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Comment They going to bother to maintain them? (Score 1) 77

I spoke to 2 support reps just Wed. One from the US and one from Canada. Neither could give me an assurance that another Samsung device won't end up as abandonware. All I got were vague answers that Samsung will update Android as long as the hardware is compatible; but they couldn't say when or how often. My Note 10.1 tablet hasn't had an Android update in 2 years and they couldn't promise me one was coming either.

Now that we have a Mac in the house, despite the fact that I hate my iPhone, I'm considering transitioning all of my devices to Apple (shudder.)

Comment Reasonable Access (Score 5, Insightful) 267

I've been an IT manager and an IT director so I'll make a few points from that perspective.
1) IT is there to serve the needs of the business and one of the needs of the business is to create / facilitate a productive and encouraging work environment. Now, this doesn't need to mean that you give people everything they ask for, but it does mean that you need to trust people. If there are legitimate reasons for concern then get a firewall product that can measure the amount of time someone is spending surfing the net; however, this is really a business concern and this capability is not for IT to worry about its for the different LOB managers to worry about. If they have that as a general concern then pursue it, otherwise it's not IT's concern.

2) What is IT's concern is the security, availability, and integrity of the computing environment and business data and that does mean taking reasonable measures to protect the assets under your control. That means that perhaps you need AV / Anti-Malware / etc. protections. Perhaps also a webfilter that blocks sites that are known for producing malware with the intent to exploit the visitors to that site. Those sites should come from security vendor watchlists and not some arbitrary list put together by the sysadmins.

3) Doing this is about finding an appropriate balance. That balance can only be maintained through constant communication and feedback with the business leaders (i.e. you need a governance process.) The business leadership / executive will need to decide what that balance is. IT's job is to appropriately communicate the risks, consequences and options and let the executive make the decision on how much risk they are willing to take on. This is why communication is crucial, especially in IT, and why often managers who are non-technical or barely technical, get those positions instead of the very technical people who "know better."

Comment Re:STEM + Critical Thinking is what's needed (Score 1) 397

I'd say that the best way to learn how to think critically is by studying math, which teaches your brain how to structure your critical thinking. That said, the data you are going feed into that structure needs to come from a broad and relevant set of data and some understanding of the structure of that data or at least the underlying relevant drivers. That input is going to come from a liberal-arts education, not a STEM education.

Comment Re:Broken thinking... (Score 4, Informative) 397

In my experience this is not the case. The ability to handle math does suggest the ability to think and analyse, however, it does not follow that you have the ability to communicate clearly and effectively. Much too often I run into co-workers who are technically very smart, but cannot even write an understandable email. Their emails are a series of long run-on sentences, often with little to no punctuation. At the end of reading them I'm often left wondering what they were trying to say.

Comment Go to a Liberal Arts school... (Score 1) 397

This is why I think it's important for STEM majors to go to a liberal arts school. A school that forces you to do a number of credits from different faculties and will force you to take courses in the social 'sciences,' arts, literature, history philosophy, religion, anthropology, etc. I would also agree with the comments on writing. Too often these days I run into people who cannot compose a cogent email let alone a memo or document. While technical skills are very important, leadership and communications skills are key differentiators in any business.

Comment Re:So-called "conservatism" in action. (Score 0) 168

It's not so called conservatism it's actually conservatism. The public service in Canada is pretty large and it's not sustainable. Canada is basically going through it's own downsizing of government they started about 1-2 years ago when they laid-off a lot of public sector employees and reduced spending all around. Every public servant in Ottawa was in a tizzy for months, you'd have thought the world was coming to an end to hear them speak of the calamities that were going to result in this. Personally, as a Canadian I pay way too much in taxes already while public servants make more, work less and have big pensions that they can retire on. Me, I'll probably never be able to retire.

So yes, this is liberal hand waving at it's finest. (And just so you know, national archives and many other gov't department 'libraries' are the places where they send the people no other group wants; because of the unions they can't fire them.)

Comment Re:works if you have exhaustive unit tests (Score 1) 113

Oh yes, because waiting 3-6 months to patch a vulnerability that can lead to exploited systems, infrastructure and ultimately your IP being sent to China or Russia is a better option.

I'm sure that if the cost of one web-browser not working is 10 million dollars, the cost of eliminating rootkits/trojans from all the desktops on your network, (and maybe some of the servers) is going to be so much less.

As mentioned below. If you are actually running your operations, instead of letting your users do it for you, you'll be managing testing and deploying yourself from a central system.

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."