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Comment Re:Word had more features (Score 1) 346

Just to add a note about MS tech support, I recently had an issue with Office 365, and called the support line. Since it's during the holidays, I haven't been in the office and have been ignoring all work emails. Over the last couple days, the MS support line has left 3 messages for me and multiple emails asking me to call back so they can tell me about a fix for my issue. This came down to the fact that I didn't know how to do something with the Office 365 admin tool.

In my job, I work with quite a few tech companies, and the support MS provides is usually excellent.

Comment Re:That bad? (Score 1) 740

I like the balanced posts. They sound real. But many in this thread and other are the grumpy folks who say that xyz is terrible. In the Microsoft posts, I've noticed (and already pointed out) that the grumpy folks resort to personal attacks because they don't like someone who actually claims to like a MS product (And, those grumpy personal attacks are somehow modded up).

By the way, I use both windows 7 and 8. And I am now often frustrated in windows 7 that I have to hit the mouse or a key on the keyboard before I can start typing. I find that the "just start typing" approach in windows 8 is nicer than the windows 7 approach. And, I was also one of the ones who was initially couldn't figure out that I was supposed to "just start typing", and spent a minute or two looking for some way to get to a command prompt.

No, I'm not paid by MS.

Comment Re:That bad? (Score 2) 740

Sheesh, it seems that every post that is pro-microsoft gets these types of personal attacks. I imagine the typical slashdot user as a grumpy old man; the type of person who used to complain about windows saying that DOS was far superior. And, complaining about new users? Seriously? Still upset about the long September? No, Windows 8 isn't perfect, but accusing people who like it of being shills is silly.

Comment Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (Score 1) 442

>>It's competing against Ultrabooks

It's competing against both. If I have to go to the city (by train) for a meeting with a client, I need my laptop. But, I'd prefer not having to break out the laptop on the train to read the news. The current model is to bring multiple devices. The surface model is to bring one device. It's an interesting idea. We'll see if MS pulls it off.

Comment Re:Too late (Score 1) 480

If you've hit the limit of Excel's calculation capabilities, and you're not using out of date hardware, then perhaps your app would be better suited to something besides a spreadsheet application? Excel spreadsheets run many, many companies, and, while I've heard this complaint before, it comes up very infrequently.

And, mail merge has always been a bit of a pain, but at most of the shops I've been to in the last decade, the office assistants are in charge of doing that, and it works fine for them.

Oh, and as far as Office having nothing useful. I recently pulled in a dataset from a government website that had about 6 related tables. 5 were lookup tables with between 10 and 1000 rows, and the last was a fact table that had ~16 million rows. I brought it into Excel, and created pivot tables and charts based on the data. Performance was incredibly fast. Can OpenOffice do that?

Comment Re:Well Bill, (Score 1) 403

But again, besides my parents, who uses the mouse to open something on the start menu? You want Excel? start button --> type "Exc". You want Fiddler? start button --> Type "fid". With Windows 8, don't do the first step. So, now it's easier. You're saying it's bad, but you haven't given a scenario that's now worse because of the new interface.

Comment Re:Is this Microsoft's attack on the App Store? (Score 1) 357

Developer checking in. I am frequently at meetings in a variety of companies where iPads, or tablets in general, are a status symbol. The folks who are at the top of the food chain will often bring tablets to meetings. The folks who will have to get "real" work done have laptops.

Personally, when I'm at a customer site, I may have to plug into a projector to do a demo of a product, open a doc to go over / modify requirements, or add/modify work items/bugs in our tracking system, and that's on a day that does not involve actual coding efforts. For these tasks, a tablet doesn't cut it. So, yes, I think there is a market for a device that allows folks that is either a tablet or a laptop, depending on the need of the moment.

Comment Re:What are you talking about? (Score 1) 454

Thanks for the personal criticism, I appreciate it! And you're right, I'm unclear on the difference between associate and assistant professors. So, you're saying that the assistant professors are probably the ones I've read about being on food stamps?

But, you haven't really addressed my core statement: Universities should be models for the liberal worldview. Instead, we find income disparities just like we find in the corporate world. Why do these organizations (universities) not live up to their ideals? You haven't answered that question. Instead, you've said that the people who make food stamp wages should go get other jobs if they don't like their current ones. You've said people without degrees have no right to expect to be paid living wages, and that even discussing a university paying all of its employees a living wage is not relevent to its progressive worldview.

