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Comment: Big company experience comes to small company (Score 3, Interesting) 279

by erroneus (#46777783) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

Yes, I know how they are thinking and the pain you are feeling. To accomplish the implementation of this change management process you will need a lot of people working for you. Use this to your advantage. Quickly study up on the subject so your experience with the systems will not leave you with a dog pile of new bosses to tell you how to do your job. Instead insist that you need to hire more people to manage the overhead.

In the end that probably won't work and you'll be kept "at the bottom" where you are now.

These changes are going to be enormously expensive and despite all you have done, it will be perceived that you created this mess by not having a change management system in place to begin with. Of course, they will also see that you don't know about change management and will prefer to hire someone who already knows about it.

Now I'm not going to down change management processes. They can prevent problems and identify people who would otherwise deflect blame and hide in the shadows. But from what I have seen, you're just getting the beginning of the tsunami of changes.

Push for testing systems and additional hardware to support it. Of course it will also require more space and other resources. Try to get ahead of this beast.

Comment: Re:perception (Score 1) 314

Actually, the total tax burden for the working and middle classes in the USA is not that different from much of Europe. If you deduct the amount that the US citizen pays for health insurance from the amount that the EU citizen pays in taxes (while receiving socialised medical coverage), it's often quite a lot more. Part of the reason that the US has what appears from the outside to be an irrational distrust of government is that they get such poor value for money from their taxes. This leads to a nasty feedback loop (population expects the government to be incompetent, so it's hard to get competent people to want to work for the government, so the government becomes more incompetent, so the population expects...).

Comment: When someone else controls your stuff (Score 3, Insightful) 132

by erroneus (#46775139) Attached to: Industry-Wide Smartphone "Kill Switch" Closer To Reality

When someone else controls your stuff, it's not your stuff. Look at Germany's gold! Where is it? It's in the US. They want it back, it's supposed to be on its way over... slowly. Net result, it's not Germany's gold. And if this tech makes it into our phones? Yeah, same thing. We "give up" our phones in order to prevent them from being stolen. Nice trade.

Comment: Re:Open source was never safer (Score 1) 579

by erroneus (#46772411) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

One problem I see that is huge is in where it affects Android. It is an unfortunate reality that phone makers do not want to update or patch their phones as they would rather sell people new phones and carriers would rather extend contracts. So yes, perhaps I did understate it a bit.

There needs to be a push for phone makers to update their firmware NOW.

Comment: Re:most lego's are a rip off (Score 1) 351

by erroneus (#46772365) Attached to: Kids Can Swipe a Screen But Can't Use LEGOs

Well yes and no. Yes, it's overpriced. But when my son plays with them in ways I don't like (that is, I like to follow the instructions and only sometimes make changes for improved look or structure) he gets many hours more. He builds crazy and silly things but then again, he's 7 so what do you know?

Sad that kids can't use their hands. I didn't realize it was becoming a problem as I am trying my best to give my son the type of childhood I had. And yes, that includes teaching him how to go camping and fishing and shoot a gun and all of that. Am I a caveman?

Comment: Re:Open source was never safer (Score 5, Interesting) 579

by erroneus (#46761601) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

Closed source is hazardous in many ways. Along with being more frequently targeted, the NSA revelations showed that Microsoft worked with the NSA when deciding how quickly to close some holes. Another hazard is the threat of being attacked and/or sued by companies whose products were found to have problems.

No question the heartbleed thing is a huge and embarassing problem. But you know? It's actually kind of hard to count the number of high-profile vulnerabilities in F/OSS software as not a whole lot come to mind. On the other hand, the list is enormous for closed source from large companies... also hard to count but for another reason.

It does highlight one important thing about F/OSS, though. Just because a project has enjoyed a long, stable and wide deployment, code auditing and other security practices are pretty important and just because it's a very mature project doesn't mean something hasn't been there a long time and had simply gone unnoticed for a long, long time. People need wakeup calls from time to time and F/OSS developers can be among the worst when it comes to their attitudes about their territories and kingdoms. (I can't ever pass up the opportunity to complain about GIMP and GNOME... jackasses, the lot of them.)

