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Comments

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Coffee Naps Better For Alertness Than Coffee Or Naps Alone

sandytaru Re:20 minute nap? (105 comments)

Have you talked to your eye doctor about the weekly/monthly lenses? I only have to take mine out once a week, and I throw them away for a fresh pair every month.

5 hours ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

sandytaru Re:Uno, Scrabble, Apples to Apples (367 comments)

Again, scale. There are very few party games that can accommodate twenty people and still make everyone feel included.

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

sandytaru Uno, Scrabble, Apples to Apples (367 comments)

Uno for long time friends who probably won't end up hating each other. Scrabble for a small group of newer friends. Apples to Apples for larger gatherings, since it can scale up to accommodate teams.

yesterday
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Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

sandytaru Re:Her Videos Are Shit (1168 comments)

They actually made me think a bit, though. I too thought it was funny as heck that you could beat up the hookers in GTA and get your money back, but that's because I recognize that the GTA franchise is all about doing things that would be illegal or outright immoral in real life. But I'm a mentally healthy, socially well adjusted (mostly) adult, and I recognize that video games are not meant to be an instruction manual for life. Someone who is mentally ill, younger, or un-educated might not recognize that nuance as well.

yesterday
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ACM Blames the PC For Driving Women Away From Computer Science

sandytaru Re:So... (329 comments)

The problem is that if it wasn't for PCs, I'd have never gotten into IT. My 19-year-old female self realized that if I couldn't repair my own PC I'd be dependent on other people for the rest of my life every time something went wrong. (Like I am with my car *cough*) My video card blowing out is what started me down the rabbit hole to begin with.

4 days ago
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Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

sandytaru Re:So... what does that mean? (441 comments)

Most local schools are funded primarily at the county or state level, not the federal level. The tax that supplies our district's funding is our property taxes. So they got a double whammy with the foreclosure crisis - property values and thus taxes went down, and there were fewer homeowners paying taxes at all.

about a week ago
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Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

sandytaru Re:well, I for one... (441 comments)

I wouldn't mind doing this, but I would like to eat too.

about a week ago
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Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

sandytaru Re:So... what does that mean? (441 comments)

It depends on the school and location. Some public schools in the US are great. Most are mediocre. Some are terrible. Same thing applies to our universities - some are great, most are average, and the rest are for-profit.

about a week ago
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Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

sandytaru Re:That's why slashdot is against tech immigration (441 comments)

There's also the fact that a lot of foreign applicants completely fabricate their credentials, with the full buy-in from the institutions that churned out their degrees. So while there will be some applicants who graduated from top tier schools, there will also be a lot who graduated from the equivalent of DeVry who have fantastic resumes that are full of BS. And you won't find that out until long after you've hired him.

I wonder if this practice is also influencing the "requirements bloating" that happens in HR departments. Fake resumes get turned in that have all these fabulous sounding things, so they plop them into the job requirements - if some resumes have them, that means some applicants should have them too! Next thing you know they want someone with 10 years experience with Ruby on Rails.

about a week ago
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Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

sandytaru Re:Not exactly endearing you to the public (441 comments)

Even if the accent isn't a problem, sometimes cultural biases can make communication rough. I once spent a two hour long meeting going in circles with someone who'd lived in the US for a decade now and spoke nearly flawless English, but who entirely failed to grasp the concept of what we were supposed to be discussing. We needed X, he assumed we needed Y, and it was only at the end that we finally convinced him to give us the X we'd asked for in the beginning.

about a week ago
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

sandytaru Re:Defeats the purpose (232 comments)

Where did I say I was documenting problems? We've got a ticketing system for that. (Which is also going to send a dozen email blasts per incident.) I was talking about plans and project status updates. Some things won't require immediate fixes, but we still want to make sure everyone is aware it's coming up.

about two weeks ago
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

sandytaru Re:Ticketing tools rely on (232 comments)

I just don't bother reading my work email if I'm on vacation. If it's a serious enough problem they can call me on the work phone.

about two weeks ago
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

sandytaru Re:Defeats the purpose (232 comments)

They aren't things I expect them to handle when they get back. It's more along the lines of "X broke while you were gone. We did Y to fix it. Here's the status on Y." Otherwise, they're going to encounter Y a month from now and go "wtf is this Y thing?" and we'll have to explain that Y happened while they were skiing in the Swiss Alps but we didn't bother CCing them on the plans for it.

about two weeks ago
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

sandytaru Defeats the purpose (232 comments)

Email's strength is that it is asynchronous. I send CC emails to people that I know are not available because I want them to read it when they get back, so they aren't totally clueless as to what happened while they were out scuba diving or whatever.

about two weeks ago
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Involuntary Eye Movement May Provide Definitive Diagnosis of ADHD

sandytaru Re:I don't know what they're talking about (200 comments)

I actually have to do just that a lot of the time. Also, music helps a bunch - background noise that isn't random allows me to keep my mind on the task at hand instead of bouncing all over the place.

We also a problem of celebrating the ability to multi-task as an adult, and yet getting on the case of any child who exhibits those abilities because they're not "focused" enough.

about two weeks ago
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Involuntary Eye Movement May Provide Definitive Diagnosis of ADHD

sandytaru I don't know what they're talking about (200 comments)

I can stay focused just fine (*flicks eyes to where Outlook just refreshed*) and concentrate for long periods of time (*glances outside - cute squirrel!*) and I can assure you my eyes stay glued firmly to the screen. (*twitches and changes tabs because the title bar just changed on one*)

about two weeks ago
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Is Remote Instruction the Future of College?

sandytaru Re:Not cheap, won't happen (81 comments)

It also ignores the real reason many students opt for online only classes, which is asynchronous learning. Prof answers emails in the morning, goes to a committee meeting. One student eats lunch at work and does the homework during the rbeak. Another student starts during the afternoon while her baby is asleep. Yet another one doesn't get to dig into the assignment until after he's returned from working in an area with no Internet access. Prof can answer all their emails and questions in the evening, grades assignments, and the cycle repeats day after day.

about two weeks ago
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Is Remote Instruction the Future of College?

sandytaru Re:Getting it very wrong (81 comments)

The problem is that isn't taught as part of most project management courses - sure, the theory is, but the actual HOW is something you have to learn on your own. And that's the hard part.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Black Tuesday Patches Bring Blue Screens of Death

sandytaru Re:Phew. (179 comments)

Microsoft won't and can't test all of the hundreds of thousands of applications out there. It's not a problem with the OS, it's a problem with the in-house apps that interaction with the OS or whatever component of it that Microsoft updated. For example, my company is finally going to Office 2013, and I've spent some quality time this week verifying that an application we build that reads Word doc templates and spits them out as PDFs didn't choke on Word 2013. There's no way Microsoft could have tested that application, because maybe 15 computers in the world have it installed.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Black Tuesday Patches Bring Blue Screens of Death

sandytaru Re:Phew. (179 comments)

Yup, back when I did the patches for about a thousand computers, I'd always roll them out sloooooowly. First my test system, then my system, then the rest of my office (we know not to panic), then our smallest clients, and then snowballing up to a final massive push to 500 or so systems at our biggest client just before the next round of patches came out. If there was ever a problem anywhere along the line, we could halt before too much damage happened.

about two weeks 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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