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Comment: Yes, it can work (Score 1) 331

I used to head up product and pre-sales in a company that we were trying to turn around. The way we got around the issue was that sales people had commission for each and every sale but for engineers, that was scoffed upon. So we increased the overall bonus bucket and made 30% of bonus of engineers and 50% for pre-sales engineers (Who also used to get commission for sales, but not as high as sales people) dependent on overall annual sales. The bonus was paid every 6 months so we could tweak it as we needed (e.g. if we needed a product done within tight timelines, we could dial up the engineers' bonus on hitting the timelines rather than sales).

Must say it is all easier said than done though, and it did take engineers sometime to get into the new mindset. However, once a few of them started getting bonuses and public recognition, people gradually started seeing value in that (I must admit, the first couple of times we actually paid bonuses even though the guys maybe didn't fully deserve it, but once that was done, that motivated others to do better). The most important change that happened was that when sales people asked engineers for help, they actually were willing to help, rather than considering it as a distraction as they used to do earlier.

Comment: Re:Don't buy any servers. Use the cloud. (Score 1) 600

by abhikhurana (#34301582) Attached to: Best IT-infrastructure For a Small Company?

I did exactly this when building out my recent company. Google mail service is fairly good, but hosted exchange is far better in terms of operating like a normal company with blackberries, etc. We outsource our web serving also. We basically have a fileserver and a pair of ADS boxes for inside services, and a redundant Internet connection.

Why can't you just use a Google apps connector to Blackberry enterprise server and save yourself some money (Assuming you only care about using blackberries for contact and calendar sync, because you can access email anyways). If it is a small company, you may just use Google Sync for Blackberry. Can't see the need for Exchange in either case

Comment: Re:It's not hidden (Score 1) 315

by abhikhurana (#33702366) Attached to: UK Pursues Tax Evaders Using Stolen Bank Details

The most significant benefit of UK being part of EU but not Euro is that its bank can act independently of the European Central Bank (ECB) and it can devalue its currency when it so needs. So yes, UK did print extra money, which was used to buy Gilts, thus pumping extra money in the economy, but since UK is not part of Euro zone, there is nothing in the Maastricht treaty that prevents UK from doing so (similarly for Switzerland, Sweden etc.)

Of course in the long run, the government has to buy back the gilts from the BOE so it is a zero sum game. However, I think the biggest blunder of the EU was Euro, thereby depriving states like Greece any control on their currency and thus landing in situations where they need to be bailed out by other countries.

Comment: I thought reading was about developing imagination (Score 3, Interesting) 149

by abhikhurana (#32146362) Attached to: Do Children's E-Books Ruin Reading?

Call me old fashioned but one of the reasons I have always enjoyed reading traditional books is because the author only drops the hints at what the world in the book looks like but I actually paint the complete picture. This is the same reason why most movies based on books don't do well, because it is extremely difficult to compete with what we imagined that world to be in the detail and besides the imaginary world is individual to each reader. No two worlds probably look the same.

Unfortunately, the more we get into the interactive books which try to replace the written word with pictures (or even the ones which try to augment it), the more would we be limiting our imagination and seeing it from someone else's eyes, which almost certainly would result in less "different" people in the world. Most of us on slashdot are evolutionists and we do appreciate that it is this difference which results in our species evolving. Hell, it could be that Da Vinci etc. probably started looking at flying because they had heard or read fairy tales where humans flew, which then one day was realised by incremental advance in science. So in some ways, we would be limiting our potential by relying more on the visual medium rather than imagining the world.

The Courts

+ - Court: RapidShare doesn't need to filter uploads->

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "Yesterday RapidShare announced ( http://rapidshare.com/news.html ) that it triumphed in its appeal over copyright holders who demanded that the service take more steps to control online infringement. Because RapidShare does not make uploaded files publicly available (those who upload them can control access), the court found that it could not be held liable for distribution and that running filename filters on all uploads would produce too many false positives.

