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Comment: Re:Video (Score 1) 1671

by Plasmic (#31739434) Attached to: Wikileaks Releases Video of Journalist Killings

If this doesn't make you go donate $20 to WikiLeaks, I don't know what will.

Go to their web site now, scroll down to the PayPal form, and reply here once you've sent them a few bucks. Put Slashdot in your donation comment, so they understand how much normal people care.
http://www.wikileaks.com/

As someone that works for a blue-chip tech firm and has no connection whatsoever to them, I can tell you that I PayPal'd WikiLeaks $10 a couple weeks ago when I saw their full site was down due to lack of funds. Like others, I wondered if and when they'd come back. But after reading about the Collateral Murder release on Slashdot and Digg, I didn't think twice before sending another $100. WikiLeaks' unique ability to acquire and distribute information like this (and effectively promote it) is exactly why you should support them. Their own releases show that the US government (among others) is/was trying to bury them, but now it's going to be full-scale war -- they are sure to need your dollars more than ever. I got 5 minutes into the video before I felt sick and had to stop watching.

I truly believe the only reasonable action anyone can take to even have a chance at preventing future cover-ups like this is to send money to WikiLeaks. There is no other organization doing what they are at this level.

Comment: Re:What could go wrong? (Score 4, Insightful) 123

by Plasmic (#29955544) Attached to: NASA Trying To Reinvent Their Approach

Yes, but important decisions at large organizations are made by CEOs or other key executives (CMO, CTO, etc.) with clear lines of responsibility and accountability, not by establishing several dozen committees. Only in government (and poorly-run, similarly-bloated conglomerates) is this kind of bureaucratic, process-obsessed operation characterized as "reinventing their approach".

Don't forget to separate execution of the plan from development of the plan. It will clearly take thousands of people collaborating to execute on the vision of "go to the moon by 2017" -- but deciding what the top priorities are while keeping in mind resources, timelines, and feasibility, simply does not require four more committees at NASA.

Comment: Re:Public Storage (Score 1) 316

by freedomseven (#29955482) Attached to: An Inbox Is Not a Glove Compartment
I would go further to say that if I rent an apartment. It is my space. Under the terms of the lease, the landlord and his employees have the right to periodically enter the apartment for the purpose of conducting maintenance and inspection of the property. Even still, the landlord cannot give the police permission to search my apartment without a warrant.

Comment: Re:Cheapest (Score 1) 123

by psbrogna (#29955476) Attached to: New XBMC Port Promises ARM-Powered HD In the Palm of Your Hand
It's not the cheapest but the Phenom Quad Cores can actually rip a DVD and play hi-def off the hard drive at the same time. I put together a box based on one of these for around $400 (4 Gb RAM + 1 TB storage + DVD drive, used on-board everything else cause it was good 'nuf). If you've got a monster DVD collection you're looking to rip to HD it's all about how many DVDs you can feed it every night without cutting into "theater hours."

Comment: What could go wrong? (Score 4, Insightful) 123

by Plasmic (#29955116) Attached to: NASA Trying To Reinvent Their Approach

More committees. Way to think outside the box.

If they want to reinvent their approach, perhaps they should start by not creating multiple committees every time they want to accomplish something ... or am I forgetting the long track record of success by new committees at already-bloated government organizations?

Comment: Re:Simply outdated (Score 1) 250

by Plasmic (#29670325) Attached to: Is Cloud Computing the Hotel California of Tech?

The analogy is very clear: you get benefits from storing your data in the cloud, just like you get benefits from storing your money in the bank -- but at the expense of some degree of control. Those benefits aren't completely identical (as evidenced by your nonsensical, literal interpretation of the analogy as "data earning interest"), nor is the degree of loss of control identical.

While it's still an early-adopter market, I stand by the point that people being afraid to put their money in a bank is similar to people being afraid to put their data in the cloud, though you're free to disagree.

Comment: You could be the Editor-in-Chief at CNET! (Score 1) 250

by Plasmic (#29648227) Attached to: Is Cloud Computing the Hotel California of Tech?

The best part is that you're 100% correct -- and the only reason you're questioning yourself is because it's just so obvious that you're confused as to why it's a discussion. I suggest CNET publish your post as a cover story.

3 Things You Need to Know About Cloud Computing

  • Web services != Cloud: Don't consider things like Facebook true cloud computing
  • For most cloud applications, getting data out of the cloud could not be simpler
  • The real problem is that "Cloud Computing" has become a big tent that is coming to include a lot of things it shouldn't.

They adore titles with both numbers and buzzwords in them, so I don't see how they could resist.

Comment: Accept your future: the cloud. (Score 1) 250

by Plasmic (#29648107) Attached to: Is Cloud Computing the Hotel California of Tech?

