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Comment: Re: Your Results Will Vary (Score 1) 238

by Raenex (#47511381) Attached to: Math, Programming, and Language Learning

When was the goal of higher education ever to produce well-rounded people?

When being an academic meant you specialized in one field, both in research and teaching. When people stopped going to college to become academics. The only reason it makes sense now to require diverse study is for the well-rounded argument, and it's the argument given whenever I've raised this subject (except with you).

Comment: Re:What about power? (Score 5, Insightful) 77

For some tasks I can understand recycling. I use older hardware to build routers, anti-spam gateways, VPN appliances and the like. Normally these are fairly low-cycle tasks, at least for smaller offices. But I've learned my lesson about using older hardware in mission critical applications. I've set up custom routers that worked just great, until the motherboards popped a cap, and then they're down, and unless you've got spares sitting around, you're in for some misery.

Comment: Slashvertisement? (Score 4, Insightful) 77

by nine-times (#47510347) Attached to: Buying New Commercial IT Hardware Isn't Always Worthwhile (Video)

Guy who sells used computer hardware claims that buying new computer hardware is a bad idea, and that you should buy used gear instead. News at 11.

Not what this guy is saying is wrong, but there are other unaddressed issues. They cover issues like "power savings", but not the much more important issue of buying an unknown piece of hardware from an unknown vendor, without a warranty. Aside from that, sometimes there are issues of physical constraints-- like I have limited space, limited ventilation, and one UPS to supply power. Do I want to buy 5 servers, or one powerful one?

Also, it's not true that hardware isn't advancing. In the past few years, USB has gotten much faster, virtualization support has improved, drives and drive interface has gotten faster, etc.

And sometimes, buying "new" is more about getting a known quantity with support, rather than wagering on a crap-shoot.

Comment: Re:Mission creep. (Score 1) 253

by nine-times (#47510117) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

I am in IT, and you are massively overstating the case. Over stating to the point of it being a lie.

Well then you're a piss-poor IT person. Otherwise you'd know that you need to know the parameters for a project before you can choose a solution, which was exactly what I was pointing out. If your company says, "we need to buy a tablet for every employee" and you just run out and buy a bunch of the cheapest Android tablets you can buy, without asking any additional questions, then you don't know what the hell you're doing.

First question: What are the requirements here?

If they don't have a very clear answer, then the next question is, why are we doing this and what are we hoping to accomplish? And then you decipher the requirements from the answer to that question. For example, if the answer is, "We need to run this specific iOS application" and you've run out to buy a bunch of Android tablets, then you're fucked. Or it could be "We need tablets fitting these specific technical requirements," which turns out you should have purchased more expensive Android tablets, and not the cheapest model. Or it could be, "We just need something that's easy to type a lot of text on," in which case you might want to put on the breaks and find out if they really want tablets, or if ultrabooks would serve better.

You have to know what problem you're trying to solve before you pick your tools.

But wait a second... You're the same guy who is suggesting that poor children should be expected to do their homework on the sidewalks outside of McDonalds? I just noticed that. Geeze, no wonder I'm responding to so many insane posts. They're all coming from the same troll.

Comment: Re:Mission creep. (Score 1) 253

by nine-times (#47508743) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

Agreed. Chromebooks seem like a very good solution.

I wasn't trying to argue that iPads were actually the best solution, but rather that you can't simply compare the retail price of iPads to another tablet and conclude that the iPad is a worse solution because it's more expensive. The are a lot of factors in play. Deciding which solution is best requires eliminating any solution that doesn't meet the needs of the program, then calculating something akin to TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), and finally allowing some influence for preference. Yes, sorry guys, if the people you're serving simply prefer Apple products, even if it's only a preference, that should be a factor. You have to decide how much of a factor.

Again, iPads may not come out on top, but it's a bigger calculation than simply looking at the sticker price.

Comment: Re:Mission creep. (Score 2) 253

by nine-times (#47507667) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

How is this labelled "Informative"? You may as well be saying, "We should cut educational expenses by only allowing smart people to have children, and only allowing well-behaved children to attend school." It completely misses the point. We, as a society, need to anticipate that lots of people will have children whether or not we individually believe it to be a wise move. Once those children exist, we need to deal with them, and the best thing we can do is to make sure they're educated, and that they have the opportunity to become productive adults.

Comment: Re:Mission creep. (Score 1) 253

by nine-times (#47507647) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads
There are plenty of IT departments that are not "enterprise" IT departments. Aside from that, "enterprise" IT departments often still go with a vendor like Dell or HP rather than trying to build their own systems, because the peripheral costs associated with building their own would wipe out any savings.

Comment: Re:Mission creep. (Score 1) 253

by nine-times (#47507211) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

Again, I would need more of a justification before I could possibly agree with you.

What do you imagine, that poor children will go sit on the cold sidewalk next to McDonalds every night in order to do their homework? And what if the WiFi gets saturated from having a bunch of kids? I think McDonalds would likely be unhappy with this arrangement and maybe even cut off the internet. Or should these children be eating at McDonalds every night to keep McDonalds happy? Because that's great for children.

But you're right. There's also Home Depot, so 200 children will go sit in the aisles of Home Depot. I'm sure that'll work out really well.

