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To Encourage Biking, Lose the Helmets

MrCrassic I don't really see what the big deal is. (1651 comments)

Indeed, truly horrible accidents where helmets make the difference between life and death are pretty rare. Possibly more rare than airplanes making water landings or horrible car accidents. However, if we're fine with (and prefer) conceding to the last two scenarios, why is wearing a small thing like a helmet such a big deal?

Perhaps the author (thankfully) hasn't seen how much a helmet works, but I, and many others, who commute and ride often have certain been in such situations. They work.

I do think that a lot of serious accidents and fatalities are due to cyclists doing completely stupid things like riding against traffic on a major road or blowing stop lights (without looking!) in areas with high car traffic.

more than 2 years ago
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Is Innovation the Most Abused Word In Business?

MrCrassic Re:Most definitely. (287 comments)

Stupid me; I meant "colliding," not colluding. Though I guess the deadlines can agree to be as tight and inconvenient as possible.

more than 2 years ago
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Is Innovation the Most Abused Word In Business?

MrCrassic Most definitely. (287 comments)

It's kind of ironic that the companies that talk about innovating the most are usually the companies that also internally stifle it the most. It is extremely hard to "innovate" with tight and usually colluding deadlines, little room for error and little breathing room from heavy-handed "auditing."

Coming up with new and cool ideas requires time and room for mistakes. These cost money. Bigger companies can't have that.

more than 2 years ago
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Google Distances Android From Samsung Patent Verdict

MrCrassic Completely correct. (404 comments)

At its core, Android and AOSP do not contain anything that infringes on Apple's IP. I think the stuff that it used to have that did (slide-to-unlock, for example) were removed.

However, it doesn't take anyone more than five minutes to notice that Samsung ripped off of Apple's stuff nearly-wholesale since their first Galaxy S device.

more than 2 years ago
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Would You Pay an Internet Broadband Tax?

MrCrassic Re:Will it subsidise it? (601 comments)

A $10/person/month tax to bring Google Fiber-like service to everyone's home is essentially free in my eyes.

more than 2 years ago
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Would You Pay an Internet Broadband Tax?

MrCrassic Will it subsidise it? (601 comments)

If paying a small tax will guarantee completely free, uncapped and non-filtered broadband with a certain reasonable speed guarantee, then yes! Otherwise, what's the point?

more than 2 years ago
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Inside the Business of Online Reviews For Hire

MrCrassic I still trust online reviews... (121 comments)

In fact, I use them extensively in making decisions on buying lots of stuff. It's pretty easy to know which products have a lot of reviews from shills. I first find products with lots and lots of reviews (or sites that have lots of reviews about the product). I read some of the positives, then some of the negatives to see how they stack up. It's pretty easy to tell who put a negative review in because of a bad experience and not necessarily because of a bad product.

If I'm making a really serious buy, I'll check forums too. It's really rare for forum posts to have many paid comments and communities are good at pointing them out. I've been using Reddit for this lately too; I've found EVERYTHING on there and can usually get some good commentary on a product (unless it's really, really obscure).

more than 2 years ago
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Are 12-16 Hour Workdays Productive?

MrCrassic My experience says "no." (615 comments)

At my previous gig, I was a technical lead in a pretty large technical project. Because the company didn't want to budget for having software testers in our main office in New York (and, more or less, rightfully so; most of the company's internal software was coming from Manila by that point) and deadlines were tight, I had to be online with our testers over there for most of their shift so we could resolve bugs somewhat quickly. While I came in much later than normal to adjust for this (12pm instead of 9-10am), I was also working later as a result (b/w 2am and 3am, usually).

Being pulled apart by two other similarly-major projects didn't help either and my team-mate was way too busy and burnt out to take on much more. My sleeping cycles were definitely thrown out of whack for a while, which never helps. As a result, I was more irritable and less tolerable and social than I normally am. I usually enjoy spending my free time going out with old friends and making new ones, which became practically impossible with this setup. I thought I was fine since my health was still fit and it didn't feel that bad, but I realised how bad things actually got after I switched jobs a few weeks later.

