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Comment: Re:I wonder how much damage... (Score 1) 241

by JWSmythe (#46784403) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

I've gone through this at a few places now. Besides resistance from the users ("we only know how to use Outlook!"), is migrating from Outlook to another solution ranges somewhere between unlikely to impossible. For someone like me, I only have 3 or 4 appointments scheduled, and the other few hundred are meetings I was invited to. :)

You can have the best plan, with the best business reasons, but when a senior executive tells the CEO that he can't switch, you'll frequently find that it will veto the migration.

Here's a real-world example. I was Director of IT for the company. The CEO told me specifically to get rid of Exchange, because the upgrade costs were too high. We were literally a couple weeks from switching. The Director of Sales went to the CEO and demanded that we keep Exchange, or he would walk.

Funny thing about the sales department. He didn't manage to sell anything, and he couldn't retain the customers. The accounting staff ended up doing all the customer retention. That guy cost us more money than he made. IT, on the other hand, brought costs down, and improved the customer experience.

The only thing that sales brought to us were headaches, and very pretty forward looking reports, that pretty much consisted of a graph showing our sales history, and a line going up at a 45 degree angle showing our future revenue. Every few months, he had to update the graph, so it showed our revenue losses, and had a new starting point for his upward line. I don't think he had a grasp of the concept of forecasting.

Comment: Re:Useful Idiot (Score 1) 339

Snowden has been careful to release only the things he feels violated the oath he and others took to the U.S. Constitution

Please point out the part of the US Constitution that says the Federal Government can't spy on foreign countries, then justify Snowden's leaking of intelligence methods and sources that had nothing whatsoever to do with American domestic civil liberties.

Comment: Re:Useful Idiot (Score 0) 339

What the fuck do you milquetoast standard-bearers of pusillanimity expect him to do?

Put his actions before a jury of his peers, like the numerous whistle-blowers who came before him, none of whom fled to hostile countries? Restrict his leaks to pertinent information, rather than dumping EVERYTHING? Attempt to work within the system before trying to blow it up? Leak the information without outing yourself, remaining anonymous like Deep Throat did?

Anyway, I'm all for the balance of power. The best antidote to an abusive US empire is an abusive Sov^WRussian empire.

You'd probably have a different perspective on that if you lived in the Baltic States, Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, Finland, Georgia, or any of the Central Asian Republics.

Comment: Re:Useful Idiot (Score 1) 339

Yep -- if the US wanted to not give Putin a propaganda tool, they could have welcomed him back home with a guarantee of safety.

It'd make more sense to play the realpolitik game: "Put Mr. Snowden on a flight to New York and we'll quietly acquiesce to your annexation of Crimea."

Unfortunately realpolitik is not something the current administration is very good at. They're very good at making promises they can't keep, and threats they won't follow up on, but making cold calculations to further American interests in a dangerous world? Not so much.

Comment: Re:Capital gains plus corporate income (Score 1) 312

My understanding is that capital gains tax is lower because the business you're investing in has already paid its half in corporate income tax.

Not really; after all, the government has no trouble "double-taxing" money any time you give them half a chance; and if that was really the concern then the amount of time that the investment was held wouldn't matter. The fundamental reason for the lower tax rate is to encourage long-term investment -- and the theory is that by so doing, corporations have a better opportunity to be profitable (which of course translates into more incoming tax dollars.)

Comment: Re:A few observations and suggestions (Score 3, Informative) 241

by JWSmythe (#46779575) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

Microsoft is probably counting every OEM that ships with the trial version of Office, and all the bundled licenses, even if they aren't used.

Most companies buy too many licenses, so they can be sure they have enough. So if we buy 50, and use 30, but only 10 use it on any sort of regular basis, MS will still count it as 50.

Comment: Re:I wonder how much damage... (Score 4, Interesting) 241

by JWSmythe (#46779547) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

For most users that I've known who were willing to try OpenOffice, Calc worked fine for them.

The problem is Outlook and Exchange. The users see the mail client, calendering, and the like, as essential. The word processor and spreadsheet are secondary to that. Once some exec starts talking to sales about getting just Outlook, they are sold on the wonders of getting the whole MSOffice suite.

There are enough users who refuse to even try OpenOffice for the word processor. "I can't because...". I've tricked some users into switching, by just giving them shortcuts on their desktop with the MS names instead of the OO names, and changing the default save types to the MS counterpart. When they ask about why it looks different, I just tell them "oh, this is the newer version.", and they're fine.

Comment: Re:So other than those ten (Score 2) 33

by Shakrai (#46775791) Attached to: FBI Drone Deployment Timeline

How many times do they do it a week without all that official authorization stuff?

If they use them in criminal investigations the usage eventually becomes part of the public record when entered into evidence. Using them for search and rescue ought to be non-controversial enough. "National Security" is of course the grey area, though there's a fair amount of overlap between National Security and criminal prosecutions, for offenses like espionage or terrorism, so a lot of that use would eventually make it into the public record as well.

Comment: Re:Of 1000? (Score 1) 446

by aardvarkjoe (#46772345) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

Even if just 56% of them become rich that's good enough a chance for me.

The thing is that being a millionaire really isn't the same as being rich.

Think about it -- if you were of retirement age today, how much would you want in assets to feel comfortable retiring? A quarter million? A half million?

Now consider the amount of time that you actually have left until then. Depending on how long it will be, a half million dollars today will very likely be equivalent to over a million when you will need it.

I would venture to say that most people who are relatively early in their careers, and expect to be able to put away the money they'll need for retirement, should expect to be worth at least a million dollars at some point in their lives -- and that won't be being rich; that's just going to be "comfortable."

Comment: Re:Same old, same old. (Score 2) 777

The bullies are often the popular kids, and are often popular with some of the staff too who want to be 'cool with the kids'.

The bullied are usually the unpopular kids. It happened to me too, having no recourse to constant bullying and when I finally snapped it was me who got the suspension, and the bullies who get let off.

Comment: Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (Score 1) 284

by aardvarkjoe (#46762479) Attached to: Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

Wait -- you originally said that "I see no reason that people should be trapped in a country they don't want to be a part of." Indicating that you think that having the people move to a country that they want to be a part of is not acceptable. But for some reason, you don't believe that the "losers" of this referendum are "trapped" in the same way. That seems rather contradictory.

Comment: Re:It was a "joke" back then (Score 1) 275

... and since you said teleportation, your future prediction would be completely ruined by the sudden realization that you can safely establish stable wormholes with stuff that's already in most homes.

I don't trust any forward looking statement. Business people throw those around all the time, which always equates to "I hope we stay in business". They never make the forward looking statement of "In the next 6 to 9 months, I hope we go bankrupt, and the shareholders murder us."

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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