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Is the Master's Degree the New Bachelor's?

NYMeatball Not worth it for me (IT Analyst) (330 comments)

For me this is something I've already internalized and decided on: As much "fun" it would be, and nice in terms of self-worth, and all those happy feelings, there's basically zero benefit to a master's degree in my field at this stage (or any) in my career.

I entered in with my Bachelor's as a code monkey, got as far as that could take me, and now I've transitioned into the all too common analyst/PM role after only 3-4 years total in the business. In particular with the company I work at, most of the day to day stuff is outsourced anyway.

I've considered going back to school to get my MBA, as that has actual potential real world value, but the long and short of it is, once you're in the industry, you can get by a lot further with (1) Basic people skills (2) Actually doing your job well (3) Knowing your corporate system and exploiting/adapting to it (See #1 again)

more than 3 years ago

Office 365: Suffer 18 Days' Outage, Still Pay Half Price

NYMeatball Office 356, huh? (137 comments)

Someone trying to make a clever joke and forgot that 365 - 18 is actually 347?

more than 3 years ago

When DLC Goes Wrong

NYMeatball DLC is not a new concept (261 comments)

DLC is software's version of "(non)value add".

This has been in existence ever since the first car dealership thought up undercoating, ever since mcdonalds realized it could sell you a toy car or a carton of pies with your hamburger. Basically, as long as commerce has existed, there's been the concept of accessories, addons, or in this case, "downloadable content".

DLC, much like any other addon, falls into one of two categories:

1) Crap
2) Not crap

Obviously, if the DLC is crap, no one buys it, and we move on all the happier. You really don't need that trucoat, it turns out.

It seems that most people have a problem with the "legit" DLC. Everyone would love that sweet new song pack, that awesome new armor, the goggles that yes, in fact, do something. So why are these bastard companies screwing us over? By golly, we want our new content and we want it for free! Obviously the solution is simple. Make all the crap DLC cost something, and no one will buy it. Make all the awesome, totally radical DLC free and/or baked into the core product, and everyone is happy!

This seems to be the sentiment of every DLC complainer. The truth of the matter though is, one gamer's trash is another gamer's treasure. It's far more economical to the developers, and really, the gamers too, to sell a "watered down" core product at $40 and tack on a bunch of $5-10 packs that give you specific content. I spent $50 on rock band, that was great. I spent another $8-12 on a few more songs from bands that I really, really, really liked.

If you took all the DLC out there for rock band (Which in this case is effing impossible, as there are TONS of song packs now), you'd be looking at a $200 product, and then EVERYONE who buys the core product is stuck with the the "Harmonica Hero Song Pack 4 Collection", which I'm sure EVERY consumer is interested in.

Yes, some companies like to gouge stupid customers, and some customers are stupid enough to pay $20 for a different coloured cape. At the end of the day - I say let them. People went crazy when blizzard started selling $25 mounts - almost 2 entire months of game time worth of cost for what amounted to recoloured pixels of existing models. People lost their shit. Really - who cares? Is it effecting you if 10, 20, 100,000 other people want to fork over money for silly rewards? Let them have it. At the end of the day, almost all of the games we play are equally silly. If you enjoy something and want to pay for it, then do it. If you don't, don't.

more than 4 years ago

Facebook Adds Friend Stalker Tool

NYMeatball The AntiSocial Network (357 comments)

I'm as big of a facebook hater as the next guy, but it seems like Slashdot's favourite pastime is getting on a social network for being, well, social.

If their inference is that facebook should become an antisocial network, I think Slashdot honestly has that market segment covered pretty well already.

more than 4 years ago

Riskiest Web Domains To Visit

NYMeatball Re:Even scamming is a business (106 comments)

The best way to increase profit is by reducing cost.

I know this is verging on off topic, but I have to disagree with this completely. This reminds me of the corporate tactics of today. Surely if we aren't spending money, we'll make tons of money!

The only way this strategy ever works is when you are guaranteed to have maxed out on every single opportunity for growth, be it "vertical", "organic", "synergized" or otherwise. Cutting cost isn't always the best way to increase profit, its simply the easiest because it doesn't require any thought other than "get rid of that".