>> [a graduate student] is able to take a better-paying job doing something else if they prefer

Certainly, a student can choose to drop out, and essentially forfeit the tuition they've paid into the program so far. Can the phd student decide they don't like their working hours, and pick up and switch schools? What would happen to them? No, they can't just switch without a tremendous cost. They are basically locked in and are totally dependent on their professors. In the corporate world, when an employee has paid their boss 10s of thousands of dollars, and can't leave the company without giving up a large chunk of that investment, it's considered to be....Um. No. Actually, that doesn't happen in the corporate world. Again, where's the evidence that the university is more progressive than the corporate world?

Comment Re:What are you talking about? (Score 1) 454

So, you're ok with the elite of an organization making good money while others who work for that same organization are on food stamps? In the corporate world, when a company pays workers a bad wage for the simple reason that they can, it's considered to be a problem. Again, in the liberal universities I would expect to find a better system; but there isn't a better system. Associate professors make low wages, and graduate students frequently make almost no wages at all. That's not progressive. That's not practicing what they are preaching (and, this doesn't mention the myriad of support staff like the folks who work in the cafeterias. What are their wages? Again, we're talking about organizations that are run by liberals; they have the power to shape the organization any way they want. And, the result is something that is very similar to the corporate world that they criticize.)

>>Nobody in academia goes in not knowing about that.

Just like no one who works for wal mart goes in not knowing the pay and working conditions. But it' not progressive to require folks to work long hours for little pay.

Comment Re:What are you talking about? (Score 1) 454

From the wikipedia article about professors in america: "Full professors earn on average about 70% more than assistant professors in the same institution." That doesn't exactly sound equitable, does it? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professors_in_the_United_States) And, considering the average professor makes ~100,000, that means that some associate professors are on food stamps. And, yes, the majority of professors work hard. But what do the folks at the top do? At many institutions, division chairs don't teach classes at all. Many will teach 1 or two classes per semester, and keep "office hours". So, again, as Universities are dominated by liberals, you'd think that they would reflect liberal values: equal pay for equal work, good working conditions, an environment that cares about the individual (aka no 80 hours weeks). But none of that happens, does it?

Comment Liberal Utopia (Score 1) 454

Sorry to be political, but wanted to point out that conservatives use examples like these to argue for conservatism. It is a known fact that Universities are completely dominated by liberals and democrats. The university is their opportunity to create the environment of their dreams. And what do they create? A system where a few people at the top make really good money while working very few hours. Meanwhile, the people at the bottom work huge hours for little or no money.

Comment Algebra (Score 1) 767

Not exactly answering the question, but just moving it back a little: folks who know algebra seem to be able to grasp the basic concepts. People who don't will usually just struggle. Another one besides algebra, but closely related, is Excel. If folks can't grasp the basics of formulas/functions in excel, then coding will most likely be beyond their grasp. (this is from ~10 years experience teaching adults the basics of writing code). Can all people get to the point of being proficient in Algebra and therefore code? Perhaps... But since 100% of the general population definitely does not know the basic concepts of algebra, I'd have to say that at this point, not all people will be able to learn to code.

Comment Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (Score 2) 404

Mathematicians are smarter than this. They have developed models that take the current environment into account. (google "value added score") There's certainly still debate on its accuracy, but the current model in education is to do no effective teacher assessments whatsoever. Currently, if there are teachers all over the country where everyone knows that they are ineffective. The students know it. The parents know it. Other teachers know it. The administration knows it. And, union rules say that nothing can be done. (ok not nothing. The union rules will be written in such a way as to make it extremely unlikely for the administration to to anything about it. (this page has a link to a pdf that documents the old process for firing a teacher in the new york city school system. If you haven't seen it before, it's stunning: http://reason.com/archives/2006/10/01/how-to-fire-an-incompetent-tea)) Summary: Administrators and mayors want to be able to make personnel decisions in schools. Unions want guaranteed employment for life, regardless of job performance. Since so much research has been coming out that shows that the union position is unhelpful, educationally, they have been losing ground in district after district around the country.

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