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Ask Slashdot: Best Phone Apps?

odoketa For Android (167 comments)

BeyondPod has been my podcast app of choice.
MyTracks is a hiking program that will generate files that google and apps like Lightroom can use. I use it to add GPS info to my photographs, or to tell me how far I hiked. Or both.
I like Orbot with Firefox and Twitter. I don't really need to route everything over TOR, but it makes me feel warm and fuzzy when I do.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Minimum Programming Competence In Order To Get a Job?

odoketa Re:Key is non-programming skills (466 comments)

This. I rarely give coding tests when hiring - a quick check to see if you can at least comprehend the basics. I'd love to do more, but frankly our coding requirements aren't that high, and your ability to interact with your colleagues in a rational way is more important. A jerk is far more of a problem in the office than a mediocre coder.

about 8 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Intelligently Moving From IT Into Management?

odoketa delegation is never easy (125 comments)

The new guy will never be as good as you are. That's just how it is. He'll make mistakes, he won't take things seriously enough, etc. etc.

As the part-owner of the company, you're just going to care more. That's OK. It's your job to take the future of the business seriously. His job is to keep the servers up and running. He should be good at that, and take that seriously. It's not his job to be you.

If you don't turn it loose, they'll quit. Any self-respecting professional will. Micromanagement makes people stabby. Don't micromanage. Do set expectations - realistic ones, and do hold them to it. But don't do the job they were hired to do. Show them the ropes and turn them loose. As for the passwords etc., as someone else noted, if you're the only one who knows those, you need to work on your disaster plan, because that should never happen. You could blow a blood vessel in your brain reading these comments and then who is going to manage the servers?

The fact is that management isn't IT, and IT isn't management. You're changing jobs, and you need to let the old one go.

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: When Is a Better Career Opportunity Worth a Pay Cut?

odoketa Follow your heart (263 comments)

(Sorry - the subject is a joke brought on by people warning you not to read posts that tell you to do this)

Maybe the money is really bad. Maybe they're ripping you off. Maybe you have a family to feed. Maybe you have a car payment. Or a house payment. Maybe for some other reason you just really need the money. In that case stay exactly where you are.

Otherwise you should move - money is a pointless thing to hold out for. The average family of four makes 50k in the US today. I expect this pays fine compared to that. Be realistic, be cautious, but go where it's interesting. Wasting your life in a boring job is silly.

about a year ago

GPUs Dropping Dead In 2011 MacBook Pro Models

odoketa Interesting (359 comments)

We have about 30 of these machines, and have noticed a higher than expected failure rate, specifically on the gpu. We've been waiting for an official announcement, but since we have AppleCare haven't been bothered. There is very little question in my mind there's an issue, and I'm finding it interesting and revealing to watch how this plays out.

1 year,9 days

Secret New UAS Shows Stealth, Efficiency Advances

odoketa UAS? (87 comments)

Is there a reason we're not calling this a drone? The use of 'UAS' makes me feel like I'm reading propaganda.

about a year ago

Healthcare.gov Official Resigns, Website Still a Disaster

odoketa Re:As an outsider. (559 comments)

"We all follow US politics. It's just so entertaining - like professional wrestling, but with slightly less violence."

Presumably excepting the guns and military interventions?

about a year ago

Healthcare.gov Official Resigns, Website Still a Disaster

odoketa Re:As an outsider. (559 comments)

You're confusing "lose their insurance" with "have their insurance changed to not screw them when they actually need their insurance"


about a year ago

Report Claims a Third of FOIA Requests To the NYPD Go Unanswered

odoketa Re:Wrong Subject (65 comments)

I'm pretty sure if the law says 'must respond to all properly filed requests', then yes they are.

This type of counterargument may have a long and storied history, but it's still crap. If the law says X, then you are required to follow the law. Even if you don't like it.

And for God's sake - they're the ones who are supposed to enforce the law! What does it say about the NYPD when they think they can pick and choose which laws are appropriate, or which parts of the law they have to follow?

about a year ago

Seeking Fifth Amendment Defenders

odoketa government (768 comments)

Recently a high ranking us gov. official plead the 5th during a particularly complex trial that was part fishing expedition.

Now that I have more experience working in government, I realized I had a new interpretation of her actions that were not immediately 'she did it, but doesn't want to admit it'.

Every day officials are asked to make an awful lot of decisions, based on limited information. Some of them are no doubt corrupt, but many are trying to do the job to the best of their ability. But they are human, with biases and foibles and sometimes just plain oops moments.

In the case of this trial, it was high profile, and it was slanted just enough (as I recall) that the people on the other side of the table would have been very happy to find any misconduct, of any kind.

More than likely, at some point in her career, she did something that was not, strictly speaking, completely legal. I don't think it's possible to avoid it, given the size of the bureaucracy and the rules governing it.

In this case, the 'MAY incriminate me' becomes just that - 'I know what I did, and I did the best that I could, but frankly, maybe something in there wasn't strictly in line with every one of the 10.8 bajillion rules.'

This could (I'm not saying does in every case, but could) prevent some rabbit hole/witch hunt situation that just doesn't benefit anyone.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: How Important Is Advanced Math In a CS Degree?

odoketa Re:Think About It This Way (656 comments)

I don't know your situation, so I can't comment on life choices, etc. What I can say is that the person who made the comment you responded to probably isn't making a value judgment, just stating a fact.

Hiring managers have very little information on which to base a very important decision. Hiring people is easy. Firing people isn't. And getting stuck with someone who is mediocre can screw your organization for years to come. So you extrapolate - a LOT. You generalize - a LOT. And then you cross your fingers and hope the person who shows up to the face-to-face interview is as good as their resume said they were. And then you cross your fingers again and hope the employee you hired is as good as the person at the interview said s/he was.

