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Comment: Re: Welcome to the 90's, USA (Score 1) 100

by W. Justice Black (#49045395) Attached to: Starting This Week, Wireless Carriers Must Unlock Your Phone

Seconded. For $180 unlocked no-contract, the 2nd gen moto g is the best there is (for now). And Motorola's service, support, and radio design are without peer. Google ownership was definitely a positive influence (we'll see about Lenovo).

Not affiliated with Motorola; just in love with my G...

Comment: Re:It would do them good. (Score 1) 223

by W. Justice Black (#48707819) Attached to: US Army Could Waive Combat Training For Hackers


Basic training means different things to different branches--field-stripping a rifle is replaced with using Wireshark or disassembling some code or basic drone flight (even for pure (h|cr)ackers) in the theoretical ChairForce (LOVE that term).

Probably still a bit of a physical fitness/discipline requirement (arranging into squads, e.g.),but no need to be so intense. Or more accurately, time-consuming with all the march-20-miles stuff. Maybe 30 mins/day of calesthenics and certain minimum proficiency for simple "you're likely to get sick enough while on-duty to be a net liability"-type mitigation. Doubly so if there is the occasional expectation to use stimulants to maintain vigilance during long duty shifts (we never give our footsoldiers or pilots stims, right? :-p ).

Comment: As a Hiring Manager... (Score 2) 45

by W. Justice Black (#48656573) Attached to: Using Your Open-Source Contributions To Land a Full-Time Job

This. 1000% this.

Especially for new grads, folks entering a branch of coding they haven't done professionally before, or folks looking to change careers (or come back to tech after some time away).

I see resumes from students all the time with all the same projects (because they were assigned that in school) and two things make you stand out:

1. Doing stuff that clearly you have a passion for (or at least an interest in). That may mean running a soccer stats website that scrapes other sites and amalgamates it, or it may mean contributing something to an existing OSS project, or it may mean putting something up on github.

2. Being able to speak intelligiently about why what you did was any good (or that you at least recognize why it sucked). Many students in particular have trouble eludicating design details and/or the "why" of their choices--even a "we chose PHP because it's what the other team members knew" is OK, as long as there is a reason and a defense.

Contributing to OSS is terrific because:

1. I can look at your code to see if it's any good, and
2. The code is open so I don't have to worry about possible legal encumberances to talking about it, and
3. I can be reasonably confident you know how to use source code control and/or play nice with other developers.

If you're not VERY confident in the other stuff on your resume, OSS contribution is the best thing to put in a portfolio.

Comment: Two-Stage Checkout (Score 1) 342

by W. Justice Black (#48191053) Attached to: An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man

Have a token- or ticket-based approach:

1. If you don't have a token/ticket (or need to buy more), there's one line for that.
2. Folks with tokens hand 'em over in exchange for bags, preferably right at the truck so no fetching (you effectively crowdsource that bit).

Money is separate from the actual moving of product then (have to do the whole "no refunds/no cash value" thing on the tokens). For people that pre-buy tokens, the line will be lightning fast. For everyone else, it'll still be faster than before and you can flow people to the registers or to pickup as needed to deal with demand.

Comment: Do a Proper Disaster Recovery Plan Together (Score 3, Informative) 125

by W. Justice Black (#46870825) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Intelligently Moving From IT Into Management?

OK, so if you're asking this, there's no way you've done a proper disaster recovery plan--folks that have done those have sufficient documentation in-hand that someone else should be able to pop in and do the job.

So this is a great opportunity to do that. Together. You gain confidence in your IT minion while s/he gains confidence that they're flying right. And any keys to the kingdom are nicely stored where they should be, so any authorized IT person can get at what they need.

The first step is to get the lay of the land and prioritize services. Gather the keys/passwords/whatever together (make sure your AAA story is good, etc). Come up with what your backup/restore stories are. What do you do if you need to restore one file (the "oopsie" moment)? What about a dead drive/server? What if a plane hits your data center? etc, etc.

Make no mistake--you're in the middle of a disaster RIGHT NOW. You're losing your lead IT staffer to promotion :-)

Comment: (Formerly) Interracial Porn (Score 2) 213

by W. Justice Black (#44315211) Attached to: If I search online for my full name...

I decided to go by "BJ Black" when I was 7 years old--years before I realized that Googling that would result in interracial porn.

Nowadays, Google is smart enough to SEO me as the top hit and (relatively) safe sites behind that. For interracial porn, you have to do an image search with safesearch off.

Comment: Not All Math Created Equal... (Score 1) 656

I tend to agree with the OP regarding the (ir)relevance of calc/diffeq. I rarely (if ever) use any concepts from farting around with f(x) in that sense...

BUT stats and discrete math is HUGELY important. I've gotten way more use out of my one semester of discrete than the entirety of calc.

I for one would love to see CS students get 2-3 semesters of discrete (and preferably 2 of stats) and one semester of calc (rather than the other way 'round).

Comment: Re:Virtualize the environment (Score 4, Informative) 953

by W. Justice Black (#43519345) Attached to: Some Windows XP Users Can't Afford To Upgrade

If you can do a fresh install, this would be a good opportunity to do so:

1. Install XP from scratch, with all the latest fixes and whatnot. Get it nice and pristine with no crap milling about beyond the barebones stuff. Get the licensing happy.
3. Get your custom software installed.
6. Use gingerly :-)

Comment: Re:Ummm Yes (Score 1) 953

by W. Justice Black (#43519253) Attached to: Some Windows XP Users Can't Afford To Upgrade

Seconded. Either:

1. Run it on a hypervisor host and RDP into it or
2. Run it in a local VM using VirtualBox (which does surprisingly well running XP-on-7 as long as you have the VM tools instaled). Set the desktop to change size when its window does, auto-hide the toolbar, and it looks/behaves fairly similarly to a local app on W7.

I had a friend's business (which relied on an old map application whose DRM WOULD NOT run on W7) implement such a thing and it's worked great. Plus you get snapshots, which is enough of a reason for me to recommend just about all embedded/oddball apps run on a VM.

Comment: Get a Firm/Contractor and Train Yourself Up (Score 1) 212

by W. Justice Black (#42923281) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: I Just Need... Marketing?

If marketing isn't one of your firm's core competencies, outsource. Either hire an outside agency or get a hired gun in as a contractor.

If someone is really motivated to become a partner, let him/her go through a trial period where they're essentially in that contractor role and you can evaluate results. But you're right--if you're worried about possibly underperforming partners (and don't have enough mojo to figure it out without hard numbers), then get some hard numbers first.

As you correctly surmised, you can't completely ignore marketing if you're a business owner. Get some training on the subject (even if just an online class or something, though no need to go completely nuts). This is, unfortunately, one blind spot you can't have forever--marketing can be expensive and you must know and maintain what works.

It's currently a problem of access to gigabits through punybaud. -- J. C. R. Licklider