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Comment: Concerned about the audience (Score 1) 320

by mistermocha (#39749809) Attached to: Technology Makes It Harder To Save Money
"8 percent said they would stop downloading songs and digital products." -- what if only 8% of the sample audience actually spent money on downloaded music and digital products? Pandora and Spotify offer music for free. It would, perhaps carry more validity and clarify the facts to say that X% of people who spend money on [product Y] would give it up in tough times.

Comment: Work out a good deal and stick to it (Score 1) 735

by mistermocha (#30276036) Attached to: Should You Be Paid For Being On Call?
My last job had a cellphone rotation system where everyone took turns taking home one of the two emergency cellphones and keeping it for two weeks. The period of rotation varied with the size of the staff, which grew (and occasionally shrank) over time. We'd get paid $50 per resolved issue. Those weeks would be challenging because we'd have to stay within arms reach of a computer, but most of the calls that came in were only ten minutes long. Clients didn't see the expense because they subscribed to a general 24x7 support package. Dumb calls were mitigated by stating that after-hours calls were valid for emergencies only. I'd still live a normal life, doing things like going to the store and going on dates and such, and any calls that came while I couldn't touch a computer, I'd tell the client that I'd call back in fifteen minutes. Okay, all that said... it sucked to have to drag the extra phone around for two weeks, but it was worth it to get that extra check at the end of the session. We'd pretty much be guaranteed at least a couple of after-hours calls each week. A typical two-week session would yield about $400. Now what does this mean for you? Take some time to think about what's going to make your life liveable when on-call. Do that with a mix of applying conditions to emergency calls, charging back per incident, and reminding your clients that you are a human with a life and may have to call back after you get out of the pooper. Clients are people and will understand that you are a person too and are deserving of a life of your own. Also, applying conditions (e.g., charge per incident) will deter excessive calls.

Comment: Project Management (Score 2, Interesting) 256

by mistermocha (#29599811) Attached to: What To Cover In a Short "DIY Tech" Course?

I would encourage you to teach the students about project management. Put them into groups of three, tell them to come up with a concept of a project, and develop a plan to bring it to fruition. Have them search for resources among peers. Encourage them to form relationships with other groups so that projects can support each other. Teach them about managing resources - time, money, talent, etc.

Let them figure out the specific details of their projects and approach subject matter from a higher level - skills in leadership, teamwork, resource planning, and organization. This will encourage them to make their own decisions about what they want to do, which leaves detailed subject matter open to the students' interests and strengths. You could also take it a step further and see if you can get the hours in place towards PMP certification. This way, the education *directly* applies to a potential career after high school is over.

Earth

+ - Replainting rainforests by air-dropping seedlings ->

Submitted by
mistermocha
mistermocha writes "Sandra Tsing Loh reported on KPCC this morning about "A cool new way to replant the world's forests". Her story hadn't posted online yet, but I found this article on NewScientist explaining in detail:

C-Questor of Weybridge, Surrey, has developed a technique to drop and plant hundreds of tree seedlings from a helicopter, greatly increasing the speed with which forests can be replanted, and reducing costs. Jeff Burley of C-Questor, and former head of the Oxford Forestry Institute at the University of Oxford, says 75 per cent of seeds scattered from the air are wasted — either because they get eaten, or they are blown onto unsuitable ground.

C-Questor's answer is to drop viable seedlings, not vulnerable seeds, in tough, biodegradable plastic cones. Each one contains soil, water-retaining compounds and a 15-centimetre seedling. When dropped from an altitude of about 7 metres, the rigidity of the cone allows it to bury its nose in the ground, says inventor Peter Millar. As each projectile is released, three plastic legs spring out to keep the seedling upright. Up to 200 such projectiles can be individually released, under computer control, from a mattress-sized device slung beneath the helicopter"

Link to Original Source
Sony

+ - Sony & Beethoven determine length of music CD

Submitted by mistermocha
mistermocha (670194) writes "http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2008/12/dayintech_1216 (courtesy of google)

When Sony and Philips were negotiating a single industry standard for the audio compact disc in 1979 and 1980, the story is that one of four people (or some combination of them) insisted that a single CD be able to hold all of the Ninth Symphony.When Sony and Philips were negotiating a single industry standard for the audio compact disc in 1979 and 1980, the story is that one of four people (or some combination of them) insisted that a single CD be able to hold all of the Ninth Symphony.

An interesting inference, no doubt..."

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