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Comment: Re:Marketing geniuses (Score 2) 50

I cancelled my subscription to another Linux magazine when they dropped paper. I figure I get fresher news from my RSS feeds and more up-to-date and more detailed technical info from blogs and project websites.

I truly do love my tablet for reading fiction and even the occasional reference manual, but the ability to randomly flip through a dead-tree magazine and idly learn about something that may someday become important is something I treasure and an e-reader just doesn't do it for me.

Comment: Re:LibreOffice (Score 1) 241

by RabidReindeer (#46782473) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

Larry wanted to rewrite it using JavaFX LOL

Larry wanted it to do something Sun never did - make a profit so he could build another yacht. He's been hoping to do that with other open-source acquisitions as well.

Unfortunately, people don't want to spend tens of thousands of dollars on open-source platforms, apps, and tools.

Poor Larry.

Comment: Re:What now? 1 billion! (Score 1) 241

by RabidReindeer (#46782445) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

While I don't condone it, people in the Finance/Accounting departments have made complete applications in Excel. Then, they throw it over the wall to I/T and say "turn this into a web app for us -- it should take, what, two or three days?"

But again, I've seen plenty of complex spreadsheets that use way more functionality than I as a developer would ever use.

I'd say that you worked for the same company I did.

But at my company they waited until they'd exceeded Excel's row capacity and THEN they threw it over the wall. At which point they were having to break it up into multiple workbooks just to run the business while we scrambled to bail them out. Plus - yay! - critical corporate data existed on a laptop that they'd keep passing around (and occasionally taking out of town) and our IT department didn't backup files on desktops or laptops.

On the whole, I'm inclined to say that when you've gotten to the point that only 100% original Excel can do the job, you've probably reached the point where you shouldn't be doing the job in Excel anyway.

Comment: Re:Nonsense (Score 2) 275

by RabidReindeer (#46778431) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

> The one thing that we didn't do (obviously!) was allow automated Windws updates.
> Then again, considering the damaged that some Windows Updates have done to
> desktop machines, I didn't even allow that on my desktop machine.

You have to perform OS updates in some industries. You might disable automatic updates, but that doesn't prevent damage, just that you'll be kicking it off manually.

Not always. Sometimes it's a matter of letting other people be your guinea pigs. Microsoft has on several occasions had to follow up an update with a corrected update, so in cases like that, you just ignore the bad update entirely and skip ahead to the better one.

The other thing deferred updates allow is the ability to do small-scale in-house testing before letting it loose on the entire infrastructure.

Comment: Re:Nonsense (Score 4, Informative) 275

by RabidReindeer (#46777853) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

They want bureaucracy, they make the paperwork. Tell them to track windows and distro security pages, the changes are there. I would be toasted with that kind of tape, I updated my servers in a pinch immediately after the first news of heartbleed at 3 in the morning. 0300AM right. How about dusting your resume and changing jobs? Let them play the shuffling reports game alone.

I've served on a change control board. Every application and system update was supposed to be bundled to make the sysadmin's job easier, include a document that outlined the nature of the change and why it was needed, the instructions on how to apply the change, and the instructions on how to recover if it didn't work.

Change committee met once a week, approved/scheduled, deferred, or rejected changes. In case of emergency, the CIO or designated proxy could approve an out-of-band change request.

We didn't attempt to micro-manage changes, just understand the business risks and rewards. Obviously, the more details you could capture the better prepared you were to understand the consequences and the ways you could recover. But when Microsoft hands you a CAB that includes patches for SSL, IE, 6 GDI bugs and Windows notepad, that's their problem, not yours.

The one thing that we didn't do (obviously!) was allow automated Windws updates. Then again, considering the damaged that some Windows Updates have done to desktop machines, I didn't even allow that on my desktop machine.

Comment: Re:A million is easy (Score 2) 446

by RabidReindeer (#46772679) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

If you can't find a way to get to a million by retirement, something is wrong.

