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Comment Perhaps you overestimate... (Score 2, Insightful) 320

I think the vast majority of people would have actually no problem understanding news that is expressed not in Libraries of Congress, but in proper SI units.

I'm blowing an earlier moderation to a post so I can comment on this. I think that perhaps you overestimate your fellow members of society. The tolerance of most people for anything even remotely resembling detail is pretty low. You can test this by trying to have a discussion with family/friends/people on the bus about why firewalls are important or why running everything as root/admin may not make for the most secure model. Eyes will glaze over. Quickly.

They could be using, omg, hyperlinks to connect the topic to the relevant terms and field of science.

Here's the thing: There is no they. "They" is really us. "We" could be doing any of this. But the fact is, our mainstream culture ISN'T that way because for the most part, WE aren't that way. In the meantime, there is a wealth of information out there for us outliers to FIND that information. Forums like slashdot where you CAN find the relevant terms, links to the paper, etc.

There is sensationalism because sensationalism sells. Sensationalism sells because that is what people WANT. They vote what they want with their wallets and their eyeballs. The "vast majority of people" want exactly what they are getting and the market delivers it to them.

Comment Re:Why do we sleep? (Score 1) 164

It could just be that, evolutionary speaking, there wasn't much to do at night and thus we rest half the day to save energy.

Circular reasoning. Doesn't fit. If we didn't have sleep in the first place, there would be plenty to do at night... (and plenty of mammals/birds/fish have adaptations to demonstrate that it is perfectly reasonable to function during the night.)

Think of it differently: if the evolutionary driver for sleep was simply that there "wasn't much to do at night" -- well, that doesn't make sense since animals that didn't sleep would have things to do. There needs to be some selection pressure in a population to drive an adaptation to such nearly universal adoption -- and unless it provided a significant advantage, mutations that would eventually arise would find wide niches to exploit.

Comment Re:Sounds like the leeches are out again (Score 1) 414

>> I would have to say that explosives are the most abused technology in all of history.

> I'd go with blunt instruments, myself.

Well -- here we get into the question of scale vs. scope...

If you look at the SCOPE of history, you are undoubtedly correct.

In terms of the scale of abuse ... I may disagree.

*grins* Mmmmm, Slashdot, my secret outlet for being pedantic for an audience who cares...

Comment Re:Sounds like the leeches are out again (Score 4, Insightful) 414

I know you're exaggerating, but writing, recording and mixing a full length album for $100 is only possible if your time is free. And your software as well (Ableton, Native Instruments). And your hardware (computers, midi controllers, instruments, microphones). And you pay no electricity bills.

Forgive me if I'm missing something here -- it's the middle of the night and I'm honestly just *asking* the question: Is a musician a special class requiring this distinct consideration? How does this differ from a photographer ... or a painter ... or a writer...? (...or a programmer?)

Take writing for example. Sure, your time isn't free, but unless you are Stephen King or Malcolm Gladwell (or someone who has been fortunate enough to be "signed" to a publishing label), you can't really expect to count your time as a COST. The countless writes and re-writes, drafts you show to people (maybe having to hire an editor out of your own pocket). It's just something you do in between making ends meet, whatever that might mean for you.

As for equipment ... again, ask any photographer or studio artist about the costs of materials / equipment.

Again, I'm not trying to pick a fight here. (I respect artists of all kinds. I've often wondered what will happen when the next generation or two who have grown up with a different philosophy about information being free become the voting majority and start re-writing the laws.) I just wonder where you were going with this idea of yours...

Comment Re:That is your job. (Score 5, Insightful) 474

IT is a support function, deal with it or find a different career field.

10. This
20. Goto 10

Seriously, having spent 15+ years in IT in one role or another (helpdesk, helpdesk manager, helpdesk product manager, presales support, operations manager, consultant) I've seen my fair share of things. I've been on top of the world and on top of my game. I've been burnt out and taken a year off to work in a coffee shop (best thing I ever did, by the way.) I've hired hundreds of support techs. And as I am sitting in a hotel room 1000 miles from home, have a raging case of insomnia and am feeling a little philosophical tonight, I have a word or wisdom or two that I want to share.

First of all: Why do you "want to remain in IT"? Is it because you enjoy technology? If that's the case, perhaps you should consider a different field? There's no law that says you have to make your hobby your job. In fact, you run the risk of spoiling the joy that drew you to it in the first place. If you are in technology because you love playing with what's new, keep reading Slashdot and buy the toys that interest you. Then go discover what you want to do with your life and do that.

Secondly: What do you want to do with your life? Does it involve serving other people? If it does: congratulations! IT is all about service. Seriously. Whether you are designing an application or supporting 200 lawyers/support staff, you are there to serve. You could get all gross and use old-fashioned phrases such as "cost center" or you could get all fancy and start to see the service you do as part of a larger path. This book changed some of my thinking on that.. Either way, you can't escape the fact: IT is about service. Secret hint: Once you get this, you start to love your job.

Thirdly: Have you ever really thought about what you want to do with your life? I mean really thought about it? If not, perhaps you should take a year off and do something completely random. You talked about "moving back home" as an option which means you probably don't have a spouse/kids which means that you have the freedom to do something bold. Try something completely different. Work with your hands. I took a year off and worked in a coffee shop. It did wonders for my work ethic and sense of what service really is. (It also reminded me of what it is like to really make next to nothing.) Working with your hands is satisfying. You might just enjoy it more than you thought. This article in last month's New York Times makes the case for working with your hands. You should read it. Really.

