top Starbucks Offers Workers 2 Years of Free College
In other news, Starbucks to adjust work schedules to 19hrs a week.
top Apple Confirms Purchase of Beats For $3 Billion
The Apple deal was announced through Washington Business Journal, stating that "Beats has great profits - their $450.00 headphones only cost $14.00 to make". Yes, I would say they have great branding and marketing. Not sure if Apple wanted those numbers public.
top iPad Fever Is Officially Cooling
So why would I want to use a new one yet? Apple has set a new standard in lifespan & reliability.
I have a 1st Gen Ipad which has been essentially bricked by Apple's IOS updates. So while it still works fine, I am stuck with a 700.00 64GB digital storage locker for music and photos. I cannot use any new productivity applications (e.g. Google drive) because it is only supported on the newer IOS version which will not install on my old Ipad. For this reason, I am DONE with apple products. Had they continued to support my version, I might feel differently, but this "Microsoft like" tactic of intentionally obsoleting hardware with software will not work with me. My Galaxy tab is more than adequate to do what I need when I am on the go.. and it has an SD slot for expansion.
top Lead Contractor On Health-Care Web Site Led By Execs From Troubled IT Company
As a Former Fed and current contractor, AMS' problems ran so deep, that the only way to resolve the bad name was to change it! While many of their failed efforts were very public, for those of us on the front lines in Govt, their issues ran the gamut from time sheet fraud, contractors in labor categories they were not qualified to fill and kickbacks, much of which was too embarrassing for the Fed to publicize. In most cases, they got a cure notice and/or a slap on the wrist. Towards the "end", the corruption went high up through the ranks and as such they had no choice but to bail...
top 2013 U.S. Wireless Network Tests: AT&T Fastest, Verizon Most Reliable
I believe this has as much to do with your geographic location as anything.. I used to be Cingular until they were bought out by ATT.. when they reprovisioned their towers to ATT (away from cingular) and left us in the cold I switched to verizon.. everything was great until 4g. I work in DC and I cannot even get web pages to load under verizon 4G.. it has beome a joke to think that with all that "bandwidth" I cannot watch more than 5 seconds of a streaming video until it pauses for 15-30 seconds to buffer.. that is defnintely not 4g speeds. Conversely, my ATT mifi screams in DC. Now text messages are falling into the abyss (nothing like getting yelled at by the wife for not responding when you didn't get it).. Anymore, even FB gives me a "network error" occured numerous times EVERY DAY. So as for verizon being "reliable", NOT IN DC.
about a year and a half ago
top Ask Slashdot: How To Begin Simple Robotics As a Hobby?
VEX is a good place to start.. modular, compatible... worth a look..
about a year and a half ago
top US Government Data Center Consolidation Behind Schedule, Cost Savings Uncertain
I work for a rather large agency... our initial numbers are coming back at 3X the cost to "consolidate".. So any savings for power, space, etc are trumped by those "for-profit" contractors running the data centers. At this point it almost looks like it was a plan to put money in someone's pocket, not save anything since the "big-boys" are getting all of the work.
about a year and a half ago
top Pinball: a Resurgence In Retro Gaming From an Unlikely Place
There is a new company trying to break into the market (cannot seem to find their site at the moment due to mother firewall)... I have an Indiana Jones (2006) (12k new, 6k restored) and a Dr Who (1994) in *my* basement. USED pinballs (Adams Family, Lord of the Rings, etc.) can cost upwards of 6k.
If you are fortunate enough to live in the Baltimore / DC area, Baltimore has the National Pinball Museum (www.nationalpinballmuseum.org). They have converted their machines to card readers (think Dave & Busters) and you can buy a card for around 12.00 for unlimited play for 2hrs (or longer on special occassions). They have pins from 50s and up, all playable and keep them all in impeccable condition. My local guy, (Purcellville Pinball and Slots) buys used machines and rehabs them for sale (including the LED light upgrades, protectors, etc), as well as access to parts (some of which are hard to come by). There are active tournaments here in the DC Metro area every few weeks.. so in some places, it is still alive and well!!
about a year and a half ago
top Can You Potty Train a Cow?
there has to be some physiological activities to take place before they defecate. why don't they monitor the animal and find out the signals that are occurring. Then they might at least have an opportunity to react to it. Like maybe a Bluetooth transponder that summons a little poop bot
....I'm just sayin'
top Is the Can Worse Than the Soda?
Yeah, me too..
The wifey and I are going on a 50th Birthday Celebration Cruise (my 50th not hers), and of course we need to "look good". A recent visit from a mid-western (Ohio) friend and his wife who has lost 300lbs using Advocare... Of course the wifey says, IT WORKS! So we dive in... Now, I am not here to extol the virtues of "Programs" as it is an MLM with very little upside and a TON of proprietary (and expensive) supplements that "have not been evaluated by the FDA".. Being the supportive husband, I have embarked on the "Lifestyle Change" with her. I have lost 8lbs in 9 days, she has lost 4...
