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Submission + - Would YOU Fire This Person? (certwise.com)

Esther Schindler writes: If “Tracy” were on your team, how would you handle her?

Among a project manager’s most painful tasks is firing an employee. Nobody enjoys the experience, even when the employee clearly deserves to be booted. But it’s much worse when an individual is a drag on the team, not a complete failure. Few of us are certain when it’s time to say, “I give up. I must get rid of this person.”

It’s an age-old management dilemma, but we can all learn from the way other people handle such situations. Here’s the story of a real team “problem child” and the troubles “Tracy” caused her manager. You get the opportunity to decide what you would do if you were the project manager. Then you can compare notes with other managers – before you learn how the story really ended.

Submission + - "Designing with LibreOffice" (designingwithlibreoffice.com)

An anonymous reader writes: "Designing with LibreOffice" is not a manual — it's a series of tutorials to help you get the most out of the leading free-licensed office suite. Endorsed by Michael Meeks, one of LIbreOffice's founders, as well as popular Linux writers Marcel Gagne and Carla Schroder, the book is released under a Creative Commons by SA license, and available both as a free download and a for-sale hard copy. It currently has over 12,000 downloads, and a translation into French is under way.

Submission + - 8 ways to become a kick-ass programmer

Esther Schindler writes: We all want to get better at our jobs (whether it's software development or something else), but how do you go from "good" to "great"? Too many people aim for improvement without any sense of how to get there. Esther Schindler offers eight actionable guidelines that can act as a flowchart to improving your programming skills, such as "Stop trying to prove yourself right" and "'The code works' isn’t where you stop; it’s where you start."

Submission + - 11 Things Computer Users Will Never Experience Again

Esther Schindler writes: Why sure, who has resist geek nostalgia? Because "kids these days" only know about all-in-one computers, wherein you can destroy thousands of dollars of equipment by pouring a cup of coffee into a laptop keyboard. But, O Best Beloved, once upon a time, microcomputers weren't all-in-one devices. They were put together from standalone components, each with its technical merits. And we had to know all about every one of them. So take a short trip into the WayBack machine — via this collection of old computer hardware ads and photos of rats-nests of cables — to remind yourself how much better things are today.

Comment Re:EVEN WHEN??!!!! (Score 1) 57

Containers are even less separate than jails, of course they're near the bottom of the barrel in terms of security. Why the Container fad when the overhead of proper virtualization is now so very low it's negligible on any modern server processor?

Because you can run three to four more server apps on the same architecture than you can using even efficient VMs such as KVM. That, in turn, means you have o pay for fewer servers.

Submission + - Who Makes The Decision To Go Cloud and Who Should?

Esther Schindler writes: It’s a predictable argument in any IT shop: Should the techies — with their hands on their keyboards — be the people who decide which technology or deployment is right for the company? Or should CIOs and senior management — with their strategic perspective — be the ones to make the call? Ellis Luk got input from plenty of people about management vs. techies making cloud/on-premise decisions... with, of course, a lot of varying in opinion.

Submission + - No, you can't use Wi-Fi to power your phone. Do the math! (computerworld.com)

richi writes: Did you see the headlines squawking about how Wi-Fi will charge your smartphone in the future?

Bunkum, I say. Each time the story gets repeated, it loses a little more veracity. So I aimed my Computerworld curation cannon at this.

Researchers have improved the ability to capture power from radio waves. By tweaking some standard Wi-Fi hardware, they've increased the amount of power that can be leeched from unused transmissions. It could help power IoT sensors.

But wait — don't believe everything you read on the interwebs, kids. Predictably, some science-illiterate journalists and bloggers are saying it can actually charge your smartphone. Sadly, the researchers only achieved power levels of a few microWatts — that's about 100,000 times too small to run your phone, let alone charge it.

Submission + - Good: Companies care about data privacy. Bad: No idea how to protect it. 1

Esther Schindler writes: Research performed by Dimensional Research demonstrated something most of us know: Just about every business cares about data privacy, and intends to do something to protect sensitive information. But when you cross-tabulate the results to look more closely at what organizations are actually doing to ensure that private data stays private, the results are sadly predictable: While smaller companies care about data privacy just as much as big ones do, they’re ill-equipped to respond. What’s different is not the perceived urgency of data privacy and other privacy/security matters. It’s what companies are prepared (and funded) to do about it.

For instance:

When it comes to training employees on data privacy, 82% of the largest organizations do tell the people who work for them the right way to handle personally identifiable data and other sensitive information. Similarly, 71% of the businesses with 1,000-5,000 employees offer such training.

However, even though smaller companies are equally concerned about the subject, that concern does not trickle down to the employees quite so effectively. Half of the midsize businesses offer no such training; just 39% of organizations with under 100 employees regularly train employees on data privacy.

Presumably, your employer cares about data security and privacy, too (if for no other reason than to keep its name out of the news). But what is it really doing to ensure that protection?

Submission + - Java at 20: where has it been and where will it go

An anonymous reader writes: Time flies when your hacking. The Java programming language turns 20 on May 23. Now in the hands of Oracle, you don't hear much about zero-day flaws any more. But it still powers everything from Minecraft to Hadoop. ITWorld looks at where Java has been and where it's going.

Submission + - The Next Decade in Storage

Esther Schindler writes: Beyond “What’s coming in 2015” articles: Robin Harris, a.k.a. StorageMojo, predicts what storage will be like in 2025. And, he says, the next 10 years will be the most exciting and explosive in the history of data storage. For instance:

There are several forms of [Resistive RAM], but they all store data by changing the resistance of a memory site, instead of placing electrons in a quantum trap, as flash does. RRAM promises better scaling, fast byte-addressable writes, much greater power efficiency, and thousands of times flash’s endurance.

RRAM's properties should enable significant architectural leverage, even if it is more costly per bit than flash is today. For example, a fast and high endurance RRAM cache would simplify metadata management while reducing write latency.

...and plenty more, of course.

Comment Real reasons why Lollipop is slow to launch (Score 1) 437

Actually, to sum up what I said in the linked to article, Lollipop came out with multiple problems and Google was really slow both to get the first OTA and the updates out. It's not because as the person who posted this to /. suggests because people were sticking with KitKat because it was good enough. Now, if Lollipop 5.02 goes no where then that may be a real argument, but it's not one you can make today.

Submission + - Avoid Holiday Camera-geddon: How to Keep Holiday Family Photos from Bringing Dow

Esther Schindler writes: A hidden danger for your datacenter lays lurking during the holiday season – and it’s ready to bring your servers to their knees, write Yadin Porter de León and Tony Piscopo. Employees take a smartphone to family gatherings to capture the smiles of their family members. When the employees return to the office, those photos are synced and shared across your network.

And, come the first working day of the new year, they’ll all be backing up at once!

If you work in a large company with the backup solutions residing in the datacenter, you likely have experienced this phenomenon. It’s been described by some as “the worst day of the year for their infrastructure load.”

You know the painful process of trying to get the services up-and-running again after it crashes. You may find yourself struggling as the servers continue to crash as all those endpoints relentlessly try to shove photos of pets in Santa hats and bad Christmas sweaters through your precious network pipes and clog up the storage pools.

The authors have four suggestions for how sysadmins can avoid or minimize the damage, no matter what kind of backup system you use.

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