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Submission + - Facebook link to syphilis (

PeteV writes: "Viruses are contagious ! Given my mother's (she's 84) existing confusion around whether "all these viruses on the internet" can be caught, said headline in her favourite rag is going to exacerbate her confusion no end"

Seinfeld's Good Samaritan Law Now Reality? 735

e3m4n writes "The fictitious 'good samaritan' law from the final episode of Seinfeld (the one that landed them in jail for a year) appears to be headed toward reality for California residents after the house passed this bill. There are some differences, such as direct action is not required, but the concept of guilt by association for not doing the right thing is still on the face of the bill."

Comment dont think bosses cant be really really stupid (Score 1) 387

Long time ago I worked at a large oil company in the UK as part of the tech. support group and we got a call from the CEO's office that he wanted some help to restore a spreadsheet. So we sent someone over to help out. The spreadsheet is on the CEO's laptop - big clunky thing in those days, one of the earlier IBM thinkpads - anyway, techie asks the big cheese whats up, big cheese says he has accidentally over-written a spreadsheet he has been working on and cant work out how to restore if from the backup. techie is reassured that the big cheese has been taking back-ups and asks for the backup copy, Cheese hands him a ring binder. Techie opens ring binder and finds inside about 30 or so A4 pages - on each page is a photocopy of a 3.5 disk. Techie looks carefully for a long while then asks the big cheese to show him how he takes a backup - so he does ... he pops out the current 3.5 he has in his laptop ..takes it to the photocopier outside the office and sticks it under the flap and takes a photocopy of it the techie was there a very long time and to his credit handled the situation quite well ... but it took him quite a while to recover himself when he came back to our office.

Comment Re:Eheh (Score 1) 68

I would disagree with a lot of your comments, many of which seem to be assumptions - but you also demonstrate a key problem of virtual worlds vs real worlds - assumptions. "So you say that leading a guild is worth nothing, but being captain of a football team is", no, what I implied was that that I give more credence to real world leadership skills than virtual world leadership skills "Both of these activities are NOT the same as leading a business team, because the first two are VOLUNTEER team" - I agree with you "On the other hand, you can also get rid of people more easily" does it ? I dont think so, but thats your view and my view, we can agree to differ Army i couldnt comment on business "because apparently the other two experiences ain't real in your eyes" - where did I say that ? I didnt .. what I point out is that the behavioural patterns are different - and it is because of this that I disagree with the general thrust of the original post - I dont think that the experience of WoW or MMO leadership is of more value than real world leadership, what I said was that I dont "bump" up people (if they put it in their CV). Is game leadership of value ? yes - but i didnt address how "Or do you think good leaders only get to lead highly motivated followers?" no , on the contrary, motivating difficult and hard people is far more rewarding and I try very hard to understand the engineers who work for me and I care a lot about them. "You say your WoW guild has no responsibilty but at the same time label those that do as elitist. Hard man to please ain't you? " - no I didnt say that, and what I said was the elitist raid guilds are highly disciplined and dont fall into the same category as a casual raiding guild - "In the real world, the hardest thing about leadership is NOT leading but getting people to follow in the first place." could not agree with you more - which is why my measure of whether I get it right or not is that a very large % of engineers who have worked for me have chosen to work for me on more than 1 occasion - giving orders means nothing, leadership is about taking a profound responsibility. "In some ways, I would be more impressed with someone who manages to lead massive PUG raids succesfully, then an officer who leads an army" - your view, and an informed one , not having been in the army I could not validly comment "You seem to think good leadership comes from leading people who are easy to lead" - no, nor do I understand why you would think that to be the case, I dont think I implied that at all, I think that is an unfair assumption you are making Yes managing teenagers in a guild is damn hard work - I didnt and dont underestimate it - but whether that means it is appropriately useful as a leadership "tool" or experience is open to discussion. Returning to assumption - the biggest differentiator between VR and RW leadership is that it is very very easy in VR to make assumptions and base ones decisions upon those assumptions - a persona may adopt a very specific persona in VR and you will respond accordingly - you have made a lot of assumptions about me, based on the text I posted only and responded accordingly - the assumptions that you would make about me in the RW are and would be different, and if ones leadership experience is based upon VR experience and viewed through the filter of that and is not balanced by real world experience, then in my opinion that is a weakness - hence when I am interviewing someone I will not attach any plus (or minus) to the fact that they have managed a WoW guild - I might well attach a plus to their organisational skills because of it - but those are not the same thing

