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Comment: Conflict... or just good business? (Score 3, Informative) 158

by zarmanto (#46833831) Attached to: DC Revolving Door: Ex-FCC Commissioner Is Now Head CTIA Lobbyist

The conflict of interest is pretty unmistakable, here... but we have to keep in mind that even absent that conflict, this would still be the most obvious choice for both the former FCC commissioners and for the lobbying groups. The commissioners obviously have an interest in the field, and the lobbying groups would want to hire someone who knows more then a little bit about the inner workings of their "arch nemesis."

I mean... sure, moves like this will always have that sort'a greasy slimy feel to them, no matter how you cut it. But where else are they going to go?

(Plus, there's some pretty darned good scratch in going all turncoat!)

Comment: anonymous reader? (Score 1) 150

by zarmanto (#46788175) Attached to: Investors Value Yahoo's Core Business At Less Than $0

I find it amusing that a post suggesting that Yahoo should basically just "close up shop and go home" was posted anonymously. It makes me wonder if perhaps the hands behind this particular post belong to someone at Google... who doesn't want Yahoo to succeed at it's various rumored "come back" plans, such as trying to swipe the default iOS search engine crown, and trying to build a YouTube competitor.

Comment: Windows XP Embedded - 2016 (Score 1) 367

by zarmanto (#46543949) Attached to: Linux May Succeed Windows XP As OS of Choice For ATMs
Windows based ATM machines are almost certainly running on XP Embedded, rather than the retail version of XP... support for Embedded doesn't end until January 2016. Thus, if the financial industry is moving away from XP to Linux, it isn't necessarily related to Microsoft's XP support schedules.

Comment: It can be done -- I did it. (Score 1) 451

by zarmanto (#46421671) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Change Tech Careers At 30?

I switched technology careers at 30 myself; I went from help desk technician and system administration to web development, and I'm quite satisfied with the results. Of course, it probably helps that I'd already been trying to get into web development for the better part of the preceding decade... but that's not the point. The point is that it can indeed be done, if you have the skills and the drive to get where you want to be. Most jobs outside of the education field and higher sciences aren't nearly as difficult to break into, as people usually think.

My advice to you would be, very simply, just apply for the job you want, and see what happens. It'll most likely take more than a few interviews before you find someone willing to take a chance on you, and of course, you'll probably have to start out at an entry level position... but if you're coming from the educational field, then you probably won't take too much of a hit to your paycheck.

Frankly, Nike's advice actually works, here: if you want to get a different/better job... just do it.

Comment: Forget video games... what about Legos?? (Score 2) 285

by zarmanto (#45800087) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Will You Start Your Kids On Classic Games Or Newer Games?

I have five kids, (ranging from three to eleven years old) and while they do sometimes play video games, (the four year old is almost better at MarioKart Wii than me, and he's only been playing it for less than a year!) my focus for them this year has been primarily Legos. We made a point of scavenging all of my old Legos from my parents house just a couple of months ago, and we purchased hundreds of dollars worth of new Legos for Christmas. And you know what? While only a couple of them have had any kind of a lasting interest in video games, every single one of them is perfectly happy to sit down with a pile of bricks in front of them, for hours on end.

I think there is just something intrinsically satisfying about building something with your own hands. Legos capture that in a simplified "child friendly" form like nothing else I've experienced in my own lifetime. So no: I won't focus specifically on those "vintage" video games... but I will be searching the web for PDFs of my old Lego kit instruction manuals. (So far, I've only found one... the official Lego site doesn't go far enough back in their archive. Yet.)

Comment: Re:Problem not unique to Apple... (Score 1) 326

by zarmanto (#45272645) Attached to: Apple Blocks Lawrence Lessig's Comment On iOS 7 Wi-Fi Glitch

What does Scrum have to to with allocation of development resources ...

Scrum in-and-of-itself isn't really critical to the issue I was attempting to address; I was only using it to help illustrate that development teams do not have unlimited resources. Scrum is simply one of the tools that my particular team uses to organize and prioritize our workload, so that we can appropriately allocate what limited resources we do have. I hypothesized (within the context of the original thread) that Valve likely uses some similar management methodology to organize their own workload.

