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Ask Slashdot: Secure DropBox Alternative For a Small Business?

rutledjw Re:You are kidding right? (274 comments)

Well stated! I was wondering the same thing... What defense contractor doesn't have budget for basic storage needs? For critical data with ITAR restrictions, I cannot imagine using an outside source.

This sounds like a contractor who's in over their head or a management chain that doesn't get it...

about a year and a half ago

Software Engineering Is a Dead-End Career, Says Bloomberg

rutledjw Re:I'll bet it's hours. (738 comments)

True, but when I was a hiring manager (do contract work now), I preferred older workers. They had a few scars - less likely to make mistakes and get excited when things started to go pear shaped, I was more able to let them work independently on projects without worrying about their decisions, more stable, more consistent.

No doubt, they had to keep their skills sharp. But who doesn't? I also enforced vacation (look, you have X weeks, take it and leave the f'ing Blackberry at home) and tried to limit overtime - with varied success. I told them (and fellow managers), I wanted 8-9 hours of focused work a day over 12 hours of tired and mistake making. I also had a team that was very good. Amazing what happens when you treat a team with a little dignity. I wonder when that concept fell out of the MBA handbooks?

more than 2 years ago

Apple Support Forums Suggest Malware Explosion

rutledjw Agreed, it's a matter of economics (455 comments)

Where do the virus writers get the most bang for their buck? Well, now that Mac has a large enough user base, they may become a target. Frankly, one of the only ways I see avoiding that is if the number of un-patched Windows machines remains high enough to keep attention there.

The real test will be once there really *IS* an explosion. What will it look like and how will Apple and other companies be able to respond to that issue? If there is a slow response, or any serious denial we'll end up with a breeding ground for a far more serious issue. While there will always be a degree of cat-and-mouse, if they can contain damage early on, that will be helpful. Further, will it be easier to "train" Mac users to NOT do stupid things? (open up a pic of "naked Jessica", etc) I was able to "train" my Dad, after the 452,485,745 time he got a virus, I made him use the geek squad (and pay for it) to clean his computer. Guess what? Never got another of THOSE calls! :)

Maybe it's time to start setting up Mac users without "Admin" rights, make greater use of "sudo" with a password. From a practical day-to-day use perspective , I don't know how that would work with OSX, but since it's BSD-based I'd assume that it shouldn't be overly difficult

more than 3 years ago

What To Do About CC License Violations?

rutledjw Re:Send them a bill (437 comments)

It's the only option really. I've worked with several large corps (and not all were soulless hives of wretched existence) and these guys WILL NOT BUDGE unless a legal hammer comes down. Frankly, most people in the companies aren't paid to make any kind of real decisions. So when you send an e-mail, some guy gets it, forwards the e-mail and/or brings it up in a meeting, and you wanna know the very first thing they hear:

what did legal say?

Legal doesn't HAVE an opinion because they weren't contacted and if this is forwarded, they'll say "don't to anything (including respond most likely) until we get a cease-and-desist or similar". It's the unfortunate mentality of these organizations. That being said, I believe that if they are using your images as you describe for any kind of advertising it would be worth your time to go after them. ALTHOUGH: I do NOT know what kind of damages (if any) you should receive since they were released under the CC

One option might be to contact EFF. Either they, or possibly lawyers or law professors (with students who need experience!) might be interested in helping you out. Good luck!

more than 4 years ago

When Telemarketers Harass Telecoms Companies

rutledjw Re:Sounds like a good time (234 comments)

Either that or file a complaint with the FCC. You won't get damages, but the FCC takes that seriously and goes after them. I had to hunt one down, the guy had a couple different actual numbers, and would lie to people who tracked him down saying: "Someone is spoofing my number!". While spoofing numbers is fairly straightforward, I'd rather turn it over to the FCC and let them sort it out.

Anyway, a month or so later (NOT BAD for a government agency) I got a notice that they had been fined $2000 based on my complaint. Granted, I didn't get any of that, but it took less time.

I've heard of another guy from CA doing what Sparr0 describes, and he had an in-depth description of what to do. In the end, these jerks really can't defend themselves and often have to pay up. If they don't you might be able to turn it over to a collections agency

more than 4 years ago

Paperless Tickets Flourish Despite 'Grandma Problem'

rutledjw Re:Limited Options (425 comments)


For the larger shows you have the "scalpers" who usually use scripts to corner large sections of seats and then re-sell at absurd rates. There have been PLENTY of stories regarding abuse in this regard. Ticketmaster is hardly known for being fan-friendly, but this is a better alternative to the present system.

In the end, they'll have to create some kind of way to transfer tickets. I can't see you 10X scenario though, that's hypothetical at best. But for now, they're trying to eliminate abuse by "brokers". I think this *IS* a good think, even if TM are a bunch of turkeys.

