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Comments

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First Superbugs, Now Superweeds

g8orade Externalities, Monsanto, Michael Crighton (435 comments)

Generally, we just don't understand all the externalities involved.
Hopefully, they don't lead to catastrophic circumstances.

more than 4 years ago
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The Effects of the Cloud On Business, Education

g8orade Next step to manna (68 comments)

The first thing about these articles is to realize that business and government are big proponents. That's why one article about balancing convenience vs. privacy is important. RMS knows this.

That's why a recent NYTimes article about the quants' influence on the financial meltdown quoted Ted Kazcinsky sp? and why an article a few years ago called Why the Future Doesn't Need Us did too.

The second thing to realize is so are consumers of Google and the iPhone.

So all of the kvetching about the use of the term "cloud" really (REALLY) misses the point. Get over it to what it means.

Centralized network terminal computing on central servers is coming and it's going to hit a tipping point that will or may already be affecting your life, depending on your type of business ERP or your own consumer habits.

You might want to look up the short story Manna at MarshallBrain for a dystopian perspective.

You may want to think.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Why do businesses use any un-synced desktop comput

g8orade g8orade writes  |  more than 4 years ago

g8orade writes "I was reading an article at CIO.com that asks why is ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software so hard.

A business's entire computing eco-system is its ERP system, though most companies haven't even taken the first step of having centralized data-mine-able email, and certainly haven't made universal use of a ticket system instead of email a priority. (Request Tracker / RT, Jira, etc etc.)
There really don't seem to be hybrid local desktop / server desktop sync solutions that help you work locally when you need to but that then auto sync everything when you're connected to a central database.

So, I have to ask the readers, why does any company, not private citizens, any COMPANY allow any computing to occur resulting in files that aren't later stored and queryable centrally, which is what ERP is ultimately for, namely to produce auditable historical records. (Auditable means any kind of audit--Internal Audit for quality and cost, Tax Audit, SOX Audit, pick any regulatory reason for an audit).
Is it simply because companies don't think about computing that way? Or has desktop computing clouded the benefits of networked computing until relatively recently?
What companies do you know who best treat their IT in its entirety as their "ERP"?"

Link to Original Source
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The Economist chimes in about cloud computing

g8orade g8orade writes  |  more than 5 years ago

g8orade (22512) writes "The Economist is running some interesting articles about the rise of cloud computing. "Information technology is turning into a global "cloud" accessible from anywhere, says Ludwig Siegele. What does that mean for the way people conduct business?" and one more to Richard Stallman's recent points about the risks to freedom: Computing is about to face a trade-off between sovereignty and efficiency"
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Company-Wide Workflow Solution?

g8orade g8orade writes  |  more than 6 years ago

g8orade (22512) writes "If you work at a company where you need to bill for services rendered, or any company where you want to account for the work being done by all departments, has your enterprise deployed a tool that all areas successfully use to manage and track tasks?

Server-based email with the idea that emails are database records that can be categorized (tagged) and administered like tickets (with statuses and owners) is one way to address this initially. If you begin with that, there is then the possibility of building structured metadata and automation over the core, into an ERP or CRM type solution.

I haven't seen that the common commercial mail server systems (Gmail, Yahoo, MSN) offer this idea of extensible email into tasks for workflow management. I've looked at the Compiere, OpenBravo, and TinyERP websites but couldn't discern that it they have it. I can't tell in Horde that a Task object can have emails within it or vice versa. BestPractical's RT doesn't seem to be able to function as a primary email system, although perhaps it would be possible.

