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Ask Slashdot: Changing Career From OLTP To OLAP Dev 129

First time accepted submitter xby2_arch writes "After spending over 12 years writing OLTP applications (Java EE/JDBC/ORMs), I decided to dabble in the OLAP world. I had decent DB skills, considering most of my previous projects had involved data modeling and coding using Stored Procs, etc. Yet I hadn't designed or implemented any dimensional databases. Luckily for me, I had enough relevant domain knowledge to land a developer job in a data warehousing project. The work was enjoyable enough that it motivated me to spend that extra time and effort I needed to cope with the different dynamics of coding in the OLAP realm. In my past life, data volumes weren't the primary concern (instead, transaction volumes were), here, everything was about data. ETL/Integrations present another set of problems you generally skirt in a typical web/app-tier developer role. All in all, it turned out to be a non-trivial, yet worthwhile transition. I am certain that there are plenty of seasoned developers out there who plan to make a similar move (or have made already), who see data as the next chapter in their careers evolving toward becoming Enterprise Architects. I want to hear what's holding them back, or what helped them move forward. What should be considered a prerequisite to make this switch, and what are the risks, etc.?"
The Almighty Buck

Do You Really Need a Smart Phone? 851

Roblimo writes "My phone is as stupid as a phone can be, but you can drop it or get it wet and it will still work. My cellular cost per month is about $4, on average. I've had a cellular phone longer than most people, and I assure you that a smart phone would not improve my life one bit. You, too, might find that you are just as happy with a stupid phone as with a smart one. If nothing else, you'll save money by dumbing down your phone." I stuck with a dumb phone for a long time, but I admit to loving the versatility of my Android phone, for all its imperfections.

Osage Oppose Wind Power At Tallgrass Prairie 147

Hugh Pickens writes writes "The Tulsa World reports that Principal Chief John D. Red Eagle of the Osage Nation says the tribe, although not opposed to alternative energy development in general, has found significant reasons to oppose wind farms on the tallgrass prairie, 'a true national treasure' whose last small fragments remain only in Osage County and in Kansas. The Osage County wind farms would not be built in the Nature Conservancy's Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, located northeast of Ponca City, but would be visible from it and Preserve Director Bob Hamilton has urged the county and the state to steer wind development to areas of the county that are not ecologically sensitive. 'Not all areas in the Osage are sensitive,' says Hamilton. 'What makes the tallgrass prairie so special is its big landscape. It's not just local — it has global significance.' The Osage also fear that large wind farms will interfere with extracting oil and gas, from which royalties are paid in support of tribal members as the Osage retain their tribal mineral rights owned in common by members of the tribe. 'They weren't thinking about the mineral estate — just about compensating landowners,' says Galen Crum, chairman of the tribal Minerals Council. 'How are we supposed to know the price of oil in 50 years?'"

Osborne 1 vs. IPad 2 249

On Saturday we ran a story about the 30th Anniversary of the Osborne Computer, and today we have an amusing head-to-head: Osborne 1 vs the iPad 2. StormDriver starts: "At first, they seem to belong in completely different weight categories. Osborne 1 is just under 11 kg, enough to pull your arm out of the socket, if you're a skinny geek. That's roughly 20 times more than an iPad, or about the same as whole suitcase of them But what about the processing power? Osbourne 1 was sporting a Z80 CPU, running at a stunning frequency of 4.0 MHz. You cannot compare the different architectures directly, but iPad's CPU is a dual core A5, clocked at up to 1 GHz. That's approximately three hundred times more, not counting in the vastly superior architecture. Z80 CPU was supported by whooping 64KB of system memory. Surprisingly, it was enough to run databases, word processors and complex, professional software. Today's iPad is equipped with 512MB of RAM (roughly one thousand times more), and some reviewers complain it's a bit on the low side."

Comment Re:Even better ... I'm credited fees from other ba (Score 1) 359

Schwab Investor Checking accounts refund third-party ATM fees at the end of every month. Domestic and international, and they don't charge conversion fees when using non-US ATMs. Also, you get free checks and postage-paid envelopes for making deposits by mail. These accounts are also interest-bearing, although that doesn't count for much these days (it was 4.5% when I joined back in 2007 but dropped after the financial crash and is currently only 0.5%).

