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Comment Re:This is a rare breed of human. (Score 1) 758

Reposting this because I screwed up and posted as AC. I think his point is that "No, you do not have a right." And I'm inclined to agree. You have no right as a consumer to enforce an obligation on a supplier (at a cost) that has no basis in an agreed upon scientific standard. You might think there is a scientific basis, but many people don't. Hence the disagreement. It has *nothing* to do with favoring deceit (in my mind, at least). You might *want* to know, and I can't say I blame you, but I don't think you have a *right*. What you can do is choose to buy carefully and selectively from products that voluntarily choose to give you the information you desire. That hurts no one.

Comment Re:Have You Accounted for User Preference? (Score 2) 204

It's funny. I've done enterprise IT for a good long while. About 13 years. And now I do startups. And the thing that really shocked me was that even the little guys have "enterprise-style" needs. It's kind of funny, really. And the way enterprise IT vendors work, they lock out the little guys. I'm quite suspicious that there is a good market out there for bringing enterprise-level capabilities to small business.

Comment Re:Easy -- Google Apps (Score 1) 204

GApps is good for what it is, and it knows what it is--an all web suite. I use it for a non-profit I manage. But I also manage a software startup, and Office 365 was a much better choice for us. Got us perfect Outlook/Exchange integration without managing Exchange. Gave the users the same experience they were used to on the desktop. You get all of the features you actually need with the desktop apps-I've written a lot of papers on GApps, but it doesn't cover it for polished sales proposals. But for simpler needs, GApps is great--gmail and calendaring are definitely good enough. It's just the rest of it that falls short.

Comment Office 365 (Score 1) 204

It's kind of a no brainer for us. You get the benefits of a cloud solution, but with awesome desktop integration if you want it (key word being *if*). You get Exchange without having to manage Exchange. You get SharePoint without having to manage SharePoint. You want all web-based? Fine, do that. The pricing is great (like $6/user-month). Want to get more features, or subscription-based Office client apps like Word and Excel (which are quite simply head and shoulders above the web-apps from both MS and Google)? Pay a little more per month. And, like one of the commenters posted, quite sagely, if you create a partner arrangement, you get the E3 plan free for a year, and can extend it if you sell 50 more licenses. Pretty awesome deal. Or sign up for BizSpark, if you qualify, and get the whole enchilada for free for three years, with rights to keep the software you've downloaded. This gets you MSDN Ultimate for three years. It's insane. We've leveraged both of these, and the results are awesome for our company.

Comment The Daily Show covered this best (Score 1) 776

Oops, forgot to log in, I posted this anonymously by accident earlier. The episode of The Daily show where this was covered is truly awesome. This news is covered and then there is an epic segment on "Science" where a Republican strategist is interviewed. Starts at about 6:00 in. It's frightening. http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/wed-october-26-2011-lisa-randall

Comment Bogus Article - I'm in the industry (Score 5, Informative) 430

Okay, I was *really* hoping that this would get crosslinked, because I'm an avid reader of Gizmodo as well as Slashdot. I also never comment in the wasteland that is the Gizmodo comment section. I also happen to have worked in Juvenile Justice for about 12 years, and (disclaimer) currently work for a major player in the exact "analytic" space that the article describes.

Let me get this off my chest first: Jesus Diaz (the Gizmodo writer) is an idiot of the most supreme caliber. His MO on the Gizmodo is to write ill-researched inflammatory articles. Over time I have figured that these must be written solely to stir up internet frenzy and increase page views. More power to him, but it automatically disadvantages his opinions for me.

Now that the ad-hominem is out of the way, let me get to the meat of it. The conclusions here are 100% wrong. What we do is provide Juvenile Justice departments (which is almost always Juvenile Probation) with tools, in the form of academically validated models, that help them determine which kids are at highest risk to re-offend. We're also able to determine, with a high degree of accuracy (thank you academia!) what the kids biggest needs areas are.

So how does all of this information actually get used? It turns out that it's used in amazingly great ways. It helps keep children placed in their own homes, not in residential treatment, juvenile hall, or the state's Youth Authority. We've had jurisdictions report out-of-home placements drop by 50% after implementing our tools. It also means that a Probation Officer can focus on kids that are at a high risk to re-offend, and have minimal contact with kids that are at a low risk to re-offend. As it turns out, the PHds that come up with these tools are able to determine that having lots of contact with the criminal justice system is bad for kids that are low risk - so it really helps to know the kids that minimal intervention is the best path for. Another benefit of this sort of classification scheme (which works just as well for adults) is that the officers (who are time constrained) are able to spend more time with their higher risk kids because they aren't spending as much time with their low risk kids. This probably seems obvious to most readers, but I'm surprised by the number of commenters that don't get that last point.

My final point is that these kids are already getting put into treatment programs, like anger management, or drug counseling, or teenage parent classes. That happens regardless of whether or not a jurisdiction uses software like ours. What this type of analytic software does is help take away the "gut instinct" part of program placement and give the officer a little more guidance into what programs will be most effective. If you can only send a kid to one program, why make it an anger management class when, after an assessment, you are able to determine that it's actually his drug use and poor school attendance that are his biggest risk factors?

So in the end, this isn't about pre-crime, or thought-crime, or any sort of Orwellian conspiracy. It is, quite literally, about helping place minors (and adults) that have already committed crimes against people or their community, into programs that have the statistically best chance of helping them not commit another crime. The best part is, the followup data from jurisdictions using this type of software suggests that it works, with fewer placements and less recidivism.

Oh, and Jesus Diaz is a idiot (man that feels good.)


Submission + - Conficker May Be More Widespread Than Thought

mikesd81 writes: "PC world writes that the Conficker worm may have infected more machines than previously thought, according to Internet infrastructure provider OpenDNS. The company said Wednesday that 500,000 of its users have been infected with the latest variant of the worm, called Conficker.C. OpenDNS has more than 10 million users worldwide. Previous estimates had placed the number of Conficker infections, including all variants, at anywhere between a few million and 10 million PCs, but according to Ulevitch the worm is "probably bigger than people think, based on what we're seeing here." According to OpenDNS, Vietnam has been hardest hit by the worm, with 13 percent of the total infections it tracked. The countries with the next-largest number of infections are Brazil, the Philippines, Indonesia and Algeria."

Submission + - Paperless office solutions?

mamono writes: I currently work in a US Federal Government office. I'm appalled by the amount of paper people waste here. I know a lot of the effort to reduce paper use would entail education. However, I would like to have a plan in place to allow for a paperless solution. I'd like something like Kindle that will accept standard document formats (PDF, ODT, DOC, WPD, etc.) We are standardized on Word Perfect and Open Office but there are a few Microsoft Office folks, too. Is there such a device out there that would look, feel and work as well as the Kindle without being tied to only Amazon purchases?

Comment We got what we deserved (Score 2, Insightful) 784

Honestly, how did *anyone* not see this coming? For anyone that thought that the bailout was a good idea (and by anyone I mean anyone, regardless of political party or leanings), you're getting what you deserved. Unfortunately you're dragging the rest of us with you. What did anyone expect to happen? We took businesses with a *proven* failed operating plan, and gave them more money to "keep on keepin' on." We rewarded bad decisions and then all of a sudden, the still operating failure of a business (surprise!) keeps on making bad decisions and burning through capital faster than it takes it in. I know this is a logical fallacy, but damn! you had to be stupid to not see this coming. Anymore I just chuckle at the absurdity of this whole situation... we're getting what we asked for. I can't blame AIG for this, it is doing exactly what it has been doing-- f*ing up. But when we give them free money to keep on doing it, you can't blame them for thinking it might actually be good business.

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