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Comment Commoditization (Score 2) 405 405

Back in the 90s, IT people were magicians. Now they are plumbers. So much of today's infrastructure relies 100% on IT support -- people can't just write it down, or file it manually. IT folk are in charge of a giant, critical piece of the everyday workload. But expectations are that it will just work, and that things will keep moving forward as new technologies arise. Back in the day, IT could handle an entire 500 person company with 2 or 3 people -- it was all printers and email. Now it's files and databases and remote access and web apps and mobile apps and security and policies.

The IT folk who are more stressed are the ones who haven't staffed up. I've no comment on the younger set...I'll defer to Socrates as people have suggested.

Comment Re:One small problem (Score 1) 509 509

Certainly dept policies and enforcement of those policies will help change the culture of what's expected. But you have the remember the position description:

Your entire day is meeting people who are possibly engaged in criminal activity. You must be able to discern whether their activity is criminal; you must be prepared by verbal or physical means to halt criminal activity, even when the person is claiming innocence or threatening you. You may be called to a house for a domestic violence dispute, be allowed in, and see four people. You may not know who called, who is dangerous, but you must control the situation quickly.

People will, in general, not be nice to you. People will hate you. People will fear you. People will treat you like absolute garbage. Sometimes it will be their personality, sometimes it will be their culture, sometimes it will be because you have made a mistake. It is likely that every day of your job will be thankless and unreasonably taxing on your psyche.

The job is important. For every drug dealer you capture, there may be 10 less kids starting a life of dependency on a substance. Your very presence can stop a situation from becoming violent. The job is thankless because you deal with the perpetrators, not the victims. But you need to know that there are victims, otherwise who the hell would ever wear the badge?

It's a terrible but necessary job. And people are human. I am not forgiving them for committing their own crimes, but I get how it happens. It takes a very special person to do the job perfectly. Cases of significant abuse are *relatively* rare given the variety of duties police have. Prosecute the people who have failed, but be respective of the ones who have not.

Comment Re:One small problem (Score 1) 509 509

I think ideally you have a point, but realistically you can make the same argument for poor people. They should help themselves, right? Start their own company, claw their way to the top like everyone else. But you know, we're a competitive culture -- black or poor, rich or white, at a certain point there other people vying for your same space be it a job, a house, a business opportunity, a better bus seat. I don't know that there is anyone to blame, per say, weakness in the enemy, invincibility in oneself, whatever...but we as Americans are pretty particular about our environment, what we declare as our environment, and what we declare as our culture. We don't want people stepping on our stuff. And if that means actively keeping other people down, so be it.

We're not all like that, of course, and we're not all so devilish about it. But there are enough people who are that if you're not on top already, it's a real bear getting there.

Comment Flubber (Score 1) 480 480

Not logged in I saw a post by someone about Flubber. Can't easily find it (or log in) using an iPhone so here I am.

im a pretty firm believer that gravity has a lot to do with everything. Action over a distance is poop. There's something underneath the vacuum -- we are all just jiggles of whatever that is, and space is just a little less jiggly.

If someone is pulling energy from nowhere, it's likely scooting in nearly undetectable across the aether.

Comment Re:The Problem with Robots (Score 3, Insightful) 101 101

My concern is that companies will continue their current methods of spending money. For example:

Revenue: $100,000,000 per year
Salaries, VP+: $30,000,000 per year
Salaries, standard: $40,000,000 per year
Other (R&D, maintenance, etc): $30,000,000 per year

With Robots:
Revenue: $110,000,000 per year
Salaries: VP+ $50,000,000 per year
Salaries, standard: $30,000,000 per yar
Other (R&D, maintenance, etc): $30,000,000 per year

How'd they flip salaries? With robots in place, after the initial expenditure of conversion, you're bringing in $10,000,000 per year extra due to simply making things more efficient -- faster work, less errors, less levels of management. You've laid off $10,000,000 worth of employees, work now done by robots, and given that salary savings to the executives. The other option, which many companies decide not to take, is to raise salaries for the remaining standard employees, reduce time worked for standard employees while keeping them at their current rate, train standard employees in other tasks, etc. There's lots of places for that extra $20M to go instead of executives' pockets. And those places would be better for the company's future, if not for the executives' vacation destinations.