In addition, the appeals court took aim at several filtering schemes. Blocking all files of a certain type (such as RAR files) was deemed inappropriate, since a file type has no bearing on the legality of an upload. Scanning by IP address was also tossed, because numerous people can use a single IP address. File name filtering tells you nothing about the contents of a file, so that was tossed. Even content scanning was problematic, as the court noted that this would just lead to encrypted files. Besides, even if you could know that a file was copyrighted, it could still be a legal "private backup" not distributed to anyone else.

ARS Technica: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/05/court-rapidshare-doesnt-need-to-filter-uploads.ars"

Link to Original Source
Security

+ - Shadows in the Cloud->

Submitted by abhikhurana
abhikhurana (325468) writes "Turning the tables on a China-based computer espionage gang, Canadian and United States computer security researchers have monitored a spying operation for the past eight months, observing while the intruders pilfered classified and restricted documents from the highest levels of the Indian Defense Ministry.
In this report, the researchers, based at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, provide a detailed account of how a spy operation it called the Shadow Network systematically hacked into personal computers in government offices on several continents.
The Toronto spy hunters not only learned what kinds of material had been stolen, but were able to see some of the documents, including classified assessments about security in several Indian states, and confidential embassy documents about India's relationships in West Africa, Russia and the Middle East. The intruders breached the systems of independent analysts, taking reports on several Indian missile systems. They also obtained a year's worth of the Dalai Lama's personal e-mail messages.
The intruders even stole documents related to the travel of NATO forces in Afghanistan, illustrating that even though the Indian government was the primary target of the attacks, one gap in computer security can leave many nations exposed."

Link to Original Source
Television

IT Crowd (UK) Coming Back For Season 4 165

Posted by timothy
from the good-thing-the-german-didn't-eat-him dept.
sammyF70 writes "Every geek's favourite non-sci-fi show (the original UK one, not the abysmally bad German and US remakes) is coming back for a fourth season! According to the IMDB's message board, it should be on the air 'Juneish.' While you wait, you can check out what kind of vintage hardware will be on the show this time, and remember: if you illegally download movies, you will face the consequences!"

Comment: Mobile platform plans (Score 3, Interesting) 310

by abhikhurana (#31161466) Attached to: Ask Matt Asay About Ubuntu and Canonical

What are Canonical's plans for mobile platforms? With Maemo, another Debian based distro, now available for smartphones, would Canonical also get involved with either that or maybe develop a completely new Distro?

With the desktop Linux market being extremely small and server markets being dominated by Red Hat and Novell, mobiles probably are the sweet spot for Canonical, with its strong focus on usability. Additionally, the lack of standardisation means that users are more willing to experiement with interfaces. So what is the relative priority of Mobile, Netbook, Desktop and Server platform in Canonical's roadmap?

Comment: Re:He hates mobile phones?! (Score 1) 308

by abhikhurana (#31065666) Attached to: Nexus One First Phone Linus Torvalds "Doesn't Hate"

I second that. It has been my favourite "phone" so far. It was only when I started using it, I realised that I didn't want a phone afterall. What I really wanted was a mobile computer, with a brilliant browser and a decent email client, and the ability to make and receive phone calls. I had read many complaints on maemo.org but personally I never noticed any of those problems. From my perspective, it does what I need it do very well (e.g. listening to spotify and transmitting it to my card radio via the builtin fm transmitter, accessing my home computer using VNC, using pandora over vpn). So yes, it works for me brilliantly.

Comment: For me, OpenDNS is faster (Score 1) 275

by abhikhurana (#30355556) Attached to: How Does the New Google DNS Perform? (and Why?)

For me, like the tester, OpenDNS (17-18ms) performed better than Google (25ms). My ISP (O2 in UK - 22ms) was somewhere in between OpenDNS and Google.

For those who want to test it themselves, you can do so quite easily under linux. The Command to use is dig
e.g.

dig @server slashdot.org

Do it a few time to see how fast your DNS server actually is.

To the systems programmer, users and applications serve only to provide a test load.

Working...