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Comment Re: sure! (Score 1) 314

A few weeks may be all it takes. Not in a zombie apocalypse, sure, but suppose there's a large natural disaster, power and supplies are interrupted, roads inaccessible, government has their hands full and chaos ensues. In this scenario, order will be restored at some point, but until then it'll be nice to have a well stocked hideout. With some gun, in case looters are to be expected (and the longer before order is restored, the more likely they will be to appear)

Comment Re:Cost of Infrastructure? (Score 1) 237

Common wisdom (amongst MBA types anyway) is to outsource things like shipping to external companies who are experts in that field. Reasons for doing it yourself are: the existing services suck, you think you can do better (which may be the case, what with their research into delivery by drone), or doing it yourself gives you a competitive edge for other reasons. Your suggestion may be one of those other reasons. Once this service is in place, they are in a good position to offer free shipping on anything. And that will make a real difference.

Comment Re:How a tyrant & dictator (Score 1) 276

Where did I write about crawling up Putin's arse? I was talking about those people being jealous of Putin's ability to rule more or less absolute, without bothersome voters or national governents to deal with. Given some of the things those guys have said and done, it doesn't take a far stretch of the imagination to believe that.

Comment Re:Karma is dead on arrival (Score 1) 55

With those foldable propellors it looks a lot more portable too: not just small, but safe to carry around in a backpack or bag without breaking. The price is pretty good too... $749 without remote; less than I've paid for mini RC helicopters (of the hobby variety rather than the toy ones) and this thing can do a hell of a lot more.

Comment Re:Learning from queue implementations in CS (Score 2) 48

Or do what some restaurants already do (I first saw this in Tokyo): they hand out a small pager-like device that buzzes when your turn comes, as well as (an estimated) 5 minutes beforehand. No need to stand or sit anywhere in particular, you can go to a nearby bar for drinks while you wait for your table.

Of course some venues (certain restaurants, clubs, Apple stores) want a highly visible queue outside, it's good avertising.

Comment Re:Yay! Sharepoint! (Score 1) 44

The integration is the selling point (for the decision makers, anyway). It's what differentiates it from other standalone solutions for what SP is trying to be. And that's the funny thing: SP is trying to be a lot of things. Document management: does a sucky job and misses basic features that our 15 year old software did have. Wikis: dear god, you're better off with MediaWiki and a couple of good plugins. Message boards: sort of work, but again misses a lot of basic stuff (such as rules-based community management): they are a nightmare to maintain. Team Wikis: this part actually does work... once your users understand the idiotic menus. A lot of them came begging for a Confluence team space instead.

You can make SP work reasonably well (I've seen it), but it takes a lot of work. And it takes some serious iron to run compared to the competition. My advice to anyone considering using SP in medium / large organisations: don't. Go with separate solutions that cost less, are cheaper to run, are a hell of a lot better, and way easier to use. Forget about the integration... or pay a couple of consultants to build a bespoke interface in places where it makes sense. Sounds expensive, but in the long run it'll cost peanuts compared to SP.

Comment Re:Microsoft is killing... what? (Score 2) 44

It's very well suited for certain work-related stuff as well. Virtual town hall sessions. Community-based support, especially for services where a lot of new things are happening (so users will want to subscribe to the group and remain informed). Virtual, cross-departmental team spaces. Communities of Practice. I've been involved in setting up Yammer and coaching community managers at my last client, and we've experimented with a great many use cases. Most successful cases were in the category of fast-paced, low threshold, opt-in, geographically spread out communities sharing information of temporary value. The low-threshold aspect is a definite plus in some cases, especially people new to the company find Yammer a lot less scary to contribute to than, say, message boards.

The challenges: you need active community management to keep people engaged, and when I was using it there were little or no curation tools, poor search, poor statistics to help community managers (there was a paid 3rd party option which was ridiculously overpriced), and no way to extract valuable information for storage in longer-term media (Wikis, Sharepoint or whatever)

Yammer can add real business value (in addition to the not to be underestimated value of the watercooler effect, i.e. non-business related groups) but it is not free either; don't expect anything to happen if you just roll out the tool and walk away.

Comment Re:Human missions = funding (Score 1) 113

Not having a return mission is hardly a "reasonable risk". Oh, I bet there will still be plenty of volunteers lining up for one-way mission, perhaps even some people who are actually qualified for such a mission. They may have choosen to die on Mars but their deaths are still going to be sucky, and public... Not exactly the thing to warm the public and budget holders to manned space exploration.

Comment Re:Am A Noob Too (Score 1) 278

IoT is still in its infancy. Forget dodgy equipment from random Chinese companies, even so called reputable vendors still do not get security right. I do a lot of home automation stuff, but I prefer Z-wave / Zigbee devices over all this WiFi crap that the likes of Google and Apple seem to prefer. Often those devices are easier to set up and troubleshoot as well... in terms of reliability, WiFi sucks.

Where I do use IP devices (cameras, Philips Hue, etc), they go on a separate subnet that can talk to the home automation hub only. And I never use devices that require outside access.

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