Comment Re:Countries without nuclear weapons get invaded (Score 1) 228 228

I'm pretty sure we have no interest in playing fair here. While we have the biggest stick, America and its allies are that much safer. We're not two equally matched swordsmen allowing fate to guide our strokes and may the best duelist that day win. We want to make sure that when they other guy shows up in his fencing gear and foil, we are in our tank with an Apache helicopter as our tag team partner. And if this allows us the responsibility of playing worldwide police officer (and yes, you can use recent examples of both our international actions and actual local police officers' actions to see how well that's playing out), then so be it. People running governments seem to be complete assholes. We need, as a democracy, to try to curb this here in the U.S., maybe convince our leaders not to kill 100,000 people for every 3,000 of ours.

Comment Re:End copyright and all kinds of IP protection to (Score 1) 386 386

"Ok, so how are the costs of producing music recouped?"

I think you're seeing it already. You want to sell your recorded music? Get a good recording of it (pay $15K, do it yourself, whatever) and put it on a website. Lots of indie sites, iTunes, etc. I think the real cost is the *marketing* of the music -- getting it out there in stores (brick or web), on the radio. But even that...start a Facebook page, then point people at your music-oriented MySpace page or Youtube channel. Then, yes, keep playing gigs...keep giving out that site, selling CDs or free download codes. Climb the ladder of venues.

There's no mystery. Making it is hard anywhere. The problem isn't can find some of the best musicians at some of the smallest venues. You just think, "How is this guy not famous?" Because there's another 1000 people just as talented and maybe one of those got spotted somewhere and given a chance and then *marketed*.

If you're into singing, watch The Voice some time. Unlike American Idol, pretty much all the singers they show on the Voice are amazing. They just need exposure, marketing, a push. Some of them have already done the touring, made a living at it...but aren't household names for any number of reasons.

Comment Review of Reviews (Score 1) 135 135

One person's Schindler's List is another person's Bad Taste. Like reading wine scores, you'll find there are particular reviewers that you agree with and those you don't. When looking at reviews of games you've enjoyed, find the reviewers that agree with you in terms of both score and analysis. Fall back on those gamers for reviews. It's not always possible -- many gaming sites have different people review games, there is staff turnover, etc.

The score will give you a general idea of whether the game is rubbish or not. Scores of 5 or below generally mean it has bugs or serious gameplay issues, regardless of whether it's fun. Scores of 9 and above mean that the reviewer truly believes it's a great game for its genre. Scores between 5 and 9 are subjective and worth reading the analysis.

But you know, it's all subjective. I loved the Dragon Age games -- but's just too much right now despite the rave reviews. Meh. Shadow of Mordor was the right game for me at the time.

Comment Education and New vs Old (Score 2) 191 191

Two things:

1) Many educational institutions already pay yearly for Microsoft products through their Microsoft Consolidated Campus Agreement. While the OSes are generally purchased along with new computers, the upgrades are rolled into the "Desktop Core" package -- so we go and buy a hundred computers with Windows 7 Home (or whatever the cheapest one is outside of Win7 Basic), then we can upgrade them to Windows 8.1 Enterprise for "free" (or Win 7 Enterprise)...and eventually Windows 10 assuming hardware specs out well enough. It isn't cheap -- somewhere around $35/person (there's a nice equation) and that gets upgrades to Windows, new Office, and a few other things. And installs can go anywhere once you've completed the equation -- you might have 200 people in your department, but 500 computers -- and you can install on all 500 computers.

2) Windows comes wrapped up with the new PC usually, so where pricing hits you is with upgrades, or if you're building your own from components. A subscription model makes good business sense -- steadier revenue. But revenue hasn't really been a Microsoft problem since such a high percentage of computers are licensed with Windows.

Comment Re: More ambiguous cruft (Score 1) 514 514

My experience with scientists, academic professors for example, are that they are geniuses in their field and believe they are geniuses in every other field. Sure, they're all exceptional minds, but it doesn't mean they are informed on any particular topic.

Comment Yes (Score 1) 720 720

You would need to get a little lucky and also have the chance to explain what's changed since your crimes. Find a smaller company where you can talk with someone who won't dismiss you because they have 200 other job candidates without your issue.

But remember that IT work generally revolves around security. And this makes it a job where trust is paramount. Convince an employer that your past was due to youthful exuberance and not a character flaw (you'll want to provide examples of other's trust in you), you will likely do fine.

Comment Re: Who cares... (Score 1) 346 346

I don't mean to undermine your arguments, but what in God's name or otherwise are you talking about? It's like everything you said had this demeanor of factuality when none of it is true. Very Colbert of you. Not sure whether to applaud an epic troll or kick myself for responding at all.

The fancy is indeed no other than a mode of memory emancipated from the order of space and time. -- Samuel Taylor Coleridge