It's not about the hours you work. It's about the results that come out of your time at work. Someone that works three hours a day but produces significant value for his or her company is way more useful than someone who puts in his or her "eight hours" with nothing to show for it.

more than 2 years ago
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Critics Blast Apple's Cheesy New Ad Campaign

MrCrassic Re:Successful ad campaign is successful (244 comments)

That's true, but it doesn't make them any less weird. They aren't funny like their Mac vs PC commercials were or impressive through subtlety like their iPod/iPhone/iPad commercials usually are. They seemed kind of pointless...almost like Microsoft commercials, except with more obviousness.

more than 2 years ago
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Can a Regular Person Repair a Damaged Hard Drive?

MrCrassic Oh, and photorec (504 comments)

photorec does a pretty damned good job at getting data back if the drive is still readable. Even "simpler" methods, like chkdsk /f /r, work sometimes as well, though you might have to wait a long time to see results. (I once tried to recover a drive for a client that had several thousand bad sectors using chkdsk and it took about a month of continuous operation to recover about 40GB of data. Which was unfortunate because the drive was 1TB large.)

I use the physical methods as last resorts, since all of the ones I'm aware of can cause further damage.
I wonder how many people shell up the $1500+ for professional recovery when a few hours or days would have solved it for them...

more than 2 years ago
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Can a Regular Person Repair a Damaged Hard Drive?

MrCrassic Highly improbable (504 comments)

Hard drives are really, really finicky. What works for some might not work for others, even if they are encountering the same problem. For instance, sticking a drive in the freezer worked for an older drive I was repairing for my mom but not for a former girlfriend's drive that, all things considered, had the same issue. I also once owned a Dell DJ (piece of shit, if anyone is considering getting this) that used a full-height 1.8" hard drive whose actuator would frequently stick; dropping or tapping it worked every time (to everyone else's curiosity), but has never, ever worked for any other drive that seemed to have the same issue.

I think you're pretty much fucked if your SSD starts going south, which is unfortunate. Thankfully, backups are easier to make these days.

more than 2 years ago
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I most recently switched ISPs ...

MrCrassic Clear 4G (250 comments)

While I live in a pretty well-populated area of NYC, my options for fast internet connectivity are surprisingly limited. I tried to get Road Runner cable internet, but the last person to own my apartment floor didn't pay a bill and going to the financial office to prove that I'm not that guy was not worth it for me. So I stuck with Verizon DSL for a while (about 3 years), but I can only get 1.5 Mbps down (and about 700K up) since I'm not close enough to a central office to get their higher bandwidth offerings. I was also disappointed with the increasingly constant outages that I had to deal with.

In hopes of getting faster speed, I signed up for T-Mobile's HSPA/HSPA+ Mobile Broadband package. I started with their 5GB cap and increased it to 10GB when I got tired of practically not having internet for days at a time while I waited for my billing cycle to restart. This worked out pretty well; speeds were much faster in comparison (3 Mbps down/1 Mbps up) and service was generally more reliable. However, I knew I had to switch when I reached my 10GB limit in a matter of days while I was trying (and kept failing at) downloading Windows 8 Customer Preview.

I then signed up for Clearwire's WiMAX offering. While I love the portability of the service (their router is pocketable and can be taken anywhere) and the speed is very nice *outside* of my house (6-8 Mbps down, 1.5/2 Mbps up), it's usually abysmal inside of my house (650-700 Kbps down, 450 Kbps up) regardless of how I position it. I do like that it's, at least so far, truly unlimited.

These days I use DSL at home and Clearwire everywhere else.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Defines Good Developer Culture?

MrCrassic A good team is tops; materialism is irrelevant. (239 comments)

Having a "geeky" office with tons of amenities will not do much for attrition if the team is beleaguered with the usual office politics or uncontrolled management pressure that affects many IT and development houses. Based on what I've seen with my few years of working experience, I strongly believe that the most important element in a successful developer-oriented culture is encouraging continuing education and the proliferation of ideas. From what I've seen, this requires having a management team that is *really* good at separating the wheat from the chaff when client or business demands come in and having a team that has very good chemistry with each other. This is really hard to assemble, since it's already somewhat hard to find people that fit what companies want from a technical perspective and harder still to find people that will gel well with everyone else, especially when the pressure cooker starts getting hot and work flows in.

