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Comments

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How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

CAIMLAS Re:Just because you can doesn't mean you should (187 comments)

Deveops types aren't the kind of people to be crawling around under desks or helping directly to push for a release milestone.

They're the go-betweeners, sort of a cross between senior sysadmin and development project management assistant. They are the internal toolsmiths, depending on the blacksmiths to produce effective metal so they can hone the tools for the carpenters' needs. They are broadly skilled and know how to at least muddle along in both a developer and a sysadmin job, but prefer the big picture of orchestration. They're the ones who figure out where the shortcomings are, and are broadly skilled enough to jump in and provide possible avenues and solutions, seeing where one side can't fix a problem, and the other may have a solution.

12 hours ago
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How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

CAIMLAS Re:This role exists in any non-software business. (187 comments)

Exactly.

This "there is no role for devops in a mature company" attitude cries back to the age of isolated business units with isolated departmental goals, often where sales sells products that don't exist and engineering produces products nobody wants. The money to run the company will come from somewhere!

In short, developers don't want to dogfood, because that's hard. It's much easier to not challenge yourself with divergent ideas from what you and your brainfund coworkers cook up: after all, developers made it, so it must be good.

And yes, devops is an integral part of dogfooding. It makes sure the left hand is talking to the right, Support is able to effectively move issues laterally, operations can effectively provision IT infrastructure budgets, and Engineering can focus on the real issues that impact the product. It's called teamwork. If you can't get this part done right - at the very least, making sure your product works in an operational capacity internally - how can you expect it to be a commercially viable option out of house?

12 hours ago
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Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket

CAIMLAS not really, no (316 comments)

It would make sense, if it wasn't for the fact that Comcast operates as a government-sponsored monopoly.

They get away with this crap because their potential customers are prohibited from operating: there is no free market. In a free market, you'd probably have full gigabit fibre to the home as an option in most metropolitan areas at this point. As it is, ISPs rarely can even gain the rights to offer service in areas due to exclusive deals Comcast has brokered by greasing the palms of local officials.

Capitalist incentives, if they were in play, would lead to a mass exodus from Comcast. There's really nothing 'capitalist' about how Comcast operates, except that they use money.

yesterday
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The Myth of the Science and Engineering Shortage

CAIMLAS Re: Links (392 comments)

I think its completely laughable that you mentioned healthcare as something beneficially monopolized by unions.

In the US, that monopoly has resulted in the government intervening to stabilize costs repeatedly for the past twenty years. The only reason it continues is because its necessary - people die without healthcare. With STEM, you'd just see employers close up shop domestically.

In the UK where such things have fallen out of style and costs have tried to be cut, healthcare has gone to shit. Similar things are starting to occur in Canada, and places in the US like CA where similar state level practices are common. (Scheduling a doctors appointment, weeks ahead for a simple checkup, is unheard of in some parts of the US still, and you don't have to go to ER for cold meds.)

about three weeks ago
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The Myth of the Science and Engineering Shortage

CAIMLAS Re: Links (392 comments)

Absolutely. I've been saying it too. The only thing shortage numbers demonstrate is which, and by how much, employers want to pay talent less.

When I say talent, I mean just that. For instance, in information systems as they mention, its usually incredibly difficult to break into the field after college - even with experience and a good cv. I've experienced it and I know many others who have too.

And then, once a person is in, its usually quickly apparent where someone is going: nowhere, earning entry level wages for some time, or straight to to the top.

  I will grant that there is a shortage of desirable candidates (worldwide, not just in the US), but its because STEM is hard, and to thrive as a STEM company you do need a competitive edge. Without that edge - gotten by hiring as much top talent as possible - you will stagnate. And that's why there remains a shortage: when the top people you need are 200k a year or more, and then you need a dozen people at 100-150k to back them up, you would love to reduce labor costs and reduce the supply. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way; decreasing the job supply and desirability pushes employee demand to other fields.

about three weeks ago
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The Next Keurig Will Make Your Coffee With a Dash of "DRM"

CAIMLAS Just in time (769 comments)

Glad this news just came about; I just backed out of ordering a Keurig on this news (ie canceled the Amazon order).

I'll save up a bit and get a real (oood) espresso maker now.

Sure, the Keurig does something for speed and efficiency (when you need a cup, you NEED A CUP). But not at the cost of being locked into their packets: I want my locally roasted beans, thanks.

about a month and a half ago
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The Mammoth Cometh: Revive & Restore Tackles De-Extinction

CAIMLAS Re:Bad genetic diversity, flaws in resurrected gen (168 comments)

Third, given the first two, your de-extinct species is likely to simply go extinct again unless you correct the environmental issues that led to the first extinction. And given the rate at which we're screwing up the planet, is that really realistic?

