×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

VMware Unveils Workplace Suite and NVIDIA Partnership For Chromebooks

Cute Fuzzy Bunny Re:Flashback to the 90s (60 comments)

You can go back a little further. We used to call this 'mainframes and terminals'. There's a reason why we got away from it. Lots of them in fact.

about 4 months ago
top

Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

Cute Fuzzy Bunny Re:What's the max bandwidth of coax cable? (341 comments)

If I recall correctly, the same amount of space a television channel uses is around 10-12Mb/s of continuous data. Current modems can bond 12+ channels. The more that people stream instead of requiring live tv, the more channels can be allocated to internet. Each modem can be configured to use different channels. While there is one piece of wire from the street to your house, there are many piece of coax AND backup unused cable throughout your neighborhood. Each neighborhood has a junction with bazoodles of cable to it and probably fiber.

So the short answer is they can allocate gigabits of data streams in your neighborhood, and with numerous backbone options from there to the main office they have all the bandwidth they need for the foreseeable future. And it doesn't 'run out', it just gets slower at the shared wire level for the user. Which is why netflix looks like crap at 7PM every night.

about 4 months ago
top

Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

Cute Fuzzy Bunny Its all a zero sum game (341 comments)

Cable tv is a leaking ship and losing subscribers by the day. In a few years most content will be streamed. If you are losing money on the television end of the business, you have to make it up on the streaming end. Satellite is the same except they don't have the kind of internet end that comcast has. This is why Dish is doing the 'over the top' offering later this year. They're going to offer 'basic cable' as a streaming, non satellite option. This is why comcast is buying time warner. They'll basically own the pipe and will jack up the price to offset declining tv revenues and the more you 'watch', the more you'll pay.

We don't have the 300M cap here yet, but we will and comcast is the only high speed provider anywhere in my county. They also charge more here than they do where uverse/verizon/dsl is available.

I had considered cutting the cord this year and going with a big antenna I have in my attic (83 channels), netflix/hulu/amazon and some specific channel streaming (TNT, Disney) to save some $$$. But then I saw what comcast was doing with the caps and extra charges in other areas and realized I'd just be paying $120+ for internet instead of $60 for internet and $60 for tv.

Since the head of the FCC is the former head of the cable lobby and the head of the cable lobby is the former head of comcast, it looks like the political revolving door will assure that this will come to fruition.

Google will never run fiber to anywhere near a majority of homes. The phone company doesn't even offer DSL in that broad a manner.

about 4 months ago
top

The Grumpy Programmer has Advice for Young Computer Workers (Video)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny Re:blog (120 comments)

Awww...does that make you grumpy?

about 4 months ago
top

The Grumpy Programmer has Advice for Young Computer Workers (Video)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny Re:Incredibly wise advice (120 comments)

As usual, statistics lie. In dual degree marriages with engineering degrees there is a lot of money involved so one or both eats a lot of shit so they can live in the nice house, drive the nice cars and enjoy their earnings.

In poor marriages, there isn't enough money to make it worthwhile.

Its also interesting to note that second marriage divorce rates are higher than first, and third marriages are even worse. So they don't learn from their mistakes and failures beget higher failures. Once you're done with your first one, everyone you date will already have been married and divorced at least once. The ones that make it into their 40's without ever marrying are a real treat, because there's a reason.

And if you think that problem solving and rational thinking happens in a marriage...wow, have you got some surprises coming to you.

about 4 months ago
top

The Grumpy Programmer has Advice for Young Computer Workers (Video)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny Re:Incredibly wise advice (120 comments)

Kids don't have to cost very much. Billions of them are raised around the world for next to nothing. Living below your means and having a good retirement account is a very good idea.

But yeah, marriage is a piss poor idea. You have no idea what you're going to get. My ex wife held her breath for 5.5 years of dating and everything was wonderful. Which ended within days of the ring going on her finger.

The old saying is true: marriages fail because men think that everything will stay the same and women think everything will be different.

