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Ask Slashdot: When Is It Better To Modify the ERP vs. Interfacing It?

Shados Re:Call me a heretic, but... (155 comments)

If you're big enough to have millions of dollars to spend on a big ERP (remember: the big names in the ERP industry charge you a % of your business...so if it cost millions, you're making hundreds of millions...), you probably have requirements that aren't exactly trivial to build in house.

If you're, let say, a large international retailer with brick and mortar stores, several factory plants and warehouses, etc... writing the software to handle all the international regulations, the warehouse transfers, handling prepacked product manufactured by third party, etc, will be tens of millions of lines of code. Not exactly something you wipe out in a year.

Of course, if you're just an e-retailer that ships stuff internationally and skip the few countries that make it hard, that's a LOT easier, and a couple of average in-house devs and a good logistic analyst and you're good to go. Bonus point if you outsource your warehousing.

When these big ERP projects fail, its usually companies who have exotic, meaningless processes and refuse to change it, so they have to customize the ERP to hell and beyond. Its normal to have to customize it a bit: everyone is a little different. But there's a point where its the company's fault. I worked somewhere where the concept of SKU. which was used as a unique identifier everywhere (normal, common way to do things) didn't have a 1:1 correlation with a product (ie: they would reuse SKUs for completely different products, and had interns "guess" what it mapped to depending on context in spreadsheets). Thats never gonna work, and things go downhill from there.

1 hour ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Shados Re:One question: (778 comments)

Business ownership is a pain in the ass though. If it ends up only paying enough to survive, no one will do it.

about two weeks ago
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US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers

Shados Re:Maybe Apples and Oranges? (529 comments)

Not quite, but almost. A big chunk of the people being laid off aren't even in the US. Then from what's left, a chunk aren't even in the same field as what the H1Bs are used for (ie: HR, managers, etc). Of what's left after that, they absolutely can do internal transfers if they can relocate and whatsnot. Of what's left after that, some people just don't have the correct skillsets and may be hard to train in a pinch.

And yes, of what's left some people will slip through the crack. The Microsoft open reqs aren't exactly secret. If you think you qualify, and are ok with the location, go ahead and apply. Living right around the corner from a Microsoft office, a lot of my friends are H1Bs...they all make a heck of a lot more money than I do, and definitely don't fit the stereotype... (For the most part the ones I know are Canadians from Waterloo who preferred coming on H1B over TN1...)

about two weeks ago
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Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

Shados Re:But scarcity! (390 comments)

The problem is still the lack of competition in the market. If everyone had the choice between 4-5 ISPs, considering the popularity of Netflix, consumer ISPs would be paying Level 3 truckloads of money to ensure Netflix works flawlessly...and the roles may even be reversed (where Level 3 tries to gouge Verizon, since they'd know Verizon would have no choice or lose a ton of customers).

But since there isn't any competition, Verizon takes their own customers hostages...

about two weeks ago
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Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

Shados Re:ugh (390 comments)

So when Netflix decided to pay Comcast, they were able to upgrade all of those remote trunks in ~24 hours, even though they cost of fortune?

about two weeks ago
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Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

Shados Re:Help me understand (390 comments)

Netflix pays level 3 to get their bits from their servers all the way to the edge. Customers pay to get bits from the edge all the way to their house. Level 3 and Verizon make an agreement for the parts where those 2 networks touch each other.

Verizon is saying: "The direction of bits matter. Because our customers are paying to receive bits and not to send bits, YOU owe US more money. If our customers paid to SEND that much bit instead of receiving them, then we'd owe you money....like if it changes anything on the network".

Thats bull. Customers pay for a certain amount of bits coming from any edge to their house. Who cares exactly where it came from?

about two weeks ago
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New Treatment Stops Type II Diabetes

Shados Re:Available food ... (253 comments)

I definately gained a lot of weight when I moved to the US. Restaurants everywhere, and so cheap, it takes a fair bit of willpower to resist.

Aside for availability and quantity though, its not that different from Europe, especially not Montreal. Sounds like you went to the wrong area of both cities. (All the easily accessible restaurants in NY are just shitty fast food making a buck because of their location, too, which doesn't help)

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft's Missed Opportunities: Memo From 1997

Shados Re: Light of Day: Dim Light through Small Crack (161 comments)

Its semi-common in financial industries (who generally are mostly *Nix/Java based, but always have a substantial percentage of Windows development for either client or specialized server side use. They often get steep discounts because of all the exchange/office licenses they get).

The neat thing about F# is that its an ML dialect, and thus is fairly good for complex/mathy algorithms that are best written functionally. Then C# can consume the F# DLL's transparently. Don't get me wrong, there isn't hundreds of millions of lines of code written in it, but when I was in that industry, I worked at a few company (one among the "big 3") that has a substantial F# department, to write operational research algorithms to help balance portfolios and stuff.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

Shados Re:And in totally unrelated news.... (383 comments)

The valuable and talented employees will not be laid off and they know it. Microsoft pays fairly well and their benefits are pretty darn good. So unless their projects are boring them and they have nowhere to move to, they're not going anywhere.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

Shados Re:The sad part, IMO? (383 comments)

The majority of the people they're letting go are people who joined via acquisition. That's fairly different. Then its probably going to be operation, redundant managers, etc.