Being a lowcarber for the last 10 years (lost 85lbs), that has ALWAYS worked for me and my doctor approved it... (and from reading some of the comments), I am carb sensitive.. A thorough evaluation of this program has yielded a couple of interesting facts..
1. Food intake is strictly regulated - meaning PORTION CONTROL. 1/2 cup of this, etc...
2. The program removes all intake of white sugar, white flour, soda, coffee) - effectively low carb or at least low glycemic..
3. No liquids other than water or their "spark drink"....(the sugar free spark drink is essentially a derivative of any energy drink with a whopping 120mgs of caffeine),
While the supplements and drinks are pure sales and marketing, the one realization is this.. while we have been low carbing, we weren't loosing weight (although we weren't gaining either).. however, when you actually see 4oz of meat on a plate with 1/2c of veggies, it is minuscule in comparison to what we WERE eating..
So we are back to: intake vs usage... A hard pill to swallow, but in reality, we just eat TOO MUCH. Period. And I am sure many of us would raise the roof in a restaurant if we were served accurate portion sizes based upon our body size.
SO that leaves us with one obvious choice - Paleo - the all natural, fresh food, clean eating, low carb approach to eating.. Of course, who knows what ailment we will end up with next considering all of the chemicals used to GROW food..
top Ask Slashdot: What Do You Like To Read?
Douglas Adams. HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy...interesting, funny and lightweight reading (if you are a geek, that is)
top Challenger 25 Years Later
I was a 24yr old sailor on the USS Koelsch (FF1043).. I happened to see the lauch on the mess decks TV (we were off the coast of Jacksonville doing remedial engineering ops since we failed our last OPPE). It was a snowy picture, since it was antenna reception from off the coast, but I remember seeing it happen.
Six hours later we were enroute to Cape Canaveral. The SAR Helos were flying the area and dropping smoke floats into the sea where they identified floating debris. We launched our small boats (Captain's Gig and whaleboat) to recover the flotsam. Over a period of 18 hours, we collected 2500lbs of the wreckage. The entire skin of the shuttle was honeycomb aluminum and floated, as did the cermaic tiles. Some of the pieces we recovered were larger than 4 X 8 sheets of plywood. We stored it all in our hanger bay. Quite a collection of stuff.
And yes, we DID take a ceramic tile and test it out with an acetylene torch. Problem was, no one would touch it while it was glowing, but it WAS touchable, we ultimately found out.
Then, under cover of darkness at 3am, we moored at Cape Canaveral and silently unloaded everything under the watchful eye of guys in white labcoats and blue hardhats.
Fast forward to 2001. I was an invited guest of NASA for STS 103 when my software (Emergency De-Orbit Program) was making its maiden flight into space.
Peace be with them all.
top How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Music
While attending University of N Fla for my CS degree in the early 90s, Dr. Chua, one of my professors, had a side hobby project training neural nets with music. One of his nets he trained with every Beatle song. During one of our ACM meetings he played "original" compositions by the neural net. I have to say a few of them were horrific, however 1 or 2 were actually pretty good and they DID sound like the beatles but not like ANY specific beatle's song.
This was nearly 20 years ago, so I can only imagine where this technology is today. It definitely raises the question regarding copyright, ownership and prior works???
top How To Handle Corporate Blackmail?
This is a classic tactic.. you have vertical skills that really cannot do without, have done no succession planning and find themselves with their arse hanging out if you leave. I am sure there is a scramble to get "bob" to mind meld with you for damage control. I have been on both sides of the fence with this one, both as the "valuable" employee who knows way too much, as well as a CTO with my "A" team members threatening to leave.. I handled the first situation thusly: "I cannot extend my employment beyond my original departure date. However, I would be happy to provide remote support on a T&M basis as long as you desire my assistance." Tell your new employer that you will be providing some off-hours support for your old company to ensure a smooth transition.
This does a few things for you. It lets the old company know that you have no desire to leave them high and dry as a corporate knowledge keeper (giving them access to you after your departure), and lets your new company know that you are a stand up kinda person who "cares for the better of the business entity" (the one you are leaving). I have supported this arrangement when on the receiving end and have participated in it when on the departing end. It is a worthy compromise, not to mention if they really ping you hard after you leave, you get paid for every hour you work.
This serves as a reminder to those of us in IT, train your replacements!!, document where you can and always have contingencies in place.. If "bob" were hit by a bus tomorrow, where would you be. SOL is not the answer you should be giving yourself.
top Does Your Vendor Issue Gag Orders?
Why would any major company agree to such arrangements?
You have been using the vendor for years. All of your data is tied up with them in THEIR proprietary format. Moving to a new system is impossible with new OMB rules for capital investment and you are negotiating a new contract.
I have been in this space for 12 years dealing with the ERP vendors (the big THREE)
.. let me tell you, they are all rife with bugs, poor performance, $275/hr and up "supporting contractors".. it is a nightmare.. to the tune of 100M a year or more in some cases per AGENCY... fortunately, we can and do talk in the Fed (not as much as one would hope) but sometimes it is a "hogtied" scenario and its that or nothing, and nothing isn't an option.
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