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Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

MikeRT Sounds like you work for the federal government (283 comments)

Do exactly what they say to the letter. After the second "patch Tues" where they pound the ever lovin fuck out of Windows Server with updates and the CAB has a pile of paperwork big enough to roast a wild boar they'll suddenly regain a measure of common sense.


Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket

MikeRT Another question (321 comments)

Is it in the realm of possibility, at the prices that customers are willing to currently pay, to deliver on demand content near blu-ray level quality to a whole neighborhood? If 25% of my neighborhood suddenly decided to stream the new Hobbit movie, I doubt Verizon could cope with a few dozen households suddenly demanding reliable streaming of upwards of 50GB of content unless that content was hosted on servers with preferred QoS rules or something.

3 days ago

Bachelor's Degree: An Unnecessary Path To a Tech Job

MikeRT Certifications and experience are more important (286 comments)

Would you rather hire a support technician with an arm's length list of industry certifications or a 4 year degree? I know which one I'd choose (the former). It's not a position where universities lay out a comprehensive education program that can compete with industry. Same for DBAs, sysadmins and network engineers. Those are professional positions that require maybe at most an AA's worth of credits in the case of the network engineer to help them understand why they do what they do, but most of it is product knowledge-heavy work. Now if only more companies would realize that they need to ratchet up the difficulty on their certifications, certifications would get a better reputation.

4 days ago

Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

MikeRT What American advocates rarely/never mention... (584 comments)

The US has a vaccine schedule that is much more aggressive than the global consensus on when and how to vaccinate. So even if the individual vaccines are safe, it doesn't follow that the American approach to vaccination is safe. One of the biggest problems with our approach which is basically ramming a cocktail into a very young child all at once is that if God forbid there is an adverse reaction, HTF does the pediatrician know which one caused it? My wife can't take flu vaccines because she's allergic to some of the chemicals. I nearly died from the Protussin vaccine as a child. Vaccines may be generally safe, but the people who just blithely declare them to be safe as tylenol need to be treated as a lesser form of Jenny McCarthy in their own right.

4 days ago

$250K Reward Offered In California Power Grid Attack

MikeRT Simplified "homeland security" (111 comments)

Get rid of most of the useless garbage and institute a simpler system:

1. Declare certain sites strategic risk sites which means their security personnel have heightened authority to detain and shoot suspects similar to sensitive federal facilities.
2. Encourage said site operators to hire US Army and USMC veterans.
3. Arm said veterans with selective fire weapons and have them regularly patrol these sites.

Faster, cheaper and more accountable (private security guards have no qualified immunity).

about a week ago

Mathematical Proof That the Cosmos Could Have Formed Spontaneously From Nothing

MikeRT It's not proof of God (594 comments)

But it is proof that disproving Aquinas's argument that no physical phenomena can arise ex nihilo is currently beyond the capacity of science, mathematics and philosophy.

about a week ago

Canada Introduces Privacy Reforms That Encourage Warrantless Disclosure of Info

MikeRT Not good to require a warrant for EVERYTHING (99 comments)

I despise the MAFIAA, but if the telecom doesn't have the right to disclose reasonable information upon request then that puts the copyright holders in a situation that gives them some real ammo to demand more law enforcement involvement. Take for instance the DMCA. The thing that's broken with its takedown requirement isn't the fact that a private party can wield it liberally without law enforcement involvement, but that it can be wielded without consequence when the takedown is factually incorrect. Private parties doing most of the enforcement is desirable here because the MAFIAA, for all of its evil, is not interested in anything other than its own selfish interests. Law enforcement sees this as an avenue for more power across the board.

about a week ago

Snowden: NSA Spied On Human Rights Workers

MikeRT Snowden has jumped the shark (230 comments)

And French intelligence bombed the Rainbow Warrior. Precisely what is so surprising about the NSA spying on political radicals? It's not like every nation state with even a half-baked intelligence apparatus hasn't been doing that for at least 60 years now. God help Snowden if this is the best dirt he has left on the NSA because it's only a matter of time before US intelligence loses all fear of killing him or the Russians grow bored with him and classify him as a loose end.

about two weeks ago

London Council Dumping Windows For Chromebooks To Save £400,000

MikeRT Something's fishy... (193 comments)

1. They're replacing 4,300 Windows machines with 2,300 Chrome machines. Why is the number of boxes cut nearly in half?
2. Did they factor in the cost of Google Apps?
3. Did they factor in the issue of retraining and other migration costs?

Bet they didn't. Bet they just said they can stop buying Windows boxes and that's all there is to the cost.

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?

MikeRT See no benefit? (423 comments)

A lot of companies/users don't want to change because they see no additional benefit to do a costly upgrade, no reason to change a running system, and they may in some cases be right with their assumptions.

How about this one. All of your software options are better on 7 than XP. Firefox and Chrome are moving away from supporting it. Microsoft is moving away from supporting it too. You know what that means, Mr. Super Conservative Executive/IT guy? It means your threat vectors are now starting to approach "everything installed on this workstation" instead of just the OS.

about three weeks ago

In the Unverified Digital World, Are Journalists and Bloggers Equal?

MikeRT The first amendment makes more sense... (156 comments)

When you understand that the freedom of the press has almost nothing to do with the rights of journalists/reporters. It is referring to the printing press, not "The Press" or "The Media." It protects the right of reporters and bloggers to publish their free speech.

about three weeks ago

Iran Builds Mock-up of Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carrier

MikeRT Correct me if I'm wrong... (298 comments)

But the F35 is more or less combat ready in its basic form, it's mainly extended feature sets like the USMC's VTOL variant that are holding it back from being in use now.