I survived financially because most of my assets were earned before we married and weren't community property. There's a reason they call it financial death.

about 4 months ago
top

The Grumpy Programmer has Advice for Young Computer Workers (Video)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny Re:Transcript... (120 comments)

I learned that many programmers are musicians or good at various art forms. Which surprised me because I was a good programmer and can't play a musical instrument or do anything artistic at all.

I learned that if you're a coder, you'd better have a career change lined up before you're too far along into your 40's.

I learned that when you're older if you lose your job, good luck getting re-employed.

I learned that if you want life long income from writing code, you'd have been well off to learn legacy languages and operating systems and get a job with a large business or the government. In fact, doing that now would leave you with a lot less competition for highly specialized work and you'd largely be competing with old farts for jobs.

I learned how to reduce stress.

As a code writer from the 70's through the early 90's and the manager of programmers through early 2000's, followed by watching almost everyone I know who did it lose their jobs in their early 50's and go through hell to find work, seems like all of that is not only reliable but pretty important.

That's without going back and re-reading the transcript.

about 4 months ago
top

The Grumpy Programmer has Advice for Young Computer Workers (Video)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny Re:Transcript... (120 comments)

As someone who has been unemployed for the last 14 years, I can manage anything because I've been doing almost nothing besides reading about everything on the internet.

Oh, and I'm also stupidly wealthy, which is why I haven't had to work since 2000. Which probably qualifies me for a few things here and there.

about 4 months ago
top

Cable Companies: We're Afraid Netflix Will Demand Payment From ISPs

Cute Fuzzy Bunny Revolving doors (200 comments)

Worth it to note that the chairman of the NCTA is the former chairman of the FCC, and the former chairman of the NCTA is the new chairman of the FCC.

Does that seem wholly farked up to anyone else other than me?

about 5 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

Cute Fuzzy Bunny Re:How many employees does Slashdot need? (272 comments)

Unions aren't evil but sometimes they go a little overboard. Nobody needs to make $20 an hour to make cupcakes. My ex works in a medical profession that requires a college degree and extensive training. Her uncle worked his whole life as a cashier in a grocery store. He made more an hour than she did and retired in his 50's. He didn't even graduate from high school. All he had to do was say "HI!", smile and pass boxes over a barcode reader.

about 5 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

Cute Fuzzy Bunny Re:Corporate culture (272 comments)

Yeah that one is a bit of a mystery. My uber white trash, almost penniless ex in-laws have one and I'm pretty sure its bigger than that. Huge driveway penis. The thing is, they can't afford the fuel for it but that's okay because they can't afford to put new tires on it either. The ones on there are at least ten years old and as any RV owner will tell you, pushing those past 7 years is asking for trouble.

My greatest hope is that they offer to take my ex on a long trip through a winding mountainous bypass with lots and lots of long drop offs on both sides.

about 5 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

Cute Fuzzy Bunny Re:How Many Employees are Required? (272 comments)

To be fair, Windows has had an issue that many other OS's haven't really had. It had to maintain compatibility with a ridiculous array of third party apps written in a bazillion languages over a very long time period with a fairly monolithic operating system that was built like topsy on a fairly hard to work with processor architecture that also grew like topsy. While their ability to maintain backwards compatibility has been way less than perfect, unix/linux had a much more technically adept user base and apple had a much smaller collection of applications and third party products to deal with. Microsoft had a lot of baggage in terms of user volume and apps to deal with, and a ridiculously broad array of hardware and oddball drivers.

I never saw a unix/linux release that didn't go something like "Well, I put in the upgrade, recompiled almost everything, edited 57,000 text files filled with arcane settings, half the drivers didn't work for six more months until I got a version 6 revs back, waved some chicken bones over my head and learned swahili". Apples migration from 68k to powerpc to intel came with a very small comparative user base, very limited hardware, and not many apps...but a lot of stuff still broke. I remember putting the first version of OS X on my mac. Nothing worked.

