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Old May 2, 2013, 01:57 PM   #226
Rogifan
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Originally Posted by Sedrick View Post
Personally, I can see where iOS7 caught Apple off guard. It's not like they do this every year or anything.
I know. They re-org and fire people all the time.
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Old May 2, 2013, 02:27 PM   #227
deconstruct60
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Originally Posted by bbeagle View Post
I think what RobertMartens was trying to say was that if you have a software project BEHIND SCHEDULE, it's been proven that pouring all the extra developers and extra cash you have won't speed up the schedule.
That isn't what he said. I've worked on several software development projects and even managed subsets of a few. There is a "rule of thumb" truth about the mythical man month but it far more applicable to a single release than to a set of releases over time. Frankly, his commentary was highly indicative of reguritation of the rule without having any real deep understanding of it.

Over time projects do get bigger and do require more resources and manpower. How functional decomposition is weaved into the project will determine if hit the wall or not.


The huge misplaced disconnect in all of these hand wavy "Mythical Man Month" inspired justifications was that was about creating a new OS. Not an incremental release of a 10 or 5 year old system. It is extremely within the realm of predictability from a position 4 years ago that OS X and iOS would be much larger systems at this point which would need much higher staffing levels. There has been 4 years both to improve the modularity of the systems and the resiliency of the resources.

This "borrowing" resources off OS X is NOT the first time this happened. Sometime folks try to use the "Mythical Man Month" as a crutch as to why projects have to be chronically understaffed over time. ("You know you can't just add people so we'll just set up to run in this understaffed mode long term. " ). Projects that can't be late (penalties incurred) or can't be buggy (life critical) don't have these chronic under-staffing problems. At least as long as they are funded to meet those two criteria.


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If the reason something is behind schedule is because of something external, like 'we don't have all Jonny Ive's buttons made yet' - no problem, someone can make the buttons,
It is rather myopic to think that the Mythic Man Month only applies to writing C/Objective-C code. For high training silo skill sets the large scale constraints are pretty common.

Frankly, the real issue here is that of scope of change rather than anything else. Executive Foobar issues decree that all Spacely Space Spockets must be replaced by Cosmo Cogs. The long range schedule or resourcing was never set up for that. This leads to a blown up the schedule. At that point is a matter of which users and/or applications get thrown under the bus to make it happen. ........ ta da OS X slides out on release days.


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And communication issues are compounded exponentially with more developers. With just a few developers (4 or less), people will 'know' what others are doing by overhearing talk through cubicle walls, and by their day to day chat. More than that, meetings are necessary. More than that, or with remote employees, other communications are necessary, thus decreasing the development time.
Not necessarily. First, if developers are locally expanding an already large system it there is no exponential expansion. At least not if the system is well designed in the first place.


Second the remote communications completely ignore modern tools. With tools like custom chat rooms , irc , etc. it is relatively straightforward trivial to connect groups of 4-10 together for "over the divider" comments with little regard for geographical boundaries. It is just a matter of typing the incidental comments rather than audio eavesdropping. Likewise with "face to face" chats.

For groups where there is relatively high likelihood to overlapping changes to the same files. Sure it is better to localize the groups working on specific modules. But for inter-module interaction either the module decomposition is crap or the bandwidth necessary is much lower to the point modern distance leveling tools are effective.

There are more than few successful open source projects that work with distributed development. A far bigger impediment for a long time was distributed source control far more than human-to-human communications problems.

Also where things wander into political rather technical dances then sure the local communications dominate.
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Old May 2, 2013, 03:39 PM   #228
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I hope iOS 7 is more than eye candy. My biggest frustration is the lack of possible interactions between apps. I'm tired of copy pasting addresses, URL's, ... and want to create todo's, appointments, message replies, ... without switching apps.
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Old May 2, 2013, 03:50 PM   #229
Stetrain
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Originally Posted by macfacts View Post
When he reviewed the iPad mini, he said it was only $30 more than the nexus 7. This is how informed he is.

Edit: $50, not $30. http://www.loopinsight.com/2012/10/30/review-ipad-mini/
I don't see where he said that the Nexus 7 was $50 cheaper. The quote was "If you want to save $50 and buy a cheap-ass tablet, go ahead," which is a pretty general statement that refers to no other tablet in particular. In the directly preceding paragraphs he was discussing an ASUS Windows 8 tablet for comparison, not the nexus 7.

Now not comparing the iPad Mini to the Nexus 7 is indeed not being very thorough.
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Old May 2, 2013, 04:42 PM   #230
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Originally Posted by Stetrain View Post
I don't see where he said that the Nexus 7 was $50 cheaper. The quote was "If you want to save $50 and buy a cheap-ass tablet, go ahead," which is a pretty general statement that refers to no other tablet in particular. In the directly preceding paragraphs he was discussing an ASUS Windows 8 tablet for comparison, not the nexus 7.

