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Comment Re:No surprise here (Score 1) 392

Wish I had mod points to give you. The ONLY reason cable is alive today is live sports. Period. The cable cos know this, and this is why they pay billions to lock up exclusivity rights to the major sports. The sports leagues are more than happy to take this handout rather than dealing with broadcasting their product themselves. The problem is, enough people are starting to cancel cable and people will eventually loose interest in sports that they cannot watch.

Right now it is prohibitively difficult to watch live sports online, especially local teams. I feel are in the "Napster" age of watching sports online. It takes a semi-techie to pull it off and it is of questionable legality and quality. The league or network produced online services like NBA or MLB Pass are poorly executed. They black out in-market local games (this is pretty easy to bypass with DNS or VPN). Playoffs and national games aren't included. They don't even bother to draw advertising revenue, as you often see one commercial over and over or a blank screen during breaks.

Sooner or later Content providers (like sports leagues) will just sell their broadcasting direct to consumer, a la carte. I think they have to do this or they will lose their audience. But for now, they will take the Cable Co's Titanic full of money.

Comment Re:There have been worse outages (Score 1) 133

I've been in a similar role. Not only do you have the stress from trying to fix the problem, you have idiotic middle management demanding constant status updates as they sit on top of you, watching your every keystroke because they literally have nothing constructive to do in situations that matter.

I once lost it and snapped at a manager during an outage, in front of many suits in the "war room" and on the conference call. It went something like "I am actually trying TO FIX THE PROBLEM so BACK OFF!" He was irate, but was soon fired for his newly-exposed uselessness....Disclaimer: I don't necessarily recommend this tact :-)

Comment Re:Hire More Devs (Score 1) 209

Agree. I think you are describing Service-oriented architecture (SOA) and it's the way to go here. My company is currently going through an ERP replacement. In my case, the tools that were originally implemented using a SOA approach have been easier to adapt to the new ERP. Why? The interfaces between the tools and ERP are preserved. An interface could be any API. The ERP team is required to re-implement the interfaces as they go through the upgrades. The partner applications are largely unaware of this and do not need to change.

Comment Exclusive Content... (Score 1) 340 the only reason to have cable today, and the cable companies know it. This is why they are focused on content lock-in on live sports. This is why some major networks to only allow online streaming to verified cable TV subscribers. This is why my $125 MLB TV subscription will not allow me to watch local games online.

The only hope is that enough people cut the cord so that cable companies cannot afford to buy up all the content any more. Then the content creators realize they don't need cable and can offer content online without moronic rules like blackout locations and required cable subscriptions. Then devices can be created to neatly aggregate your online content (the stuff you want and nothing else), and cable TV can RIP next to land line phones.

And yes, I recently cut the cable in case you were wondering.

PS sorry for the double post, was not logged in the first time :-(

Comment Re:this shit is infuriating (Score 1) 139

Don't hate the players, hate the game, my friend. The LAWS are the reason HP gets a slap on the wrist and you received an (alleged) unjust penalty.

People don't like flopping in sports. Sure guys that flop look like douchebags, but they are just taking advantage of the rule. So change the rules!

The corporate douchebags work VERY hard to influence lawmakers to pass laws that go easy on them....We unwashed masses do not do our due vote these crooked lawmakers out and elect officials who will overhaul of the political lobby system. Because, you know, that would require effort on our part.

Just Sayin.

Comment 8 year open office veteran here... (Score 1) 314

I've worked in an open office environment with about 250ish people for 8 years. I am a software developer / architect for our business systems. The office is shared with all departments from finance to IT to HR to Sales.... Here are my thoughts:
  • I generally am okay with the environment. I do feel it fosters better communication. I know everyone in the office, mostly by passers by stopping and saying hi. I do like this aspect if I'm not in the middle of something. I can see how this would slowly kill very introverted people.
  • When I really need to focus on a difficult problem and come up with a creative solution, I dislike this environment due to the distractions. I usually work from home when I need to do these tasks.
  • I work in the US. My company is HQ'd in Denmark, presumably where this idea came from as the HQ office is also open. After working in both places one thing is clear: We Americans are f*cking loud. Loud on the phone. Loud when conversing with people 50 feet away. Loud. The open environment may not be for us.
  • Execs still get offices with glass walls and doors. Conference rooms and even phone booths are very scarce. I often have to take private calls in my car, which is pretty ridiculous.
  • The HQ office does have more common areas for collaboration and private rooms for isolation. I think this setup is ideal. You cant simply be 100% open due to the need for both individual focused productivity as well as collaboration.
  • My desk has foot traffic around it on all sides. I have a standing desk. Needless to say I use a privacy guard on my monitors. Not surprisingly everyone wants the desks where your back is against a wall.
  • I use headphones when necessary. My coworker coined this "going under the knife", as people seem less inclined to interrupt. I often fake being on a phone call (with a headset) for the same effect. Hey it works.

Comment Re:Highway Robbery (Score 5, Insightful) 453

(The answer, of course, is that the Republicans (and Democrats) are perfectly okay with totalitarianism.)

Actually this is the "this".

The Snowden saga and politicians' and media response to it prove that there aren't 2 teams in politics. Dems and Republicans are part of the same corporation that pays them handsomely with the public's money.

It's like any professional sport organization (NFL, etc). Sure the teams are competitive to a point, but at the end of they game most of them don't give a rip and are chuckling and hugging each other, meeting for drinks and dinner afterwards.... Because they all get paid millions of the public's money, regardless who "wins" a single game. Only the public cares about that single game.

Same with American politics...The debates about healthcare, abortion. The elections. The political news shows. It is all just to see which team is best funded by the special interests. The special interests have big plans for the public's money and/or social behavior. In this system the politicians are always paid, at the public's expense.

It is no wonder why no politician or politically bent media organization will tip this system. It is their cash cow. We Americans need to wake up.

Comment Re:Fitting rooms (Score 1) 385

I think the big shopping mall anchor stores (Macy's, JC Penney, etc) are all likely to fail in the next 20 years.

Department stores have one big advantage over online stores: fitting rooms.

Your home can be a fittting room... (owned by Amazon) has free 2 day shipping and free returns both ways. I often order the same clothes in a few sizes from there, keep the one that fits and return the rest. They have videos of the clothes on people to help you decide, but failing that the return process is flawless. I am a tall size (6'4" / 1.9m) and shopping malls often don't carry odd sizes. Online usually does. Some prefer to touch before buying so I respect that.... I just hate malls.

Offtopic Big/Tall Protip: offers tall sizes for cheap because they typically are the last to sell. They however do not have Zappos excellent customer service and return policy (Even though they are owned by Zappos / Amazon)...they are the online no-return clearance rack.

Comment Re:Lowest bidder wins... (Score 1) 346

Lowest bidder, or only bidder?

This is an honest question...If you Google "who bid on" several seemingly right-leaning sites say there was only one bid and it was won by Ms Obama's crony CGI.

Reuters and others say there were 4 total bids, although I cannot find who those other 3 bidders are or what their bids were. And the end of that article states "No other IT contractors have come forward to say they, too, bid on the contract to build"

So honest question: which is it? As the project sponsor (taxpayer) I'd like to know. As an IT Professional that runs web projects (in the private sector) I would get fired for not getting competing bids on a project with budgets order of magnitude less than this.

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