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Comment: Re:End of search warrants? (Score 1) 358

by sco_robinso (#39148571) Attached to: US Appeals Court Upholds Suspect's Right To Refuse Decryption
Read the court decision PDF, they discuss this very point in enormous detail. As best as I can summarize:

The police were unable to prove that there even could be anything there. All the forensic data whitness could testify to was that 'there's a possibility' that somthing could be in there, but an equal possibility of that there's nothing there at all. The Judges noted there needs to be some likelyhood that there's something in the whitespace of the drive. There was no evidence presented that there was anything in the supposed encrypted volumes or a likelyhood thereof.

When a court issues an order to have police search your home, they're doing so because the police have presented evidence that there's probably cause that there's incriminating evidence within the residence (eg. you were seeing parking a stolen car in your garage). Again, in this case, the police presented no evidence of this sort.

Though you do raise an interesting point, it's covered within the document.

Comment: Re:I hate subjects (Score 1) 90

by sco_robinso (#39127003) Attached to: Playbook OS 2.0 Released
I think it was a purely a decision about getting the product to market ASAP. If it's taken RIM this long to get a native calendar and mail App out (and certainly under huge pressure and timelines internally, no less), then we might not have otherwise seen the playbook released until just now. Problem is, as anyone who's worked on the Duke Nukem forever product can surely tell you, you eventually have to release the product, because if you wait too long to truly 'finish' it, it's already 1-2 generations old by the time it hits shelves. Think about how even more lousy the playbook would seem if it were released now. Throw in Apple's expected iPad 3 launch in a couple weeks, and the playbook looks even worse yet.

In its defense, the playbook isn't half a bad device. Lack of native and 3rd party apps is a real downer, but otherwise it always seems to leave a pretty solid impression whenever I use it. It has a particular nice fast browser, and with flash of course.

Typical product from RIM - totally out of touch with reality.
Businesses

+ - Selling a small IT company - what to do?

Submitted by drsmack1
drsmack1 (698392) writes "I have a eight year old IT company, a one man shop, and I am looking to sell it and return to the corporate IT world. I'm torn between trying to do both jobs, selling my business to a competitor, or hiring someone to run it.

I run the company from home, and as such there are no assets involved. Just my lengthy customer list. I would be motivated to provide a pathway into these residential and small business, as I don't wish for there to be a major drop-off in the level of service.

If I sell, should I ask for a lump sum? Or maybe a percentage of income derived from these customers?

What say you slashdot?"

Comment: I went a couple years ago, just BS'd the reg form (Score 2) 78

by sco_robinso (#38679074) Attached to: Who Goes To CES?
I went in Jan 2007, since I was going to be in Vegas the whole week anyways on vacation... I thought it would be really cool to see something as big as CES. It was indeed impressive. It's just so big and lively that I would consider it bucket-list material for any techy type.

But I'm just a lowly ol' sysadmin - I have nothing to do with the consumer electronics industry, other than working with a lot of the stuff in my day to day IT life. I just went to the CEA's website, signed myself up as a 'product buyer', and that was it - registration was auto-accepted and got in no problem. I even skipped the $99 fee because I registered early.

When I was there, my nametag said 'Buyer', so sometimes people would ask me what kind of industry/company I was a buyer for, so I just spewed a bit of BS. Depending on the booth or gadget in question, this actually worked to my favor. I got a lot of good info on some products I was interested in. I even came right at doors-open on the first day, and entered myself into a bunch of earlybird draws. I went to the slingbox exhibit and I my business card was one of two that got drawn for the (at the time) highest-end slingbox device. Despite the 50/50 odds, I lost. True story though!

tl;dr - I BS'd and got in no problem.

Comment: Re:Well, they're a good indicator of intelligence (Score 1) 672

by sco_robinso (#38615914) Attached to: Are Brain Teasers Good Hiring Criteria?
Don't know what country you're referring to, but this sounds like it violates every privacy law out there, even in the US. Here in Canada, asking for one's previous salary is generally not done anymore and most HR people I ask say it's 'just not done anymore'. I've even had someone ask what my salary was during a refernece call, and my old boss was good/smart enough to say 'you have no damn right to that information'. At least here in Canada, the rule of thumb is 'if it's not information that would otherwise be on a business card or in the phonebook, it's personal information'.

Mind you, the reality is when times are tough and unemployment is high, well, you can get away with shit that you otherwise can't get away with - cause people are desparate. Luckily, that's never been the case over my 12+ year career here in Canada, so the few times people have asked, I typically just BS them a bit. I've been severaly underpaid at times (moving jobs for 20-50% salary increases), so yeah guilty as charged. It's not like I'm going to sit there and say 'yeah, Im horridly underpaid Mr. Derp, so I'm moving jobs to make 50% more'. This strategy has never done me wrong.

Comment: So buy a DSLR!?!?!? (Score 0) 402

by sco_robinso (#38603266) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Mirrorless, Interchangeable Lens Camera Advice?

