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Comment Far too often, some exec read a magazine (Score 1) 154

Yep. Them dang magazines. Or them dang online "executive" websites. Often, "cloud" isn't an intelligent decision arrived at from collaboration between all concerned parties, as well-detailed in the earlier posts, it's "somebody's boss read a magazine article or saw something on the WSJ site," and next thing you know, the commandment comes down: WE MUST GO TO THE CLOUD, even though nobody involved in the issuance of the commandment even knows what the fuck "the cloud" actually IS. Or what it isn't.

Been through it many times. Every sortsighted headstrong exec who reads magazines hands down A Commandment:

We're Going Client-Server
We're Going Object-Oriented
We're Going Groupware
We're Going To Quality Circles
We're Going To Mobile
We're Going To The Cloud

They're a bunch of 5th graders worried they're missing The Next Cool Thing. They want the Pokemon, the Teddy Ruxpin, the Furby, THE COOL NEW TOY even if they get bored with it by the time they go back to school after Christmas. But in this case, everyone in the organization suffers for their fetish.

I mean, ask your friends.
"You guys putting things in the cloud?"
"Management said we had to."
"Man, shut up. You already owe me a beer."

They know. You know. "Cloud" is just another fad. A new bandwagon. Some organizations can benefit from it. A lot cannot. But when you get edicts from on high, absent a rational review (again, as ably described in other posts in this thread), well, you're fuXX0red before you even start, because your organization is doing something because "somebody said so," and not necessarily because it's needed or useful.

Comment Um, no, it doesn't (Score 1, Informative) 112

No, it doesn't "show you've spent enough time to use the wifi." For fun, grab an Android app called WifiCollector. On a 200-mile drive through three Eastern states a few weeks ago, it sniffed out over a thousand WAPs (most of them not open). Anyone using that to imply I was actually at any of those locations long enough to use the wifi is probably just about smart enough to work in a government intelligence job.

Comment Re:Sometimes the support is just dumb (Score 1) 253

That's not so much "support" as "bad deployment planning," but yeah, I saw a lot of that.

Heck, there's a specialized software package I use right now, that's being updated right now, and the only device to which you can export data using their export function is to A: or B:. Tagged the developer at a convention last fall and challenged them to buy any new machine from any maker that includes a floppy drive. He explained that the earlier versions of the software were (you guessed it) hard-coded to expect A: and B: because the guts of the software dated back to Visual Basic 1.0. Needless to say, I was less than enthusiastic about buying yet another "upgrade" that still used A: and B: in 2013.

Nothing sillier than having to fix the tech's product FOR them before you can actually do it. Even sillier when it's a big vendor like MS or HP.

Comment Re:Yes, and it's pernicious (Score 1) 253

Yeah. I'd say for a good number of the people on this /. thread, when we have to contact support, it's because we have a bizarre problem nobody has seen before and power-cycling and checking the network cable isn't gonna do a damn thing. In "customer support forum" situations, I suspect we also tend to be the de facto experts that the n00bz and the "solve my problem for me" types dogpile on once you show you actually know how to diagnose an issue and make a good stab at running down the problem.

Then the n00bz get grabby and entitled and we head for the door, since, of all the people getting paid to help support a commercial product, we sure ain't.

Comment Yes, and it's pernicious (Score 4, Insightful) 253

It's more than just some brilliant VP deciding to reduce the cost of support by basically saying, "let's let the users tell each other how to fix our product."

The really nasty part of this, and you'll see this on any "community forum" for any product of any complexity, is the amount of BS and crap information being repeated as gospel, without correction or clarification from the vendor. One guy who has a flukey problem posts a sketchy "solution," other people extrapolate from it, n00bz try to apply it to completely unrelated issues and fail, they complain about not getting "support," whine when the board veterans and few people who DO know something don't immediately reply to their vague posts, the n00bz leave, the veterans fall away, and "community support" rapidly becomes "no support."

Oh, unless you buy a support agreement, but then, since their few remaining support techs don't hear about some or many of these bizarre problems, they don't fix them, meaning paid support is worse than nothing.

I've seen this occur over and over in situations where "community support" isn't accompanied by skilled, consistent moderation AND intercession by the paid support techs and the developers. If you completely leave the users to try to "support" themselves, you end up with no users to support.

Comment Yeah, excelsior (Score 2) 340

In 1996, my rural cable system sent us a big mailer: GOOD NEWS, WE'RE ADDING SIX CHANNELS!

As it turned out, there were three religious networks and three new shopping channels. I sent them a letter (they were not an ISP back then) suggesting they combine all that crap into one channel, call it The Jeezus Shopping Network, and that would free up the other five analog channels for stuff I actually wanted to watch.

Never heard back from them.

Comment Re:How long would that last... (Score 2) 353

Agreed, but in a lot of organizations, the hiring takes place with less-technical management, or in contract situations, with a task manager or project manager whose performance metric is billed hours. It can sometimes take weeks or even months for their real working team to figure out they just got an unadaptable-but-smooth shit-talkerdropped on them from above, and sometimes even longer to convince management to do anything about it.

I got such a person dropped on me around 1999: interviewed well, I and my team were not part of the process, and he showed up knowing almost nothing about our environment or the tech. Took me six months to get rid of him, time during which he wrote essentially no usuable code, and time which he spent half the day on his cell phone.

We later figured out he basically used those six months setting up a deal to gonback to China and set up his own business.

Comment Wait, science... (Score 3, Interesting) 232

OK, somebody fill me in, here...

3,000 "lakes" on an ice shelf that they state was 2700km^2?

That's a little over a thousand square miles. That's about the land area of Cook County, Illinois, where Chicago is.

3,000 "lakes?" Lolwut? You mean "ponds?" Perhaps "puddles?"

Somebody convince me that I should be runnin' to the hills, because I'm just not feelin' it, here...

Comment Good discussion of IT ethics threadjacked by GZ (Score 2, Insightful) 569

You knuckleheads couldn't resist, could you? Perfectly good discussion of "when do you, as an IT person, have a moral and possibly legal obligation to intercede when unethical shenanigans goes on with your area of expertise," and you turn it the Twitter feed on Nancy Grace about an unremarkable trial in some shithole in Florida.

I remember when /. wasn't /b/

They should have never let you AOLusers on the real internet, just kept you in the box pink dialup sandbox.

Comment Re:He won't. His firing is legitimate. (Score 1) 569

Was it Windows Vista? My guess is the need to wipe that crap off there was entirely legitimate.

If Microsoft built houses, a blown light bulb would require you to bulldoze the house and rebuild it. Sure hope you were able to back up your furniture and appliances.

And EVERY SINGLE AGENCY at every level of government that's covered by a public records law is also covered by provisions of that law that recognize that they aren't about to keep every damn thing that has ever been stored on it. Go read up on NARA and federal records-retention regulations... every agency of every government that is covered by a public records law has some means to account for legitimate needs to wipe computers. Every single one.

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