Here is a simple way to do it. Put $16,000 in your 401k and $5,000 in your IRA every year. Investing in a good S&P500 index fund which will return about 10%. In 18 years, you will be a millionaire.

Now getting to $10 million is tough.

Actually, the hard part is getting the first million. Then it feeds itself. Especially since the second million, etc. aren't being held back for basic living expenses.

Comment: Re:So stop buying (so much) chinese stuff (Score 1) 156

by RabidReindeer (#46772563) Attached to: Pollution In China Could Be Driving Freak Weather In US

The real reason why manufacturing is cheaper in China is labor costs, though. Which is why stuff that's heavily automated is often done in the US, despite the more stringent environmental restrictions.

Then again, my position on toxins is that everything that a factory emits that isn't a profitable product means someone hasn't been thinking efficiently. Coal tar, SO2, heavy metals, ash - if they're reclaimed and put to gainful employment you get a cleaner environment and more profit.

Comment: Re:whine (Score 2) 213

by RabidReindeer (#46767577) Attached to: How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

21st Century Business Logic:

1. Multi-task. Never devote your entire attention to one task when you could be juggling 7.

2. Run Lean. Why hire a dedicated expert developer, a dedicated sysadmin, a dedicated DBA and a dedicated network engineer? Make one person do all those things (see #1, above).

3. Run 100% and demand 110. Who needs expansion room for when things inevitably go pear-shaped? Which Murphy guarantees even when you don't tempt him with #1 and #2.

4. Run cheap. Demand maximum expertise from the lowest bidder. There's always someone in a third-world country who'd be GLAD to do items #1, #2 and #3 for pennies a day!

5. Use easily measured things to determine employee effectiveness. Lines of Code, Time on Phone, stuff that's easily objectively measured, unlike less tangible things like customer satisfaction (what, you think we bother to ANSWER those silly surveys?), externals (like poisoning 6 downwind countries) or time to do the job right the first time. Use these as weapons to demand more of #1, #2, #3 and #4.

6. Subscribe to overpriced buzzword-laden management fads to assist in accomplishing all of the above.

Comment: Re:Wat? (Score 1) 569

by RabidReindeer (#46767239) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

Actually, my first disassembly efforts were directed against the IBM System/370 FORTRAN runtime libraries. When I later took integral calculus I instantly recognized the algorithms as well as the tricks used to fold values over to make them converge more rapidly.

Just because SSL is encryption doesn't mean that the algorithms should be more cryptic. We're still talking polynomial math here to do the heavy lifting. In fact, "clever" code will generally make the encryption less secure, since the more complicated you make things, the more places they can fail.

Comment: Re:Wat? (Score 2) 569

All source is open if it's worth it to someone.

That's what disassemblers are for.

I reverse-engineered the old Microsoft assembler for CP/M to give it an advanced feature it lacked and did it strictly on my own time and for my own private benefit (pre-DMCA).

You can be certain that open or closed, SOMEONE whose business is penetrating security has people dedicated to ensuring that there's source code to pore over for exploits.

Comment: Re:We don''t do tax returns in the UK,you insensit (Score 1) 382

by RabidReindeer (#46760071) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

What software do you use that adds up all your sales tax, property tax, fuel tax, and all the other taxes plus the fees that are passed on to you that are hidden in the costs of the goods and services you consume?

You want everything AND a pony. Most of us can get enough blood pressure off the reported Federal rate alone, which is all the 1040 is intended for anyway. If that's not enough, next time you buy gas, read the numbers printed on the fuel pump. The lowest one is the actual gas price, the next highest one is the gas tax and the shockingly big one is the sum of them, which is what you pay at the register.

My property tax I know because the annual statement I get gives me a number that can be used as a deduction off Federal tax. State taxes you do another form for unless you're one of the lucky states, sales tax is what makes everything not cost what the sign in the window says it does.

Merchants are at liberty to find whatever tax solutions they can, but don't expect them to itemize out what they spent or saved on your sales receipt.

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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