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Comment: Re:Oracle has skills and knowledge? (Score 1) 73

by Kjella (#46785537) Attached to: Oracle Deflects Blame For Troubled Oregon Health Care Site

"...'Cover Oregon lacked the skills, knowledge or ability to be successful as the systems integrator on an undertaking of this scope and complexity,'

Gee, that's funny. And here I thought I was in the majority in thinking that it is in fact Oracle who lacks the skills, knowledge, or ability to fix that piece-of-shit Frankenstein they want to label a working product.

False dichotomy, it's not one or the other.

Comment: Re:Enh as much as I dislike Oracle... (Score 1) 73

by Kjella (#46785521) Attached to: Oracle Deflects Blame For Troubled Oregon Health Care Site

Time and material contracts basically means renting consultants by the hour, short of outright criminal behavior there's no promised time frames, deliverables or guarantees of functionality or quality. The upside is the lack of formalism, I've developed many reports on a T&M basis and basically if you want a filter here and a total there and to add one more column and add a traffic light here and a drill down there just say it and I'll keep working on it until you're happy. Heck, I've taken "requirements" from a single yellow post-it note, as long as the client is happy and the invoices get paid it's a win-win for everyone compared to bids and change orders.

The problem begins if you need anything other than yes-men because basically you're going to lead these people and point them to tasks that need doing and make sure it all comes together to a working solution. Consider it a bit like building a house where every contractor assumes that the rest of the work to bring it up to code will be done by somebody else, you tell the plumber to put a pipe here, the electrician a wire there and the carpenter to board up that wall and they do it, but they don't take any responsibility on whether it's done to code or the overall result. My guess is that Oracle have their asses well covered legally, but often they have to play the scapegoat when the client has been incompetent. Usually they don't want to throw eggs in the face of the manager who hired them, unless it becomes an even bigger PR problem not to.

Comment: Re:Air pressure? (Score 1) 178

by Kjella (#46783251) Attached to: Kepler-186f: Most 'Earth-Like' Alien World Discovered

Which is why this is a never-ending competition, one thing is size but what about mass/gravity? Does it have a magnetic field? Does it have a Jupiter to clear the solar system of debris? Does it have a moon to produce tidal forces? Still, we know there's some slack in that life is almost everywhere on this planet from Sahara to the Arctic.

Comment: Re:@AC - Re:*Yawn* I'll Wait for the Mint Edition (Score 3, Informative) 141

by squiggleslash (#46783191) Attached to: Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr Released

I think the point is neither of these are attacks on the open source community. They're arguably attacks - albeit mere criticisms of - on "GNOME/Linux", but that's not the same thing.

A company contributing bodies and work to a community is helping it, not harming it. It's up to us to decide if we want Mir and Unity. We're not harmed by their existence. And FWIW, anyone arguing that Mir is terrible because it undermines Wayland isn't thinking this through, both because there's a much greater case for saying Wayland is damaging to the future of GNU/Linux, and because Mir has changed the politics whereby Wayland was once an obscure thing nobody was taking any notice of, but Mir basically turned the entire argument from "Should we replace X11 with Wayland?" (Hell no) to "OK, should we use Mir or Wayland [abandonment of X11 is implied to be a settled issue.]"

Comment: Re:*Yawn* I'll Wait for the Mint Edition (Score 4, Insightful) 141

by Kjella (#46783063) Attached to: Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr Released

The flip side of that is that Canonical has been pretty clear that they're not building this for their existing users but rather to get new users on phones, tablets, phablets, convertibles, touchscreen laptops, TVs and whatnot other household devices. To trot out the old Henry Ford quote, if I asked my users what they'd wanted they'd say a faster horse. Well that's you, you want a better "classic" desktop the way it's been for the last 20 years or so but the users they have is 1% of a declining PC market that's being swarmed by other non-PC devices. That's why they won't listen when you complain that they're trying to put a steering wheel and pedals on your horse cart, they're trying to build a car and going back on that is clearly a step backwards compared to their goals.

Yes, he's trying to be Steve Jobs just like Google is, just like Microsoft is and when giants like that throw their weight around it's easy to get flung into irrelevance which is why the new business isn't exactly rolling in and the old business is cranky. Particularly now when Android has rolled in almost everywhere he wanted Ubuntu to be. He could just tuck his tail between his legs, admit defeat and say we'll be building a desktop of the geeks, by the geeks, for the geeks and that's that. Or at least aim the sights back to Microsoft, the old archenemy even though Ubuntu never managed to get very far there. But my impression is that he's too ambitious and stubborn to do that, besides "We're making this new Unity thing that no one wants and we'll force it on our users before its ready" sounds like GNOME 3, KDE 4 and a bunch of other projects so he fits right in.