But your point is well made. When you have just the people needed to do the work, you're all like minded, and you don't have a lot of legacy stuff to deal with, you can really crank out some code.

about 5 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

Cute Fuzzy Bunny My experience (272 comments)

I worked for some time for one of the largest companies in the world during its biggest growth period. We had about 40,000 employees when I joined and about 15 years later we had about 120k. Honestly, we didn't really do anything significantly different production wise at the end that we weren't doing that the beginning, perhaps 10k of those extra 80k employees contributed to an actual increase in delivered products and services.

At the beginning a department was generally a manager who reported to a VP or GM, they had 5-6 managers under them and each manager had 6-12 employees. Those first line managers were responsible for making decisions and accountable for the results. About half the company was in manufacturing or customer support of some kind.

What we had at the end were lots and lots of meetings with lots and lots of people who all wanted a vote. Ownership and accountability were all over the place. Perhaps 3-5 people were all doing the job that one FLM was doing at the beginning. We had a ton of process and paperwork. Lots and lots of middle management. There were now as many as 7-8 layers between a first line manager and a GM or VP. That's another thing. I think we had about 9 or 10 VP's at the start and we had about 50 of them towards the end. We spent millions, even billions on things we really had no core competency on and then abandoned them when the people running them realized the quagmire they were in was about to go over their heads. We got further and further away from profitable products and services.

Then we took a seriously wrong turn innovation-wise (like we didn't do any for a while, just insisted on doing the same stuff we'd always done, the way we'd always done it) and we almost had our lunch eaten by a far less capable competitor. We lost or laid off about 30,000 employees in just a few years. Unfortunately many of them were the talented people who just didn't need to deal with uncertainty or bureaucracy anymore. Miraculously, a small group of employees coughed up a major innovation and we got back into the game and came back gangbusters. The company has such a commanding lead in the market they're in and are so efficient at manufacturing that really nobody else can profit in the segment so they'll maintain inertia for at least another 3-5 years, maybe more.

The company is still doing well, but frankly even at current employee levels you could take another 20-30k of the middle management and redundant "stakeholders" out to the parking lot, tar and feather them and not allow them back into the building ever again and absolutely nothing bad would happen. As long as you held onto the manufacturing, IT, customer service, engineering and about 50 marketing/PR people, things would go at least as well.

We worked with Microsoft a lot and I met regularly with their execs and senior management. They have pretty much the same disease. A long in the tooth cash cow that turns out money like a broken ATM and management that's sure all of that is due to their guidance and genius. Extreme narcissism and an ivory tower that goes to the moon. Most of the key decision makers and innovators are probably mired down in 7.5 hours of meetings a day and spend the other hour and a half doing e-mail and writing progress reports. Once they wander too far away from the cash cow, they burn through money and get nowhere. They absolutely fit the saying "when you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail". Its all about "how do we stuff Windows into it, and lets just try to do the same things that others already squeezed the profit out of, whether there is a real strategy there or if it even fits into anything we have any competence in".

So I'd say that with their current reasonable and profitable product set, they probably need around 65k-70k employees. I don't think at this point that they really have any valid position in the hardware business. The mobile market blew past them 3+ years ago. They might make 4th or 5th in the ecosystem business if they tried hard. They could easily be pushed right out of business in under 5 years.

about 5 months ago
top

Selectively Reusing Bad Passwords Is Not a Bad Idea, Researchers Say

Cute Fuzzy Bunny Good luck (280 comments)

I have about 25 accounts on sites that have things like payment information. About 25% of them have odd password restrictions to the extent where I have no choice but to write them down. Some require a special symbol, some won't allow that, and one requires a 12 character password and nothing else I use will allow that many.

So while I do use the same password for all sites that haven't got any monetary or important personal information (and I've used the same one for 30 years), I have to have 5 other passwords. Since most of the sites also require a unique username and not an email or other username that I could re-use, I also have about 40 user names. So again, have to write it all down.