Fair remuneration is pretty damn important too, but a bad office culture will only attract people who are looking to gain in the short term. There is a hedge fund that is notorious for this here in the East Coast; they pay their IT staff *wayyy* over market but have office politics that would put the US government to shame and an extremely socially stifling office culture that makes it tough to stay there longer than six months.

Good luck!

more than 2 years ago
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Why Microsoft Killed the Windows Start Button

MrCrassic This is the dumbest bullshit I've ever heard. (857 comments)

If they're going to lie about why they've removed the Start menu, at least they could've been creative with their excuse. I have never seen anyone use the pinning feature to the extent discussed here. I have, however, seen the recent applications section in the Start Menu used extremely frequently.

Removing the Start Menu was a really bad decision, and using the big Metro landing page as a substitute is, to me, an extremely poor alternative. It remains to be seen how everyone else will take it, though.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Store Employees Soak Up the Atmosphere, But Not Much Cash

MrCrassic it's not always about the cash. (654 comments)

You don't work at the Apple Store to make any sort of serious cash. There are many better conduits for people to travel down in both IT and sales if money is a concern. People work there for the *coolness* factor. It's about as hot as working for Google or Facebook, and employee discounts are never a bad thing. Its also an easy experience builder for people, especially given the floor traffic.

And not to nitpick, but $10/hr ain't bad. Especially if you're earning tips.

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft To PC and Tablet Makers: You're Not Our Future

MrCrassic ...and he's right. (530 comments)

Apple's tight integration of hardware and software gives them a significantly greater advantage when it comes to releasing hardware that people actually want with software that further fuels their excitement. It's not like the established players (Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung) will go broke or lose Microsoft's partnership overnight; the former three will probably, as hinted by the article, concentrate more on their enterprise products (as they should, as they are very good in that space and invest truck-lodes of their R&D budget there anyway) and Samsung will probably be used as the key hardware manufacturer for executing Microsoft's vision (which allows them the opportunity, if it's successful, to exit the direct-to-consumer business completely).

I think MS is very much on the right track. Despite some idiosyncrasies, it is pretty easy to see the amount of effort they've invested in making Windows 8 friendly for content consumption *and* creation. If the hardware is right (i.e. comparable to iPad) and comes with Office and a tight screen for drawing and writing on, I'm hard-pressed to believe that these won't sell.

more than 2 years ago
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Windows 8 Pre RTM Metro UI Leaked

MrCrassic Re:In other news: (484 comments)

I don't agree with most of your post. Here is why:
IE 10: Better HTML 5 support - not much else - who cares? Everyone that uses the default browser by default because they don't want to deal with downloading and installing new stuff. And everyone that will be using Metro by default (most likely)
Sign in with MS Account: Who cares? Is anyone gonna use this? Heck yeah; SSO is good! (Live lets you create an account with your primary email as the username, so very convenient for lots of folks.
Picture Password and PIN Login: Picture pass is kinda cool, but PIN login? Really?this will be *REALLY* useful on tablets. Think of trying to login on a train with a touch keypad.
Ribbon in Windows Explorer: Holy cow no thank you.I think, and my experience supporting others supports this, that the ribbon has helped a lot of people navigate Office much easier. So it follows that it will make improvements on the Explorer side. We'll agree to disagree here.
Refresh and Reset Recovery - How about making it so you don't need recovery in the first place? How is this better than a decent backup system? This thing is going to be pushed hard on tablets. Wouldn't it be convenient to factory reset your Windows tablet just like you can on your iPad or Android tablet?
Native USB 3 - This shouldn't be a Windows 8 "feature," this should be in a service pack for Vista and Seven Good chance it will be; remember USB1.1 support for Windows 98? Rolled back to 95 via OSR2 update.
New Windows Task Manager - Yawn You obviously haven't supported Windows enough to know how much of an improvement it is. (Yes, third-party tools do it better. It's still good for the improvements to be native.)
XBox Live integration - I don't think anyone will care about this - are they thinking about competing with steam? Good luck. You do know how popular XBox live is, right?
Family Safety - Wasn't this included with Windows Live? Yawn Antivirus in Windows Defender - In other words, they are just including MSE. Which is awesome since people can stop paying McAfee/Symantec for their bloated products and not have to worry (as much) about making sure everything is up to date.
Secure Boot Support - Holy cow no thank you Yeah, that does kind of suck.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's Your Beef With Windows Phone?

