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Comment: Very much so (Score 1) 262

by Sycraft-fu (#47944575) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

I always thought it was an awesome idea to have a bigass set of computers at home... Ya well now I get paid to manage a bigass set of computers professionally and I'd rather just leave them there, thanks. Also there's no compelling reason to want my own servers for the sort of things I do, VMs work so well. I'll just lease one from somewhere, or spin one up at work.

At home, all my gear is related to, well, home use. More than a non-geek would have for sure but no data center.

Space

Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult? 220

Posted by timothy
from the productive-member-of-socety dept.
First time accepted submitter samalex01 (1290786) writes "I'm 38, married, two young kids, and I have a nice job in the IT industry, but since I was a kid I've had this deep love and passion for astronomy and astrophysics. This love and passion though never evolved into any formal education or anything beyond just a distant fascination as I got out of high school, into college, and started going through life on more of an IT career path. So my question, now that I'm 38 is there any hope that I could start learning more about astronomy or physics to make it more than just a hobby? I don't expect to be a Carl Sagan or Neil deGrasse Tyson, but I'd love to have enough knowledge in these subjects to research and experiment to the point where I could possibly start contributing back to the field. MIT Open Courseware has some online courses for free that cover these topics, but given I can only spend maybe 10 hours a week on this would it be a pointless venture? Not to mention my mind isn't as sharp now as it was 20 years ago when I graduated high school. Thanks for any advice or suggestions."

Comment: Is that a serious question? (Score 4, Interesting) 947

by Sycraft-fu (#47928601) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Because if it is, you need to pull your head out of your ass and go and do some extremely basic, cursory, research on the situation in the US. There are for sure some loud fundy Christian that like to whine about science, evolution in particular. However they have had little and less success in pushing their agenda and the US remains a powerful center of scientific research.

Trying to equate the US to ISIS is beyond stupid.

Comment: The answer is: neither (Score 1) 391

by CAIMLAS (#47920105) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

This is what they say, but what they really want is H1B and similar workers.

The value of a degree has never been less in this country.

Yes, they want (and NEED) people with critical thinking skills and a firm grasp on the fundamentals of science as per their field, but what they're saying they need with their money is something not even close to that mark in any regard... at least in IT/systems/storage/development.

Comment: Also, what does it actually prevent? (Score 1) 588

by Sycraft-fu (#47902441) Attached to: High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

You can to think about that. So it doesn't prevent gun suicides. The fact aside that someone can commit suicide with something else, the person doing it would be an authorized user of the gun. So no help there.

It doesn't prevent gun homicides. Again, these are done by authorized users of the gun, or people who have time to modify the gun. Remember for all the clever electronics, in the end guns are mechanical devices. So ultimately the electronics have to be something that mechanically disables the gun like a standard mechanical safety. A trigger disconnect, a firing pin block, that kind of thing. Ya well those are dead simple to bypass. So no help for stolen guns, the criminals would just remove the safety.

It doesn't prevent accidental shooting by any authorized user of the gun. Since they are authorized, it will fire. So any drunken games, etc, are still just as dangerous as they were before.

Already here we have, by far, most of the shootings that happen.

It may not prevent shooting where a gun is taken away from someone. Depends on how it works. If it has some way of reading the fingerprint when the trigger is depressed, then ok it could work. However if it works like a safety where you disengage it when you grab the gun, it'll still be disengaged if someone takes it away.

It would prevent accidental shootings where an unauthorized user gets their hands on the gun, like a kid coming across it.

Ok well, that doesn't seem very useful to me. The correct answer to the problem of kids is to lock up your guns. That is much more secure, particularly since something like this would only be effective if you didn't authorize you kids to use it, or remembered to remove their authorization when they were done at the range. Having them secured in a safe fixes the problem nicely. Likewise, that provides pretty good protection against theft.

So I really don't see what this will solve, and it will make things more expensive and complicated. It just doesn't strike me as very useful.

Comment: It also buys you (Score 3) 249

by Sycraft-fu (#47894931) Attached to: City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

Maybe 6-10 hours of staff time. What I mean is you have to factor what your people cost you. If someone costs $50/hour when you count in salary + ERE (meaning payroll tax, benefits, insurance and all other expenses) then 6 hours of their time costs $300. So, if your transition wastes more than 6 hours of their time, it is a net loss.

You always have to keep that cost in mind when you talk about anything: What does it cost your employees to do? This is the same deal with old hardware. It can actually cost you more money, because it takes more IT time to support. Like if you have an IT guy whose salary + ERE is $30/hour and you have them spend 20 hours a year repairing and maintaining an old P4 system that keeps failing, well that is a huge waste as that $600 could have easily bought a new system that would work better and take up little, if any, of their time.

That is a reason commercial software wins out in some cases. It isn't that you cannot do something without it, just that it saves more staff time than it costs. That's why places will pay for things like iDRAC or other lights-out management, remote KVMs, and so on. They cost a lot but the time they save in maintenance can easily exceed their cost.

Just remember that unless employees are paid very poorly, $300 isn't a lot of time. So you want to analyze how much time your new system will cost (all new systems will cost some time in transition if nothing else) and make sure it is worth it.

Comment: If you think Linux doesn't have tech support costs (Score 2, Insightful) 249

by Sycraft-fu (#47894901) Attached to: City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

Then you've never worked in an enterprise environment that uses it. You'll have a ton of tech support and maintenance costs with Linux. You not only have all the regular user shit, people who can't figure out how to use their computer, administrative stuff, etc. However I've also observed that a good bit of the stuff in Linux requires a lot of sysadmin work, scripting and such. We do Linux and Windows in our environment and we certainly make Linux work on a large enterprise scale, but our Linux lead spends an awful lot of time messing with puppet, shell scripts, and so on to make it all happen. A lot more than we spend with AD and group policy to make similar things happen in Windows.

Licensing savings are certainly something you can talk about savings for, however you aren't getting out of support and maintenance. That is just part of running an enterprise. The question is what would their costs be, compared to Windows? that is likely to vary per environment.

Comment: Ya well (Score 3, Insightful) 215

If you aren't a known developer, people want to see some evidence that you have the ability to make good on your plans. Game development isn't simple, and many people are not prepared for what they are going to have to do to bring a successful game to market.

So Doublefine or inXile can get a good bit of funding with nothing but a design doc for a game because people have faith they'll be able to deliver since they are experienced game devs. New crews are going to have to show something to get people to trust them.

Particularly in light of past KS failures in that regard. I've backed a number of games on KS and two of them I knew were fairly high risk: They were being done by an individual who hadn't done a game before, and there wasn't any sort of demo up front, just some basic concepts. I decided to take a risk on it, but fully understood that failure was likely.

Sure enough, both are floundering/failing. One hasn't had any updates in months, the other does update periodically but it is still extremely rudimentary, despite being way past the planned launch date, and it is pretty clear the dev just doesn't have a good idea how to proceed from here.

On the flip side, the games by established studios have either delivered or are well on track (Shadowrun Returns was brilliant, Wasteland 2 ships next Friday, Pillars of Eternity is in beta, etc). Likewise the indy titles that had a demo and were a good bit along with development have delivered, like FTL.

So no surprise many people aren't willing to take the risk. They want a better chance of return so they stick with established devs or with things that have some proof.

What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away.

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