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Do Non-Technical Managers Add Value?

micron No, they have no passion for software! (249 comments)

I have never met a successful manager of a software development team who did not have a technical background. I have even met a few liberal arts majors who learned to develop software on their own. They had passion, they achieved a technical background on their own.
I have met plenty of unsuccessful software development managers that do not have a technical background.
I waste 6 hours of my day, on average, dealing with non technical managers of technical teams. Much time wasted explaining the technical aspects of their own teams to them so I can get them to do what they should have known to do in the first place.
I do not understand how someone can be passionate about a technology construction, and not be technical. These folks should chase their passions somewhere else.
The best managers that I have had, and that I deal with now, are former EE's, CE's, CS types with development experience that went on into higher management ranks.
You spend more time figuring out strategy, and less time bogged down on trivial matters that are obvious to the greenest of college hires.

about 4 months ago

New York Paper Uses Public Records To Publish Gun-Owner Map

micron Criminal Shopping List (1232 comments)

This is just a great example of responsible journalism. Now the criminals know exactly where to go to get firearms that will never be traced back to them.

about a year ago

Dell's Ubuntu Ultrabook Now On Sale; Costs $50 More Than Windows Version

micron If Dell doesn't make $$$, they don't do it again.. (403 comments)

A more important reason to pay for this SKU is so that the bean counters at Dell see that there is money in selling computers with open source software.
Dell is a spreadsheet run organization. If the SKU doesn't do the volume, or make money, they don't do another version of the SKU.

Getting the Windows version and loading your own build is shooting the movement in the foot.

about a year ago

The Empire In Decline?

micron Have you tried Windows 8? (488 comments)

I see a lot of criticism of Windows 8, but I don't see a lot of folks that have actually tried to use it with a touch screen device.
I have played with the all in ones and touch screen tablets at the Microsoft store. As much as a cringe when a co-worker touches my monitor, I think there is something to this adaption of the tablet interface. I actually like the live data features of the icons, I get information without going into the apps. I get that this is a new take on the old widget concept.

I would not count Microsoft out.

about a year and a half ago

Do Recreational Drugs Help Programmers?

micron Dealing with Management (878 comments)

Recreational drugs serve more as a device to cope with Management than they do for any other aspects of developing code.

about a year and a half ago

NYC To Release Teacher Evaluation Data Over Union Protests

micron Reviews are biased, get over it. (557 comments)

I don't expect public sector reviews to be any less unbiased than they are in the private sector. If your boss doesn't like you / writes a bad review, it is in your best interested to find a boss that does. Public sector employees are not exempt from this workplace reality.

about 2 years ago

Congress Warns NASA About Shortchanging SLS/Orion For Commercial Crew

micron Nothing to worry about.... (170 comments)

.... check out how long it has been since Congress has passed a budget...

more than 2 years ago

Is Climate Change the New Evolution?

micron Two components to this arguement (1055 comments)

The climate science debate has two important components to it. This issue focuses on one component, and that is the anti-science attack on climate science. This has the same source of ignorance and zealotry that has challenged teaching evolution in the classroom. This is a stand of religious based ignorance against science. I have not met anyone who understands the scientific process who challenges the theory of evolution. I am using the scientific definition of theory, which is an operating model, and not the "theory is not a fact" arguement that my religious friends pick up.

The second component to climate science is that there are some great issues of modern science and society that can be taught here. To not teach this in the classroom is missing out on a real opportunity to teach critical thinking that children can get passionate about.

You can teach about data collection, and how this can be a source for controversy.
You can teach about computer modeling and statistical analysis. What these tools are great for, and where they fall short.
Plenty to teach about weather vs. climate, and what the climate means for other systems on the planet.
Lab experiements on basic components of the atmosphere, and why they don't always translate to the actual model of the world.
You can teach the ethics of how to prioritze science against society and economic concerns.

Lots more stuff that I am not getting in to.

My point being, this is another area where zealotry is screwing up a great opportunity to train the next generation of scientists.

more than 2 years ago

Businesses Now Driving "Bring Your Own Device" Trend

micron Legal Issue - can company erase YOUR machine? (232 comments)

There is an interesting legal issue here.. IANAL though..
When the company owns the machine, there is a much clearer line as to who owns the applications and data on that machine. When an employee leaves the company, the company can "brick" the system with minimal problems. They own the hardware, they own the software licenses, and the company probably has a policy about no personal applications or data on the machine.
When the employee owns the machine, the rights of the company to erase data get really murky, fast. Does the employee have to agree to allow the company to inspect their (the employee's owned system) to remove company assets from the system? I don't see how that is going to work. My employer does not have the right to search my car after I quit, even though I called into conference calls in it, and used it for work related trips quite a bit.

