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Comment Buy Snopes (Score 1) 470

I'd love to see Facebook buy Snopes and then integrate that into their news feed. Then they can add a Bullshit Meter to each story. The thing is, the best alt-right news isn't 100% fake; the best ones are about 90% true. It's when they completely manipulate information to present a twisted argument of when it all goes wrong.

Comment Re:I passed up a job over this (Score 3, Insightful) 332

When companies don't value their IT assets and understand the importance of having "insurance policies" on their digital IP, it's probably not a place to work. This was clearly in the insanity realm. They had dual PIX firewalls set up in some kind of redundant mode. Good stuff. Except there was no way to get a Cisco (or any other) Smartnet contract on it. They had lost the enable password years before and no one understood exactly how the failover actually worked or the details of the settings on it. They were 14 years old. In the event the hardware failed, they would lose more money on one hour of credit card processing being down than simply replacing the hardware with a modern ASA. Production fileservers were well beyond any kind of support agreement. They probably had $1M of intellectual property sitting on them (in that if the data became corrupted that's how much they would be spending to recreate it.) We won't even get into things like PCI compliance.

Comment I passed up a job over this (Score 5, Interesting) 332

I interviewed for what otherwise would have been an awesome job. While viewing the data center they built onsite (this was a "campus" style environment), I was horrified. Sitting in the racks were Cisco networking equipment I didn't recognize, or at least knew as soon as I saw it that the model numbers were ancient. The servers appeared well beyond the end of life, but I couldn't tell at first glance. Digging deeper I found NT 4.0 still running in a production environment. A lot of the core equipment was 14 - 15 years old with probably the median age of the servers being about 8 or 9 years old. I presented them with a plan and budget to replace it all. At a minimum, doing all implementation in house and being frugal, I got it down to $500k over three years. The CEO didn't think it was necessary despite some detailed but non-technical explanations. I promptly turned the job down. Since then they've burned through 3 IT directors, each frustrated with supporting crap and getting no capex.

Comment New YHOO investors deserve to lose money (Score 4, Interesting) 159

Anyone who's invested in YHOO in the past decade deserves to lose money for believing the company has any relevance left. I understand being hopeful about a CEO, but when it involves changing the underlying business model you should run away from the stock as fast as you can. There is no gamechanger here for this stock. The fact that it's still valued at $32 per share is reason enough to sell this stock and get the hell away from it.

Comment Fundamental difference in trust between industries (Score 1) 247

There's a fundamental difference in trust between the two industries. Technology companies place little trust in users. Good software requires thinking of all of the dumb things a user could do to break it. Good hardware requires thinking of all the dumb things a user could do to break it. Good technology infrastructure requires identifying lots of critical paths and either automating, simplifying or building redundancies because failure will happen. Car companies are the opposite. Sure, they engineer their product as best as they can, but really we're not talking about an industry that thinks radically different than it did 70 years ago. The user is expected and required to make lots of decisions about using the product an given lots of options for customization. Having said that, I think a piecemeal approach could work. If you can get the car to drive autonomously on the Interstate that would be huge. I don't think it's realistic to expect a driver to remain attentive enough to grab the wheel in a split second though.

Comment My first: 1.2.13 kernel (Score 1) 136

When I first went to college in 1993 I was fairly inexperienced on computers. I'd had a Commodore 128 and spent hours upon hours keying in programs from Ahoy magazine, but later in high school never really worked on a PC or a Mac. So when I got to college and was thrust into needing to use the computer labs, I quickly got frustrated by having to wait in line to use a computer.

I quickly noticed that these engineering workstations in the corners were almost never used - these were the SunOS days and most of them were Sparc 5's, 10's and the rarer 20's. I quickly started using those and fell in love with Unix and how it worked. The commandline seemed really natural. After that when I needed to use a Mac or PC it just seemed to suck.

So, fast forward to late 1994 or early 95. My first Pentium 75MHz PC I put together needed Linux, so I downloaded Slackware to floppy and off I went.

Comment A better option is to be VP... (Score 1) 458

There's no way LL can get the name recognition he needs to raise the funds to be loud enough to get his message out. That's a shame in our society and one of the problems hopefully he could fix.

A better option would be to approach Bernie Sanders and ask to be his VP. They could run the same campaign and the same platform. As VP a majority of LL's time could go to implementing the changes needed once elected. A president simply does not have the time to focus 100% of their time on "fixing things". And honestly, given the framework of the constitution, I have no idea how you could ever do such a thing without the legislature helping - there's no way that would happen right now.

The only way to really make these changes is to get amendments added to the constitution and do that via a direct vote of the states/people - something that's never been done before. Things like campaign finance reform, procedural rules in congress, lobbying/lobbyists, voting, and gerrymandering pretty much all need to be addressed. To get it done, everyone needs to drop the labels of liberal, socialist, libertarian, and conservative. It takes elements of all of those overrated vague concepts to get it done.

Lastly, the candidate that wins this election will spend over $1 billion. The 2016 election will very much be bought. If Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg and George Soros all got together they could purchase this election.

Comment waitbutwhy article (Score 1) 104

So with all the recent fuss over AI and some respectable folks being scared to death of it, I happened to stumble on this great article on waitbutwhy:

It's a long two parter, but well worth the read. If you want the tl;dr part, skip to part 2 and search for "Robotica". With that in mind, we're going to end up with a planet of mile-high stacks of Magic: The Gathering cards.

Comment Budget games (Score 1) 117

So there's a small subset of IT managers out there who get stuck with lousy budgets. I do a bunch of consulting and get into different businesses and some managers play a game:

Step 1: ask for a bunch of money as a capex expense to migrate servers. Let that request get denied.

Step 2: do it again the next year. Let it get denied again.

Step 3: wait until it's absolutely critical - show management articles on the pending doom that will happen - request a lot more money.

Step: Use all the extra money on all the extra IT projects they can't otherwise get approved easily.

I saw a large site that had a lot of XP workstations and the IT manager didn't push too hard to get Windows 7 licensing. Right before XP went out of maintenance he got a large expense approved to not only upgrade to Windows 7 but to actually replace all of the workstations. I saw the same thing with Windows 2000 and a company using that as an excuse to get into virtualization and purchase all that hardware.

Comment Politics - Internet Party and the TPP (Score 4, Interesting) 205

So you've recently taken a foray into politics with the formation of the Internet Party. What are your thoughts about what's needed to actually improve New Zealand politics? One of the stated goals of the Internet Party is to review the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, which has recently become a hot topic in the US as well. What are your thoughts on the TPP?

Comment start a side business (Score 2) 227

Want some insulation? Start a side business. A friend and I both started separate businesses about 18 months ago. Him, because he wanted to. Me, because I had to. His business, really a side business, is beekeeping. Mine is IT consulting, but I have a very specific focus based on a specific thing here. We're both doing really well and last weekend we compared notes. We've both kind of knew this, but this is the conclusion we came to: His day job isn't the most thrilling and has ups and downs through the year, but he loves his side business. Me, I have a stable new business, but I might consider getting full time employment somewhere just to make my commute easier, however I love the business so much I'd have to keep parts of the work as a side business. Most people in other parts of the world seem to work like this. End result - side business is f*cking awesome and most people just seem too lazy to do it.

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