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Comment: Re:Can't avoid medical records (Score 1) 528

by dave562 (#48528929) Attached to: The Sony Pictures Hack Was Even Worse Than Everyone Thought

It is a combination of a previous back injury, a bunch of poor dietary and health choices, and a genetic predisposition to weight gain.

I have talked to him about it as much as I feel like I can. Like I said, I care about the guy. It is just that my hands are tied.

And, he's not a single point of failure, but the organization would feel the loss.

Comment: Re:Can't avoid medical records (Score 5, Interesting) 528

by dave562 (#48528555) Attached to: The Sony Pictures Hack Was Even Worse Than Everyone Thought

As a practical matter, a lot of valuable talent is not healthy.

This is so true. It is difficult to deal with as a boss and even more so as an employer. One of my guys is seriously over weight, and has a number of health complications that come with it. He is also highly intelligent and very capable. It is challenge because I want to be able to depend on him, and for the most part I can. But I also have to mitigate risk and make sure that there are people shadowing his projects and documenting his recommendations so that they can carry on if the time comes that he is no longer able to come into work.

As his boss, I want to have a legitimate, sincere conversation with him about his health and his value to the company. I also want to have it with him as a friend and someone who cares about him. But due to the way employment law works, I have to avoid the subject.

Comment: Built the Business Case (Score 1) 247

by dave562 (#48526935) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Convincing My Company To Stop Using Passwords?

What is the risk of continuing to use passwords?

What is the cost to the business if the risk of continuing to use passwords is realized?

What is the cost of implementing an alternate system? Be sure to include the costs in training, process re-engineering, systems re-engineering, etc.

What value, if any, is generated by replacing passwords?

Unless the money you are going to spend is either going to generate more money for the business than the dozens of other projects that are competing for resources, you practically have zero hope of your change being embraced.

While some organizations are risk adverse to the point where they will act on them, more often than not unless you or your direct supervisor are liable for mitigating the risk, you are doing your career a disservice by raising the risk.

Comment: Re:Chronic offenders without a record? (Score 1) 218

by dave562 (#48526897) Attached to: 'Moneyball' Approach Reduces Crime In New York City

Guilty by association. Usually gang members who are not hard core / have not been charged with a crime before... yet always seem to be nearby when things are happening. See the above comments about 'uncooperative witnesses'. While freedom of speech protects a person's right to throw up gang signs and tell an officer to go fuck themselves, and dress just like the gangsters who are dealing drugs and breaking into apartments... we do have a system that still vaguely upholds the ideal of 'innocent until proven guilty'.

Think of petty crimes. Out after curfew for example. Police pick someone up for a curfew violation. District attorney has too many cases and refuses to prosecute. The person has 'broken the law' but 'not been charged'.

Comment: Re:Wait, what? (Score 1) 218

by dave562 (#48526881) Attached to: 'Moneyball' Approach Reduces Crime In New York City

Not really. Gang A shoots at Gang B. Gangster B1 gets hit. Gangsters B2 through B12 refuse to help police because snitches get stitches. Therefore they are likely involved with the gang, or sympathetic to the gang.

You can safely assume that the police can tell the difference between "someone afraid to testify due to fear of retaliation" versus "uncooperative witnesses".

Comment: Re: Operational analysis needed (Score 1) 218

by dave562 (#48526865) Attached to: 'Moneyball' Approach Reduces Crime In New York City

Not exactly true. Crime is a numbers game. Criminals get away with it far more frequently than they get caught. But sooner or later, everyone gets caught. The careless ones get caught more often, that is true. But even the 'good' ones roll the dice every time they break the law.

Comment: Re:A tech gloss over racial profiling? (Score 1) 218

by dave562 (#48526835) Attached to: 'Moneyball' Approach Reduces Crime In New York City

Even if they are completely racist in their arrests, so what? The strategy of the system is to identify serious repeat offenders and take them off of the streets.

If there is a corresponding decrease in crime, it is mostly safe to say that the strategy is effective. If five years from now there is a negligible decrease or an increase in crime, we can start having a serious discussion about the merits of the system.

The article gives a couple of good examples of how the system has been used. Here is one example, there are others that you can review for yourself...

