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Email Is Not Going Anywhere

markdavis Ubiquitous Common Denominator (235 comments)

Email is the common denominator in electronic communication. Period. Nothing else can match it when it comes to being well known, compatible with everything, and even its flexibility. Spam sucks, and there are still some issues with the way people USE Email (or incorrectly use it), but it is *the* way business communicates now. I would be crippled at work without Email.

If you want to talk about a dying communications technology, that would be facsimile. Our fax volume is a small fraction of what it once was. Still important to have around, but people go out of their way to avoid it now. We have large scan-to-PDF-EMail copiers all over, making it so much more convenient, too.

3 days ago

Netflix Now Works On Linux With HTML5 DRM Video Support In Chrome

markdavis Re:Why is (201 comments)

If it is browser based, is it really THAT hard to "support"? Just wondering.

BTW- as far as I am aware, no distro includes or supports Chrome, anyway... only Chromium (which is open source).

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Life Beyond the WRT54G Series?

markdavis LOVE 'em with Toastman (426 comments)

I really love my WRT54GL running Toastman Tomato. "It just works"- it is rock solid and does what I want. Sure it is not super fast, but for regular stuff it is fine. I liked it so much I installed dozens of them at work and directed my friends and family to use them also.

I need to knock on wood... not a SINGLE one has failed or had problems. They stay up "forever" without hanging or needed to be reset, even after seeing tons of various devices connected. Plus they were dirt cheap and have real antennas and with real connectors (so I can and do use different antennas for different applications). Just don't use the stock firmware- it is unreliable. It freaks me out that you can still actually buy the ancient things-- they are just that popular.

It is a tall order to find a suitable, more modern replacement. I have been on the lookout but haven't seen anything quite at the same level that could "carry on the torch". Some say Buffalo.

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Bulletproof Video Conferencing For Alzheimers Home?

markdavis Re:Bill $10K up front and 50K a year (194 comments)

>"Have a full time tech on site with that and bill each patient health insurance a monthly or daily or per use fee. That is how most things healthcare marketplace work."

I work in healthcare, and no insurance company is going to cover such things unless it was legitimately part of a communications rehab program or something (supervised by a speech pathologist).

>"Well we just bulk bill it as some other thing or change the home and they deal with the billing."

That sounds remarkably like fraud which can lead to fines, closed businesses, and people thrown in jail.

about two weeks ago

Fixing a 7,000-Ton Drill

markdavis Re:Viaduct?? (101 comments)

>" What if they dig the tunnel, then build a lifted "bridge" viaduct inside this tunnel? WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW?"

UG!!!! I can't handle such a possibility!

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: IT Personnel As Ostriches?

markdavis part of the job (246 comments)

First, I wouldn't say a "50ish" people company is "mid-sized" :) But that isn't really your question.

I can only speak for myself- I can and do see things that are confidential. It is pretty much impossible for me not to. I deal with it by focusing only on my work. Most of the time I don't even really "see" what it is I am looking at... intentionally glancing away or closing things that are not part of the scope of my assistance. Unfortunately that doesn't always work and am exposed to things that get "registered" in my mind. Sometimes I see things that are disappointing or disturbing... but it is my job to retain confidentiality; that is part of being a professional.

The hard parts come when/if I see something that is:

1) Against our IT policies (mostly security practices)
2) Against company policy
3) Against the law
4) Immoral

Thankfully, after doing this for 27+ years, I have yet to consciously run into anything illegal or immoral. I have run into things against policy and there have been times I had to report it or deal with it... just depends on how severe it was.

Think of it this way- it could be MUCH worse... you could be a defense lawyer.

about two weeks ago

Fixing a 7,000-Ton Drill

markdavis Viaduct?? (101 comments)

>"During an effort to drill a viaduct beneath downtown Seattle"

Viaduct? How is digging/drilling a tunnel a viaduct? "A viaduct is a bridge composed of several small spans for crossing a valley or a gorge." You cannot drill a viaduct.

They are digging a TUNNEL under Seattle for a car highway as an alternative to an old, damaged viaduct.

