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Free Online Education Unwelcome In Minnesota

boyfaceddog State vs Private Sector (240 comments)

The State of Minnesota will do the following for people who have Coursera degrees:

They will not hire you
If you work at a company that has a State contract you may not work on the State project in any capacity.
Fines, lawsuits, etc.

I worked for the state for about three years. They have a lot of contracts in the private sector.

But feel free to take the courses. I'm sure it will all work out.

about 2 years ago

Pakistan's PM Demands International Blasphemy Laws From UN

boyfaceddog At the UN, tolerance is built in. (957 comments)


        to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
        to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
        to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
        to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,


        to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors, and
        to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and
        to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and
        to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples,


Accordingly, our respective Governments, through representatives assembled in the city of San Francisco, who have exhibited their full powers found to be in good and due form, have agreed to the present Charter of the United Nations and do hereby establish an international organization to be known as the United Nations.

about 2 years ago

Art School's Expensive Art History Textbook Contains No Actual Art

boyfaceddog In a word: printing (371 comments)

Four-color high quality lithographic reproductions of all that art, with the proofs, the layout, the press-checks, sign-offs, specialty inks, and on and on would have cost $800 dollars.
But what a book!
My father took art history as an art-teaching major in the 50s and his professor swore by this one book. I think it was $200. My dad bought it. Full color reproductions of 50 master works. He still has it and used it every year in his teaching. Done right, this is an investment.

about 2 years ago

Amazon Now Discounting HarperCollins EBooks

boyfaceddog Re:Good for Whom? (136 comments)

I write stories and have a book coming out next year so I have a dog in this one.

What I have seen and what I have been told by Tor is that ebooks will split the market. You will have a flood of cheaply produced, low-cost titles and you will have a small boutique market of high-end interactive books that cost a fortune and will be updated from year to year.

Every house wants their boutique titles. In the early 2000s those would have been the Harry Potter series. Tie-ins and marketing galore. That was a publisher's wet-dream. The boutique titles, as seen right now, will be a mixture of interactive magazine, tv show, and music video. Sort of like a subscription to a super-version of your favorite cable channel. Words will make up some of the content but a lot of it will be pictures and music. Like mystery novels? Think what you could do if you had four or five top writers pumping out a dozen titles, all tied together, and with it's own episodic tv show. Science fiction is a no-brainer, as are fantasy and spy 'novels'.

By the way, we already have all of this, only the stuff is spread out across a dozen studios and publishers. What will happen is a single house making all things. Okay, maybe a little cooperation.

On the other end of the scale are the books I will be writing. Text edited by a professional and thrown into an ebook template. IF my book sells and IF there is a little interest by Barnes & Nobel and IF I can pull together a tour, Tor *might* do an actual print run - paperback - very limited. Tor said they will help with some local tour dates in the midwest but all travel and hotel costs are mine to cover.

Nearly everyone can be published now. The downside is there isn't any more money to o around.

Welcome to the new publishing.

about 2 years ago

Are 12-16 Hour Workdays Productive?

boyfaceddog Of course it's productive (615 comments)

Once you weed out the people who can't handle it or have a life outside the company, or are just unwilling to place the well-being of a money-making enterprise before their own. The people left after the culling are enormously productive.

I think the question here isn't "is it productive", but "at what cost?"

about 2 years ago

WIPO Broadcasting Treaty Back On the Table

boyfaceddog Bill of Digital Rights (133 comments)

We need a Bill of Digital Rights, one that underlies all of our national and international laws and keeps rights for citizens. Unless we have that the corporations will just write laws to keep the rights for themselves and citizens will be left with nothing.

And yes, 'corporations are people, my friend', 'Live free (as in beer) or die' and all that. ;-)

more than 2 years ago

UK ISPs Ordered To Block Pirate Bay

boyfaceddog Re:Well (188 comments)

There will come a time, friend, when you will cringe upon looking back at this statement. Sometime in the near future we will see the Internet blocked and an unblocked address will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and only be available to corporations with very deep pockets. Right now we are on the cusp where individual sites are being blocked, but soon it will be more efficient simply to block everything and unblock "safe" sites.

