Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Focus on results. (Score 2) 159

by voice of unreason (#43634997) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Teach IT To Senior Management?

I'm a business guy with an IT background, so I've worn both hats here. The key difference between you and the people you're teaching is that they are almost entirely results oriented. As IT people, we like computers. We want to know everything about them. We like tech oriented solutions to a problem that are fun and cool even if they're not that practical. Execs are different. They want to know things that will make their company run better and improve the bottom line. Understand this, and plan out the course accordingly. Focus on the key stuff they need to know, and explain why it's important they know it. If you can't explain why they need to know it, they probably don't. Also understand with regards to Open Source that they aren't interested in ideology. They want to know what the advantages are for open source, and how to make it work for them. If there are drawbacks, they want to know them too and how to get around them. Also understand that they don't want to know really low level detail. They've got developers to handle that stuff. They don't need to know how to code, just like you don't need to know how to write and analyze a cash flow statement. What they want to know is the information they need to make informed decisions.

Comment: Sequestration is not your friend (Score 1) 484

by voice of unreason (#42989139) Attached to: There Is Plenty To Cut At the Pentagon

There's two separate issues here. The first is the F-35. The other is the offhand comment that sequestration isn't such a bad thing because it'll force the Pentagon to make much needed cuts. I deal with government contractors a lot at work and am a little familiar with the sequestration process, so I can tell you that unfortunately, it just doesn't work that way. With a normal defense budget cut passed by Congress it might. But if sequestration goes into effect, many of the funding cuts are across the board and automatic. The Pentagon often always get to say what is or isn't cut. This means that important stuff gets cut along with the unimportant, because sequestration isn't always based on military necessity. It also means that there will be cuts that don't even make sense. Here's an example. Say that you've got a project to build a submarine. Suddenly sequestration says that you can only do 50% of the project. How do you pull that off? It's a ship. You can't build half of a sub, unless you want to build the bottom half of the hull and row it around like a big kayak. You might try building half the sub now and putting off the rest till later. But by then your hull's gotten rusty and you have to fix it, and the workers have to be rehired, and you end up paying more than if you'd just built the whole thing in the first place. So if you want stuff like the F-35 to get canceled, the right thing to do it is to try to get it cancelled in congress. The generalized sequestration cuts won't target the waste, and will in the end actually create more expenses that we have to pay off.

Comment: Nonsense. (Score 4, Insightful) 234

by voice of unreason (#42331487) Attached to: Instagram: We Won't Sell Your Photos

The chapter is closed? Nonsense. They haven't offered to change the contract, they just claim that everyone's misinterpreted it. Which gives you no more rights than you had before. If it's in the contract, it's in the contract. Their PR statements would not affect in the slightest their legal ability to use your photos.

Comment: The real problems with Windows 8 (Score 1) 671

by voice of unreason (#40950881) Attached to: CowboyNeal Weighs In On the Windows 8 "Metro" GUI

As I see it, the real problem Microsoft has ahead of them with corporate adoption isn't dislike, but indifference. A CEO at the end of the day doesn't care whether or not employees enjoy using the computer. So even if the Metro interface is a bit annoying that isn't going to stop them from choosing Windows 8. But what will stop them is that there's no real strong selling point that makes Win 8 necessary. A corporate exec makes a decision based on what the software will do for them. And I've yet to hear anything that indicates that there's a strong enough benefit from Win8 to make the upgrade costs and time worth it. New interface? Who cares. Good for tablets? Big companies are interested in traditional PCs that people have on their desks, not tablets for watching movies. Add to that the fact that a lot of companies just finished replacing XP with Win7, and you have a recipe for low sales.

Comment: From a Business Perspective. (Score 3, Insightful) 635

I'm an MBA (hold off on the throwing of the rotten vegetables! I'm a IT person too!) So I'd like to put my 2 cents worth on the whole thing from a business perspective.