Also, not every dev shop has a dedicated "maintenance team"... I work in a small dev shop where all of us cross-task to both development and maintenance. So in my case, it's absolutely a given that higher priority tasks (such as new development of a highly anticipated game, for example) would take resources away from lower priority tasks (such as maintenance of a game that's over a decade old, and not bringing in any cash at all for the company).

Comment: Problem not unique to Apple... (Score 1) 326

by zarmanto (#45270279) Attached to: Apple Blocks Lawrence Lessig's Comment On iOS 7 Wi-Fi Glitch

Disclosure: I am an Apple fan -- but I absolutely will not defend the practice of purging negative comments from community forums. I think censorship is probably the single most frustrating experience anyone can have in a forum, warranted or not. I speak from experience: I've been censored recently as well -- in an entirely different forum, and for reasons which seemed entirely unreasonable to me. Ironically, I had made the egregious error of trying to help.

In responding to a thread about a bug, I described one software development methodology (scrum, if that matters) to a crowd of discontent gamers in the Steam forum. I then painstakingly crafted a reasoned explanation for why that process necessitates that this particular bug in an older game (Half-Life: Opposing Force, which had been recently ported to both Linux and Mac) simply won't be fixed anytime soon, because the Steam developers are almost certainly entirely wrapped up in the development of Half Life 3. I then went on to speculate (and I suspect this is where I went wrong) that as soon as we see a fix to that bug, we should all be on the lookout for the impending release of HL3. A short time later, that entire thread had suddenly vanished from the Steam forum, with no explanation.

And the problem crops up elsewhere as well; forum admins are frequently overzealous, especially when they see something that they view as a potential slight to their corporate overlords. It's a very unfortunate trend, and as I see it, the only way to avoid being unreasonably censored is to post your comments elsewhere, where -- hopefully -- unbiased management will leave your commentary on controversial matters intact. (Slashdot might qualify as such a haven... I know I haven't been censored here. Yet.)

Comment: Qualifiers abound... (Score 1) 410

by zarmanto (#44874545) Attached to: The last time I used a dial-up modem was...

I can see by some of the other comments that I'm not the only one who has a qualifier, here. I actually switched over from dial-up to DSL back in 2000 -- but the last time I actually used a modem in any capacity was probably 2006 as a vote auto-dialer, before my wife finally lost interest in American Idol altogether. (Thanks for that goes to Taylor Hicks, for sucking so spectacularly and yet winning anyway. In retrospect, I have to confess that I have somewhat mixed feelings on his winning... at least I don't have to watch the show anymore.)

+ - Break Microsoft Up

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Tom Worstall writes in Forbes that the that the only way to get around the entrenched culture that has made Microsoft a graveyard for the kind of big ideas that have inspired companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon is to split the company up so as to remove conflicts between new and old products and with Ballmer's departure instead of finding someone new to run the company, bring in experts to handle the legal side and find suitable CEOs for the new companies. "The underlying problem for Microsoft is that the computing market has rapidly left behind the company's basic strategy of controlling the machines that people use with operating-system software," says Erik Sherman. "The combination of mobile devices that broke Microsoft's grip on the client end, and cloud computing that didn't necessarily need the company in data centers, shattered this form of control." Anyone can see how easily you could split off the gaming folks, business division, retail stores, and hardware division says John Dvorak. Each entity would have agreements in place for long-term supply of software and services. "This sort of shake up would ferret out all the empire builders and allow for new and more creative structures to emerge. And since everyone will have to be in a semi-startup mode, the dead wood will be eliminated by actual hard work.""

+ - Top 10 Internet Cities Worldwide->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A new report today has ranked the Top 10 "Internet Cities" around the globe, based on a set of five criteria: connection speed, availability of citywide WiFi, openness to innovation, support of public data, and security/data privacy. One might expect high-tech cities like San Francisco and Tel Aviv to appear on a list of "Internet Cities," but they don't. Indeed, no Middle Eastern cities appear here at all, and — due, largely, to the United States' poor Internet speeds — the only US city to make this ranking is Seattle."
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"The medium is the message." -- Marshall McLuhan