Then we will all be safe, citizen.

Sleep tight.

more than 2 years ago

Who Is Your Favorite Fictional Robot or Android?

boyfaceddog Battle Angel Alita (608 comments)

Eve from Apple Geeks
Ping from Mega Tokyo
Alice from Comedity

more than 2 years ago

Spaceman-Turned-Politician Can Call Himself 'Astronaut' On Ballot

boyfaceddog Political Thoughts (181 comments)

"Allowing a candidate out of nowhere to use the profession of 'astronaut' when he hasn’t served in that profession recently is akin to allowing someone to use a title of 'sailor' when they no longer own or operate a ship," California GOP spokeswoman Jennifer Kerns said in a statement, according to the Times.

Most people who call themselves 'sailor' don't own or operate a ship. I mean, I know what he thinks he's saying, but my gawd does this come off as arrogant and elitist. Do these guys eve listen to themselves?

more than 2 years ago

The Specter of Gasoline At $5 a Gallon

boyfaceddog Re:$5? that's nothing (1205 comments)

Nope. Most countries don't bother telling their citizens anything about their status in the world. The US just has a permanent inferiority complex from living in Europe's shadow for so long. Same with the UK and Russia.

more than 2 years ago

What The DHS Is Looking For In Your Posts

boyfaceddog My next blog-story (278 comments)

I post serial fiction on my blog at Wordpress which gets cross-posted to Facebook. You just gave me the text for my next story.

Thanks, Slashdot!

more than 2 years ago

Tenative Ruling Against Kaleidescape in DVD CCA Case

boyfaceddog Tenative Ruling? (150 comments)

Do you mean 'tentative'?

Can I have your job, Mr. Editor?

more than 2 years ago

Siri Gives Apple Two Year Advantage Over Android

boyfaceddog A lead in what? (800 comments)

Wow! Apple has a two year lead in the... talking... cell-phone ... market.

Wake me when they start treating it as if it were a real computer rather than a toy.

more than 2 years ago

Theologian Attempts Censorship After Losing Public Debate

boyfaceddog Re:Persuade, inform, advocate, and entertain (943 comments)

I agree one hundred percent! The point of a debate is to way public opinion.

Unfortunately for all of those who want public opinion to matter in science, it doesn't.

more than 2 years ago

Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

boyfaceddog Re:This just makes sense (1345 comments)

(sigh). Let's go over this once more.
1) God gives man a bunch a rules to live by.
2) One of the rules is that "If you disobey God, then you will suffer horribly."
3) Another law is "If you kill then you will suffer horribly."
4) God goes to Abraham and asks him to kill his son.
5) God watches as Abraham decides he would rather cheese off God for killing his own son then for disobeying him.
6) At the last moment God says to Abraham "Psych! Just messin' with you, homey"

Please answer this question: Would Abraham have suffered horribly for killing his son, or would God just let that one slide?
For extra points answer these questions:
If God randomly gives someone a conflicting set of instructions and expects that person to know which instruction to follow 'just because', then is God a rational being?
If God is not a rational being does it make sense to trust his promises and threats?
If God is not rational and does not keep his promises or threats then is it rational to worship Him?

more than 2 years ago

Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

boyfaceddog Re:This just makes sense (1345 comments)

Well, um, except that those 'moral' teachings are A) either so obvious no one would bother to write them down or so ambiguous as to be nearly useless (Don't Kill, Sure thing. Don't covet your neighbor's oxen? You'll need to clarify that one) B) the moral teachings come wrapped in centuries of social and political manipulation (some of which arrived at the end of a sword) and c) the newest part of the book the teachings are based on comes from a time when 'the world' was the Roman Empire, communications went no faster or farther than the fastest ship or horse, and mental illness was proof of demon possession.

