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Comments

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The Great IT Hiring He-Said / She-Said

superflippy Re:There's a clue shortage on the hirEE side (574 comments)

I recently updated my LinkedIn settings to say "don't contact me about job opportunities." I like my current job and don't expect to find a better deal anywhere else (decent salary, great coworkers, WFH).

As soon as I put up the "don't contact me" marker, the number of pings I get from recruiters doubled. Still offering the same depressing-sounding jobs with long commutes. I guess saying you're not interested piques their interest.

about two weeks ago
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New Digital Currency Bases Value On Reputation

superflippy Re:That's Ripple (100 comments)

I was thinking it sounded like whuffie.

about 4 months ago
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Mt. Fuji Volcano In 'Critical State' After Quakes

superflippy Mt. Miyajima? (151 comments)

Mt. Fuji is more well known, but I wonder how all this seismic activity is affecting Mt. Miyajima in the southern part of Japan? It's another active volcano, one I visited in the 90's. It was actively smoking at the time, and surrounded by lava beds.

about 4 months ago
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Mozilla Introduces Browser-Based WebIDE

superflippy Re:Genius! (132 comments)

There are many arguments against adding the IDE, but I don't agree with this one. People said the same thing when Google came out with Gmail. "We've already got hotmail and yahoo and a million other free email services. Why do we need another?" If this tool is good enough or simple enough to use that it becomes ubiquitous, then it doesn't matter what's already out there.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should I Get Google Glass?

superflippy Yes, if you're a tinkerer (421 comments)

I got one several months ago because I wanted to try building apps for it. If you absolutely have to play around with the bleeding edge of technology, if you are willing to spend that kind of money on a device so that you can be the one who invents what it's used for, then go for it. Otherwise, it's not worth it.

about 9 months ago
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Cable Lobbyist Tom Wheeler Confirmed As New FCC Chief

superflippy Alternatives? (242 comments)

Time to start working on the darknet in earnest.

1 year,21 days
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Choose Frameworks That Will Survive?

superflippy Re:All roads may run ill... (227 comments)

I worked on a project this year to completely rewrite a company's signature application from the ground up. Objectively, you'd think that's something you never, ever want to have to do. But, having done it, I think planning a complete overhaul & rewrite into the product's lifecycle is probably a good idea.

Since the application was first written about a decade ago many, many features have been added with each upgrade. The scope and customer base have expanded. And programming technology has changed hugely during that time.

Rewriting the entire application is a massive effort, sure. But to truly modernize and streamline it, to get rid of the legacy cruft and take advantage of new tools that didn't exist 10 years ago, I think it's worth it. I also think it would've been wise to do this sooner than we did (though that wasn't possible in this case for business reasons).

So maybe when you're choosing a framework, don't worry about whether it'll be the right solution forever. Plan to reevaluate your decision every 3-5 years and change frameworks if something better comes along. And, yes, absolutely adopt the MVC model, because then you don't need to replace every part of your application if one becomes obsolete.

1 year,28 days
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First Ever Public Tasting of Lab-Grown Cultured Beef Burger

superflippy Re:You would think. . . (303 comments)

I made the mistake of eating a hamburger in London in 2001. I was on a long business trip and just wanted something quick to eat, so I ducked into a McDonalds.

Little did I know that, thanks to the outbreak of Mad Cow Disease, this simple act would make me ineligible to become a blood donor for years to come.

about a year ago
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When Metadata Analytics Goes Awry

superflippy Re:Unfortunately true... (88 comments)

It's also amusing the ads and pages FB recommends to me. They seem to think I'm a black latina (I'm white, non-Hispanic).

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Prove an IT Manager Is Incompetent?

superflippy Re:Circular logic (331 comments)

Yes, it is absolutely possible to measure project manager performance objectively. I work for a very large software company and we have to do this. The record keeping is a bit of a pain for those of us "in the trenches," but with such large projects, I can completely understand why the managers need these kinds of metrics to make sure everything's on track.

If they don't take your recommendation simply to fire or reorganize him as the parent states, recommend implementing a project tracking system. Some examples are Pivotal and Base Camp. Or possibly their current bug-tracking system has some kind of time & budget tracking built in. But this manager needs to regularly report status to his boss. It's just a one-line email or a progress graph once a week, but it will show where they are in relation to where they planned to be on the project.

