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Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How To Behave During Stop-and-Frisk

Brownstar Re:Education versus racism (481 comments)

I know it was part of my civics class almost 20 years ago as well.

I also agree, that it should be part of all civics classes. The reason for that class is to make sure that we have an educated populace that understands what our laws AND our rights as citizens are.

about 2 months ago

Blizzard To Sell Level 90 WoW Characters For $60

Brownstar Re:Boost price vs expansion price (253 comments)

Because you need to pay for the Base Game, Plus all expansions, and the new expansion. Now they've discounted the old expansions, but in total base game, plus xpac's to MoP + the new Xpac, will probably be close to $60, or possibly more.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Convince Management To Hire More IT Staff?

Brownstar Re:Build a business case (383 comments)

Yeah, I wasn't clear.

What I was trying to say, was leave it to the business groups to justify why the development is worthwile, rather than the IT department to justify it. The CEO is much more likely to be persuaded by them than IT.

And if possible, have the business teams pay for it out of their budget, rather than the IT budget, if there are separate budgets.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Convince Management To Hire More IT Staff?

Brownstar Re:Build a business case (383 comments)

That's what the sentence after the one you quoted was in reference to. If each department has it's own budget, then yes, they should be spending their budget to fund the projects they want developed.

However, at many smaller companies, or companies that have recently grown from being small to medium sized, don't have separate budgets. But rather 1 large budget that is controlled by one person. And it's often the case the CEO/owner has a difficult time realizing when they are no longer that small company, and control of certain parts of the budget should be passed to subordinates.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Convince Management To Hire More IT Staff?

Brownstar Re:Build a business case (383 comments)

You missed the point.

It's not his boss that he needs to convince. He said his boss agrees.

It's the CEO that needs to be convinced. But the CEO has already said that the size of the IT department is adequate for the size of the company. As has been discussed in other threads, he's probably right as well when it comes to purely IT support related needs.

On the other hand, if the other departments have a need for specialized software development and has a proper business case for that software and the investement required to develop it, if he wants to convince his CEO that they need more developers for these projects, its the business owners that need to persuade the CEO.

At the end of the day, IT departments have a general budget for general IT costs. Which is seen as a cost center. And should be x% of the overall revenue of the company, or x% of the total number of employees that are supported.

If company revenue doesn't increase there's no capacity to increase the budget of a cost center that will not return easily identifiable profits.

Instead, the more effective argument, is to have the business become stakeholders in the projects they want with their own budgets to pay out of their budget (no longer is it a company cost, but rather a departmental investement) for the resources borrowed from the IT department to work on their systems.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Convince Management To Hire More IT Staff?

Brownstar Re:Build a business case (383 comments)

That's a start.

But from my experience the request will be taken more seriously if it is driven by the business teams, rather than the IT staff.

> the developers are always getting pressure from other departments for projects they don't have the manpower to even start.

Get the other departments to pressure the CEO to hire more IT staff, so that they can get the projects they need, and will be in a better position to explain what the ROI for the projects they want will be to the company than you will be.

If they can't justify the ROI for the projects, then if they're rational, which I realize isn't always the case, they will back down from requesting additional development that they can't justify. Which will pull some of the pressure off of your team.

Not sure how costs are split in your company, but if each department has their own budget, convince them that if they want more projects to be built, they need to allocate some of their budgets to the IT side of the organization so that you can hire the staff required to deliver those projects to them.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Hands-On Activity For IT Career Fair

Brownstar Re:Lego Mindstorms (121 comments)

No mod points, but the above idea would be fun.

Just make sure it's simple enough to be done in the 40 minutes, and maybe break them up into groups to work together. (Although that will add additional potential challenges).

about a year and a half ago

Microsoft Confirms Xbox One's Phone Home Requirement, Game Resale Rules

Brownstar Re:The elephant in the room: Rentals (581 comments)

Actually, with their new controls, it'll be easier to do rentals (at least for big players. Your mom and pop rental place might get locked out).

While they haven't addressed this specifically yet, at least that I've seen, and it may not happen, theres been speculation that the following could:

With the use of license keys that are tied between a game and an individual account, and the ability to deactivate those keys, the rental company, could work out a deal with Microsoft, and probably the publishers, to be able to provide license keys that expire after a certain period of time.

