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Comment IT workers need to become politically active (Score 1) 607

My experience in the tech world has been that most tech people lean libertarian....a kind of "don't bother me and I won't bother you" culture. This culture is reflected in the early days of software and networks where most code and communications protocols weren't designed with security built in.

Unfortunately, this world has ended. The world is a nasty place of people competing for resources and politics is part of that world.

The IT world needs a lobby group - maybe many groups to represent its interests in our government policies and our interactions with the world.

Rough consensus and running code are no longer enough.

Comment No federal constitutional mandate for this (Score 4, Insightful) 278

Show me where the federal government is given the authority to regulate education in our constitution.

You can't because control over education was not granted to the federal government in our constitution.

Schools are staffed, managed and financed locally. Local control over education means that you have a say in how your kids are educated. If you are unhappy with your schools, you can elect a new school board. If that fails, you can always move to another school district.

Federal control over education standards will be politicized like everything else in Washington. Do you really want the dysfunction that is Washington DC ending up in your kid's classroom?

Ron Paul is right. The federal government needs to be out of the education business entirely.

Comment MBAs + H1Bs = HP (Score 5, Interesting) 89

HP will be the poster child for what happens when MBAs and H1Bs take over a company.

Ultimately, tech companies need to be run by tech visionaries. Car companies need to be run by car guys/gals. Financial companies need to be run by sharks.

You can't simply crank out an MBA and put that person in charge of a bunch of cheap programmers and expect innovation. Creativity and passion can not be taught.

I miss the old HP, run by passionate engineers, that built the worlds best calculators, printers, and oscilloscopes.

Comment Why not trade skills as well? (Score 1) 217

The political fascination with coding is ridiculous. The last time I checked, we still need plumbers, electricians, welders, and equipment operators as well. Why not make those skills mandatory as well?

Hell, before any of that, let's step up drivers ed first. Many newly minted high-school graduates can't drive a manual transmission, or change a flat tire, or jumpstart a car.

Comment Why government needs to get out of education (Score 1, Flamebait) 956

Government run education simply doesn't need to be any good - the government has a monopoly. They take your tax dollars by force and then require you to attend school.

Sure, you can enroll in any number of private schools, but you will still pay for government run schools.

The only way out of this that ensures even poor kids get an education is charters and vouchers. No unions, no teachers riding tenure all the way to their pension days. Government (aka taxpayers) still pay for every kid to get an education - and the schools need to compete for enrollment.

Create a Government monopoly in anything and you will get a bunch of people who will do just enough work to not get fired.

Comment However, in special ed, they do keep them engaged (Score 4, Informative) 283

We've moved away from very expensive smartboards and higher-end computers in favor of cheap projectors, whiteboards, and chromebooks.

The chromebooks are strictly for web-research, writing, spreadsheets, and presentations.

The projectors help a teacher share content with a class during a lesson.

We have some iPads, but we only use them to run some special-ed specific reading apps. They do help the kids read material that would otherwise be very difficult for some.

The past few years have been filled with schools blindly deploying smartboards, iPads, and high end windows/apple laptops. Unfortunately many of these districts didn't put in enough support systems or integrate the technology into the curriculum. We are only deploying tech where we see tangible benefits to classroom activities.

Comment The very reason I switched from ATV to Fire TV (Score 1, Interesting) 89

I left the iTunes Apple TV world for a Synology box running plex and Amazon Fire TVs running the Plex client. I got tired of encoding all my media in a format that iTunes was happy with and I got really tired of having to restart iTunes.

Apple is trying to do what Roku and Amazon Fire TV have been doing for a few years now....big surprise.

Comment Proscan 7" Android tablet - $49 (Score 1) 508

If you look around you can find a Proscan Android 4.4 tablet. My local grocery store is selling them for $49.00.

It's not a full-function computer - but it's close. Add in a cheap bluetooth keyboard and you've got more computing capability than I had in college.

Your $20 target might be impossible to reach.

Comment Re:IT as a utility - we're already there. (Score 1) 233

I've worked in regulated high-security industries (finance and medical). I've seen small to midsize shops with TERRIBLE security practices that did not have the necessary security staff onsite to keep their systems secure.

These small to midsize companies would absolutely benefit from the security groups at larger outsourced firms. Frankly, after seeing the credit union/community banking IT industry from the inside - I can say for certain the big service providers are way more proactive about securing their systems.

Are all cloud providers this good? Probably not. This is simply a resource issue. Many cloud providers have dedicated security teams auditing their systems/infrastructure. Almost no small to midsize company has this ability. Using a good cloud provider will give them a piece of that security team.

Comment Funny....I worked for a bank too. (Score 1) 233

I was a network manager at a small community bank. We also had FIOS/DSL/Cable interconnecting our sites - and we had a channelized DS3 as a backup.

Granted, we had almost all of our systems in-house, but many many of our competitors were "serviced" banks in that they had very few IT system in-house. Those companies also had redundant network connectivity.

The cloud is simply a way to cost-share someone else's computer. Your network design should have reliability built in whether your IT is cloud based or in-house if your business requires high availability.

Having a crappy internet connection has nothing to do with cloud VS in-house. Especially if your enterprise spans multiple locations.

Comment Is this really a big problem anymore? (Score 1) 233

We have FIOS and Comcast cable connecting our locations. We haven't had a significant internet connectivity failure in years.

If we did have a reliability problem with our network providers, we would account for that with redundant internet connections.

This isn't the 90s anymore. Internet connectivity is pretty reliable - and many areas do have more than one choice of network provider.

Comment An Android phone that wasn't... (Score 1) 80

I bought one of these figuring that it was a cheap unlocked phone with another year of Prime built in. Amazon's biggest failure was building an Android phone without leveraging any of the strengths of Android.

That was just stupid.

If they simply built the phone around stock Android and then added in their "ecosystem" it would have been a worthwhile device.

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.