Comment Re:Gotta say, they picked a good one (Score 4, Insightful) 145

Wordpress actually outputs very little HTML and what it does is valid. The front-end markup is 99%+ determined by the theme (aka, templates, skins, whatever) - the theme uses the Wordpress API to pull data but but the display is entirely up to the developer. You're blaming the application for the bad markup written by a theme developer.

And, for what it's worth, the default theme that ships with Wordpress is valid XHTML.

Comment Re:You know the consumer my actually win (Score 1) 207

AT&T replaced their $30/month unlimited plan with $15/month and $25/month plans for 200 MB and 2 GB, respectively. Any one of their customers using less data than that is clearly saving money, possibly up to 50% of the data portion of their bill (phone service price is not affected, of course).

I was sure my wife and I both used more than 200 MB/month on our iPhones until I actually looked at our usage. We were way under. We saved $30/month by reducing both our plans to the $15 level.

Lots of people are saving money as a result of AT&T changing their pricing model. Verizon's tiers may be quite a bit different but I doubt it.

Comment Re:Getting there... (Score 1) 79

We talked about that with Matt Mullenweg at Wordcamp PDX last year and it's not going to happen. It seems the main obstacles are a) database abstraction layers like PEAR DB or ADOdb are too big, and b) it would require an enormous amount of work. The idea seems to be that since basically everyone can use MySQL, that's all they need.

Comment Re:HFC (Score 1) 542

As others have said, Mexican Coke is still made with sugar, and you can probably find it in specialty stores in most larger cities, or anywhere with a CostCo or Hispanic population.

In addition, there are a number of craft soda makers out there now in addition to Jones. You can get just about anything you want without HFCS if you look for it.

Comment Re:Not gonna happen (Score 1) 2424

Well, yes, that's exactly the point. Health insurance costs are highway robbery.

While my wife and I aren't paying $6k/year, we are paying a little over half that, and that's with a high-deductible HSA plan, which means that anything short of major expenses we pay out of pocket. A traditional health plan with low deductibles -- comparable to what we'd get through an employer if we weren't both self-employed -- would actually cost pretty close to the aforementioned $6k figure.

Comment Re:Another reason to escape the USA (Score 1) 552

Dual citizenship has been allowed for Americans for a long time now, and it's fairly easy to do. Most countries will allow you to apply for citizenship after living there for a certain number of years -- the UK is 5 years, some EU countries want 7 or 10, Belgium is only 3. Gaining residency is a smaller problem if you're self-employed, as you'd be bringing money into the economy and paying local taxes while not taking a local job. Some countries are easier than others but people do it all the time.

You'll still have to pay US taxes though but only if you make over a certain amount of money (I don't remember what that level is currently) but I'm sure that's not too difficult to work around.

Comment Re:Anyone can be in marketing (Score 1) 87

Close. What you mean to say is, "That's because everyone is in marketing".

As usual, Kathy Sierra said it best:

If you're interested in creating passionate users, or keeping your job, or breathing life into a startup, or getting others to contribute to your open source project, or getting your significant other to agree to the vacation you want to go on... congratulations. You're in marketing.

I'm in marketing because I need to sell my consulting services to pay my bills. I'm also in marketing because I need to keep people interested in my cocktails blog in order to make the time I spend on it worthwhile. I'm in marketing because the conference I'm organizing needs people to actually show up.

That said, I don't own any marketing books, much less books on "social media marketing", but I do recognize that marketing is not just for a few execs or business school grads.

Comment Re:A little more competition is a good thing (Score 1) 284

Just buy it with a credit card. And pay the debt off at $20/month or whatever is convenient.

... and find that your phone actually cost you well over $600 by the time you've finished paying off the interest your credit card company charges. Sorry, but that's a terrible idea. If $530 is too much up front, do it the old fashioned way: Save for it, then buy.

Jesus, no wonder people are in so much debt.

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