Monday, August 17, 2015

On P-Values

My business partner just tried to sell me some bullshit hair loss shampoo.


Sooooo I just spent a half hour writing an email that explains how the scientific method works.

Yes, Amazon Really is a Shitty Place to Work

I've received this article from multiple people.  Not the most accurate, and the tone is a little weird.  The article makes it sound like a bad thing to toss a bunch of devs into working conditions so terrible that most of them quit.  I disagree with that tone.  The programmer I am today was forged in the fire of horrific 3am on call events, tense design discussions, vicious inter-team battles, and working a shit ton of hours on a system of enormous scale where mistakes cost millions of dollars.  And I made one of those mistakes:  I brought down digital in Europe for 11 hours.  I had a lot of silly, egotistical notions about being a professional software developer that needed to go away, and Amazon forced me to grow up, fast.  And it taught me politics.  I went from the kind of person a manager actively sabatoges, to the kind who has two managers break the rules to keep him on the team.  Still a lot of things to learn in all of those areas (e.g. I don't have much experience managing up when it comes to my skip level), but Amazon gave me a huge boost.

So again, Amazon IS a shitty place to work, but that's not a bad thing.

I am writing this post because some fuckwit on Linked In is going around saying "hey even though i'm not a real dev and only been at amazon for 18 months I can tell you everything is cool; NYT is lying."

I just want you all to know, he's full of shit.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Android Devices

I have a lot of Android devices here for testing, and since I might be leaving, I thought it might be slightly helpful to share my impressions of them.

Nexus 5
This is the favorite.  I like the form factor.  Its fast.  Not sluggish.  Doesn't seem to have too much bloatware.  No annoying features.  At work I use this as my primary development device even though I should rotate.

Amazon Kindle HDX
Not bad.  Amazon is a pain in the ass and basically wont allow you to use it unless you sign in with an amazon account (which is incredibly inconvenient for test devices) but if you want a kindle, its a nice device.

Amazon Fire Phone
This is a giant piece of shit.  It is way to long to be a phone.  It has this creepy feature that tracks your eye movement with four cameras.  Aside from manipulating ugly lock screens in an uncanny manner, it is also something you are forced to deal with to use some of the phone features.  The phone hides the status bar even though it tells the programmer the status bar is visible.  The entire interface is not want you would expect in an Android phone, in a very bad way.  A use, red brick has a much better interface.

Xperia...something
I don't remember what this is.  Nice cheap phone though.

Blackberry (the one with android)
Meh.

Nokia X
This is awful.  This has some weird ass shit on it, including some microsoft shit and weird UI bullshit that I think is supposed to make people buy a windows phone.  Terrible experience.

Ok I have like ten more phones, but I don't remember which ones I liked, and I've been letting them just sit on my desk ever since my company tried to trade me to another company.  So they are out of battery, and I'm not going to charge them all just to finish this lame post.  Instead I will just cross this off my todo list.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Beta "Testing"

So with this stupid ass app....of the 11 beta testers we have, 1 has used it a little bit, 2 used it once or twice 6 months ago and haven't touched it since, and 1 basically didn't even use it at all.  I haven't checked the others yet.  Allegedly there are 3 willing to pay for it.  We will see.

Despite what you probably think I am actually psyched about the beta testers that aren't using it, because that means we can shut down their account instead of migrating them off cloudmine.  The ideal case would actually for all of the beta testers to have found it useless.  Then I wouldn't have to migrate anyway.

The Cloudmine assholes told me they no longer have their free tier.  I am 90% certain they are lying, and it would take about 10 minutes to check, however that would only make me more angry.  So I basically have to make an extra payment to protect my beta tester's worthless data an extra month while I migrate some of them off of cloudmine...who I will never be using again, for anything.

Honestly, we should have never even tried to do this cloud storage shit.  We would have been done in about 2 months.

The good news is, I think I'll have this shit wrapped up by end of summer.


[update]
Current guesstimate is we will end up with 4 people left.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

[coding] OMG Google WTF Threads

Soooooooooo AsyncTasks.  The "official" way to do background shit.  Well.

On some versions of Android, including whatever a Galaxy S 3 Tab runs, the async tasks share a thread pool with a core size of 1.  In simple terms, that means if you expect more than one async task to run at a time, you are fucked.  According to some documentation I found, it is possible that Google thought they were doing us a favor.  Holy Fucking Bullshit is called AsyncTask.  Why did you name it Async if some versions can only run one at a time?

Apparently AsyncTasks are only useful for short running tasks (assuming you are ok with them running synchronously).  This is just like the fucking ListView all over again.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Idea: Lego Weed Smugglers Sets

Obviously I am loving not having to be at work every day.  I'm going to have to get another job or whatever, but if I didn't, this is what I would work on:  an entire line of Lego sets on a new theme:  weed smuggling.  It would be like pirates, but modern, and based on weed.

Here are some set ideas:

  • weed smuggling trunk with replaceable panels (one could be the shell or octon labels)
  • $10 car set - weed smugglers car with secret compartment
  • weed submarine
  • a grow house
  • smugglers secret base with lots of cool shit including underwater escape route
  • protest set, with protesters wearing weed shirts and getting tear gassed by cops dressed like stormtroopers
  • medicine factory with a conveyor belt system inside that turns weed into cannabis-based epilepsy medication
  • $150 set - cartel mansion
  • $10 set - girl in hospital bed with epilepsy who needs cancer meds
  • airport security scanner linked to a separate room where TSA employees jerk off to images of naked passengers
  • house full of innocent people that gets raided by the DEA by accident because they got the address wrong (should be connectable to the grow house)
  • DEA jail cell, including a prisoner who dies because they are denied being given medication that was prescribed by a doctor (this happened) and another prisoner who had a stroke during a car accident and was subsequently arrested after being unable to follow cops instructions, and dies while crawling along the floor of his jail cell
  • $10 set - toddler that gets flash banged by cops
  • a DEA hospital where texas border patrol offices rape 50 year old women who are near the border (they can be named after the cops who did this in real life)
  • traffic stop set, two cop cars, one k9 dog.  Includes a black man watching his car  get dismantled on the side of the road, and a white man watching police rifle through his WRX without it being dismantled.

Obviously I would love to just do a kickstarter for this and sit around playing with legos all day.

Sunday, July 26, 2015