Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
What's the story with these ads on Slashdot? Check out our new blog post to find out. ×

Comment Re:One term. (Score 4, Interesting) 67

When you have term limits you get self serving politicians like they have in Florida. Running a government is far different than running a business and should be. You want to encourage professionalism and ethics. Certainly many career politicians are awful, but a great many are fantastic. You throw the baby out with the bathwater when you talk about severe term limits and you ignore the responsibility of the citizenry to be engaged.

In Florida you have a high turnover rate because of ridiculous term limits and because of that you get a lot of amateurs running the government who know they aren't going to be holding the office for long so they set up some nice opportunities for themselves and their friends before they go. It's a nightmare.

Sure, some term limits are reasonable. You don't want executive positions in populous areas to be able to stay indefinitely, but often rural areas have a very small number of qualified people and that makes it almost impossible to have decent government when there are only two qualified people in town to be the town chair.

Simple answers to complex problems often do a lot of harm when applied to social constructs.

I love that the judge ruled so thoroughly and swiftly. Can you imagine single term limits for judges? In many states judges have to run for office.

Comment Re:Discrimination under ADA (Score 1) 356

Disabling the pinch to zoom drives me up the wall. It's enough to make me want to deep six the site into my hosts file, but I can't do that either unless I'm using my Surface RT. Generally the RT sucks because of a lack of apps, but one thing I love about it is that I can easily edit my hosts file without having to go to extraordinary lengths to root it. I know this may sound fanboyish but I think web browsing is better on my surface than on my Galaxy tab or my wife's iPad. Swiping left and right for forward and back is so nice. I can't understand why all the mobile browsers don't do it.

I really like the idea of going after those sites for ADA violations.

Comment Re:Fire all the officers? (Score 1) 515

Where do you think the new ones come from? If a cop is fired they tend to move to another jurisdiction and continue with the same bad behavior.

Training and leadership is the issue. At some point leadership condoned this behavior. It takes a long time to change a police department from an Us vs Them mentality to a "we're all in this community together" mentality.

Of course, a police officer is going to play it a lot differently when confronted with a middle aged white male.

Comment Charity based not for profit facebook? (Score 1) 88

It would be nice if someone created a not for profit charity based facebook like alternative. Use the same model to sell advertising, etc.. but send most of the proceeds to the charities the users select. Something similar to smile.amazon.com but not for profit like craigslist.org

Comment Re:Microsoft APS(formerly PDW) (Score 1) 147

I would only recommend that for the Proof of concept. You will definitely need your infrastructure team involved when it comes to installing the appliance. And you need an executive to remove roadblocks and help make things happen once you get moving.

With that said, I do understand that IT infrastructure can get a little butt hurt about installing appliances. Like I said, I've been doing tech for 30 years now and one trend I have noticed is that a lot of IT departments have drifted away from the customer centered mindset they had when I first started out. This is not true for all companies but for a huge number of them, the marginal IT staff are more worried about the appearance that they are geniuses and maintaining control. Installing an appliance like this strikes fear into their hearts on both fronts and you need to be mindful of their inflated and fragile egos.

Let me give you an example. I did some work for a fortune 100 company that largely outsourced its IT to India. They still have large IT departments in the states which tend to be more useful than their Indian counterparts who play all sorts of games to close "tickets" without ever addressing problems. I had an Excel based BI solution that needed to be rolled out to sales people. IT in their infinite wisdom opened the gates for people to choose Apple laptops but made anyone ordering one sign an agreement that basically said IT is not responsible if shit doesn't work.

They had a lot of issues with internal sites that required IE so the solution was to make IE available through Citrix. OK, that's cool. They figured that one out before rolling out the MacBooks. When it came to a custom Excel solution they were not going to add Excel to the Citrix box. When asked why not, they claimed licensing costs of Excel. After looking into that I discovered that there would be no licensing issue at all and was able to prove it. Then it became a "security" issue. When pressed on the nature of the security issue, they came up with a lot of doublespeak that amounted to a giant heaping pile of bullshit. It would have taken less than an hour to publish Excel on Citrix.

They spent more time arguing against adding Excel to Citrix than it would have taken to just add the damned thing.

The upshot of all this is people expect a lot less from IT now and they suffer needlessly and waste a shitload of money because IT doesn't give a damn about their customers anymore. They are not in the problem solving business and they just want you(the business user) to go away unless it's something they feel like playing with.

This is one of the reasons I love doing consulting work. I like to help people, I like to automate and I want to make the computers do the mindless work, rather than people. IT, too often, gets in the way and causes more inefficiencies. In the case of this particular client, they have to hire more staff to manually deal with data and processes that they cannot get IT to automate.