I promise I won't kill anyone unless it's in self-defence and that I will try to not mess with the lives of my neighbors or get too angry when they mess with mine. That pretty much covers the major topics of the moral code. As for the invisible guy who judges my eternal soul after I die -- not so much.

more than 2 years ago

Inaccurate physics in movies ...

boyfaceddog Movies? Meh. Now Books.... (449 comments)

I expect movies involving super heroes, space wars, cave men, and/or cowboys to be on the same realism level as Saturday morning cartoons. The director only has under two hours to tell a story. Some short cuts must be taken. A hand-held laser weapon is a great way of defending your hero even if it could NEVER work in real life. Movies are fantasy after all.
Authors, on the other hand, have no such excuses. I want physics in a book to match physics in the real world and when the author wants the physics to serve the story line I want the damned thing labeled 'Fantasy' -- even if James Patterson wrote it.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: CS Grads Taking IT Jobs?

boyfaceddog You'll end up there anyways (520 comments)

I went to school in the early 90s for a non-IT degree but wound up in IT because it paid more. I know seven of people who went the CS route, started out in that field and either burned out (3) or were shunted into support by managers who wanted to keep the head count but needed different roles filled (4). The truth is that as you age you want something more settled than job hopping and minding your own IRA and health insurance. Taking that IT job with the big corporation looks mighty good about then.
So yourself a favor and go the safe route now. Keep your hand in on CS projects outside the company and always float your CV/Resume around. You never know when the next tech boom will happen.

more than 2 years ago

US Gov't Pays IT Contractors Twice As Much As Its Own IT Workers

boyfaceddog Is this a good thing or a bad thing? (382 comments)

Let me try spinning this

Obama claims government tightening belt
Senate hearings commence in two weeks
Union leaders praised for austerity
Bill O'Reily attacks unions for not protecting worker's rights

Here's what I think the 'real' spin should be:
Film at eleven.

more than 2 years ago


boyfaceddog hasn't submitted any stories.



boyfaceddog boyfaceddog writes  |  more than 7 years ago

This week saw the Hekawi attack, sort of. It was like something out of a lame British play. Some psuedo chief of the Hekawi was pissed becasue I told one of the run-of-the-mill lusers that realators had been in looking at the building, which is true. What the psuedo-chief forgot is that I don't work here anymore, I just have a cube in this building. The psuedo-chief couldn't get me fired if he wanted to. What did they do instead? They tried to pile on all sorts of work, which I was only too happy to take on - provided they all put in work tickets first. I have never seen so many people look so confused about what to do next as I did that day.

You see, the common Hekawi luser needs to call our India help desk to enter a ticket, and since all of the work I was being assigned was non-IT, the help esk wouldn't take the ticket. Meanwhile I arranged for the receptionist to do the non-IT work which made her happy. She is now in charge of the phone list, the names on the in-out board, the cube name plates, the conference room schedule, and calling the phone company when lusers have a phone problem.

The psuedo-chiefs are still mad at me, but I am immune from their hate.


boyfaceddog boyfaceddog writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Seems as though the VLC wants to unload the ol' fort. They've been running realtors through all week - on the Q.T., of course. Don't want to spook the Hekawi. Looks like its time to start looking elsewhere to spend my time. Fun while it lasted.


boyfaceddog boyfaceddog writes  |  more than 7 years ago

So the wannabe IT head of the Hekawi (obscure F-Troop refence becasue I just can't bring myself to refer to the management at my primary location as anything like competant) has been demoted. I believe "reposted" would be a good Hekawi word for what happened. He is now in charge of special IT projects. Good luck to him since he has no standing in the VLC IT dept. and my boss can't stand him. It just means that he is REALLY looking to take my job. Believe me, if I could find a different job he could have mine.


boyfaceddog boyfaceddog writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Major Fambrough is here doing a tour of his territory and my review. While he is here I am working my tail off trying to fulfill every little whim the lusers have. This makes them willing to shut up while the major is here. Sounds like a lot of work and it is, but it is only a few times of year.


boyfaceddog boyfaceddog writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Received my P.R. in the pony express today. Facinating read. Pity it has no real corelation to my job, but then neither does Major Fambrough. I love a boss who makes decisions about your job performance based on what lusers tell him instead of what he observes. The luser mentality is simply "what have you done for me lately" and anything that isn't running the way they think it should is "broken", regaurdless of whether or not it is running the way it is supposed to run.

