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Submission + - DOJ and 4 states want $24 billion in fines from Dish Network for telemarketing (

walterbyrd writes: The DOJ as well as Ohio, Illinois, California, and North Carolina say that Dish disregarded federal laws on call etiquette. US lawyers are asking for $900 million in civil penalties, and the four states are asking for $23.5 billion in fines, according to the Denver Post. "Laws against phoning people on do-not-call lists and using recorded messages allow penalties of up to $16,000 per violation,” the Post added.

Comment Re:Move along... (Score 1) 174

If you're going to do anything but be an end-user, using firefox with sharepoint is not as exciting. (this is on windows, btw)

For instance
- no opening up lists in datasheet view
- can't open up lists in access or excel - have to export a spreadsheet
- can't use the directory browser thing to add people to permissions groups
- Editing content editor webparts gives you a tiny source editor form box in the toolbox rather than giving a popup window

So yeah, not quite the same

Comment work at a university while going there (Score 5, Interesting) 474

you could go back to school & work at the university while you're there. Generally, the IT Departments at universities are pretty big and they give you a good idea of anything you're going to encounter. At my university when someone shows initiative and they're competent and not a douche they pretty much always get the chance to prove themselves - ymmv, but I get the impression that quite a few universities are like this.

If you get on as a student, that's cool, part time, focus on school, show some initiative and try to get a full time job

If you get on as a full timer - awesome for you - most universities offer pretty good benefits, a lot of them include stuff like tuition wavers (full or partial - either way, you're going to end up paying less.)

and finally, working at a university IT department doesn't necessarily mean being in a support role -

our it department has an application development group, a services group (support), a project management group, a system administration/network admin group, a business group that handles contracts & such with other departments/companies, a research computing group (super computers), a dedicated security group, an administration group (payroll), and an HR group. Of those, sysadmins, services, and app devs have to do support. Everyone else is only rarely customer facing. The likelihood that you're going to get into the non-support groups right away is pretty slim, but movement has a tendency to be really fluid.

In case you didn't get the main point of this - the important thing is showing initiative. Show that you're interested in doing something new and interesting - show it by talking to people who do it already and trying to shadow them. Work with your bosses to get involved in projects, do things to get noticed. =)

Hardware Hacking

"Nuclear Archaeology" Inspires Replica of Hiroshima's Little Boy 298

James Cho writes "Through a decade of painstaking reverse engineering, trucker John Coster-Mullen built the first accurate replica of the Hiroshima bomb. His work yielded a new history of the first nukes, 'Atom Bombs: The Top Secret Inside Story of Little Boy and Fat Man,' with historian Robert Norris saying, 'Nothing else in the Manhattan Project literature comes close.' Philip Morrison, one of the physicists who helped invent the bomb, deemed it 'a remarkable job.'"

Valve Takes Optimistic View of Piracy 509

GameDaily recently spoke with Jason Holtman, director of business development and legal affairs for Valve, about online sales and piracy. Holtman took a surprising stance on the latter, effectively taking responsibility for at least a portion of pirated games. Quoting: "'There's a big business feeling that there's piracy,' he says. But the truth is: 'Pirates are underserved customers. When you think about it that way, you think, "Oh my gosh, I can do some interesting things and make some interesting money off of it." We take all of our games day-and-date to Russia,' Holtman says of Valve. 'The reason people pirated things in Russia,' he explains, 'is because Russians are reading magazines and watching television — they say "Man, I want to play that game so bad," but the publishers respond "you can play that game in six months...maybe." We found that our piracy rates dropped off significantly,' Holtman says." Attitudes like this seem to be prevalent at Valve; last month we talked about founder Gabe Newell's comments that "most DRM strategies are just dumb."

Comment Re:i know what you DONT want to do.. (Score 1) 352

Call center jobs are very stressful. They're thankless. They don't have any sort of support from the rest of the organization. No one understands that the value of the call center is removed when processes that define productivity in the organization don't link to it. Not to mention the fact that most call centers are judged on completely irrelevant metrics that do more to harm the relationship with the customer than to actually provide good service.

It feels like you're stuck there. What sucks is that with an attitude like that, you probably are. Most organizations like to hire from within. Most of them will take people with a go-getter kind of attitude. The problem is that a call center is kind of a horrible emotional sink. You're doing the same thing over & over again. It's easy to get bogged down in the banality of it all.

So how do you do it? Meet other people in IT or in other departments. Offer to help with projects. Mentor with someone. Learn about what your company does - what the overall mission of your IT department is & then figure out what you can do to move that along.

It's something that may be easier or harder depending on where you work and what value your business puts on the growth of their employees. At least where I work, it's so much easier to move someone into another position than it is to hire externally. So go for that.

Call centers suck. It's hard to think of a way to design them so that they don't. Even in the most open of environments, there's still something completely draining about them.

You can get out of it & do something in the same company. It seriously is all about attitude. People get hired because of attitude. More importantly, people *don't* get hired because of attitude.

In short: "FIND YOUR HAPPY PLACE, MAGGOT" or something.

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