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Comments

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NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders

sandytaru Re:cause and effect (766 comments)

Girls were interested when/if they had access. I wasted a LOT of time on my best friend's family computer in the late '80s, often shooing her brother away because we were too engrossed in whatever game. Her father was a programmer for the Army, and we both ended up in computer boot camp where we got introduced to BASIC and Logo.

Neither of us were encouraged or dissuaded away from the computer due to our genders.

4 days ago
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For Game Developers, It's About the Labor of Love

sandytaru Re:Gamer Gate Why ? (164 comments)

Folks like Sarkeesian have been publishing feminist critique of pop culture for years, in their little bubble of academia. She's mostly being punished because nobody outside of the bubble ever knew that PCA is a thing, and she was the first visible target.

about two weeks ago
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Technology Heats Up the Adultery Arms Race

sandytaru Husband uses a kiddie phone (304 comments)

Kiddie phone from Verizon. He is clinging to his 2004 state of the art clamshell phone that is at best a feature phone with no features actually supported any more besides phone calls, calendar, and text messages. In the meantime, I have not one but two Samsung galaxies.

On the one hand, even if I wanted to spy on him, I couldn't. On the other hand, his texts cost him 10 cents each on a grandfathered pre-paid plan, and he certainly can't install or run any kind of app on it. So the few texts he make can be counted in dimes (and he gets grouchy when someone texts him too much as a result) and there's no way to hide them or delete them. I'm not terribly worried either way.

about two weeks ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

sandytaru NIMBYS (566 comments)

We already have a lot of people terrified of nuclear reactors. Finding a site that will accept a new type of reactor will take a lot of time. Plus, creating a permit process for this... lots of red tape.

about two weeks ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

sandytaru Re:A better link for the story (566 comments)

Thanks for that link. It is a bit better for sure.

about two weeks ago
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Statisticians Uncover What Makes For a Stable Marriage

sandytaru Re:At Odds (447 comments)

My wedding cost about $400. $60 of that was the dress I got off the clearance rack. We did JOP and had only family for the ceremony, and followed up with a reception at a favorite Italian that my father in law paid for. (My parents didn't live to see me get married... curse of the youngest child.)

Two of my older sisters had their fairy tail weddings with expensive dresses, catered receptions, and many more guests. Both of them ended in divorce two years later. Husband and I just hit year five.... I think we're the winners here.

about two weeks ago
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Statisticians Uncover What Makes For a Stable Marriage

sandytaru Re:At Odds (447 comments)

I think it's the difference between a $20,000 wedding and a $200,0000 celebrity wedding. You can have 200 people for that 20K price if you are frugal. Whereas if you're blowing $200K on a wedding, there is no frugality involved, regardless of the number of people.

about two weeks ago
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Feces-Filled Capsules Treat Bacterial Infection

sandytaru Re:Why do the pills have to be clear? (135 comments)

In another report I read on this topic, the lead research said he wanted opaque pills but they needed something that could survive the stomach and make it to the long intestines. Those thicker capsules only came in clear. The freezing process lightens the contents and also puts some frost on the outside to make it less obvious...

about two weeks ago
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Feces-Filled Capsules Treat Bacterial Infection

sandytaru Re:It's probably not the best experience of your l (135 comments)

TFA says healthy volunteers. The big improvement of this method is that they can "donate" just once, have their donation frozen, and then have it .... used over the course of a few months. The previous method required a healthy donor the day of the transplant, usually a relative of the recipient.

about two weeks ago
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Scientists Coax Human Embryonic Stem Cells Into Making Insulin

sandytaru Re:seems like good news, but really? (100 comments)

I'd say yes - yes it would. Fire insurance would cover it anyway.

about two weeks ago
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Ubisoft Claims CPU Specs a Limiting Factor In Assassin's Creed Unity On Consoles

sandytaru Re:Hey Ubisoft, maybe you should stop shitting on (338 comments)

As someone pointed out a couple weeks ago in a Win8 thread, today's PCs are now so powerful that even Windows can't slow them down. Now that's impressive!

about two weeks ago
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Complain About Comcast, Get Fired From Your Job

sandytaru Re:Not the first amendment. (742 comments)

