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Comment: Re:In IT, remember to wash your hands (Score 1) 151

by Shoten (#48612593) Attached to: In IT, Beware of Fad Versus Functional

Beware of Fad Versus Functional

What's so IT-specific about this maxim, that it warrants being on Slashdot? A slow news day?

Probably the fact that tons of us have tried to tell people this in our jobs in the past, but few have been able to put it as clearly and as succinctly as this, while still stating all the factors that play into it.

Comment: Re:not staff increases, either (Score 1) 110

by Shoten (#48498889) Attached to: Armies of Helper Robots Keep Amazon's Warehouses Running Smoothly

Well, you can not force a company to hire more people, nor blame it for optimizing their warehouse. It they're really not firing people, that's a good thing. I guess their business is growing, too, so to compensate the reduction in manual labor.

Well put. On the other side of it, I don't see how it should in any way be a surprise to anyone who knows Amazon at all (like their warehouse employees) that this kind of thing would be on its way. There is a certain reality to the fact that people must grow and evolve their skills to maintain their own employability no matter what their career path.

A more cynical, if not entirely inaccurate, way to describe the other side of that equation is this.

Comment: Re:Can Iowa handle a circus that large? (Score 1) 433

by Shoten (#48469419) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

The republican candidate list now includes (at least)

Mitt Romney

Jeb Bush

Scott Walker

Chris Christie

Sarah Palin

Bobby Jindal

And now Carly Fiorina wants in, too? That will be quite a crowd.

Well, I gotta say...the next two years are going to be an absolutely wonderful time for comedians!

Comment: Re:Methinks the article sensationalizes! (Score 1) 102

by Shoten (#48373373) Attached to: Amazon Goes After Oracle (Again) With New Aurora Database

If you look at AWS's actual announcement, they say nothing about Oracle. They say that Aurora is compatible with MySQL, which happens to be owned by Oracle, but it is not what most people think of as "Oracle"!

What's my migration path from Oracle to Aurora? Does it support PL/SQL, XML, APEX, Java, etc. stored procedures? Does it support Oracle syntax, index types, etc? How sophisticated is its data dictionary?

From AWS's announcement, it looks like Aurora is meant to be mostly a drop-in replacement for MySQL, but with much higher scalability and durability and more advanced backup features. If I had to call it something, I'd call Aurora "MySQL RAC", because Aurora seems to buy you more RAC-like features but with MySQL syntax/features.

It absolutely does NOT appear to be an easy migration from an existing Oracle application to the Aurora database. Maybe Aurora will attract some new applications, but if you're a big Oracle customer, don't salivate on that 90% cost savings so quickly, because it ain't there!

I think you don't understand how competitors get displaced in the IT market.

Nobody is going to state that their product is a drop-in replacement when it comes to applications. It's not possible, it's never been true, and nobody would believe it even if it were. But Oracle has a huge number of extremely unhappy customers (direct and OEM) who hate their licensing cost and behavior (see the comment a bit of a scroll above about Oracle being "audit-happy"), and want another option. Oracle sells not just databases but full-on applications as well; they're a competitor to SAP in the ERM space for example, and against PeopleSoft in the HR space. But there are ways to roadmap away from them, so that instead of just dumping Oracle tomorrow and replacing the database, you plan to replace them. One extreme case is ArcSight, which used to OEM Oracle for all of their products. They wrote their own DB engine to get rid of Oracle, and their pricing has become much more sane as a result. And, since their DB is purpose-built for the single purpose it serves, it's actually better at what it does than Oracle was. It was a major effort, and other parts of ArcSight were rewritten to facilitate it, but the end result is pretty badass.

So, in the end, a database does not need to support PL/SQL or Oracle syntax to displace Oracle. It just needs to do what Oracle does, with the understanding that the interfaces to it have to change to some degree...which isn't really the end of the world anyways. Things like service-oriented architecture being in place already make this kind of change a lot easier, as well. But there's no need to act just like the product you want to replace, any more than Dell servers needed to be able to use Compaq power supplies and hard drives when Dell first entered the server market. Customers simply switched, and switched their inventory accordingly along with it.

Comment: Defender's Dilemma (Score 1) 135

by Shoten (#48360061) Attached to: Tor Project Mulls How Feds Took Down Hidden Websites

So, look at this through the eyes of the defender, in the context of breaches of other sites. Put aside ethics, right/wrong, law, etc.; what this comes down to is a security breach when viewed from the defender's perspective, right?

Okay, so when you look at past breaches, what do you find...breakdowns in basic security. Sony wasn't patching, Home Depot wasn't watching their security monitoring, etc. While many vendors and researchers are trying to come up with novel security products and solutions to solve exotic problems in unique ways, what's actually happening is entities aren't following Security 101.

There are signs that this has happened with Tor as well. Silk Road 2.0, for example, was registered using "," which is about as NON-anonymous as you can possibly get. It's not only giving up the name, it's the name as it's tied to a very specific "Blake Benthall," so that law enforcement wouldn't even have to set about figuring out which Blake Benthall it was. A quick warrant request, a fax to the hosting provider behind "," and the guy is toast. This is not very fucking good security, at a fundamental level. And even worse, it was what got Ulbricht, the original operator of Silk Road, caught.