MrCrassic It's fine, but... (1027 comments)

...it's laundry list of issues just don't make it attractive when I can easily resolve them by buying a comparably nice phone that runs Android. Yes, the UI is incredible and a huge leap from their previous iteration. Yes, the quality of its applications is significantly better as is the set of phones it currently runs on. However, almost all of the applications I currently use on Android are *still* unavailable and all of the ones that are available pale significantly in comparison to their Android or iPhone partners. A few examples:

  • Yelp: Very popular app I use for finding, mostly, good restaurants to try. Awesome on iPhone and Android. Slow and awkward to use on Windows Mobile, and lack of proper multitasking causes it to lose state every time I use it.
  • Evernote: Very popular app for storing notes and other various pieces of information. I use this religiously, mostly because it's easily accessible from PCs and their Android releases are really, really good. Tons of missing functionality on Windows Phone (no alternative layout options, can't attach anything, at least from the last time I tried)
  • Google Voice: I use this almost extensively to call and text people. It works pretty well on iOS and integrates so deeply in Android one could easily mistake it for being native. Notifications barely work on the third-party clients I've tried on WP and the UX is just not there.
  • Maps: Great native app, but you need a third-party application to get public transit directions (it works somewhat awkwardly last time I tried it) and no GPS-guided voice navigation, which is included with Android and works really, really well.

Additionally, WP is supremely locked down and jailbreaking is not as simple (or, for some phones, impossible) as it is on Android or iOS. This makes a lot of the things we can do in iPhone and Android impossible in WP. For example, it's possible (and very easy) to backup text messages on iPhone and Android. No way to do this on WP at this time of writing and I don't think they get backed up when you sync with Zune. To worsen matters, WP is *still* vulnerable to a two-year old SMS bug that can make a phone completely inoperable (even after a reboot) when it receives a special text message!

Finally, you need to use Zune to sync stuff. I personally hate using a huge software package to sync stuff, and while Zune is pretty nice, it's still a huge step backward from not needing anything at all on Android.

It's not that Windows Phone is bad; it's just that they don't have anything valuable enough for most Android or iPhone users to switch over. It's great for people new to the smartphone world, but that segment of the market has been pretty small for a while now.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Headphones, Earbuds, Earphones?

MrCrassic Klipsch s3 In-Ear. $39 or less. (448 comments)

I bought a pair of Klipsch s3 In-ear headphones about a year ago for $35. These are, hands down, the best canalphones you are going to get for that money anywhere. Full stop. J&R might still have an open-box pair for $15.

If you're into cans on your head, the Sennheiser HD201S is $30 or so. These sound just as good and don't leak too much.

I've bought really expensive headphones over the years (not worth it if you abuse them like I do); these are my new go-tos. Good luck!

more than 2 years ago
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Former Nokia Exec: Windows Phone Strategy Doomed

MrCrassic Re:Tomi is legit. (447 comments)

I have a Windows Phone as well, a HD7. (I use a Galaxy SII on a daily basis, though.) I *loved* using it. The Windows Phone team got a lot of things right, especially with their UX. The Zune application is, hands down, the best mobile music player out there today and its integration with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is phenomenal (i.e. makes a third-party application for this useless).

The problem is that UX advances isn't nearly as important for users as it was when iPhone broke ground. There is definitely a baseline that competitors in this market need to meet, but like regular computers, people (at least in Europe, Asia and US where smartphones are king) care way more about apps and looks than anything else. Windows Phone is still very light in this department, which is preventing it from really taking off. Case in point: Angry Birds is free on almost every OS (even Chrome!)...except on Windows Phone (2.99). Words with Friends, another super hit, isn't even available there.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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University of Florida drastically cuts Computer Science department.

