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Comments

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SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon

sandytaru Re:RAID? (254 comments)

I have an external 2TB drive I use for backups. (In addition to DropBox for critical files, although I've been reconsidering that particular service lately.) I unplug it when not in use. So in the same system broadly, but not really. It's a consumer system, so no need to go as silly as having a separate BDR box.

3 days ago
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SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon

sandytaru Re:RAID? (254 comments)

I think with a properly set up system, RAID can speed it up considerably. I prefer the multi drive model for consumer systems though - a small SSD OS and application drive, a fat slow platter drive for storage of large media files, and an even fatter and slower drive for backups. 128GB/1TB/2TB is the system I have on my desktop.

3 days ago
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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

sandytaru Re:bowling for columbine (1581 comments)

I'm an advocate for better gun education. The vast majority of gun injuries in the US are accidents. So-called responsible gun owners forgetting about loaded weapons, not locking them up properly in gun cases, etc. I'm totally okay with elementary school kids learning how to use guns provided all the safety rules are ingrained into them at the same time. We harp about not running with scissors and carrying them point down, but most kids never learn gun basics like ensuring the chamber is empty before fiddling with it.

4 days ago
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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

sandytaru Re:Slippery Slope (1581 comments)

X-acto knives in 911, and they were banned from airplanes. Along with knitting needles and pretty much any sharp metal object longer than an inch.

4 days ago
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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

sandytaru Re:recent spate of mass killings? (1581 comments)

We used to have serial killers, who would take out one victim at a time over a series of months. Now we have one lone crazy kid (usually white and male) shooting up 20 people in what really is just a form of domestic terrorism. There are still singular homicides and shootings every day in cities across the country, but we only hear about the mass murderers.

4 days ago
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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

sandytaru Re:Just another activist judge. (1581 comments)

He hasn't officially been a judge in a while so he's allowed to say what he wants.

4 days ago
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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

sandytaru Re:Missing the point (1581 comments)

Upthread someone said that Switzerland requires that everyone keep track of individual rounds of ammunition. I'd be okay with this in the US.

4 days ago
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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

sandytaru Re:It's crap (1581 comments)

Having grown up on a military base, I'd say yes. Yes it could.

4 days ago
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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

sandytaru Re:Militia, then vs now (1581 comments)

I'd totally fight for my right to openly carry a katana. Actually I think you can openly carry a sheathed sword in most places - just can't take 'em into courtrooms and such.

4 days ago
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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

sandytaru Re:Looks like methodology "canceled out" grass roo (804 comments)

The problem is that many "grass roots" organizations get their funding from big anonymous donors. Or not so anonymous. AARP and NRA charge membership dues, some of which does go to a lobbying arm, but many of the Tea Party folks don't even know where the money is coming from. My in-laws went on a Tea Party rally to Washington thing. Someone else paid for a charter bus to take them there and they had at least 3-4 catered meals along the way. When I inquired about how they were paying for it, my mother-in-law did not know. They basically had their trip subsidized by an unknown person or group in order to get more bodies into DC for photo optics.

4 days ago
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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

sandytaru Re:Are you kidding (804 comments)

We actually have more success on the local level. Our city government where I live has 4-5 parties represented (there's a Green and a Libertarian in addition to the standard Republican and Dem). That's probably because we eliminated party primaries and everyone is in one big runoff from the start, so we're more likely to vote for a person than a party.

Our city is still pretty dysfunctional, but at least the potholes get filled, which is better than 99% of the rest of the country these days.

4 days ago
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How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

sandytaru Even a bestselling novel can have a typo (580 comments)

We're surrounded by tiny errors in the world. Heck, they're even built into our DNA. The vast majority of tiny little errors do no harm, and we don't notice them. We gloss over them, like a typo in a book. It's just that every once in a while, a tiny little error can occur that snowballs into something much greater. Like cancer. Or a massive, accidental security leak.

More eyeballs usually do make bugs more shallow, but only if the eyes know what to look for.

5 days ago
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Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

sandytaru Re:Had to do paper for a few years (385 comments)

Well, since the fake returns are filed with forged W2s and such, you would still owe $3,000, but the scammers probably convinced the IRS that they should get a few hundred dollars back at the minimum.

5 days ago
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Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

sandytaru Had to do paper for a few years (385 comments)

I tried to efile a few years ago and discovered someone had already submitted a tax return under my SSN. So I had to send in all my tax forms and all my proof of identity in paper, along with a statement of fraud or something of the sort. And I had to file paper again the next year since my SSN was blocked from efiling due to the fraud alert.

Finally got the ability to file normally again last year. We don't qualify for the free tax software any more, unfortunately. I think we used the paid version of Turbo Tax.

5 days ago
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Bachelor's Degree: An Unnecessary Path To a Tech Job

sandytaru Re:So it's the "tech industry", so what? (286 comments)

You can tell when someone has done any kind of help desk work, because when confronted by "X isn't working" the first thing they do is inquire as to whether they've rebooted since X was installed. Everything from Active Directory changes to a Windows update can cause junk to break, and rebooting takes five minutes at most.

I did help desk work for three years and I still forget this lesson sometimes since I switched to software dev. DID YOU REBOOT should be stapled on everyone's wall in every office on the planet. Printed next to the help desk number. Engraved into the plastic of your computer monitor.

about a week ago
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Bachelor's Degree: An Unnecessary Path To a Tech Job

sandytaru Re:You don't need a college degree .. (286 comments)

Ability is not the same as training. Every company has its own ecosystem of rules, and even someone who did the same job at another company will take a few months to catch up.

about a week ago
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Bachelor's Degree: An Unnecessary Path To a Tech Job

sandytaru Re:Right: No degree == Bad pay (286 comments)

That's a princely amount anywhere outside of a big city, though.

about a week ago
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Bachelor's Degree: An Unnecessary Path To a Tech Job

sandytaru Re:H1B - a path to a Tech Job (286 comments)

Not necessarily good ones, though. A master's from most schools in India is worth about as much as a master's from Devry in the US.

about a week ago
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Akamai Reissues All SSL Certificates After Admitting Heartbleed Patch Was Faulty

sandytaru Re:Financial Institution Vulnerabilities? (56 comments)

If they're running Verisign, which is still pretty common around the web on large commercial websites, they were not vulnerable to Heartbleed.

about a week ago

Submissions

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Square Enix releases new website for revamped FFXIV

sandytaru sandytaru writes  |  about a year and a half 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 2 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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