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Penny-Sized Nuclear Batteries Developed

MrNougat Foundation (444 comments)

The first thing I thought of was the civilization in Asimov's Foundation series that took over control of neighboring economies by selling gadgets powered by little nuclear power sources.

about 5 years ago
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You're (Probably) Not Going To Be a Pro Blogger

MrNougat Conflict of interest (120 comments)

Wouldn't it be in the best interest of someone who makes money at their blog to dissuade people from becoming competition? Perhaps by writing a blog about how difficult it is to make money at blogging, regardless of what the Wall Street Journal says?

more than 5 years ago
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How Do IT Guys Get Respect and Not Become BOFHs?

MrNougat In terms of business (902 comments)

You need to look at things, and explain things, in terms of business operations. IT exists to serve the needs of the business, not as an end in itself.

Explain what liberal policies you have in terms of how they control cost and mitigate risk. When someone insists that a request be completed immediately, explain that - as in any business - rush processing carries a cost.

People think that all IT does is spend money without returning anything to the business, and so they think that they can demand anything they like from IT on any schedule. After all, shouldn't IT be giving back to the business for all the money it spends?

Explain to management the ways that investment in technology saves money in some places (compared to not using technology at all), insures against expense in others, and provides services that allow the business to function at a higher rate of productivity. Explain to sales staff that they would not have as much time to firm up sales (or go golfing) if their sales flow weren't recorded in an easily accessible electronic medium.

When none of that works at all, change all the passwords for everything and have all the computers go on strike for a week.

more than 5 years ago
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College Threatens Students Over Email Addresses

MrNougat Why only staff and students? (452 comments)

Why would only staff and students be under this order? Why not everyone in the entire world who has SRJC in their email address?

more than 5 years ago
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Handmade vs. Commercially Produced Ethernet Cables

MrNougat What's the problem? (837 comments)

What's the problem with running bulk cable between RJ45 jacks and using factory-made short patch cables at the ends?

more than 5 years ago
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Facebook Users Get Lower Grades In College

MrNougat Those are average GPAs? (284 comments)

If those GPAs are on a four-point scale, the main thing this study tells me is that college is too easy.

more than 5 years ago
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What Filters Are Right For Kids?

MrNougat Re:Use openDNS (678 comments)

If the daughter has one computer and the dad the other, you should be able to restrict it so that DNS traffic is restricted outbound to OpenDNS only from the source IP of the daughter's machine, and is not restricted for the dad's machine.

more than 5 years ago
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Should Job Seekers Tell Employers To Quit Snooping?

MrNougat Turn the tables (681 comments)

Do your own snooping on company management. Find out what the executive committee does on and off hours. Any of them been troubled by financial scandal, large or small? Certainly, there are plenty of executives who have been caught up in some money game along the way somewhere, and one might think that the current economic climate might put people off working for the company if they were fully aware of the facts.

more than 5 years ago
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If Windows 7 Fails, Citrix (Not Linux) Wins

MrNougat Re:How is this suddenly different? (638 comments)

I understand the Core2Duo Typing Machine phenomenon, I think.

My first 32-bit Windows machine, in 1996, had a 1GB hard drive. One. 1024MB. Surely, hardware manufacturers could still make a standard 1GB hard drive with platters, but good luck finding one for sale. Today, it costs just about as much to make a 1GB hard drive as it does to make a 60GB or an 80GB hard drive. Who's going to buy a 1GB hard drive when they could buy an 80GB for pretty much the same price? (That's leaving the $5 1GB flash memory completely out of the equation.) Nobody. And so nobody is going to manufacture them, either.

more than 5 years ago
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If Windows 7 Fails, Citrix (Not Linux) Wins

MrNougat How is this suddenly different? (638 comments)

Complete desktop virtualization using lightweight clients has been possible for a looooong time. Business hasn't been jumping on to do it yet; how does the success or failure of Windows 7 suddenly have anything to do with it?

more than 5 years ago
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More Claims From NSA Whistleblower Russell Tice

MrNougat Re:We need investigations (271 comments)

The problem isn't this particular executive or that individual board member being corrupt. The problem is much, much larger than that. The larger any corporation is, the more wealth it controls, and the more power it has over its customers, the people it employs, and the government it lobbies, the more corruption there will be. Period. It's just human nature.

You can pass all the laws against corruption you like, try to implement all the oversight you possibly could, but as long as the corporation keeps growing in size and scope, controlling ever more areas of people's lives and controlling ever more vast sums of wealth, the problems will persist and get worse.

Every time another corporate venture is started, new department created, new tax shelter set forth, corporate corruption *will* grow along with it. It's as unavoidable as entropy.

Every time the public demands that corporations assume a new responsibility or provide a new product or service it also increases the power and wealth it controls and along with it the opportunities and incentives for corruption. The founders of our country envisioned/intended a small, relatively weak federal government with barely enough revenue & powers to accomplish only the bare necessities of a central government. Unfortunately, this allows supercorporations to run amok.

At this point in our history, corporate America has grown so large and corrupt that I believe that it is in a feedback-loop that will only be halted when the whole country collapses from the weight of the "executive class" and devolves into chaos. It won't be pleasant, likely very, very bloody with staggering numbers of deaths, and makes me glad I'm rather old as I'll hopefully be dead before the collapse happens. Although it may well be closer than I or anyone else suspects.

more than 5 years ago
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IT Job Without a Degree?

MrNougat Re:It's necessary, but not required (1123 comments)

There are definitely companies out there that have very strange ideas of what qualifies someone to do a particular kind of tech work. This place you reference, that refused to consider you because you didn't have a CS degree - even though you [i]have[/i] a degree - is plain stupid. I'm not saying it's purely anecdotal; I think there are way more places like that than you'd expect. But I also think that the vast majority of companies that have tech positions to fill are not so rigid. Good hiring managers know that technology is a moving target, and that the most important thing is to get someone who has an aptitude for the work, can roll with the punches and grow with the position.

Maybe it's just sour grapes, but I suspect that had you been hired into that position, you would have ultimately hated working for that company. As I've gotten older, I've come to realize that the ideas that come from company management are not the best ones just because they come from company management. Companies are comprised of people, and most people are average. Sometimes, you'll get a situation where the person making the decisions is below average, and that's when you end up with stupid crap like requiring a CS degree for front-line tech support. On the other side of that spectrum is creating laminated flow charts and expecting to be able to put low-paid monkeys in front-line tech support positions, but that's a whole other thread.

more than 5 years ago
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IT Job Without a Degree?

MrNougat Oh, there's hope (1123 comments)

I do not have a degree. I bring home a nice salary and live in a big house and support a family. I do, however, have Microsoft certification. That's what gets me in the door, past the HR filters.

What gets you and keeps you a job is being good at it. There are a lot of people out there who picked IT as a career out of a hat. I chose it for myself, because it's what I love to do. When you love to do something, you're going to be dedicated to it, and always thinking about how to do it better.

Oh, I'm almost forty, too, and I've noticed that there's definitely a maturity benefit that I have over my colleagues in their early 20s. I tend to consider what the business needs, and how technology can meet that need, as opposed to implementing things because they're awesome. I view everyone as my customer, even the other people on my team, not as "those fuckers from UNIX."

Love what you do, get certs, rise above office politics, learn to see the big picture, and be in the right place at the right time. Without any one of those things, you're definitely going to need a degree.

more than 5 years ago
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Massive Botnet Returns From the Dead To Spam On

MrNougat Blue Frog? (205 comments)

Does anyone remember Blue Frog? That was actually [i]working[/i]. Nothing before or since has been anything but a mosquito bite to spammers.

There was an open source version, Okopipi, in the works for a very brief moment. I think the forum is probably full of weeds and spam now.

more than 5 years ago
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AT&T Begins a Trial To Cap, Meter Internet Usage

MrNougat Carry over (421 comments)

AT&T brags about their cell phone service having "carry over" minutes, where if you don't use all your minutes in a month, the remainder carries over to the next month (presumably expiring after some long period of time, like a year).

I wonder if my unused bandwidth will carry over to next month, too.

more than 5 years ago
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Plug-in Hybrids May Not Go Mainstream, Toyota Says

MrNougat I will (519 comments)

I will buy an electric car. I will charge it at night. I will. I promise. Start fucking building them.

about 6 years ago

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