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Comment: Re:Users Don't Dream Big Enough (Score 1) 275

It is not an easy technique to use, nor is it appropriate to use it in all circumstances. It requires a lot of focused study, discipline, and good intuition, to make sure you are bringing the correct technologies/features to bear. A fail in the case of Win 8, but success in the case of iPhone.

Comment: Re:Cheapskate? (Score 1) 143

by azadrozny (#46757947) Attached to: How Amazon Keeps Cutting AWS Prices: Cheapskate Culture

I have seen many comments like this, but I think there are a lot of what-if scenarios to consider. Is it necessary for that person to work straight from the flight? It could be cheaper to fly them in the night before, and pay for an extra night in the hotel. Is this person expected to work while on the plane? If not, all that extra space mat not be necessary. How often is the person expected to travel? If this employee is hopping around the country, especially for a multi-city trip, perhaps the upgrade is warranted, since they may not be able to settle in at anyone location very long. In the end, I hate to see hard rules. A manager should have some discretion to adapt to the situation and the employee. At the same time, I consider upgrades like this a perk. An employee (executive or otherwise) should not expect to travel this way, and be prepared to justify the cost if they ask.

Comment: Re:A good accountant (Score 1) 382

by azadrozny (#46757523) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

You are correct, there is no best choice for everyone. I have used an accountant since shortly after leaving school. I think I spent $50-$75 more than TurboTax would cost, however I spend about 10 minutes the night before my appointment gathering my forms, and typically 45 minutes in his office filling out and signing the electronic documents. I have too many friends that spend 3+ hours on a weekend trying to do it on their own. I consider that extra amount spent worth my time, and peace of mind.

Comment: Re:Walmart on the web (Score 1) 143

by azadrozny (#46757309) Attached to: How Amazon Keeps Cutting AWS Prices: Cheapskate Culture

Amazon is not doing anything new. Walmart has had this general philosophy for a long time. Good or bad, they have been squeezing every cent out of their supply chain, using the power of their distribution centers to keep their costs low. I recall reading somewhere that their CEO occupies the same modest office that Sam Walton used, and it does not get lavishly redecorated often (if ever). At least they are passing the savings on to the customer.

Comment: Users Don't Dream Big Enough (Score 2) 275

From the article:

We tend to think that new products will be a lot like the ones we know. We shoehorn existing concepts where they don’t belong. Oftentimes, we don’t dream big enough.

I have found this to be a serious problem for system designers. When gathering requirements we often ask users what they want, or what they need. They then give us narrow response like "a button that does X" or "a screen that shows me Y". This can be valuable input, however these requests are based on their knowledge of what can be designed with "yesterday's" technology. A better question to ask is "what do you do?". I have found that responses to this question (purposefully open ended) give the system designers the freedom to streamline the users job, and tools that will actually make them more productive.

Comment: Re:Woah there, pilgrim (Score 1) 370

by azadrozny (#46576033) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Fastest, Cheapest Path To a Bachelor's Degree?

I had a similar though, fast and cheap is the wrong mindset. Sit down and research the local (or online) schools and degree programs available to you. Dig into the courses and see what topics are taught. Look for a program that will compliment your career goals. Some schools may accept your associates degree coursework, but make sure you ask up front since credits do expire. You are probably looking at a minimum of 2 years to complete a decent program. It could be a long, miserable road if you pick a program simply because you can get it done "fast". I am not saying that time and cost shouldn't be a factor, but make sure you consider the sights you are going to see along the way.

Comment: Re:Good model for higher level education (Score 1) 147

by azadrozny (#46468071) Attached to: How St. Louis Is Bootstrapping Hundreds of Programmers

I looked at the Launch Code site linked in the article. It looks like they get you a job, on some kind of provisional basis, while you are in the program. When you complete it, that company may offer you a permanent job, no guarantees. This is much more than taking a single MOOC class. According to the article these people are studying 20 hours a week. This is much more than a typical college class.

Comment: Re:Good model for higher level education (Score 1) 147

by azadrozny (#46465565) Attached to: How St. Louis Is Bootstrapping Hundreds of Programmers

Isn't that the same as taking a traditional class that meets on a college campus? In my view the real benefit to the St. Louis program is the pairing with an experienced professional. The student can see a direct benefit to participating in the program, due to the high probability of a job offer at the end.

Comment: Re:not worth it (Score 1) 461

by azadrozny (#46463089) Attached to: The $100,000 Device That Could Have Solved Missing Plane Mystery

I do think this technology make sense, but I am sure this would not be a one-for-one replacement of the the traditional black box. The black box would need to kept as a backup in case the transmitter fails. That also means that investigators will inevitably want to recover the physical device, to verify what was transmitted via wireless, even in cases where there was no interruption in the feed from the aircraft. That being said, you would likely be able to narrow your search area in cases like these since you would have some telemetry up to the point of a catastrophic failure.

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