Sorry. Off topic but I see this so often at my company that every time I see it elsewhere I rage.

more than 4 years ago

Jeep Wrangler Call of Duty Black Ops Edition

NYMeatball Ramirez! Buy that Jeep! (102 comments)

(He's probably the only one that would, too)

more than 4 years ago

Woman Develops Peanut Allergy After Lung Transplant

NYMeatball First Reaction (146 comments)

"This would have made an excellent episode of house."

more than 4 years ago

A 3D Lego Fabricator Made of Lego

NYMeatball Very cool (87 comments)

Too busy marveling at this to make any lean/robot/overlord jokes. Very cool.

more than 4 years ago

Thief Returns Stolen Laptop Contents On USB Stick

NYMeatball Hope for humanity (352 comments)

I'm not sure I feel that same sense of hope when we have someone teaching at a higher level institution who leaves ten years of his work up to chance.

He's "lucky" it was stolen. There's a lot more things that can happen to a laptop that can render its data unrecoverable.

Maybe he'll learn his lesson and store his data in more than one place, lest he become devastated once more.

Kudos to the thief, though.

more than 4 years ago

Proving 0.999... Is Equal To 1

NYMeatball Re:This is second place (1260 comments)

Its far lower than second place, in my mind.

The monty hall problem has significant and reasonable applications - the understanding and application of the theory behind solving the problem can be, at worst, useful on a game show, and at best applied to hundreds of other similar situations.

Proving, understanding, debating that 0.999... = 1? Okay, great, now what?

I can't see how (dis)agreeing with this theory is going to impact me in any way, shape or form. MAYBE i can make jokes about static const ONE = 0.9999999 on TheDailyWTF now, but that's about it....

more than 4 years ago

Casio Unveils New Color Screen Graphing Calculator

NYMeatball Re:Practical Applications? (313 comments)

That's a good point - I was aware that it was primarily with red and green (and apparently yellow/blue as well? Had that come up in a UI with one of my users and he goes "I can't see the highlights!").

I guess I forgot to think about the fact that it's a limited amount of colours, and the fact that it'd just show up as....what it looks like today, which is monochrome.

more than 4 years ago

Casio Unveils New Color Screen Graphing Calculator

NYMeatball Practical Applications? (313 comments)

I'm not trying to be overly critical - maybe a tad skeptical.

This is definitely *cool*. What's the point in this, though? I'm a programmer/developer, but I've never been a hardcore "programmer" or user of calculators. As long as I can do some basic graphing and standard 4-function stuff, most calculators make me super happy.

The first immediate con I can see of this is...usability. If I'm colourblind - I'm not going to be very thrilled about this.

The first immediate pro I can see of this is.....help me out here.

Sure, this is cool, but why do I want to pay $130 for a color model when I can get a standard monochrome one for $50ish?

more than 4 years ago

Feds Discover 1,000 More Government Data Centers

NYMeatball "let's just use one datacenter for everything" (246 comments)

This is what would happen if my "boss" was in charge of this initiative.

(Superceding other hits as: "Let's just use one database", "Let's just make that field bigger", and "just guess")

more than 4 years ago

Survey Shows How Stupid People Are With Passwords

NYMeatball Okay...and? (427 comments)

This is probably more of an Ask Slashdot type of post, but I'm reading through the article, and I know anyone can agree on "LOL u texted me ur password via text its abc123" and its immediate idiocy scale.

Looking to the more proactive side of things, I have to question how we best fix this. Let's take a look at three of the suggestions:

"One site, one password"

Okay, this makes sense. Let's play this out, because I think this is a common one with solid foundations for why many of us do it. I have an awesome password. My password is "23mQi*f4". This is a secure password, and it works great for my online banking site.

I also pay my credit card bills online. Okay, no problem. "galacticpotato84%jfd(" is my password for that one.

3 more credit cards, 2 webforums, three news sites, one credit union, 5 gaming sites, 2 web email accounts, and an amazon account later I now have almost 20 passwords, all of which are unique, and you're telling me I can't save any of these credentials in my browser? And I shouldn't write them down, obviously.

So now I need to, in a perfect world, have a next-world memory, or some sort of security manager for all these passwords. As a technology professional, I'm not even sure the best answer (My closest guess is a password manager, but that's an all your eggs in one basket kind of deal) to this - certainly you can't expect regular joes to know how to handle this.