That should give the manager's boss a really good example of how this guy works. And honestly, most project managers I've known actually like using these kinds of metrics to follow a project's progress. They like seeing objectively how far along the new features are, how many bugs have been found, and whether the project is on schedule or not. That's why they became project managers in the first place!

about a year and a half ago
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NWS Announces Big Computer Upgrade

superflippy It's a good day to be a physical oceanographer (161 comments)

Not that the 5 people in that field have trouble getting jobs anyway. But if you like math and the ocean, it's a good field to go into.

about a year and a half ago
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Compared to its non-Super version, I most prefer ...

superflippy Obviously (288 comments)

I prefer myself to the regular Flippy.

about a year and a half ago
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Injectable Nanoparticles Maintain Normal Blood-sugar Levels For Up To 10 Days

superflippy Re:Both (121 comments)

Another thing to keep in mind is that since Type 1 is genetic, you've got it from birth, which means that there are little kids who have to manage their insulin levels. A weekly treatment could be much, MUCH easier for diabetic kids & their parents to deal with, and less invasive than an insulin pump.

about a year and a half ago
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Developers May Be Getting 50% of Their Documentation From Stack Overflow

superflippy Lacking Examples (418 comments)

Stack Overflow can't always solve all problems. Many times I have looked for an example of how some piece of Sencha's poorly-documented ExtJs framework works, only to be directed to a Stack Overflow page where someone posted a question looking for the same thing.

I know it can be dull and time-consuming to create examples and documentation, but, really, just linking to the source code does not really explain what a particular class or config option does. If you want programmers to get the most out of your framework, you have to show what can be done with it. If you don't have time to document a feature, why did you bother including it in the first place?

about a year and a half ago
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California Cancels $208 Million IT Overhaul Halfway Through

superflippy Re:Paper. Lots of Paper. (185 comments)

d) Changes. The requirements are often so written in very complex language that noone really understands it, and then they come along with changes every 2 months which require 3 months of recoding because they didn't fully understand what they were asking for to start with.

With federal government projects, and I assume with state projects as well, there are all kinds of specific guidelines and rules that have to be followed. If these aren't stated explicitly in the proposal, they cause cost overruns. For example: Only union employees are allowed to move servers, equipment must be sourced from certain suppliers, certain technologies such as bluetooth aren't allowed in some government locations... The unwritten requirements can go on and on.

about 2 years ago
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Stay Home When You're Sick!

superflippy Re:Incorrect conclusions (670 comments)

Those with children below the age of 12 get an additional 12 (I think) days of leave to be home with sick child.

What a wonderful policy! At many workplaces in the US, it's the younger employees who haven't earned a lot of vacation time yet who have kids under 12. That's another reason they go to work sick: they want to save their sick days in case they need to stay home with a sick child.

about 2 years ago
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Stay Home When You're Sick!

superflippy Re:Come to work or else (670 comments)

They switched to this combined PTO system at my husband's workplace shortly before he was hired. They used to just let people take as many sick days as they needed, but people started abusing the system. Since so many of the employees there have been working there for 10+ years and have tons of vacation time and their kids are all grown, they didn't mind. Most of them had more PTO banked than they could use.

But new hires, like my husband and most of the people in his group, get screwed. They get 10 days PTO for the first 4 years & that has to account for vacation & sick days. What ends up happening is that the younger folks go to work sick, especially in the beginning of the year, because they have to save up the sick & vacation days for if they really, really need them.

For example, my husband went into work sick today because the entire workplace has to take a mandatory holiday from Dec. 24 through Jan. 2. If you have PTO to use on those days, great. If not, too bad! And if you have customers who need work done during that time? Too bad! We are a large, inflexible company! We do not accommodate the petty requests of individual departments, no matter how profitable they are!

about 2 years ago
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Making a Slashdot Omelet

superflippy A beverage to go with that omelet (101 comments)

I don't know about a "Slashdot omelet," but I've been enjoying this recipe for Slashdot chai for years now. I haven't been able to find the original comment I copied it from, but to that long-lost Slashdotter who posted the recipe in the first place, thanks for the many cups of spicy chai I've enjoyed.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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superflippy superflippy writes  |  about 8 years ago

superflippy (442879) writes "Normally I think about technology and copyright as it applies to music or movies, not fine art. This article in the Post and Courier describes problems Charleston's local artists are having with their pantings being copied for profit without permission. Technology makes it easy for their images to be copied and placed on mugs, t-shirts, etc. This often happens outside the U.S., making it hard for the artists to follow up and prosecute copyright violations.