"In May we created our crime-strategies unit. Wilmington has one of the highest violent-crime rates in the country, but 1 to 2 percent of the people are doing 70 percent of the crimes. We’ve taken dozens of high-risk offenders off the street.”

Presumably, within a few months to a year, they will be able to check crime stats and determine of the absence of those high-risk offenders has had a measurable impact on crime.

I think what you will see is that it does. The reality is that the truly anti-social, dangerously violent, willing to use force on other human beings types of criminals are a small percentage of the overall criminal population. If you focus on removing those severe cases, it will take a while for the population to produce more of them.

To a lesser extent, the same thing happens with property crimes. Let's say you have a guy who likes to smash car windows and steal things. He has a few friends who see him getting away with it and they adopt the same behavior. They tend to work a particular neighborhood. If you take those guys out of the equation, that neighborhood will see a decrease in that kind of crime for a little while. But if you let it go unchecked, it will increase. Other criminals will start to realize, "Hey, let's go down to VehicleTheftVille and get some center console change" because the police do not seem to be doing anything about it, and everyone else is doing it.

Comment: Inevitable Scope Creep (Score 1) 74

by dave562 (#48502251) Attached to: How the FCC CIO Plans To Modernize 207 Legacy IT Systems

"Over time, this will allow us to turn off the 207 different legacy systems, and give us one common data platform that maybe has 207 different processes interoperating at the data layer on that platform. "

One process per system? Has this guy even worked in IT before?

Queue excuses along the lines of, "We vastly underestimated the size and complexity of the individual systems." in 3, 2, 1....

Comment: Re:Purpose (Score 3, Interesting) 37

by dave562 (#48502221) Attached to: Cyber Ring Stole Secrets For Gaming US Stock Market

Given the wide scale adoption of Exchange, the first thing that came to mind is Outlook Web Access. The internal and external passwords are the same. Or more accurately, it is the exact same account, accessed via a web server versus a client side application.

The password dialogue that appears in the email is a common Microsoft password dialogue. We see similar boxes when loading documents from a SharePoint site for example. Your average corporate user would be very unlikely to think twice about that kind of prompt, especially when clicking a link in an email that appears to come from a colleague.

Comment: Re: Instead of carrying on as a one-man band - (Score 1) 376

by dave562 (#48493273) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: IT Career Path After 35?

Having been in management for a while, I have seen too many bad managers at this point. Unfortunately technical competence does not directly translate into management ability. As a manager, one of the most important skills to have is the ability to understand and predict the needs of the business. A programmer is in a good position to develop that ability because they are constantly being tasked with fulfilling those needs. If the OP has not developed those skills he is either organizationally tone deaf from being eyeballs deep in his code, or he does not care enough to pay attention what is going on around him.

For all we know, he already has that ability in spades. Nothing about the original post mentions it one way or the other, and I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. Most good programmers are really good at coming up with effective solutions for real world challenges.

Comment: Re: Instead of carrying on as a one-man band - (Score 1) 376

by dave562 (#48491593) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: IT Career Path After 35?

If he has the experience that he says he has, he should already have the business and risk mitigation functions under control. As a programmer, I presumably has spent his career developing programs that the business needs. If he cannot anticipate business needs by now, he probably lacks the intelligence to be in management anyway. The same thing goes for mitigating risk. If he cannot foresee project risks and is still relying on others to tell him what to work on, and what NOT to do, then he is not much more valuable than a mid-level programmer.

Managerial functions on the other hand are a whole new ball game. Unlike programs, people are unpredictable and cannot be debugged or rewritten to function the way we would like them to. I agree with you that those functions are not simple, and that could make the transition rough.

None the less, the OP is on the right track. A good employee should be leading a team and mentoring junior employees. I look at it as the personnel equivalent of systems administration. As an employer, do you want a guy who is still provisioning servers by hand, or do you want the guy who has automated everything and can make a change across ten thousand systems as easily as one? I do not mean to disparage the admin who can fine tune the golden image to the point where it consumes as few resources as possible. But without the talent to extend that skill beyond a single system, they are going to be professionally limited.

One of the chief duties of the mathematician in acting as an advisor... is to discourage... from expecting too much from mathematics. -- N. Wiener