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Comment HOW could anyone choose "No"? (Score 1) 192

Honestly, I'm flabbergasted by the responses to this poll. How someone could choose "No" over "No" without even taking time to consider "No" or "No" boggles my mind.

Now I will grant you, the "Goodness me, no" camp is the more vocal, and to be sure the most numerous, but simple numbers does not make an opinion right. Consider the option of "No": Simple, to the point, leaving little room for confusion, even when compared to "No". I'm going to guess that many reading this poll are fans of "House, MD", and may recall an episode where Dr. Cameron asked House if he liked her. His reply, of course, was a simple "No", while clearly he meant "Maybe".

(I have no idea where I'm going with this ridiculousness, but felt it important to at least say "No")

Comment Maybe don't "try". (Score 1) 584

Maybe "lead by example".

My daughter used to sit with me while I watched the original "COSMOS", and she would hear me excitedly talk about space missions, changes in what we know about, and the big things we didn't really understand. By the time she was 10, and already heavily interested in math, she told me "You know, I want to be the one who figures out what dark matter and dark energy really are." Also, at a young age, my daughter was introduced to several good friends of mine who are women in the sciences; An MIT mathematics professor, a former nuclear physicist and NASA scientist, and someone who is an astronomer. These women all have families, all are moms, all do "normal" stuff, but also all happen to have careers in science.

Does that mean my daughter will likely become a scientist? Well, she's fifteen now, and while she still loves math and astronomy, she's also become fascinated by Latin, and loves the language and history. Maybe she'll be a historian, or maybe hell, she'll be a hair dresser. But if SHE makes the choice of what she wants to do and be, if I don't make that choice for her and she's at least aware that she's got options, that's all I care about.

Comment Remember: What has been seen can not be unseen (Score 1) 246

I work for a small police department, about 50 people and one of the 3 civilian full time staff. In the 13 years I've been in this job, I've learned several things, first of which is my subject line: "What has been seen can not be unseen". I learned this the hard way after someone asked me to assist in ghosting the hard drive of someone who was, in the local parlance, a potential "Diddler", child pornographer. As asked, I ghosted the drive, then when staff found no illegal images, I dug through the drive searching for hidden directories.

Yes. I found them, all right. Now, I have a daughter, 15 today but only 4 at the time, and some of the images I saw, frankly, haunt me to this day. Back then we had no direct resource for digital discovery / evidence collection, and after seeing those images.... I wrote our discovery and extraction policy and worked out a deal with another law enforcement agency to have their people take care of that. I'm well paid, but there is not enough money on this planet to get me to again see what I saw.

Over the course of day to day IT stuff, I have seen emails or documents which yeah, maybe I shouldn't see. Sure, I'm CJIS (Criminal Justice Information Services) certified, etc, but I don't need to see some things. But my boss, the Chief, and my coworkers know that all I'm interested in is making sure we're secure, that the officers and staff can perform their jobs, get email, track cases, track safe keeping, evidence, etc and it's going to work. That's it. I'm not the moral compass. Of course, if I saw someone was up to something illegal with my babies (computers) I would gather evidence and present it immediately! And I'm a very vocal advocate for privacy AND freedom of civilians to record police activity, something my coworkers now agree with me on. But if I, for example, read that one officer gets paid more than another officer for his hourly construction detail, that's none of my business. I mostly stay in my office, work on the things I need to work on, study, and do my job.

IMO that's what we do. We fix things, we keep the show running. That said, you may find yourself with perhaps some leverage. For example, I had one troublesome user who asked my help on installing a piece of software. I went to his desk, asked where the installer was, and he had no idea. So, first thing I did was check the "Downloads" directory. Sure enough, there was the installer, as well as a metric crapton of video files with titles like "Pegging" and "Tranny". He went white... as ... a... SHEET. Not missing a beat, I move the installer to the C: drive and set to. Finish install, enter registration keys, configure, done. As I'm getting up to go, I turned and said "I trust I'll receive no further complaints from this office, right?" He looked, nodded vigorously, and I walked out.

