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Comment: Re:The Cloud! (Score 5, Insightful) 145

by rhsanborn (#46660549) Attached to: GameSpy Multiplayer Shutting Down, Affecting Hundreds of Games
We're hitting the age where some earlier services are starting to shut down, and that's actually a good thing. It will start a conversation about how much we're willing to trust to "the cloud" and what we're willing to make temporary. Many of us have Kindles, iPhones, Rokus that use content from providers not unlike GameSpy. We need to be willing to say out loud that ownership of these items is now temporary. The sellers of these items need to be more open about that as well.

Comment: Re:So much for HIPAA... (Score 4, Informative) 61

by rhsanborn (#46285089) Attached to: Healthcare Organizations Under Siege From Cyberattacks, Study Says

Not surprising, really. The only time companies get punished for non-compliance is when they are the ones accessing protected health information. No threat of punishment == no compliance.

That's not the case at all. HIPAA makes a distinction between covered entities (usually hospitals, doctors, insurance companies), business associates (people providing services for covered entities such as medical coding, transcription, IT services, etc.) that require access to protected health information, and everyone else who isn't allowed to access protected health information. If a covered entity loses or discloses protected health information, or is breached, that entity is responsible for fines under HIPAA, which are being levied regularly. e.g.

Comment: Re:Simple solution (Score 1) 61

by rhsanborn (#46285043) Attached to: Healthcare Organizations Under Siege From Cyberattacks, Study Says
There is a law, it's called HIPAA. Healthcare organizations are very cognizant of HIPAA and do work to avoid breaches of healthcare data. The Department of Health and Human Services does hand out significant fines for breaches. Additionally, for large breaches, healthcare organizations are required to notify prominent news media, which arguably has a larger financial impact than the fines themselves.

Comment: Re:I don't understand the draw (Score 1) 195

by rhsanborn (#45991731) Attached to: Building an Open Source Nest
The idea of the Nest is that it's going to do something that most people aren't good at doing, which is programming their thermostats. Tech geeks aren't the target market. We already programmed our thermostats and for the most part they work relatively efficiently. It's for my crazy aunt who doesn't have a programmed thermostat and can recoup that $250 by letting some silly device do it for her. There are also smart added benefits like being able to check on the house remotely when you're out of town to make sure the furnace hasn't failed and your pipes are frozen, etc.

Comment: Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (Score 1) 219

by rhsanborn (#45925993) Attached to: Intel Puts a PC Into an SD Card-Sized Casing
I think cars are a good analogy. I have to find a source for this, so, of now I'm talking out of my rear end, but I believe cars have held steady in price according to inflation. This is counter to most technology which tends to go down, like TVs. The reason is that the technology of the car has been continually improving to match. So, they haven't gone down in cost asa percentage of an average person's income, but that average person gets much more in a car today than in the past. They are crazily more safe, get much better mileage, have comfort features, etc. I think this would be similar. A smart light switch today costs around $50. It's way more than a dumb light switch, but doesn't require any extra wiring and does loads more. You probably can't justify the cost of a system like this based on electricity savings, but for some people, they may be able to justify the cost based on convenience and features. Advances like Intel is making, may tilt that in favor of vein more cost competitive.

Comment: Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (Score 4, Interesting) 219

by rhsanborn (#45892141) Attached to: Intel Puts a PC Into an SD Card-Sized Casing
It's more than that, and it's silly little things we haven't thought about. Granted, we can do some of this already, but I had a use case this last week. I have a really hard time getting up in the morning when it's dark out. They make sunrise alarm clocks, but I think it would be nice to have the bedroom lights slowly dim up to simulate a sunrise and gently wake me up. (This is possible with current home automation tech)

It might be nice to have a light sensor in my gutters that warns me if a downspout is clogged or they need cleaning before my annual fall cleanup. I have a whole house humidifier and when it gets to -10 like this week, it needs to be turned down or I get condensation on the windows. Smart things can do that for me. These are all things that ubiquitous computing can do, and that's pretty cool.

Comment: Re:Build a business case (Score 1) 383

by rhsanborn (#45617927) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Convince Management To Hire More IT Staff?
The only caveat to situation three is that there are sometimes dynamic tensions that are good for business, and it's good to recognize when that is happening. The SLAs need to be based in a business reality. A board member or someone else may insist on an SLA that doesn't actually need to be met for the business to grow and be profitable. They pulled the number out of their rear end. You may have a lot of work, and you can "never get caught up", but the business is humming along, and things are generally going fine. You are probably adequately staffed, but some IT people tend to feel over worked in those cases, because they are shooting for "all the work to be done". If you ever hit a point where all the work is done, look out, you're likely looking at cuts soon.

Comment: Re:Build a business case (Score 5, Insightful) 383

by rhsanborn (#45593691) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Convince Management To Hire More IT Staff?
130 Desktops and max of 28 logical servers and you need 3 windows systems administrators!? Cross train the IT manager or programmers, or contract with a local outsourcing team to provide backup. I've found small local IT services shops can do basic systems management at a reasonable cost, and work well when paired with a knowledgeable person on the client side. You be the smart guy, and leverage a local services team who probably have a CCNA, Windows Server admin, SAN admin, etc. on staff.

The average IT spend as a percent of revenues is around 2-2.5%. That varies depending on industry (tech industry is much higher upwards of 4%), but it's a good starting point. I'd look at where you are at now as a benchmark. As others have mentioned, you need to make a business case. What projects are being delayed, by how much time, and what is the effect. If the effect is that the company misses $200k in revenue or increases production costs, you can probably make a case for additional help. If the effect is the floor manager gets grumpy because he really would like this thing, you probably aren't going to get additional help, nor should you.

Comment: Re:Huh (Score 1) 567

If they're good, they're going to identify frequent high-G jerking when she looks up and realizes she's in another lane. They'll catch her slamming on the breaks frequently because she wasn't paying attention, etc. If there is any industry who can crunch data and find the outliers, you can actually trust the insurance industry. That's why they were so good at identifying people with a high likelihood of future medical illness and not give them health care.

"If I do not want others to quote me, I do not speak." -- Phil Wayne