Comment: Re:Calling people paranoid to silence them (Score 1) 98

by squiggleslash (#46781603) Attached to: RCMP Arrest Canadian Teen For Heartbleed Exploit

I thought we'd moved on past the putting words in people's mouths BS.

1. The paranoia in the original post that I was refering to was the notion that the Canadian press had concocted a headline with the intention of providing a world wide news story that would make everyone think that Heartbleed isn't a story. I don't know where the fuck you get any other interpretation from.

2. I haven't apologized for censorship anywhere, neither in the comment you quote, nor anywhere else. The fact you think that Eich was targeted for his views rather than for being an ass about them doesn't make it true, it just makes you another idiot who puts their fingers in their ears and cries "la la la" when anyone tries to explain the truth to them.

Actually refusing to listen to what someone has to say is one thing. Inventing an entire story about what you wish they said and believed isn't just arrogant, it's a sign of a serious mental problem. Get help.

Comment: Re:I wonder how much damage... (Score 5, Insightful) 241

by Kjella (#46780715) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

The problem is Outlook and Exchange. The users see the mail client, calendering, and the like, as essential. The word processor and spreadsheet are secondary to that. Once some exec starts talking to sales about getting just Outlook, they are sold on the wonders of getting the whole MSOffice suite.

If you look at Microsoft's pricing, it's fairly obvious why. If you're first getting Outlook for 135 euro then another 135 euro to get everything else is an easy sell-up, particularly since I'm guessing the sales reps will give you a volume rebate on the Office suite but never on Outlook alone. For at least a decade I've heard product after product being called "Outlook killer" but they all seem to fizzle and my impression mostly because they focus on being POP/IMAP clients. Calendaring is probably more essential to an organization, and I don't mean the simple one-off meeting.

When are people available and what meeting rooms are available. Setting up recurring meetings (like say a weekly staff meeting) that lets you easily modify single instances (because this week is easter), calendar sharing, forwarding events with proper notification to the meeting owner, overviews of who will/will not attend or haven't answered, including the agenda or attachments, corporate directories, personal directories, all that practical stuff like that if I start writing a mail to someone in-house it warns me right away they're going to send an away message instead of waiting for me to send it, get the auto-reply, realize what I just send won't work, then another email to say forget that, let's do something else when you're back on Monday.

Geeks hate meetings and scheduling, every one of them myself included. Good calendar software which makes it easy to drown people in meetings is just begging to be swamped with them so it's not exactly an itch we'd like to scratch. We're very busy trying to invent and push non-meeting solutions like email or IM and claim we're solving it better. I'm not going to fire up debate, but the fact of the matter is that getting all of the people involved in the same room at the same time to discuss/decide matters is still a very popular idea. And if you want to get rid of Office, you need to get rid of Outlook and if you want to get rid of Outlook you must handle this well. I'm sure there's lots of people who'd like to drop Exchange and the CALs, using non-MS products despite still sending around MS documents so it should be easier than taking down all of MS Office at once.

Comment: Re:We do not need solid state to replace platter d (Score 1) 238

by Kjella (#46780063) Attached to: SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon

We already have almost every version of this, hybrid drives for laptops, software techniques that mimic this but they're all fairly stupid and unpredictable, training it to cache the right things take time and suddenly what used to have SSD performance might have been evicted. If you're the kind of user who needs >100GB you probably know what it is taking space. Put your big media (video, photos, music) on D:, everything else like applications and documents stay on C:. The only really tough call is games which often have a huge install size but also app code that benefits from being on an SSD, Steam lets you define multiple library folders so you can have one on C:, one on D: but no easy way to swap them in and out, for now the only supported way is uninstall and reinstall on the other. There are workarounds for that though.

Comment: Re:No, just gives us a new way to hide it (Score 1) 312

Steinbeck is a good bookmark to use, because it's at that point there was a change in perception, not because of Steinbeck per-se (but he helped), but because the Great Depression focussed attention on the fact that "failure" was possible for people of all types, and such failure could be disastrous not merely for the individual affected, but for their friends, families, and the overall health of the economy.

The result was that between FDR/Bevan and Reagan/Thatcher there was a dramatic shift in social attitudes towards government provided welfare, the introduction of safety nets, and the creation of systems at every level designed to prevent homelessness from happening and ensure those who became homeless anyway had somewhere to turn.