Now not comparing the iPad Mini to the Nexus 7 is indeed not being very thorough.
No Windows 8/RT tablets were less than the price of the iPad mini last year. The reviewer clearly had the nexus 7 in mind when making that statement.
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Old May 2, 2013, 04:54 PM   #231
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Originally Posted by Patriot24 View Post
Jim is the man.
Is he really? What is it that he does, exactly?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hagar View Post
I hope iOS 7 is more than eye candy. My biggest frustration is the lack of possible interactions between apps. I'm tired of copy pasting addresses, URL's, ... and want to create todo's, appointments, message replies, ... without switching apps.
My biggest push to get a HTC when I finally get a smartphone is the tiredness of the iOS UI. It is now boring. Usable, intuitive, but dull.
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Old May 3, 2013, 04:50 AM   #232
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Google Mail is rolling out an update where you can post events to a calendar directly from email. This is the kind of stuff IOS 7 needs, not changing the grain on a bookshelf.
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Old May 3, 2013, 07:23 AM   #233
Rogifan
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Originally Posted by jimbo1mcm View Post
Google Mail is rolling out an update where you can post events to a calendar directly from email. This is the kind of stuff IOS 7 needs, not changing the grain on a bookshelf.
Why didn't we have this in iOS 6?
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Old May 3, 2013, 09:04 AM   #234
No5tromo
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Originally Posted by oneMadRssn View Post
Just as an unannounced product can't be late or delayed, it also can't be on time.

Also, iOS 9 is on time at this point.
Agreed. Plus I don't care if it gets released a month or two later than speculated
so long as it's something solid and an improvement over what we have today, I don't want to see another "iOS 5 but a tad fancier" like we did with iOS 6 and I definitely don't want to see something buggy or something that will not work properly on older iPhones (like iOS 5 destroyed iPhone 3Gs a couple of years ago).
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Old May 3, 2013, 12:56 PM   #235
darkplanets
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Originally Posted by JHankwitz View Post
Good grief! Hiring more painters to put 6 coats of varnish on my livingroom floor won't get it done any quicker. Software development consists of a series of events, not parallel. A critical path needs to be followed, each step dependent on completion of the previous. Throwing more people at it would only result in something akin to the Apple Maps app.
Depends, really. The assumption here is that Apple already reached project efficiency. This would imply that all the managers were competent and the planning and task distribution achieved maximum efficiency. I somehow doubt this, especially in a large company such as Apple. Peters principle, anyone?

Regardless, the comments about throwing people on late stage is correct, as others have noted, but they should have increased staffing appropriately at the start of the project. I really doubt they're at operational efficiency considering the slew of delays and other issues of late.
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Old May 3, 2013, 11:01 PM   #236
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Renowned Apple journalist Jim Dalrymple
Sucking up to Apple by writing product announcements doesn't make you a journalist.

Being known by other suck-ups doesn't make you renowned, either.

Have a nice day!
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Old May 4, 2013, 07:39 PM   #237
vvswarup
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Originally Posted by jimbo1mcm View Post
Google Mail is rolling out an update where you can post events to a calendar directly from email. This is the kind of stuff IOS 7 needs, not changing the grain on a bookshelf.
Maybe I'm not understanding you correctly, but I've been able to do what you're describing since iOS4. Let's say someone sends me an email with a date and time, the date and time portion becomes a link that I can click on to create an event in the calendar app on iOS. I can also accept invitations from my phone.

Are you talking about being able to post events to Google Calendar from the iOS email app?
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Old May 4, 2013, 10:43 PM   #238
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Originally Posted by JimDalrymple View Post
Also, I rescue dogs, so there's that.

Jim
What about cats? Do you rescue them, or do you discriminate against cats?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Winni View Post
However, for a company that has 140 billion USD....
Actually, Apple doesn't. Most of their cash horde is not in the US - it is in off-shore tax-haven accounts.

Did you not see the stories that Apple is borrowing money now?


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Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post
I know. They re-org and fire people all the time.
Yes, they do. Like virtually every other company in the world. One neighbor was let go from Apple when a product was end-of-lifed, and the spouse of a colleague was also laid off from Apple.

That's business life on planet Earth - perhaps it's different on your home planet.
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Old May 5, 2013, 12:10 AM   #239
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Actually, Apple doesn't. Most of their cash horde is not in the US - it is in off-shore tax-haven accounts.

Did you not see the stories that Apple is borrowing money now?
That's a little misleading. Apple does have that cash to work with, but they can't bring it back to the US without incurring taxes.

So let's say they wanted to open an R&D centre in Germany (why not?) - they could use some of that $140Bn for that. They wouldn't need to go to a bank.

Apple is borrowing money because its most profitable for them to do so. It's not because their hands are tied by some invisible force. They could use that money if they wanted to.