I know of several companies that completely prohibit employee owned devices in the workplace for exactly the reasons I mentioned above.

more than 2 years ago

Inside Amazon's Data Centers

micron Re:your calculation is flawed (42 comments)

They pay the per 1,000's price (or close to it), which is not list price. These numbers are published. This is the quantity in which they purchase the processors, so it makes sense. The number you can't see is the negotiated power deals.
The price for a quad processor capable system is still 4x to 10x what a single socket processor costs.

more than 2 years ago

Inside Amazon's Data Centers

micron Re:your calculation is flawed (42 comments)

Your points are exactly why these large data centers are locating in areas with access to cheap power. I used $0.10 as an example, however, that is extremely HIGH when factoring in the deals that large data centers strike with regional power providers that are giving cheap access to hydro power. This is the exact reason folks are not putting large data centers in Europe and the Bay Area. Power has to be cheap for the economics to work out.
Also, read the papers published by Google and Facebook. These guys are pushing PUE below 1.2, whereas a typical data center is 2.0 or higher!

more than 2 years ago

Inside Amazon's Data Centers

micron Re:any reason they don't buy larger servers? (42 comments)

Looking at a 3-5 years TCO, and power costs where these data centers are located, power costs are noise in the equation.
Taking advantage of commodity pricing in the lower tiers is where the savings is at. Example, single socket systems are a lot cheaper on the procs and mainboards than dual sockets. Quad socket processors are significantly more expensive per proc..
At $0.10 per KwH, a 400W server is $350/year to power. Quad socket processors (Intel I7) can be as high as $4500 each!

more than 2 years ago

Requiring Algebra II In High School Gains Momentum

micron Re:Correlation is not causation (490 comments)

Maybe if he had taking Alg II, he could have done it more efficiently, and saved you some money!

about 3 years ago

Nokia, Intel Merge Maemo, Moblin Into MeeGo

micron There can only be one! (162 comments)

How about the handset manufacturers get behind one distro, and make it awesome? All multuple distros, with multiple app stores, and all sorts of crazy interfaces will do is fragment the market. In the end, none of them will succeed!

more than 4 years ago

Does Microsoft Finally Have a Phone Worth Buying?

micron Will it make and receive calls? (427 comments)

This is a serious step 1 here. I have had several Windows Mobile phones in the past. What sold me on the iPhone was that I could hear the phone ring, and actually receive the call. With Windows Mobile, more often than not, I would get the call.. go to answer... phone locks up... reboot phone... call person back. FAIL on the basic UI of the phone. The other features would work well... just often found myself rebooting the phone when it came time to get a call.

more than 4 years ago

GPS-Based System For Driving Tax Being Field Tested

micron Slick way to increase fuel tax! (891 comments)

Currently, the fed tax on fuel is $0.18 (according to the link). Making the tax $.01 to $.02 cents a mile, and assuming that a car can get anywhere from 18 to 45 mpg, this makes the tax range effectively $0.18 to $.90 per gallon!

A few interesting points here:
1) Less fuel efficient cars will be less tax per gallon of gas consumed.
2) I thought there would be no new taxes on folks making less that $250,000 a year!
3) What will the states do to jump on this hidden tax inrease bandwagon?

more than 4 years ago

When Does Powering Down Servers Make Sense?

micron PSU failures, still statistically insignificant (301 comments)

I used to believe this. I have looked at data in my environment. My project reboots servers by cutting the power supply at a managed power strip. Power is brought back to the system by re-energizing the power strip port.

My findings after 5 years of doing this (which many machines experienceing this multiple times per day), no noticable rate of power supply failures over a large installed base (less than 1% of all failures). These are cheap power supplies at that.

Point is, machines are much more capable of surviving the "shock" of a power up/down sequence than your instincts would lead you to believe

more than 5 years ago

EA Hit By Class-Action Suit Over Spore DRM

micron This doesn't work! (538 comments)

I purchased Spore ( The Galactic edition ) from Amazon on September 8th, for overnight delivery.

I could not get it installed. After 11 days of going back and forth with EA tech support, EA informed me that they assigned the software key to someone else on September 7th. EA's solution, "return the software to my place of purchase".

Sounds great, but companies such as EA have told vendors not to take returns on software that is no longer in the shrinkwrap.

I have pointed out to EA that the only viable solution is for them to issue me a new key.

I have heard nothing from EA on this since Saturday.

Maybe it is time to fire up the lawyers. EA took my money, and has not given me a product in exchange.

more than 4 years ago


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