The argument could be made that only some domains were hit because others were out of reach due to where they were hosted; I don't buy this. In the past, it's been possible to get significant disruption of even the most unreachable systems through a number of means. This is why the RBL "broke up" and went to ground; even being out of the reach of law enforcement didn't mean their IP space couldn't get blackholed by ICANN, for example, or domains ignored by upstream TLD resolvers in the DNS hierarchy. I do believe that this "out of reach" potential was why hundreds of domains were shut down, but only 17 people were arrested. But if there were a fundamental issue with TOR itself, I don't see why they couldn't (and wouldn't) take down all of the sites they would want to hit at one blow. But now three of the top six drug-sale sites are still up, including the one that was second-largest, Agora.

So this looks more to me like the variability of operational security among the operators of the different domains, and poor security by those that got hit.

Comment: Re:armchair engineers (Score 1) 165

by Shoten (#48310995) Attached to: Some Virgin Galactic Customers Demand Money Back

Newer Airbuses limit rudder range at speed. The A300 could lose its tail if the pilot did something stupid, as happened with American Airlines 587. People seem to be happy enough to deal with the interlock.

And thank goodness that there's been a meaningful poll asking all of the passengers how happy they are with the interlock, not to mention informing them of it...otherwise you'd not have been able to make this assertion!

Comment: Re:oh boy! (Score 3, Insightful) 253

by Shoten (#48310917) Attached to: Tech Recruiters Defend 'Blacklists,' Lack of Feedback, Screening Techniques

From my experience, the boneheads were almost exclusively in the HR agencies. And that's a light term for fucking-unbelievable-idiots. I have tons of incompetence-filled horror stories. Techies (anything from coders to any branch of engineering), IMHO, should only be recruited by their peers. Period.

Almost exclusively, yes...but not entirely. And we blacklist recruiting firms as least I do. I have only 6 blacklist entries in the spam management settings for my personal domain, and 4 of them are to keep me from getting contacted by companies like KForce...companies whose recruiters' behavior is so egregious that I consider contact from them to be a threat to my career.

But then, on the other side, I've interviewed (as a hiring decision maker at my company) people who are so unfuckingbelievably full of shit that I documented it in detail and sent it back to the recruiting firm with an admonishment for not doing a better pre-screen. I would neither be surprised nor bothered if such people were then blacklisted by that recruiter. If a resume is a little bit exaggerated, that's expected. But don't go in for a crucial position with a ton of responsibility that requires a lot of technical expertise if you don't have the slightest goddamned idea how any of it works.

Comment: Re:As many have pointed out... (Score 1) 257

Sure. Remove the Google link to the bad review.

And every other link to the guy. Forever.

No more searches on him, for the entire rest of his performing career.

It's the only way to keep that review from sneaking back into future search results.

Actually, the reviewer's take on it did in fact seem to indicate that we should forget all about this guy...

Comment: Re:Why the tiny turbines? (Score 3, Informative) 216

by Shoten (#48303367) Attached to: Scotland Builds Power Farms of the Future Under the Sea

, a 5 knot ocean current has more kinetic energy than a 350 km/h wind.

. If each Hammerfest machine delivers its advertised 1MW of power,

With such large amounts of energy why oh why are they pissing about with such tiny turbines? Modern wind turbines are 6MW+, some hydro power turbines are over 700MW each. Are they trying to destroy the financial viability of the project with unimaginative small scale thinking?

Scroll up to the post just above yours, referencing the Bay of Fundy and its failed turbine approach. Big turbines go boom when water move too fast, it turns out. Smaller turbines are made of materials with similar strength, but have much less force exerted on them under extreme tides. And, unlike a hydro power turbine, they can't force the full flow of the water to pass exclusively through the turbine here; a turbine that attempted the same level of energy harvesting would instead build up a head of backpressure, and the water would flow around it. That is, until the tide ripped the thing off the floor of the bay.

Comment: Re:So the taxpayer pays for overage, got it (Score 5, Insightful) 255

he would pay more in tax in a single year than 99% of the population pay in there entire lives.

Except he won't, he'll exploit exceptions and loopholes until he's paying less tax than a top-level middle manager. You don't seem to understand how taxation works.

Actually, this is only sort of true. On a percentage-of-annual-income basis, it's correct. But in terms of dollars and cents paid in taxes annually, it is incorrect.

The fact that Ballmer is involved in this is the only reason it's on Slashdot...let's face it. This situation relates to capital investment, and it happens several times a day with regard to transactions of varying sizes. We could argue about whether or not it's about the taxpayer that gets stuck with this or that, or whether capital will flee if we tax the rich more, but one thing is true: Ballmer is no more to fault for leveraging available, documented, and legal tax write-offs than we are when we all claim a write-off for our mortgages, business expenses, or even just the standard deduction (if we don't even itemize).

None of us seek to maximize the amount of taxes we pay. But we demonize the ultra-wealthy, by name, when they do the same thing as us but on a larger scale. Don't fault them, fault the system...and then change it.

"You don't go out and kick a mad dog. If you have a mad dog with rabies, you take a gun and shoot him." -- Pat Robertson, TV Evangelist, about Muammar Kadhafy