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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Do If You're Given a Broken Project?

ConallB Honesty is the best policy... (308 comments)

Someone hired you to take over a development that was clearly in trouble.

If it is your honest opinion that the codebase you have to work with is substandard you need to bring this to the attention of the person who pays your invoice.

You should put your case forward in relation to the codebase you have been given to work with and the issues you feel are pertinent. Make it about the code, not the people.

Your statement that "The person who worked on the project before you is well respected in the company" is a subjective one and should not be part of your argument or decision on what needs to happen to fix things.

If they dismiss you for being honest then that is their problem. You will have done your best. That's what you are being paid for.

about 10 months ago
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Google's Motorola Adventure: Stinging Defeat, Or Semi-Victory?

ConallB Re:The numbers (139 comments)

- $3.2B Moto's 2011 cash

- $2.4B Moto's 2011 deferred tax assets

- $2.35B Moto's Set-top-box business sold in 2012

- $75M Moto's factories business sold in 2013

- $2.91B Moto's Mobility business sold in 2014

So the "patents, engineering talent, and insight into the mobile-device marketplace" cost $1.56B, not $7.1B

Don't forget :

$??? Perpetual licensing agreement to Motorola Patent Portfolio

That's got to be worth a fair chunk of change too.

about 10 months ago
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23-Year-Old Chess Grandmaster Whips Bill Gates In 71 Seconds

ConallB This just in.... (449 comments)

Guy who is really good at chess beats guy who is really smart with computers at chess....

Next up...

Heart surgeon manages to successfully repair heart problem as opposed to computer expert who lets patient die.

about 10 months ago
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NSA Says It Foiled Plot To Destroy US Economy Through Malware

ConallB Hey, NSA, Welcome to the 1980's (698 comments)

First off, a BIOS attack? Really? Welcome to the 1980's!

Secondly, Request for software update to attack BIOS? Have you tried to update your BIOS? It aint that easy and any bios made since the late 80's has safeguards to prevent BIOS updates in the way that's described.

Thirdly, to brick enough computers to ruin the US economy using a bios update would be practically impossible. Never mind that such an attack would have to target people stupid enough to apply updates to systems in locked server rooms. Good luck with that!

about a year ago
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CBS 60 Minutes: NSA Speaks Out On Snowden, Spying

ConallB BIOS Attack? (504 comments)

The BIOS attack mentioned in the article was really telling about how the spin machine works: To Quote:

This is the BIOS system which starts most computers. The attack would have been disguised as a request for a software update. If the user agreed, the virus would’ve infected the computer.

John Miller: So, this basically would have gone into the system that starts up the computer, runs the systems, tells it what to do.

Debora Plunkett: That's right.

John Miller: --and basically turned it into a cinderblock.

Debora Plunkett: A brick.

John Miller: And after that, there wouldn't be much you could do with that computer.

Debora Plunkett: That's right. Think about the impact of that across the entire globe. It could literally take down the U.S. economy.

First off, a BIOS attack? Really? Welcome to the 1980's!

Secondly, Request for software update to attack BIOS? Have you tried to update your BIOS? It aint that easy and any bios made since the late 80's has safeguards to prevent BIOS updates in the way that's described.

Thirdly, to brick enough computers to ruin the US economy using a bios update would be practically impossible. Never mind that such an attack would have to target people stupid enough to apply updates to systems in locked server rooms. Good luck with that!

Finally, this whole article just demonstrated how they just don't 'get it'. They collect data on you and your loved ones but they don't "look" at it because "that" would be illegal. And if they get caught well then it's "their PR" which is bad, not their actions.

And surely hacking the answers to cheat on a test to be a spy surely qualifies you for the job by default?

about a year ago
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Schneier: The NSA Is Commandeering the Internet

ConallB ARPA vs INTER nets (413 comments)

I realise this will not come as a shock to most of the /. community but the internet was born out a government program under the Advanced Research Projects Agency. To pretend like government intrusion and monitoring was never built into the DNA of the net is naive in the extreme.

If you start with the assumption that anything you do on a networked device is vulnerable then you wont be disappointed when your online 'privacy' or 'rights' are violated by the very people who gave you the ability to expose yourself in such a way.

Its better to think of yourself as less interesting to the government than you would think. Yes, the government can spy on you and your online habits but chances are you are not interesting enough to be of interest. If you suspect you are then get clued up on how to protect your own privacy rather than bleat to the very people who are violating it in the first place.

about a year ago
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It's Hard For Techies Over 40 To Stay Relevant, Says SAP Lab Director

ConallB Rubbish (441 comments)

This is now the second inane piece of trollbait I have seen on the frontpage of /. in the last 2 days. I know pleanty of twentysomething developers who are awful and plenty of 40+ devs who can do in a day what it takes junior developers weeks to accomplish. And vice versa.