Comment: Re:Obama Care Gotta Problem ! (Score 1) 629

by erroneus (#46754713) Attached to: IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

Ever notice it's always anonymous coward who respond to people who oppose obamacare? It has already been widely established there is an army of people hired by government and political agencies to troll the internet forums. Here on slashdot, we are seeing them here and now.

The slashdot demographic is not generally of the opinion expressed by these leftists. It's very out of control.

Math

Mathematicians Use Mossberg 500 Pump-Action Shotgun To Calculate Pi 307

Posted by samzenpus
from the less-common-core-math dept.
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Imagine the following scenario. The end of civilization has occurred, zombies have taken over the Earth and all access to modern technology has ended. The few survivors suddenly need to know the value of pi and, being a mathematician, they turn to you. What do you do? According to a couple of Canadian mathematicians, the answer is to repeatedly fire a Mossberg 500 pump action shotgun at a square aluminum target about 20 meters away. Then imagine that the square is inscribed with an arc drawn between opposite corners that maps out a quarter circle. If the sides of the square are equal to 1, then the area of the quarter circle is pi/4. Next, count the number of pellet holes that fall inside the area of the quarter circle as well as the total number of holes. The ratio between these is an estimate of the ratio between the area of the quarter circle and the area of a square, or in other words pi/4. So multiplying this number by 4 will give you an estimate of pi. That's a process known as a Monte Carlo approximation and it is complicated by factors such as the distribution of the pellets not being random. But the mathematicians show how to handle these too. The result? According to this method, pi is 3.13, which is just 0.33 per cent off the true value. Handy if you find yourself in a post-apocalyptic world."
Twitter

44% of Twitter Users Have Never Tweeted 120

Posted by samzenpus
from the 140-characters-to-go dept.
First time accepted submitter RileyWalz (3614865) writes "Twopcharts (a third party website that records and monitors activity on Twitter) is reporting that about 44 percent of all 947 million accounts on Twitter have never posted a single tweet. Of the 550 million users who have tweeted before, 43 percent posted their last tweet over a year ago. And only about 13.3 percent have tweeted in the last 30 days. This could be a sign of many users just signing up and forgetting about their account, or they just prefer reading other's posts. Twitter is not commenting on this data, saying that they do not talk about third-party information related to its service."

Comment: Re:Like "Anansi boys" better than "American Gods" (Score 1) 34

by TheRaven64 (#46744917) Attached to: Neil Gaiman Confirms Movie Talks For Sandman, American Gods
I enjoyed both, but I cringe at the thought of a movie version of either. If you have a description-heavy novel that's about 100 pages long, you can just about cram it into a movie. Anything longer, and you have to be quite aggressive about the cutting. Both Anansi Boys and American Gods have splits that would let them work quite well as a miniseries, but I can't imagine them as films without so much abridgement that they may as well be different stories. I've also not read Sandman, so I can't comment on that.
Transportation

First Glow-In-the-Dark Road Debuts In Netherlands 182

Posted by samzenpus
from the shine-on dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A 500 meter (0.3 mile) stretch of road in the Netherlands has opened without the standard crop of streetlights lining its perimeter. The streetlights are believed to be unnecessary since the road markings were painted on with a mix of photo-luminescent powder, which absorbs sunlight during the day and radiates a portion of that energy back at night. Whether the modified road paint can withstand harsh weather or even provide sufficient lighting given insufficient exposure to sunlight during the day remains to be seen. The project was orchestrated by Studio Roosegaarde, which in the future plans to implement weather-sensitive road markings that would inform drivers when outside temperatures drop or rise above certain levels."

Comment: GPL vs LGPL (Score 1) 686

by shutdown -p now (#46743233) Attached to: The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

Not quite. Gtk and Gnome appeared because Qt was originally proprietary. The reason why Gnome became "the default", though, was because enterprise distros like RedHat pushed for it - and that was because Gtk and Gnome were both LGPL, so closed-source software could link against them. This was not the case with Qt, which was open sourced for a long time, but was GPL rather than LGPL.

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