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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: What Recliner For a Software Developer?

ranton Re:First World Problems (154 comments)

That is one of the stupids things I have ever heard.
Ofc the distinction is made on wealth and general development, otherwise most people would consider the USA a second or third world country.
North Korea is in many eyes not even third world, but close to fourth. The situation is complicated as it is wealthy enough to have a noticeable military.

You should at least use Google before commenting on something you know nothing about. First/Second/Third world distinctions have nothing to do with wealth. It has to do with whether you align yourself with NATO, the Communist Bloc, or neither. This isn't one of those debates where there are two sides; it is very clear cut.

about a week ago
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Can Our Computers Continue To Get Smaller and More Powerful?

ranton Re:performance never measured in MHz (151 comments)

You must be too young for the Pentum 2 vs. K6-2 debates.

You must be too young to remember that in the late 90s / early 00s, no one other than techies even knew there was competition between Intel and AMD. They just bought their Intel Inside Dells and Gateways.

about a week ago
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Microsoft Surface Drowning?

ranton Re:The problem of Microsoft (337 comments)

If productivity means producing documents in open formats, MS office is not there.

Well it is a good thing for Microsoft that productivity and open formats are barely related at all. Word and Excel are still the defacto standards in the business world, and we still live in a world where if someone can't read your Excel document it is their fault, not yours. And you can always save to text file / csv / pdf if absolutely necessary for some kind of government regulation or long term archiving where you are worried the file format won't still be in use.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Surface Drowning?

ranton Re:The problem of Microsoft (337 comments)

Those people are not the one who are deciding the future in companies and organisations. If websites are built for standards, why should we use internet explorer?

I never said Microsoft doesn't have problems, just that a public perception of them being evil isn't really one of them. The movement away from a Windows monopoly in consumer devices is a huge problem for Microsoft.

If documments are open office or pdf, why should we use MS office?

Because office is still the best productivity suite out there. And when it comes to increasing the productivity of a $40k/year office worker, a hundred dollars a year difference between MS office and a free version should not drive the purchasing decision. I am one of the few Microsoft Windows users in my office (a software consulting firm full of mostly Java developers), but the one thing we all agree on is that Microsoft Office still blows away its competition. Most of my coworkers still use the Mac version of MS Office, even though it is a bastardized version of the real thing. That crippled version is still better than the alternatives. One of the few reasons I still use Windows is because of MS Office.

If you are going to discuss Microsoft's problems, I suggest not bringing up MS Office. Because it is one of the few examples of areas where Microsoft is doing just fine.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Surface Drowning?

ranton Re:The problem of Microsoft (337 comments)

I doubt there are that many people outside of the stereotypical Slashdot demographic who view Microsoft the way you are describing them. Most people I know of know Microsoft as simply the company who makes the software they are familiar with. Apple is far more often thought of as a "closed off" ecosystem than Microsoft.

You are contradicting yourself. The first part is right - many people don't see Microsoft the way that many slashdotters see them. The second part is wrong - most people don't see Apple the way that some slashdotters see them.

I don't see how it is contracting myself by saying that users see Apple this way. It could be wrong, since it is only based on my observations of the non-IT people I know, but it clearly not contradictory.

Most of the anti-Apple sentiment I see comes from a lack of options coming from Apple, since consumers are used to such a variety. They look at the number of Android mobile and Windows desktop devices to choose from and see far less options from Apple. The dislike of Apple has almost nothing to do with their software from my experience, just a lack of hardware options and a perceived Apple tax. I have bought both Apple and Android mobile devices, but by far more Android devices simply because it is more likely the device which fits my needs is going to come from the ecosystem that has the most options.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Surface Drowning?

ranton Re:The problem of Microsoft (337 comments)

By building products that are incompatible with others and refusing to open up Office files, they have implanted themself as the evil company in the mindset of those afffected. Those affected are those that realise that the world is always changing and want to be free to use any product.

I doubt there are that many people outside of the stereotypical Slashdot demographic who view Microsoft the way you are describing them. Most people I know of know Microsoft as simply the company who makes the software they are familiar with. Apple is far more often thought of as a "closed off" ecosystem than Microsoft. As far as other major technology companies go, Google is the only one I can think of that people feel is more "good" than Microsoft, and with privacy concerns starting to spread to the general population this could be changing.

The only thing standing against Microsoft in the eyes of the general public is that most mobile software is available for Apple/Android, not Microsoft. It is the exact same problem Apple/Linux had in the desktop battle of the last decade. Almost no one is making their tablet/phone purchasing decision based on how "evil" the company making the device is.

about two weeks ago
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Algorithm Predicts US Supreme Court Decisions 70% of Time

ranton Algorithm based on bias (177 comments)

I wouldn't be surprised if the primary predictive trait used is simply to check the biases of each judge and then assume they will vote along those biases. Assuming conservative judges will vote conservative and liberal judges will vote liberal should give you a pretty good score right off the bat.

about two weeks ago
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Tesla's Already Shopping For More Office Space

ranton Re:Check out Detroit (100 comments)

>education is too low for just about any high tech work

Really? Places like Huntsville (NASA), Ann Arbor (U. Michigan), Raleigh (IBM), and Austin (Everybody these days) don't have top talent for tech work?

You should go back and read my post to realize I was reinforcing the idea that places such as Austin have more than enough talent for most employer needs. You took one line where I conceded that large parts of each of these states has very low education levels, and read it completely out of context. This level of reading comprehension is exactly what makes employers nervous about hiring in states with poor educational achievement levels.

about two weeks ago
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Tesla's Already Shopping For More Office Space

ranton Re:Check out Detroit (100 comments)

Yeah, these places have laws friendlier to the employers than the employees. So all the employees with skills in demand have moved to places where they can name their prices. People left behind in those places are usually low skilled. When things like fracking or oil well drilling requires skilled labor they get imported from other places at premium prices. I know quite a few oil rig/fracking rig operators living in places like Naperville Il, and work on 4 weeks on 2 weeks off rotations.

