Technology will make your life easier

We have a tool. It lets us do stuff to stuff. One of workflows is called foo_power_down. it has an inverse flow called foo_power_on. Twitch. Twitch.

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Has Chrome (on Windows) just added the tab previews when you leave your cursor over a tab, or am I only just somehow noticing them now?

I have definitely seen it before, but I wouldn’t be able to say how long ago. Definitely before July, as I had noticed that on my previous job.

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I am just musing about how to best send a document to someone that my dad had on his computer but printed out for me… he’s generally good with tech for his age. But he still prints everything. Now I get to scan it. Then make it small enough for the upload form… when it was originally a slim pdf probably.

I got a pdf of a form I needed to print, fill out and mail (physically) in. I am pretty sure it’s a scan of printout of a photo a computer screen displaying the form. This from a financial services company that is online only. (The version on the website is a straight digital form, including the ability fill it before printing it. I couldn’t find it, because it’s named weirdly, and had to talk to a human who sent me an email with the super low res Betsy. )

(I have no idea how version became Betsy, not what resolution Betsy is.)

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An interesting survey on ethical concerns in software development.

Found in a Stack Overflow blog article about the possibilities and problems of preventing open source being used for unethical purposes.

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Ironically hosted at Google.

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Do no evil.

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Many companies have as their motto the thing they know is their biggest problem. See also Ars Gratia Artis. (We shall not speak of Quality Inns.)

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But if you know it is a problem why fire the very people who should help you with it?

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Solid gold yachts aren’t cheap. (They keep sinking, for a start.)

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I am so very happy that at this moment I get to work for something I can believe in. I can contribute to something that–in a roundabout way and YMMV about the if and how much–makes the world a little better.

I have previously had jobs in which I either wrote software for a company I actively disliked for how it treated both its customers and employees or wrote software that related to something that I would rather get rid of. Sure all that software helped some of the people that needed it–software usually does–but it was certainly not doing anything “meaningful”. No major ethical concerns along the way, just the small discomfiting feeling I should be doing something “better”.

PS: I didn’t think much about any of this when I was younger… if I had, my career might have been very a bit different.

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Yes indeed! My job is maybe not a Great Social Benefit but it makes a fair few people’s lives better, and does a bit of enduring good.

In a previous job I was briefly the webmaster for S Club 7.

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Have you got that on your CV? I would.

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It was very brief, and assigned basically at random - the agency I was working for had the BMG contract, and there were cross-marketing complications, so we did the sites for them, Westlife, Mediaeval Baebes, and many others I’ve now forgotten.

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A thing that will never make sense to me: I fixed a reporting job to not suck. It went from using just over a cpu-year twice a day, to a few hundred cpu-hours. Because of something in the magic plumbing, the wall time the job takes went up.

Now it’s fast enough to reveal the limitations elsewhere in the system?

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Dunno. Magic plumbing. I suspect it changes the way the job is split up among runners; the previous job was doing a table scan, which is easy to split up among an arbitrary number of orker nodes. the revamped version does it differently, and should be using indices. That’s harder to split up. I just found it amusing, and probably wouldn’t have noticed, but for a bug in a downstream job. That job wasn’t properly declaring a dependency on the first one, so it got run before the first one finished, and started failing. (It looks like it had occaisional failures before, for that reason, but I don’t consume it or maintain it. Easy fix, though.)

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Sometimes we’re just subject to the nuances of optimisers that we rely upon to give us good performance.

I’ve seen orders of magnitude of improvement from rewriting a SQL query in a way in which my subsequent scouring of the documentation assured me should have provided identical information to the optimiser, but with which it was clearly doing something quite different.

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