"...but I don't have the technical knowledge to fully appreciate a DSLR"

So this makes you essentially the same as 98% of other DSLR owners! Just buy a DSLR and just put it in AUTO mode. Done. If you don't have the technical knowledge to use a DSLR's fancy modes, then you wont be using a point and shoot's fancy modes either. Virtually every camera out there will take great pictures on auto mode, no questions asked.

If interchangable lenses are what you want, you want a DSLR.

Comment: Re:IBM forgot to use them... (Score 1) 73

by sco_robinso (#38597364) Attached to: Google Acquires 222 More IBM Patents
Not that I normally repond to trolls/flaimbaits, but I've actually spend about half my career (5-6 years) with Domino, half with Exchange (7-8) (and a bit with Groupwise - 1 year) -- so I'm think I'm in a reasonable position to be able to talk about the two intelligently.

I spend more time in a month managing Domino issues than I do in a year or two with Exchange. It's not that Domino doesn't work, it's just that it's 'death by a thousand papercuts' - literally. With Exchange (and to it's credit, groupwise as well), I more or less don't have to touch it after initial install and config. A couple changes hereand there over the following months, and DONE. With 8.5 FP1, I spent months tweaking the crap out of config files, and it took the better part of a month just to get DAOS working properly without crashing (on a completely fresh install). And then just simple maintenance over the following years is long and painful.

Despite IBM's perpetual propaganda, most big companies are moving off Domino, for mail at least. Domino is half decent on the groupware side, but for all but the big fortune 500 companies, it's just too much of a pain for simple mail and a bit of groupware. Honestly, Domino is like SAP - if you have a whole giant-ass department of people to manage it for you, it's not half bad - precisely because you have a giant-ass department of people managing it. For anyone sub-enterprise, it's a waste of time and money.

It's not even any cheaper, either. I recently worked for an SMB (150 users) who was on domino (7.0.3), but on the fence about staying with them. So we have IBM quote us 8.5 (with Sametime, and a few other small pieces), and it comes out to be almost double what Exchange plus sharepoint came out to. And this is AFTER we grilled them and grilled them for discounts. All the while IBM is telling us that "SMB is actually their bread and butter clientele". Both on price, complexity, and infrastructure, Domino just doesn't compete sub-enterprise.

The only reason the company was on Domino in the first place is because the owner liked 123 back in the early 90's, and thought Domino would be a good idea.

Or do I need to elaborate further?

P.S. - Let's not forget about 99% of the user base that HATES the client, and BEGS for outlook.

Comment: Re:Acronis (Score 1) 306

by sco_robinso (#38597078) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Free/Open Deduplication Software?

when we had a two disk crash in the RAID 5 array Backup Exec was useless because it took so long to index the backup archives before a recovery that we were managed to get our RAID array remounted in read-only and pull all the data, 4+TB, off of it before Backup Exec was able to do anything.

We were able to use Backup Exec to recover most of the files that had gotten corrupted with the disk crashes, but it should not take a week to get to the state where your backups are usable.

Travis...I am curious as to your experience with BE. I am a product manager for BE and am always looking to learn more about user experiences with our product. What version were you using? What solution do you use now that you prefer? What are the reasons for your preference?

I'm one of the higher up OP's.

I currently use 2010 R3 SP1. I've been using backup exec for about the past 5 years (since around 10d) - mostly because the reputations of competing products are even worse (eg Tivoli, ArcServe, etc). BE works well enough I suppose, but essentially, it's a constant battle. Even in a farly straight forward all-windows environment (around 30 servers, 500 employee company), it takes months and months of fighting and troubleshooting to get backups firing off error free. I installed 2010 last march (March 2011), and only about now (Jan 2012) is it finally running smoothly. But this is also after about 20 support cases, and a lot of lost data from deduplication corruption.

Here's the thing - most things are virtual now, and there's a LOT better products out there these days for VM backup. Veeam is probably the one that comes to mind. Granted, it doesn't necessarily have all of the bells and whistles of BE, but for virtual, it often doesn't matter. Backing up my VMs in BE takes about 2 full days (incremental, the better part of a week for full backups). Veeam's full (not incremental) backups take about 3h.

Support is another issue. Even when the case is marked as critical, you end up spending 2-3 days troubleshooting the issue with a basic tier 1 tech out of India or Argentina. This is all well and fine, but it's always a good 3-4 days until you start getting into REAL troubleshooting with REAL techs that know what the root causes are and can dig down. Basically, no matter what the issue, you know it's not going to get resolved for at least 4-5 days, even if its critical.

Renewals, another big problem. So we have BE and the standard suite of a half-dozen options/agents (SQL, sharepoint, dedupe, etc). Last year (mid-late 2011), it took us about 3 months to get Symantec to properly quote us renewals. And this was with 2 different (big) Symantec partners. They all complain that it takes you guys WEEKS just to get simple quotes out. For a software sales company, you guys seem to have problems SELLING SOFTWARE. What should have taken a day or two took months.