Artists and those copying them have different views on the morality of copying the art:
Anthony Pompa owns a Montreal company that makes canvas prints from the images on Carter's posters. "I love Eva Carter's work. I really do," he said. "And this is such a proper way of displaying her work. We're just doing her a favor. We're making her look great."

Carter, who operates a gallery on East Bay Street, views the works as a clear infringement on her copyrights and a threat to her livelihood. But the practice continues just the same.
"

Journals

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Eschew obfuscation

superflippy superflippy writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Someone twittered about the version of Firefox with an "orthographic corrector." I wondered why this was so great, and whether this was something I needed. So I went to the page they linked to and still didn't get information about this feature beyond the fact that it existed. So I looked up "orthographic" on Google: Of or pertaining to orthography, or right spelling.

That's right, orthographic corrector = spellcheck.

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The new XServe is here!

superflippy superflippy writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Our new XServe is up and running. It has many pretty blinkenlights, making it more attractive as well as a zillion times faster than our old stack o' Dells.

Now the only question is, what do we do with the old servers? They're not really fit for reuse, so it's been suggested that we destroy them interestingly and post the video on YouTube.

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Local artists face international copyright issues

superflippy superflippy writes  |  about 8 years ago

Normally I think about technology and copyright as it applies to music or movies, not fine art. This article in the Post and Courier describes problems Charleston's local artists are having with their pantings being copied for profit without permission. Technology makes it easy for their images to be copied and placed on mugs, t-shirts, etc. This often happens outside the U.S., making it hard for the artists to follow up and prosecute copyright violations.

Artists and those copying them have different views on the morality of copying the art:

Anthony Pompa owns a Montreal company that makes canvas prints from the images on Carter's posters. "I love Eva Carter's work. I really do," he said. "And this is such a proper way of displaying her work. We're just doing her a favor. We're making her look great."

Carter, who operates a gallery on East Bay Street, views the works as a clear infringement on her copyrights and a threat to her livelihood. But the practice continues just the same.

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Taking a moment to brag

superflippy superflippy writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I had a page where I needed to swap images and image maps using javascript. This caused IE to crash. Apparently, others have also struggled with this issue.

But I managed to persevere! Instead of just changing attribute values, I used replaceChild() to replace the entire image element with a new one. I then set the attributes of the new element to be whatever I need them to be.

It works, IE no longer crashes, and our site is just about ready to go live.

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locations of criminals

superflippy superflippy writes  |  more than 8 years ago

It's been a while since I've posted things I've found in our web site server logs, but this was one search term I just had to comment on.

Can't you just picture some guy saying, "There's too much crime around here! Why aren't the police doing anything about it? They need to round up all the criminals and put them in jail." And he's going to help them do it, by using Google to find the "locations of criminals".

Sorry, but our web site isn't going to be much help in that endeavor.

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Wish I could have a drink

superflippy superflippy writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I just built a 9-page web site from scratch in two days for very demanding clients. That includes graphics, QA, etc. The site went live 5 minutes ago, 15 minutes ahead of deadline.

And now, I am done with work and going to the beach. If I could drink, I would have a margarita. I've been hiding out in academia for the last 5 years and this is the first site for regular business clients I've built in all that time (i.e. not government or university). I had forgotten how stressful Fridays could be.

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Here, fishy fishy!

superflippy superflippy writes  |  more than 9 years ago

What's kind of scary about this cartoon is that I've actually had that conversation about the fish at work, only we were serious. One of the things we've been talking about doing is working with state agencies and commercial fisheries to get better data to monitor the fish populations off the coast of NC and SC. In a meeting where we were talking about this someone brought up the issue that this could cause overfishing.

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Rolling Back to a Previous Version in CVS

superflippy superflippy writes  |  more than 9 years ago I'm making a note of this so I'll remember how to do it next time:

  1. Select the file you want to roll back. Right-click, select "Graph selection" (or hit Ctrl+G)
  2. Right-click on revision you want to remove. Select "Admin options > Delete revisions"
  3. Click around to get out of graph view. You'll notice the file is still at the wrong version. Right-click on the file, select "Update," check "Get the clean copy," and it will revert back to the correct version.

I tried the command-line options I found via a Google search, but that just generated weird syntax errors in CVS. This way actually worked.

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Raking in the Buck

superflippy superflippy writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Have you seen the stories about bloggers making piles of money with Google AdSense? Back in March, I decided to see what would happen if I put text ads on my blog, which nobody reads and which is rarely updated. Today I am happy to report that my ad revenue has finally passed the $1 mark! W00t!

