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Inside NSA's Efforts To Hunt Sysadmins

Ben4jammin Re:This has gone beyond madness (147 comments)

Where's the line? What will it take to cross it?

I think the issue is that there was a line, and it got crossed. Once you cross it once, it becomes easier to cross, because hey it wasn't so bad last time.

Then, if you are put in relative isolation (enough for "group think" to take over) then it becomes easier still because you are validated for crossing it (dude we just saved lives by crossing the line...besides the "bad" guys are crossing it)

And this continues until you really can't even remember why you crossed it the first time, but there is so much danger out there you don't have time to really contemplate it, either. Until one day you realize that you are looking in the mirror each morning at someone who has become a stranger.

But by then it is too late...to challenge it now would precipitate an identity crises that isn't nearly as much fun as seeing yourself as the hero of the world.

about 9 months ago
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Silicon Valley's Youth Problem

Ben4jammin Re:Excuse me? (225 comments)

how about that slashdot beta

Sorry to go off topic, but I logged out and stayed out during the proposed boycott period. When I came back everything was back to normal with nary a peep about the beta. I assume we won? Ever since then I have been quite curious as to what happened and if Slashdot gave an official statement.

about 9 months ago
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Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

Ben4jammin Re:Unregulated currency (704 comments)

Sometimes, even the government isn't big enough to fix our problems.

Following the old adage that the problems we face can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them, don't hold your breath waiting for the government to figure out how to clean up a mess it created.

about 10 months ago
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Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass

Ben4jammin When looking for acceptance of new ideas... (921 comments)

Maybe bar hopping is not the best plan.
Oh and Protip: Never set your wallet/purse down in a bar.

about 10 months ago
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New Type of Star Can Emerge From Inside Black Holes, Say Cosmologists

Ben4jammin Re:Beta Sucks! (193 comments)

I usually try to stay on-topic, but this is a deserved exception.

I logged in, perused some of my old comments just for nostalgia and will be logging out for at least the remainder of the proposed boycott period.

I just wanted to say that it has been awesome being part of the Slashdot community. You guys are awesome. I have lost track of how much I have learned about different topics that I never would have learned were it not for participating in Slashdot discussions.

I hope to see you on the other side...with Beta existing only as a memory of an epic fail.

about a year ago
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Senior Managers Are the Worst Information Security Offenders

Ben4jammin Re:Seen it on the job: (181 comments)

I once had to remove all the copy codes on all the copiers in the building because apparently the CFO was incapable of memorizing a 5 digit number...I wish I were making this up.

about a year ago
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Senior Managers Are the Worst Information Security Offenders

Ben4jammin Re:Seen it on the job: (181 comments)

It will be a revelation to senior management.

They will in fact need reports such as this to recognize the reality that all us IT workers have known for years. See, the fact that you don't understand that is why you are likely not in senior management :)

about a year ago
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Utility Sets IT Department On Path To Self-destruction

Ben4jammin Re:"Mind-Bogglingly Stupid" #2 (478 comments)

Agreed.

When talking to execs, I refer to IT as an investment in competitive advantage. Get the lead to the sales person quicker, that's competitive advantage. "One customer view" is a competitive advantage. Allowing people to work remotely to have some semblance of work/life balance is competitive advantage.

But since this is hard to quantify, and seeing a payroll "expense" number (IT staffing cuts) go down is easy...guess what they often choose.

about a year ago
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Book Review: Citrix XenApp Performance Essentials

Ben4jammin Re:Seems a bit out of date (24 comments)

Not only that, but I would venture that the install base for 6.5 is large enough and will be around long enough that this is still relevant. I just migrated a 4.0 farm to 6.5, and year before last in training for 6.0 there were several participants still on older farms. Once working (and my experience is that 4.0 and 6.5 work well) these things tend to "linger" for a while.

I'll probably pick this book up because I doubt I have seen my last 6.5 farm

about a year ago
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Sony's PS4 To Have Less Stringent DRM Than Microsoft's Xbox One

Ben4jammin Re:It is all software, really (509 comments)

They didn't remove the PS2 backwards compatibility from PS3s that had it (unlike OtherOS); they simply removed it from future versions of the PS3. Big difference there.

That is true. YMMV but in my case, over time (for reasons I don't fully understand) is that I found I could successfully play fewer and fewer PS2 titles (my stepsons had a STACK of PS2 games, thus the decision to go PS3 rather than Xbox360) over time. While I can't prove it was firmware updates, the only thing that changed was the firmware.

Also note that in some cases, if you had a unit with the hardware emulation but the unit broke (even under warranty) you could end up with a replacement unit that didn't have it. So even that was taken away from some people.

The primary point being that for me personally after my experience with the PS3 There will never be a PS4 in my home. And yes I realize that Sony doesn't give a crap what I think...I can assure you that over the years they have driven that point home.

about a year and a half ago
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Sony's PS4 To Have Less Stringent DRM Than Microsoft's Xbox One

Ben4jammin Re:It is all software, really (509 comments)

Time for a reality check: the incredibly vast majority of people don't give a shit about Other OS

That is true, but that is not the only functionality they removed. Also removed was backwards compatibility for PS2 games which was a HUGE selling point for the PS3 Considering the install base and game sales of the PS2.

Sony can say whatever they want now, it simply doesn't matter. They have lost a trust that you simply can't earn back overnight. Then put the data breach on top of that and of course they have to do or say whatever they can to generate interest.

