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Comment: Re:Demographics problem (Score 1) 333

by alen (#46788591) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

a lot of car makers can build cars in the USA profitably. even small cars. except GM and Ford

part of the problem is the factories are old and there is no more room to expand. but then you have stupid union rules that say you have to deliver parts to one end of the factory so some guy can move them over to the end where they are needed

Comment: Re:There will be an inevitable reaction against th (Score 4, Funny) 54

by alen (#46787799) Attached to: The Internet of Things and Humans

yeah, but imagine your fridge linked to Fresh Direct or the Amazon grocery delivery service and automatically ordering food for you whether you want it to or not. Epicness

or you can put your bread into the toaster at night and then use your phone to toast it the next morning before you get out of the shower so you don't have to do it manually

Comment: Re:Oracle has skills and knowledge? (Score 4, Insightful) 157

by Kjella (#46785537) Attached to: Oracle Deflects Blame For Troubled Oregon Health Care Site

"...'Cover Oregon lacked the skills, knowledge or ability to be successful as the systems integrator on an undertaking of this scope and complexity,'

Gee, that's funny. And here I thought I was in the majority in thinking that it is in fact Oracle who lacks the skills, knowledge, or ability to fix that piece-of-shit Frankenstein they want to label a working product.

False dichotomy, it's not one or the other.

Comment: Re:Enh as much as I dislike Oracle... (Score 1) 157

by Kjella (#46785521) Attached to: Oracle Deflects Blame For Troubled Oregon Health Care Site

Time and material contracts basically means renting consultants by the hour, short of outright criminal behavior there's no promised time frames, deliverables or guarantees of functionality or quality. The upside is the lack of formalism, I've developed many reports on a T&M basis and basically if you want a filter here and a total there and to add one more column and add a traffic light here and a drill down there just say it and I'll keep working on it until you're happy. Heck, I've taken "requirements" from a single yellow post-it note, as long as the client is happy and the invoices get paid it's a win-win for everyone compared to bids and change orders.

The problem begins if you need anything other than yes-men because basically you're going to lead these people and point them to tasks that need doing and make sure it all comes together to a working solution. Consider it a bit like building a house where every contractor assumes that the rest of the work to bring it up to code will be done by somebody else, you tell the plumber to put a pipe here, the electrician a wire there and the carpenter to board up that wall and they do it, but they don't take any responsibility on whether it's done to code or the overall result. My guess is that Oracle have their asses well covered legally, but often they have to play the scapegoat when the client has been incompetent. Usually they don't want to throw eggs in the face of the manager who hired them, unless it becomes an even bigger PR problem not to.

Comment: Re:Air pressure? (Score 1) 233

by Kjella (#46783251) Attached to: Kepler-186f: Most 'Earth-Like' Alien World Discovered

Which is why this is a never-ending competition, one thing is size but what about mass/gravity? Does it have a magnetic field? Does it have a Jupiter to clear the solar system of debris? Does it have a moon to produce tidal forces? Still, we know there's some slack in that life is almost everywhere on this planet from Sahara to the Arctic.

Comment: Re:*Yawn* I'll Wait for the Mint Edition (Score 5, Insightful) 174

by Kjella (#46783063) Attached to: Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr Released

The flip side of that is that Canonical has been pretty clear that they're not building this for their existing users but rather to get new users on phones, tablets, phablets, convertibles, touchscreen laptops, TVs and whatnot other household devices. To trot out the old Henry Ford quote, if I asked my users what they'd wanted they'd say a faster horse. Well that's you, you want a better "classic" desktop the way it's been for the last 20 years or so but the users they have is 1% of a declining PC market that's being swarmed by other non-PC devices. That's why they won't listen when you complain that they're trying to put a steering wheel and pedals on your horse cart, they're trying to build a car and going back on that is clearly a step backwards compared to their goals.

Yes, he's trying to be Steve Jobs just like Google is, just like Microsoft is and when giants like that throw their weight around it's easy to get flung into irrelevance which is why the new business isn't exactly rolling in and the old business is cranky. Particularly now when Android has rolled in almost everywhere he wanted Ubuntu to be. He could just tuck his tail between his legs, admit defeat and say we'll be building a desktop of the geeks, by the geeks, for the geeks and that's that. Or at least aim the sights back to Microsoft, the old archenemy even though Ubuntu never managed to get very far there. But my impression is that he's too ambitious and stubborn to do that, besides "We're making this new Unity thing that no one wants and we'll force it on our users before its ready" sounds like GNOME 3, KDE 4 and a bunch of other projects so he fits right in.

Comment: Re:I wonder how much damage... (Score 5, Insightful) 281

by Kjella (#46780715) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

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.

