departments at big and even medium-sized companies.

HR does the hiring and firing or at least handles the paperwork for hiring and firing. HR hires headhunters to find IT talent or advertises and finds that talent itself. If you are an IT professional in a company of almost any size that has an HR department, go down there sometime and ask about their professional qualifications. What made them qualified to hire you?

You’ll find the departments are predominantly staffed with women and few, if any, of those women have technical degrees. They are hiring predominantly male candidates for positions whose duties they typically don’t understand. Those HR folks, if put on the spot, will point out that the final decision on all technical hires comes from the IT department, itself. All HR does is facilitate.

Not really. What HR does is filter. They see as an important part of their job finding the very best candidates for every technical position. But how do you qualify candidates if you don’t know what you are talking about? They use heuristics — sorting techniques designed to get good candidates without really knowing good from bad.

Common heuristic techniques for hiring IT professionals include looking for graduates of top university programs and for people currently working in similar positions at comparable companies including competitors. The flip side of these techniques also applies — not looking for graduates of less prestigious universities or the unemployed.

The best programmer I know is Paul Tyma, 2014 Alumnus of the Year of the College of Engineering at the University of Toledo in Ohio. Paul later got a PhD from Syracuse University and that is what scored him an interview at Google where he became a senior developer, but it’s doubtful that would have happened had he settled for the U of T degree where he learned most of his chops.

It’s very common for the best programmer in any department to have a low quality degree or sometimes no degree at all. This person, this absolutely invaluable person, would generally not make the HR cut for hiring at their company today. Those interviewers from the IT department would never know they existed.

Same for the unemployed. Layoffs are deadly for IT reemployment. If you don’t know who to interview it’s easier just to decide you’ll only talk with people who are already working somewhere. A bad employed programmer is viewed as inherently superior to a very good unemployed programmer. This of course eliminates from consideration anyone who was laid-off for any reason. Speaking as a guy who was fired from every job I ever had (you’d fire me, too — believe me) if I was trying to find a technical job today I’d probably never work again.

It doesn’t matter why you lost your job. The company moved and you couldn’t move with it for some family reason. Your startup failed. Your boss was an asshole. You were an asshole, but  a brilliant one. You were older and dumped (illegally I might add) to save money. It doesn’t matter how smart or skilled you are if HR won’t even put your name on the interview list.

One way around this is the moment you are fired or laid-off go back to school. When you graduate with that new degree or certificate you’ll be desirable again — in debt, but desirable.

And so we have the appearance of IT labor shortages at the same time we have record IT unemployment. And because the head of HR isn’t going to admit to the CEO that such bonehead policies exist, they are kept secret and the CEO urged to lobby for immigration reform.

Headhunters don’t help, either, because they see the source of their hefty commissions as luring working programmers from one company to another. Unemployed programmers don’t need luring and so don’t need headhunters.

There are exceptions to these trends, of course, but they are rare.

Those ladies down in HR are typically damaging their companies while simultaneously working very hard trying to do what they believe is good work. It’s a paradox, I know, and one that’s for the most part unknown by the rest of society.

The answer, of course, is to either improve the quality of HR departments, making them truly useful, or make them dramatically less powerful, maybe eliminating them entirely from hiring.

I’d recommend doing both.

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rafeco
21 days ago
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This article is mostly utter bullshit. No competitive company in the software business allows HR to override engineering managers when it comes to filtering candidates.
acdha
21 days ago
Also… that's not so much a whiff of sexism as a putrid overwhelming stench. The only places where I've had problems with the wrong person being hired or or the right one being passed over were simply demonstrating another aspect of broken management culture and that gender balance skewed male — and unsurprisingly that never lead to public debates about being qualified to make decisions.
rafeco
21 days ago
"You’ll find the departments are predominantly staffed with women ..." What an odious toad.
mxm23
15 days ago
A) Any good hiring manager (not HR!) is looking for candidates everywhere, all the time. B) The best opportunities come from networking, not applying to companies through systems that heuristically mine resumes for potential candidates. Who do you know there? Who do you know who knows someone there? It’s about relationships. Firing your resume off to a company through a system (ahem, “Jobvite”) is fraught with peril. C) The sad thing is I’ve seen from personal experience that candidates can graduate from a Bachelors or Masters program in Computer Science or Engineering and literally not know how to program at the new grad / new hire level. As in, they don’t pass even my pseudo-code test. (And I’m a manager.)
mxm23
15 days ago
Agreed the sexism is terrible too.
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Why Didn’t Eric Holder Go After the Bankers?

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Amid all the coverage of Eric Holder’s resignation, I still haven’t seen a convincing answer to one question: Why didn’t the Justice Department, under his leadership, prosecute some of the senior bankers whose firms were largely responsible for the subprime-mortgage blowup and the Great Recession? It’s a gap in Holder’s record that historians will ponder at the same time they criticize his record on civil liberties, particularly his endorsement of the surveillance state, and praise him for trying to tackle some enduring problems in the American criminal-justice system, such as the imposition of long prison sentences for minor crimes and the scandalously high rates of incarceration, especially among minority groups.


See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

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acdha
24 days ago
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What are the odds against this question being answered by Holder getting a Wall Street job once he leaves?
Washington, DC
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1984, pop culture's best year ever

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According to Rolling Stone, 1984 was the greatest year in pop music history. And they made a list of the top 100 singles from that year; here's the top 5:

5. Thriller, Michael Jackson
4. Let's Go Crazy, Prince
3. I Feel for You, Chaka Khan
2. Borderline, Madonna
1. When Doves Cry, Prince

1984 was also a fine year for movies and the most 1980s year of the 1980s. Both Bill Simmons and Aaron Cohen agree, 1984 was the best year.

Tags: Aaron Cohen   best of   Bill Simmons   lists   music
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rafeco
32 days ago
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Just like George Orwell predicted.
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digdoug
33 days ago
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'84, '94, '04 were all great. What the hell happened to '14?
Louisville, KY
steingart
33 days ago
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agreed.
Princeton, NJ
cinebot
33 days ago
1982 was the best year for films.
satadru
32 days ago
Also for baseball... well, if you're a Detroit fan.
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