So your point is sort of valid, but doesn't change the fact that we were on a pro-empathy trend that reversed in the 1980s. Which, after all, is what this story is about. And like I said, it makes more sense to look at the way politics has changed over the last three decades than whether the Commodore 64 would cause someone to think "That homeless person is there because of their own bad decisions, and therefore I don't care and they should live in misery".

Comment: Re:Nonsense (Score 1) 275

by squiggleslash (#46779221) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

I'm not trying to be mean, but I don't think he has any case for promotion under those circumstances.

Yes, I'm aware it looks like the committee was staffed with "idiots", that is, people whose expertise was necessary for the committee to function but wasn't technical. His job was to provide the technical expertise, and to make the committee aware of the technical implications of what they were deciding upon.

He failed. Maybe it was because they really were idiots. More likely, he didn't have the political, persuasive, and perhaps even conversational skills necessary to persuade a group of non-technical people what the implications were of what they were asking for.

Either way, the committee made recommendations his job was to prevent.

Now the purpose of a promotion is to put you in a position where your political skills can be used more directly to steer the direction of an organization. If someone has poor political skills, they're going to botch that job, and their organization will be hampered, not helped, by their promotion.

As nerds we tend to be a little technocratic in our viewpoint and think that organizational structures work with the most knowledgable person at the top. They don't. What matters is that as people rise within an organization, their skills tend towards listening, delegating, and communicating difficult ideas. We're seen at least one case recently where geeks went in a rage because someone with zero skills in those areas got promoted, and then kicked out, because a particular incident that required their skills to be top notch was completely botched. The tech community refused to believe that and decided it was because the person had disagreeable opinions instead.

But that's the way the world works. And promotions need to be given to people suited for particular roles in an organization, not as rewards because you were vindicated after the fact, rather than able to convince people to stop a disaster from occuring to begin with.

Comment: Re:No, just gives us a new way to hide it (Score 1, Flamebait) 312

Moreover it's clear there's been a shift in politics that's been particularly acute since Reagan and Thatcher, where values once parodied (not even entirely common at the time) by Charles Dickens, but advocated by, say, Ayn Rand, have steadily become more mainstream. These values are actively hostile towards people who have "failed" in their lives. And those views have been pushed constantly by a certain small group of extremists who, over time, have become more and more mainstream as other views - not directly related to the "If you can't kick a man when he's down, how are you going to be able to kick him when he's standing up" ideology - they've become associated with have become more popular.

I think blaming technology for the shift is a stretch. The view may have started to rise just as the personal computer revolution began to take shape, but why on Earth would anyone think the invention of the Commodore 64 or the Atari ST would shape someone's view on homelessness?

Comment: Big company experience comes to small company (Score 3, Interesting) 275

by erroneus (#46777783) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

Yes, I know how they are thinking and the pain you are feeling. To accomplish the implementation of this change management process you will need a lot of people working for you. Use this to your advantage. Quickly study up on the subject so your experience with the systems will not leave you with a dog pile of new bosses to tell you how to do your job. Instead insist that you need to hire more people to manage the overhead.

In the end that probably won't work and you'll be kept "at the bottom" where you are now.

These changes are going to be enormously expensive and despite all you have done, it will be perceived that you created this mess by not having a change management system in place to begin with. Of course, they will also see that you don't know about change management and will prefer to hire someone who already knows about it.

Now I'm not going to down change management processes. They can prevent problems and identify people who would otherwise deflect blame and hide in the shadows. But from what I have seen, you're just getting the beginning of the tsunami of changes.

Push for testing systems and additional hardware to support it. Of course it will also require more space and other resources. Try to get ahead of this beast.

Comment: Re:at&t wasn't welcome anyway (Score 4, Insightful) 86

You're assuming that the taxpayer getting as much money directly from a sale as possible is in some way legitimate government policy.

The government is not a business and the "taxpayer" has more interests than simply short term reduction of their taxes. In particular a lower cost of living, something we'll get if there's better competition and if we don't force businesses in general to have absurd unnecessary costs, is likely to benefit us more.

Short term "maximizing direct revenues from auctions" thinking is what got us into the stupid situation where spectrum auctions are geographic, resulting in decades of overpriced, poor quality, cellular service. It's also part of a mentality that's undermining every attempt to have the private sector provide quality infrastructure in the first place, usually at great social and economic cost to the rest of us. The same idiocy, practiced through property taxes, is in part why the entire railroad system in the US collapsed in the 1960s and 1970s.

We need to get away from that kind of thinking, and start looking at cost of living issues rather than what tax rate we can get away with.

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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