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Comment: ... then train people. (Score 2) 211

by Halster (#49589267) Attached to: Yes, You Can Blame Your Pointy-Haired Boss On the Peter Principle

The problem here is the assumption that because you worked in dept. X for years that you can manage dept. X. That coupled with the belief that management ability is innate rather than learned leads to people being promoted to management with no training, or the support needed to develop as a manager.

Seriously, give people training an mentoring! Nuffsaid!

Comment: Serendipitous Discovery? (Score 1) 711

by Halster (#47159905) Attached to: Apple Says Many Users 'Bought an Android Phone By Mistake'

Dear Tim,

Many Android owners bought that platform deliberately. I don't see a resurgence in iPhone sales either so maybe their accidental discovery was more like a Penicillin kind of accident than say, a 'had a bad burrito' kind of accident. Or maybe they switched to Windows Phone after Android (haha... yeah I know, doesn't look like it).


Comment: Easy, go for it. (Score 2) 451

by Halster (#46422573) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Change Tech Careers At 30?

30 you say? Well that's hardly over the hill now is it?

I have to say there are some pretty poor responses in the comments, many are very discouraging. Don't listen to them. Let's look at some factors:

- There's an IT skills shortage, worldwide.
- As a teacher you must have a degree so you've a proven ability to learn.
- As a teacher you've proven that you can train people, and speak to groups confidently.
- As a non-geek originally, people should be able to relate to you better than your average Slashdot troll (sorry, couldn't resist)!
- You don't need to learn to program to be a sysadmin. Scripting skills would be a big advantage though.
- Tech is a wide and varied area, you have lots of options for entry, from going back to school through to starting with a small business and doing helpdesk stuff to work up to sysadmin duties.
- It will take time and effort (be prepared to 'live' IT for several years). But I've seen other teachers do it (I work as an IT Manager at a school).

Finally, like I said, you can do it, you're by no means over the hill. I wonder if a side-step might be a best first move. Buddy up with some companies that do tech in schools at the same time as doing some out of hours study and you might find you can move over as an educational tech. consultant or a techie with a welcome educational background, and then use that as the foot in the door.

Anyway, best of luck. Like I say, I've certainly seen teachers do this, I know a former school teacher who works for Microsoft.

My final words of advice.... prepare to give up the long holidays, forever! ;)

Comment: The 90's called, they want their opinions back. (Score 1) 742

by Halster (#46317969) Attached to: "Microsoft Killed My Pappy"

This guy's blog post pretty much sums up what I've been thinking for a while now. I used to be an MS hater, but there's not much left to hate now. The antitrust thing is ancient history. Now you're looking at a Microsoft who will willingly roll over rather than get in a fight with anyone (Sky or Metro are examples). They certainly do some strange things, but they're no more strange than the competition. Also, when they were being 'evil' it was annoying to us all, but hardly world-ending stuff.

Yet here we have a trail of comments on Slashdot like it's still the 90's. Probably - just like the 90's - from people using a Windows PC to whine about Microsoft. Or a Mac, which is just hillarious (the MS hater taking refuge with Apple is absurd). You guys and gals need to move on, or grow up.... or both.

Comment: Great news. (Score 1) 422

by Halster (#38271250) Attached to: Filmmakers Reviving Sci-fi By Going Old School

I dont know if I agree with the sentiments about cgi. But I do agree sci-fi storylines in movies and TV have become awful, repetitive, predictable and most of all, more fiction than science.

Its great to see someone at least thinking about what went wrong and getting away from the post-apocalyptic / disaster / alien invasion / technology will destroy us themes. Lets think about a future of discovery and development instead!


Comment: I dont know where to start! (Score 1) 839

by Halster (#38271034) Attached to: TV Isn't Broken, So Why Fix It?

Firstly, if TV isnt broken, Why have so many of my non-tech friends started downloading instead of watching live?

What's broken? How about the fact that I have to work my life in around their schedules. TV companies are selling me a service (paid for by ads or a subscription), but they dont think it fair for the service to be convenient for the customer?

