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Comment Re:Of course not. (Score 1) 227

the next step is to go to the person responsible for that part of the business.

And what if the offender is the CEO? Ah, see, there's the big problem you're failing to account for. Sometimes it's the big muckety muck head-hancho who just doesn't seem to care, and you have no one to appeal to. Or even if it's not the CEO, do you really want to try going over the head of some executive to a higher-level executive?

The thing is, I think your example shows that *you* don't understand business. Lots of this stuff is about politics more than it is about technology or security. If you want to succeed (or at least avoid getting fired), you'd better learn to pick your battles.

Comment Of course not. (Score 5, Insightful) 227

As someone who has been working in IT for almost two decades, I'm not the least bit surprised. There are all kinds of things that we've given up on trying to communicate. People don't want to hear it. They don't understand what you're saying, they don't want to figure it out, and if you can get them to understand, they still don't care.

In the case of security, it falls into this classification of 'technical things nobody even wants to understand' and also into the classification of 'preventative measures that people will not recognize the importance of, until after it bites them in the ass.' You tell people that it's a bad idea to use "password" as your password, and they'll blow you off. The more you stress the point, the more annoyed the'll become-- all the way up until someone malicious gains access to their accounts. Once they've been hacked, they'll come back angry, demanding, "Why didn't anyone tell me it was a bad idea."

Until there's an actual security breach, people think you're chicken little. They'll tell you, "I've been using 'password' for my password for 10 years and I've never had a problem."

Face that kind of attitude for a several years, and you get awfully tired of warning people.

Comment Re:Version 2?? (Score 2) 294

No, no, it makes sense. If Microsoft can just get to version 4, then they'll start to have a halfway decent product. Of course, somewhere around version 6, it'll become a bloated piece of crap. Then around version 8, they'll force 'features' down your throat that you don't want.

That's how it always works.

Comment Re:Diminishing returns (Score 1) 478

It's not as simple as diminishing returns, because sometimes the elimination of risks carries with it different hidden risks. There are indications that raising kids in nearly sterile environments may actually cause health problems later in life. You might buy a gun to protect yourself from burglars, but now you've brought a dangerous weapon into your home. If we sacrifice our political power and privacy to the Federal government so that they can protect us from terrorists, we increase our risk of being oppressed by a tyrannical government.

You aren't just seeing a diminishing return. We're seeing that you're really trading one risk for another, and we should be asking whether it's a good trade.

Comment Re:Suddenly, the money is in hardware. (Score 1) 535

I think your analysis is a little misleading. It's not like they were doing great, they suddenly switched to Windows out of nowhere, and then everything fell apart. For those with short memories:

The iPhone really shook up with mobile phone market, and most phone manufacturers fought back by making Android phones. Most of the market became iPhone vs. Android, and there wasn't much room for anything else. Companies like Microsoft, Nokia, RIM took a huge hit, not so much because they did any particular thing wrong, but because they missed the starting gun, and didn't start running until Apple and Samsung had lapped them twice.

Comment Re:There's both a glut AND a shortage (Score 1) 284

I don't think that's in any way unique to IT. In all the jobs in all the industries that I've worked, I've become convinced that 80% of people are virtually incompetent. If you're actually any good at your job, you'll quickly realize that most of your peers are not. The whole thing is made even worse because managers and business owners have silly expectations these days. It's like they've all gone to the same terrible management seminar, and so they expect you to work excessive hours under hostile circumstances, and then they still get upset if you don't act like it's your dream job.

There's always going to be a shortage of above-average performers and brilliant people, because you can never have too many. And if everyone were suddenly above average, then it would just raise the bar for 'average' and we'd be back where we started: a lack of people who are above average.

Comment Re:degree != qualification (Score 4, Insightful) 284

To flip it around, I think what you're saying could be used to present an argument that it's silly to be talking about a lack of qualified STEM workers in the first place. I'd agree that STEM degrees, and therefor workers with STEM degrees, are not interchangeable, so we therefore should not be grouping them all together as 'something we need more of'.

Why are we all using this 'STEM' acronym now anyway? All of the sudden we're all using a new acronym that doesn't serve to make the discussion any more clear, which to me is a clear indication that the discussion is being manipulated by someone. So what are we really talking about here? When we're talking about the need for more 'STEM workers', we're just talking about engineers, right? Most likely software engineers, I'm guessing, since I only hear about it in reference to Facebook and Microsoft complaining that it's too hard to hire programmers.

I'll tell you, there are plenty of programmers out there. There's not a shortage. You might respond by claiming that most of those programmers aren't too brilliant, but the truth is, there's always a shortage of brilliant people in any field. So what, exactly, are we talking about here? As far as I can understand, we're talking about software developers complaining that there's a shortage of a glut of programmers that would allow them to treat programmers as minimum-wage interchangeable cogs in a machine.

So you're right, 'STEM' is too broad a term and is insufficient to describe the issues we're facing, so let's just not use that term. It's a term that was most likely invented to obscure what the discussion is actually about, so let's try to be more descriptive.

Comment Re:Go ahead (Score 2) 156

I keep trying to tell people: Companies don't just look at how much available money they have and say, "Hey, we can hire more people!" They look at the base minimum of people they need to employe before they can't provide their service (or manufacture their product), and they hire that many people. They make their profits by *not* hiring more than they need to.

And I don't point this out to defend the behavior of businesses. I point this out so that people understand the fault in the logic when they're told, "The best way to boost the economy is to give tax breaks to 'job creators'." You give more money to 'job creators' and they pocket that money. They don't suddenly hire more people because they have money.

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