Moral of the story, though... the people who mocked the F22 as the boondoggle to the F35 should have been fired from the DoD and run out of Congress. The F22 ended up being cheaper and still better (IIRC). There's no excuse for being naive enough to believe "oh yeah, we'll be much cheaper" when building something like the F35.

about a month ago

Ex-Head of Troubled Health Insurance Site May Sue, Citing 'Cover-Up'

MikeRT The only tragedy in all this (162 comments)

Is that if she has a paper trail showing specific government employees kept screwing the pooch that she likely cannot hit them personally such that they lose their shirts in the lawsuit. It shouldn't be primarily the tax payers who foot the bill, it should be the senior government executives who kept messing up. And if their federal counterparts' compensation is any indication, those responsible here have more than enough salary to be expected to foot the bill here for their malfeasance.

about a month ago

Prominent GitHub Engineer Julie Ann Horvath Quits Citing Harrassment

MikeRT Read the TechCrunch FA and... (710 comments)

I could be mistaken, but it sounds an awful lot like this is just a bad attempt to blame the big bad men for what the founder's wife did. She sounds like a bitch on wheels with a jetpack strapped to her for good measure. Sure, the one engineer was a problem, but if the wife wasn't involved and out to get her HR would probably have put him in his place if she asked.

about a month ago

Eric Schmidt On Why College Is Still Worth It

MikeRT What he's really saying (281 comments)

If you go to the schools we like, major in what we like and are good enough to work for a company like us, it's still worth it. However, if you are John Smith Liberal Arts major at Typical State University, you've just guaranteed that four to five years of partying will result in at least a decade of misery assuming you can even make enough to pay it off.

about a month ago

Sons of Anarchy Creator On Google Copyright Anarchy

MikeRT You want my sympathy? (381 comments)

Make it clear to me that you don't see my property rights as being in contention with your rights. You can start by disavowing any federal legislation that tells me what I can do with my property including tinkering, modifying and resale of the same. Get your DMCA-padded mits off my physical property and stop lobbying for restrictions on my computerized devices.

Until then all I hear is "blah blah blah I want to violate your rights for profit blah blah blah."

about a month ago

The Billionaires Privatizing American Science

MikeRT What they're really afraid of, I think... (279 comments)

Billionaires tend to be far more critical of what their money finances than government granting authorities. Consider all of the scandals involving made up data. A billionaire who funded that might get it checked out before allowing it to be published. A government agency won't. A billionaire who discovers shenanigans certainly won't fund that researcher again, a government agency probably will.

Now I know a lot of that is driven by "publish or perish" but it's pretty obvious that private donors are more likely to scrutinize than public sector donors. If that weren't the case, the various public funding agencies would be bringing the fraudulent researchers up on criminal charges for defrauding the tax payer.

But in reality, this should be welcomed. This is how science got funded during its first centuries as a discipline when many of the giants of science did their work. Billionaires have the luxury of blowing their money however they see fit. All a researcher who thinks a field might prove promising has to do is make a case to the man with the money. There's no public interest involved, just his personal interest. That means no red tape, no government oversight, etc.

about a month ago

Microsoft Dumping License Fees For Windows Phone?

MikeRT Now if they wanted to be truly evil (125 comments)

Put together a large team that targets Android phones, particularly lower end phones with no support, and make Windows Phone perpetually free along the same lines as the good custom Android distributions. If they made a serious effort to get Windows Phone working as a solid, stable, fast OS on such phones and made really slick installers, they'd probably see a sharp increase in marketshare within a year. Not even 10%, but enough to cause concern at Google. The best part is that if they were to just stick to Nokia as their "official" handset manufacturer and make it clear that they'll happily support Windows Phone on other companies' platforms it'd probably evade antitrust scrutiny. What would the regulators say? It's illegal for them to make Windows Phone freely available with regular support for phones from vendors that don't even buy Windows Phone licenses? If they were to do that, then they might as well make Windows on Arm illegal, tell Linux vendors to stick to no more than 2 CPU architectures, etc.

about a month ago

Men And Women Think Women Are Bad At Basic Math

MikeRT One bias frequently overlooked (384 comments)

In the rush to kumbaya and make it out to be "the sisterhood versus the patriarchy," a lot of women and male feminists don't notice that there is a sizeable contingent of technically qualified women who by and large have little respect for most women. I saw this in college with the women who took CS seriously feeling like they had to work twice as hard because half of the girls were getting by, in their minds by "flipping their skirts and smiling the guys" to get them to do their work for them. A good friend of mine who was a mechanical engineering major observed the same thing in his department at a different university. In fact, our oldest female professor was notorious for being ruthless on the girls because she literally wanted to drive out any girl who had in her mind that women in CS should be allowed to get by in any fashion that even resembled "advancing on their backs."

So if anything, I would say be careful about letting female engineers interview other potential candidates unless they are known to be genuinely fair-minded. You very well may find that it's actually the women, not the men, who are discriminating.

about a month ago

US Intelligence Officials To Monitor Federal Employees With Security Clearances

MikeRT And ironically (186 comments)

If you asked most people with a TS clearance if they'd rather this or face a periodic lifestyle polygraph they'd probably call this a no-brainer alternative to the latter.

about a month ago


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