MrCrassic MrCrassic writes  |  more than 2 years ago

MrCrassic writes "To address troubling budget concerns, the University of Florida has outlined in its Budget Cut Plan a strategy to drastically cut funding and teaching and advisory positions from its Computer Science department. From the PDF:

Under this proposed plan, all of the Computer Engineering Degree programs, BS, MS and PhD, would be moved from the Computer & Information Science and Engineering Dept. to the Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept. along with most of the advising staff. This move would allow us to support these degree programs using the existing faculty support staff in other depts. Roughly half of the faculty would be offered the opportunity to move to ECE, BME or ISE. These faculty would continue to support the graduate and research mission in the Computer Engineering degree track.

"

Link to Original Source
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Bankruptcy Lawyers Predict Student Debt 'Bomb'

MrCrassic MrCrassic writes  |  more than 2 years ago

MrCrassic writes "From the article:


As more and more young people graduate from college with mounds of unresolved loan debt, financial experts and bankruptcy attorneys are calling the progressively worsening dilemma the "next debt bomb." According to a new survey conducted by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), 81 percent of bankruptcy lawyers report that the number of prospective clients with student loan debt has increased "significantly" or "somewhat" in the past few years.

"

Link to Original Source
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Cable TV might be in Google's future.

MrCrassic MrCrassic writes  |  about 3 years ago

MrCrassic writes "If Google TV left you unsatisifed, their next pet project might be for you. From the article:


The Web giant has considered adding TV services to a previously announced high-speed Internet service in Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kansas, the Journal said, citing people briefed on the company's plans. Google has reportedly hired cable TV executive Jeremy Stern to lead talks with media companies such as Disney and Time Warner.

Is anyone even more afraid of Google's impending takeover of the world?"
Link to Original Source

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Google Buzz buzzing away.

MrCrassic MrCrassic writes  |  more than 3 years ago

MrCrassic writes "It looks like the glory days of Google Buzz have finally come to an end. Google has formally announced the termination of this service to concentrate their efforts on Google+. From the article:

In a few weeks we’ll shut down Google Buzz and the Buzz API, and focus instead on Google+. While people obviously won't be able to create new posts after that, they will be able to view their existing content on their Google Profile, and download it using Google Takeout.

Other products, such as the Google Labs website (http://labs.google.com) and Jaiku, will also be on the chopping block. Makes you wonder."
Link to Original Source

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Amazon Kindle Fire surfaces.

MrCrassic MrCrassic writes  |  more than 3 years ago

MrCrassic writes "It looks like another competitor has joined the fight for tablet market share. Amazon released specs and pics of its newest offering, the Kindle Fire, which is bound to turn heads at $199. However, I wouldn't sell your Nook Color or iPad just yet.
From the article:


The Kindle Fire doesn’t have an embedded camera or a microphone. The device offers Wi-Fi connectivity, though not 3G access, and comes with a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime, the company’s $79-a-year membership service that includes streaming video and free two-day shipping.

"

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Meg Whitman to become HP CEO.

MrCrassic MrCrassic writes  |  more than 3 years ago

MrCrassic writes "Looks like HP needed yet another remodeling, as they are tapping Meg Whitman to take Leo Apothaker's chair by this afternoon. From the article:

Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman is poised to be named CEO of Hewlett-Packard later today after the markets are closed, said multiple sources close to the situation. The full board of HP, which is meeting today in Silicon Valley, has not officially voted on move and the situation could certainly change, sources said it is nearly a done deal.

Cringely got this one right."
Link to Original Source

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1/5 telecommuters work less than one hour per day.

MrCrassic MrCrassic writes  |  more than 3 years ago

MrCrassic writes "Working at home isn't vacation...or is it? From the article:

Almost one in five Americans who work from home only clock in for an hour or less a day, according to a survey, while a third stay in their pyjamas. Forty per cent of telecommuters say they work between four and seven hours, 17 per cent are doing the bare minimum and just 35 per cent are working eight or more hours, the CareerBuilder survey of 5,299 people revealed. ... Stay-at-home workers also said getting dressed for the day was far too strenuous: 41 per cent of women and 22 per cent of men – a third in total – stayed in their PJs.

