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Comment 150: 1 is Decent.. (Score 4, Interesting) 414

You have more than double that so i'd say you are pretty understaffed. I saw a video once that was actually pretty intelligent in talking about standard support ratios. Basically, there isn't a "standard" the answer is almost always "it depends". You start with your userbase - how tech savvy are they? How many applications are you supporting? What kind of hardware do you have? How many remote supporting tools do you have to use? Each of these answers adjusts the support ratio up and down and sometimes something as low as 75:1 is needed and other times 300:1 is just fine.

Still, in the place I work now we have 600 machines and 40 servers or so (most virtualized) and we have 13 IT people (with 1 open position right now). This includes 1 helpdesk person, 2 programmers, 2 systems support personnel (they support specific software we use), 2 hardware techs, 2 network analysts, 3 systems engineers, a secretary, and the boss.

Comment Re:Android WILL take over. (Score 2, Insightful) 330

Arguably, Apple has had great success by having a completely closed system which is why the argument that Android will succeed because it is open is such a fallacy in my opinion.

Android may be great, but its implementation is different on every Android phone. Different hardware, different features, different amounts of android functionality. You don't really have a consistent user experience any more than you do with Windows Mobile. Also, I bet that apps will not run the same across the hardware since so many different phones running Android have a wide variety of specs. I can see it turning into the nightmare that game/application developers have when making an application for the PC - you have a few hundred million permutations of possible hardware combinations in your potential user-base - good luck getting it to work properly and consistently on all of them!

Even to this day nearly every app made for the iPhone/iPod Touch will work very consistently across every version. Granted, the newer versions of the iPhone and iPod touch run and load the applications faster than their predecessors but the overall hardware that the developer has to deal with is very nicely uniform. This is also one of the core reasons why I think that the 360 and PS3 and Wii have such success compared to the PC for gaming. When you buy a game for those platforms you expect that you can take it home and it will just work.

I'm excited to see Android provide some real competition to Apple but realistically, even if Verizon does get the iPhone because Apple is facing strong competition from Google's mobile OS, do I really want to go back to Verizon? They have a great network sure, but they also had crappy customer service, dicked with their phones by disabling features and then trying to sell them back to me, doubled their smartphone cancellation fee and employ all kinds of scumbag tactics including selling unlimited data plans that aren't unlimited. Why is everyone so keen on being their customer again?

Comment Re:Free market (Score 3, Interesting) 555

One of my friends unlocked his Blackberry and enabled tethering without paying Verizon the tethering fee. He was playing MMOs via the phone's internet connection and this lasted for about half a month before Verizon noticed and disconnected him. When he opened up a web browser they showed him a message telling him that he was tethering without paying for it and offered to re-enable it for a few dollars a month. All he had to do was click "ok" and it automatically added tethering to his bill and re-enabled the access instantly.

They are doing something to track if you are tethering and not paying for, possibly just by watching the usage and what kinds of things you are doing (for example - WoW packets showing up on the phone automatically means tethering since the phone itself isn't capable of playing World of Warcraft).

Comment I have a G1 Intel X-25M (Score 5, Informative) 195

..and it is fantastic. This was the largest performance increase i've seen on computers in over a decade. I was going to go with a Velociraptor because I knew how important drive access latency was but then Intel patched the fragmentation issue that was worrying me.

I got mounting rails to fit the drive into my desktop case so i'm using it as my primary desktop drive for OS, some applications (Adobe Design Premium Suite runs great on it! Photoshop CS4 loads in 3-4 seconds!), and my main games. I then have a 1.5 TB secondary drive to store my data and music collection etc. I paid around $430 for my 80GB Intel X25-M so being able to get the 160GB for that same price is a fantastic improvement. I will definitely only be going SSD in my machines from now on. Everything loads faster, I get consistently fast boot times even after months of usage.

It is amazing to see Windows XP load up and then all of the system tray apps pop up in a few seconds. You can immediately start loading things like e-mail and Firefox as soon as the desktop appears and there is no discernible lag on first load like you will get with SATA drives since they are still trying to load system tray applications.

Comment Re:I would hardly call that Hulu competition. (Score 2, Insightful) 66

I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the PlayOn software that i've been using for the past year. It only cost me $30 and as long as you already own some sort of game console (360 and PS3 are supported now, Wii support coming soon) it is a better solution than the Roku box.