As far as that goes, it doesn't affect me. I absolutely will NOT pay large amounts of money for another concert in a stadium. The smaller venues are far better. Even so, this is a good step from a company with a pretty lousy reputation

more than 4 years ago

In UK, Computer Science Graduates the Least Employable

rutledjw MHO (349 comments)

I'm pretty amazed by this if you want the truth. It takes a LONG time for us to find qualified people (and we're in the US), and by long I mean 3-9 months depending on the skillset.

Personally, I was getting 2-4 pings a month from recruiters for resumes that were 2+ years old. If these kids have applicable skills, which I can't believe they don't, then I'd think they would be very attractive.

About the only reason I can see is lack of experience and companies are leery of making the longer-term investment to train these kids in the present economic environment...

more than 4 years ago

VLC 1.1 Forced To Drop Shoutcast Due To AOL Anti-OSS Provision

rutledjw Sad (315 comments)

It's kinda sad, though, IMHO. I was never a big fan of AOL, but they were one of the early pioneers. Now, they're just kind of sad.

They can't keep subscribers, and of the few products they do have, they alienate the people who would use them??? I mean, does the term "assisted suicide" apply to a company?

more than 4 years ago

Artificial Cornea To Reach Patients This Year

rutledjw But for someone with keratoconus (94 comments)

This could be AWESOME! I mean, I can't really complain as a whole. 20 years ago I'd be looking at a corneal transplant, now I can wear gas permeable lenses for the rest of my life sans transplant.

Things like laser eye correction were not a possibility, I wonder if they could attach a "shaped" cornea to help my vision?

Either way, very cool stuff...

more than 4 years ago

Synthetic Genome Drives Bacterial Cell

rutledjw You forgot the quote (174 comments)

God creates dinosaurs.
God destroys dinosaurs.
God creates man.
Man destroys God.
Man creates dinosaurs...

more than 4 years ago

Too Many College Graduates?

rutledjw Re:Ok, but (1138 comments)

The article is of dubious value, but you have some interesting points. I don't think we suffer from an "Overabundance of qualified, educated people". I'm risking getting blasted here, BUT, I think we have an overabundance of mediocre people with a degree. The difference is that we're producing fewer and fewer people with degrees in science and technology fields and more people with degrees which have little direct applicability in the workforce. Further, we're "forcing" people into 4 year programs who have more potential in vocational-type programs.

And I'm NOT being condescending regarding vocational programs. There's talent, skill, and dedication required for those jobs which I do NOT possess. I am a menace with any kind of carpentry tool and when doing anything an electrician probably should have touched live wires (120v, thankfully) more often than I'd like to remember.

But I absolutely agree with your point that we're falling behind in the US. We've been content to let other people do the "hard work" and encouraged many of our smartest and most talented people to pursue "quick-and-easy" money in areas like the financial industry to the ultimate detriment of other industries. This is anecdotal to a degree, but as a hiring manager, it was VERY difficult to find people of reasonable intelligence and talent. A friend who's a recruiter runs into similar problems finding programmers in SF for the rates companies are willing to pay. Yes, the bay area is expensive, but the salaries offered were reasonable for what I considered mid-tier and lower-end senior folks. The company was very flexible (including allowing varying degrees of remote work). Still he has a tremendous ongoing challenge to find, and place (before they get snatched) good people

The bottom line is that we need to encourage people to get education in areas where they can succeed AND which are in demand by the market. If someone wants to get a degree in a field not in demand, that's their business, but I don't think merely "getting a degree" should be the end goal nor encouraged.

more than 4 years ago

Rough Justice For Terry Childs

rutledjw Re:Before everybody gets their shorts all twisted (418 comments)

You have to return the property of your former employer to the employer. That's not just physical items, but can include IP as needed to do your job. That's been in every severance agreement I've had the displeasure to give or receive. Passwords are in there.

Not having seen the agreement, the password is owned by SF, not this admin. He had no right to withhold it; almost certainly he had an obligation as a part of his severance to provide it.

more than 4 years ago

Rough Justice For Terry Childs

rutledjw Re:Before everybody gets their shorts all twisted (418 comments)

I agree with this. I'm pretty surprised so many people are jumping to this guy's defense based on some pretty off and esoteric arguments regarding details they know nothing about, e.g. "not knowing if the boss can have the password", etc.

Not giving it to his boss even after the city demanded it was just being a dick.

And that's the end of it, Mayor Gavin had to make a PERSONAL visit to get the password. Is HE authorized to have the password? I'm sure he made good use of it - gave it to the IT staff...

more than 4 years ago

A Public Funded "Microsoft Shop?"

rutledjw Re:hmm... (490 comments)

Good comment. Additionally, it *COULD*, MIGHT, be an attempt by a CIO/CTO/whatever to get rid of non-approved software they feel might be a security risk. With the increase in penetrations of private networks on the rise (or at least being highlighted more in the press), it would make sense.