According to the Wormers, yes; yes, it is. Since an ice age is attributed to the mammoth extinction, global warming will have a net positive environmental impact for the mammoth.

about a month and a half ago
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Does Crime Leave a Genetic Trace?

CAIMLAS Curious (160 comments)

I'd be curious to see how many generations will exhibit this characteristic, of course using the initial pre-stressed generation as the baseline for what normal behavior would be considered.

I always find it interesting when science proves something from ancient verbally-passed records, particularly when it's something which couldn't possibly* be scientifically concluded as truth in ancient days. Specific to this case, I believe the Bible says something like "your sins will be visited upon your children and your children's children for seven generations" or some such thing. Ignoring the biblical propensity to refer to everything in 'sevens', it'd be interesting to see if there's correlation.

* per our current understanding of ancients and their scientific capabilities

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Anti-Camera Device For Use In a Small Bus?

CAIMLAS Re:Advice? give up. (478 comments)

My guess is that this is probably for some variation of a stripper/party bus: There's a bus, with strippers and booze in the back, where people party at a higher cost than the establishment, with a degree of exclusivity.

You can kick someone out of a club for taking pictures of the strippers. It's not so easy to kick someone off a bus (without stranding them and causing PR issues with them and their group).

The easiest way to do this is with policy: take pictures, and you get banned (for life). Conveniently make it difficult for them to take pictures by giving them an optional 'cell phone deposit' area; however, this makes use of phones impossible.

As for IR emitters... how about a high-intensity IR laser disco ball, of some sort, along with using displaced spectrum for internal cameras? You may be able to do something with black lights or figure out a way to inhibit automatic focusing of the cameras, making the shots more or less pointless.

If the owner is just trying to monetize the "pictures with strippers" market, he's kinda SOL. You might be able to get something workable with IR filters for a high end camera (leaving cell phones to deal wit horrid pictures) but it's unlikely, since cell phone CCDs already filter IR (often at different frequencies than each other, so it can be hit or miss).

about 2 months ago
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20% of Neanderthal Genome Survives In Humans

CAIMLAS Re:Not found in "humans" in general (202 comments)

So, is it safe to say that the Neanderthal DNA may have contributed to the non-complacency which catapulted Western civilization from stone and mud huts to where we are today? It stands to reason that there would be a partial genetic basis, in addition to the fact that places like Europe were more conductive for civilization advancement (more meat animals, 4 seasons, rainfall, etc.).

about 3 months ago
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Would Linus Torvalds Please Collect His Bitcoin Tips?

CAIMLAS Re:Robotic News (231 comments)

Maybe I'm just getting old, but I miss the Slashdot days when there were cool stories about the Stanford computing lab matchbox PC and wearable gear that was way ahead of its time...

about 3 months ago
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Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost

CAIMLAS Re:Pffft (723 comments)

Yes, absolutely.

Look, if there were a hurricane warning (I'm in Western South Dakota), I'd really kind of expect an "oh shit" reaction. We don't have hurricanes here (... technically - more on that in a second), so I'd expect a proportionate response.

"Northerners" may bawk a bit at Southerners and hteir response to snow, but having lived in the Northeast and in VA, as well as having lived out here in the Black Hills for the past 8 years or so, I can say that the kind of snow you get when it's warm and cools quickly is entirely different than something in the Northeast, where the snow is thick and clingy. The elevation of the originating snowfall also seems to change things.

For instance, we've had a relatively uncommon winter here, for here. :P We've had week-long cycles since December where it'll get up to 50F, then drop in the next day (to eg. 20 or even -20) and rain/snow in the process. You'll get slick, dangerous roads from the rain, which then get powder coated. It's hellish.

This is part of what happened to us last October; we had a thundersnow and osmething like 3' of snow in a matter of a day (an uncommon event for us) with winds >50MPH. So, like a land locked winter hurricane, of sorts. It was unexpected, and it caught a lot of people off guard (wasn't said to be as bad as it was) - but we're used to winter storm events like Floridians are used to hurricanes, so we knew to prepare. But still, we weren't ready for it - it was in mid-October and most plows didn't have eg. winter fuel in them, chains on the tires, etc. and nobody was truly ready.

They should've shut the city down simply because they weren't prepared. This seems like a no-brainer. Having school on a day like this should result in any injuries to children result in criminal charges against the politicians: after all, it's a crime for parents to simply not send their kids to school if school is being held.

about 3 months ago
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Microsoft Reports Record Revenue

CAIMLAS Re:XBox saves the day (289 comments)

That's the short game strategy.

Long game, they're kinda headed in the same direction as Caldera/SCO. You remember them?

