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Sale of IBM's Chip-Making Business To GlobalFoundries To Get US Security Review

Matheus Re:Wake up America ... (95 comments)


Honestly I'm a big fan of the Star Trek future however possible that may be. If through automation / etc the needs of *all can be produced by an extreme few why do we need to continue the philosophy that everyone must earn money to survive. I'm not for pure socialism but I have no problem with the safety net being high enough that everyone can do "good" on "nothing" not just eek by. Choosing to live on that minimum is a choice that is perfectly valid for all and not even to be shunned. That leaves those who want to follow their interests the freedom to do so without having to worry about where the shelter over their head or the food on their next plate is coming from.

There are all sorts of logistical issues to work out for that dream to be a reality (not the least of which is making sure enough people work for their own benefit to keep the engine running) and our level of automation isn't quite there yet to support it but that's the future I want to live in.

2 days ago

Sale of IBM's Chip-Making Business To GlobalFoundries To Get US Security Review

Matheus Re:Wrong criterion (95 comments)

Honestly I find this to all be overblown... Really curious how much actual IBM chips the US Gov't is buying these days? My former employer did nearly all of their business with the US. (We also went through US Gov't Review when we were purchased by a foreign entity and it was severely painful how it all ended up but I digress...) Working for several of the Acronyms IBM hardware was ever-present BUT it was all Intel inside. The new super computers we see being built are all Intel or AMD cored. There is a LOT of hardware I'm sure is rotting in some massive server farm somewhere so maintenance has to be an issue but we really saw no signs in any Department of *any new acquisition with IBM chips under the hood.

Of course I'm glossing over the various other chips on a server MB that may be fabbed by IBM directly but else seems like a lot of noise for a supplier that they are not utilizing any more. I would think it would be a bigger deal that IBM sold their server division to Lenovo since they are heavily using IBM Server Hardware and Lenovo is originally a Chinese company but maybe I just missed that piece of news.

2 days ago

The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll

Matheus Re: Hypocrisy (546 comments)

Maybe he's just cutting through to the heart of the issue.. ;-)

OR he's an ill-tempered sea bass... Hard to tell from the writing style.

2 days ago

Ask Slashdot: Event Sign-Up Software Options For a Non-Profit?

Matheus Re:I wouldn't (104 comments)

The balance also heavily swings on the quality of the devs involved. There's a vast field of difference between what one developer might consider trivial and another. If their pool of devs are true NP volunteers then it could be a fleet of "I read this book on Java once" quality devs which would make everything worse than trivial.

Since the requirements are pretty vague it's hard to say for certain but honestly I'd spec this project out at 2 people. I'd do all the dev and have another guy to get their infrastructure up and stable (maybe/probably cloud given the once a year use) with maybe another to put a second set of eyes on (essentially QA). Dealing with volunteers in a non-profit environment you get a lot of intention but not quite so much ability or follow through so keep the team small. (Honestly could do this solo but given guy 2 and 3 I'd take the help) If there are a lot of hidden requirements then this may need to be augmented but really we're talking about a fairly simple web app with extremely low load requirements.

More to the point of the OP's question, as you say there's a fine line here. Too many OTS solutions try to be the kitchen sink and so customizing them to your use ends up being more dev than creating the whole thing yourself. This use-case seems trivial enough that you would essentially want to say: Either what I'm buying from you works truly OTS or I'll build my own. Look at the cost of modification as your deciding factor. I used to work for an organization who had a bunch of in house software. Various CRM tasks were handled by this software and at least reasonably well. At some point a suit decided that instead of asking us for some more features he needed to ditch what was already working and buy ACT CRM. The modification development required by us to bring ACT even back to par with what it was replacing was significantly higher than it would have cost us to just add the features they wanted. This could be more of a specific dig on ACT than a general case but seems to happen a lot. The described non-profit seems to be in the similar boat of already having a custom solution so why throw it away when it just needs some mods?

4 days ago

OS X 10.10 Yosemite Review

Matheus Re:Windows 8 (303 comments)

Oh my I have a fan! Too bad they are shy and remain anonymous... Only someone with a personal vendetta OR a true fanboi would get so worked up over that innocuous comment. Guess I hit a little too close to home.

5 days ago

An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man

Matheus Re: Agner Krarup Erlang - The telephone in 1909! (341 comments)

That method is working fine here for at least one particular grocery store. A large regional grocer named Lund's does this at a number of their stores. Of course the stores they are using it in have a certain dynamic and layout that seems to compliment its use.

