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Comment Re:One of these words does not belong (Score 1) 61

The sad fact is Yankees win world series and Billy Beane's A's never do. Microsoft _is_ the Yankees (or modern-day Chelsea for our UK brethren) of technology. Lotta money and they keep winning, even if people don't like it.

Yes there have been teams on the cheap that pop up and win every so often. But when it's an open-market free-for-all (no salary caps or revenue sharing) like MLB or the English Premier League, the teams with the money win the leagues.

So Microsoft, Cisco, IBM and HP (and now Google?) will keep winning - that's what money does for you. Not romantic, kinda sucks, and makes us all a little happy when one of the big boys fail and the upstart gets a moment in the sun.

But that doesn't mean you can't be a twins fan / scunthorpe united supporter / linux nerd. Just recognize that you're in the minority and so what? Who gives a rip? Be happy.


A Hyper-Velocity Impact In the Asteroid Belt? 114

astroengine writes "Astronomers have spotted something rather odd in the asteroid belt. It looks like a comet, but it's got a circular orbit, similar to an asteroid. Whether it's an asteroid or a comet, it has a long, comet-like tail, suggesting something is being vented into space. Some experts think it could be a very rare comet/asteroid hybrid being heated by the sun, but there's an even more exciting possibility: It could be the first ever observation of two asteroids colliding in the asteroid belt."

FBI Violated Electronic Communications Privacy Act 285

An anonymous reader writes to tell us of a report from the Washington Post which alleges that the FBI "illegally collected more than 2,000 US telephone call records between 2002 and 2006 by invoking terrorism emergencies that did not exist or simply persuading phone companies to provide records." The report continues, "E-mails obtained by The Washington Post detail how counterterrorism officials inside FBI headquarters did not follow their own procedures that were put in place to protect civil liberties. The stream of urgent requests for phone records also overwhelmed the FBI communications analysis unit with work that ultimately was not connected to imminent threats. ... FBI officials told The Post that their own review has found that about half of the 4,400 toll records collected in emergency situations or with after-the-fact approvals were done in technical violation of the law. The searches involved only records of calls and not the content of the calls. In some cases, agents broadened their searches to gather numbers two and three degrees of separation from the original request, documents show."

Comment Re:Little Brother for everyone! (Score 1) 119

It's funny you mention Little Brother. Gordon Bell, who is cited in TFA, has a new book out called "Total Recall" in which he talks about the future state of having us all recording / logging everything we do. He says it's not big brother you need to look out for, it really is Little Brother. We will all be each other's own paparazzi, in essence.

It is a pretty good read in general - and TFA is just one of the ways that his predictions are coming true.

Comment Re:What IS cloud computing? (Score 1) 246

I think more people should be asking your question: "what is cloud computing?". Because, in my opinion, it's easy to hide behind the name "cloud" - hell the name itself implies obfuscation and mystery.

But the real answer is that the "cloud" just is an internet-facing datacenter housing services or data. The trustworthyness (is that a word?) of the cloud is really dependent on the provider of the cloud. Some clouds are more redundant, resilient, and secure than others. That's important to consider when you're evaluating a move to the cloud. You _need_ to know where the data lives & how it's being backed up / secured. The term "cloud" implies it, but doesn't ensure it.

The cloud is like the internet - you could think of it as one giant nebulous entity, but in reality it's a bunch of independently owned & run services. just like AOL != the internet, geocities != the cloud. But there is a relationship there.

To me, this story about the "cloud failure" is like having someone's local ISP have an outage, then cry about how the Internet isn't reliable.

Comment Re:Facebook/Myspace != cloud computing (Score 1) 250

Even though your MS comment was humorous, the reality is that MS actually is in the cloud computing business:

It's becoming a huge part of MS's strategy. And as someone who works with customers to move to cloud services, I can also confirm that it is much easier to move your data to the cloud (both to MS and Google's clouds) than it is to move the data back. There are ways to move data back out, but most of what I've seen / used have been manual. For example - you can always export your Outlook data to a PST and re-import it to an Exchange mailbox. So it's possible, but not pretty.

Comment Re:Rant (Score 1) 461

You should check out Jim Collins' book "Good to Great". It's basic point is that the most successful, well-run companies are seldom led by the kind of CEO you describe & he's comes with a lot of data to back it up. Jackasses like that typically can't hold a large organization together because no one likes working for a jackass.

There _are_ plenty of a-hole leaders/CEOs like you describe - I'm sure. But the stereotype doesn't hold for most of successful ones out there.

Comment Re:Had a chuckle at this. (Score 0, Troll) 461

Totally agree - a pattern of bad decisions should be enough to send anybody out looking for a new job. But I gotta say: most of the best IT people I know don't run from a job because the boss wants to change the platform / put it a new one- however crappy it may be. The best ones out there usually find a way to learn something new, work around the limitations, and maybe add another valuable skill to the resume. And then if life is still sucking, they hit the bricks.

In my own experience - it's been the crappy, do-the-minimum, the-world-is-so-stupid, IT people that throw the biggest tantrums when the boss or anyone decides to implement a solution that they didn't personally back.

The best IT people seem to be ones who got into IT because they love learning something new and are usually up for a challenge. Most of the garbage ones are just collecting a paycheck and don't like work - which is required to put in a solution you are unfamiliar with or don't like.

Comment Re:I'm not sold... (Score 1) 553

As I mentioned, the civic and prius I drive / have driven are not noiseless. The tire noise & the motor noise are plenty to alert pedestrians. Not to mention the engine noise - you really only are on electric only for very short periods, usually less than a minute & at extremely low speeds. I've had one hybrid or another for 6 years and never once - ever - have I had anyone not pick up on my presence due to low noise. I know it seems like it would happen, but I'm telling you from experience it doesn't. Until someone shows me some data, it is a completely manufactured problem.

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I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman