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Comment: Re:paper...pencil (Score 2) 170

by black6host (#46801337) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Professional Journaling/Notes Software?

What I'm using is Evernote plus a Livescribe Sky pen. You write your notes in a notebook (yes, it has to be one of their notebooks) but a copy of the page (searchable if you use Evernote Premium and write halfway legible) is stored as a note. Plus audio can be recorded at the same time and is associated with the text being written at the same time. I've tried the Echo version of the pen and it requires Adobe reader to take hear the audio. Don't like it as Adobe reader is nothing but a big self contained advertisement that does some other stuff.

There is also a newer version of their pen called the Livescribe 3 but it doesn't work with Android devices (the Sky does) and requires a device to playback audio.

Plus, if you lose your notes in Evernote you always have your backup paper notebook with your handwritten text. So you haven't lost it all.

Comment: Re:Looking for a job on company equipment? (Score 1) 207

by black6host (#46314769) Attached to: Microsoft Lync Server Gathers Employee Data Just Like NSA

You come across as very arrogant. Have you ever managed a group of low level employees who spent more time chatting, visiting facebook or conducting online personal shopping than they did actual work? How do I explain to the guy/gal across the hall that everyone is losing their jobs because the company is folding due to the other half just plain not doing their jobs.

I'm sorry but if I'm paying you, then you do what I pay you to do. If you're so valuable that you think you call the shots then I've got news for you: If you're not the capital behind the company, if you're not the one that is taking the risk of losing it all, then please do your job as requested. And if that means no personal business than so be it. Feel free to move on to all the other suitors in your professional life if you don't like it.

A company should work as a team, as if everyone's job depended on the success of the company. Because it does.

Comment: Re:Redefine "Library" (Score 1) 231

by black6host (#46053163) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Reimagine a Library?

I was addressing the thought that children like to build things. I have a 5 year old son so I certainly know how things can disappear. Nonetheless, I don't nail everything down. The implementation of something similar to what I proposed would be a discussion for another day. The point was: broaden one's definition of "library". It's kind of hard to foster technical innovation without something to work with. Hell, it could be software based and that's not likely to walk away, so to speak.

If you think it can't be done, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. I rarely say "I can't do this", I simply say I don't know how at this time.

Comment: Redefine "Library" (Score 2) 231

by black6host (#46049151) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Reimagine a Library?

Granted, I'm of the "get off my lawn" group so it's been a long time since I've been in a school library. If you want to foster technical knowledge and give these kids a chance to explore areas that are not otherwise available to them then put something in there besides books and computers for research. Like a maker space kind of set-up where kids have access to tools and supplies to actually create things. Look at the appeal of Legos, now make it a bit more technical. Might even foster the actual reading of books and on-line information in order for students to achieve their goals (which they probably don't even have at this point.)

Comment: Re:What me worry? (Score 3, Interesting) 118

by black6host (#45964543) Attached to: Target Hackers Have More Data Than They Can Sell

As for parent, I recall my boss telling me something about retail: It would be better to pay roughly 20% of the people who buy from you to walk away rather than deal with them, because the problems they'll have will ultimately cost you more.

Somehow, as a favor to someone, I ended up managing the operations of a service based company for a short period of time. We would have customers that constantly were saying: "Do you know who I am?" Usually the past, past, past president of some condo association. Or customers who thought we'd starve without their business and make all kinds of unreasonable demands that would result in a loss to us. We'd let that happen maybe two or three times and when it became apparent that the customer's behavior was chronic I would simply tell them that our goal was to satisfy our customers in every way and obviously we were unable to meet their needs. We valued their satisfaction and felt they would be better served by another company. I'd then suggest a competitor for them to call. The reactions were priceless! They couldn't believe they were being "fired". It helped us two ways. First, it freed up our resources to service the customers who appreciated being treated fairly (and we really were service oriented, money back guarantee on everything.) Second, by the time our competitor figured out what kind of customer they just took on they had suffered the loss.

This was a service industry where there was more work to do than we had people to do it so there really was no loss to us in culling the bad ones. Offtopic I know but maybe someone will benefit from our experience.

Comment: Re:Managers (Score 1) 249

by black6host (#45863537) Attached to: Do Non-Technical Managers Add Value?

One of the things I used was a bug board. Basically a white board with all the programmers names on it. At the beginning of the month it was a clean slate. As I reviewed code and found bugs myself, or if others found them, they were brought up at the weekly programmers meeting. If it was indeed a bug, and not something else like lack of information to make the code work correctly or a bug in the IDE we were using, etc, a mark went up on the board for that programmer. The programmer with the fewest bugs at the end of the month received cash, maybe a cool tech item or perhaps something everyone would want. The real incentive though was to have the fewest bugs. Bragging rights and all.

Now, my name was on that list as well as I developed the base code and did a fair amount of other coding as well. I wasn't eligible for an incentive, but any bugs of mine were noted. I wasn't above my staff, I was part of the team.

One of the most important parts of this process was that in order for something to be considered a bug it was voted on by the team. I didn't vote. The team couldn't be too harsh or too lenient as they were playing by the same rules and what goes around comes around and everyone wanted to win. But judge too harshly and it would come back to you. Too lenient and one might lose their ranking.

We also covered why it was a bug and how to prevent similiar issues in the future. Amazing how many things were boundary issues. It was a learning experience for all involved including myself.

All in all it made for a lot of fun, was good education for my staff and everyone enjoyed it. Those were good times and anyone on my staff would have told you so. I had their respect, and they had mine.

Comment: Re:Managers (Score 4, Interesting) 249

by black6host (#45850349) Attached to: Do Non-Technical Managers Add Value?

I think the problem is the same most IT professionals find about their own job. When you have a good manager, they are almost invisible and you don't realize what is going on behind the scenes. When they are a problem, then you notice and complain. It's how most of the other departments in a company see IT. Completely ignore them unless something is wrong, and then complain about them.

Before retiring I was an IT manager. I can tell you my presence was a great benefit to my employees. In addition to isolating them from all the politics and idiotic suggestions from other department heads, I also was a mentor. My staff had varying skill levels and I worked with each one to help them improve their skill set. I also prevented those less qualified from being assigned tasks better handled by someone else.

In addition, I fought the rest of upper management to make my staff's working environment enjoyable. No overtime when I was there. I knew enough to know that overtime is, generally speaking, non-productive when forced, and forced often.

I also instituted incentive plans for those of my staff that tried hard. They didn't have to be superstars, they just had to try to improve themselves. And my staff loved me. All our software was developed in house and we did a major conversion on one of the pieces, probably the most important piece in the chain. We did it on time, minimal roll out issues and no overtime. And everyone had fun along the way.

Problem was, the owners couldn't see the benefit I was bringing to them. Most projects like that are late, over budget and don't work right out of the gate. They fired me :)

Wonder how they like things now?

Comment: Re:Screw 'em all (Score 1) 139

When the shit hits the fan you distance yourself from the scapegoat anyway you can. Temporarily side with those organizations who have a good name. I don't think these companies really cared until it became a PR issue for them. They'll all point fingers at the bad guy (feds) until such a time when it has all blown over. Then, back to business. (still looking at you, same as parent, telcos).

One of many societal problems we face is the short attention span we have for this kind of stuff (and not just government, corporations are often on the shit list.) How many of our younger members know of Bhopal, for example. How many who do know just had their memory jogged? We will rail at the injustice, for a bit. After that, we will lose more and more until the next big leak outrages us again, until the next shiny thing comes along. And so it goes......

Comment: Re:Read the contract. (Score 4, Informative) 88

by black6host (#44207157) Attached to: How To Stop AT&T From Selling Your Private Data To Advertisers

If the GP is referring to Straight Talk, you get unlimited everything (USA only) for 45.00/mo. Calls, texts, data etc. I've been using them for over a year and it's been fine for me. Plus, they use Verizon's towers so the coverage is excellent.

Not in any way associated with them. I just use their service. I've got friends paying 60.00 plus a month for something like 700 minutes and that's on a dumb phone, very limited data. Why? The options are worth checking out......

Comment: Re:Misses the point (Score 1) 419

by black6host (#44077087) Attached to: Android Fragmentation Isn't Hurting Its Adoption

Android 4.0 comes with a bunch of API advances but you can't effectively use them while you're supporting 2.3. Not without greatly increased overhead.

As a developer there are all kinds of choices, most hopefully to be made to maximize return. BUT, you're not forced to support 2.3.x, or 4.x. Or even Android at all.

If it makes sense, it will happen. Those that guess wrong will not thrive.

Please note, this post is in no way an endorsement of either product...

Comment: Re:Didn't need to be the NSA (Score 1) 442

by black6host (#44077029) Attached to: US Charges Edward Snowden With Espionage

you know, I'm really upset and concerned about spying on me because I feel it violates my 4th amendment rights and is a slippery slope, but I'm relatively indifferent to spying on foreigners. Isn't that the point of the CIA/NSA anyway? so, while I could believe Snowden's claim that he revealed the domestic stuff because of concern over our citizenry, there's no reason for the other stuff other than to be a d!ck / counter spy himself. and now he's harboring with the chinese, hmm? we'll see how that extradition process goes.

Those, IMO, that feel some humans, regardless of borders, are not worthy of the rights we assume to be ours, need to live on the other side of the fence. Sure govt's will be trying to get the upper leg all the time. All the time missing that we are all humans on this planet, and need to treat each other so.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.

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