Comment MMO teamwork is not the same as work teamwork (Score 0) 68

I doubt that there are many people out there my age (50s) who have actually managed a WoW raid guild and worked in senior IT management (IT Director), I have DONT imagine that the skills that one acquires to manage a raid guild (or any other guild type for that matter) are necessarily of any relevance to the sort of teamwork needed in the office. If Google's CEO has actually had the experience of trying to mediate half a dozen petulant teenagers whining about this that and the other in the middle of a guild meeting or a raid, I would be surprised. Its a myth frankly and I certainly wouldnt bump someone up my list of possible hires on the basis that they had been a WoW guild leader - the real world IS NOT the same as any virtual or gaming world - you cannot see, touch , smell or interact with people in the same way - so the types of behavioural patterns that evolve in virtual worlds do NOT prepare people to manage real world human complex interactions - whereas If on the other hand you had done "real world" team work activities, outward bound courses for example , I would bump you up my list. The comparisons dont stack up - who do you want in charge of an engineering team ? someone who has managed groups of real people in testing circumstances or someone who has managed a bunch of pixels controlled by people who have learnt that they can get away with poor behaviour because they cannot be held to account in the same way ? My reasoning is quite simple and based on close to 4 years experience of playing WoW with (and I didnt start playiing until I was 45 and part of my reason was to actually explore this myth ) - most people ( note the use of "most" ) in WoW do not develop a balanced sense of responsibility towards others - (yes of course in elite hardworking raid guilds they do - but those environments are just that, elitist and they are non representative and usually arbitratrily disciplinarian and unforgivingly competitive and not real world useful either ) - a very large % of WoW players simply walk away from their responsbilities - they can behave in ways that are wholly unacceptable in an office environment and get away with it -you cant do that in the real world - you cant walk away in the same way - nor should you. If the teams flat out working to a deadline and everyone is dependent upon each other doing their job you dont want people in that team who imagine they can "log off" simply because the going has got tough. No - I personally doubt the people who say these things have actually taken the time to fully try out WoW to any great extent - of course there are exceptions and there are people who do learn mediation skills from team activities in these worlds - but give me someone who has captained a football team or a rugby team or set up and managed a club activity - someone who had dealt with "real" .. anyday

Comment Re:what is the term for this kind of mental diarrh (Score 1) 234

Franky I suggest you learn to read ...... "changing habits of the world-wide community of social networkers is likely to have an effect upon English law and how it is interpreted" and "this might mean 'American behavior' could cause changes in the interpretation of English law" ..... doesnt imply any like or dislike of the USA nor does it imply the USA is to blame for anything ... it doesnt even state that there is any blame ,..

Submission + - The gradual erosion of the right to privacy (

PeteV writes: "There is an interesting article on the BBC website based around research carried out by Dr Kieron O'Hara of Southampton Univeristy. He points out (under british law) that an individuals right to privacy is being eroded by the behaviour of those who have no qualms about broadcasting every intimate detail of their life online (via social networking sites) because the privacy law is predicated in part upon the concept of a "reasonable expectation of privacy" . I think his request "for people to be more aware of the impact on society of what they publish online" is likely to fall on deaf ears, but in effect what he is saying is that the changing habits of the world-wide community of social networkers is likely to have an effect upon english law and how it is interpreted. Given that the significant bulk of social networkers are american, this might be interpreted as "american behaviour" may cause changes in the interpretation of english law (which is not to say english people dont also post their intimate details on Facebook)."