Big companies like IBM are 'hardening' their market position in certain areas, not acquiring. Oracle is doing similar - though acquiring assets, they're stripping them of their value to integrate it into their core product offering/identity products.

PCs have become commodity, yes, and the new boom market is in mobile/platform apps and data. MS is moving that way, but it seems they've not moved from their core competency of marketing - there's a LOT of competition in this market, and they're by no means good at it.

about 3 months ago
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Facebook Is a Plague That'll Burn Out In a Few Years, Says Study

CAIMLAS Re:Just a second there professor (338 comments)

A big part of it is, I think, that people are now using Facebook apps on their phones and/or tablets. From the people I know, facebook seems to be somewhere between texting and email, in terms of significance of communication.

Facebook is a thing, 'facebook.com' is a site. We don't do web sites anymore, this is the 'mobile' era.

Their 'peak' nicely coincides with the first Christmas where people bought tablets and started supplanting their desktops with portable devices. With a lot of work places blocking sites like facebook outright due to it causing productivity issues, people are just using their personal/portable devices at work to do so...

about 3 months ago
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Blowing Up a Pointless Job Interview

CAIMLAS Re:Interview ending question (692 comments)

You're precisely the kind of person I wouldn't want to hire. Why?

In my experience, the people who stay at a job (at least, an IT job) for more than 3 to 4 years start to languish pretty severely. Their skills get dull, their vision grows narrow, and they become a 'specialist' - usually a specialist of a very small subset of technology, and they lose much of their utility or ability to do things like troubleshoot or think outside the box.

Stability is great, as long as it doesn't lead to stasis. Every organization does need the "long stays", but arguably someone who "gets comfortable" in a position lacks the drive to self-improve.

(It's another story if the employer encourages internal advancement/improvement and that is expected from both sides when the position is taken...)

about 3 months ago
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Lawsuit: Oracle Called $50K 'Good Money For an Indian'

CAIMLAS Re:Shocking (409 comments)

So if "going rate" is 60k and I offer someone 50k, that's discriminatory? That happens All. The. Time. Except it happens with "locals" - it's called negotiating from a position of power. Employers think they've got a position of power (ie something the interviewee wants) and use it. How is this any different?

Why would I ever offer an Indian a job, then? What I understand here is that this is a big mess because the fucking H1B worker didn't get preferential treatment?!

That's idiotic.

I hate Oracle on numerous grounds, but I'm on their side on this one.

about 3 months ago
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James Gosling Grades Oracle's Handling of Sun's Tech

CAIMLAS Re: Gosling's Solaris alternatives? (223 comments)

Probably SusE, its the best choice.

http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:SPARC

about 3 months ago
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James Gosling Grades Oracle's Handling of Sun's Tech

CAIMLAS Re: Solaris fees & SPARC (223 comments)

I can't speak for oracle Solaris but all the opensolaris community forks that are based on illumos are pretty much exclusively amd64 now.

about 3 months ago
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James Gosling Grades Oracle's Handling of Sun's Tech

CAIMLAS solaris (223 comments)

Solaris is dead. Long live Solaris!

(Illumos/illumian/Nexenta/SmartOS, that is...)

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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How does flash media fail? Graceful, or violent?

CAIMLAS CAIMLAS writes  |  about 5 years ago

bhodge writes "Aside from the obvious "it stops working" answer, how does flash media — such as USB, SD, and CF — fail? Unlike the traditional hard drive, where anyone who's worked with computers for a while should know what a drive failure looks like, I don't know anyone who's experienced such a failure. I've been able to find more than scant evidence of what flash media failures look like, at the OS level. There just don't seem to be many accounts. The one account I have found detailed using a small USB drive /var/log storage: it failed very quickly, and then utterly (0 byte unformated device), after 5 years of service in the role. This seems to run contrary to other anecdotal claims that you should still be able to read the media after you can no longer write to it. So slashdotters: what have you seen, if anything?"
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Educational, fun games for young children?

CAIMLAS CAIMLAS writes  |  about 5 years ago

caimlas (41445) writes "My son is a lot like his father, in that he's addicted to technology — in his case, games. He's a moderately advanced 5-year-old, and spends every moment he can playing computer games like Counter-Strike 2D, Mechwarrior 3, (classic) Gameboy games like Zelda and Mario, and the like. He knows his alphabet and numbers, but he can't read yet. Additionally, my daughter is starting to show interest in such things. I am looking for a couple educational games to replace these purely entertaining games which will keep his interest. Something like, maybe, old Hugo Whodunit games. Basic requirements would be simplistic controls/interface, no requirement to be able to read, and an engaging game world. These games would be going on an older computer and would, preferably, be free or inexpensive."

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