Everyone's talking about it being a chicken and egg situation where devs aren't making games for Linux because there's no market, and there's no market because there aren't any games. This isn't really the situation. The execs at big companies often deal with situations where they have to take a leap of faith. Every time there's a new console, for example, the execs at companies like EA decide whether or not to make games for it well before the console is released, so they're making games for a market with 0 users! They make the decisions based on a few key factors, including looking at the risks, the chances of success, and the possible rewards given the market. Here are just some aspects that are probably discouraging to an exec at a big gaming company:

1. History. Linux is old. Really old. And it hasn't taken off in the consumer market yet. So it's a pretty big leap for an EA exec to think it's going to get popular now. There hasn't really been any change in the market that would point to a massive upswing in Linux gaming.

2. High potential risks. Xbox isn't that big a risk to support, since it uses similar tech to Windows. Linux? It's a bit different. Sure, it uses OpenGL, like a mac, but it's a whole different platform. This wouldn't be a deal killer by itself, but it's another nail in the coffin since it increases the risks.

3. Lack of proof of a market. As people have pointed out, the Humble Bundles sold well, but they had people giving to them because a. They wanted to support small indie developers and b. they wanted to support the charities that the Humble Bundles give to. When companies look to predict what's going to happen they look for comparability, that is, they try to find similar situations where there was a success, and there is very little evidence for this. Should they take a chance anyway, and do something new? That leads us to the last and perhaps biggest point:

4. Low first mover advantage. One of the things a business looks for is first mover advantage, that is, what kind of benefits do they get by taking the risk of being the first to do something. What they're looking for is some reason to think that going first will let them get and HOLD ON TO a chunk of the market. This isn't the case with Linux. Let's say that Carmack decides to make his latest game (Quake 7, this time it's even Quakier!) in Linux. Let's be generous and say that Q7 is released, the Linux gaming market explodes, and everyone buys Q7 for Linux. Carmack took a big risk. What did he get in return? Well, he got big profits, obviously. But he didn't do as well from this deal as you'd think: Let's say that Blizzard, after seeing Q7's success, produces a first-person Linux game called Starcraft 3D: Raynor on a Plane. Assuming it's of a similar quality to Q7, their profits are about the same. Maybe even better, since the market has now grown even more. But they didn't have to take the risks that Carmack did: they lost nothing by waiting until Linux was already a success. And unlike with a console Linux doesn't have a short life cycle, so they had all the time in the world to wait. It's true that Q7 had the advantage of being the only game in town, but that advantage won't last long. Therefore, there's nothing to be gained by being the company that takes a chance on Linux. Sad but true.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that most of the discussion on Linux's chances of success revolve around its worthiness as a platform, but a good platform isn't enough. There has to be a strategy to attract gaming business, and Linux doesn't really have one that works. Steam's support is nice, but in the long run it just isn't enough given the risks that an EA or iD would have to take as things are.

United States

+ - London Demands Extradition of Russian Killer

Submitted by
reporter
reporter writes "According to a report by the BBC, London has identified Andrei Lugovoi to be the killer of Alexander Litvinenko. He is the Russian dissident (and British citizen) fatally poisoned by polonium-210. The British government will formally request that Moscow extradite Andrei Lugovoi to the United Kingdom to stand trial for capital murder. The Kremlin says, "No!""
Sony

+ - Sony blames poor PS3 sales on Internet

Submitted by i_like_spam
i_like_spam (874080) writes "During a recent interview with GamePro, Sony's PR head, Dave Karraker, responded candidly to questions about the negative consumer perceptions of the PS3. He responded, 'I think a lot of this goes back to the proliferation of the Internet, where a very vocal minority can make a lot of noise and potentially alter perceptions of the masses, whether they are accurate or not.'

He also replied: 'A lot of the perceptions are not justified and seem fueled by people who don't have all the facts or have some kind of axe to grind. It is funny how myopic people can be when a new system comes along.'

There you have it, Sony's biggest quarterly loss in four years is due to inept consumers and FUD."

A language that doesn't have everything is actually easier to program in than some that do. -- Dennis M. Ritchie

Working...