Submission + - FARK users attempt to bring an article from The Onion to life with. (indiegogo.com)

UncHellMatt writes: What started out as a joke within FARK's "TotalFark Discussion" referencing The Onion article about Joe Biden washing his TransAM has blossomed into a full fledged fund drive to give Joe Biden a TransAm. "Now, Uncle Joe won't be able to accept this behemoth of steely American grace and power. He has these pesky laws and regulations and political-y things to deal with," the page reads. "Take into consideration his magnanimity and power of personality, he probably wouldn't be able to drive the Trans AM without causing a mass outpouring of Conservative Tears."

The original FARK thread can be found here.

Comment I refute it thus (kicks user) (Score 3, Interesting) 349

Bless my users and their black little hearts, desktop support is highly unlikely to ever vanish. Certainly change, certainly remote desktop support (ie gotoassist) will increase, however there will still (likely) be situations where an actual person is going to be needed to go directly to a person and help.

With the increase in mobile computing and potential to see the desktop PC effectively vanish in 20 years (or less!), you will still have people who not only shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a means of communication more complex than smoke signals, and you will still need someone at the ready with a fire extinguisher. The current generation of tech savvy middle school age children will, of course, be part of that next generation of mobile users. However, problems happen. Mobile users will, most likely, still have an office which needs to be set up, which needs to have a person come and assist in problems. They will still need face to face time to help sort out issues, train in the use of a device, and possibly troubleshoot. I have many users who experience abject terror at the prospect of setting up even the most simple minded of USB printers, activating a phone, or even plugging in speakers! Odds are such phobia won't just up and vanish.

There is also a more human element that many people desire when dealing with technical issues. Perhaps we'll see more situations like Apple's genius bar, or *shudder* Geek Squad, taking shape in the business of support. But who knows? At this point, pundits shouldn't attempt to speculate about the IT industry in 2 years, let alone 8 or 20.

Comment "Starting to"? (Score 1, Interesting) 178

Sorry, but "starting to" suggests Google's recent actions are somehow different or new. Google has been deliberately and willfully evil for years now. If memory serves, Google has revealed the names of Chinese dissidents in the past (single citation being used, though going back you do find more), and gleefully gave in to the Chinese government too many times to cite all of them, all in the name of a bit of dosh.

Why is ANY of this a surprise? Companies that have a great product, a great service, that lose focus on what their foundation is in favor of making money, will always do this, at least every instance I've seen. Even smaller companies. I'll use a local example; Here in the Boston area there is (or I should say "was") a great ice cream store named more or less for the neighborhood it was founded in. The ice cream was, to put it mildly, pure heaven. Even in the dead of winter people flocked to their locations, what they had was just that good. Over the years the quality has gone down considerably in direct proportion to how much the founder began making. Once he got some investment money from other parties, the bottom line became a bigger issue. Employees who had been with him from the first day he'd opened were fired because they looked "different" (it was a haven for artistic, counter culture people back in the 80s and to the mid 90s) and didn't fit in with his new "professional" look. The product they made became just sort of average. Walk into any chain ice cream store, and you'll get the same product. However their profits skyrocketed and they continue to do business not due to the ice cream, but the name.

Google has become no different. They own the market, and they know it. Rather than focus on doing what they do best, and NOT doing it in an evil way, they what... Release a browser, a (rather sad) OS, they see Facebook take off and using a page from Microsoft's playbook say "Why didn't WE think of that?" and come out with their own, much to the delight of dozens. Now Google is stooping to the same bush league dirty pool that other companies do.

Is anyone really surprised?

Comment Re:You're asking who? (Score 1) 1040

I hadn't upgraded for some time and (foolishly?) decided it was time. Unity was... Well, a disappointment. Not too long ago a friend who lives and breaths netbooks was having a strong dislike to Win7, and I suggested he try Ubuntu. It was faster than Win7, he was able to get drivers for everything, and he liked the desktop. I agreed with him entirely. However on a big screen or multi screen... Not so much.

Then I read some quotes by Mark Shuttleworth. For a minute I thought I was reading something by Bill Gates or the late Lord Steve Jobs: 'There is going to be a crowd that is just too cool to use something that looks really slick and there is nothing we can do for them'. My dear sir, it's not a matter of "cool", it's a matter of your desktop environment is crap. Now, I'm no power user. In fact, I'm more the "Walt the Janitor" of the computing world (or perhaps the Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor...) and really just use the best option for what I want to do, and in an ideal world how I want to do it. I don't use a flat screwdriver on a Phillips-head screw due to its looks, and I'm not exactly "too cool" to use something that looks "really slick". I like shiny, I like bells and whistles, and I like machines that go "PING". That said, Unity is complete shit IMO. I won't go into details on why I don't like it, and I'm sure of course that there are those here who would disagree with me on the reasons, but I just flat out have not found it an "enjoyable" desktop experience. As well, the statement by Shuttleworth: "I think the report actually meant that the launcher should be movable to other edges of the screen. I'm afraid that won't work with our broader design goals, so we won't implement that. We want the launcher always close to the Ubuntu button."

That quote right there was the nail in the coffin with me for using Unity. Yes, I know it's petty, yes I know that my reason is somewhat trite, but it just bothers me when someone says "This is how you should use your computer, and how it should look. No, you can't change that." I really did give Unity about 2 weeks of use, and got to the point where I was very comfortable using it, but it wasn't enjoyed comfort, it wasn't "ah, this is my desktop".

Credit where it is due, while I had some issues with performance, I was able to get around that (changing drivers for video card), as always with Ubuntu right from the get go I had zero problems with other devices, printers, etc. But now I'm using KDE.

Comment I will give Siri props. (Score 4, Interesting) 183

When I tested it out, it did much better than my Android, with no "training". Try Android voice with a Boston accent. I tell it to call my favorite bar and it calls a sheep.....

One of the people who worked on Watson, the computer mind put to the test on Jeopardy, is my former brother in law. When BrotherInLaw -1 began on computer AI there was, at the time, no one more advanced than he to challenge his thesis. The stuff we're seeing now in Siri is very much like what Watson did and projects BIL -1 has been working on for over 10 years, only put to "commercial / consumer" use; something inevitable. I doubt anyone involved with the first missions to the moon were all up in arms saying "What? Velcro? *ththt* That's been out for ages." Remember, to much of the media and your average user, this IS bleeding edge!

This is what happens with technology. It gets invented, it gets used in science and technology circles for a while then, if it's got commercial appeal, it ends up in the hands of Joe 6GB.To those lambasting Apple, while I assure you is something I enjoy, is sort of shooting fish in a barrel.

All that said, I use Android for one very simple reason: Apple's Ap Store policy makes me rage. Their puritanical requirements on nudity, "obscenity", etc as well as their tight fisted control over interface is preposterous and reprehensible. When I'd heard they forced a German news agency change their iPhone ap due to a few boobies was when I decided I would never, ever own one. Many of my users have them, they're bought by my employer, I've been offered a new iPhone each year, but for the last two years I've very much enjoyed my Android. The voice command blows, no argument. The screen pivot is comical. But all the aps I have, I enjoy. I can play around with whatever aps I want and not brick the device. To me, that's a fair cop; One programs functionality (Siri) does not out weigh freedom to do as I wish with my devices.

Comment So I guess... (Score 1) 86

Sup dawg, I herd you like Android, so I put an Android in your Android so you can Android while you Android.

OK, now I feel dirty.

As noted, do they ship refurbs? Ages ago while working for a computer retailer, we once had a Mac that someone took home which had been "re-imaged" by our service department... And when the customer got it home, it booted into BeOS. Not that I would have turned my nose up to it back then, it was a 9600 with "tons" of RAM (512, remember those days? If you had 256 people would come from far and wide just to touch your screen).

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