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Comment Intertia (Score 1) 889

MS Office(preferably not like the awful OSX version) and Adobe CS are the ones I would most like to see; not so much because I use them extensively myself, but because they are the biggest killer apps and would give a significant boost to Linux. Then there is the plethora of Windows-only enterprise applications that make it impossible to switch to Linux on the business side, even when you are dependent on Linux VMs to do your work. That pendulum swings both ways, after all.

Comment End of an era.... (Score 1, Insightful) 492

We all knew that Microsoft has been wanting to switch Windows to a subscription model for a while now. The only question was how to do it without inciting a mass exodus. It looks like they have found the first step. Windows 10 users are now the product instead of the customer. I guess it should have been obvious where this was going...

Comment Baffling.... (Score 4, Insightful) 140

Lets pretend for a moment that government-mandated backdoors don't violate our 4 amendment rights eight ways till Friday and really will be only accessible to government agencies. (Background sniggering) Stay with me guys. Let's say their birthday wish is granted and all of the big tech companies implement backdoor decryption that only they can access.

Do they really think a single @#$%ing terrorist or criminal with half a brain is actually going to use those services instead of other alternatives? Maybe the next part of their amazingly forward-thinking plan is to convince Richard Stallman to bend a knee and put a backdoor in GnuPG.

Comment India?? (Score 5, Insightful) 77

Well when the hell are you going to sell Linux Thinkpads in the U.S., Lenovo? I had to settle for buying an x131e Chromebook and flashing the firmware.

And what is with this 'Cheaper alternative' nonsense? Last I checked, Linux users don't choose it because they are cheapskates; if anything they are more likely to buy higher end hardware

Disclaimer: I am fully aware that there is probably a higher demand in India, but I still had to rant.

Comment It's that time again..... (Score 2) 296

Looks like someone decided we were overdue for the annual certifications debate. This question will still be popping up ten years from now and they will not be going away any time soon, simply because there is no cut and dry yes or no answer. It all depends on the person, the cert, the situation, and your perspective.

Personally? I still have them and I'm currently studying for others. I'm not even job searching right now; I'm perfectly happy where I'm at. Certifications simply give me a template of what I need to study for the skills I want to learn, and give me goals/benchmarks to aim for. They're like achievements in a game, only more tangible. The vanity of having another cert to post on my Linkedin profile adds more incentive to push myself further. I'm not worried about the material becoming outdated because most of them expire; and if I haven't pushed myself to the next level up by the time they do, it means I'm dragging my ass. I plan on getting CCNP before my CCNA expires, for instance.

The "certs just prove you can pass tests" argument doesn't really apply in my case, because I suck at tests. I suck at academics in general. I barely made it through high school because I am all but incapable of learning things 'theoretically'. So why bother with the certs, you ask? Because I cannot pass an exam unless I actually know the material. Plenty of guys with less than half of my experience could probably finish the exams I am working on in a fraction of the time, but it wouldn't mean as much in their case.

Lastly, certifications do help open doors, especially for those who get stuck in the catch-22 hell that is trying to get experience when everyone expects you to pop out of a cabbage patch with at least 5 years of it under your belt. I'm sure certifications are very easy to disparage from the perspective of someone who is FAR removed from such a scenario with decades of experience and countless connections. I suppose the better discussion would be: How valuable are certifications compared to degrees?

Comment Like putting Marketing in charge... (Score 1) 217

Here's an age old adage for the outdated generation: "If you want something done right, you do it yourself." I don't think I truly understood its meaning until fairly recently. If you really do have a clear vision for something, that automatically makes you the best candidate to bring it about.

All of this talk about the "Idea person" reminds me of when I was working in the electronics department at Sears, and the pompous district manager who had never worked the front line insisted we implement his 'brilliant' idea to crank up the volume on all of the display TVs so that they could be clearly heard from anywhere in the store. Everything that's wrong with that scenario should be obvious, but that was his level of disconnect between his 'idea' and reality.

Unfortunately, far too many people are worshipping at the church of Steve Jobs for the concept of the unskilled idea person to die out any time soon.

Comment You had me until 3 years (Score 5, Insightful) 70

I was actually buying this until the "for a minimum of three years" part. Why only 3 years? Why not 10 years? Why not indefinitely? How can a "Net Neutrality Activist" actually have the nerve to present that to us with a straight face? I certainly think that Charter is better than Comcast, but this looks like a publicity stunt to get their merger approved.

Comment Big things in small packages (Score 1) 558

After my previous enormous rig proved to be a pain to move around or even keep on my desk, I became fixated on the impressive progress that Mini-ITX systems have made. Unless you are doing something extreme and/or specialized such as SLI, water cooling, or multiple-disk arrays, there really is no need to build a large ATX system anymore; even for gamers. My current setup with a Silverstone SG08 allows me to use a video card of any length in a sleek, compact system that still outperforms many of my friends' much larger rigs. This is also the main reason why I finally ended my many years as an AMD fanboy and went Intel. AMD's options for SFF systems are paltry in comparison. On top of that, Intel offers the 1200 series Xeons which fit in the 1155 and 1150 sockets. This allowed me to get a CPU with the power of an i7 for the price of an i5. Drawbacks? No overclocking (what practical reason is there to overclock an i7, anyway?) and no integrated GPU, which doesn't matter since I have a discreet Geforce 970. I've also been enamoured with the NUC systems, especially when paired with fanless Akasa enclosures. A competent PC that has no moving parts and will never get internally clogged up with dust? Hell. Yes.

Comment An entrenched mindset (Score 2) 67

So many users (and a lot of IT departments, unfortunately) viewed their anti-virus products as a magic forcefield to protect them from threats. That's how they were marketed always will be. It's not just security vendors; salespeople from any vendor will tell you that it dishes out soft-serve ice cream if that's what it takes to get you to buy it. What amazes me is how so many companies still buy into it and turn to new security products looking for that same non-existent magic force-field. I had hoped the mindset would get better in the current threat landscape, but I'm not so sure it is. I still hear customers asking "Why didn't product X protect me?" in situations where they should have already known full well that it wouldn't do jack sh*t against the particular threat that was encountered, and they didn't have other crucial pieces of the security puzzle in place. (Social engineering, anyone?).

Comment Show them no mercy, for you shall receive none (Score 4, Interesting) 62

The only possible way to counter these bastards is with an absolute avalanche of public backlash. It worked in turning Wheeler around; now we need to turn up the heat on our so-called 'representatives'. To hell with big cable and telecom. Burn their crops and salt their fields. Rip their monopolistic power from their hands and savour the sound of them kicking and screaming the entire way.

The Wright Bothers weren't the first to fly. They were just the first not to crash.