"

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webOS Developer Layoffs Begin at HP

MrCrassic MrCrassic writes  |  more than 3 years ago

MrCrassic writes "Looks like it might be the beginning of the end for webOS presence at HP, as The Register just announced that they laid off 525 webOS developers. From the article:

HP is laying off up to 525 staff from its global webOS hardware biz, according to reports. The tech titan confirmed last month it is shuttering the unit that produced the ill-fated TouchPad and Pre3 devices. “As communicated on 18 August, HP will discontinue the development of webOS devices within the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011, which ends 31 Oct 2011,” an HP spokesperson told AllThingsD in the US.

"

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iPhone 3GS users can potentially downgrade to 3.0

MrCrassic MrCrassic writes  |  more than 5 years ago

MrCrassic writes "iPhone users that accidentally upgraded to 3.1 may possibly be able to downgrade using hosted ECID and SHSH hashes, as described here.

From the iPhone Dev-Team blog:

Now, there are ways to ensure that even after taking an official 3GS update (which you really shouldnÃâât do!), that youÃââll nonetheless be able to revert to a jailbreakable 3GS (this is NOT true for the unlock, see NOTE #1 below). WeÃââve been explaining these methods (like the iTunes /tmp technique) over the last few weeks, and thereÃââs been some great discussion and feedback for the methods in the comments.

Having said all that, we realize that some of you updated your 3GS to 3.1 anyway. If you want to come back to the world of the jailbreak (but NOT the sim unlock, sorry!) then saurikÃââs new ÃâÅ"on fileÃâ server may be able to help. HeÃââs got all the details in a new article so do check it out.

"

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What are my options for studying IT as a grad?

MrCrassic MrCrassic writes  |  more than 5 years ago

MrCrassic writes "Like many students this year, I am graduating and heavily considering my options for graduate school. My career path is already set, so with that covered, I'm looking into researching ways in balancing my career with furthering my education. As an undergraduate, I wanted to choose a program that would allow me to continue building on my technical skills, while letting me explore other possibilities, so I went with Computer Engineering. However, I'm much more certain now that I want to stay in IT as a systems administrator (for now), which I'm discovering is a bit outside the purview of a graduate program in this field.

I'm thinking about getting a Master's degree in Information Systems, which seems to be more aligned with the kind of work that I'm doing. I've thought (and am still thinking about) about going the Computer Science route, but I'm unsure if I really want that broad of an education at the moment. However, MIS seems too specific and too directed towards the managerial aspect of IT, which I really want to avoid right now (though I know that the money looks good in that area).

So I come to the bastion of all that is science and technology (or something like that). For those that were in similar straits, what options did you choose and why? Are you folks happy with your decision, or is there something that you would have changed? Additionally, should I decide to go down the Comp. Sci. track, how can I expect to use that knowledge in practically and vocationally improving my ability as a systems administrator?

Thanks in advance."
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Google and others planning wireless network

MrCrassic MrCrassic writes  |  more than 6 years ago

MrCrassic writes "It seems that Google might have a little more than Android up its sleeve; the search giant, along with Intel, Time Warner, and other tech conglomerates, have formed an alliance dedicated to constructing a nationwide wireless data network.

From the article:

A who's who of technology and telecommunications companies announced Wednesday that it intended to build the first of a new generation of nationwide wireless data networks.

The consortium includes a disparate group of partners: Sprint Nextel, Google, Intel, Comcast, Time Warner and Clearwire.

The partners have put the value of the deal at $14.5 billion, a figure that includes radio spectrum and equipment provided by Sprint Nextel and Clearwire, and $3.2 billion from the others involved.

They expect the network, which will provide the next generation of high-speed Internet access for cellphone users, to be built in as little as two years, but there is no timetable on when it will be available to users and the price is not determined. The partners are seeking to beat Verizon Wireless and AT&T Wireless to the market.""
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Microsoft withdraws deal with Yahoo.

MrCrassic MrCrassic writes  |  more than 6 years ago

MrCrassic writes "It seems that a disagreement on a good share price drove Microsoft away from a buyout of Yahoo. From the article:



"Microsoft hiked its offer to $33 a share, but Yahoo was holding out for $37 a share, the source said. The two sides met face to face again Saturday, but remained far apart.

