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Comment Re:As an IT Manager (Score 1) 545

Many jobs have no meaningful metric for measuring accomplishments. You can't measure "kept data center well maintained" or "manned customer support line, addressing client issues" without considering hours spent on the task. Most of IT operations is based on avoiding any interruption to the rest of the workforce. The best system admins are practically invisible.

Comment Re:8300? Let that sink in a moment (Score 1) 327

609,052 / 8300 workers = 73 patents to review per worker per year. If each patent takes 3 days to review then that is 260 - 219 = 41 days for sick time, vacation, and any patents that take longer than 3 days. Not much slack available there - especially if their math skills are as bad as yours.

Comment Re:No joke (Score 1) 47

I used to work for a pharma supporting a system that does exactly this. All pharmas have a system like this mandated by law. It's called adverse event tracking. You tell your doctor "I had effect D while taking drugs X, Y, and Z". The doctor reports this to the pharmas that make X, Y, and Z and it is all tracked for potential causality. The difficulties arise if there are too few people who have that side effect while taking that combination of medicine. If the occurrence is too rare there isn't enough statistical data to show causality. That's why all the commercials say "side effects may include ..." because some portion of patients on the medicine had those symptoms and causality may not be determined.

Comment Re:Some things not thought of... (Score 1) 453

They're not isolates supplies wise. The idea is that the parent company will send more supplies in future trips. The colonists produce data about Mars that is valuable and in return they get support from interested parties on Earth. Of course, the mere survival of the colonists is valuable and worthy of a certain amount of supplies, too.

Submission + - How do you steer a small MS development company away from MS lock-in? 2

toebob writes: "I work as sysadmin for a small company. Or flagship product is developed in .NET and uses MS SQL Server on the backend. Between MSDN and MPN (Microsoft Partner Network) Microsoft makes it very easy for small companies to use MS products across the board for all sorts of development and internal use. I see a future where the company grows beyond a certain size and suddenly all those MS products become very expensive but by then we'll be locked in and migration will be terribly expensive and difficult.

Is it possible to avoid growing into a Microsoft-centric business? If so, what alternatives are available for .Net, Visual Studio, MS SQL, MS Office, Exchange, Lync, SharePoint, etc... that work together as well as the Microsoft backoffice suite?"

Submission + - What You Can Learn From One Line of Vintage Code (itworld.com) 1

itwbennett writes: "One 30 year-old, one-line program has quite a story to tell about its place in history. According to the authors of the book '10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10,' code is 'embedded with stories of a program's making, its purpose, its assumptions,' making it a sort of cultural artifact on par with Victorian Novels and cave paintings. Among the things that '10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10' teaches us about programming on a Commodore 64: 'The BASIC PRINT command doesn't print anything; it displays output on the screen. The command derives from the days when BASIC was being developed at Dartmouth in the early 1960s, during which time output went to a Teletype, and not to a monitor.'"
Christmas Cheer

Submission + - Norad To Track Santa With WebGL - IE Users Left Out (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: Every year Norad uses its radar to track the progress of Santa so that children everywhere can know where their presents are. This year the operation goes even more high tech with the use of WebGL to create a 3D location map. The only problem is that IE users can't view the page because IE doesn't support WebGL. So instead of a 3D lollipop, IE users get a blank screen cinder from Santa.
There are even instructions on how to upgrade to Firefox or Chrome, which do support WebGL. The final twist to the story is that the mapping data is being provided to the open source Cesium 3D mapping tool by Bing i.e. by Microsoft.
So if you see the graphs of Firefox and Chrome usage jump in the days after Christmas — now you know the reason. The choice of WebGL has delivered a very pleasing Christmas present to both Mozilla and Google. Ho, ho, ho.....

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