At some point, I'd like to see the security level of a piece of paper with usernames and passwords written down all over the front and back sitting in a drawer next to the computer vs just being able to use the same username/password on every system without ever changing it. I actually get ticked off when I'm asked for a password without any listed qualifiers, and its only after I put one in that the site tells me what they will and won't allow. And its *MY* password. I'd like to pick whatever the hell I want, how long I want, whether I want upper/lower/numbers/special characters in it, etc.

The greatest concern I have is that the company holding the password will lose it. I've had my account info hacked/lost about 100 times over the years. Number of times someone has gotten into an account I own without the password being simply lost by the holder? Zero over 35+ years.

about 5 months ago
top

Does Google Have Too Much Influence Over K-12 CS Education?

Cute Fuzzy Bunny Re:It's time (66 comments)

That's one way to possibly solve the problem. If you've got a long time to work with and aren't concerned with what happens to the kids currently in the programs. It'd turn out badly in areas of low affluence. When California tried reducing class sizes without thinking about making more qualified teachers, as jobs opened at the schools in affluent areas, the good teachers ran to them and the schools in poor areas had to hire crap teachers just to fill the jobs. Quality of education plummeted right in lock step with how wealthy the neighborhoods were.

The other way would be to do what the top education graded countries do. All education free from kindergarten to college. Longer school days but about 50% of it extracurricular and fun. Highly trained and certified teachers. Low student to teacher ratios. Minimal standardized testing since the teachers are trusted to handle education issues in the class room and the low ratios and rigorous teacher certification actually allow that to happen. We happen to be doing the exact opposite.

I have a son in public elementary school and have dealt with the issues. The principal is a bureaucrat and low grade politician, but she isn't very good at it. She'd last about a month as a first line manager in a fortune 500 company. The superintendent is a pure politician. Neither has an education bone in their body. The teachers are all unionized, and right now they're forcing out one of the best teachers in the school because they keep expanding class sizes (past 30 to one teacher) and she's got the least tenure. Half the teachers suck so badly I'm surprised the kids learn anything. Some are decent, but badly undertrained or inexperienced and the huge class load burns them out.

There's a big push to use technology as a teaching replacement. Only problem is that many of the younger kids have no computer experience. What's worse is I live in an extremely affluent area, yet mommy doesn't want little Jimmy playing with her computer and many of them won't cough up the $200 for a dedicated machine for the kid.

This is the top end experience for public schools, due to the affluence in my area. Schools in run down areas are horrific by comparison. Private schools aren't much of a panacea. There is very little to go on when trying to figure out which private schools are good and which aren't. Many of the better private schools are religion based and after my experience with private Catholic schools, I'll just say no thank you. A lot of the private schools are really no better than the public schools and if you complain, they'll show you the door and keep your tuition. Plenty more people in line waiting to pay.

We know how to do it. There are dozens of countries that spend a fraction of what we spend and they don't depend on competition. Our universities and major companies are full of their graduates. We'll just keep doing the same wrong things over and over again (and moreso!) and hope to magically end up with a different result.

about 5 months ago
top

Does Google Have Too Much Influence Over K-12 CS Education?

Cute Fuzzy Bunny Horrible (66 comments)

I totally hate it when billion dollar companies dump money into education. I spend so much time turning the whole thing over in my head looking for the downside that its too much of a time waster.

But the tone of the article is correct. Instead of corporations investing and looking for ways to innovate, we should keep having substandard teachers, throw billions into testing because we don't know if the teachers are any good, and somewhere along the line we'll magically have good education by doing the exact opposite of what successful education programs around the world are doing.

about 5 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: How Often Should You Change Jobs?

Cute Fuzzy Bunny It doesn't matter (282 comments)

I'm retired now, but I tended to change jobs every ~2 years. Companies get stuck on this "we can only give you a single digit % raise" thing. The competition didn't feel bad about shelling out a 30-40% raise after getting their butts handed to them a few times. Had I stayed with one company for 4-5 years, I'd have fallen behind badly in salary.

Not to mention a great company this year may easily get plowed under or become irrelevant in 5 years.

