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Comment: Re:Define "affordable" (Score 1) 540

by Brownstar (#49514055) Attached to: George Lucas Building Low-Income Housing Next Door To Millionaires

Affordable does not mean inexpensive.

It's a common mistake, so I'll be glad to define that for you:

Affordable housing in the US is usually defined as the total rent or mortgage payment being less than or equal to 30% of household income.

The usual classifications are moderate income affordable, low income affordable, and very low income affordable.

Determining where your household falls in those brackets is based on the average median income (AMI) for that MSA (metropolitan statistical area).

The 2015 Area Median Income for a family of four in Marin County is $101,900 (

moderate income households earn between 80% - 120% of AMI
low income is 50% - 80%
very low income is less than 50%

So to be affordable for:
            moderate income household the units would need to be priced at between $2038 - $3057 per month
            low income household the units would need to be priced at between $1237 - $2038 per month
            very low income household the units would need to be priced at below $1237 per month

Usually we're looking at rental prices rather than mortgage payments, but it can be performed either way.

Comment: Re:Build a business case (Score 1) 383

by Brownstar (#45596337) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Convince Management To Hire More IT Staff?

Yeah, I wasn't clear.

What I was trying to say, was leave it to the business groups to justify why the development is worthwile, rather than the IT department to justify it. The CEO is much more likely to be persuaded by them than IT.

And if possible, have the business teams pay for it out of their budget, rather than the IT budget, if there are separate budgets.

Comment: Re:Build a business case (Score 1) 383

by Brownstar (#45594803) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Convince Management To Hire More IT Staff?

That's what the sentence after the one you quoted was in reference to. If each department has it's own budget, then yes, they should be spending their budget to fund the projects they want developed.

However, at many smaller companies, or companies that have recently grown from being small to medium sized, don't have separate budgets. But rather 1 large budget that is controlled by one person. And it's often the case the CEO/owner has a difficult time realizing when they are no longer that small company, and control of certain parts of the budget should be passed to subordinates.

Comment: Re:Build a business case (Score 1) 383

by Brownstar (#45594729) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Convince Management To Hire More IT Staff?

You missed the point.

It's not his boss that he needs to convince. He said his boss agrees.

It's the CEO that needs to be convinced. But the CEO has already said that the size of the IT department is adequate for the size of the company. As has been discussed in other threads, he's probably right as well when it comes to purely IT support related needs.

On the other hand, if the other departments have a need for specialized software development and has a proper business case for that software and the investement required to develop it, if he wants to convince his CEO that they need more developers for these projects, its the business owners that need to persuade the CEO.

At the end of the day, IT departments have a general budget for general IT costs. Which is seen as a cost center. And should be x% of the overall revenue of the company, or x% of the total number of employees that are supported.

If company revenue doesn't increase there's no capacity to increase the budget of a cost center that will not return easily identifiable profits.

Instead, the more effective argument, is to have the business become stakeholders in the projects they want with their own budgets to pay out of their budget (no longer is it a company cost, but rather a departmental investement) for the resources borrowed from the IT department to work on their systems.

Comment: Re:Build a business case (Score 5, Insightful) 383

by Brownstar (#45593155) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Convince Management To Hire More IT Staff?

That's a start.

But from my experience the request will be taken more seriously if it is driven by the business teams, rather than the IT staff.

> the developers are always getting pressure from other departments for projects they don't have the manpower to even start.

Get the other departments to pressure the CEO to hire more IT staff, so that they can get the projects they need, and will be in a better position to explain what the ROI for the projects they want will be to the company than you will be.

If they can't justify the ROI for the projects, then if they're rational, which I realize isn't always the case, they will back down from requesting additional development that they can't justify. Which will pull some of the pressure off of your team.

Not sure how costs are split in your company, but if each department has their own budget, convince them that if they want more projects to be built, they need to allocate some of their budgets to the IT side of the organization so that you can hire the staff required to deliver those projects to them.

Comment: Re:The elephant in the room: Rentals (Score 1) 581

Actually, with their new controls, it'll be easier to do rentals (at least for big players. Your mom and pop rental place might get locked out).

While they haven't addressed this specifically yet, at least that I've seen, and it may not happen, theres been speculation that the following could:

With the use of license keys that are tied between a game and an individual account, and the ability to deactivate those keys, the rental company, could work out a deal with Microsoft, and probably the publishers, to be able to provide license keys that expire after a certain period of time.

The Rental company, can than either provide physical copies of the game on disc, or the renter can just download the game (as MS has stated all games will be available for digitial distribution if someone so chooses, or they can aquire a blu-ray copy of the game to install it), enter the rental code, and then play it for the time alloted.

Comment: EA's reason for the Always Online Restriction (Score 3, Interesting) 569

by Brownstar (#43093429) Attached to: SimCity 5: How Not To Design a Single Player Game

According to EA, hte reason for the always online requirement, is because the game truly is a client server model. Each client, runs 1 region at a time. it then sends data about what has occurred in that region to then be processed by the EA server's and then pushed to the other regions in that game. This occurs every three minutes. Welcome to cloud computing.

Comment: Re:What MS Shouldn't do is prevent purchases. (Score 3, Interesting) 502

by Brownstar (#38369434) Attached to: What Microsoft Should and Shouldn't Do For the Xbox 720

For the first issue, MS has heard, and is addressing that on the 360, so I would assume that they would keep it in for the next version.

Basically, if you're an XBox gold member (which from your post you are), with the most recent dashboard release, they allow you to save your profile, and game saves to the "cloud". So now, when you finish playing something downstairs, you can go upstairs, and continue playing from there, without needing to migrate your existing gamertag. (Although I've not used it, I would expect that you can only use your gamer tag on 1 Xbox at a time.)


+ - Pirate Parties Plan to Shoot Site Into Orbit->

Submitted by palmerj3
palmerj3 writes: It is almost four years ago that The Pirate Bay announced they wanted to buy the micronation of Sealand, so they could host their site without having to bother about copyright law – an ambitious plan that turned out to be unaffordable. This week, Pirate Parties worldwide started brainstorming about a similarly ambitious plan. Instead of founding their own nation, they want to shoot a torrent site into orbit.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:I like it (Score 3, Informative) 432

by Brownstar (#32948976) Attached to: Airlines Get Billions From Unbundled Services

You don't do much travel in Europe then do you?

Ryan air, takes unbundling and hidden costs to a new level, even charging as much as 40 Euros to "print" your ticket for you if you didn't print it at home. And then the flight is like one long advertisement from the moment you take off until you land, only allowing 1 carry on of any type (not the usual Carry on + personal item (purse/laptop/brief case etc...)

EasyJet, Wizz Air, and German Wings, while slightly better aren't much better. And the big name brands aren't all that far off either.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor