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Comment Re:But what about bandwidth caps? (Score 1) 379

That would be over 13 hours of TV a day, every day for a month. Right...

For a single user? It's a lot. For a family of 4 or 5?

I'll put it gently, since I don't know when my wife will do her annual "I wonder what hubby's writing on slashdot" foray... some people have the TV on damn near 'round the clock.

Morning newsertainment -- 3-4 hours. Afternoon soaps -- 2+ hours. Evening news -- 1 hr. Evening crap shows -- 3 hours. Night news -- 1 hr. Late-night shows -- 2 hrs.

That alone is 12 hours. For one damn person. Add in what *I* watch; add in what *the kids* watch, and you're talking 13-14 hours per day. And most families have kids who watch much more TV than that.

Comment Re:BZOD (Score 1) 785

That would be *Brown* Zune of Death.


What really happened is that some hacker wrote a virus that enables each infected Zune to "squirt" the virus to nearby Zunes. It's been propagating for some time now, and has finally gone active.

I hereby declare this virus to be the Squirting Brown Virus, and if that doesn't make your stomach turn from the imagery, then you have probable spent too much time on German porn websites.

Comment Re:Misses the point! (Score 4, Insightful) 368

Sarbox prevents large private businesses, startups, that aren't publicly traded from making the transition to being publicly traded, because of the incredible expense associated with getting into compliance.

Which is why it's better to be compliant long before you are required to be.

Maintaining compliant processes is easy and relatively cheap. Replacing non-compliant legacy processes is expensive. The lesson? Don't have non-compliant legacy processes, and you'll greatly reduce the cost of going public.

Comment Re:If Sarbanes-Oxley isn't working (Score 2, Interesting) 368

Well first off, if you're going to capitalize letters, it's SarbOx, not SarBox. Sorry to nitpick, but my OCD-ness was making it hard to read your post without addressing that.

As for acting on SOx reporting, I'm not so sure you're correct. I can think of several companies whose financial statements yielded results from investigation, that probably wouldn't have been caught without SOx (Rockstar Games being the one closest to the Slashdot crowd). And from a company's internal perspective, SOc compliance aligns well with process standardization and optimization... many (most?) companies out there are using internal SOx audits as a tool for improving efficiency and reducing costs.

As for ease of audit and standardization... have you ever done a SOx audit? And I don't mean been subject to one, I mean from the other side... have you ever conducted an audit? SOx makes good auditing far easier than it was before.

Comment Re:I'm so sick... (Score 1) 22

People have turned SUV hate into a religion. If someone can afford a SUV or high powered car, more power to them. I don't begrudge another person's choice of vehicle.

Fine. Then let that person also pay for the external costs associated with using that vehicle, such as additional pollution, increased risk and costs of accidents, etc.

Oh, and just to mention, since one of your examples in your OP was that you had to drive through a bad snowdrift on the way back from getting groceries last week, and you wouldn't have made it home in a smaller car -- why did you need to get groceries? You didn't *need* to buy groceries then... you could have planned ahead for bad weather like rational people do.

The truth of the matter is that you use your Suburban when you don't need to... not all the time, but some of the time. Why not rent a big car when you need one, and stop wasting resources when you don't need to? Or is convenience a good enough excuse for any damaging activity?

"Yeah, I didn't feel like going to the ATM, so I took some cash from the register at my McJob?"

Anyway, I'm sure you're not going to bother with a response to me, since I'm partly trolling, but here's the deal... you can drive your Suburban if you want, but you have to chip in for the future value of the extra fuel you consume, for the cost of the extra pollution you produce, and for the general inconvenience you cause to people who don't drive a canyonero.

Comment Camry V6 figures are misleading (Score 1) 22

Just wanted to point out that the fact that the sales figures for the V6 Camry don't reflect hybrids eating into their sales or anything like that -- it's because the V6 used in the Camry is a piece of crap. It's so bad, in fact, that Consumer Reports will no longer automatically assign a 5-star rating on Toyota engines anymore, like they still do for Honda -- they require extensive aftermarket reporting.

Toyota can make any claims they want about the reason their V6 does so poorly, but the real reason is engine quality.

Not that this is related to the themes of your post in any way, jsut wanted to point out that the Camry exception to the data is easily explained by a factor external to your analysis.

Comment Re:I now believe political murder is real in Ameri (Score 1) 377

The NTSB will get involved in this crash, and if there's anything out of order, they'll likely find it.

And how are we to be certain that what they find won't be suppressed? Political futures rest on pleasing those who pull the strings, and people in the NTSB play politics.

It can be as simple as 'overlooking' evidence that supports a different version of events, or lending more credence to evidence that supports the desired sequence of events.

It doesn't matter, though... the current administration wants the investigation to conclude that it was an accident; the incoming administration wants the same thing (do you really think they'd want press coverage of Obama's first 100 days to be usurped by some politically-motivated murder?). The only value of the NTSB discovering sabotage would be the press distraction from the economy... which could be a motive to let the NTSB publish any findings of potential sabotage.

At any rate, it's just plain naive to think that the NTSB is not influenced by politics, and people within it would publish accurate and truthful findings at the cost of their career.

Comment Re:Multiple interpretations (Score 1) 542

Meh, you missed a golden opportunity to remain funny while pointing out some of the obvious contradictions in slashdot groupthink:

McCain sucks.
Obama rules.
Ron Paul is awesomer than Obama.
We need to socialize everything.
The free market will solve all problems.
Taxes are bad.
Government services are good.
Monopolies are bad.
Regulations are bad.

Anyway, while the posters on Slashdot tend to have some strongly shared opinions, there are still quite a few dissenting opinions. The nice thing about Slashdot is that dissenting opinions can still be read, and often there are great replies that will point out the holes in anyone's arguments.

That said... I'm in the slashdot mahjority on most topics (IP being one I'm not completely aligned with the herd on), and I am glad that the crackpots (including myself, at times) get refuted.

Comment Re:Screw Balance. (Score 5, Funny) 377

FWIW... if something is "balanced", that would mean the two sides[1] of the debate are assigned equal weights. That's how a balance works.

*Fair* is a different story. A *fair* assessment would assign accurate weights to the two sides, which would (gasp) leave an unbalanced situation[2]. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

[1] Assuming any issue is simple enough for a two-sided debate, which would be plane wrong.

[2] As shown by the Evolutionary Theory (ET) vs. Intelligent Design (ID) debate, as follows logically:

1. According to evolutionists, birds evolved from dinosaurs.
2. According to established truth (even ID'ers don't deny it), ducks are birds.
3. Logically then, it follows that ET can be represented by a duck.
4. Some "news" outlets claim to be fair and balanced, by assigning equal weight to ET and ID.
5. Picture a large scale, with ET and ID balanced equally.
6. Now visualize the same scale, with ET represented by a duck.
6. Obviously, since ID weighs the same or more than the duck, it is a witch. Burn it!

Now, Sir Gore, tell me again how sheep's bladders can be used to prevent global warming?

Comment Re:Screw Balance. (Score 1) 377

How many times have we IT people complained about unfair, ill-informed, hyped, or spun news articles about us? Why is this exact same tactic on the front page here? "Almost all the media coverage comes from the left and some of it is frankly conspiratorial." Marginalization and a thinly veiled ad-hominem attack? When did slashdot start culling from the mainstream?

FWIW... kdawson posted the article. He is often accused of pushing left-wing ideology. This marks a departure for him, in some ways... although, IMO, it's a way of introducing the idea of a potential conspiracy without seeming to be lending credence to it.

You've been around long enough to be aware of the bias kdawson is accused of, just as you should be aware of pudge's ultra-libertarian ideology.

If you think kdawson is marginalizing the left and making an ad hominem attack... well... mabe you should consider that he might be instead heading off the attacks on his editorial slant by posting the summary as it appears above.

At any rate, slashdot isn't really about the summary, or any perceived editorial slant, IMO, so it's pointless to complain so. Slashdot's value is in the discussion, where you're sure to find as many ideologies and biases as you can count, even if you take off your shoes to count to 10100. So, if you're pissed, why not find a non-troll right-winger in the comments to flame with your monologue, so that person has a chance to retort?

All that said... I agree with you 100% that 'balance' is for people who lack the ability to comprehend complex issues -- though I do believe that it's important to cover the major dissenting views when "reporting" on a topic, even if it is just to address those views and show why they are wrong.

Comment Re:Misses the point! (Score 2, Insightful) 368

But you're missing the point... America is the country of the free [market|people|beer|music].

People need to be free to wantonly misrepresent their publically-traded finances, how else can they mazimize their personal gain?

People need to be free to lose their retirement savings because they invested in a company with sham accounting.

Only by allowing people to be misled by the Captains of Industry can we expect them to learn to stand on their own two feet and get rich or die trying.

Why do you hate America, Mr.-I-don't-think-people-should-be-free?


[I agree with you 100%. But it's important to note that free-market idealogues really don't care about responsibility... or if they do (like Alan Greenspan) they eventually learn that companies will not self-regulate to act responsibly when the decision-makers in those companies benefit from acting irresponsibly.]

Comment Re:Misses the point! (Score 4, Interesting) 368

Malone is a boilerplate "Regulation is bad for business" guy who happens to be focused on the tech world.

He claims SOx has failed, he claims the costs are too high. Perhaps he forgets the cost of NOT having such regulation.

In addition, study after study has found that there are many benefits to becoming SOx-compliant, from risk attenuation to more accurate financial reporting, to streamlining processes via standardization. Googling "Sox benefits" will bring up quite a few, though you might need to wade through some marketing muck from companies whose line of business rests with providing compliance tools.

I can personally attest that Sox compliance has saved a former employer of mine tens of millions... potentially more, if certain practices hadn't been discontinued and happened to be caught by the SEC.

I think the main reason IT professionals hate SOx is that some of their work becomes drudgery. They fail to see the big picture, and from the finance side, I do what I can to make sure they can see how much it helps the company. As for it being an unnecessary burden on companies... tell that to the people who had their retirement savings in Enron stock. Tell that to the people who pinned their ability to put their kids to college on Worldcom stock. It takes a short memory to forget that confidence in large public companies in 2001-2 was similar to the confidence people have in the banking industry now. Would Malone argue that the best thing we can do for the general public now would be to deregulate the banking system further?

I'd also note that the small companies he refers to have a much easier time with SOx compliance, such as a longer period in which to become SOx compliant. Further, it's been demonstrated that the high cost of SOx compliance is in implementation, not in maintenance of compliance. For a start-up, it's easy enough to begin compliant... then you never have to face a huge expense in becoming compliant, since your processes have been compliant all along. Since a lot of the benefits of compliance are "soft" benefits (they are hard to assign an accurate value to), it's difficult to determine whether compliance costs outweigh compliance benefits... but since start-ups do not have to bear the brunt of compliance expense (in converting legacy systems and processes), I feel it's probably beneficial to be compliant.

Of interest, the SEC will be conducting a CBA of SOx compliance for small public companies in 2009. I'm interested to see what their findings are.

Anyway, thanks for doing a mite of research and refuting his cherry-picked data.

Comment Re:Since a volcano is just a pressure cooker... (Score 1) 42

But how can you guarantee the safety of workers when they're setting up the drill? That's no small drill and would need some time to set up properly, and while the workers are setting up the drill the volcano may explode.

Sigh. You're really just not cut out for this line of work. What is the meaning of a few lives lost when you're building your underground lair in the bowels of an active volcano to further your goal of world domination?

1. Tame volcano.
2. Build secret underground lair inside volcano.
3. ???
4. Profit.

Note that the elusive step 3 is, in all likelihood, 'build doomsday device'. If you don't yet have plans for said doomsday device, or the means to force geniuses to produce one for you, I'd recommend against initiation of step 1.

Seriously, when did supervillains become so unimaginative and weak? Safety of the workers is meaningless. If you're smart, you'll be making sure they all experience a massive "accident" just after completing their work, anyway.

Comment Re:*sigh* (Score 1) 674

Look at the Iraq war - Between 1 and 2 million people took to the streets of London, which is a lot in a country with a population of 60M, and to get that many protesting takes some serious feeling amongst the population as a whole. What happened? We went to war.

And what happened to the people who sent the UK to war? Nothing bad.

People are meaningless in republics with millions of voters who are dependent on mass media for figuring out how they feel about something. Cash is king. And to the people holding the highest offices in the US and the UK, there's far more personal gain to be made in voting with the moneyed interests (oil companies, military-industrial companies) than there is in getting re-elected.

You think Tony Blair ever has to work again, aside from a few speaking engagements? How about George W Bush?

Modern democracy has disappeared, and has been replaced by patronage and cronyism.

I'm agreeing with you 100%, I'm just looking at what I think causes our systems to be so fucked up right now, aside from voter apathy and voter idiocy.

Comment Re:Posted under IT, huh? (Score 1) 91

RF, you've been around slashdot for what... 2-3 years? Not that I'm an oldtimer, though I lurked AC for a couple years before registering...

Slashdot is not "News for Nerds, Stuff that is Limited to One Person's Opinion of Stuff that Matters". From all I've read and seen, Slashdot is "News for Nerds, Stuff We Think is Interesting".

Lately it seems it's also "Stuff the Corporate Overlord Thinks Will Draw Viewers", which is what you may be getting at.

At any rate, if you haven't noticed, data security has been a pretty big issue in IT. This article is simply a (slightly) humourous way that a data breach occurred. I know I worry about my data security... and this article highlights the fact that sometimes processes we rely on to be secure (such as courier services) are not secure at all.

Anyway, no one is forcing you to read slashdot. There are other places you can go. And no one is forcing you to read specific articles like this one. There are others to read. And if you don't bother reading this article, or posting a comment to it, that's fewer page hits, fewer ad impressions, and less money for the corporate overlord.

The #1 best thing to do with content that you don't like on Slashdot? Ignore it. Don't waste your energy. If there's nothing you like on Slashdot at a given time, you can go ahead and close the browser tab. It's not that hard. And best of all, it doesn;t reward 'bad' behavior.

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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman