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Comment Re:Wrong People Always Get Promoted (Score 1) 378

I have just been promoted to management, after 20 years in the front line. I still haven't moved from the cube farm to my new office, and I've only had one meeting with my new reports. I was doing the same job as always up until last week. So a new manager, or old IT guy, if you will. I used to think like you, and in some ways I still do. But I can tell you first hand that management, even IT management, is not about technology, computers, or network security. Management is about people, and it only took me this long to get this promotion because this is how long it took me to learn that fact. Understand that managers are not typically worried about user interfaces, operating systems, coding, or even network security. That is *your* job. Managers are worried about people, goals, and budget. If you're lucky, in that order. Don't get me wrong, your technical expertise and opinions are important to your manager, or should be. But thinking about a way to let an employee take an extra day off to go visit his daughter he hasn't seen in two years because her ship will only be in port for two days before going back to Afghanistan, without affecting the bottom line too much, without affecting the deadline too much, and without being able to discuss this very personal issue with the guy's coworkers, sometimes take precedence. Then you are left with no explanation why Joe gets an extra day off, it's probably the slacker manager protecting his own kind of people because he's a slacker himself. Try to remember this: IT is about technology, but management is about people.

Comment Stop calling use users! (Score 3, Informative) 278

In this instance, we are not simply "users." We are owners. We have purchased devices, we have payed for them with our money, either upfront or by signing up for a multi-year contract, after which time the device belongs to the buyer. We are owners, buyers, proprietors, NOT users. We may be users from the point of view of the software licenses that usually come attached to these types of devices, but we should be able to wipe that software and install whatever we please on the OUR devices...

Comment Software, not hardware (Score 1) 522

in 1995 I switched from Windows to Linux. Some things were hard at first, because a lot of the niceties of today were nonexistent. StarOffice was written in Java and it was crap. No presentation software to speak of, etc. But understanding what my system was doing made my life a lot easier, and this is something diehard Windows users will never understand - regardless of anything else, it is impossible to know what your Windows computer is doing at any given moment. I stayed with Linux on my desktop until 2008, when I bought a Mac Pro. This is an impressive machine even 3 years later: 2 quad xeons, 20 GB RAM, recently upgraded hard drives to 4 2TB in RAID 5 with a RAID controller, 1 30" Mac Display + 2 21" Dells. This made me happy because, even if I was losing some control by going to a proprietary OS, the fact is that the Mac OS X experience is superior to both Windows and Linux with any of the available window managers. Having a GUI that actually works and a real OS underneath (meaning Unix) has allowed me to tinker when I wanted to tinker, without being forced to tinker to get work done. But them Apple started acting up. First, was the stupid App store on my desktop. Then, Lion took away more than it gave me. And it signals that Mac OS may be going in the direction of turning my desktop into a tablet, which is definitely not what I want. My computer was never a "consumer device," an online shopping machine like what Apple created with the iPad. I bought a laptop 3 months ago, MacBook Pro, just before Lion was released. But I think that this is my last Mac. I'm excited about my next machine, which will be going back to Linux. Both my desktop and laptop still have plenty of life in them, so I'm not contemplating a purchase in the next 2 to 3 years, but check back with me then, and I suspect I will say that my best upgrade ever was going back from Mac to Linux.

Comment One reason to do this (Score 1) 405

Yes, I know, it can't be made secure, etc. There are many problems. If we ever make it viable, however, this could lead to the next stage of natural development in democracy: direct voting on issues. Who needs Congress when every citizen can propose legislation and vote on the propositions of others? Of course ways would need to be developed in order to control the sheer volume, but I think something not too different from /.'s own moderation/meta-moderation could be used for that. This will require a lot more than universal access and e-voting, but it sounds like a good starting point.

Comment Facebook is too expensive (Score 1) 520

What people don't understand, including those defending their FB addiction here, and those who think they control what goes into FB, is that FB is not a free service. You pay for it with the explicit permission for them to use your data any way they see fit. What you are paying FB makes them a 50 billion dollar company. They couldn't care less about the consequences for you, when they monetize that information. They care about the bucks your information is worth to them. This is fundamentally immoral. If I decide my phone service has become too expensive, or too intrusive, or for whatever reason I want to stop rewarding them with my money, I just look for a different carrier, or I stop using a cell phone for a while. With FB, you can never take it back. What you give them, you give them forever, regardless if you use their service, or not.

Comment Your ignorance (Score 1) 728

should have no bearing on my ability to expresse myself. If you are unable to make your intentions clear within the language system that makes up most of what our species reads and writes, it's you own fault, not that of the language. Have you considered that you're just not telented?

Comment Re:Signs of progress (Score 1) 345

Not disturbed in the least. I have read the Bible many times. It is the source of much wisdom, it summarizes a lot of what came to be known as Western thinking; it also happens to be the source of a lot of hogwash. The Bible is many things. The problem is not in the Bible. The problem is with the people quoting it, and making it say whatever they want. I suspect a lot of those Texans I'm talking about have never actually read the Bible; they have recited it blindly, they have been to classes that teach them to pick and choose only the parts that interest with current church ideology - but really read it critically? I don't think so. Finally, we know for a fact that he is quoting Spock because he says so, citing Wrath of Khan right there in the legal finding, and tracing the ideas's history back a couple of generations, as you would have known if you had read the article.

Comment Re:Huh (Score 1) 750

Florida is the fourth most populous state in the US. It's also very uniquely shaped and easy to spot on the map. Not knowing where Florida is would be like an American not knowing where Italy is.

Really? São Paulo is the most populous state in Brazil. It's so uniquely shaped that its shape is used as tile pattern. Not knowing where São Paulo is is like a Brazilian not knowing where Mexico is. Can you spot São Paulo on a map of South America? Let's face it, it doesn't matter where you go, most people are just more interested in their own backyards than any place in another continent - be it Florida or Italy.

Comment Re:Students will complain (Score 2, Insightful) 419

That is exactly the point. It's the after-market they're going after. Since I decided to go back to school I have been spending about a TENTH of what my school's book store (University of Denver) would charge me for the new items. Some books I may sell, some I may want to keep for future reference, and I can choose to do that because I got them for cheap. What's more, buy turning this into a fee, they are taking away from me the freedom to pick where I want to buy my books now! What's worse than a new tax? A new tax payed to a private corporation! (which my university happens to be)

Comment Finally! (Score 1) 240

I've been saying this since the late 90s. Looks like somebody else has been paying attention. And, it's not just to re-secure advertising; it's to close the game down to the currently existing players. Murdoch and others won't make the same mistake again, of allowing the likes of Google, Facebook, and the rest to change their game and become big players in the process. It's all about right to access. They won't be happy until I can't have my web server in the basement and the ability to reach anybody with an Internet connection without going through their services.

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