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Should I Fight Against Online Voting In Our Municipality?

markdavis Security and freedom are not convenient (190 comments)

This is a classic case of people valuing convenience over everything else:

* Responsibility
* Anonymity
* Security
* Reliability
* Accountability
* Accuracy

Electronic voting machines and on-line voting severely erode or completely disregard one or more of the above concepts. Voting is part of the democratic process, which equates to freedom. Freedom is neither free nor easy.... neither is security.

about three weeks ago

French Provider Free Could Buy US Branch of T-Mobile

markdavis Please NO (111 comments)

Please everyone just leave T-Mobile alone. They are doing great the last few years. I don't want them ruined by Sprint or Iliad or Dish or anyone else!

Competition is good and T-Mobile is proof of it. Even if you don't use T-Mobile and never will, you have STILL BENEFITED from many of the things they have done lately which have been forcing other carriers to make changes.

Just today:
"T-Mobile posted its second quarter earnings today, and the carrier is continuing momentum as far as customer acquisition is concerned. The Uncarrier managed to add an additional 1.5 million customers in the second quarter, which makes it the fifth consecutive quarter in which the carrier added more than 1 million subscribers. The influx of new customers meant that T-Mobile's revenue rose by 15.4 percent to $7.2 billion. 50 million total subscribers now."

about three weeks ago

Are Tethers the Answer To the Safety Issues of Follow-Me Drone Technology?

markdavis Article has nothing to do with safety (88 comments)

Perhaps I missed something, but the linked article (and also the Fotokite product/site) has absolutely nothing to do with safety. It talks about privacy/transparency.

A tether to a person on the ground only makes the devices even more unsafe, as they now get tangled with each other and other environmental hazards. Perhaps it would limit its range (which is not mentioned in the article), but a heavy device falling is a heavy device falling.

One thing that would increase drone safety would be an automatic parachute so when they do collide or lose power or go ape crazy, it can more softly return to earth.

about a month and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: How Often Should You Change Jobs?

markdavis Re:Job Hopping (282 comments)

This is a reply not just to you, but to several similar posts at once:

1) I don't have trouble maintaining employees, and it is precisely because I am careful to hire someone that won't quickly leave.

2) We don't have the best pay nor all that much room for positional growth, but it is a great environment and very stable. I am careful to disclose as much as possible about the goods and bads of the position so there are no unreasonable expectations.

3) I don't count contract work as job hopping. It is not the same thing, and it is usually apparent based on the resume.

4) The type of positions I am hiring for are not project oriented as many posts have assumed. It is departmental management, training, systems administration, and support.

5) I agree that people should be moving on if they are stagnating, but I can't have that be every 1 to 2 years, we simply don't have the resources to deal with that type of turnover in a small company.

about a month and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: How Often Should You Change Jobs?

markdavis Job Hopping (282 comments)

I can tell you now than when I am hiring and looking at resumes and see 1 year, 2 years, 1.5 years, 9 months, I label it is a "job hopper" and throw it in the "least likely to consider" pile. And a CRAPLOAD of the resumes are that way, regardless of the position. Many things come to mind when I see that "hopping"- maybe they are just using each job as a stepping stone to get more money or experience, maybe there is something wrong with them and they can't keep a job, or perhaps they are too easily bored.

As an employer, hiring a new employee is a HUGE amount of time and financial drain on my department. Regardless of what somebody does know or thinks they know, I rarely get full productivity from someone until perhaps a year (sometimes less, sometimes more). If they are looking for such temporary employment, I need them to just look elsewhere.... I need some reasonable return on my investment.

I don't expect people to stay at a job for decades anymore (although there is nothing wrong with that... I have 25 years now with the same company) and I know sometimes a job is just not a good fit. But turnover in a small department can be devastating. If I were to see the same resume with 5 years, 3 years, 6 years, that looks FAR more attractive.

about a month and a half ago

Google Is Offering Free Coding Lessons To Women and Minorities

markdavis Re:define "minority" (376 comments)

Nonsense. "White" is not a dirty word, nor is "Black", they are just terms. But if people are going to describe people's "race" based on a continent/huge region of origin, then "European American" is no different than "Asian American", "African American", "Latin American", etc.

If you are Black, I am White.
If you are Negro, I am Caucasian.
If you are African American, I am European American.

I believe strongly in *EQUALITY*.

about 2 months ago

Google Is Offering Free Coding Lessons To Women and Minorities

markdavis define "minority" (376 comments)

So, since we are into discrimination and punishing...

In my city, European Americans *are* the minority (to African Americans; there are very few of any other race). So would THEY be eligible for free preferential treatment from Google?