If you look at Microsoft's pricing, it's fairly obvious why. If you're first getting Outlook for 135 euro then another 135 euro to get everything else is an easy sell-up, particularly since I'm guessing the sales reps will give you a volume rebate on the Office suite but never on Outlook alone. For at least a decade I've heard product after product being called "Outlook killer" but they all seem to fizzle and my impression mostly because they focus on being POP/IMAP clients. Calendaring is probably more essential to an organization, and I don't mean the simple one-off meeting.

When are people available and what meeting rooms are available. Setting up recurring meetings (like say a weekly staff meeting) that lets you easily modify single instances (because this week is easter), calendar sharing, forwarding events with proper notification to the meeting owner, overviews of who will/will not attend or haven't answered, including the agenda or attachments, corporate directories, personal directories, all that practical stuff like that if I start writing a mail to someone in-house it warns me right away they're going to send an away message instead of waiting for me to send it, get the auto-reply, realize what I just send won't work, then another email to say forget that, let's do something else when you're back on Monday.

Geeks hate meetings and scheduling, every one of them myself included. Good calendar software which makes it easy to drown people in meetings is just begging to be swamped with them so it's not exactly an itch we'd like to scratch. We're very busy trying to invent and push non-meeting solutions like email or IM and claim we're solving it better. I'm not going to fire up debate, but the fact of the matter is that getting all of the people involved in the same room at the same time to discuss/decide matters is still a very popular idea. And if you want to get rid of Office, you need to get rid of Outlook and if you want to get rid of Outlook you must handle this well. I'm sure there's lots of people who'd like to drop Exchange and the CALs, using non-MS products despite still sending around MS documents so it should be easier than taking down all of MS Office at once.

Comment: Re:We do not need solid state to replace platter d (Score 1) 255

by Kjella (#46780063) Attached to: SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon

We already have almost every version of this, hybrid drives for laptops, software techniques that mimic this but they're all fairly stupid and unpredictable, training it to cache the right things take time and suddenly what used to have SSD performance might have been evicted. If you're the kind of user who needs >100GB you probably know what it is taking space. Put your big media (video, photos, music) on D:, everything else like applications and documents stay on C:. The only really tough call is games which often have a huge install size but also app code that benefits from being on an SSD, Steam lets you define multiple library folders so you can have one on C:, one on D: but no easy way to swap them in and out, for now the only supported way is uninstall and reinstall on the other. There are workarounds for that though.

Comment: Re:Helping the poor (Score 4, Insightful) 320

Here in Norway I have the impression that it's only two main groups. One is Romani that arrive through the EU agreement, basically the kind who come with no rights, no education, no work history, no nothing and the only thing they're here for is to beg, steal and live off various programs that provide shelter and food for the homeless while leaving a trail of littering and vandalism in their wake. And yes, I don't mind stigmatizing the whole group because 68 of 69 beggars in a random sweep of beggars had a criminal record. And despite a million attempts to integrate them, they have no intention of ever becoming productive members of society and raise their children just like them to embrace their nomadic and parasitic lifestyle. Many of the children aren't enrolled in primary/secondary education at all and the few who are absent more than 1/3rd of the time. They also have more than a few cultural issues with suckers who work all day for an honest wage, why anyone would give them money is incomprehensible to me.

The other big, big group is drug/alcohol addicts, but there are hospices and such that will give them shelter and food if they don't show up high as a kite. The truly homeless are the ones who can't keep their drug use outside the shelter, but even those get winter sleeping bags so they don't freeze to death on the streets. They're not trying to hustle you for money in order to eat or drink or put clothes on their backs or a roof over their heads, it's to feed their habit. It's almost a protection racket, we're addicts and we will find the money to get our kick so you can either throw a few bucks in our cup or we'll get desperate and you really don't want us to get desperate. If you give them anything nice they'll probably sell it for the money anyway, you can give them money but it's not going to lead to anything positive. The rest are mostly taken care of, if you just have mental or money problems you won't be the streets and you won't have to beg for a living.

Comment: Re:Holy shit (Score 1) 460

by Kjella (#46773967) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

Really? I think most people would accept "net worth" as the proper metric.

Well, he said "potentially liquid" not "liquid", like if you decided to become a Buddhist monk and give away everything you own selling your house, car and so on could you liquidate your 401(k)? From what it looks like you must pay a 10% early withdrawal fee and income tax, so it's a lot less worth to have $1 in a 401(k) than in a regular bank account. On the other hand should you include things like sales commission on the house? I don't know, but in an informal sense I'd say that you're only a millionaire if you could literally gather a million dollars in cash if you wanted to.

It is contrary to reasoning to say that there is a vacuum or space in which there is absolutely nothing. -- Descartes

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