Has anyone a) adopted a company wide solution for workflow management and effort accounting, and b) then built their ERP or other structured systems integrated over/into it?"
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Looters List by Nation / Business?

g8orade g8orade writes  |  more than 6 years ago

g8orade (22512) writes "I just read this story about a new type of solar panel's arrival in the near future. When a posting points to an accelerated disruption in a fundamental industry, it would be interesting to know the relation to and potential interference from taxing agencies or other entrenched interest (in addition to the direct competition).
  • OLPC vs. Wintel / Apple, seems mostly the direct competition, hardware and OS
  • Electric car vs. gas car, (gas tax pays for roads, run by the state)
  • Tax Reform, harder to manipulate the tax code, provide favors to any group
What are the best news sources (world wide, nation state by nation state) to understand whom one is likely to encounter when a given industry will be disrupted, because they are funded by the sale of the disrupted product? (In the case of the solar panels, Oil, Coal, Natural Gas, and what is funded currently by taxing them? Who besides them directly has power based on them that would decline?)."
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I misspelled Combating in a pending submission

g8orade g8orade writes  |  about 7 years ago

g8orade writes "Not sure how to contact someone about this question — Since you cannot edit a pending submission (lesson learned!) can someone change Combatting to Combating, if my prior submission is accepted? Else rejected, no issue. g8orade"
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Data partition as Linux PC value add?

g8orade g8orade writes  |  about 7 years ago

g8orade writes "As the
  • Open Document Format forces compete with Microsoft OOXML,
  • Applications via the internet become possible (terminal applications),
  • PC makers start offering Linux pre-loaded but the "distro wars" continue, and
  • some writers think package management is a true Linux differentiator,
wouldn't it be a good idea for the Linux PCs to come set up with a data partition separated from the OS / Applications partition? Alternately even a separate (portable) data drive / data port for your files?

It wouldn't hurt for consumers to get used to the idea of their files being separate from the programs that use them. This would also allow them to put any OS and applications on that partition over any timeframe, but leave their files alone.

Why don't PC makers do this by default, does MS not want it? Because, wouldn't this advance the cause of open document formats?"
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Combatting the March to Manna

g8orade g8orade writes  |  about 7 years ago

g8orade writes "As a business systems analyst, I read with interest this week's submission for recommended ticket tools to help manage work. After implementing ticket tools you know better what you do repetitively, and you then want structured data for additional guidance and automation. This is sometimes called BPM for your ERP. Business's goal is to make a profit and a big part of that effort is controlling or eliminating costs, which is why you have tickets, ERP, and BPM. Payroll for humans is a big cost.

Governments' goal, if you're in the USA and you believe the Declaration of Independence, is to create the opportunity for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. However, according to George Orwell, no one has yet imagined a compelling view of permanent happiness (Utopia, Heaven), though we can all picture versions of the opposite, from experience. The short story Manna presents a progression from BPM / ERP to two possible outcomes, each involving the end of free will, one perhaps more desirable than the other.

Assuming humans maintain enough political stability and the earth enough climatic stability for technology's continued advance, what rules do you find most appealing, least burdensome, or most needed as strata of humanity find themselves displaced by machines?"
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Swarm Theory Makes National Geographic

g8orade g8orade writes  |  more than 7 years ago

g8orade writes "This could have gone under several topics, but Swarm Behavior / Swarm Theory has made the pages of National Geographic. Brief but interesting article with several examples."
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Building Workflow into the OS, or core module?

g8orade g8orade writes  |  more than 7 years ago

g8orade (22512) writes "I have two questions about workflow use in businesses —
  1. What are the best examples of workflow management you've encountered on the web or at your job?
  2. Do you think there would be a benefit in building in core ticketing functionalities like messaging, owner, status(es), comments, auto-notificatio, subscriptions, parent/child identifiers, due by date, etc. as extensible file system data? Then the OS or a core module of it, would *be* the workflow manager, available universally upon installation of a networked OS.
Background The company where I work has gained tremendous efficiencies by moving processes once managed with email to a ticket system. (BestPractical's RT, we love it). I could write an analysis of why ticketing in general is so great, but the book RT Essentials lays it out very well in the Introduction and a later chapter on scenarios, no matter which tool you choose.

We are also now investigating Business Process Management modules for our structured order management database(ERP) software. This is like ticket functionality with some identified processing logic that guides actions to types of tickets.

