Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Obligatory...Redux (Score 5, Interesting) 468

by quarkscat (#41510471) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Incentives For IT Workers?

You get more with the carrot than with the stick, so unless you're employing a group of starving donkeys I suggest cold, hard cash.

While I agree with this sentiment up to a point, it goes far beyond just cold hard cash. I worked in IT for 15 years until I was black-balled by the Powers That Be for public criticism of the Bush regime post-9/11 (don't ask). Cash may be king, but it hardly begins to cover what makes for a productive, energetic IT work-force. I know, because I have been there. Let me elucidate:
Respect: Respect is a 2-way street. Bosses that treat their employees with a modicum of respect for their prior knowledge and insights to problem resolution will get more effort out of their workers.
Variety: Variety of job assignments, particularly time-sharing between multiple assignments, keep workers alert and fresh.
Mentoring: Provide employees with at least quasi-confidential mentoring by more senior staff. Every job is a learning experience to some extent, and public ridicule for minor gaffes can ruin a career.
Education: Employers that offer discounted or free courseware for continuing education will benefit both the employee and the company long-term. HR should invest the time to help employees keep their CVs up-to-date.
Flex-Time: Unless you are running a Chinese Foxconn facility, flex-time provides for accommodating the individual needs of employees who might actually have a life outside the job.
Vacations: Vacations should begin with a 2 week minimum, and increase with the time vested with the company. Not only does it help employees let off steam and recuperate away from the company, but it will also help the company to discover weaknesses in the overlap in employee skills. It will also serve to remind employees that they are not irreplaceable. No one in a corporation, from janitor to CEO is irreplaceable.
Bonuses/Awards: Bonuses should be generous and tied to specific projects and project milestones. Awards, even tacky awards, that acknowledge the efforts of workers are appreciated.
Profit-sharing: If your company isn't offering profit-sharing awarded quarterly, then you are insulating management rewards from those of your employees, which will create unnecessary divisions in team-based corporate goals.
Activities: Outside activities that bring employees and families of employees together build corporate identity and unity. Even a semi-annual catered barbeque held in the corporate parking lot would do -- reservations at a theme park would be even better.
Benefits: Companies that are not stingy with health, family health, and term life insurance will have happier, healthier employees. Companies that subscribe to quality daycare facilities for the young children of employees demonstrate an interest in the well-being of the employees families, and helps build loyalty.
401Ks: Companies must offer employees a decent selection of retirement investments, preferably with vested corporate contributions. A 401K that only invests in company stock isn't a retirement plan -- it's a scam.

Not every company can offer all of the things that I have listed above, particularly smaller companies. But those that do manage to offer many of these items will have a happy, loyal, and energetic workforce that will willingly go above and beyond to help the company when needed. Merely offering top dollar in wages to employees does not build loyalty, only a mercenary attitude that will hurt the company most when the company is vulnerable.

Anyway, that's my $00.02 worth.

Comment: Re:Added home utility (Score 1) 140

by quarkscat (#40970703) Attached to: Color Printing Reaches Its Ultimate Resolution

Just to nitpick, lens flare has nothing to do with film vs. digital sensors: it's entirely due to the optics.

If you re-read my post, I never conflated a direct equivalence between analog film lens flare and digital moire patterns except that both are problematic to decent image quality. I also discussed the issue of using a picture from a print magazine, already converted from RGB > CMYK and screened for 4 or 6 color press, as a suitable image scanned in to test a high resolution printer. Did you really miss that bit?

However, analog film cameras have no provision for overcoming lens aberrations short of spending top dollar on top quality lenses. Modern digit cameras store information about compatible same-brand lens to make digital corrections to lens aberrations while processing the image to memory. I have never seen what could be characterized as moire patterns when converting from analog film to analog prints in a traditional darkroom, but even with top quality name brand digital cameras the included DSP(s) never can completely eliminate the possibility of moire patterns found in digital images.

You need to pick your nits a bit more carefully, lest you be mistaken for something a bit more anally retentive than nits.

Comment: Re:Added home utility (Score 2) 140

by quarkscat (#40969369) Attached to: Color Printing Reaches Its Ultimate Resolution

The DTP / pre-press shop I worked in also sold the equipment we used. I remember seeing the 3M DyeSub printers at trade shows but never had any hands-on experience with them. IIRC, they were an option on some of the Genigraphics systems. The specs were quite good as I recall, and looked a bit like the Kodak DyeSub printer.

