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Comment: Re:One word (Score 1) 383

by wisty (#45604561) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Convince Management To Hire More IT Staff?

So really, you just want your reports to keep you entertained, by showing walking you through their working. (Or maybe "in the loop", rather than "entertained").

Unless you've got complete incompetents reporting to you, that shouldn't be necessary (except to keep you in the loop, which I do agree is important).

But when people have a *real* problem that they can't solve (i.e. someone needs to be on a performance plan; or the project is failing and needs a massive overhaul; or the budget needs to be increased) then going to a manager with a solution might not always go down so well.

I guess there is some middle ground (hiring one more staff member, slight scope changes, etc). But I don't think most people have an issue making those kind of suggestions.

"Bring a solution, not a problem" is a good maximum for normal decisions, but it's also a crutch managers use when they don't want to make a hard decisions. It's a lame way to say "Nope, I just don't want to think about that ... just deal with it".

Comment: Re:One word (Score 1) 383

by wisty (#45602619) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Convince Management To Hire More IT Staff?

Yes, and these are probably the ones management shouldn't even hear about (except in some update meeting).

You don't go to your boss saying "it would run faster if we cached X" or "Jim doesn't know how to use the API, so I'll show him how". You just do it.

The only reason someone asks their boss is if they aren't the right person to make the decision. If Jim can't use the API because he's just not competent, or there's no way a program will perform well without making major change, then that's something the boss needs to deal with.

Comment: Re:To hire specific people (Score 1) 465

by wisty (#45556537) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Are Tech Job Requirements So Specific?

To be fair, HR are often doing exactly what the PM stupidly asked them to do. The problem is, HR don't understand the domain well enough to make flexible judgements.

The conversation will go something like this:

PM: "Get someone to replace Jill".

HR: "What does Jill do?"

PM: "She maintains the backend for the web app"

HR, not entirely sure if they want to know what any of those words mean: "Could you be more specific? What skills does she need to do her job?"

PM: "I'lll get her to send you a list".

So what's the solution, assuming you still need HR in the loop?

A lot of companies now separate the skills into "essential" (if you can't make a web app in a language like Python, Ruby, Perl, don't bother), and "nice to have" (RoR experience). The phrase "ability to rapidly acquire skills in" is also good - you don't really need git experience if you've used some other version control.

Comment: Re:Multi-Modal Education (Score 1) 187

by wisty (#45536201) Attached to: Art Makes Students Smart

"Learning styles" is mostly debunked (just google "learning styles debunked").

I'd imagine it's mostly just that art is an engaging way to show students what the "big picture" is. If you could force them to learn about history from a text book, it would be equally good ... it's just that reading about history isn't so engaging.

Different "learning styles" aren't useful because they "exercise different parts of the brain". Different mediums are good because some are more engaging, or easier to understand. (And no, it's not "different students like visual things more" ... most students would rather look at a painting than transcribe a lecture on Napoleon's march to Russia - individual variations are often less important that the fact that *most* students find pictures kind of interesting).

Comment: Re:Holy Crap!!! (Score 4, Interesting) 187

by wisty (#45536179) Attached to: Art Makes Students Smart

> Several weeks after the students in the treatment group visited the museum, we administered surveys to all of the students. The surveys included multiple items that assessed knowledge about art, as well as measures of tolerance, historical empathy and sustained interest in visiting art museums and other cultural institutions. We also asked them to write an essay in response to a work of art that was unfamiliar to them.

> These essays were then coded using a critical-thinking-skills assessment program developed by researchers working with the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

Then from the actual article (well ... the abstract):

> Students who participated in the School Visit Program demonstrated significantly stronger critical thinking skills when analyzing a new painting.

So basically, visiting a museum makes students a little more interested and knowable about art. I'm not sure that actually makes them better thinkers (unless they want to be art critics).

The tolerance thing is the only really interesting thing. I guess learning about history (especially in an engaging way, even if it's a little shallow) can put things in perspective. You would equally say that watching Carl Sagan's Cosmos could help students see the big picture.