Fourthly: Is it about the money? Be honest with yourself. Are you in IT because of the money? OK. In this field, we make more than people with equivalent amounts of education might make. At least a little more. For now. That probably won't last forever. But are you wanting to move into "databases" or "web development" because you think there will be more money there? Maybe if this was 1996 that would be true. Yes, there is still money to be made there. If you are talented and willing to work hard and be passionate about what you do. But that's sort of true of anything. A little luck and a lot of passion go a long way. (Or is it a lot of luck and a little passion?)

Finally: Relax. Unless you are extremely fortunate, you have no idea what you are going to do with the rest of your life. Few of us do. You'll bounce around and external situations and circumstances will dictate most of it. New inventions. Sick parents. A spouse or child who changes your perspective. Wars. Epidemics. The unknown. Who knows what will happen next? Stop thinking so much. Enjoy the ride. If you feel stuck, listen to yourself. Learn to listen to yourself. Ask yourself what you really want to do and do it. You get about fifty more years in this life and the world's a pretty big place. You aren't really stuck.

Apologies to everyone else who read through this rambling post. Something about the open-ended "help!" from the poster struck me. I meant no disrespect by any of this. I simply thought that there were probably a lot of issues being wrestled with having nothing to do with "the next job in IT"... Good luck!

Comment Well meaning FUD... (Score 1) 166

Having owned both Palm OS (Treo + Palm III/V/Clie/TX) and an iPhone, I can say that while the parent post is well-meaning, it was filled with FUD from someone who clearly has never used an iPhone for any length of time.

you could pick up the phone and call someone in less than the 5 minutes it takes to get iPhone to do ANYTHING.

* Just picked up my iPhone -- from "locked" to "phone ringing at other end" it took 4 presses (one press to turn on screen, one slide to unlock, one press to launch phone, one press to dial contact) -- I timed it multiple times -- it took approximately 4-5 seconds from picking up to ringing.

  It took less than a second to start an app

It depends upon the app -- most built-in apps (SMS, YouTube, Mail) take less than one second to launch. Some of the larger App Store add-ons (Orb, Shoutcast, Stanza) can take upwards of 3-4 seconds to launch. Of course, the program sizes for the iPhone are MBs and not KBs...Some of the larger ones (10MB+) such as HoldEm do take nearly 9 seconds to load...that's nine seconds of my life I'm never getting back. Of course I'm usually sitting at an airport killing time so that's a few hours of my life I'm never getting back, but let's get back to the GP post...

  when you switched to another app and came back, it was JUST where you left it - what a concept

Let's see -- halfway through typing SMS, leave application, do something else, come back, SMS is still there half typed.

In the middle of playing Bejeweled, if I leave the application (say, the phone rings) -- the iPhone gracefully hands off the focus to the phone, it rings, I finish my conversation, end call and -- right back to Bejeweled.

If I am browsing the web and an SMS comes it, it pops up on the screen, I can reply right then (going into the SMS program) and return to my web page or simply cancel the notification...

Side note: Safari is quite stable. You obviously don't remember the joy of spending hours trying to get Blazer to display pages/not crash...

I was looking forward to Android, but don't want to switch to T-Mobile. Here's to hoping Pre is as good functionally as Treos were and Verizon would for once start carrying a phone designed in this century. (As much as I miss my Treo, I miss having coverage more, AT&T coverage SUCKS)

OK, so you don't want to switch to T-Mobile -- but you say that AT&T coverage sucks and Verizon doesn't carry the phones that you like...?
I'm not really sure what your point was -- other than that you are unhappy -- but suffice to say that the hoards of iPhone fanatics out there didn't just sign an agreement saying that they will take every opportunity to convert the world and force family and friends to drink the Kool-Aid. We really do love our phones *because they work*...

Comment Bad math (Score 1) 412

Try a 66% margin. For example, charging the customer 45/hr and paying the contractor 30/hr for normal, straight time.

Your math is bad. Charging $45/hour and paying a contractor $30/hour means that the firm keeps $15/hour. (A 33% margin.) (Contractor keeps 2/3 of the bill rate.) That is *less* than the 35% the grandparent post said Volt kept...

Comment Re:No Flash (Score 1) 75

If Apple sees any threat from Flash, it's in providing a distribution system for multimedia that is out of Apple's control.

Hrm... While that might be true, I have downloaded/purchased official App Store apps such as:

* Pandora Radio

* Orb (allows streaming media from my own PC)

(And those are just the official App Store apps... there's also a number of Cydia applications that can do this too.)

I think that the iPhone is a fantastic platform. Having used Palms / PDAs of various flavors over the years, I can say that the iPhone is already the best handheld I've had for accessing my own multimedia. That genie is already out of the bottle, folks.

Comment Re:This may sway me to an iPhone (Score 3, Informative) 172

The program is called WinAdmin -- it is $11.99 -- and I bought it on my second day of owning an iPhone. Works great.

There is a lot of FUD out there about how the BlackBerry and WM phones are "business" phones ... but having owned 10+ models of PDAs/Smartphones over the last 10 years, I can honestly say that the iPhone is the best business phone I've ever owned. You just need to know what apps to download...

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