Comment Microsoft APS(formerly PDW) (Score 1) 147

I'm a little late to the party so this might get buried but here goes.

I would strongly recommend looking into Microsoft's Analytics Platform System(APS), Formerly Parallel Data Warehouse(PDW). It's an MPP appliance that combines PDW and Hadoop. I got to spend a week on one of these appliances recently and I can't wait to get back on it. It supports combined queries usinf polybase across Hadoop and the Data warehouse(as well as the cloud).

Typically data scientists will want to work in Hadoop and use R, this makes it easy to migrate your Data warehouse into Hadoop so the data scientist can do his analysis without affecting the traditional BI clients that are using the warehouse.

I would also recommend SQL Server Analysis Tabular mode to build cubes off your Data warehouse. I have one client that uses the old PDW and creates cubes in SSAS tabular as well as Powerview in Excel and Sharepoint and it is loved by the end users. It's fast and the data visualizations are great. I will admit that Tableau is beautiful and I really like it, but users almost always want their data in Excel. It's best to just start them there.

The good news for you is that MS is offering subsidized POC installations with their gold partners. What this means is you contact MS and tell them you are interested in a Proof of Concept and they will provide you with vouchers to pay for one of their gold certified partners to come in and set up a data warehouse with your data using their appliance. Then the gold partner bills MS instead of you for their time. It's a win win win. If it doesn't work out, tell MS to take the appliance back. You can also have an off premise POC if you like. Those are a little easier to set up because you don't need to get your organizations IT server team involved.

I've been building data warehouses since 1998, been coding since 1985 and I am very impressed with this technology. It seems clear to me that in a massive data warehouse scenario this appliance is a winner. I'm still excited about how easy it is to move massive amounts of data between the PDW and Hadoop. That's incredibly useful for a number of scenarios.

Now before anyone starts skewering me for being an MS fanboi, let me point out that there are a few things that MS does well. Databases is one and Excel is the other. MS pisses me off to no end for many other things, but these two spaces are impressive.

Oh and I forgot to mention one of the great things about it being an appliance is that a lot of the configuration headaches are taken away from you. Need more space? Just plug a few more nodes into the rack, tell the appliance to redistribute the data and off you go. That gives you the freedom to focus more on your data and less on administrative tasks that you shouldn't have to worry about.

Comment Re:In spite of this and other similar phenomena... (Score 5, Informative) 140

I have faith that physicists have done their work well, and are impartial and not lying to me. But my mother that attends church feels the same way about her pastor. I do not have enough time left in my life to turn around and learn the skills I'd need to actually verify what scientist have told me, nor the money to buy the equipment. So I therefor am going on faith, just like my mother. It would be the hight of hypocrisy for me to scold her for doing the exact same thing I'm doing.

You have just committed a fallacy of equivocation. You are using two different meanings of the word faith here and trying to say that they are the same when they are not.

For example, when I drive through a green light without looking I have "faith" that others are not going to drive through the red light and hit me. This is based off of experience and is one defintion of faith, which is a trust based on experience.

Religious faith is different. It is a belief that is not based on proof.

Now you may say that you are talking about faith in the individuals(scientists and preachers) which is the same as trust in the individual, but that is a little disingenuous. You are basically relying on extreme ignorance and a severe lack of curiosity in the "believer". In other words you are claiming in this case that you are ignorant of the scientific method and of the importance of evidence. You are also claiming that your mother is ignorant of these things as well as the lack of evidence of the claims of religion.

I sincerely doubt that you and your mother are that stupid.

Don't feel bad. Fallacies of equivocation are very easy to fall into in the English language.

Comment Creating a magnetosphere (Score 1) 549

Here's how you do it. First you need to create very small self replicating spacecraft that can identify iron rich(and uranium rich) asteroids and icy asteroids. You program them to work in concert and attach themselves to these bodies and adjust the trajectories so they all pummel mars at approximately the same time, coalescing before impact. This is important the body should coalesce before hitting mars to keep as much matter in tact as possible. If you can gather enough material you can inject a molten core that will last a billion years.

You basically do the same thing with the icy bodies, but shower them down. The point here is to add water.

This is a really long term way of doing it but it is possible. All the ingredients are in the solar system.

Check out the book titled Spin for another long term option. But if we're going long term terraforming, the above method is my preference.

My personal belief is that we need to adapt to living in space and not focus so hard on figuring out how to live on mars. If you can thrive in space, then just about any solar system will do.

My sister opened a computer store in Hawaii. She sells C shells down by the seashore.

Working...