Although price was a key issue, Microsoft also had strategic concerns and saw it as unlikely to achieve a friendly integration process. According to a source close to Microsoft, Yahoo founder and CEO Jerry Yang had "unrealistic expectations."
"
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First Blackberry Store Opens.

MrCrassic MrCrassic writes  |  more than 6 years ago

MrCrassic writes "RIM is now trying to enter the self-retail market by opening up its first store in Farmington Hills, Michigan. The purpose of the store seems to be oriented towards (obviously) selling Blackberry devices as well as accessories and other RIM-provided services. The stores will also guide new Blackberry users into getting familiar with the technologies used by it.

From the article:

The store is an exclusive deal between Ontario-based Research In Motion, BlackBerry's parent company, and Wireless Giant, which is headquartered in Madison Heights. The retail center offers BlackBerry phones, accessories, add-on software applications and activation from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. The five-member staff also will train users at the store or on work sites.
"

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Verizon Might Deliver Google Phone

MrCrassic MrCrassic writes  |  about 7 years ago

MrCrassic writes "There are talks floating around surrounding Google's possible talks with Verizon and possibly T-Mobile to establish an agreement for the carrier to deliver phones carrying Google's speculated mobile operating system.

According to the article, one of the main hurdles slowing down the product are concerns about user privacy and advertising, one of Google's well-renowned strengths. With over 6 million customers potentially at their disposal, could this be "the deal" that establishes Google's hegemony in the internet sphere?

From the article:



After opposing Google Inc.'s moves to dramatically reshape the wireless industry, Verizon Wireless is now in serious discussions with the Internet company over carrying phones tailored to a new Google operating system, a person familiar with the discussions said.

Within two weeks, Google is expected to announce new software and services that handset makers could use to build customized Google-powered phones. The company needs wireless operators to sign onto the project in order to get Google-powered mobile devices in front of consumers by the middle of next year.
"

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Microsoft Wins Deal for Stake in Facebook

MrCrassic MrCrassic writes  |  more than 7 years ago

MrCrassic writes "It seems that Facebook will start to grow some Microsoft roots, as the company has just won a tight bid for a minority stake in Facebook. Part of the agreement indicates that Microsoft will have some control over advertisements posted on the social network. From the article:



The Microsoft agreement comes after intense lobbying by Microsoft and Google Inc. for Facebook's hand. In recent weeks executives including Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer have courted the three-year-old Palo Alto, Calif. company, which this year expects a profit of $30 million on revenue of $150 million, according to people familiar with the company.


What could this possibly mean for the future of Facebook? How closely will Microsoft hold what seems to be one of the fastest-growing social networks on the Internet, and what more could they contribute to it?"

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The Google Phone is a Reality.

MrCrassic MrCrassic writes  |  more than 7 years ago

MrCrassic writes "It appears that Google is initiating talks with well-known PDA/smartphone manufacturer HTC to make the Google phone a reality. With impressive tech specs and an already impressive concept underway , could Google be the next company to make a mark in the wireless device industry? From the main article:

However, a recent report by CrunchGear states that its own sources at mobile handset provider HTC have tipped the site off to multiple gPhone handsets being prepped for launch in the first quarter of 2008 and that the handsets will be coming out of Taiwan. There will supposedly be over 20 different handsets to choose from — some with GPS — and they will carry special versions of Google Maps, Google Calendar, Gmail, and VoIP-enabled Google Talk. Speaking of software, Google is rumored to be developing its own operating system for the gPhone. According to reports by Engadget, the OS has been in development since 2005 after Google's acquisition of a mobile software company called Android. The Android team has since developed a Linux-based mobile OS while at Google — a detail that is corroborated by the CrunchGear report — which of course comes with tight Google integration. Both sites appear to agree that their sources indicate Google isn't currently looking to develop the hardware... for now.
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Microsoft Studies Spam To Aid HIV Research

MrCrassic MrCrassic writes  |  more than 7 years ago

MrCrassic writes "From the article:

Researchers at Microsoft are studying similarities between HIV and e-mail spam. The two are similar in one important respect: Both mutate as they spread.