I'd be surprised if a single engineer that was hired by Microsoft and who's actually performing, was let go.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

Shados Re:They don't need to do this (383 comments)

Generally when a successful company has massive layoffs, the number would technically be much, much higher, but the majority of people are transferred, moved to other initiatives, offered to relocate, etc.

The ones getting laid off either have incompatible skillsets (let say, embedded developers in a company that doesn't do embedded development...sure, you could retrain them, but they probably won't even want to), are weaker, or are in offices where the entire office is shut down.

Also, this isn't 18000 software engineers getting laid off. You only need so many HR people and project managers. Microsoft also has a LOT of open reqs, and anyone willing to relocate and who's qualified will be able to internally apply for those positions.

You can retrain and reorganize, but there's management overhead for that, and you can only do so many at one given time.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

Shados Re:I predict that these layoffs will not prevent (383 comments)

You can be pretty sure they're not going to lay off senior engineers, unless they're closing down certain offices and said engineers don't want to relocate, and its those they have issues finding. The junior mobile app devs and the HR people? Tough luck for them.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

Shados Re:I don't know how they pay (509 comments)

A/C repair doesn't pay very well, however with global warming, demand should skyrocket, so salaries may go up up and up!

Bonus point if you do that now, as there's only 1 year left for usage of Freon in condenser maintenance, and a lot of people will have to replace their systems with new ones (and they're not even slightly compatible, so you have to replace the whole thing, which is brutally expensive).

So I'd definitely recommend going that route.

about two weeks ago
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My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

Shados Re:CFL or LED? (278 comments)

LEDs that run warm? Can it even be called an LED at that point? I mean I guess if it uses very poor internals...but the whole point of LEDs is that the portion that generates light doesn't generate heat, and the rest of the "device" isn't much different from any other light.

You'd be hard pressed to melt ice cream on a "real" LED bulb.

about two weeks ago
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My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

Shados Re:CFL or LED? (278 comments)

A decent CFL can fail for a large number of reason...they don't like extreme temperatures, they're very fragile in general, and, as a whole, have a wide variation in failure rate, even from the same batch. Those limitations are fairly well documented, so its not isolated case.

They can last for years, they can fail in a few months.

LEDs are quite consistent. If you buy really cheap ones, their support can fail I guess, but that is very rare. The LEDs themselves basically never fail, they just dim over the years, pretty much by definition of what an LED is. They're more or less immune to temperature swings and thus won't fail if left outside in a nordic winter.

Of course, your millage will vary depending on the brand and quality, but given similar conditions, LEDs are way, way, way better than CFL.

about two weeks ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

Shados Re:Things to solve (753 comments)

All the tiny contractors I delt with since I bought my place have been able to take cards. Now that you can get cheap hardware hooked up to a cheap android phone and a small merchant account to start swiping cards, even the plumber and the 3 table restaurant in chinatown take cards now...

about two weeks ago
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The Least They Could Do: Amazon Charges 1 Cent To Meet French Free Shipping Ban

Shados Re:the problem is small independent book stores fa (309 comments)

http://www.amazon.com/First-Al...

356 pounds. Free shipping with amazon prime. Shipping is rarely an issue aside for niche stuff, even outside of Amazon. Kids can use prepaid cards. Sure, these may not be convenient enough in certain situations today...but tomorrow it may be another story.

about three weeks ago
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The Least They Could Do: Amazon Charges 1 Cent To Meet French Free Shipping Ban

Shados Re:the problem is small independent book stores fa (309 comments)

In the world of the internet, no matter how many rules or laws you pass, only one player will ever be able to compete on price. Even if you banned online sales altogether, someone could find the cheapest physical store (the only difference is that then it would be limited by location/distance, allowing a few more players...but thats as far as you can go).

If I want a specific product, I know what I want precisely, then of course the only thing that matters is how cheap and how fast i can get it, and there's always one objective number here. There's a small variation if you include customer service of course...but in this case as you mentionned, amazon has almost flawless customer service.

Anyone who wants to compete has to do so with value. Anyone who goes in a brick and mortar store either wants instant gratification (but that will go away as "same day shipping" becomes more common), or _doesn't know what they want._

The later is where brick and mortar stores have to compete to provide value. If the staff doesn't know what they're talking about and can't assist, you automatically are worse off than the cheapest retailer that can be found online and will die (Bestbuy!!!).

I used to work for an online retailer/manufacturer of marketing products that is top dog as far as price/quality goes. No one could compete in the US on price and delivery. But in certain markets, we couldn't get any kind of traction... why? The brick and mortar stores had very very knowledgeable/well trained people, and provided fantastic value to customers, so they never went online, as the savings weren't worth it.

about three weeks ago
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The Least They Could Do: Amazon Charges 1 Cent To Meet French Free Shipping Ban

Shados Re:Free shipping on $3 order (309 comments)

Where it gets crazy, is when you get amazon prime on a full sized safe. Free shipping on something that weights 1-2 TONS.

Yeah...

about three weeks ago
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Will Google's Dart Language Replace Javascript? (Video)

Shados Re:Java, Python, Lisp... (180 comments)

Web workers, local storage, JIT is more than good enough, and there are typed arrays for anything that matters.

Its good enough to make 3d game engines, its good enough for a mail client.

about three weeks ago

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