While I agree with the sentiment that MS may not be the best choice, I can sympathize with the goal. Also, if members of the IT staff are criticizing or trashing technology decisions, that will only make life harder (and sometimes unnecessarily so) for management. Users bitch about IT anyway, so I can see wanting to get ahead of that.

Finally, I know a few folks who worked in IT at hospitals, their budgets were nil. There may not be $$$ available to support different OSs for various functions. Just another perspective. I don't think such a draconian approach is a good one, I can understand the sentiment.

Hypocrisy Disclaimer: My current employer is Windows-ONLY on their network, but I have my Mac working just fine, so I'm glad they've looked the other way - thus far... [shrug] I suppose it's easier to "see their perspective" if I don't have to live with it.

more than 4 years ago

Using Classical Music As a Form of Social Control

rutledjw Re:A Clockwork Orange (721 comments)

This is an interesting point, and hardly limited to the UK. In the US concern over crime in schools has led to numerous "zero tolerance" laws which cast far too wide a net often "catching" people for whom the law was never intended.

Or, another but no less harmful side-effect (IMHO), is throwing the book at an at-risk kid who would be better served by more attentive staff and counseling. I realize fully it's easy to make such statements when schools are often overwhelmed and often underfunded (although I *WAS* surprised to learn many bay-area teachers make ~$100K) and have no ability to provide such services.

Still, when funds are available I think some kind of intervention program would be more beneficial than "zero-tolerance" or being hassled by police as described by the parent post. Yes, there will be cases where an individual is incorrigible, but I think too many good apples are thrown out with the bad.

more than 4 years ago

Analyst Estimates AT&T Needs To Spend $5B To Catch Up

rutledjw What??? (187 comments)

Really? How in the world did you find a Sprint plan costing more that AT&T using the iPhone? Especially when the Sprint "everything" plan is $99/month? That's quite a feat...

You can say Sprint's customer service sucks, and yes, lots of folks had issues there. But as far as cost of plans go, I'm by NO means on the high end AT&T plan, and I'm nowhere near my Sprint bills...

about 5 years ago

Analyst Estimates AT&T Needs To Spend $5B To Catch Up

rutledjw Hear hear! (187 comments)

My service was always good on them as well. The issue came when I was laid off and when I started contracting I needed my own smart phone and coincidentally my personal phone died. At the time I was less than impressed with Sprint's offerings (about 1.5 years ago). And this is a personal thing - I hate Blackberry's...

Anyway, I bit the bullet and bought an iPhone. In the Financial District in downtown SF I couldn't make a call consistently much less anything else! I was livid.

To make matters worse, my work gave me a Blackberry. A SPRINT Blackberry, and it had better coverage in SF, Denver, and DC. sigh...Unreal.

I still can't believe I pay MORE to AT&T for this honor...

about 5 years ago

Oracle Responds To MySQL Purchase Concerns

rutledjw Re:Makes sense (156 comments)

And as for the founder's (and the founder's buddy referenced in the article) concerns about the future of the product then he shouldn't have sold the damn thing. So sorry, you sold your rights to it. Fork it and start over if you really care that much.

This is an interesting point. It IS open source and can be forked. How much work in improving the DB occurs within Sun (and soon Oracle) presently? Aside from ignoring new features which are introduced to the open source version, how much damage will ignoring the code base really cause?

I would assume (possibly dangerous) that most MySQL users are savvy enough to use a different flavor of the MySQL code base if the one they're currently on gets stale. I don't see Oracle introducing iterative improvements for MySQL and certainly little or nothing which will be under an open license. I CAN see them layering other features on top which don't become a part of the code base. Not sure why they would pursue such a path unless they want to poke at SQL Server some...

more than 5 years ago

Air Force Cyber Command General Answers Slashdot Questions

rutledjw AGREED (543 comments)

But I think your second point is most important - they tried. Assuming (hoping?) they really are reading feedback we can hope they will adjust their filters accordingly. being vague on questions such as roles and responsibilities between government agencies will only create a general sense on unease in the general population.

Furthermore, we should remember as a group of large agencies, there's bound to be politicking and may not be the level or coordination desired. Of some of this vague area may reflect reality, they don't really know where lines actually exist...

more than 6 years ago



AT&T lowers the bar on customer service

rutledjw rutledjw writes  |  more than 5 years ago

rutledjw writes "AT&T has apparently started allowing customers to use transaction networks other than Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and AMEX, how nice! The issue, which they don't disclose, is this will charge the customer an ATM fee (and most likely save AT&T money as they won't pay a transaction fee). The box to use the alternate networks is checked by default and AT&T will only say: contact your bank for information on what this means to you. They MUST know they're passing these charges downstream. How do we raise awareness on this? Especially with the well published service issues they've been having?"


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