Oh well, nothing I can do about it.

I'll just need to find another job since this one will suck in galactic terms. Been there, done that, don't want to do it again. If I have to prove that I am doing my job - the same job I have been doing successfully for eight years, mind you - if I have to prove it again to another PHB, I am out of here. WHY CAN"T THEY READ THE @#$% OLD P. R.s? Glowing reviews, every one of them. Eight years - EIGHT @#$% YEARS! Now I have to start over and I don't even get the promise of better pay.

Keep my head down, nose to the grind stone, hide in my cube, close all of the tickets as soon as I get them. Game the system as much as possible. Ya. Hoo.


boyfaceddog boyfaceddog writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Wow, what a long time it has been. Had a heart attack in October and recovered. Got sucked into the OFFICIAL IT dept of my VLC, which means that I am now really (really really) an IT person. Aquired a new boss and found myself on the very edge of the frontier as far as he and the rest the VLC are concerned. 'Balderdash', you say? Part of the territory (I have a territory!) I am responsible for is the area that was featured in 'Dances with Wolves'. Kind of like 'Dances with Lusers', except the Natives will probably scalp me and steal my cell phone in the end.

On the up side, I see my boss, afterwards known as the Major Fambrough (Google it) sees me about once every three months as he swings 'round his territory.

Oh well.


boyfaceddog boyfaceddog writes  |  more than 7 years ago

WB/PC Guy (who is now sorta-manager-WB guy) found out that his position is only a title today. Gotta hand it to him, he took it in stride. He is currently in his Mgmt-cube writing his *fifth* memo of the day. I suppose that if enough people think he is a real manager, he will get the respect he wants.


boyfaceddog boyfaceddog writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Spoke to WB PHP about the fan in the server room. Gave home $3000 quote. He balked. Told him there was $27,000 in equipment in there. He said we'd replace it if it failed.

Sent him email about the same issue with warning. CC:d his boss. Email back - "We'll look into it."

He has been warned.


boyfaceddog boyfaceddog writes  |  more than 7 years ago

WB / PC guy got his promotion today. I celebrated by reminding him that his isn't my boss and that he now has much more important things to do than bother me. He wasn't amused.

Did I say he wasn't my boss?

He, he, he.


Fibre in the diet

boyfaceddog boyfaceddog writes  |  more than 7 years ago

The fibre is here! The fibre is here! After 6 weeks the fibre guys are installing the six-strand. They promise it will be terminated this afternoon. That means I get my network back. Yay!


Bad day at the VLC

boyfaceddog boyfaceddog writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Had a very bad day at work, but this was because of the management, and the lack there of. I am about 400 miles away from my manager, which is usually a good thing. My manager doesn't hassle me much. There is no micro-management from two states away. On the other hand there is no was to fend off the dump-truck-effect from all of the local managers piling work onto me. That's what happened today, and I am so far behind that I may just not catch up again. I even wound upsheparding a job - a PRODUCTION job through the shop because it had programming in it.

Let me be very clear on something right now. I program. I am not a PROGRAMMER. I know how to use a computer for more than coding. I can FIX THINGS, not just use them. I limit my programming to useful tasks like eliminating pesky files from WB pcs, or checking manager's email. I do NOT write programs that are of monetary benefit to my VLC. I don't want that kind of attention. I was assigned this task because i work in IT and no one at this location has ANY IDEA WHAT IT DOES. Its a little like being an epidemiologist in 12th century France. What you do is of immense benefit, but people just assume you're a rat-catcher and keep handing your bags and sticks.