Why would you ever give up control of your money, but not your important data? Or are you saying that you don't put your money in banks or investments? Perhaps you're comfortable with the balance of control that you have over your money vs. the financial institution when combined with the protections afforded to you by various regulations, government agencies, and legal precedent. Do you suppose this would be impossible to put in place for in-the-cloud applications?

If people spent as much time exploring how to make cloud applications better as they did bashing them, we would get to our inevitable future much more quickly and painlessly.

Comment: No, quit asking for depth! (Score 1) 250

by Plasmic (#29647995) Attached to: Is Cloud Computing the Hotel California of Tech?

Can someone give a little depth to the vague and unsubstantiated comment in TFA

No one can give you any depth, because it doesn't exist -- this article is fluff and the only supporting posts on this board sound like the old-world IT crowd spouting off, "Nothing beats having your own data!". They also bury their money in their own yard, so as not to avoid outsourcing their money with in-the-cloud financial providers (aka banks). After all, it's almost as difficult to switch "banks" as to go from MySpace to Facebook, i.e. the sky is falling.

I'm being sarcastic, but the point is that it's clear from an efficiency perspective that using services in the cloud can offer a net benefit to some organizations. This requires that we (the IT community) work together to make sure the new complexities (data ownership, privacy, security, interoperability, etc.) are mitigated as much as possible ... as opposed to a fundamental resistance to this feeling of losing control that many IT people succumb to when confronted with new technologies.

Every organization has differing requirements and the cloud is not the solution to every problem for every application for every organization -- but let's at least be accurate about what the pro's and con's are so that, in cases where it is better, we don't slow down the adoption.

Comment: Article Breakdown (Score 1) 250

by Plasmic (#29647663) Attached to: Is Cloud Computing the Hotel California of Tech?

There are two key problems with this article:

Apples and Oranges

From the perspective of data being stored in the cloud there are several unique cases. I'll pick two examples, but, as other posters have pointed out, the issues facing each are vastly different:

  • Google Apps/SalesForce: There is a clear choice between in-the-cloud and in-house: you can host key corporate data (customer contacts, email, etc.) or you can build in-house CRM, ERP, and/or Email. Amazon Computing Cloud fits here, as well, insofar as you have an in-house alternative: build your own VM environments in your own data center with all data hosted locally.
  • MySpace/Facebook: Aside from not being back-office business systems, you are not (intentionally) putting corporate data in the cloud and there is no real on-premise alternative for social networking. By definition, you want to connect to everyone. Yes, I know there are enterprise collaboration/IM tools (e.g. Google Wave), but these fall within the first scenario. Social networking tools are fundamentally enabled by being publicly available on the Internet, i.e. in the cloud.

Vendor Interoperability
The point of this article -- vendor interoperability, especially around data conversion -- is an interesting one. But I would've thought that it was self-evident without having to raise examples that it's not an issue specific to the cloud: if I want to switch from one in-house technology to another (Oracle to SAP, Lotus to Exchange, Novell to Microsoft, etc.), it's an enormous pain in the ass. Especially between vendors, it's always difficult, and often impossible to transfer all data in full. There's no conversion script for me to take my Nortel PBX call queuing and scripting and magically transfer it to my Cisco Unity Call Manager. If my organization wants to switch from one in-house ERP to another, it's often a 12-18 month process: harvesting, transforming and normalizing, scrubbing, loading, and finalizing the data, and that doesn't even address the workflow, business process, or other issues.

While the issue of being locked into a particular vendor, product, or data format is never going away and merits further discussion, the answer is entirely independent of the cloud: hope/ensure that your contracts dictate the necessary level of flexibility in importing/exporting data from a given business application/system ... or you could be screwed (both on-premise and in-the-cloud).

Comment: Re:Not really... (Score 5, Insightful) 267

by Plasmic (#29574937) Attached to: Apple Pushes Unwanted Software To PCs, Again

Do you seriously not understand the difference between having something show up on a list of updates that are available and actually having it download and install behind your back?

How much research do you think people do before checking a box in an iTunes dialog? The onus is on Apple to not offer stupid things that would coincidentally inflate the installed base of an enterprise utility.

Do you seriously not understand the use case of a typical end-user, e.g. teenager, that thinks they want the 'iPhone Configuration Utility' since it's offered by Apple iTunes and they ... have an iPhone? "Hey, I might want to configure my iPhone. And I've always downloaded every other iTunes update with iPhone in the title." (Anyone that can read the description and decipher that it's for enterprise device management doesn't fit the definition of "typical end-user".)

The results speak for themselves: millions of users installed this software because it looked like a standard iPhone update.

Gee, Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.

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