At my current shop we use BE, but needless to say we're looking for alternatives. We just don't want to fight with Symantec for another year. And when 201x comes out, we don't want to re-install it, and fight with it again for another year with a whole new batch of issues. Especially considering alternative backup products (veeam, vranger) I can have fully set up, tested, and running in production in a day or two (for 1/4 the price).

And honestly, this doesn't just seem to be my opinion alone. Every IT conference/meet-up/trade-show I go to, EVERYONE seems to say the same thing about BE. In fact, when I went to the 2010 launch, just about everyone there was asking questions like 'This new XYZ feature sounds great, but I'll probably have to fight it for the better part of a year to get it working properly'. Quite a number of people piped up about how lousy new releases are.

My generic suggestions specifically with BE would be get on the ball with VM - you guys need to re-write your VM backup code from the ground up. Sure you guys are decent at backup of physical SQL and Exchange to Tape, but those days are quickly disappearing. Fast. The whole world of VM's is so much simpler than physical - and so should VM backup. VMware (and MS) have all the API's hanging out there to do awesome things. Get on the fast and simple VM backup bandwagon. Your guys' solution is a hundred times more complicated than it has to be.

Hope this helps!

Comment: Re:Acronis (Score 1) 306

by sco_robinso (#38589322) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Free/Open Deduplication Software?
Never used a product that required as much handholding? I see you've never used Backup Exec.

I've been having to hand-hold backup exec for the better part of a year now. We more or less finally have it working, but I wouldn't speak to highly of it.. We use BE's dedup features, and while it seems to work reasonable well, one day we went to make a standard administrative change to the folder (sharing it within BE to another media server), a *poof*, all of the data got corrupted. A week on the phone with Symantec and they couldn't figure out why.

It's also RAM hungry. Symantec requires 1.5GB of RAM of every 1TB of dedup storage. RAM is cheap though, so not a big deal for me.

Never used Acronis in production, though. Demo'd it, seemed OK, but also came across as somewhat amatuer (came across as a home user product that was stretched beyond imagination to work in an enterprise environment).

I eventually have gone to Veeam. It only does virtual and only backs up to disk (no tape support), but man o man is it ever fast and easy (and reliable).

Comment: Re:Other motives (Score 2) 377

by sco_robinso (#38472810) Attached to: Volkswagen Turns Off E-mail After Work-Hours
Deleting emails perminantly after 6 months? Active network scanning for saved messages and PSTs? Assuming it's not some fictional government black-hat firm or some secret brand of the DoD we're talking about, this sounds bat-shit insane. No public company could ever get away with this. In fact, the very policy of perminantly deleting emails older than 6 months would be enough to raise serious legal questions about the company...

Getting rid of e-mail altogether is one thing, but then you go back to what -- paper memos? Even then they'd need to be kept around and archived in some fashion. If you're trying to skirt written communication, then you would need to scrap it all together. But then what happens? Productivity drops through the floor because you're basically working for a company with no computer systems, no paper, nothing.

I'm all for advocating limited use of email after hours (many companies are adopting these kinds of policies), but e-mail is here to stay, and all of this talk about companies throwing out major aspects of technology wholesale is just a bunch of FUD. 1 company does it and makes the media, so now "it's an industry trend"? Bullshit FUD, it sounds like.

Comment: The adventure just isn't there... (Score 1) 405

by sco_robinso (#38459034) Attached to: Is Overclocking Over?
I remember back in the hay-days of overclocking (which I would define as around 2001-2004), there was a huge sense of adventure about it all. It was still seen as somewhat dangerous, and there was a certain amount of lust about it all (geek lust, that is). Buying better coolers, tinkering around with multipliers and bus speeds, sometimes even having to make physical modifications to the chips and motherboards was the norm.

Now, unless you're a hardcore overclocker (which even back in the hay days was a small percentage), it's a matter fo clicking a check box and maybe changing a setting in the BIOS (and by changing setting, I don't mean changing multipliers, I mean setting the overclock mode). There's really not much fun, lust, or adventure about it.

Comment: The irony in defense spending... (Score 1) 449

by sco_robinso (#38388896) Attached to: Satellite Spots China's First Aircraft Carrier
Just think how much more powerful the US would be if it didn't spend to bloddy much on its military (approx $700B per year, according to Wikipedia). Cut that down to, say, $100B (still a shitload by global standards). Keep a [relatively] small, but highly trained and equipped reactionary force (around the size of the current Marine Corps). That would leave plenty of room for a couple Aircraft carriers, subs, and enough planes to more than support the ground effort. That leaves an extra $600B for other things, like I dunno, national debt. Think of how powerful the US would be if it had little or no debt, plus hundreds of billions in surpluses every year?

The problem is, and even the most fiscally conservative republicans don't like to admit, is that the defense industry is one the major cogs of the US economy. But even the most conservative candidates (like Ron Paul - who ironically is very isolationist) don't speak much to cutting the US defense budget (or cutting it relatively small amounts (a few percent)).

Funny how despite all the economioc and budget woes, talk of US defense spending is rarely mentioned.

Overload -- core meltdown sequence initiated.

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