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Comment Re:Finally (Score 4, Insightful) 361

It's a shame when competent people get wasted in management.

I see these type of comments a lot, and I really don't get it. You think it would be better to have an incompetent person in management? You know what? Management is hard! I've been a manager for several years now, having stepped up from system administration when my predecessor left. Dealing with people is much harder than dealing with technology. You can't just google how to fix someone when they've got a problem. There's no reset button on a person. You have to figure it out, and work at it. Rarely do I leave the office and stop thinking about the problems I have to deal with the next day. Especially so when it's a sensitive or emotional issue.

I've had my share of poor managers, and they're not easy to deal with. I regard myself as pretty competent, and I strive to be a good manager, but like you, I'm a person and I sometimes make mistakes. Dealing with the repercussions of that isn't always easy. I've had to deal with accidents, serious illness, family bereavement, depression, infighting, poor performance, politics (oh God, the politics!) and a whole host of other things I wouldn't or couldn't list here. Dealing with a broken server or some dodgy code is a doddle in comparison.

Often it's a case of just taking the responsibility to make a decision. Even if the employee has come to the correct solution, they want someone else to carry it forwards. They can then go away, confident that if it all goes tits up, I'll be there to pick up the pieces and protect them from the shit heading their way.

I love the job, I really do. I feel it's more of a challenge than I ever had as a sysadmin. I'm not making light of the work that the technical guys do in any way. We're all links in the chain, and without good management, it does fall apart. I've seen it more times than I care to remember.

Comment Re:No historical data (Score 1) 177

This is only impressive if they didn't use any historical data at all to create the new super computer. If they did use historical data then the answer would be correct by definition. The way to test this is to use historical data make a prediction and then wait a year then compare to the real data only then you have any valid comparison.

That's really dumb. Why would you wait a year, when you have 35 years of data? You test the model on 1980's data, and see how accurate it was by checking with 1981's data, and so on. They can do that 35 times, if they're looking a year ahead. If they're only looking a month ahead, they can do it 12 x 35 times.

Comment London Taxis? (Score 1) 216

Ultimately we will need to ban diesel vehicles from much of London and we need a mayor prepared to take these tough decisions and work with people to make these changes happen.

It's been a while since I was last in a London Black Cab, but I'm pretty sure it was a diesel. Are they suggesting getting rid of them all? Good luck with that.

Comment Re:Digital computers are reaching the end (Score 1) 124

At that same conference, my colleague talked to someone working in Xpoint R&D who told him, "If you need a solid-state drive right now, buy the cheapest Samsung model you can get by with, because in the next two years we're going to blow the competition completely away."

Oddly enough, I was at a conference last week where we had a keynote by HP. He was saying pretty much the same thing about memristors. He held up a roughtly credit card sized model that would apparently hold 1.5PB of data. It all sounds cool, but I'll believe it when I see it. These "just around the corner" technologies sometimes take a lot longer than expected to reach market.

Comment Re:Remember all those years of Linux on the Deskto (Score 1) 183

Of course they need large scale manageability. What the GP post said was that there are no tools that offer the facilities that AD and GP do on Windows. You can do a whole lot of stuff with scripts and other tools, but that doesn't mean it's as straightforward.

The real strength of GP is the ability to modify the way the software that runs on top of Windows works, not just the OS itself. Of course, MS offers the best support for that in things like Office, although other applications can be managed too. With the sheer variety of mechanisms for configuring applications on Linux, there can simply be no equivalent.

Offer me a working equivalent of GP, and an Exchange replacement, and I'll give it serious consideration. Until then, for me, it's just not worth the hassle.

Comment Re:AI and robotics and jobs (Score 4, Interesting) 625

Sounds like you're describing Iain M. Banks' post-scarcity Culture (I'm sure there are other sci-fi examples). That can't really happen until we have an abundance of energy and the ability to manipulate matter to create any material goods we may require. I don't see that happening for another millennia or so, assuming we last that long.

Comment Re:If you like an app buy it (Score 4, Informative) 337

If you like an app, pay the dollar or two for the ad free version, other wise you're stealing from the developer of the app, justify it however you like, but it is theft.

That's not always possible. There are a few apps that I use where there isn't a version without the ads. I'd happily plonk down a few quid to remove them, but the option isn't there.

NASA

Submission + - NASA's basement nuclear reactor (gizmag.com)

cylonlover writes: If Joseph Zawodny, a senior scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Center, is correct, the future of energy may lie in a nuclear reactor small enough and safe enough to be installed where the home water heater once sat. Using weak nuclear forces that turn nickel and hydrogen into a new source of atomic energy, the process offers a light, portable means of producing tremendous amounts of energy for the amount of fuel used. It could conceivably power homes, revolutionize transportation and even clean the environment.

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