How about TV shows outside their country of origin? Is it fair for your customer to watch shows years after their release (assuming they air the whole season, in order, and dont change their minds and pull it).

How about, assuming you can organise your life around their schedule, how you have to browse listings or flip channels to find what youre looking for. Give me a search dialog!

How about ads? Advertisement after advertisement for things I could hardly care about. Get rid of ads. If you cant, at least make them relevant to me!

Theres a few, and thats wihout even getting into the quality issues!

Comment: Disagree. (Score 3, Interesting) 378

by Halster (#38083670) Attached to: Has Apple Made Programmers Cool?

Sorry but I just don't buy it. Social acceptance is likely to only be on the surface, scratch the surface and that person at the party will show the same interest as if you said you worked as a Customer Experience Enhancement Consultant. Keep talking and the look of interest will have moved to disinterest, then beyond that, to the look of someone who's just had a healthy whiff of chlorophyll.

The fact of the matter is, (some) apps are cool, but coding for a living isn't. Sure, some app developers have become rich, but most don't. Unless you've got more money than a small country noone will care beyond polite acknowledgement (and even then, maybe not, I imagine Bill Gates' money didn't make him any more interesting).

The upside is, chances are the other party goers jobs are probably some sort of administrative role or a traditional profession that isn't at all exciting. You won't care what they do either, because most people's jobs are boring. Not everyone can be, or wants to be a Frog Shaker.

Comment: Re:You're missing a big player (Score 1) 412

by Halster (#37826804) Attached to: Ask The Bad Astronomer

I kind of included the player you speak of in my reference to govt. corporate funding and the media, at least in my head! Thanks for pointing this out though, it certainly can't hurt to point it out seprarately.

The thing that annoys me most is to hear you talk of one type of science versus another. I guess that's the way some people see it, which irks me even more. There are only two types of science - good science and bad science - and the latter isn't even science at all! ;)


Comment: Science, the media and funding models. (Score 1) 412

by Halster (#37823252) Attached to: Ask The Bad Astronomer


What do you think represents the biggest threat to the credibility of science in the eyes of the layman?:

- The media, and the way they report results of scientific (and sometimes pseudo-scientific) research.
- The models used to fund science that sometimes leads to a quest for funding over a quest for scientific rigor.
- Political and governmental ignorance.


Have I Lost My Gaming Mojo? 418

Posted by Soulskill
from the blame-dr.-evil dept.
danabnormal writes "Increasingly I'm being frustrated in my attempts to find a game I want to play. In an effort to catch up, I've been using my bog standard Dell laptop to dig out treasures I have missed, such as American McGee's Alice, Grim Fandango and Syberia. I don't often get the time to play games, so I like to have the opportunity to dip in and out of a title without feeling like I'm losing something by not playing it for periods of time. But when I find a title I like, I make the time. Heavy Rain is the last game that gripped me, that truly engaged me and made me want to complete it in a single sitting. I'm tired of the GTA formulas, bored of CoDs and don't have the reaction time to think on my feet for AOE III. Is it about time I tossed in the controller and resigned myself to the fact that the games I want only come out once in a blue moon? Or have I just not found that one great title that will open me up to a brand new genre? Lords of Ultima is going OK at the moment — is there anything of that ilk I've missed? What are your thoughts? Do you stick to a particular genre? Are you finding it harder, as you get more mature, to find something you want to play?"

The Ignominious Fall of Dell 604

Posted by timothy
from the at-least-they-now-use-standard-power-supplies dept.
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Bill Snyder discusses the ignominious decline of Dell, one akin to that of Computer Associates, leaving the company forever tainted by scandal and a 'shocking breach of faith with customers.' Dell's pioneering business model and supply chain helped make desktop computing ubiquitous, affordable, and secure. But years of awful quality control and customer service have finally caught up to the company in a very public way that will do irreparable damage to the company for years to come. 'What we've learned about Dell recently doesn't qualify as an understandable mistake. Only a rotten company sells defective computers and lies about it.'"

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