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Comment: Take your personal server home (Score 3, Insightful) 1307

by eison (#35856984) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Do I Give IT a Login On Our Dept. Server?

At the large company I worked for, hooking up personal computers to the network was a terminable offense. So no, you don't give them a login - you don't set this up at all.

The chief reason appeared to be fear of viruses and hackers, but there are many, many more. The hacker front can be a bit obscure: What if your CEO read the article about RSA getting hacked by an excel file with an embedded flash object, and the CIO assures the board that all computers will have flash removed and tasks IT with identifying and removing flash everywhere? How are they going to look having to explain 'well, we got everything, except for the personal computers that we don't have access to'?

Lets say people start relying on the service you are providing with a personal computer under your desk. What if it goes down? Helpdesk will get called, and need to know what to tell the caller so they don't appear incompetent, and need to be able to address the problem. What if IT is required to certify that all of their computers have X patch applied as part of a compliance audit for certification? What if a corporate policy goes out that no computer can run unecnrypted ftp regardless of port # they run it on? What if your company is obligated to ensure that terminated employees can't log in to servers? What if a lawsuit is served and your company is required to provide copies of all records pertaining to meetings with client xyz, and your calendar server has meeting info on it but your IT department doesn't even know it exists? None of these things are unreasonable, but none of them can be done easily if you're allowed to set up whatever box you want doing whatever.

Sure, it makes your job harder if you have to go through official channels to get the things you need to get your job done. But your company needs to be able to get their job done too, and a bunch of random whatever-somebody-set-up-under-their-desk systems makes that really hard.

Comment: Re:You have to keep buying (Score 1) 507

by eison (#35340322) Attached to: Consumers Buy Less Tech Stuff, Keep It Longer

We had a very different system in the US.
Specifically, banks invented a whole ton of things that don't work like that.

Example: "Interest only" loan (you pay 0 principle for say 5 years, at the end of 5 years you still owe everything and your loan expires. Sounds terrible, but if you think the house will appreciate significantly, in five years you will owe X but it will be worth X * 1.5 - boom you now have a 25% down payment automagically when you refi the next loan. The payment can be a fair bit smaller each month if you aren't factoring in "eventually pay the darned thing off".

Fails miserably if the house goes down or even stays about the same and you can't refi. So people 'walked away' from the house - just quit paying, moved out when the bank made enough fuss. Technically they can still owe money, but if they have no money, and lots of people are doing it, who's to collect what?

They also did stunts like short-term adjustable rate mortgages- give you a introductory rate for a while (a few years, a few months, many variations) to get the initial payment down, bump it up hugely when the time is up. You have probably seen something like this with credit cards, now imagine the same introductory teaser offers but on a half a million dollar house. Sure, if you can make the payment for 30 years you keep the house - but the payment doubles or triples after a little while, and how can you keep paying it?

Finally, even with normal loans, people would participate in taking out way more loan than they could afford on the idea that they will make more money later. Banks were happy to cooperate, encourage, even help them lie about their income, sometimes even lie for them with outright fraud, because the bank was paid only for closing the loan and immediately flipped it on to an investor (often quasi-government institutions Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) who would divvy the loan up and resell it in packaged slices to other investors. So the person making the initial loan wasn't directly on the hook for any extra risk they took on, unless a court could prove outright fraud occurred. Encourages people to play fast and loose with any rules that might be in place because they judge their personal risk to be very very low, and if somebody else takes on extra risk, well, heck, "Buyer beware" and "sucker born every minute" etc.

Comment: Re:This is probably great news for Qt (Score 1) 329

by eison (#35192642) Attached to: Nokia Gives Some Hints On the Future of Qt

You know, Netflix's silverlight player runs great on my Mac. I actually prefer it to Hulu's Flash player, because it can maintain full screen on a second monitor, which is a feature they added after complaints in forums. The Flash player got the same complaints, but no fix. Flash users have to hex edit their dll for that feature.

I was worried about suboptimal multi platform support, but in this one useful-to-me-example, I haven't seen it. Have you seen other features where it's a problem?

Comment: Bing (Score 3, Interesting) 154

by eison (#35192620) Attached to: The Dirty Little Secrets of Search

I see they are currently #1 on bing for Comforters and #4 for dresses. I wonder if it would be possible for the search engines share data on who is cheating?

I'm actually really surprised by the article, that it took so few sites to affect results and that such obviously off-topic links still helped. I thought the algorithms were already smarter than that.

Comment: Re:So, the system works? (Score 4, Insightful) 725

by eison (#34588136) Attached to: Retailers Dread Phone-Wielding Shoppers

The chains don't have a good supply either. You can find book #4 and #7 in a popular series, and anything else they will be happy to special order for you. But if I'm going to be ordering and waiting for things, why shouldn't I just do it myself online and save some money and avoid having to drive back to the store?

Businesses

Ideas For a Great Control Room? 421

Posted by samzenpus
from the hunker-in-the-bunker dept.
lewko writes "Our company is about to build a central monitoring facility and I'm looking for ideas/suggestions about the best hardware and the best way to make it comfortable for those manning a screen. It will be manned 24x7 and operators will be monitoring a variety of systems including security, network, fire, video and more. These will be observed via local multi-monitor workstations and a common videowall. This is going to be a massively expensive exercise and we only get one chance to get it right. The facility is in a secure windowless bunker and staff will generally be in there for many hours at a time. So we have to implement design elements which make it a 'happy' place. At the same time, it has to be ergonomically sound. Lastly, we will be showing it to our clients, so without undoing the above objectives, it would be nice if it was 'cool' (yet functional). Whilst Television doesn't transfer to real life always, think 'CTU' from 24."

Comment: Re:UK gasoline (petrol) currently approx $6.60 (Score 1) 762

by eison (#33200748) Attached to: Just One Out of 16 Hybrids Pays Back In Gas Savings

My 5.7L V8 gets 23 mpg average in daily driving. I figure that's good enough that I don't need to trade it in over green guilt for some lawnmower that might get 5mpg better. Further improvement gets real diminishing returns, cars are only driven so much each year. See for example http://green.autoblog.com/2009/07/23/greenlings-where-are-the-most-important-mpg-increases-at-the-u/

It is surely a great calamity for a human being to have no obsessions. - Robert Bly

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