The Rental company, can than either provide physical copies of the game on disc, or the renter can just download the game (as MS has stated all games will be available for digitial distribution if someone so chooses, or they can aquire a blu-ray copy of the game to install it), enter the rental code, and then play it for the time alloted.

about a year and a half ago

SimCity 5: How Not To Design a Single Player Game

Brownstar EA's reason for the Always Online Restriction (569 comments)

According to EA, hte reason for the always online requirement, is because the game truly is a client server model. Each client, runs 1 region at a time. it then sends data about what has occurred in that region to then be processed by the EA server's and then pushed to the other regions in that game. This occurs every three minutes. Welcome to cloud computing.


about 2 years ago

What Microsoft Should and Shouldn't Do For the Xbox 720

Brownstar Re:What MS Shouldn't do is prevent purchases. (502 comments)

For the first issue, MS has heard, and is addressing that on the 360, so I would assume that they would keep it in for the next version.

Basically, if you're an XBox gold member (which from your post you are), with the most recent dashboard release, they allow you to save your profile, and game saves to the "cloud". So now, when you finish playing something downstairs, you can go upstairs, and continue playing from there, without needing to migrate your existing gamertag. (Although I've not used it, I would expect that you can only use your gamer tag on 1 Xbox at a time.)

more than 3 years ago

Experiment Shows Not Washing Jeans for 15 Months is Disgusting But Safe

Brownstar Re:Altered results? (258 comments)

Only if your body is not giving off any heat.

But if that were the case, then smelly jeans would be the least of your problems.

about 4 years ago

Airlines Get Billions From Unbundled Services

Brownstar Re:I like it (432 comments)

You don't do much travel in Europe then do you?

Ryan air, takes unbundling and hidden costs to a new level, even charging as much as 40 Euros to "print" your ticket for you if you didn't print it at home. And then the flight is like one long advertisement from the moment you take off until you land, only allowing 1 carry on of any type (not the usual Carry on + personal item (purse/laptop/brief case etc...)

EasyJet, Wizz Air, and German Wings, while slightly better aren't much better. And the big name brands aren't all that far off either.

more than 4 years ago

Something For (Almost) Every Developer

Brownstar Re:What, no ActiveState mention? (263 comments)

Since when?

Now if you want you can use ActiveStates PPM application, which doesn't contain everything in CPAN) But you can always download the original module from cpan, and make/compile/build it for your version of windows. And it's no more difficult than configuring it for unix/linux barring you have the proper utilities.

Now you will probably need a Windows compatable make program, such as nmake (ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/Softlib/MSLFILES/nmake15.exe).

If it's an XS module, or something else that uses C, you might need to have a C compiler, but again tat's no different than if you were running it in unix.

The only other roadblock, is if the module developer used non-portable coding practises (such as fork) that don't work on Windows. But you're not going to be able to use that module regardless of what Perl build you use on windows.

more than 4 years ago

The Apple Two

Brownstar Re:I disagree (643 comments)

Not sure if they video taped it (if they have they haven't posted it yet) but on a podcast they talked about putting it back together.

Suprisingly, it almost worked, it booted up, showed the apple logo for a split second, and then died.

more than 4 years ago

An Early Look At Civilization V

Brownstar Re:New AI (286 comments)

You're right for most people, they probably don't care, which is why the Game presents it in basic terms.

But, if you're on of the ones that truly cares, all of that information is in plain text format (marked up in XML) in the /Assets/XML/GameInfo directory. (You can even change it if you want).

The file that addresses the changes in difficulty specifically is: CIV4HandicapInfo.xml

But also realize that some of these factors are also modified based on world size, and turn speed as well. (Possibly some other things that I've forgotten as well).

I know Civ3 and Alpha Centauri had similar files, and If I remember correctly, I beleive even Civ2 stored all of this information in text files that could be modified.

Which is one of the reasons that the various Civ's have always been so modable.

more than 4 years ago

Civilization V Announced For This Fall

Brownstar Re:To Firaxis (326 comments)

That's actually kinda of what they did to create Alpha Centauri.

Initially, Firaxis didn't have the rights to the Civilization franchise, so they made the same game set in space, made some slight changes to the gameplay, and used graphics that were impossible to view if you were color blind.

more than 4 years ago

The Nickel & Dime Generation

Brownstar Re:Gamestop caused this. (358 comments)

Burn out Paradise, is the poster boy for free Downloadable Content (which is all that time you're spending updating the game).

After the game came out, it seemed like every other month I was hearing about some new free DLC. Including a few very significant updates like the Bikes pack.

For nearly the first year all DLC was given away for free. Yes, eventually they started offering paid for DLC but they have given away as much, if not more, and definately more than most any other company.

more than 5 years ago


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