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Comment Re:So Proud of Gun Ownership (Score 1) 1232

Until you develop a mental health problem, then it most definitely is everyone else's business.

That's bullshit. Having a mental health problem doesn't automatically mean that a person isn't capable of responsibly owning a firearm.

You need to learn some critical thinking skills and to develop some intellectual honesty.



Comment How Should Tech Conferences Embrace Diversity? (Score 1) 343


How Should Tech Conferences Embrace Diversity?

Here's an easy answer: Add "Anyone interested is welcome".

There you go.

"Embrace Diversity?" A conference of any kind is targeted to its topic(s), first, as well it should be.I don't see that including non-relevant matters such as race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or anything else should have ANY bearing upon it.

Embrace the conference's subject matter, and welcome anyone that chooses to attend.



Comment Re:Cisco what? (Score 3, Insightful) 220


I'm going to get pounded for this post, but that's OK - this is a subject with which I am familiar, and I'd like to share my perspective nonetheless.

I have always felt that Cisco had the same sort of following as Novell. Senior IT people certified up the wazoo yet unable to explain to me why Cisco was so much better.

Your current "+5 Insightful" upmods notwithstanding, the fact that you need someone else to explain this to you tells me that, by your own admission, you don't have the knowledge required to make these decisions yourself. That alone makes me wonder why your post got upmodded... but, this is Slashdot in the 21st century, so what can you do, right?

If you had the requisite knowledge, I imagine that you'd be posting from that viewpoint, e.g. "I evaluated Cisco's offerings for my company, and after comparing them to other vendors, decided that they weren't worth the premium price for us." Or something similar, rather than stating: "I have always felt that"... this isn't something subject to feelings. IT/MIS is a technical profession, and cost/benefit analysis with regards to network and computer infrastructure is something that is done every day in the real world, though apparently not by you.

The bits that leak out of big data people like Facebook and Google seem pretty lacking in the big names. I don't see gear from HP, IBM, Dell, Cisco, etc. What I do see is white boxish or custom gear that they seem perfectly happy with.

What you don't appear to understand is that Googles and the Facebooks of the world are basically large enough to be OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) in their own right, and have the money and technical resources to pursue that path, and so your attempt to apply their approach to this particular case is flawed. Certainly CSU is large, but they aren't "Google large", when it comes to network infrastructure and servers, and you'll note that they went with a name-brand vendor, rather than rolling their own solution, which makes your statement doubly inane.

Just a guess

You appear to be good at that.

but my bet

What bet? How much? What are the terms? I'm sorry to sound confrontational, but you do realize that such is a null statement? It costs you nothing to say, and there's no penalty if you're wrong. Why not replace it with something more honest, such as "I think that", or, better, in your case: "I believe that"?

much of the business that big old companies like Cisco come from single skill IT people combined with kick ass sales people.

Actually, much of Cisco's success, and sales, come from corporations with mission-critical networks, regardless of scale. They pay a premium for Cisco's hardware, and pay for SmartNet contracts, to ensure their network operations. This may not be worth it to you, but, I have to tell you, their support and logistics when it comes to SmartNet are amazing, and "4 hour parts on site"? The last time I opened a Cisco TAC case for a device so covered, I had a callback in 10 minutes from the person assigned to the case, parts dispatch was under an hour, and the longest delay was on our side: The person that was on-call to open the office (It was a Sunday) didn't answer her cell on the first try, and I left a message with the engineer's cell number, and called him back and gave him her number so he could call her directly to arrange to meet at the office. Once he got onsite, I emailed the backup copy of the router config to him, and he took care of the rest.

Total time was just over three hours, and the following Monday morning everyone came to work and the network was working.

THAT, in my opinion, is worth paying for, when needed, as it was in this case: That office is in Washington State and I'm in New York State.

Now, many companies don't need that, and that's fine. And, based just on the numbers, it does appear that someone at Cisco screwed up badly in this case with regards to the quote: Their loss, and I'm sure they'll fix it in the future.

You, on the other hand, are dismissing them simply on the basis of this incident, because of the money, and because of your "feeling" that Cisco is overpriced in all cases, reinforced by this incident.

Salespeople who sell to upper management not to the non Cisco IT people who might fact check.

Well, you're wrong again, at least in our case. All network/computer purchases at our company go through MIS, first, and believe me, cost is a huge concern. All recommendations have to be approved by our Director, and if the amounts are high enough, they have to be approved by our Executive Vice President, and then again by the CFO and CEO.



Comment Yet another venue for manipulation (Score 1) 114


Sorry, but "social media", et al? Yet another venue for manipulation, especially Facebook.

Consider the latter: It's primary focus is social. This is by no means a bad thing: Human beings are social creatures, and Facebook is a great place for social interaction [1].

However, social interaction doesn't necessarily translate to "informed political awareness" [2].

My impression is this: Yes, the campaign managers are savvy about social networking, yes, they will use this, and, given the nature of social networking, properly manipulated? They will not only get more people to vote (a good thing, in general), but they will get more people to vote the way they want, so long as they get enough presence... if they look good to "someone" on Facebook? Well, odds are they're going to look good to that someone's friends, too, right, wrong or indifferent.

In many ways, leveraging Facebook and other social networking sites is the best way for any politician to go now: The cost to do so is next to nothing [3] and the impact is not only nation-wide, it's also self-selecting and self-perpetuating.

And, cynically? Where else are you going to find more "warm bodies" with so little effort?




[1] Or so I've been told. I'm proud to admit that I don't have, nor ever will have, a Facebook account, nor accounts on similar services. And no, that doesn't mean that I don't have friends, it just means that I don't have any Facebook friends.

[2] Hell, I'd argue the contrary: People gathering together socially for extended periods of time tend to have similar views in most things, and so their political views will be similar and fairly immutable. So, they're self-selecting, and easily targeted and leveraged.

[3] After all, Facebook doesn't charge for an account... so, it's every politician's campaign manager's wet dream: Free, unfettered access to an enormous number of voters, who will also, potentially, recruit their friends, family, etc.? Hell, from their perspective, Facebook is an ocean, and its members are chum that willingly gather together to be eaten.

Comment Re:It's an internship. (Score 2) 481

You are not counting GM?

Sadly, the Obama Administration does not considering Game Mastering in their employment statistics.

That should be: "Sadly, the Obama does not consider Game Mastering in their employment statistics."... it started out as "is not considering", and I messed up the editing.



Comment We need schools that actually TEACH (Score 1) 729

We don't need a longer school year, we need schools that actually TEACH.

Not teaching to tests, not spewing data by rote, but schools that impart the foundations of learning, first.

How to learn, how to reason, how to think, how to analyze information gained from ANY source, and use it to make informed decisions. In short, we need schools that create knowledgeable, thoughtful, responsible citizens, capable of making informed decisions, and desirous of such.

I consider myself lucky to be as old as I am. I graduated High School in 1982. With honors, much to the surprise of my guidance counselor, who, despite my tested IQ and being place in honors and "gifted" classes, thought I was basically white trash... on the day of graduation he tracked me down, handed me a set of honor cords and said "Here. I don't know how how you managed it, but these are yours" [1].

Now, why I say "lucky"? While the overall quality of eduction wasn't all that great, there were still many great teachers, who, not having to worry about standardized tests, actually TAUGHT, and I was fortunate to have been in their classes.

Today, many of them wouldn't have jobs in the education field: My Freshman year Honors Social Studies teacher would, by today's standards, be deemed a "bad influence" at best, and subversive at worst: He tended to pepper his lectures based upon the official study materials with cynical observations as to their biases, and it was from him that I learned to "read between the lines", and look elsewhere for what wasn't mentioned in the official histories.

My Sophomore year Gifted English teacher started the school year by saying: "I've a list of books that I'm supposed to cover, here it is. However, since you're all supposedly gifted, I'll leave those to you to read." Then he handed out copies of James Joyce's "Dubliners" to each of us, which he'd bought with his own money, since it wasn't part of the official curriculum, and said "This is one of the greatest works of literature in the English language, and this is what we're going to study."

And study it we did. He was brilliant, imperviously knowledgeable in his field and cynical beyond belief... but, he did one thing that so few of my teachers did at that point: He made us think, and had no problem explaining in great detail why were were wrong. At one point, he was expostulating upon one of the themes in Dubliners, that of self-perception, and especially how such tends to be different from reality, and how many of the images in the stories show that. I don't remember which story it was that we were studying, but, something within me "clicked", as he was talking, and, as I glanced around, I saw another student with that same look. He looked at me, I looked at him, and nodded... there's a description where the protagonist is looking at a copper kettle... and I knew that he knew, too, and he raised his hand and asked "Wouldn't the reflection from the copper kettle be an example of that? It's convex, and so his reflection would be distorted..."... and the stunned look on our teacher's face, as he realized the import of that question, was priceless: He'd never seen that, nor, apparently, had anyone else so far as he knew. He said that he was going to write it up and submit it, but I don't know if it ever went that far.

Regardless, that one moment drove all of us to learn it, experience it, know it for what it was: Life, in fiction created, captured, and made real in words. It was, for me, the moment when I SAW, for the first time, beyond just the words, above them, between them, behind them, and learned that how truly powerful and wonderful words can be.

My Sophomore year Honors Biology teacher was HOT. She also told me that I was her only hope for a perfect score on the NYS Regents Biology exam... which drove me to study HARD. Sadly, I only got a 93%.

My Senior year Honors Physics teacher was as smart a human being as I've ever met, ever. He was in his 60's, then, had retired from industry after selling the company that he'd founded and run successfully for over 30 years.

One of Einstein's more famous quotes is: "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." He understood Physics that well, and better: His was the patience that comes from true wisdom, knowledge and experience. We were all of us smart and impatient and irreverent... and, at first, disrespectful. He won all of us over, in short order, and I learned more in a year from him than from any other teacher in High School. Not just about Physics, but about life, by his example, as he taught us, talked to us, helped us. He treated us with respect, and from him, by his example, I learned how, and why, to treat others the same. He was a remarkable man, in all regards, and as great a teacher as I've ever had.

So, I was lucky: I finished High School before what came later, and had some wonderful teachers who not only taught, but inspired. Now, we've generations of teachers who are themselves victims of a school system that does not teach people how to think, how to reason, and so they cannot impart that to their students, cannot inspire them to surpass them, using what they taught as a foundation.

I call these times the "Age of Google": Knowledge everywhere to be found, for free, but each succeeding generation has less ability to use it to their advantage, to assess it, to determine for themselves what use can and should be made of it.

We have created an ocean of knowledge, and I fear not only that so many cannot swim, but that even fewer will sail upon it.




[1] Oh, and how I'd earned the Honor Cords? That was easy: I made the grades to do so. He'd written me off, years before, and so his surprise was simply due to ignorance. He was a small, petty human being, and his discomfiture on that day remains one of my most pleasant memories of High School.

Comment Re:As if the truth about all that isn't just as... (Score 1) 333

I'm not saying get rid of the Internet either, Jesus! I'm saying people get worked up over cracked pot conspiracies. Couple that with PTSD or God knows what other kind of stress these vets have to deal with. Throw in some injuries, some pain, some medication, and you have a recipe for trouble, no?

Not necessarily.

You need to stop generalizing, stop extrapolating your opinions and beliefs upon others, and most importantly? Stop pretending that you have a clue about any of this, or that you've a right to chime in about things you don't, and cannot, ever understand.

Basically, STFU.




Comment Re:As if the truth about all that isn't just as... (Score 1) 333

"Let's build it here, fuck them". I mean Afghanistan and Iraq. We build the living shit out of those countries, costing our tax payers fortunes that should have been spent here. They meaning Iraq and Afghanistan need to build something, pony up, be worthy of the sacrifices, don't just let it all fall to shit. Add to the sum of what has been done, that kind of thing.

Nice attempt at revisionist history, but I'm not buying it, unless you're saying that you're so stupid that you didn't re-read your post to ensure that it was as you intended... I've read, re-read your original post, and it flows properly, and the overall message that results is quite clear.



Comment Re:As if the truth about all that isn't just as... (Score 0) 333

Did I mention forced labor?

So, do you honestly think that all of those military veterans are going to say "Hey, yeah, let's build roads after spending 10 years fighting!" How else would you get them to do so? Many of them have highly advanced technical skills, after all, even though they're "only in the military", and those skills are valuable, far more valuable than building roads, no matter what you think.

You're a hysterical fucking retard, do yourself a favor and STFU.

Gosh, that hurts! I should probably just skulk away, now that you've pwned me! Please, don't say bad things about my Mom!



Comment Re:As if the truth about all that isn't just as... (Score 3, Insightful) 333

The military really needs to deprogram these guys and integrate them back into the population. I would propose a type of "Combat Engineering" program, to shift these guys into some good paying, hard working jobs back home, via prepping them for things like road construction. We need to rework the infrastructure, unless we are just going to let the country fall into a vast wasteland. I present to you the concept of a Trans Americas Highway system, to tie the entire continents of North and South America together. A big project, but very handy for developing this part of the world. It's what advanced civilizations do.

That or something like it, to burn off a decade of war stress, by building something. Let's build it here, fuck them. They need to build something.

I present to you, a person who goes by the nickname "lexsird", who thinks that the solution to these kinds of problems is to compell members of the military, eligible to muster out honorably, to participate in forced manual labor for the "greater good", because "lexsird" wants a North/South American highway system, wants to rebuild the infrastructure in the US, and thinks that forced labor is the way to go.

Sure, sure, we'll pay 'em well, and it's for their own good, after all - Hell, ain't no kinda mental problem can't be fixed by some good, old-fashioned manual labor! And, if'n they get outta line? Well, we gots lotsa ways to deal with that, too!

You ARE correct in stating that the highway infrastructure in the US needs rebuilding, and since you seem so concerned about it? Rather than volunteer others for it, why not volunteer yourself? Oh, yeah, that's right - manual labor isn't for the likes of you, right?

Let's build it here, fuck them.

Goddamn right! Fuck the veterans!

They need to build something.

That's the only thing in your post with which I agree. However, that something isn't roads, it's their lives. THEIR lives, on THEIR terms. Your complete lack of empathy, your cookie-cutter approach to what is an enormously complex and difficult issue, one which you've proven by your words that you've never experienced, tells me that you're clueless, at best.

It's what advanced civilizations do.

Yes, that's exactly what advanced civilizations do: Public works using forced labor comprised of miltary veterans returned from the battlefield after serving their country honorably. Yup, that's exactly correct.

So, what do you do for an encore? Forced sterilization of people with physical or mental defects?

Sorry, but I am not interested in your ideas, nor do I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.



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