Well, it was written at a time when the only organizations big enough to terrorize individuals were the governments. Big corporations are a relatively new bully - at the time the only ones that existed were the big trading companies, and 95% of the landowners who wrote the Constitution never had any dealings with them.

about three weeks ago
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Is It Time To Throw Out the College Application System?

sandytaru Re:Med school has done this, too. (389 comments)

Nope, stayed well away from that. But I've done tech support for hospitals. The doctors were brilliant people who couldn't figure out how to send an email. But they had great bedside manner!

about three weeks ago
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Is It Time To Throw Out the College Application System?

sandytaru Re:Med school has done this, too. (389 comments)

Yeah, med school is one of those places where they WILL reject you for being too much of a smarty pants. They accept based on attitude. They want someone who will have a good patient relationship and not come across as aloof and superior. They want someone who is NOT completely sure of themselves... who will harbor doubts and triple check everything as a result.

about three weeks ago
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Is It Time To Throw Out the College Application System?

sandytaru Re:"Talented C students" (389 comments)

That's when you go and scored 1400+ on the SAT just to prove that a few Cs aren't your total sum worth as a student.

about three weeks ago
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Is It Time To Throw Out the College Application System?

sandytaru Re:so what? (389 comments)

The string of successful Internet apps started by college dropouts says otherwise.

about three weeks ago
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Will Windows 10 Finally Address OS Decay?

sandytaru Re:Win7 has been good for me too (577 comments)

That's what I'm suspecting. I'm on a year old power rig using Windows 8.1, and I haven't noticed any slowdown at all yet. Usually about a year out is when I start debating whether I should reinstall Windows. Haven't felt the need yet at all.

about three weeks ago
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Factory IoT Saves Intel $9 Million

sandytaru Re:Investment? (50 comments)

I RTFA. They didn't go into specifics, but it seems to have been cheap WiFi point communications coupled with thermal sensors. So if a machine was running hotter than expected, they could stop that line and fix the problem before it broke completely and took that line down for a few days. So the "savings" could be what the cost of that line going down previously had been. Or something.

about three weeks ago
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Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time

sandytaru Re:Start menu usage dropped in lieu of what? (269 comments)

I have my most common applications pinned to task bar. I ended up pinning more after Win8 became a thing.

about three weeks ago
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Blizzard Has Canceled Titan, Its Next-gen MMO

sandytaru Re:Warcraft Killed it? (155 comments)

Haven't tried ArchAge myself. Heard mixed things about it from my friends who have. I may look into it, but I don't think it's going to scratch my particular itches.

As for sub fees, the MMO demographic is aging, and for myself and my friends, $12 a month to not have to deal with broke teenagers and buy to win whales is great.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Square Enix releases new website for revamped FFXIV

sandytaru sandytaru writes  |  more than 2 years ago

sandytaru (1158959) writes "Square Enix has released a new website and trailer for version 2.0 of its failed second flagship MMORPG, dubbed FFXIV: A Realm Reborn. The handful of players who still participate in the current version of the game say that the replacement director, Yoshi P, has done great things to improve gameplay and version 2.0 will be essentially a brand new MMO. But when an MMO failed so hard on initial release, will anyone be willing to give it a second chance?"
Link to Original Source
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MetroPC 4G Coverage extended, but at what cost?

sandytaru sandytaru writes  |  more than 2 years ago

sandytaru (1158959) writes "I glanced down at my Samsung Galaxy Indulge this morning and noticed my normal 1X data connection had been replaced by 4G. It seems that MetroPCS held true to the promise their salesman made to me back in September and have rolled out their 4G into the extended metro networks (at least in the Atlanta area, so far.) They hoped to have these networks all up and running by the year's end. However, MetroPCS had a disappointing third quarter due to churn, and the question is whether they're going to see a return on investment at all. "
Link to Original Source

Journals

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How to get me back in the movie theaters

sandytaru sandytaru writes  |  more than 2 years ago

This evening when I was driving home from class, I passed a brand new movie theater that opened on highway 316 between Atlanta and Athens. There were beautiful spotlights dancing in the clouds in the night sky, and I know they've been hyping up this new theater for months.

But for someone like me, there's just no incentive to go see movies. Roger Ebert did a nice piece on getting people back into theaters that was posted a while back on Slashdot, but I've never been a movie person to begin with.

