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Comment Be wary here (Score 2) 331

If you're a consultant/outside entity being asked to do this, then no worries. Just tell them like it is. You don't need any kind of technical test here: Just show them the trail of failed projects and unhappy employees/customers and how they all lead back to one source.

But if you are part of the company...or worse part of IT yourself....watch the fuck out.

Something stinks about this. Managers are usually the first target when it comes to determining blame for failed projects/bad internal PR. That's part of their job after all. The stuffed shirts know this, and if it was just about the IT Manager being terrible they'd fire him and bring in someone new. They don't need a third opinion to tell them the head of IT is incompetent. There's something else going on here, probably related to internal company politics, and you need to be sure you're not being thrown under the bus or are risking getting caught in the crossfire.

Comment Well this is going to be great (Score 5, Insightful) 630

We're going to spend the next 10 years as a nation obsessing over guns in schools. We're going to talk non-stop about arming teachers, arming janitors, putting cops with assault rifles in the halls, defining exactly what assault rifles actually are, glorifying the idea that those with guns stop crimes, making movies and TV shows about the topic, design special gun models for school protection, and perhaps even speculate that students themselves should be allowed to carry guns for their own protection.

But on the other hand, the first time any student mentions the word "gun" in class, they're pulled from class, suspended for weeks, arrested, put in psychiatric care and scarred for life. Seriously, this is like one level down from the brainwashing scene in A Clockwork Orange.

Comment No (Score 2) 337

Look, the school get Office for basically nothing thanks to their campus agreement. They can easily push it out/update it/manage it with software they already have. Why should the put Libra or whatever on there and make the grad students teaching that intro course deal with more things than they need to?

Oh and BTW, yes they need to spend most of the time teaching Office because that the skill 90% of the people in that class need. Maybe the Bohemian Design Studio in Palo Alto won't let filthy Microsoft software touch their hard drives, but most of the people in this course aren't going to have any say in what they're expected to use (nor are they going to give two shits), and it's going to be Office. That's reality.

The real question is, what the fuck are you doing in CS 101? Go talk to your instructor for God's sake and test out of that bitch already. Or at least just show up for the tests.

Comment Re:That's fine because I plan to bypass... (Score 2) 444

Yeah, let's see this for what it really is: a memo to enterprise admins saying "You don't want this, keep using 7". 90% of us already knew this, but let's face it, there are always Irish Setters in the group who go all "Oh boy, new OS, oh boy, new OS" and start pushing it out two weeks after release.

Comment Well so what? (Score 0) 204

Microsoft has made it pretty damn clear that their hopes and dreams for XBox is a media center more than just a game console. The games are still there though, and if it bothers you that much, just go to one of the dozen or so other gaming platforms available to you. Is there anything on Live these days that is really that unique of an experience?

Comment Re:A question for the group (Score 1) 406

I already know without even asking that you are in a shop that has a access app for everything and duplicated data everywhere.

It used to be way worse than it is. To her credit, she does understand why Access sucks and there has been a concerted effort to put the data on the SQL end. She's not really completely fluent in SQL as far as making queries and such but can get by, and most of the Access stuff she does is just for the front-end. But yeah, it sucks, and even if we were just rolling out incredibly hacky EXE's to desktops it would be an improvement.

Comment A question for the group (Score 1) 406

The company I work for has a well-staffed IT shop, but the one thing we are lacking is anyone with real developer experience. We have one woman there who is known as the "database developer", but all her experience comes from Access. Access front-ends to SQL databases, that sort of thing. It works for the most part, but it's frustrating from our perspective when we have to deal with all these Access databases/front ends, and we know things could be so much better.

A few times they've tried to send her to VB training of various kinds, and as the resident SQL "expert" and the one that works most closely with her, I've tried to steer her in the right direction. She's willing, but it's clear at this point she just doesn't have the skillset required to make the leap to "real" developer. This is a state job, however, so just letting someone go for such reasons is a convoluted enough process that it's probably not going to happen so long as she continues to be competent in the Access world she's created for us.

I'm damn tempted to see if I can get a copy of VB6 from MSDN or some other source and throw it in front of her, see what happens. I've got 0 VB experience myself, but from reading the descriptions it does seem like she might be able to embrace it. I've seen the behind the scenes coding/scripting she writes in these Access front-ends, and it really seems like she is doing a lot of what Visual Basic would require, but she just can't retrain her brain to deal with VB10 or whatever.