Comment: Re:Slavery hack (Score 4, Insightful) 332

by wisty (#45451729) Attached to: Time For a Warrant Canary Metatag?

My guess is, the harder it is to maintain a canary the less likely you are to get in trouble for breaching it.

If you promise to do a silly dance, and put it on Youtube every day, they may find it difficult to force you to continue. They might be able to take some action against you, but you have the paper-thin defence that you forgot to do the silly dance, or that your canary was simply not something that users really expected you to carry on with. Or you could even just make the silly dance less silly.

On the other hand, manually removing a tag from a page, or killing an automated canary is obviously a deliberate step you took to signal the search. They can definitely treat "sudo kill -9 canary", or manually editing a web page as a step you took to breach the gag order.

If you want to risk a canary, don't make it fully automated. There's no way in hell you'll get away with it.

I'm not a lawyer. I don't know if a "dead man's switch" is OK, because they they can't force you to press it. But I'm pretty confident that a fully automated canary is simply not going to work.

Comment: Re:Not a mistake (Score 1) 262

by wisty (#45282243) Attached to: Taiwan Protests Apple Maps That Show Island As Province of China

Yes, they do. It's like saying "You can put a nude scene on the disk, and lock it in countries where the censors won't approve".

No .. you can't. Because someone will find a way to bypass your safeguards, and the censors will be angry. It's not a "cultural sensitivity" thing, it's a "this product will get banned from import" kind of thing.

Comment: Re:The problem being... (Score 1) 258

by wisty (#45256831) Attached to: Why Amazon Is Profitless Only By Choice

> You are really stupid, are you? Monopolies are _always_ exceedingly bad, no exceptions. That is Economy 101, first week. Also, we are not talking about some general case, which seems to have escaped you, we are talking about Amazon.

If you are talking about a real world system, using the word "_always_", and calling someone else stupid, I hope you are being ironic.

Because there's _always_ exceptions to the rule, in real world systems.

Comment: Re:Rearrange the deck chairs. (Score 1) 307

by wisty (#45186115) Attached to: How To FIx Healthcare.gov: Go Open-Source!

Is it being developed by private contractors?

The US is required to make all their work public domain in the United States (kinda). But they can end-run it by hiring contractors, instead of employees.

It would be in the spirit of the law to require that all work by contractors is also public domain (to the extent to which it is technically feasible - I guess they can't force companies to release library code so easily), but they don't really care.

Comment: Re:I can confirm this (Score 4, Insightful) 174

by wisty (#45022825) Attached to: Former NSA Honcho Calls Corporate IT Security "Appalling"

It's not about "real security" (which is too nebulous). They do make an effort, and spend lots of money ... on a big firewall to protect the whole org.

It's about protecting specific assets. For example, you can take the whole NSA offline, which is a fantastic moat. But if one single insider can get root access to basically anything he wants, it's not protecting core assets.

Most businesses are even worse - high risk assets can be sitting on a shared drive where everyone in the company can access them.

Comment: Re:Apple makes money either way... (Score 1) 348

by wisty (#44871211) Attached to: Did Apple Make a Mistake By Releasing Two New iPhones?

The iPhone is no longer a killer phone. Androids are basically the same.

The killer feature of the iPhone is no longer its looks, or its browser. It's the apps. A low-end iPhone will make the app market larger (so Apple will get their 30% on app sales / IAP), and will keep app developers happy (and make them less likely to target Android).

Apple has already seen what happens when a cheap competitor undercuts them, and steals all the developers.

Comment: Re:Another scandal too? (Score 3, Interesting) 87

OK, go here: http://thechoice.liberal.org.au/assets/js/scripts_a525ba27d7083afd6698e2641babf7ff.min.js

Find the bit that starts: decodeURIComponent((new RegExp("[?|&]"+a+"=([^&;]+?)(&|#|;|$)").exec(location.search)||[,""])[1].replace(/\+/g,"%20"))||null}var _0x8ece=["\x68\x74\x74\x70\x3A

How exactly do you describe it?

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