Free market is a bitch. You skew the laws favoring employers, employees with skills leave, creating a vicious cycle.

That is why they said: "for an R&D/Skunkworks style office, drawing on local talent is worth the cost". But for tasks where you primarily need competent people, not necessarily the best of the best, these states are often great choices. While each state he mentioned has areas where the education is too low for just about any high tech work, place like Austin are more than sufficient for most employee needs.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: When Is It Better To Modify the ERP vs. Interfacing It?

ranton Re:I agree with the CIO (209 comments)

I always recommend that our clients not rely on their ERP system to take primary control over integrations. A middle layer written in house provides far more control over the process, and helps avoid vendor lock. But vendor lock usually isn't the real problem (since it will still be very hard to switch), it is dealing with upgrades to the ERP.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: When Is It Better To Modify the ERP vs. Interfacing It?

ranton Re:ERP Implementations are like home remodeling (209 comments)

It always takes longer and costs more than anyone ever thought possible.

Although with a home remodeling project it will probably only go 50% over budget, not 500% over budget.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: When Is It Better To Modify the ERP vs. Interfacing It?

ranton Re:Hire More Devs (209 comments)

I agree. If you are spending millions of dollars on your ERP, you should probably have in house developers capable of customizing your system (unless you just mean a couple million over a decade or so). You will probably always need some help from consultants, but a good deal of the work could be done by your own staff. This would likely save quite a bit of money. I work as a consultant on various ERP and CRM systems, and all of our long term clients eventually start to bring the work in house because of costs. Our load goes down as they hire more people, but we usually stay available with support contracts for years.

And the first thing your in house devs should control is the integrations between your ERP and home ground applications. Companies that rely on consultants to handle their integrations become very dependent on those consultants.

There is nothing wrong with having a large number of integrations. If you have a large system, the belief that you can get all business processes into one ERP system is probably just a dream. But getting a firm handle on all of your integrations is an attainable goal. Then you can make more informed decisions on when and how to move functionality into your ERP software. And you can be more comfortable that you are re-implementing that functionality properly.

Disclaimer: My day job is re-engineering the integrations for ERP/CRM systems, so take the importance I give to the integrations with a grain of salt.

about three weeks ago
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Nasty Business: How To Drain Competitors' Google AdWords Budgets

ranton Re:That's why I dropped AdWords (97 comments)

You should have to worry about not being sure. Just look at your conversion rates. While it is hard to identify how many of your sales you would have gotten anyway without AdWords, it is very easy to tell how many of your AdWords customers are actually purchasing anyway. And the last time I worked for an e-commerce site was 2008, I'm pretty confident that their analytic tools have improved since then.

about a month ago
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Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

ranton Re:"Intelligence" is not earned. (160 comments)

The "more and more" refers to an increasing quantity of research, not the magnitude of the link.

about a month ago
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Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

ranton Re:"Intelligence" is not earned. (160 comments)

Actually, that's not right at all. Research shows more & more that intelligence is highly heritable.

What is not true is the classist notion that intelligence is 100% inherited.

He said there is a link between intelligence and environment & experience. He didn't even say it is a strong link. How could you possibly say he is not right at all when you completely agreed with him?

about a month ago
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Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

ranton Re:Should the United States accept more foreigners (377 comments)

Vegetables are cheap in terms of 'pounds per dollar', but not the more relevant 'calories per dollar'.

And there comes the "lack of education" argument for why people are overweight. Looking at 'calories per dollar' is a horrible way to plan a food budget. You should be looking at price per portion not price per calorie. A single portion of broccoli has much less calories than a single portion of Skittles, but not only is the broccoli better for you the extra fiber is probably going to make is just as filling (if not more so).

about a month ago
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Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

ranton Re:Should the United States accept more foreigners (377 comments)

> Then the same incapability to delay gratification lack of employment paying a livable wage that causes poverty also causes obesity.

FTFY.

I was referring to root causes, not the symptoms. The lack of employment paying a livable wage is the effect, not the cause, of other problems in a person's life. It is just about as far from a root cause as you can get.

about a month ago
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Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

ranton Re:Should the United States accept more foreigners (377 comments)

*This*. I am middle class, have all the appliances I could ever want, but since I don't know how to cook, and neither does my wife, we end up eating more frozen dinners or eating out than cooking our own food because we have no idea how, and cookbooks only work when you have more than just the basics.

Which is why I added lack of education to my list. Lack of education doesn't just apply to literature and STEM related fields; it can also apply to more home economic related areas.

about a month ago
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Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

ranton Re:Should the United States accept more foreigners (377 comments)

Go to the meat section of any supermarket. look at the 'healthy, low fat, all beef' hot dogs, for example.

Stop looking at meat. Of course good meat is expensive. But if you are poor, why are you eating much meat at all? Vegetables are much cheaper than meat, and much better for you too.

When people claim good food is expensive always jump on the price of good meat vs "pink slime"-like meat. But they completely miss that a low income diet should have very little meat at all. And this just points towards the low levels of education and inability to delay gratification that I mentioned.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Microsoft Surface 3 Announced

ranton ranton writes  |  about 3 months ago

ranton (36917) writes "Microsoft has just announced the third generation of their Surface tablet. The most notable update is a larger 12 inch screen while still weighing less than the Surface 2. The announcement also went over various software updates to help make the tablet as productive as a laptop or desktop computer. The Surface Pro 3 goes on sale tomorrow starting at $799."

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