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Comment Software-as-a-service is a boon to IT (Score 1) 348

All arguments about devices aside, I see software-as-a-service as good for IT. The internal IT department is not tasked with installing, licensing, upgrading servers or storage, or many of the other costly and tedious chores of traditional IT work. IT can re-orient itself to providing a secure, dependable infrastructure for the internal users. After spending 20 years working in IT dev, test, and analysis, I think both IT and their customers would be better served by this model in many cases. The scope of the modern IT organization has become so large that IT cannot respond effectively to all the challenges presented to it. SaaS offers a way to decouple at least some business applications from IT departments. The only application to be installed and maintained is a Web browser. As an IT professional, I'm all for it.

Maybe my company should spin-up a risk management group that helps business units decide if they should move to SasS or not?

Comment Quattro Technologically Advanced Shaving System (Score 1) 274

I remember when the disposable razor companies Gillette and Schick had an advertising war that centered on whose razor had the most blades. It all started when the Gillette Mach III hit the market and introduced the world the safety razors with a third cutting blade. Until then, the ignorant masses had been shaving with safety razors that possessed only two blades. After an advertising campaign that would have make Coca-Cola jealous, Gillette unveiled the "Quattro Technologically Advanced Shaving System". In a triumph of engineering prowess, Gillette added a fourth blade to their razor cartridge.

These events changed my world because the price of most razor blade cartridges sky-rocketed to fuel ad campaigns. I now have less money for food and four-core tablet devices

Comment Bizarre (Score 5, Interesting) 841

Here is an alternative perspective.

In the US, there seems to be a very strong connection between universities and vocational education. I never really grokked that. I grew up thinking that universities is where people who loved to learning gathered to learn, share ideas, and advance knowledge. Education was its own reward. If one wanted to learned something practical, like something for a job, one attended a vocational school, training course, or the employer took responsibility to train their employees. I think it used to be that way.

Somewhere along the line that seems to have changed. A four year degree has become the minimum entry criteria for a desk job. Over the last twenty years, I've had nothing but desk jobs. I've been a software developer, a business analyst and a solution architect. None of these jobs required anything more than a two year vocational degree-- 90% a motivated high school grad could have learned to do the job.

Why is there such emphasis on university degrees in the job market? I understood that employers liked to hire university grads for certain jobs because employes knew these people could learn things on their own, enjoyed learning, and in general wanted to do a good work. I later realized that a university education had class implications and employers often want employees from certain social classes. But there is nothing wrong with vocational school, training courses, or even learning on the job. Why try to pump a quarter of your population through the university system when the needs of many of the students (and their future employers,) would be as well or better served by other avenues of learning?

It saddens me when I see people with master's degrees in computer science spending their days executing test cases for point-of-sale systems or Web shopping carts. It saddens me when I see chemistry majors running the same water quality tests five days a week. It saddens me when I see people with advanced degrees in economics spend their working years fiddling with Excel spreadsheets to balance project budgets.

From my perspective the system we have created is a tragic waste human capital and other resources. The indebtedness it is creating threatens to turn the next generation into indentured servants with white collars. Meanwhile, the university system continues to water down its curricula and loose its vitality.

How did it come to this?

Comment 4G (Score 1) 306

To be fair, most consumers who have a 4G phone or 4G service have no idea what makes it 4G. And in all fairness to the consumers, telecos have defined 4G to mean "exactly what I want it to mean". I spent Tuesday at a T-Mobile switching center and I'm not entirely clear on what 4G means to them. I think it means either "HSPA+ with IP back-haul" or "someone somewhere will be able to transfer data at 42 Mbps when the right handset becomes available".

Comment Enthusiasts (Score 2) 124

AMD and NVDIA have a euphemism for people that spend $500+ on a graphics card. They call these customers "enthusiasts". I'm glad someone out there is willing to spend that kind of money to drive the state of the art and I'm glad it's not me. Just for fun, I googled "silly expensive item" and got this link: http://coolmaterial.com/cool-list/24-ridiculously-expensive-everyday-items/.

Comment Foreign Genius (Score 1) 791

I love foreign genius. I'd love another Elon Musk to come to the USA and set up shop.

The reality is different. The IT campus for my company has 750 workers. 310 have come from India within the last 7 years. They are smart, diligent workers with good educations. Many of them have Masters degrees in comp sci or EE. The company has put them to work testing business systems and maintaining Websites. They are essentially indentured servants until they get their Green Cards, which is now a 5-10 year process if you are from India or China. None of them are geniuses and none of them are trying to start the Next Big Thing. They are focused on keeping their jobs so that they don't get shipped home.

Comment Re:Sucks (Score 1) 791

And the joke is on us, the geeks. It turns out the interpersonal skills and social networking that the class-skipping, boooze-swilling, sex fiends perfected is what American enterprise was waiting for. The people we thought were reprobates were really the thought leaders. As soon as they realized that smart and diligent workers were available overseas and on the cheap, the days of the Domestic Geek were numbered.

Comment Re:Obligatory predictions. (Score 1) 748

# T-Mobile annually won awards for their incredible customer service. Hopefully AT&T adopts their paradigms.
   In mobile telecom, customer service doesn't have to be good, it just has to be better than the competition's service. If you buy and dismantle your competitor, your customer service gap problem goes away.

#HOPEFULLY AT&T customers will get UMA (GAN), probably one of T-Mobile's best and most exclusive features.
  UMA was a competitive differentiator for T-Mobile. If there is no competition, then UMA is a threat to AT&T's revenue model. It will die silently.

#With AT&T being the only GSM carrier in the US, manufacturer agreements will be way easier and, thus, we'll finally be getting a vast selection of #high-end phones. (T-Mobile has been steadily improving in this front.)
  Buy HTC and Samsung stock now. Instead of HTC and Samsung making an X1 phone for ATT&T and an X2 phone for T-Mobile, HTC will only have to make an X phone for one company. HTC wins.

#While I'm making armchair predictions, Verizon will buy Sprint within the next two years.
  I can see that happening. Sprint continues to hemorrhage customers and money for 18 months. Both AT&T and Verizon bid to buy it. Verizon screams anti-trust concerns and blocks AT&T bid. Verizon walks away with Sprint for pennies on the dollar. Verizon wins.

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