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Comment Re:Charge for support (Score 1) 635

Every year we here in Minnesota hear of folks who were out ice fishing on Lake Superior too late in the season and had to be rescued because the ice broke up and sent them adrift. As I recall these folks get a bill for the cost of the rescue effort from the Coast Guard. I'm not sure if they only bill people who are out on the ice after it's been declared unsafe or if it's a general policy that people get billed for these rescues.

Comment Re:GM (Score 1) 835

I think you are in fact agreeing with the GP, he disagrees with the author's conclusion that we should regulate less. It seems that your opinion is also that less regulation of this area would not provide positive outcomes. Unless I am completely misreading your opinion, in which case I apologize.

Comment Re:Know when (Score 1) 274

At a place I was a contractor they had a locked desk policy. Anything that was considered secured information, which included anything involving the most minute of company operating details, had to be in a secured location at the end of the day. The would periodically do sweeps looking for anything that was potentially secured information. As an employee you had a three strikes and you were out rule, third infraction was termination. As a contractor you had a two strikes rule. I got my first strike the first week I was there, before I knew about the policy, because I had a notebook in a desk drawer that wasn't locked.



Gulf Oil Spill Disaster — Spawn of the Living Dead 228

grrlscientist writes "A recently published study, intended to provide data to commercial fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico so they maximize their catch of Yellowfin Tuna, Thunnus albacares, whilst avoiding bycatch of critically endangered Atlantic (Northern) Bluefin Tuna, Thunnus thynnus, suggests that the Deepwater Horizon oil leak may devastate the endangered Atlantic bluefin population, causing it to completely collapse or possibly go extinct."

Comment Re:Well at least... (Score 1) 525

Traditionally stocks were based on taking partial ownership in a company and as a share holder getting part of the company's profits in the form of dividends. The markets provided a way for people to sell off their shares when they no longer wanted them and for new people to acquire those shares. There was speculation but it was not the primary driver for stock ownership. Company's did not need to have continual growth in order to have a valuable stock they just needed to generate consistent annual profits. In recent decades new theories around finance have resulted in increased demands for shorter terms results while many "new economy" companies no longer offer dividends. This means that investors can only profit by an increase in share price which demands year over year growth in perpetuity. It's no longer enough for companies to be successful, they must be more successful than last year's success. Like a giant start that continually expands before collapsing upon itself this dependence upon perpetual growth will eventually bring things to a catastrophic end. And no, neither 2008 nor 2010 (so far) qualify as catastrophic compared to what will eventually happen unless some sanity returns to the market.

Comment Re:All comes down to budget (Score 1) 216

Okay, in a response to a previous comment I went off on a rant about managers not needing to be from IT to be good. I think this is a perfect example of what I was talking about. Nothing in this comment indicates that the manager was a techie (he may very well have been but you can't tell that from what's stated here). He identified a problem that truly needed to be solved and took a stand in order to get that problem addressed. He didn't do anything technically brilliant, he just did something that was right for the company and right for his people in the long term, that's leadership and integrity. Unfortunately it is in damn short supply just about everywhere.

Comment Re:All comes down to budget (Score 1) 216

This is because IT is managed by managers, not engineers.
If all managers had coalface IT backgrounds at least (even to the point of just helpdesk) the problem would not be there...


I've seen organizations where the managers were IT staff promoted into management, their leve of success did not exceed that which I've typically encountered. Some of these promoted IT folks were lousy managers (for a long list of reasons that typically mirrored why other non-IT originating managers were lousy) and some of them were hobbled by a variety of forces that originated one or more steps above their pay grade. A good manager will understand the need to produce value from IT in order to get the status of the IT organization recognized as something more than a cost center. They won't single handedly come up with the solutions that do this but they will try and drive the organization in that direction.

Good managers are hard to find, period. The myth that exists among the IT labor force that all problems would be solved if management came from within their ranks is just plain wrong.

Comment Re:All comes down to budget (Score 1) 216

Sales weasels don't know IT, but they aren't necessarily dumb either. If they've been doing it for any period of time they're good at their task, which is finding the decision maker and geting them to choose their product. You can try and use red herrings to keep the weasels away from those with signing authority but they'll figure it out eventually. If they don't figure it out they won't get the sale and eventually they'll be out of the business, natural selection at work.

Comment Re:Price Fixing, Oligopoly, Collusion, Etc. (Score 3, Insightful) 249

Decreasing production in response to decreased demand is a fairly typical business practice, it's just good operations. Likewise, most organizations are going to decline to make major investments on new operational capacity during a down economy (there is a school of thought that says that's the exact right thing to do, taking advantage of lower costs during a recession and preparing yourself for the upshot out of recession but we'll leave that argument for another time). This is not collusion it's intelligent business operations. I know that we as consumers would like all businesses to spew out as much product as they can at the lowest price possible and margins be damned but that simply isn't realistic to always expect in all circumstances. It's a luxury that the tech consumers have largely enjoyed but that doesn't mean that it has to be that way.

Now, if all the makers of SSDs established an agreement between themselves that they would constrain production to a certain level (and I'm not saying this isn't happening) then it's collusion. There's a decent chance it's happening here, just don't automatically equate a business trying to maintain a decent margin on a product to unfair business tactics.

Comment Re:I have a better idea (Score 1) 790

Ahem... it might be helpful if you knew what you were talking about.

Oh my, awkward. You see, Microlith was responding to the statement "grow your own tobacco and you'll be fine" and you rather jumped down his throat on an entirely unrelated matter. Seems that someone is having a bit of a nic fit :-D

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The decision doesn't have to be logical; it was unanimous.