We also used Matrix Digital Film Recorders (8K 8x10 back) and Linotronic Typesetting Printers, did video out to VTRs and CDROM, graphics design, web page development, plus had our own professional photo lab. I was production assistant and hands-on technical support on all the equipment, plus the IT guy handling our administrative & production Novell file servers and rolled out our dial-in Linux FTP server. Never a dull moment, for 10 to 12 hours per day. My favorite computers were SGI Indigo2 and ChallengeXL machines used for video animation, just for the sublime user interface and rock solid stability.

Damn, I must be getting old ...

Comment: Re:Added home utility (Score 4, Interesting) 140

by quarkscat (#40967817) Attached to: Color Printing Reaches Its Ultimate Resolution

I worked for years in the DTP and pre-press market back in the 1980's and 1990's. The best hardcopy printers (not pre-press) that we had available at the time were Tektronix dye-sublimation and Firey 2000 inkjet printers. Mere 300 LPI flatbed scanners with a gamma of 4.0 were supplanted by 400 LPI analog drum scanners with a gamma of 4.8+. Color matching became critical to the conversion from RGB to CMYK for pre-press. Quality printing began with 600 LPI 4 color mask process and advanced from there in LPI and color layers. Special monitors and calibration equipment were used to age-adjust old-fashioned phosphor monitors. Reliance upon SGI computers and then Apple computers spelled the death-knell for special purpose graphics systems such as Genigraphics, and then eventually with SGI. And PostScript, WTF is that?

Today, even pre-press is a dying industry, along with most print magazines. The only segment of the industry that appears to still be thriving is the soft porn men's magazines, from which the OP's test image originated. But I can assure the /. readers that a photo from a magazine is hardly an adequate test source for scanned images let alone high resolution print, since the image has already been massaged through the RGB > CMYK process and then the screening process (color separated dots, not pixels). OTOH, original analog photographs taken under controlled studio conditions, then printed in a computer-controlled darkroom is/was the standard. This printer may, or may not, be as good as advertised but the testing paradigm is highly dubious. Swapping analog film lens flare for digital moire patterns is not, IMHO, an advancement in print technology. And Kodak, WTF is that? No wonder that quality print industry has departed the USA, now done in Germany and to a lesser degree Japan.

Kids these days just don't know diddley squat ... now, get the heck off my lawn !!

Comment: Re:It's called insurance, right? (Score 4, Interesting) 170

by quarkscat (#40964007) Attached to: What Happens To Google Employees When They Die?

I worked for a time for a multinational company that offered free health insurance. The company was so cash-rich that they self-insured for that coverage, with an umbrella policy for outside insurance for catastrophic (major medical) coverage. The other nations that they had a corporate presence in had socialized medicine (Canada & Britain), and they wanted all their employees to share similar benefits. It made it rather simple accounting-wise to shift employees from one country to another for short & longish term projects. I rather doubt that they have the same benefit package today - that was nearly 20 years ago, and in the USA medical costs have skyrocketed by over 1,000 percent. Self-insurance saved this company a lot of money.

This is basically what Google is doing with term life insurance, except that the $20 per month they charge sounds rather stingy in comparison, actuarially speaking, considering the average age of Google's employees.

Comment: Re:Welcome to the New World Order, Where Privacy i (Score 1) 550

by quarkscat (#40891707) Attached to: Is Your Neighbor a Democrat? There's an App For That

I will accept corporations as people when the state of Texas throws them into prison for 30 years hard time, or they actually execute one -- not before. They damn sure cannot vote.

Voters votes used to count, or recount, but that was in the olden times before actual voters were replaced with easily hacked electronic voting machines. Actual voters $10 or $20 campaign contributions used to count for something as well, before SCOTUS approved the Citizens United decision, now mountains of campaign cash from offshore banksters. Corporations, which cannot vote, can only buy advertising that promotes their candidate (or more recently both candidates). If we ignore the corporate media and investigate, support, and vote for candidates that will actually represent us when in office, we would be a lot better off.