I think the OP says more about competent developers over 40 who want to work for such an idiot rather than saying a lot about talented youths who are willing to tolerate such crap!

about 2 years ago
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Just Days After Release, Google's Nexus 4 Has Already Been Rooted

ConallB Rubbish (85 comments)

Entering the command "fastboot oem unlock" using ADB is what enables custom firmware and bootloaders to be flashed. This is hardly a revelation. In fact, this is how you unlock many Motorola devices and others. Saying it has "already been rooted", as if there was some kind of elaborate hack or cleverness involved is simply wrong. Thats like saying by taking off your training wheels yo9u somehow rooted your bicycle.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Steve Wozniak Anything

ConallB Apple now vs Apple then..... (612 comments)

Do you think that your past self would be hired by Apple today?

more than 2 years ago
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Anger With Game Content Lock Spurs Reaction From Studio Head Curt Shilling

ConallB What i (tried) to pst to the forums.... (908 comments)

Hi all,

Normally I dont participate in online discussions as the flames and trolling are too much of a hassle to dwal with. But this topic is something that means a lot to me and so I would like to post something in the hope that it brings some idea as to why this particular topic of new vs used creates such heat.

To start off I would like to say to the Developers that "I get it!" and really, I do. You take a big risk making a game and it takes a hudge amount of time, effort and love to get it out into the world. You do it for the love of it and also, in the end, to get paid. This is what you do and you deserve to be paid for doing it. I understand this because I too work for a living and want to be fairly compensated for what it is I do. I want people to buy my product because, the more people that buy it, the more profit I make and the higher my reward. So I get it.

Now lets look at it from the consumer / customer side. You make something and want to sell it to me. I want what you are selling and so, taking my hard earned cash from my job, I pay you your asking price and you sell me your product. What I do with it from that point on is my business. Provided I dont attempt to pass it off as my own or do something illegal with it (such as pirate it for profit or otherwise or pass ) I am free to do with it what I wish, including doing something with the product the producer never intended. Simple so far.

Here is where the problem starts. I, as a consumer, am now finished with using your product and wish to recoup at least some of my costs, by selling the game onwards to someone else, as is my right. You, as a producer, seem to see this as a 'lost sale' in that you dont see any profit from that transaction despite the fact that it is a legitimate option on the part of your customer.

Maybe I, as a customer, sell my game back to the retail outlet that sold it to me who in turn sell it on at close to the price of a full game. That really doesent seem fair but it is. I am selling my ownership and rights back to the retailer who, as the new owner, is free to do with it what they wish, including doing something with the product the producer never intended. In this case, selling it on for thier exclusive profit.

You, the producer, dont like this. When a used copy is placed on a rack next to a new one and the price is lower consumers will, naturally, go for the lower cost. Especially as, aside from packaging, there is no discernable difference between the new and used ones. So how do you propose to combat this? You decide to offer purchasers of new product a "freebie" that purchasers of used content have to pay for. By doing this you incentivise potential purchasers looking at the new vs. used rack to buy "new" but what you have also done, perhaps unintentionally, is devalue the used copy at the expense of your customer. The retailer, realising they can no longer sell the used copy for as much, dratically lowers the price they will sell a used copy for thereby resucing the price they will pay for any used copy. They may not even buy the used copy back at all as they now realise nobody wants it as it is missing the "free" content that is only availiable as new.

I, as your customer, feel like you have not played fair with me. You have my money, you made your profit off me, and now you want to deprive me of the ability to sell on my paid for property at a reasonable price. The retailer doesent care. They continue to make a profit wether someone buys new or used. The margins on used may have been higher but no so much as they would really care too much. The only person who truly loses out on the deal is I, your customer.

There are other options availiable to you that you may want to consider. Perhaps some sort of agreement with your distributers for a slice of the used market if they wish to sell your product new, or something that allows individuals to sell the product on to other individuals via an online marketplace where you could perhaps take a small percentage of the trade?

Unfortunately there is always an option for consumers. They can either not buy your product, in whaich case everybody loses or they can simply pirate the game and get everything, DLC included, for "free", in which case you lose out and the customer feels justified in doing so as you were out to screw them out of thier money (and ability to recoup same) anyway so they may as well screw you!

I know thats not what you want. Its not what we want. We want you to be rewarded, just not at our expense.

Thanks for reading.

more than 2 years ago
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Sorry, IT: These 5 Technologies Belong To Users

ConallB My 2 cents (348 comments)

This really is a not as much of an issue as the author makes out. IT is all in favor of users bringing their own devices to the party as long as they accept that, much like you may own the briefcase, the documents and data contained therein remain property of the company and need to be protected.

If end users are prepared to accept the responsibility of protecting their data in line with the policies set out by the management of the organization (note i say management here, as opposed to IT) then the issue becomes one of personal culpability for breaches which IT is more than happy to shift to the user. Once people realize they can be fired if they leak data from their own devices they very often sing a new tune.

More often than not though, when users want to use ther own devices they want to do so with the same ease and level of support afforded to their company supplied equipment. This is simply unworkable. If its yours, you own it and you need to support it, not the IT department. Think of it like using your car for company business - You can claim back the milage but its your responsibility to maintain it or fix if it breaks down.

You also need to ensure that your personal equipment is good enough do the job and that you are licensed for all the right software. Don't think that, because the company runs Office 2003 that you can start sending 2010 docx's everywhere because it came preloaded on your new laptop. Likewise don't expect the company to pay for your upgrade to the latest MSOffice on your personal equipment. They might do, but don't expect it!

Likewise users ust also realize that they cannot have it all their own way. If its dropbox for file sharing then ok, dropbox it is for everyone. It makes no sense if 5 different departments use 5 different file shares. Dont blame IT if bob in sales prefers rapidshare to dropbox.

The state of IT security and systems is far more advanced than most users realise. Just so you all know, the second you connect your device (android, apple, windows et al) device to the corporate email systems or related services IT already has the ability to remotely wipe your device of any data or remotely access it. In the same way a company uses onstar or similar GPS services to track company vehicles so IT has tools to do the same on your devices.

Finally, there is a staggering amount of ignorance when it comes to IT and the people who work in IT for a living. For some reason someone who goes out and buys an Iphone or an iPad suddenly thinks they are able to talk over people who have far more experience and knowledge than them. Its kind of like buying a Prius and then trying to talk down to a Nascar or F1 pitcrew. IT doesn't actually think you are stupid, they just think you act that way when you condescend to them and claim to have more knowledge than you actually do.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Ask For Equity In a Startup?

ConallB The best way.... (349 comments)

Is to simply approach your boss (or the owners) and express an interest in investing in the enterprise. This works for both you and the owners as it registers your interest and belief in the endeavour and allows the owners the widest possible options in response.

If you are truly part of the companies DNA you will be recognised as such and can expect something reasonable; ELSE your offer is politely declined and you carry on working knowing exactly where you stand and, as you are fairly compensated anyway, no worse off than before.

more than 3 years ago
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OnLive Aiming To Become Netflix of Games

ConallB Onlive is good (146 comments)

Sorry to go against the grain of the generally held opinion that Onlive doesn't work but as someone in the UK who has tried the service out from my living room PC I have to say it is definitely a viable, workable platform for game delivery.

I know that it isint really all that hot for FPS's but neither are consoles with their auto-aim and limited input controls. Thats why i have a PC.

Meanwhile there are plenty of games that are pretty good, even with my 80ms lag to the us servers (lego batman just as an example). I enjoy being entertained by games, not by the frame rate or resolution.

And to pay 9.99 p/m for access to the current games on onlive is not really that steep.

When the service comes to the UK for real I will definitely sign up. Rather than buy a console which will become tomorrows trash!

more than 3 years ago
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Times Paywall In Questionable 'Success'

ConallB Non starter... (214 comments)

The fact is Murdoch has committed himself to this paywall and it has to succeed no matter what (in his eyes)! Those of us living in any major uk city have seen the big billboards and everyone has seen the hugely expensive ad campaigns trying to convince us that somehow the mere presence of Rupert Everett is enough to get us to part with our cash. But the days of paid for content are over, at least for the news industry. The sooner he fails the sooner we can forget about it... he has deep pockets and a huge ego though!

about 4 years ago
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Can We Really Tell Lossless From MP3?

ConallB EmPeeThree (849 comments)

Ahh MP3, the Vinyl of the digital audio world.

about 5 years ago
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Stargate Universe

ConallB Re:Big SG1 fan, not impressed. (829 comments)

I agree. There is nothing new to see here... move the budget along to something better.

more than 5 years ago
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When VMware Performance Fails, Try BSD Jails

ConallB Wait, What? (361 comments)

They were running thier outfit on VMWare Server - as in the free-runs-on/in-a-desktop version. So basically thay benchmarked a virtual machine runnning on top of a full blown OS running on physical hardware. Then they switched to running a virtualised environment on physical hardware. I am amazed that they ony got a 10 fold increase! Seriously, Try ESXi, the free hypervisor from VMWare and run the benchmarks again. The author really should do more research before slating vmware.

more than 5 years ago

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