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Comment Re:This is why (Score 1) 252

Good advise, not getting involved in anything not "core" to the business.

The problem is, sometimes that still doesn't help. I was employed by a company that was based almost purely on analytics. They hoovered information about their targeted area (yeah, I'm being intentionally vague), repackaged it and had their in-house 'analytic engines' massage the stuff before reselling it.

They were/are big sellers to government, business, and the press. Then some PHB got the smart idea of outsourcing their IT stuff to another company (who shall also remain nameless). Now, the only actual product of this company was the data itself. They had no manufacturing or similar operations. I would have thought that the IT stuff was in fact their 'core business', and to this day would argue the same.

Anyway, rather than saving anything at all, they merely instituted yet another layer of unaccountability. I most specifically do not call it any form of actual "accountability", as all it has done is elevated finger pointing and buck passing to an art form. Even though many of the former IT workers for the company were essentially 'sold' to the outsourced company, there was still a huge drain of institutional knowledge in all IT areas. My particular support group essentially evaporated within about 3 months of my leaving.

The people who took over our former responsibilities were almost entirely 'offshore assets', who had zero knowledge of the how/why of the environments. To the best of my knowledge, no actual money has been 'saved' by this outsourcing decision, and all it has essentially done is make the company that much slower to do anything because instead of having one level of bureaucracy to deal with, you now have two, and each of those two levels have conflicting missions. The vendor just wants to keep costs as low as possible, while the business just wants to get things done. Add to that, the fact that prior to this massive divestiture, you had groups with quite a bit of institutional knowledge in its area of responsibility, and these groups and the individuals within them took ownership of the areas they supported. Now, there is no institutional knowledge, and no ownership. People work on everything up to the various bright lines that demarcate what is "theirs" and what is "ours", and doesn't take initiative to actually try to figure out what is "best".

Over all, I'd say it's been a complete waste of time, money and effort. The company is still hobbling along on pre-existing momentum, but there is a big vacuum out there that someone else will eventually fill.

while I'm here ranting, I'd like to ask if anyone has ever actually seen one of these big IT deals like this that actually worked and made sense? I've seen a lot of weird goings on, over the past 40 years in different companies, and I can honestly say that sometimes I'm absolutely astounded that most of them have managed to stay in business. (The only one with a real clue didn't, because it was so well run that it was bought out by a criminal enterprise that was willing to leverage itself into oblivion to keep it's pozi scheme running.)

Comment Re:Annoying (Score 1) 211

You have a good point. Also, in addition to having multiple passwords for multiple sites, with various password requirements, you also might have multiple devices that need to be kept in sync from a password perspective. For instance, when I change my personal email password, I have to change it in my desktop email client, my android device, and my phone. It's a pain, and causes me to not do it as often as I otherwise would.

One thing that has really come to be a lifesaver for me is a password manager (keepassX) in my case. It helps a lot in password generation, and I also keep a history of the changes there.

Comment Re:Upgrading? (Score 1) 314

1. You only need so much power to run Office and accounting software.

And with each release of MS-Office, Microsoft has consistently tried to make that not true. I have a Windoz laptop for work that I am forced to use. Starting up any Microsoft application is extremely painful.Fortunately, the only MS program I normally use is the crappy Lync IM client (OMG, how slow can you be?), as I fire up a VM of Mint first thing after waiting for the damn thing to settle down after booting.

Comment Re:Thunderbird needs to shift (Score 1) 418

I'd pretty much agree with your comments. Would also recommend that the crypto services be native as opposed to a plugin as well. I pretty much use Thunderbird exclusively and have for years.

I've lately been having to deal with Gmail's Web interface to work through all my late wife's email. It's not really very user friendly IMO, if you want to do anything besides really basic email. Perhaps it's likely that I don't know enough to make it work well for me. I still prefer to have physical posession of my mail rather than have it permanently on someone else's servers.

Comment Re:funding the lander. (Score 2) 53

When the Landers eventually died no one was sure why. It was thought maybe a bad instruction put them into a state that drained batteries or something.

Interesting. I'd always heard that they stopped transmitting because they were turned off because we didn't have funding to continue listening to them. Wouldn't be the first thing I was wrong about.

At that time James Tillman (U.W.) asked for a small 5K budget to put together a manual that would detail the RS232-like external connectors on the lander and explain how to repower and and communicate with the device from the outside--- should anyone ever happen to go there in the future and be physically present it would be easy to turn it back on. But that was never funded.

Pretty typical of government in general. Penny wise, pound foolish.

Comment Re:They've been going about it wrong for years (Score 1) 202

Swatch group (based in Biel) includes Breguet, Omega & Longines. And Flik-Flak. All as Swiss as cheese with holes in it.

There is actually a strategy behind this, not that you'd get it.

Indeed, and The Swatch Group, with their ETA movements, make the heart of many watches, not just those owned by Swatch.

"Swiss Made" has more to do with material and movement sourcing than anything else. You can actually buy "Swiss Made" quartz watches, though for me, if I'm going to pay for a "Swiss Made" watch, I prefer mechanicals.

Just about any quartz watch is going to be more accurate than even a well regulated mechanical watch. When buying a mechanical, you're buying more than just something to keep track of time. Personally, I like the engineering and craftsmanship that goes into a well made watch. It's something I've been fascinated with since I was a kid, that has carried over to today, when I can actually afford them.

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