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Comment: Re:So what's the problem here? (Score 1) 398

by gallen1234 (#47179881) Attached to: The Ethics Cloud Over Ballmer's $2 Billion B-Ball Buy
The summary makes the naive assumption that a financial accounting is the only way to evaluate the benefits of the transaction. If Sterling didn't want to sell the team and give up the profits and benefits of ownership then the sale could be a net loss for him even if he turns a profit on the sale. This position is particularly surprising given that the summary identifies the players as losers even though I don't believe they're going to suffer any financial loss form the transaction.

Comment: Re:Experience of which industry? (Score 2) 295

Experience of which industry? I'm a physics prof. [...] Being involved in research means that I can take the latest research results and bring them into lectures so the students learn about them and perhaps find ways to apply that knowledge wherever they end up. This is not only good for the student but good for society as a whole and someone from industry is unlikely to be able to do that.

You may be a great researcher but can you teach worth a damn? One doesn't automatically imply the other. I've had plenty of professors who were well respected in their fields but had no business being in a classroom. I can see how being a good researcher could be beneficial to teaching but it shouldn't be the end of the conversation in a University job interview.

Comment: Re:Best Buy (Score 1) 385

by gallen1234 (#45413171) Attached to: How Blockbuster Could Have Owned Netflix
My biggest issue with Amazon is delivery. It seems like most of the time when I need something, I need it now. For example, the other day I broke the microphone/headset that I use to record video presentations and make Skype calls with my students. I drove down to Best Buy, picked one off the shelf and was back home at work in less than an hour. Waiting two or three days for Amazon to get it to my door really wasn't an option.

Comment: Madden? (Score 2) 52

by gallen1234 (#44271265) Attached to: Google Patents Displaying Athletes On Sports Fields

I'll admit up front that I haven't read the article but, based just on,

"'involves a graphical user interface on a computer that includes a graphic of an athletic playing field or a portion thereof, and a plurality of player positions on the athletic field. At least some of the player positions contain thumbnail images selected by a first user."

isn't this Madden NFL?

Comment: Normal Distribution (Score 3, Informative) 605

by gallen1234 (#42912983) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is the Bar Being Lowered At Universities?
I'm a college professor, and my students seem to follow a relatively normal distribution. I have a few who can write well, a few who would have a hard time making a grocery list and a large majority that do okay. The ones who do poorly often do very *very* poorly and I think their relative impact may cause outside observers to overstate the situation. I've also noticed that, predictably, full length papers tend to be more problematic than individual discussion posts. Students who do okay in the discussion often start to go down hill when they have to put together a multi-page argument.

Comment: Re:Bargain (Score 1) 735

by gallen1234 (#37643694) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Does Being 'Loyal' Pay As a Developer?

As an IT manager, I would be pissed if someone came to me with leverage.

I've never understood this sentiment although I've heard it many times from my father who was a manager for a large part of his career. Why is it okay for management to come to me and say, "We've got some problems with our relationship and, if you don't make some changes, you'll be fired.", but it isn't okay for me to go to management and say, "We've got some problems with our relationship and, if you don't make some changes, I'm going to quit."? Most of the time, management is in a superior bargaining position because it's harder for me to do without a job for a period of time than it is for them to do without someone in my position for a period of time. Would you, as a manager, be reluctant to use that advantage to bring an employ into line with a new set of job requirements that you or senior management felt were necessary?

Comment: Re:"Designers" are taking over. That's the problem (Score 1) 443

by gallen1234 (#36575492) Attached to: Is Final Cut Pro X Apple's Biggest Mistake In Years?

"What does a software developer know about editing movies?"

If he's spent years developing software for doing it - probably quite a lot. After I spent ten years developing software for a home health company, I knew at least as much about the industry and our specific approach to it as most of the managers who used the software that I developed.

Comment: Nothing Unusual (Score 1) 439

by gallen1234 (#35046782) Attached to: Winter weather this year has been ...
The idea that this year's snow storms are unusual is a myth created by the media to generate stories. When I was a teenager in the 80's living in western Massachusetts we used to get two-three foot snow storms several times each winter and it was considered normal weather. Going back further, I've got pictures of my grandfather when he was a young man in upstate New York standing by snow drifts that were literally up to the tops of telephone polls.

Comment: Re:Clients Buy The 'Use' Of The Software (Score 1) 447

by gallen1234 (#31383596) Attached to: Why Paying For Code Doesn't Mean You Own It

In what other business do people get to take your money and then tell you what you are getting?

Almost any business that sells information follows this model, e.g. the publishing and movie industries. You may have some idea of what you're going to get but you don't get full disclosure until after you've opened your wallet.

But I don't think that's what you meant. I think you meant, "In what other business do people get to take your money and then tell you the terms under which you can use the product?" I'll admit that that's a strange way to do business but the author of the article isn't even telling his customers the terms after they've got the product. He's just assuming that they're going to know and agree with his position.


+ - Free Yale College Courses Debut Online->

Submitted by
gyokuro writes: "Today, Yale University is making some of its most popular undergraduate courses freely available to anyone in the world with access to the Internet. The project, called 'Open Yale Courses,' presents unique access to the full content of a selection of courses and makes them available in various formats, including video."
Link to Original Source

It's not so hard to lift yourself by your bootstraps once you're off the ground. -- Daniel B. Luten