Is this a mistake? Our needs aren't anything special, just "Go get this SQL data and show it to the user, maybe let them edit it" type stuff. If I had any kind of time I know I could probably teach myself enough VB to do this, and I've been tempted a couple times just to pad the old resume, but it always gets put into the "Yeah, someday" file.

Comment Fuck you network/cable companies (Score 1) 648

Straight up the ass. Seriously, you think I should pay $100+ a month for a service that has about a 90/10 crap to quality ratio, AND THEN I should pay another $8 a month for the privilege to watch it online? Many times at a decrease in quality and convenience?

I'm sure they'll look to fuck over Netflix again somehow as well. Pull more of their shows or whatever. Go to hell, the lot of you. What a joke, "prove that I subscribe to cable". Like this is a requirement for being an American citizen or something.

Comment Re:In all seriousness (Score 1) 410

While I appreciate the desire for timely news, there are also up sides to the delay.
One big up side is that the story has somewhat settled down and there's more facts going around than speculation and knee-jerk reactions.

True, but at the the same time, doing this also removes a lot of input from people who aren't necessarily going to be interested in the topic still. Which may not be a bad thing, but at the same time it removes a lot of the momentum from the conversation, and potentially results in a lot of "dead" topics.

If you're going to try for something like this, doing it sort of like Ars tries to do with their "feature stories" seems like the way to go. Let an expert/writer try to offer their own take initially, perhaps come at it with a different angle, and then let a new conversation spring from that. Of course then the problem is that you have to have people who can generate unique content of some length, rather than just reposting articles with maybe a short blurb.

And let me be clear: I'm not suggesting that Slashdot has to "Go Giz" on us, rushing to get stories up so quickly that half the time it looks like a second grader wrote it, but I do think there's benefit in putting up submissions for most stories earlier. SlashCode is pretty good for allowing long, detailed discussions on topics, and most of us have plenty of practice doing so. The community here used to be epic, and it's still pretty good, but I'm convinced that a lot of quality commenters don't show up here any longer mostly because they've gotten used to offering their comments/opinions on other sites. When something interesting happens, you naturally want to discuss it, and it's just frustrating knowing that you might have to wait a significant amount of time for Slashdot to put up an article on it.

Comment In all seriousness (Score 5, Interesting) 410

Slashdot right now is the place to go when you want to read about 2 day old news. These days there's very little I see here that I haven't already seen on Ars, Engadget, Giz, TechDirt, BSG, etc.

I know the mission statement probably doesn't care all that much about Slashdot being a news breaker, it's always been more about the discussion, but the discussion becomes a bit stale when the story goes up 18 hours after the rest of the world posted about it. If you want the quality of commenting to rise again, make a concerted effort to get articles up in a more timely manner.

Comment As a sports fan (Score 3, Interesting) 91

Some problems I see. Disclaimer: I know there's a margin of error here as the author said, and I know my observations will be based largely on anecdotal evidence, making it inferior. But if sports were so easy to predict there would be no sports gambling.

- That's probably too far for Belmont; a #14 has only ever gotten as far as the Sweet 16, twice (Cleveland State '86, Chattanooga '97). Lowest seed to make an Elite 8 is Missouri in 2002 as a #12 . Belmont is actually going to be one of the more popular upset picks, but they would have to upset two far superior teams twice in 3 days.

- It's a bit too "chalk". #1 seeds generally survive the first two games (undefeated against #16's, 55-14 v. #8's, 59-6 v. #9's), but the #2's have it worse (only four losses v. #15's, but 58-21 v. #7's and 29-21 v. #10's). I know two #12's, a #13 and a #14 doesn't seem like "chalk" but historically it's much more likely that we'll see more #5-7 or #10-11's. To have only one #2 not make the Elite 8 and all the #1's would be almost unheard of.

- A #12 always beats a #5, but three of them doing so in one year would seem unlikely, as they're only 39-89 overall.

- Some of the other first round matchups seem a bit improbably. It has every #6 and every #7 winning, for example.

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We must believe that it is the darkest before the dawn of a beautiful new world. We will see it when we believe it. -- Saul Alinsky