Why Managers Sometimes Look Like Idiots

Oct 26
2009

Mike Hatton

Mike Hatton


I am going to explain why managers sometimes seem like they do not listen to engineers and why this may cause them to look like idiots. I will grant you that some managers are idiots, but while it may look like sometimes they are ignoring your advice, that is not what is actually going on.

I will admit that the evidence of idiocy seems strong. An engineer will say, “I told them that if they made this decision that this bad thing was going to happen. They ignored my advice and did it anyway. Now this bad thing happened, just like I said. Why are they such idiots?” I will explain why that situation can occur and why the manager did the right thing. Read the rest of this entry »

Good, but it could be better…

Sep 23
2009

Mike Hatton

Mike Hatton



Good, but it could be better.

My daughter downloaded a web browser for our Wii this week. Now we can watch Youtube videos on our TV and I did not have to pay anything. Mousing around is quite easy since you just use the Wii controllers which allow you to point and click on the screen. They also added some easy ways to scroll by holding down the trigger button. Typing, however, is somewhat harder since you have to point at a virtual keyboard on the screen. Read the rest of this entry »

The Power of Being Rude

Sep 04
2009

Mike Hatton

Mike Hatton


I drive to work every day and every day there is some moron driving slow in the fast lane. The problem is always the same because there is no real way to tell the person that they need to switch lanes. Current attempts at fixing this situation involve honking, flashing lights, finding some way to pass the person in the right lane, making a rude gesture and driving one inch from their back bumper. Most of these methods aren’t really effective and in one case they are outright dangerous. Read the rest of this entry »

Language Abuse

Aug 05
2009

Mike Hatton

Mike Hatton


I love words and I especially like learning their etymologies. Reading etymologies is the main reason I only buy unabridged dictionaries. If I could convince my wife, I would get a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary, but I am not persuasive enough to talk her into spending $1000 on a dictionary.
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Swarm

Jul 28
2009

Mike Hatton

Mike Hatton


Swarm

Consider the ant. A single ant is not very big or very smart compared to a human. An ant does not even have senses that are as sophisticated as us. Yet by some measures, ants can be considered the most successful animals on the planet. Some estimates say that ants form 15-25% of the biomass of land animals, far more than any other animal. They live on every continent except the ironically named Antarctica, and without them the whole ecology would collapse. Read the rest of this entry »

Tool Love

Jul 21
2009

Mike Hatton

Mike Hatton


Tool Love

Variations of the same thing fascinate me. Take something as mundane as wrenches. The number of variations is astounding. Forget for a minute that there are different sizes of wrenches; do not worry that some are in inches and some are metric; just look at all of the variations of a tool whose only purpose it to tighten or loosen a nut. There are some like mine, which are open ended on one end and closed on the other. Some have two open ends and others have two closed ends. The closed end can have twelve points or be hex shaped. They both work on the same nuts but the hex shape supposedly gives you a more secure fit. So why do they still make twelve point? You can have the closed side with a ratchet. You can get the wrench twisted so the palm of your hand rests on the flat part of the wrench. You can get a locking flex end so it bends up and down. You can get the ends sunken. There are stubby wrenches that are extra short. You can get the whole wrench in a half-moon shape or even an “S” shape. The list goes on and these are from just one company, Sears. Read the rest of this entry »

Living off the Land

Jul 15
2009

 

Mike Hatton

Mike Hatton


It can be a real pain travelling. You have to take a bunch of stuff with you and keep an eye on it, so it doesn’t get lost or stolen. Sometimes this mental attachment to your stuff causes you to be on guard instead of enjoying your trip. So you try to find ways of travelling light. You don’t take everything you own, you just take the stuff you expect to use. Some things you expect to use but since you can get them at your destination, you leave those at home too. Most people do not take all of the food they are going to eat; they just buy it on the trip. There is no point in taking soap if you know the hotel will provide it. It would be nice if everything you needed was at your destination. If you are smart you find ways of making it possible for more things to be at your destination. Read the rest of this entry »

You will be assimilated

Jul 13
2009
Mike Hatton

Mike Hatton


Technology changes rapidly now, but it was not always like this. For most of human history, generations would go by with no technological changes whatsoever. The world looked the same at the beginning of their lives as the end. Now technology is changing so rapidly that different decades can feel almost like different worlds. Read the rest of this entry »

Everything Will Destroy Our Youth

Jul 06
2009

Mike Hatton

Mike Hatton


We went from just a few people having cell phones to almost everyone having them, in just a few short years. With such a rapid change, there is invariably a backlash. You could see this with all of the articles complaining about people talking on cell phones in public. Read the rest of this entry »

Bluetooth® Life In Words – No Wire, No Batteries

Jun 30
2009
Mike Hatton

Mike Hatton

I have two mice, a Bluetooth mouse for my laptop and a wired mouse for my desktop. I really like my Bluetooth mouse because I can put it in my backpack and not worry about the cords getting tangled with all of the other crap I am carrying around.
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