More network problems

boyfaceddog boyfaceddog writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Just about everything works well now, except the VLC IT provided firewall and switch. For some reason one of these devices is not allowing packets through. Seems obvious to me, but I will let the beanie-heads at IT earn their brownie points by following procedure to arrive at the same conclusion.

Had to go head-to-head with a Worker Bee manager. Seems his people want better PCs and printers and have decided the best way to get these is by shoving the devices off the desk. I am always one for getting new gear by disabling the old stuff, but I don't want anyone calling me up and expecting me to fix the stuff after its broken. We have an effective gear request system in place and the WB manager knows how to use it.


All fixed

boyfaceddog boyfaceddog writes  |  more than 7 years ago

The phone room cabling upgrade is done. All of the fle-bite problems are taken care of. I had a dead switch but a spare switch is covering for it. Three cables are dead, and the Fibre guys won't be in until NEXT Monday, throwing my whole schedule off.

But the room looks better and I havean entire rack to use, so that's good. I guess it is.


Home again

boyfaceddog boyfaceddog writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Had to stay home again. Nicely notified workerbee/PC guy via email that I wouldn't be there so he wouldn't get worried about das blinken lights on the server. He wrote back to "thank" me for monitoring my email, and he made sure to cc: his boss. Sigh. Some people need to learn the hard way.


Meeting day

boyfaceddog boyfaceddog writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Thursday is meeting day, and that means interruptions. Made a sign that read "In Meeting. Please do not disturb". That reduced the disruptions to 10, which is about normal. Next Thursday I will be co-opting a meeting room, and if that doesn't work I will lock myself into the phone room.

Phone guy just left. Wanted to sell us a new system. I had to give him the bad new that our VLC IT/Telecom group want to install their own system. If only that were true. Instead we have to put up with a phone system from the typewriter era.


Back to work

boyfaceddog boyfaceddog writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Back to work today. Wrenched knee and so of course I had to spend the entire day running from one end of the building to the other doing all sorts of hands-on work. Blah.


Day Off?

boyfaceddog boyfaceddog writes  |  about 8 years ago

Stayed home.. My Real Boss - the one who signs my reviews, was cool with it. so i monitored email and hell desk and had my cell on while I took care of my daughter and cleaned the house.

Worker Bee/PC guy from yesterday put in his hell desk tickets again. I tried to get a hold of him but he was out. Fulfilled the letter of the ticket and closed those.

i can't wait to get back so I can relax.


boyfaceddog boyfaceddog writes  |  about 8 years ago

Came in today despite fever and pink eye from friends' kids. Care-ful-ly explained network upgrade to workerbee/PC guy who had his two cents worth. Care-ful-ly re-explained network. Lightbulb moment happened. WB is happy. WB put in five helldesk tickets that I need to take care of. Care-ful-ly re-re-explained network upgrade AND all the work I need to do to get it done. Nothin' but attitude. Cancled WB's tickets.

I love mondays

Main file server acting up. Logged in and saw close to 5000 files being copied. Logged out and explained to user about cause and effect.

Copier/printer down. A PHB was all hot and bothered. "You need to fix that right away." Called local printer support place and had them fulfill contract.

And so it goes.


Updating Network

boyfaceddog boyfaceddog writes  |  about 8 years ago

In the middle of updating the network at The EP site. I swear if I ever find the vendor(s) that installed half of the cat5 here, I will ban them from the building. Wires everywhere and no strain relief in sight. One vendor actually zip-tied the cat5 ONTO the flourescent lights.

The original installers put D-rings in the network room, but failed to ancher the rings to anything more substantial than the drywall. Note: 75+ cat5 cables in a bundle with no strain relief held only by D-rings screwed into draywall will destroy drywall.

Retrofitting sucks!


boyfaceddog boyfaceddog writes  |  more than 9 years ago Just finished the INHOUSE alpha version of the NetAdmin guide. Lots of stuff to go over. 1) remove all of the INHOUSE data and put in blanks 2) create WAN info 3)reorganize along the same lines in each section Get on SF by October!

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