Actually, Apple could (and should) repatriate some of its own money to pay for the share repurchase. It's digusting how far they go to evade taxation.

This is how it works: Profits get taxed. Just like you pay tax on your income, corporations have to pay tax on theirs. But how do you tax the profits made by American companies abroad? Should you tax them?

The current system taxes those profits at the point they enter the company's US accounts, like other forms of income. If Apple wants to use $20Bn of its overseas money, it needs to transfer it from 'Apple Japan' to 'Apple USA', which books that money as a profit and has to pay tax on it. It's not double taxation because those profits have never been booked and taxed before.

That seems fair enough. Apple pays tax on its income like we pay tax on ours. If it makes money overseas, it has to be held at arm's length until tax has been paid on it. Like how if you did some additional freelance work on the side you'd have to declare it.

The system starts to unravel when you consider 'soft' sources of income - e.g. patent royalties or digital goods purchases (Apps, Music, etc). Where are those things sold from? From where-ever you like! So Apple's patent royalties are going to 'Apple Cayman Islands' or some other low-tax jurisdiction. In Europe, iTunes purchases go via 'Apple Ireland'. It's robbing your country of billions of dollars in tax revenues. Those lost taxes have to come from somewhere - and in the end it will have to be repaid by the American citizen. That is why the national debt is so high.

Here's the first article I found on Google about this, from the WSJ, looking at 60 US corporations:

- Foreign assets went up by $166Bn last year, and helped to shield more than 40% of their annual profits from US taxes

- 10/60 companies actually moved more profits overseas than the US parent company made. Thanks to tricky accounting, some companies moved billions abroad while the domestic books showed a pre-tax loss (i.e. no tax due).

- Total foreign assets for the group were $1.3Tn (yes, with a 'T'). Almost half of that was cash - i.e. only held overseas to avoid tax.

- All of that cash is unavailable for dividends, share repurchases, or any other purchase or investment in the US. Basically, the more these companies move their profits abroad, the less they can input in to the economic cycle in the US and the more incentive they have to spend that money abroad.

- According to 19/60 of those companies, they'd have to pay almost $100Bn in taxes if their offshore money was in the US. So the US Government has had to borrow up to $300Bn from China so these companies can hide their profits. That money is going to have to be repaid by the government (i.e. you), not by these companies.

- "The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that changing the law to fully tax overseas earnings would generate an additional $42 billion for the Treasury this year alone. Congress enacted a temporary tax holiday in 2004, prompting companies to repatriate $312 billion in foreign earnings. The law was intended to stimulate the U.S. economy, but studies found that few jobs were created and most of the money was used to repurchase shares and pay dividends."

- No surprises there. The top 10% of earners own 90% of shares on the market. Give the corporations more money and only the already-rich really benefit at all.

- Guess what? The big corporations (including Apple, of course) are lobbying for another tax holiday as the solution to all of this! Pull-the-freaking-other-one while you bankrupt my country!

- By borrowing money, Apple is not only avoiding the tax of repatriating its cash, but it even gets another freaking tax break on the interest it pays on the loan. You couldn't make this crap up.

I would actually go so far as to say what these corporations are doing is evil. They're not just avoiding taxes like you avoid talking to your mother-in-law. They are bankrupting Europe and the USA. A select few are getting ridiculously rich, but it's you will have to pay it back.
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Old May 5, 2013, 06:21 AM   #240
Rogifan
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Originally Posted by AidenShaw View Post

Yes, they do. Like virtually every other company in the world. One neighbor was let go from Apple when a product was end-of-lifed, and the spouse of a colleague was also laid off from Apple.

That's business life on planet Earth - perhaps it's different on your home planet.
I was referring to the executive ranks.
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Old May 5, 2013, 10:02 AM   #241
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Originally Posted by AidenShaw View Post
Actually, Apple doesn't. Most of their cash horde is not in the US - it is in off-shore tax-haven accounts.
True, but they have more than 40 billion in USA.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AidenShaw View Post
Did you not see the stories that Apple is borrowing money now?
What does that have to do with their cash being offshore? They have more than enough cash in the states to operate. Almost all tech giants have most of their cash offshore. Microsoft, Google, HP etc. But they can keep operating with the cash in hand in US.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AidenShaw View Post
Yes, they do. Like virtually every other company in the world. One neighbor was let go from Apple when a product was end-of-lifed, and the spouse of a colleague was also laid off from Apple.

That's business life on planet Earth - perhaps it's different on your home planet.
I'm pretty certain he was referring to Forstall being ousted. It's not like Apple does this every year, firing and reallocating key VP's.
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Old May 5, 2013, 11:02 AM   #242
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He's the father of paths. Thanks to him we can have nested folders. If it wasn't him, we'd keep all our files in the same folder.

I think he also plays guitar sometimes.
Thank god for that! I have folders in folders. I hardly keep stuff on my desktop.
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