Web 2.0 is about "social networking" which seems to be mostly about giving individuals a workspace over which they have administrative rights and some tools to work with. Google Docs is a good example of this a bit, but it's not exactly tied to all the ticketing functions right now.

Side note,

And yes, go read Manna to see where this all might lead in a business environment."
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g8orade g8orade writes  |  more than 7 years ago

g8orade writes "The company where I work has in the past couple of years started using BestPractical's Request Tracker (RT) to manage all kinds of internal work processes, and a few that involve clients, that we used to handle with email, and we have adopted Twiki as our internal online documentation platform.

We are a shipping services outsourcing company running a custom program built on/with Oracle internally, with some screens available to our clients and suppliers that allow them to track and perform error resolution.

Because we would like to integrate RT and Twiki's features with our internal ERP system, we are considering dropping both in favor of Atlassian's offerings, Confluence and Jira. Atlassian would sell us perpetual / development rights and we would not incur any GPL liability to our internal code. (Offering some of our ERP functions to our clients through the web is where we run into the "distribution" problem of having to make our code GPL).

I recognize this is just the GPL in action, if my company doesn't share its proprietary ERP oriented code with the world why should we have the benefits of value from Twiki and RT being delivered to our clients as part our offering?

My question to Slashdot readers is, has your company run into this issue, using a GPL product for a while, but then when you want to integrate with proprietary code that you "distribute" electing to buy a similar closed source product to avoid losing ownership of your own? What did you do?

What would happen if someone wanted to integrate Great Plains Accounting into Compiere, or SugarCRM into SAP / JD Edwards ERP?"
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g8orade g8orade writes  |  more than 7 years ago

g8orade (22512) writes "As this article says, for the OLPC, the software is more important than the hardware. A generation or more of children in developing countries will learn about computers using a computer not running the Mac nor MS desktops. Will the OLPC software finally be the licenseless tool, the uncharged-for value add that makes it too hard for the other OS makers to compete given the same hardware?"
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g8orade g8orade writes  |  more than 7 years ago

g8orade (22512) writes "I've read the recent posts about Vista and its DRM and whether OS X does the same things to my fair use of content. What effects are there, if any, on my ability to create and distribute my own files, which I own and may want to distribute using the copyright of my choosing? (YouTube, my own web site, photo.net, mp3.com, CDs in stores, etc)."
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g8orade g8orade writes  |  more than 7 years ago

g8orade writes "So my IT director stopped by my office today and asked, "Are you still using OpenOffice? We are coming up against our MS Office renewal and are thinking about switching." I explained I knew the most about Writer, less about the other modules, and that we would want to do testing, look at an incremental approach. We have a couple hundred employees and we're looking at whether we need MS Office standard edition for everyone. We started brainstorming who were our Excel power users, could we convert our Word templates to Writer, etc. I explained having nested list styles that work was practically reason enough on the Word end. Then we realized that Outlook was part of Office. We don't know how we would replace Outlook and Exchange Server, plus that would be a lot bigger change, we think, than swapping out our office applications. We are now investigating pricing models to see if Outlook is packaged standalone and if we could get it separately from Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Any ideas? Have any readers successfully moved a company off of MS Office / Outlook and Exchange to OpenOffice and ?"
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g8orade g8orade writes  |  more than 6 years ago

g8orade writes "This story says the pieces are in place for the One Laptop Per Child project's product to start production by the end of June next year. The project has already set precedents related to cost, security, networking, etc.

According to the project's home page, the pc to be built is "a unique harmony of form and function; a flexible, ultra low-cost, power-efficient, responsive, and durable machine with which nations of the emerging world can leapfrog decades of development — immediately transforming the content and quality of their children's learning."

Given that some of this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner's microcredit loans went to women running businesses selling cell phone calls, what else do Slashdot readers think the OLPC project is going to do? Affect existing OS use? Hardware production? Change the political situation? Create new and unexpected markets? Alter the face of education? And yes I know India has opted out, as posted earlier here."

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