Or does "minority" just mean anyone who is not European American?

about 2 months ago

Microsoft Wants You To Trade Your MacBook Air In For a Surface Pro 3

markdavis Desperate for sure (365 comments)

Microsoft must be really desperate.

No thanks.... oh, and no thanks on that Air thing either... love my Nexus 10 tablet. :)

about 2 months ago

Harley-Davidson Unveils Their First Electric Motorcycle

markdavis Re:Dead on arrival (345 comments)

>" That's a Japanese sport touring bike with a big crotch rocket engine. It's reasonable quiet until you get onto the freeway and wind it up."

I *have* a 1.4 liter Japanese sport touring bike with huge performance. And like all other factory Japanese bikes, it is not loud at all, regardless of how much I "wind it up". Why? Because I didn't replace the stock, legal, quality, perfectly appropriate muffler with some loud, annoying aftermarket thing that serves no purpose except to scream "look at me" (or "listen to me, whether you want to or not") and pretend that it does something for performance (which they do not).

Loud is not performance. Loud is not safer. Loud is just annoying.

about 2 months ago

Harley-Davidson Unveils Their First Electric Motorcycle

markdavis Re:Dangerous (345 comments)

But it doesn't need to be *LOUD* to accomplish that. It certainly needs to be no louder than a modern, quiet car.

I wish people with loud vehicles would be ticketed to death... and that especially holds for boom-box cars.

about 2 months ago

Harley-Davidson Unveils Their First Electric Motorcycle

markdavis loud = fast NOT (345 comments)

>"with the electric Harley able to go from 0 to 60 mph in four seconds."

Wow, so that makes it only twice as slow as my old gas Kawasaki. Extreme noise (because people think loud = performance, which it does not) and vibration (along with poor handling and old tech) are Harley trademarks... I can't imagine why they would be interested in producing such a model.

about 2 months ago

House Majority Leader Defeated In Primary

markdavis Re:Democrats voted (932 comments)

>"The party system itself is the issue"


*NOTHING* is really going to change until the voting public actually has some real choices- and that means more candidates and more parties and with a sane voting framework. The current system will simply not allow another other party to win, because people can't vote how they REALLY want to vote....

The solution is that we need to be able to use some type of instant runoff voting system that lets us rank candidates so we can vote our conscience without fear of wasting votes. Once that happens, other parties have a chance and new parties will start forming.

about 2 months ago



Yahoo Changes IM Servers- Incompatible with Pidgin

markdavis markdavis writes  |  more than 5 years ago

markdavis (642305) writes "As of June 17, 2009, many Pidgin users are having trouble connecting to Yahoo! IM accounts because Yahoo! seems to be upgrading their servers to a new version of their software. The new version requires a new authentication method and the latest version of Pidgin does not support this new authentication method. The next version, 2.6.0, will, but it has not yet been released. The only current workaround is to manually select a "pager server" that hasn't been upgraded yet. Some people will not notice this problem until they disconnect. Others have noted that GAIM appears to be unaffected yet Kopete *is* affected."

markdavis markdavis writes  |  more than 7 years ago

markdavis writes "For Linux to really succeed in business, it must have support by vendors for the core financial applications (General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, and Payroll/HR) first.

I am the IT Director for a long-term-care medical facility (400 employees) and found out a few weeks ago that the vendor that supplies our GL, AP, HR, and Payroll software is dropping support for our platform (Linux) in November (after using them for four years). They code in Progress and have decided to convert to a proprietary web GUI (IIS + IE6 + ActiveX) rather than use Progress + Apache + any browser. This means we either abandon Linux or we are in the market for new accounting software modules (I bet you know which is my preferred choice).

All businesses require the core accounting functions, mentioned above. Most companies also require "industry specific" software which is customized for their industry. For example, in healthcare, AR (Accounts Receivable) is VERY different from all other industries. It is 2007, so hopefully the Linux choices for at least the core, non-industry specific financial software have improved since our last search, four years ago.

I have been working on an RFI/RFP (Request for Information/Proposal) and identifying as many possible vendors as possible. I have searched through hundreds of vendors so far and identified 39 possibilities, but could always use more.

Hence the questions: Do any other slashdotters use Linux server AND client (or web browser under Linux) software for financials in a medium or smaller/medium sized organization? If so, what do you use? Do you like it? Problems? Any advice (other than "give it up")?"


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