"Change your passwords often!"

Again, at face value, no one is questioning this. This makes sense. But when you get down to applying it - now I've got 18 passwords that need to be updated yearly/monthly/whatever. This is more an extension of the problems outlined above than a brand new set of problems, but it definitely complicates things.

"Make your password unique"

This seems to go in direct conflict with the first point. I need 20 different passwords for 20 different sites, and each with their own, unique, yet "memorable sentence" as the site says structure.

I'm not arguing any of these points, I think they make sense, and I think it's really easy to laugh at someone who's password is hunter2, and it is texted, emailed, and shared to everyone and their mom.

I think it's a lot harder to proactively fix this in a reasonable way, that the masses can consume. It's EASY to say "Change your password, idiot". But really, how do we get this assimilated into our culture? Futhermore - what is it really helping? In all these studies i've never seen anything that's to me, functionally useful, IE:

- Risks of using a shared but secure password (Not written down, committed solely to memory, shared with no outside persons or systems. 64 character string, alphanumericspecial)
- Risks of using unique, secure passwords that are stored in external media (Written on a piece of paper and stored in a safe, stored in a password manager)
- Risks of using semi-unique, secure passwords that are committed to memory using some sort of algorithm (IE: Amazon - i04&f_24amazon, Ebay - i04&f_24ebay, Slashdot - i04&f_24slashdot)

My problem with these articles is everyone knows the basics - and even those that don't know the basics can easily comprehend "This is bad, don't do this". What is never emphasized is how to easily transition to a better scheme, and what it actually offers you. Maybe I've been jaded and corrupted by the corporate world, but if you can't give me some idea of an ROI, all i'm going to do is look at your proposed plan or idea and then ignore it and move on to the more critical issues to me.

more than 4 years ago

Computer Defeats Human At Japanese Chess

NYMeatball Forget Shogi - The real story is this (178 comments)

If you bother to read the article:

"IBM say they have improved artificial intelligence enough that Watson will be able to challenge Jeopardy champions, and they'll put their boast to the test soon, says The New York Times. "

Do you realize what this means? Ken Jennings versus robots. They could make an entire new show out of this and I'd watch it religiously.

more than 4 years ago

NSF Wants To Know How Much Software Really Costs

NYMeatball Business Management Rebuttal (181 comments)

"Its okay, this project/software is using 'internal resources'"

"Say, Jim, would you mind working a few extra hours for the next 14 weekends in a row? I know you're salary, but we'll make it up to you once this project is done..."

And that, my friends, is how you completely ignore hidden costs and justify even the most lingering of projects.

At least at my company, anyway.

more than 4 years ago

Could Anti-Texting Laws Make Roads More Dangerous?

NYMeatball Disconnect between law and reality (709 comments)

Every time I see one of these topics the overwhelming opinion, irrespective of the proposed fix to the problem, is that the problem is not texting, but distraction. I think most sane people are willing to agree that "Texting while driving" is not inherently a problem, but "Driving while distracted", be it by your phone, the person next to you, or the 20 ounces of vodka running through you, is in fact a problem.

While on one level it would be nice to actually solve the problem, and this is where we get into the applications of speech-to-text, remote controlled steering wheels, and other awesome nerdy crap we love to talk about, I think on some level you'll never be able to fix this with law.

It seems to me that whenever you're defining a standard - be it a law, a work procedure, a use case, whatever, you need discrete, finite data. You need something that says "If X, then Y". That's why its so easy to create, pass, and most importantly enforce a law that says "You can't text while driving". This is easy to enforce. It's another thing entirely to say "Driving while distracted is now illegal". Great. What the hell does this mean?

As much as I think it's ridiculous, and in this case, potentially harmful - to have a law preventing a symptom of the problem rather than the core issue, I think this is one of those cases where you can't regulate something, or restrict it, because the core issue isn't really enforceable by law.

more than 4 years ago

Selling Incandescent Light Bulbs As Heating Devices

NYMeatball It's not a bug, it's a feature! (557 comments)

Get these people into an Information Technology role immediately.

more than 4 years ago


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