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Ask Slashdot: Good Metrics For a Small IT Team? 315

First time accepted submitter shibbyj writes "I'm a member of a small 3 person IT team for a medium sized business (approximately 300-350 employees) that has multiple locations internationally. I have been tasked with logging our performance using the statistics from our ticket management system. I've also been tasked with comparing these stats and determining if we are performing above or below what is considered optimal. I'm wondering what people opinions are on what good metrics should be in regards to mttr mtbf etc. I have had trouble finding information on this."

NASA Wants To Zap Space Junk With Lasers 148

Hugh Pickens writes "MIT Technology Review reports that various ideas have been floated for removing space junk, most of them hugely expensive, but now James Mason at NASA Ames Research Center has come up with the much cheaper option of zapping individual pieces of junk with a ground-based laser, to slow them down so that they eventually de-orbit. Mason estimates that a device to test the reversal of the Kessler syndrome could be put together for a million dollars, which would have to be shared by many space-faring nations, to avoid the inevitable legal issues that using such a device would raise. 'The scheme requires launching nothing into space — except photons (PDF) — and requires no on-orbit interaction — except photon pressure. It is thus less likely to create additional debris risk in comparison to most debris removal schemes,' writes Mason. 'Eventually the concept may lead to an operational international system for shielding satellites and large debris objects from a majority of collisions as well as providing high accuracy debris tracking data and propellant-less station keeping for smallsats.'"

Apple To Unveil Light Peak, New MacBook Pros This Week? 311

An anonymous reader writes "Apple will reportedly soon make an announcement regarding a new high-speed connection technology. And as luck would have it, this comes hot on the heels of a report that Apple will release a slew of new MacBook Pros later this week. For some time now, reports have abounded detailing Apple and Intel's cooperation on a new transfer technology dubbed Light Peak capable of transferring data at 10GB/s both up and down. Could this find its way into Apple's new lineup of MacBook Pros as has been previously rumored?"

"Cumulative Voting" Method Gaining Attention 375

Local ID10T writes "The AP reports on a system of voting, called 'cumulative voting,' which was just used under court order in Port Chester, NY. Under this system, voters can apportion their votes as they wish — all to one candidate, one to each candidate, or any combination. The system, which has been used in Alabama, Illinois, South Dakota, Texas, and New York, allows a political minority to gain representation if it organizes behind specific candidates. Courts are increasingly mandating cumulative voting when they deem it necessary to provide fair representation." Wikipedia notes that cumulative voting "was used to elect the Illinois House of Representatives from 1870 until its repeal in 1980," without saying why the system was abandoned.

HP Gives Printers Email Addresses 325

Barence writes "HP is set to unveil a line of printers with their own email addresses, allowing people to print from devices such as smartphones and tablets. The addresses will allow users to email their documents or photos directly to their own — or someone else's — printer. It will also let people more easily share physical documents; rather than merely emailing links around, users can email a photo to a friend's printer. 'HP plans to offer a few of these new printers to consumers this month, and then a few more of the products to small businesses in September.'"
The Internet

Robust Timing Over the Internet 178

ChelleChelle writes "The NTP (Network Time Protocol) system for synchronizing computer clocks has been around for decades and has worked well for most general-purpose timing uses. However, new developments, such as the increasingly precise timing demands of the finance industry, are driving the need for a more precise and reliable network timing system. Julien Ridoux and Darryl Veitch from the University of Melbourne are working on such a system as part of the Radclock Project. In this article they share some of their expertise on synchronizing network clocks. The authors tackle the key challenge — taming delay variability — and provide useful guidelines for designing robust network timing algorithms."

Response To California's Large-Screen TV Regulation 619

An anonymous reader writes "It's great that unelected bureaucrats in California are clamoring to save energy, but when they target your big-screen TVs for elimination, consumers and manufacturers are apt to declare war. CEDIA and the CEA are up in arms over this. Audioholics has an interesting response that involves setting the TVs in 'SCAM' mode to meet the energy criteria technically without having to add additional cost or increase costs to consumers. 'In this mode, the display brightness/contrast settings would be set a few clicks to the right of zero, audio would be disabled and backlighting would be set to minimum. The power consumption should be measured in this mode much like an A/V receiver power consumption is measured with one channel driven at full rated power and the other channels at 1/8th power.' This is an example of an impending train wreck of unintended consequences, and many are grabbing the popcorn and pulling up chairs to watch."

Plug vs. Plug — Which Nation's Socket Is Best? 1174

CNETNate writes "Is the American mains socket really so much worse than the Italian design? And does the Italian socket fail at rivaling the sockets in British homes? This feature explores, in a not-at-all-parodic-and-anecdotal fashion, the designs, strengths and weaknesses of Earth's mains adapters. There is only one conclusion, and you're likely not to agree if you live in France. Or Italy. Or in fact most places." (For more plug pics and details, check out Wikipedia's list of the ones in current use.)

Comment Re:That Analogy Falls Apart (Score 1) 917

Yeah, last time I tried to fabricate a steak, it got a little out of hand and I had to flush the whole project down the sink with lots of sulfuric acid. They really are easier to grow but ya got to get them there first. Sending lots of food as seeds might be a good bootstrap. finding water and other necessary organic substances to keep them growing might be tricky but I believe we already established that there is viable soil there.

All great ideas are controversial, or have been at one time.