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Comment: Re:Microsoft skips 'too good' Windows 9, jumps to (Score 2, Funny) 274

by cptdondo (#48029097) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Windows 10

Translation:

It's such a screwed up mess that we don't know how to deal with it, so instead we're going to pull some marketing razzle dazzle and hope like hell people forget the mess we made.

But the real question is this:

If every other release sucks, and windows 8 sucked, and windows 9 is so good that it can't even be released, does that mean that Windows 10 will suck?

Comment: Re:Uhhh (Score 1) 903

by cptdondo (#47994685) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

It's not that far fetched.

Many of the cases in this article were people borrowing money on very old vehicles. Having a high-interest car loan on a 10+ year old car is very foolish. Lenders need the protection of this device because the asset being secured is worth so little.

No, lenders need to make responsible loans.

This falls in the "I want to make high interest loans to people who can't afford them because I'm a greedy prick, but I want thumb screws on those schmucks to make them pay."

How about jiust turning away those customers who can't afford the loans?

Comment: Re:Fine! (Score 1) 363

by cptdondo (#47993843) Attached to: Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

You missed the point. The US immigration system is broken, badly, and this just demonstrates it. If a company can use a broken system as leverage to get concessions it's time to start over.

We in the US depend on the 10 million or so illegal immigrants to keep our economy going, yet we refuse to revise our immigration laws to make it possible for that labor pool to be here legally.

Not sure what Afghanistan has to do with the whole discussion.

Comment: Re:Fine! (Score 2, Informative) 363

by cptdondo (#47993461) Attached to: Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

Seriously? I got a 3 year work visa to Canada just by showing up at the border with a letter from my employer. The whole process took less than an hour. Canada has logical, common sense immigration controls, as opposed to the completely broken and non-sensical immigration laws that we have in the US.

In the US, if I got an H1B visa, my wife would not be allowed to work. In Canada, with a work visa, my wife is allowed to work, doing anything she wants. I could go on, but don't tell me Canada has "stricter" controls; Canada has controls that work, while the US has no controls at all - a handful of H1B visas, and millions of illegal workers.

Comment: Re:Repair (Score 1) 53

by cptdondo (#47949197) Attached to: Inside Shenzen's Grey-Market iPhone Mall

As someone in manufacturing, you're wrong. Repairable things cost far more to manufacture. I have to have accurate drawings and records of manufacturing processes for parts, I have to have specs for all the little bits and pieces, and I have to have manufacturers who hold that standard.

If I'm not concerned about repairs, I just contract out based on function, bolt the thing together, and run it out the door.

Fridges are a great example. I can buy a cheap dorm fridge for $100, or I can buy same-sized Isotherm with a Danfoss compressor for around $1000. The danfoss compressor comes with all the diagrams you need, it's rechargeable, everything in that fridge is replaceable at a cost.

The dorm fridge - you can't even be sure that the compressor is in the same place from one box to the next.

However, when I'm stuck in port somewhere in Bogata, I can get parts for the Danfoss. I know I can. 10 years from now I know I will be able to get parts.

Comment: Re:Science creates understanding of a real world. (Score 1) 770

by cptdondo (#47857249) Attached to: How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

I have to disagree, even with your "kids in chemistry" example. There are many, many aspects of chemistry that fly in the face of common sense.

You're basically saying that our "common sense" is the equal to hard science, and that by simply applying it to the visible world we can understand the universe and our environment as well as a person who has studied the topic for years.

Bottom line, we can't. There are parts of what I do that would be completely obtuse to a layperson, but are clearly obvious to me, with 30+ years of experience, and no amount of "common sense" explanations can reduce that knowledge to a "geez, that's obvious".

Comment: vi and arduino (Score 2) 372

by cptdondo (#47518165) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

That's why I work with vi and arduino, or openwrt.... Much more fun, simple, and I can do almost anything I need done.

But yes, it's a fixie, not a jumbo jet. It's what I like doing, and I happen to make a living at stuff like that. If you are hired to build a jumbo jet, then you need jumbo tools and jumbo overhead. If you don't like it, scale down, hang up a shingle, and get a client. You might be surprised.

Comment: Re:There's something touching about that comment (Score 1) 102

by cptdondo (#47495815) Attached to: "Intelligent" Avatars Poised To Manage Airline Check-In

In other words, except for the douche, good customer service.

I fly a regular route with American from a small airport; if I get the usual counter staff I don't get charged luggage fee. Giving up $25 to make a guy who drops $2k - $10K on airfare every month moderately happy is probably not a bad idea. (And no, I have not reached the exalted flyer status, as my flying is spread over many airlines.)

Comment: Re:nice job (Score 2) 102

by cptdondo (#47495767) Attached to: "Intelligent" Avatars Poised To Manage Airline Check-In

You clearly have not been through some of the airports that I have. It's not the wait; it's the incredibly rude and arrogant staff. I've been yelled at by someone with a bullhorn, had my passport thrown at me, been told to "step aside" when my flight was cancelled and I need to reroute.... I could go on and on.

A nice avatar isn't going to help any of that, unless it means getting rid of the worst offenders that I've run into.

Some airlines (not all, but certainly some) could take that money and use it to train their ground staff in basic customer service; that would provide much better return than a bobbing head on a screen.

That being said, some airlines, and some specific people at these airlines, are shining examples of customer service and dedication, and by and large have saved my trips time and time again.

Comment: Re:You already know the answer (Score 2) 331

by cptdondo (#43961333) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Prove an IT Manager Is Incompetent?

Read up on Project Management. You're looking for Scope, Schedule, and Budget, in particular the S curve. You should be able to plot % complete against % spent for a sampling of projects, and demonstrate where the projects went off the rails. Then you can figure out why.

Usually it's because the scope was not well defined. and thus budget and schedule were not based on a realistic assessment of what it takes to achieve said scope.

And yes, I provide training for exactly this. A neat little tidbit:

Q: Of 700+ projects in a study, how many recovered once they were over budget at 15% completion? That is, if a job was over budget at the very beginning, what are the chances of completing it on time and within budget, based on 700+ projects?

A: None. Not a single job.

In any formula, constants (especially those obtained from handbooks) are to be treated as variables.

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