Comment: Re:why it was so underappreciated... (Score 1) 231

by quarkscat (#40875097) Attached to: Radio Shack's TRS-80 Turns 35

And speaking of the Z-80 processor: I lusted after the Commodore Portable for the ability to drop in a Z-80 board to run CPM, but never had enough cash to make it happen. But to me the Big Iron holy grail was the Altair, with a Z-80 processor & S-100 buss.

Instead, I had a Timex Sinclair with a 2k memory expansion module & tape drive storage. I used it's built-in BASIC to solve sparse matrix calculations for rudimentary circuit analysis. By the time I got out of community college, the Zenith Z-150 (IBM-PC clone) was available -- loved the built-in debugger.

Comment: Re:This is news? (Score 1) 182

by quarkscat (#40471101) Attached to: Oil Exploration Ramps Up In US Arctic

"And if they wait long enough, the whole area may turn into a tropical paradise ..."

You mean, like with a dramatic shift in the magnetic poles? Do you know something that the rest of us are not aware of, like perhaps being associated with the HAARP program?

BTW, IIRC Shell Oil has had a number of less-than-stellar environmental issues in regions like Nigeria and Brazil. BP also had a reasonable environmental record, but only so long as their operations were located off-shore of a country that actually gave a good GD, like the North Sea off the coast of Britain. The Arctic Ocean is a quite sensitive region ecologically, considering the recent discovery of major bloom fields of plankton under the ice.

Comment: Re:Doesn't really make sense to me (Score 1) 228

Besides, it would be MUCH easier and cheaper to co-opt some hardware vendor's driver set and slip your stuff into that than risk doing the same at Microsoft.. Not that I'm saying it didn't happen, only that it seems easier other ways.....

I agree. And there have been documented cases of this being done. One of the most famous was the worm installed in firmware of a printer shipped to Iraq that incapacitated big chunks of Saddam's air defense system, courtesy of the NSA.
And again regarding hardware: I wonder how many add-in PC cards like video or network that have back-doors built-in, or even hidden 'features' built into the firmware. I just threw out a serial/parallel ISA board so old that it was all TTL logic, no VLSI, no firmware.

Some wise-guy is going to install malware in a video card that 'steals' a miniscule number of clock cycles & memory that can compromise the entire contents of your fire-walled network. Almost anything that can be done with software can be done with 'solder', and a lot more difficult to deal with.

Comment: Re:Remove the yoke of Monsanto! (Score 4, Interesting) 377

Stop bitching about Monsanto and fix the law.

Even better solution is to "fix" the Monsanto corporate board, permanently, like a gelding.

Were you aware that the lunchrooms of Monsanto facilities explicitly prohibit GMO foods for their employees, and at the insistence of those employees? Why are Monsanto employees treated better than USA citizens? Could it be that if USA citizens were informed of the GMO origins of many of their foodstuffs, that they would knowingly & willfully boycott those products?

Comment: Re:Remove the yoke of Monsanto! (Score 1) 377

And in other totally unrelated news, Brazil just fell under the attention of the Department of Homeland Security as a state sponsor of terrorism. Bombing of Brazil by "death from above" UAV's has now been scheduled for Monday morning, once assets from Columbia have been re-tasked.

Re-educating the unwashed masses as to the many advantages of GMO food crops is a dirty job, but someone has to do it.

Comment: Re:in other news (Score 1) 228

Please, don't be shy Anonymous Coward. I believe that you are onto something there.

When conspiracy theories ultimately are discovered to be conspiracy fact, the mainstream media will dismiss it as 'common sense everyone knew', 'nothing to see here', and then put the sheeple back to sleep. Causality doesn't equate to coincidence. Anyway, I don't believe that any chain of statistically improbable events conflates to mere coincidence. Mere coincidence is highly over-rated. It is stated, with some degree of proof, that only six degrees of separation exist between any two otherwise seemingly unrelated events. Accidents do happen, but not usually by pure accident.

And it is no accident that linux has been effectively kept off the desktop. You could blame that on Microsoft moles, or you could blame it on linux developers, or you could blame it on Microsoft moles posing as linux developers. The actual cause might even lay elsewhere, but you have presented one theory. Who the fuck are you, AC, that I might properly honor your brilliance?

If I had mod points, I would definitely mod your post up a few notches ...

If it's worth doing, it's worth doing for money.

Working...