Scientists hope they can apply studies of how spam can be stopped to developing an AIDS vaccine.

You can hear the story from NPR's website."

Link to Original Source
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MrCrassic MrCrassic writes  |  more than 7 years ago

MrCrassic writes "Forbes announces today that Palm is willing to sell 25% stake of its company in hopes of establishing tighter competition with other smartphone/PDA manufactuers. Could this mean that better times for Palm lie ahead?

From the article:

The deal with Elevation Partners — which agreed to invest $325 million for a 25 percent stake in Palm (nasdaq: PALM — news — people ) — will infuse new talent in the handheld computer pioneer as it battles stiffening competition that will only get tougher with Apple Inc. (nasdaq: AAPL — news — people )'s June 29 launch of the iPhone."

Link to Original Source
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MrCrassic MrCrassic writes  |  more than 7 years ago

MrCrassic writes "From the article:

The drug maker Eli Lilly has engaged in a decade-long effort to play down the health risks of Zyprexa, its best-selling medication for schizophrenia, according to hundreds of internal Lilly documents and e-mail messages among top company managers...Lilly's own published data, which it told its sales representatives to play down in conversations with doctors, has shown that 30 percent of patients taking Zyprexa gain 22 pounds or more after a year on the drug, and some patients have reported gaining 100 pounds or more. But Lilly was concerned that Zyprexa's sales would be hurt if the company was more forthright about the fact that the drug might cause unmanageable weight gain or diabetes, according to the documents, which cover the period 1995 to 2004.
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Journals

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MySpace and Slashdot

MrCrassic MrCrassic writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Yes, I changed my official website to my MySpace profile. On Slashdot.

From what I have been gathering from the Slashdot community over the last couple of months, it seems as if one reads/writes on Slashdot, it is forbidden law to have a MySpace as well. There are many reasons for why people here prefer this: bad HTML/CSS/JavaScript coding, the emo/depressed majority populace, and so it goes. Slashdotters know of the flaws that are inherent to MySpace and deem the social networking site too amateur for "our" use.

I hope I'm not the only one here to believe this, but I would like to stand up and denote this ideology as clean-cut bullshit.

I have been experienced in computers and information technology (in a roundabout sense) for nearly 13 years now. I have dealt with the many types of common users many people here have dealt with: the jock who thinks the monitor is the computer, the mother who forgets the function of the power button from time to time, and so forth. So because it is these types of people that somehow find a way to create, "pimp-ify," and publish their MySpace, I can't do this too? Is it that my knowledge of computers, electronics, and science in general forbids me from wanting to be "sociable" online?

I like the site. Despite all of the convolutions that exist within its framework and the amount of inconsistencies that users must deal with daily, I think that MySpace is a great place to make myself known to other people outside of my personal network. Now that I am starting to work, I will need a medium that I can be contacted in outside of Facebook or my school. Furthermore, I do not want to be restricted to other college students, since I have my pet peeves against the "college nature" that is sustained in our universities. I like being able to talk to all sorts of people and hear, not deal with, other people's stories and situations. This doesn't imply that I am going to befriend lost teenagers or jocks; I don't associate with them in real life, so why should I make that exception online?

What really bothers me about the Slashdot groupthink on Myspace, however, is the perception that every MySpace user abuses the power of HTML, CSS, or JavaScript. I think this is quite harsh, especially for people who prefer not to partake in this kind of customization and especially to the people who actually code their MySpace profile well. Most of the people on MySpace who do design their profiles are the same people who are probably not familiar with the concept of bandwidth or that there actually is a processor inside of a computer. Therefore, they would not mind sacrificing speed for "beauty" as they see it because in their mindset there is no sacrifice to be made. Then again, if most Slashdot users created MySpace profiles today, they wouldn't make friends with those people in the first place, so why does it matter to them how they mess up their web space?

My profile is http://www.myspace.com/over-engineered. Check it out. It's pretty clean, safely informative, and gives a pretty decent detail about me. You will not be killing kittens or losing brain cells looking at it (most likely), I promise. There's nothing wrong with MySpace aside from technical details, so in my mind there is nothing wrong with embracing the subculture, even for a techie-nerd like myself.

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