Once when I'd changed jobs about 5 times in 6 years, a hiring manager said "Gee, you tend to jump around a lot". When I explained the salary bumps I got for each of those changes and the radically different stuff I got to do at each company, he didn't seem to be that bothered by it.

about 5 months ago
top

BlackBerry Back In Profit

Cute Fuzzy Bunny Dead company walking (67 comments)

Selling phones below cost and major cost cutting doesn't turn into a positive long term trend. It just gets the CEO paid well for a while, nice golden parachute and lines them up for a job with a company that actually has a chance of surviving.

I like blackberry. Good solid hardware. The OS is far better than ios or android, at least until recently. The security is excellent.

But they rested on their laurels too long and everything they're doing now is too little, too late. I'm sure that certain verticals will keep using their stuff for a while, but the world has moved on.

about 6 months ago
top

Age Discrimination In the Tech Industry

Cute Fuzzy Bunny Seen it (370 comments)

Actually my old company had a group of former employees who'd been given the boot form an organization to fight the company's obvious age discrimination. They used a two prong approach. One was that 1/3 of your annual review process gauged you for 'new skill development', when many older employees are employing a broad range of skills but not necessarily developing new ones. On the other hand, 20-somethings have to develop new skills because they don't have many. The second prong was to move the 'underperforming' employees who weren't developing new skills as fast as they're younger counterparts into a 'redeployment' group where they could either choose to voluntarily resign with a payout or hang around and wait for a job offer from another department. Nobody wanted to take the older guys because it was a major fight to get them through the annual review process.

When I retired, a new manager took over the group and with HR's advice, put the two oldest guys in my department straight into redeployment, both guys in their 50's. Pretty invaluable employees too. I'd have a room full of young alpha male type A's sitting around arguing over who had the biggest one and it'd go in circles for hours. If I sent one of those older guys into the process, they'd settle it down, shoot down the bad ideas with their experience, get a plan formed and point the testosterone in the right direction to get something done. They were also better at fully forming plans, managing and monitoring progress, writing documentation, and handling senior management issues/politics.

At another job with a major company, I helped out a neighbor by putting his resume in with HR. The HR person told me to have him remove his photo from the resume, because he was clearly over 50 and many hiring managers would just toss it if they saw the picture and never interview him. A fine line between it being okay to not even process someone due to their age but once you interview them, you cross over into the discrimination area.

I had a long career with a dozen companies, mostly large and well known, and the mantra all along was that if you hadn't gotten yourself into a people/project/program management job by the time you were in your late 40's, you were screwed.

about 6 months ago
top

Apple, Google, and Amazon's Quest For One Remote Control Is Futile

Cute Fuzzy Bunny Besides reducing content providers to middleware (130 comments)

Its also that you simply cannot get any two people/organizations to accept 'not invented here'. We can't even agree on how to fasten a windshield wiper to an arm or what pieces of plumbing should be used to screw something into a water pipe with.

Tivo actually eliminated my need for other remotes most of the time because it made the satellite box/cable box a slave to it. I liked that, because I was able to switch from directv to dish to comcast and get their new customer deals, plug in the box and my shows still recorded. The remote worked the tv well enough. Only problem I had was when I wanted to watch a dvd. Of course, after a bit the satellite/cable companies reduced them to using an IR blaster and then refused to fix little glitches that messed up show recording when an IR action failed.

If my google tv with the built in blu-ray player was still being updated and had apps for hulu and an amazon app that wasn't just a web browser, and if all the flash streaming sites hadn't excluded it from playing their content, that also was a pretty close universal/one remote product that even solved playing physical disks. In one remote I could control the cable/sat aspect, stream netflix, control the tv/audio equipment, and even browse sites.

Nobody will allow their content to be subjugated to middleware. Everyone wants their box to be the primary interface. No two companies will ever agree on the same things. Whatever compromise shows up will be a PITA for customers to deal with.

about 8 months ago

Submissions

Cute Fuzzy Bunny hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

Cute Fuzzy Bunny has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?