I am confident in saying that more than 0.001% of their user base remembers these things.

about a year and a half ago
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Changing the Ratio of Women In Tech: How Etsy Did It

Ben4jammin Re:Anti sexist policies are almost always sexist (546 comments)

FTA:

Don’t lower hiring standards, or make exceptions or compromises.

Bring in as many candidates as possible.

My take away from this is that while the historical hiring they did was "best candidates available" they realized that there were things they could do to expand the hiring pool that may change how many of the "best candidates available" are women.
Not surprising to see a company try to improve their hiring practices.

Doesn't mean they are going to discriminate against men.

about a year and a half ago
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ZDNet Proclaims "Windows: It's Over"

Ben4jammin Re:Waffles (863 comments)

they had to make access to the use of traditional software more burdensome and the use of software sold through their market less burdensome. By making the traditional desktop more burdensome it would 'inspire' people to want to use their new user interface.

And apparently what MS doesn't understand is that the best way to get someone to chose option B rather than option A is to create and demonstrate more value in B rather than A. Otherwise consumers may choose the "third way" which is to drop MS altogether and buy a Mac/Linux machine.

And building upon this point, I think their fatal mistake was in this case, for MANY users, there is no scenario in which a UI designed for smaller mobile devices can present more value than a proven UI design for laptop/desktops. For people who do more than just consume content (content creators, office worker types etc) the Win7 desktop UI experience IS the most value to them. And there is NOTHING in the new UI that changes that.

While I haven't used a Mac in some time, I have people around me that do. I notice that the Mac UI gives a "traditional" desktop experience and is fundamentally different that the UI experience on an idevice. I can't help but think that is intentional and that Apple figured out something that MS either has yet to learn or has forgotten.

about a year and a half ago
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Hacker Skips SimCity Full-Time Network Requirement

Ben4jammin Re:Not a huge surprise... (303 comments)

I don't think they have any plans to wiggle out of it. This "always on" setup is by design:

Frank Gibeau, the president of EA Labels... is very proud of the fact he has never green lit a single project that consisted solely of a single-player experience.

http://www.geek.com/articles/games/ea-wont-green-light-any-single-player-only-games-2012095/

So the engineers were REQUIRED to do something that made it "social" and thus needing to be always online.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Interviewing Your Boss?

Ben4jammin I've done this before (219 comments)

I was actually the only member of the IT dept in the interviews for our Director of IT position some years back. I was also the only person involved in the process that was not on the existing executive management team.
I think a lot of it depends on who else is in the room. If there are any other department heads involved, note closely their interaction with YPNB (your potential new boss). I found that to be quite telling in that you see what is important to them, and if YPNB has any intelligence, they will pick up on what is expected of them and what the others are looking for. By being involved in this, I was able to pretty much garner what projects we would be working on during the first 6 months after he was hired.

As others have stated, HR or someone else may run the show. The only thing you might want to consider is this: if YPNB requests a laptop or projector for any type of presentation, hook it up, but do something wrong (leave a plug loose etc). See how YPNB reacts to the unexpected and how the interaction goes when either they or you "fix" the problem. I don't know of any other way to really get a read, because any questions from HR (or you) are likely to be met with "correct" answers.

Also, with the boss I ended up with, we had a laptop setup and he wanted to show something off a thumb drive. At that time, the NIC port was wide enough that you could put a USB drive in it. He did. And so I went to the laptop, noticed what he did, and quickly put it in a USB port without saying anything. He showed his stuff, and ended up getting hired. He was nervous about the interview, but was very gracious about the whole thing. He is still my boss today (6 years later) and while not perfect, we could have done a lot worse. He was a unanimous choice (they even let me vote).

about 2 years ago
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Meg Whitman Says HP Was Defrauded By Autonomy; HP Stock Plunges

Ben4jammin Re:Step 1. Buy a really expensive company... (237 comments)

So that's what did it? I can remember a time when HP stuff was rock solid. And then it seemed to go down hill both hardware and software (driver) wise (I mostly dealt with servers and printers).

I bought one, and only one, piece of hardware from Compaq...lesson learned with that piece of crap.

more than 2 years ago
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Meg Whitman Says HP Was Defrauded By Autonomy; HP Stock Plunges

Ben4jammin Re:Wait a second... (237 comments)

"or white collar crime is absurdly superior on a risk/reward basis compared to little people crime..."

Many years ago (so adjust for inflation) I had a friend of mine tell me that an attorney friend of his told him that if he ever stole/defrauded for less than a million, he was an idiot and would go to jail. If more than a million, call me and we will work something out. So, yes, the rules are different.

more than 2 years ago
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Meg Whitman Says HP Was Defrauded By Autonomy; HP Stock Plunges

Ben4jammin Re:Red herring (237 comments)

I agree completely...but they did at least make an effort:
From NYTimes story:

"...relied on Deloitte’s auditing of Autonomy’s financial statements. As part of the due diligence process for the deal, H.P. also hired KPMG to audit Deloitte’s work."

So how do you know in advance how many levels deep you need to go to get the truth? At some point you write it off to the inherent risk of doing a buy out.

more than 2 years ago
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Meg Whitman Says HP Was Defrauded By Autonomy; HP Stock Plunges

Ben4jammin Re:Meg, Carly (237 comments)

FTA:

"Whitman said she regretted voting to approve the deal with Autonomy"

CEO, no. On the board that also approved the buy out, yes.

more than 2 years ago

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