Other than grocery:
Best Buy uses this method during the Christmas Season and seems to be expanding that to other times of the year when they are busy.
Local Electronics/Computer shop Microcenter has done this since they opened.
The bathrooms in our stadiums end up working this way.

Definitely works well... not sure why others aren't catching on.

5 days ago

How Curved Spacetime Can Be Created In a Quantum Optics Lab

Matheus Re:Overweight (89 comments)

"Hey Baby! My space-time curvature deviates from the standard model... wanna come back to my place and distort physics??"

about a week ago

Mixing Agile With Waterfall For Code Quality

Matheus Re:Shocking News - One Size Doesn't Fit All (133 comments)

Can't speak for the development community at large but I have yet to work in either a purely Agile OR a purely Waterfall project yet. Every one has been a balance of both and it has worked quite well so this research seems stale to me.

Given I've "only" been in the development world for 15 years I missed Waterfall's heyday (Thank Jebus) but its not like the switch flipped all the way over. Agile and a variety of other procedural breakthroughs just add to the development toolbox from which to pick the best style for each team and project.

about a week ago

OS X 10.10 Yosemite Review

Matheus Re:Windows 8 (303 comments)

Damn... you beat me to it.

M$ should sue for copying their idea!

about a week ago

Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

Matheus Re:iMac with Retina display. (354 comments)

Um... "Yes."

The retina display is a "brand" for Apple. The term was supposed to imply that the display's ppi was great enough that your eye couldn't perceive any improvement with better. Of course it was shown pretty soon after that they were wrong BUT the measure is fairly close and they stuck with the name.

My new Dell has a less snappy name for its display "QHD+" but I'm not complaining since it has a noticeably higher PPI than Retina (as well as supposedly better tech for a brighter image at that rez)

about two weeks ago

Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

Matheus Re:Plenty of Einsteins right now... (366 comments)

This may show a couple different things:

1) IQ may be (possibly is) a terrible way to measure what makes an Einstein. Specifically the concept of creativity is complicated. There has been a bunch of research / analysis in this area with most of what I'm seeing saying an IQ test can indicate creativity but not purely the score but with in-depth analysis of how the different questions are answered (subtle).

2) There are a lot of geniuses dying on the vine for the unlucky habit of being born in the wrong place at the wrong time.

3) A genius may or may not choose to exercise their abilities in the way Einstein did. Many a genius would be pretty smart to be able to live their life in peace without the struggle. Apply your genius to a worthy goal of spending the rest of your life on a beach :-)

SO... is the OP actually saying we need more "contributing" geniuses?

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

Matheus Re:Patents, employment, and invention (224 comments)

Ya... I was working at a company about a decade ago that was purchased. When the new bosses came in they handed us a bunch of paperwork to sign including a non-compete which we hadn't had previously. It had explicit language that said any thing we created on or off clock at work or at home was theirs expressly. I refused to sign and urged my coworkers similarly. At some point I ended up on a conference call with the legal team at overlord corporate negotiating an alternate version of the contracts which all technical staff at my firm ended up signing instead of the original. Fun moment in my career for sure.

As for IP and employment it can be very lucrative. My most recent previous employer had at least a few employees on staff who's primary job responsibility was to keep their IP in house. They collected nice fat paychecks to do very little (essentially support for implementations and debugging of potential issues with the patented algorithms). The key is knowing the value of your IP to your potential employer and take no less than everything they are willing to compensate for it without actually giving up ownership.

about two weeks ago

Flight Attendants Want Stricter Gadget Rules Reinstated

Matheus Re:I thought they loved it! (406 comments)

Nah.. I think that's more common than that. I fly delta almost exclusively and they don't seem to mind at all (especially since on most flights you're watching a video anyway unless the video system is broken which happens a lot)

I've refused to follow the stow electronics rule just about as long as I've had electronics to stow. I've gone as far as to push the flight attendants for an actual *reason why we had to stow and only got one good answer (other than because I told you to) *ever. "If we have a problem during takeoff or landing your headphone/cords will interfere with the ability to quickly clear the seats/aisle" not that that dissuaded me.

Of course I also refuse to wear my seat belt. In the nearly half million miles I've flown that's only been an issue once and that was just sliding forward on a particularly hard landing (which I compensate for with the extremely challenging action of not having my feet tucked under me on landing) Aside from the dramatic scene in "Flight" where he barrel rolls the plane there are very few scenarios where that little strap is going to save me from whatever calamity we're going through.