It is common to see hundreds of resumes come in for a good job. If you give someone a quick shorthand that lets them winnow that pile down quickly, they're going to take it.

Does that mean you weren't the best candidate? Nope. But it does mean you need to write one hell of a resume to overcome the default, because otherwise you're just not going to get past the first cut.

And to the OP: the math may or may not be related (it's always hard to say where life will take you after), but if you figure out how to motivate yourself to do things you don't want to do, and do them well, you'll have a leg up on an awful lot of people.

about a year and a half ago

Main US Weather Satellite Fails As Hurricane Season Looms

odoketa Re:They saw this coming for ages... (235 comments)

Holy cow - the best? Really? Despite a foreign policy indistinguishable from Bush? I voted for the man, gave money to his campaign,etc. and even I can recognize a mixed record. There have certainly been some successes - I expect Obamacare will become another strong safety net, for example - but 'best ever'? C'mon!

about a year and a half ago

HP Releases Open webOS 1.0

odoketa Re:Why? (51 comments)

You may be right. On the other hand, a system that works on modest hardware, that has a solid interface (I have always thought WebOS was the best of the phone user interfaces, conceptually) and that is, like Android, open source, has the potential to fill a very useful niche.

more than 2 years ago

Blackboard Buys Moodlerooms and Netspot

odoketa Re:Non-issue (95 comments)

Sort of true, but not really.

If I recall correctly, in addition to commercial support, MoodleRooms also contributed back to the code base. I don't know the percentage of improvements that came from them, or from NetSpot, but I'd bet they were solid components if someone was willing to pay to have them written. And there's all the improvements related to running Moodle as an enterprise app, as opposed to on an old 486 in the back closet, which is often how many installations start out.

If Blackboard's plan is to harm Moodle, they could do worse than taking out some of the key development partners - over time, simply stop contributing. It's slow, but they can't kill the product all at once anyway. So they could collect revenue for a while, and at the same time take development resources away from the community. Eventually the customers decide to move, because the product no longer supports (shiny new thing), and look! they already have a relationship with Blackboard!

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Most Efficient, Worthwhile Charity?

odoketa Re:Doing your research (570 comments)

If you're lucky, you might be able to donate both globally and locally - the above post references Heifer Int'l, which is HQ'd 30 miles from my house. So I can simultaneously fight poverty far away, and ensure a local employer keeps being a local employer. YMMV, but it's worth thinking about.

more than 3 years ago

Pirate Party Wins Seat In Berlin

odoketa Re:First... (241 comments)

Now talking like a pirate will involve phrases like 'tax relief'...

Though in some ways I suppose it always has....

more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do You File Paper Documents At Home?

odoketa Re:Keep them? (371 comments)

I would point out that much of the recent craziness around mortgages has revolved around the fact that the banks misplaced, misaligned, or outright faked documents. Keeping a copy of the big stuff is important, because more than likely, if it's big, then someone has incentive to pretend it doesn't exist. If the only copy is the one being provided by folks who will lose money depending on what that document says, you may be in trouble.

Marriage and insurance docs fall in this same arena. Things get lost or destroyed sometimes. For example, my original marriage records exist on a small island nation. One solid tsunami, and they're gone. When I turn up 20 years later, noone's going to know or care who I am.

more than 3 years ago

Video Appliance For a Large Library On a Network?

odoketa Me, too (516 comments)

I always buy the lowest level refurb mac mini I can find (paying $300 for an extra 100GB of disk strikes me as insane), and they do a great job. Lower power use, remote control, etc. etc.

more than 4 years ago

Truth Or Dare — What Is the Best US Cell Company?

odoketa Re:the maps lie (395 comments)

Gavron makes an excellent point - I recently got a Nexus One with T-Mobile, and on the map I had solid service at home and at work. When the phone arrived I found a very different reality - roaming everywhere. Don't trust the maps - ask users - when I mentioned T-Mobile to my colleagues at work (too late!) they all knew it didn't work in our area. I could have saved myself a lot of time just by asking a local.

about 5 years ago

BD+ Resealed Once Again

odoketa Re:The summary is missing something... (460 comments)

>I'd wager that Blu-Ray is the last physical format for home video that we ever see.

Agreed - as people become more comfortable with the idea of having their 'library' as a digital object, the physical media will, I expect, go away.

> However, there will always be a small minority of people who want a physical copy and that's probably always going to be Blu-Ray.

This, on the other hand, I seriously doubt. Even if all the holographic storage doesn't pan out, something will be the next big thing. Unless 'always' is defined as 'for the next ten years or so'.

more than 5 years ago



When should we ditch our platform?

odoketa odoketa writes  |  more than 6 years ago

odoketa writes "My organization recently had to replace our web developer. It took us an extremely long time to find someone with the necessary skill set. I don't know if this is because of the platform we are running (which I will leave anonymous), or simply the fates conspiring against us. It's easy to assume that languages or platforms are popular based on buzz, but the rubber hits the road when you have to hire someone to maintain that code. How are folks out there determining when they've backed the wrong horse, and getting back on track?"

Microsoft releases Vista SP1 to users

odoketa odoketa writes  |  about 7 years ago

odoketa (1040340) writes "I was surprised to see an update waiting for me when I checked windows update this evening. One update weighing in at 200MB could only mean one thing, and checking the details, sure enough, it was Service Pack 1. According to the Overview of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 article on technet, there's a whole lot of 'improved reliability' and 'increased compatibility' waiting for people on the other side of the update process."

odoketa odoketa writes  |  more than 7 years ago

odoketa writes "Mozilla's Thunderbird mail client is now directing users to the version 2 release. Unfortunately, it is currently then automagically redirecting them back to the home page. But any second now...."


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