Comment Dont judge too quickly (Score 5, Insightful) 709

I've been on both sides of this, as a developer and as a manager: first off, its wholly impractical and counter-productive to try and control every thing staff do. The more controls you impose, the more time you spend policing the rules - and all that does is make for a miserable unproductive environment. One of the first rules of a "happy" productive team, a happy engineering team, is mutual trust between those doing the work and those responsible for ensuring it gets done - its a quid pro quo. And at the end of the day, in my experience, good engineers WANT to work, want to solve problems, want to design, they/we get a kick from it, job satisfaction if you will, pride in a job well done. And every single engineer needs "think" time - chaining people to a rigid set of work methods really doesnt work (unless you are working on a production line). THAT said, it is certainly true that some offices/teams are poor, thats the nature of things - and if productivity is low and people are just taking the p*** then sooner or later the manager gets replaced and the situation is rectified or the good engineers move on. My teams get total freedom, the senior designers have the flex to work from home too. But i know exactly who is and who is not productive - and I get rid of engineers who dont pull their weight - its that simple (and very rare). And that never causes an issue with the others, and nor did it when I was a "grunt" - in fact, you dont want idiots in around you who dont do any work. Gauging productivity is the managers job and responsibility - they should be able to do it, they should have a range of choices/skills/options that allow them to improve it when needed. As a new person with little industry experience your assessment may be premature - I would say dont jump to instant conclusions or be too judgemental, it may well be you've landed in a poor office - and in due course you will either understand that to be the case and move on to a better place, or you will adjust. Bottom line, if you're unhappy and remain unhappy, find somewhere else.

Whatever Happened To Second Life? 209

Barence writes "It's desolate, dirty, and sex is outcast to a separate island. In this article, PC Pro's Barry Collins returns to Second Life to find out what went wrong, and why it's raking in more cash than ever before. It's a follow-up to a feature written three years ago, in which Collins spent a week living inside Second Life to see what the huge fuss at the time was all about. The difference three years can make is eye-opening."

An Inside Look At Warhammer Online's Server Setup 71

An article at Gamasutra provides some details on the hardware Mythic uses to power Warhammer Online, courtesy of Chief Technical Officer Matt Shaw and Online Technical Director Andrew Mann. Quoting: "At any given time, approximately 2,000 servers are in operation, supporting the gameplay in WAR. Matt Shaw commented, 'What we call a server to the user, that main server is actually a cluster of a number of machines. Our Server Farm in Virginia, for example,' Mann said, 'has about 60 Dell Blade chassis running Warhammer Online — each hosting up to 16 servers. All in all, we have about 700 servers in operation at this location.' ... 'We use blade architecture heavily for Warhammer Online,' Mann noted. 'Almost every server that we deploy is a blade system. We don't use virtualization; our software is somewhat virtualized itself. We've always had the technology to run our game world across several pieces of hardware. It's application-layer clustering at a process level. Virtualization wouldn't gain us much because we already run very close to peak CPU usage on these systems.' ... The normalized server configuration — in use across all of the Mythic-managed facilities — features dual Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors running at 3 GHz with 8 GB of RAM."

Comment I do stay behind (Score 1) 426

speaking as an ex-dev, now IT director, I do stay - but I have specific rules about it. I dont like my devs to work unnecessarily long hours so I have a blanket ban on anyone in my teams (about 40) working later than 7pm at night and do from time to time return to the office at around 8pm to check - and if I find anyone i send 'em home. If on the other hand we have a major deadline to hit, then a) we make a group decision as to who has to stay and b) all managers of the affected teams stay. Bottom line is we are all in it together. What I dont do is baby sit anyone . I cant code anymore, but I can act as a tester and I can still offer an objective design or issue sounding board - failing that I always have enough work to be getting on with not to be in their hair and I always make sure there is enough pizza

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