You run the PlayOn software on your machine and it transcodes internet streams into a format your console can recognize as a media server over your home network. I can watch things from Hulu, CBS, ESPN, Netflix, Youtube, and Amazon VOD. I can also watch movies or listen to music stored on my computer's hard drive itself. This lets me easily watch Hulu on my 50" HDTV instead of at my computer monitor.

The last few updates have vastly improved the reliability of the streams and you have the ability to pause, fast forward and rewind streams. The ads on Hulu are still included and PlayOn pretends to be a browser so I think that is why Hulu hasn't gone after them yet to stop the streaming. Hulu only does 1 ad per commercial break though (so far) so it isn't very annoying at all.

Comment Re:Wii got it right (Score 0, Redundant) 583

I think you missed the point, this /. summary is just a typical hit-job against Microsoft. The discs only get scratched if you re-orient the console WHILE the disc is being USED. This is a stupid idea to do with ANY disc-based system. Shut the console down and re-orient it and it works 100% fine.

I've used a 360 on its side and vertically and it works fine either way - just don't change orientation while a game is being played!

Firehose Car Lift

samzenpus writes "Ever wonder what Firemen do when there's no fire? It looks like they see what they can lift with water pressure."
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - CCP to have Council of Players (

ironwill96 writes: CCP, creators of EVE-Online and the upcoming World of Darkness MMO, today formally introduced their idea for a democratically elected Council of Nine players that will represent the views, concerns, and suggestions of the player base to CCP. The outline of how the proposed council will function is located here (Adobe PDF File).

According to the document, the Council will be elected by votes from the 200,000 member active player-base with one vote per account and proxy-vote transferring is allowed. The council will then meet with CCP in Iceland no more than two times during their elected term (6 months). The concept seems like an interesting one and it could definitely be an innovative new idea and might help address some of the prior issues that CCP has had in the past with not being open enough.

The Internet

Submission + - Ron Paul on Daily Show thanks to rabid supporters (

policy writes: "Ron Paul fans have been making so much noise online that he has become one of the most popular names on the Internet. He has even bested the likes of Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan on Technorati! Recently, supporters rallied around Ron Paul and urged Jon Stewart to interview the candidate well they got their wish, Ron Paul on Daily Show. This upcoming 2008 election is going to be wild, and the Internet may very well revolutionize United States politics and political discourse in America!"

Submission + - Saltwater as an Energy Source (

Everette Scott writes: John Kanzius, an inventor from Erie, PA, has discovered a method for turning ordinary saltwater into usable energy. Kanzius uses a machine he invented to create radio waves to actually ignite ordinary saltwater. The energy created is in the form of a flame that won't even burn a paper towel. The flame burns at approximately 3000 degrees Fahrenheit. The energy created has been used to power a specially designed engine for up to 2 minutes. He also believes that the machine could be used to fight cancer.
For more information watch these videos.
Video 1
Video 2
Video 3
Video 4
Saltwater as an energy source? Go figure...

Technology (Apple)

Submission + - Apple Releases 160GB AppleTV

mnemonic_network writes: The Apple Store is now offering two flavors of its AppleTV, $299 40GB model and $399 160GB model. Apple also announced on its website a YouTube plugin for the AppleTV that will be released in June. "With Apple TV, you can watch theatrical trailers from on your TV. And soon, you'll be able to browse and watch YouTube videos on the big screen, too. Coming in June, you can browse and watch thousands of free YouTube videos streaming directly from the Internet. Just sit back and enjoy the show." It will be interesting to see what else Apple is going to do with the AppleTV.

Submission + - Valve Releases Recent Hardware Survey Results

Freastro writes: Last week, Valve reset their on-going Hardware Survey in order to "keep on top of what kind of hardware everyone out there is running." Little has changed statistically since their first 200,000 responses, and it gives some interesting insight into what hardware and versions of Windows people are actually running. Their news article gives the following statistics and the full results can be found on their Valve Survey Summary page:
  • Just over 1% of respondents can run a DX10 path for graphics.
  • About 78% of you have microphones plugged in for voice communication. This will help you out a lot in TF2.
  • A little under 5% of you have upgraded to Vista.
  • Around 20% of your PCs are running multiple CPU cores.

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