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Comment Cookie requirement? C'mon guys. (Score 4, Interesting) 138

I like how their website tosses up an error saying I "need to enable cookies" even though I do in fact have cookies turned on. Only thing I am blocking is their attempts to track me by including google analytics.. I can use their password change just fine if I use an incognito window (which temporarily disables my plugins).

I suppose the original fault lies with me for creating an account with these goofballs.

Comment Avoid stuff that generates bundles of wires. (Score 1) 242

The real problem with cable management is not organizing it, it's what happens to the organization when you have to change something. Zip ties and velcro certainly make everything look pretty when you first set it up, but it gets frustrating really quickly when you need to make a change.. bundling all your cables in a big wad is the quick route to a disaster.

The best way to keep things tolerable is to get cables sized properly for the run so they aren't pulled taut or have too much slack, and lay them flat.. either on the floor or on a ladder if you're in a server room. Cables will still get tangled over time but if everything is straight it shouldn't be too hard to extract one.

One idea I've had for a few years but never got around to implementing is a sheet of pegboard.. use screw-in hooks to provide wire routes, and affix a power strip to it to run peripherals. Probably requires easy access to the rear of your desk though. If it's up against a wall the value declines.

Comment Re:I'll be hoisting a pint... (Score 4, Interesting) 115

The lab isn't going anywhere. While a few groups are justifiably concerned about their jobs, the overall mood around the lab is optimism. New projects are underway, accelerator research is ongoing, and proposals for new experiments are always in the works.

There's plenty of work left to be done. The real concern going forward is keeping the government willing to spend money on it.

Comment Re:Mods (Score 2, Informative) 704

Wish I had mod points (har har, no pun intended), because this is the way to go.

Get him into a FPS that has an active mod community (TF2 would be my pick, but it's far from the only option). Even just making maps for these games is a start.. scripting game events with entities in Quake/Source based games requires a lot of if/else logic and it's a very roundabout way to get someone thinking like a programmer. From there, they'll probably want to make new guns. This will naturally lead into making mods, which require "real" programming.

Other games that might work is Civ 4, WoW, or X3. All three have great support for mods via a scripting interface.

Comment The offensive part. (Score 4, Insightful) 521

The thing that bugs me about being endlessly monitored and categorized is that it's never used to make my life better. It's only ever done to help some random corporation improve their profits by some fraction of a percentage.

If being tracked watching a TV show for a full season resulted in them going "hey, thanks for being a loyal viewer, have this X as a token of our appreciation", I wouldn't complain so much. It wouldn't necessarily have to be a material bonus, in this day and age they could simply grant access to some kind of insider info website. The possibilities are only limited by imagination.

But no. Everything I do gets dumped into a database and sold to the highest bidder. It serves no purpose but to try and get more money out of my wallet. Or if the government is involved, measure my odds of being a terrorist.

Comment Re:Sounds like a cop-out for bad customer service (Score 4, Insightful) 364

Really? Where I'm at, as IT gets progressively more like the exact thing TFA advises against, I think "customer service" is actually getting poorer.

Back in the day, users would send an email to IT to get stuff fixed. If the problem warranted, a discussion would develop, an agreement would be made, and work would be done.

Today, we have a faceless ticketing system where users are forced to fill in drop downs that categorize their problem, to make sure reporting is nice and easy for the management. If IT has to query the user, they're supposed to put this query through the ticketing system. Direct communication is becoming less and less desirable, as is customization. If a user asks for something special or unique, the response is almost always "we don't support that".

Comment Re:Gold plated baby! (Score 2, Insightful) 524

Because new specs come out for the cables. There was cat 3, and cat 5, and cat 5e, and now cat 6 is out. They are all rated for increasing amounts of bandwidth.

I haven't yet come into a situation where this has been an issue though. I run gigabit over cat 5 constantly (despite claim that cat 5 is not rated for it), and have never had an increase in errors or interruptions. Which is what I think the OP was asking about.. are the new specifications really necessary?

In my experience, the answer is no.

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