We're quickly getting to the point where the Internet is required for living what society considers a "normal life". It's not weird to think that the Internet is becoming a form of infrastructure that should be expected to be available to everyone, like water and electricity.

It's likely that I won't respond to anything else that you write, because either you're a troll or you're... I don't know what. Dumb and heartless? Ignorantly indifferent to the struggles people face? Whatever it is, it's not worth arguing until you're actually thinking about what you're saying.

Comment: Re:Mission creep. (Score 1) 253

by nine-times (#47507133) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

What, you don't think there's anything involved in configuring and maintaining tablets? I would guess, then, that you're not an IT guy.

You may be imagining that they're just handing out 20,000 tablets for each student to use as they please, but I would not expect that. I may be wrong, but in most cases where I've heard of schools providing tablets for children, there's an absurd amount of labor involved.

In IT in general and especially with schools, where you're going to want to restrict them, every tablet is going to have to be monitored and tracked, and regularly wiped and reconfigured. The configuration may be complex and very restricted. There will probably be 3rd party tools involved, which the IT staff will have to buy and will have to be trained on. Very often, spending a little extra to get the right tablets and tools will save enough money in labor and training to be worth it.

Comment: Re:This is news? (Score 1) 202

> So you prefer the risk of massive law infringement, including invasive species smuggling, drug running, and terrorism, to a 5% risk that somebody who shouldn't know about Natalie Portman's meal choices finds out whether she's keeping Kosher? No operation on the scale of COINTELPRO could come from the TSA, because the TSA doesn't have the resources to pull it off.

I'm afraid that's a straw man argument. It's not been shown that the massive metadata gathering on USA citizens has been effective against any of those. Where are the convictions? NSA data gathering, in fact, is not supposed to be applied to domestic communications. It's far more useful, and demonstrably so, for internal political abuse. Look at the history of the Stasi for examples of how decades of broad information gathering can be used against moral, law abiding citizens.

Decentralizing the databases, spreading them out, is actually a good goal. Broad, flexible databases with large amounts of data are much easier to steal, and much easier to abuse, than smaller, isolated systems. That's a harsh lesson from decades of security work. And "random searches" are much safer than having it all stored in a central database where it can, and it _will_ be used for political and personal abuse.

Comment: Re:Mission creep. (Score 2) 253

by nine-times (#47503701) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

There is free internet everywhere for those of us that want it. Becoming an ISP would only be to try and capture those kids and parents where the parents find getting near a Starbucks, Lowes, Safeway, Home Depot, McDonalds, etc. to be more trouble than it's worth.

So your solution for providing poor people with the Internet is to suggest that they go to Starbucks and McDonalds?

I guess that's a solution. I guess we could also say that poor people don't need indoor plumbing because they can just use the toilet at their local gas station. It seems to me like it's a silly, inefficient solution that will be unpleasant for everyone involved, so I'd need more of a justification before I would agree.

Comment: Re:Mission creep. (Score 2) 253

by nine-times (#47503669) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

Beyond that, I have to question the intelligence of buying iPads. We are not in 2010 anymore. There are plenty of perfectly capable tablets available at under $100.

There are more things to consider than simply the cost of the hardware. Do the iPads have any specific features that are required for their plans? Are there specific apps that they want to use? What platforms are those applications available for? What kind of administrative tools are available for each platform, and have they already invested in any of those tools? Is their IT staff more familiar and skilled in managing a specific platform? What kinds of price cuts and support are offered by the manufacturer?

Saving even a couple of hundred dollars per unit might be a drop in the bucket when compared with the peripheral costs. Yes, IT departments everywhere might be able to save a little money on the purchase of each computer by buying all of their parts from NewEgg and installing Linux on the computer that they cobble together from parts. Still, it ends up being cheaper, when you add up all the peripheral costs, to buy ready-made computers from Dell with Windows pre-installed.

Not everyone who buys Apple products is an idiot.

Comment: Re:Mission creep. (Score 5, Insightful) 253

by nine-times (#47503125) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

but look at the mission creep. The district becoming its own ISP next? Can of worms.

On the other hand, it's a can of worms that probably wouldn't have needed to be opened if we had some kind of a plan to develop public internet infrastructure that was free/cheap for people without a lot of money.

I only bring this up because I would imagine some people looking at this and saying, "A public school system should not be intruding into the area of being an ISP, which has traditionally been an area for private business." I would respond by pointing out that the Internet really should be considered public telecommunications infrastructure.

Comment: Re:Why should Lenovo support their main competitor (Score 1) 125

I don't know why you have this weird agenda of insisting that any Linux on the desktop (that isn't ChromeOS) needs to remain a niche. You yourself cited FOSS desktop applications as something that people use, and that it doesn't matter what OS they use. It seems like either you're emotionally invested in being anti-Linux or you're just being difficult for the sake of it.

You have GIMP, LibreOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, Pidgin, Skype, Dropbox, VLC, Spotify, and an ever-increasing number of games offered through Steam. People who use those applications are not a 'niche'.

I don't know what your damage is, but you should get over yourself.

Take your work seriously but never take yourself seriously; and do not take what happens either to yourself or your work seriously. -- Booth Tarkington