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Comment: Re:The problem of Microsoft (Score 1) 337

by David Jao (#47663849) Attached to: Microsoft Surface Drowning?
You often can't customize your own install without breaking the law. The GP post specifically mentioned OEM Windows licenses as a way of getting cheap Windows licenses. This is no accident: OEM licenses are the only way to get cheap Windows licenses. Any sort of enterprise license will be far more expensive. But an OEM license is the least customizable of all the options. You can't even legally install an OEM licensed copy on any other machine other than the individual machine that the software came with, since an OEM license is tied to an individual machine. To get a custom install starting from an OEM copy, you can't just make one custom version and install it on all your machines; that kind of activity is specifically forbidden by the terms of the OEM license. You'd have to spend 30 minutes individually on each and every machine in your organization if you go the OEM license route and you don't want to break the law. Those 30 minutes of staff time are way more expensive than the bare-bones OEM license cost. Alternatively, you could purchase an enterprise license, but now we're no longer talking about cheap Windows licenses, we're talking about very expensive Windows licenses.

So, yes, you can customize Windows installs, but it's much more expensive to do so in any legal way, since you need an enterprise license, which really does cost ridiculous amounts of money. There is no cheap way to get customizable Windows. Even then, it's a bit of a hassle compared to Linux.

Comment: Re:Pete and Repeat (Score 1) 274

by div_2n (#47656197) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Are Online Job Applications So Badly Designed?

Most employers only care what you've done in the last 7 years. Outside of that window, it's generally assumed that either A. The skills/tech are no longer relevant or B. If you haven't used it in the last 7 years, you probably don't remember it well enough to be relevant anyway.

Tweak your resume to highlight your skills and experience that are relevant to the job posting. Don't include anything that isn't directly related or completely awesome. I mean REALLY awesome. Like you won a prestigious award kind of awesome.

Most resumes I've seen that are excessively long would be less than 2 pages following this design regardless of the formatting unless you used gigantic fonts.

Comment: Re: The problem of Microsoft (Score 1) 337

by David Jao (#47647745) Attached to: Microsoft Surface Drowning?
It's not the price (free or pay). It's what you can do with the software. Apple software is still subject to BSA audits. You can't distribute customized versions. Things are slightly better in that hardware support is uniform and there are no client access licenses, but you also encounter new problems like Apple dropping software support for your hardware. Free software is just better. The cost of purchasing the software is insignificant. The time and hassle saved by free software is the real jewel.

Microsoft and Apple are poor choices unless your (sysadmin, IT, and staff) time isn't worth anything.

Comment: Re:The problem of Microsoft (Score 5, Insightful) 337

by David Jao (#47646661) Attached to: Microsoft Surface Drowning?
The Microsoft tax is not just about the monetary price of Windows. That's actually the least burdensome part of the tax. The real problem is the cost of license compliance. Most obvious are the direct costs: license management, purchase records, and receipt tracking. How much staff time are you going to spend on keeping track of Client Access Licenses? Is this expense worth it, when there are free platforms with no CAL requirements? I bet you didn't know the MS EULA gives the BSA the right to audit your premises at will. That's another huge overhead which simply does not exist with free software: A single small screw-up (almost inevitable, given the minuteness with which the audit is conducted) results in heavy fines plus having to pay the considerable costs of the audit. Compared to this insanity, anyone using exclusively free software can simply slam the door on the BSA and tell them never to come back unless they have a warrant.

Those are just the direct costs of compliance. The indirect costs of Microsoft's licensing model are something that even fewer users realize. You can't customize a distro and legally release the result to anyone outside of the organizational unit holding the license. You can't slipstream updates and legally distribute to outside parties. You can't create USB bootable media and legally release it to anyone else. Rescue discs and installation discs customized for particular hardware are left to the mercy of your OEM. All of these restrictions cause considerable friction which slows down the agility of your business. If nothing else, it makes it very hard to outsource IT functions; at most, you can hire contractors who have to keep your OS software bits separate from everyone else's OS software bits. How can this situation possibly compare favorably to free software where anyone can create and share anything? It really can't.

Comment: Re:Athletes? (Score 1) 146

by div_2n (#47633521) Attached to: The ESports Athletes Who Tried To Switch Games

Pretty much all of the games require at least two of the following:

1. The kind of hand to eye coordination you'd need for ping pong
2. The mental concentration golfers must exert for virtually every shot (often for the entire length of a game)
3. The muscle memory necessary of any sport

That the players don't generally utilize their cardiovascular system doesn't mean it's less of a sport. I mean after all -- you don't exert much cardiovascular wise in golf or bowling.

Comment: Re:keep calm everyone.... (Score 1) 183

by div_2n (#47631841) Attached to: WHO Declares Ebola Outbreak An International Emergency

Funny enough I think "panic" is _exactly_ what frightens the crap out of governments of heavily populated and prosperous countries. Citizens acting irrationally and taking evasive actions that craters economies -- that's the stuff apocalyptic books are made of. The entire world could change in a matter of months if this hit a few major cities in America, Europe, Russia and other major nations.

People don't panic _as much_ about flu pandemics because of lower death rates and healthy folks typically only having a few days of not so great experiences but otherwise being OK. But a 50%+ death rate? That's the kind of thing that makes lots of people do very dumb things.

Comment: Re:Hash Collision (Score 1) 790

Finding an incidental collision in SHA512 is newsworthy. SHA512 is an iterated hash function (more specifically, a Merkle-Damgard construction). Any iterated hash function has the property that a single collision can be leveraged to produce arbitrarily many collisions. A single collision would destroy the entire utility of the hash function for almost any application that depends on collision resistance.

Comment: Keep ERP system customization to a minimum (Score 3, Insightful) 209

by div_2n (#47577341) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: When Is It Better To Modify the ERP vs. Interfacing It?

I've seen companies spend ludicrous sums on TYRING to fit square ERP pegs into their odd ball shaped hole of business processes. Keep customization to a minimum. If you can't find an ERP system out of the box to do what you need it to almost completely, then building external apps to do what you want is not a bad way to go provided you have in-house talent to manage it.

Also make sure the vendor approves of what you're doing in those external apps. You might find them blaming you for system problems and not provide support when you need it most. You can bet the odds of this go up if you outsource the dev work. It's nothing for them to blame a third party they don't have a business relationship with.

Just remember -- external tools are basically external modules that are only dependent on the underlying data. As long as the database schema doesn't change, system upgrades shouldn't have any impact on your external tools.

Comment: Re:FUD filled.... (Score 1) 212

It sounds like this transformer had its center tap grounded and was the path to ground on one side of a ground loop as the geomagnetic field moved under pressure from a CME, inducing a common-mode current in the long-distance power line. A gas pipeline in an area of poor ground conductivity in Russia was also destroyed, it is said, resulting in 500 deaths.

One can protect against this phenomenon by use of common-mode breakers and perhaps even overheat breakers. The system will not stay up but nor will it be destroyed. This is a high-current rather than high-voltage phenomenon and thus the various methods used to dissipate lightning currents might not be effective.

Make sure your code does nothing gracefully.