Anyway... flying for me is like riding a bus these days (especially with TSA pre-approved to save the hassle going through security) so much like just about everyone on the bus I really only want to be interrupted by the crew on my way on and off the bus.

about two weeks ago

Snapchat Says Users Were Victimized By Their Use of Third-Party Apps

Matheus Re:that's not a lot... (90 comments)

Yeah and part B SnapChat pics are *really small... low rez and tiny so you can fit a lot in a little.

about two weeks ago

Ubisoft Claims CPU Specs a Limiting Factor In Assassin's Creed Unity On Consoles

Matheus Re:boo hoo hoo (338 comments)

Get off my lawn!!!

about two weeks ago

Why Do Contextual Ads Fail?

Matheus Re:Because they are really dumb (249 comments)

...but that would be actually thinking and these guys went into marketing so they wouldn't have to. OK that's not fair but honestly these concepts aren't new in the sales world. I worked for Best Buy as a retail computer salesman for 4 years. The computers we sold were mostly losing money but we made *gobs on the accessories SO that's where our sales skill were directed. Cool the guy bought a machine from us BUT you get the pat on the back for the guy walking out with Computer + Monitor + Printer + Cables + Paper + Ink + Webcam + Office Furniture + Service Plan + "Hey do you have a subwoofer in your car yet?" That's the sale that makes money.

Amazon seems to work well in this way... the "Customers who bought what you just bought also bought the following" section is fantastic. Oh hey you're advertising to me stuff that there is actually a high chance I might want to buy now! That field recorder really does need an SD Card and a Carrying Case and an extra Power Supply and USB Cables and Batteries!

The difference is Amazon actually has that data. Facebook *might if they learned to better farm theirs but let me expand. Amazon knows what people actually buy. Facebook may or may not have that information. This gives Amazon a huge advantage in targeted marketing because they get all of the associated product connections for free. Facebook can see that you were shopping for the Zoom H4n and so will slam you with ads for the H4n. They need to dig a bit deeper... so 1 level deeper says Hey the H4n is a "digital recorder" so we can show ads for all "digital recorders". That's nice but I already bought my H4n so I don't need to see more digital recorders. Dig another step deeper and they add to their database "Digital Recorder Accessories" so then they could slam me with ads for those and I might actually need some of that. NOW take that kind of customized relationship mapping and extend it to the billions of products spread over countless product categories. Facebook needs to look at what everyone is browsing and try to cobble that kind of data together into a reliable map. The task is definitely possible but by no means straight forward or reliable. Amazon gets this data for free (heck they make money when we give it to them) and it's quality data. Privacy issues be damned I'm surprised Amazon isn't selling this data because it is *truly valuable.

The article itself wants Facebook to truly understand us and market what we might want to buy soon that we haven't even searched for yet. If they can't get the above working properly how the hell are we to expect them to develop advanced intelligence like that??

about three weeks ago

Apple Sapphire Glass Supplier GT Advanced Files For Bankruptcy

Matheus Re:How can you (171 comments)

Honestly give me the $578M... I'll burn through it in a matter of days.

Of course what I'd be spending it on is probably quite different than what they did (if they spent it at all... could be scam)

Just an off the top of my head guess:

Get large, lucrative, long term contract with Apple to deliver a component. Get large advance to get production up to speed. Spend all of it (or more... high tech factories are expensive) ramping up said production only to have your first expected large order get pushed to "undefined future". Realize you didn't budget for that and file bankruptcy.

I've seen posted that this isn't the biggest part of this company's business plan but I could easily see a company like this 'betting the farm' on this deal and screwing themselves in the process. Happens a lot. Bankruptcy is also a variety of different things so this isn't them being broke or going out of business necessarily but an acknowledgement that they are unable to fulfill their current level of liabilities. Apple may lose a bit or a lot on their investment but not really a big deal due to a combination of A) They more than anyone else in the world right now can afford it. B) They probably haven't lost as much as you think. Apple made the choice to not include this component in the '6. I'm sure they were aware of such an issue when they made such a decision. Just beans being counted.

about three weeks ago

Engineers Build Ultrasmall Organic Laser

Matheus Re:Now we need (22 comments)

Sorry couldn't shrink the sharks...

SO we got you ill-tempered minnows instead! Really ferocious little things...

about three weeks ago



MN-US Ceases Attempt to Blacklist Online Gambling

Matheus Matheus writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Matheus writes "In response to a lawsuit filed in federal court against the head of the MN Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division the order for all ISPs to block access to a list of on-line gambling sites has been dropped. This topic came to light here when the order was placed the end of April. Thankfully a bad mistake undone by my home state!"
Link to Original Source


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