So, movie producers and theater companies alike, here's how to attract a semi-yuppie who hates movies into your hallowed halls:

1. Turn the volume down. The number one reason I avoid movie theaters is because I like my hearing, and your too loud Dolby speakers are determined to destroy it. One out of five Americans has experienced some form of hearing loss, but I am not one of them. If you market a theater as a "quiet" theater with volume carefully tuned to proper levels for the equipment (and better yet, get some audiophile sound in there), I might be more willing to part with my money to spend time in your establishment.

2. Stop trying to be so family friendly. In the aforementioned "quiet" theater please ban all children under the age of 13. The only thing more likely to give me a migraine than a subwoofer set to "jet engine" is a screaming baby.

3. Have a full bar. Let's up that age to 21 and over only and let me get a giant 60 oz beer instead of a 60 oz soda.

4. Have shit I want to watch. I drove over an hour away to watch the Trigun movie in Atlanta, gladly paying $10 for an hour of subtitled Japanese cartoons. When the last ten good movies made were either a numbered Harry Potter installment or something from Disney/Pixar, it speaks volumes of the sorry sorry state of the industry.

5. Stop serving popcorn. The smell makes me want to vomit.

6. Stop with the 3D already. Everyone hates it. We're not going to love it. Just stop.

7. Reduce the prices. If you implement the full bar and 21 and only "quiet" theater as a niche market, you can totally charge a premium on the drinks and simply call the fee to watch the movie a bar "Cover charge." Ten bucks or lower is still my price point, since that's what the DVD will cost me in a month.

8. Advertisements for other movies are okay. Advertisements for non-movie products are commercials. If I wanted to watch commercials, I'd be watching television. (Except I don't watch television either.)

9. Going back to "show shit I want to see" - make movies I'd pay to watch. I'm a science fiction and fantasy fan, and I've been jonesin' for the purported Uglies movie that's been in vaporware land for the last two years. I want to watch it. Show it to me. If you make it, they might actually come...

10. Hire better writers. Good god, really? Also hire better actors. Pretty faces do not good actors make.

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Micromanagement

sandytaru sandytaru writes  |  more than 3 years ago

So one of my former managers just posted this onto Facebook via her Blackberry: "I really love how any instruction people don't like is considered 'micromanagement.' "

The company that former manager works at is IT marketing, and while they are very good at what they do, they are tremendously guilty of micromanagement. In retrospect, I was miserable there, and it was a good thing I quit when I did. They never utilized my true talents, and now I hope they regret pushing me away by not promoting me. I'm much happier in my current position, where I can write to my heart's content.

So what is micromanagement? It's having WinVNC installed on every terminal so that you can spy on employees. I'm still terrified of that little white tray icon turning black. Micromanagement is demanding 150 phone calls in a single day. It's expecting the impossible of employees and them punishing them when they fail to deliver.

It's also forcing employees into identical roles and expecting maximum performance. That just doesn't happen. People can achieve the same goal through different ways, and as long as they are meeting the goal, why demand that they change the way they are doing things to suit your viewpoint?

I really liked my former manager. She was a sweet lady and I don't mean to bash her. She has a thankless job dealing with less than stellar employees (because all the smart ones quit for greener pastures, like I did.) But she seems to have bought into the corporate lie - that the "best practices" are the only way to do things. What I've learned is that in the real world, "best practices" don't account for budgets, customers, and human nature.

One of our clients has a dying server. Totally dying. We're keeping it alive by pointing an actual fan - yes, a literal fan on it. We have told them many times that they need to replace the damn thing already. The client says no, they don't have the funds for it. We reminded them that we told them last year that the end of life cycle was coming up and they'd need to start budgeting for a replacement. They won't be moved. One of these days, the server is going to die for good, and I just hope their backups managed to catch correctly the day before.

This ties into my last job because it was marketing - convincing those stubborn people to move. Unfortunately, if the actual IT department can't convince the client to buy new servers, then marketing isn't going to help. And yet, the old company expects these sort of miracles on a daily basis.

Management in general needs to realize that equipment is not something you buy once, but that you buy and then feed continually and then eventually replace. That's the "best practice." And former manager specifically needs to remember that the management in general doesn't think rationally, doesn't budget, and certainly doesn't want to fork over another $5,000 for a fresh server deployment.

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