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Blogging Software Syndication Formats

superflippy superflippy writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I don't like to blog about blogging on my blog, so I'm putting this information here for my own reference.

I want to start a podcast. I have the idea and the content all lined up, but originally I was going to wait to get started until Odeo came out. From everything I've heard and seen, Odeo will make podcasting much easier than it is now. But the beta testers told me two months ago that it would only be about two weeks. I've now decided to stop waiting and just use regular blogging software jury-rigged for podcasting plus a bunch of helper apps like everyone else seems to do.

The essential thing that makes a podcast a podcast is the enclosure tag in the RSS 2.0 feed. So I took a look at the most popular blogging software to see what kinds of feeds they offer. This information was surprisingly hard to find out, so this may not all be 100% correct, but it's the best I could do:

  • Blogger - Atom
  • Blosxom - RSS 1.0
  • Moveable Type - Atom, RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0
  • Radio Userland - RSS 2.0
  • TypePad - Atom, RSS 1.0
  • WordPress - RSS 2.0

Of course, any feed can be converted to any other feed format using feedburner. But I think it might be nice to have an RSS 2.0 feed automatically - I'm going to have to jump through enough hoops as it is to set up this podcast.

So far, I'm not sure whose software to use: Moveable Type (too complicated & expensive), Radio Userland (not customizeable enough), or WordPress (generates incorrectly formatted RSS 2.0). I've used Blogger for my other blogs, and like the fact that it's simple, customizeable, and doesn't require me to install crap on my server. But am I willing to go through the hassle of generating then hand-editing an RSS feed every time I post?

I'm going to finish getting my content organized, and should have a software decision within a week.

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Adobe + Macromedia = :(

superflippy superflippy writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I am not happy to hear that Adobe is buying Macromedia. Over the last several years I have used more and more Macromedia software and less and less Adobe.

Macromedia's software is better-suited to the purposes for which I use it. Fireworks was made to create web graphics; inside it, raster and vector formats work side by side in harmony. Photoshop is bloated and has tacked-on web and vector features that are really hard to understand and use.

But most importantly, Macromedia wants my business. I can skip every other upgrade cycle and still get an upgrade discount on their products. Lately, though, I've bought both Studio MX upgrades because the price was so reasonable.

Adobe acts like I should be grateful they let me buy their precious software. If I skip one of the yearly Photoshop upgrades, I have to pay full price. And there was no discount for people who owned older Adobe products who wanted to upgrade to Creative Studio. So Adobe CS would cost me $1000 while Studio MX cost me $400 with Macromedia's generous upgrade policy. This is why I'm still using Photoshop 6.0.

I really wish this were happening the other way around. Macromedia buying Adobe could only be a good thing. I'm afraid Adobe is going to take away all the software I like best and replace it with expensive bloatware.

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One ERP to Rule Them All

superflippy superflippy writes  |  more than 9 years ago

The University where I work has just announced a major IT initiative. It sounds like the plan is to buy a commercial ERP system to replace all the software from various vendors and homegrown systems the University has been using to manage its information so far.

I've helped create some of those homegrown systems, so I may be a little biased, but this sounds like a disaster in the making. Wouldn't it make more sense to just have a couple of consultants determine which of the software we're already using people like best and then make that the standard? I'm a little concerned about how well a top-down mega-system implementation is going to go over.

Information sharing is important, and it sounds like that's a major consideration in the ERP plan. But it's been my experience that information can be shared between disparate systems if people are willing to share it (the politics of info sharing is more difficult than the technology).

Maybe I've heard too many news stories of major software implementations gone wrong. Anyone have any stories of something like this going well and saving the company/university thousands of dollars?

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Going to the Ball

superflippy superflippy writes  |  more than 9 years ago

In the past, I've just read about it, but this year I'm finally going to SXSW Interactive myself. I hope to learn a few things and meet interesting people.

If nothing else, it will be nice to be around other people who have jobs similar to mine, to talk shop with people who have different perspectives.

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OS X - Windows Networking Problem Solved!

superflippy superflippy writes  |  more than 8 years ago

For a while now, I've been having trouble connecting to the Windows fileserver here at work with my iBook. I thought that some change made to the Windows server was to blame, but it turns out that it's Panther 10.3.3 that's the problem.

When I tried to use the Finder to access servers in my workgroup, I'd click on a server alias, get a login box, and then get the message "The alias 'X' could not be opened because the original item could not be found." Searching on the error message with Google brought me to this page, which explains the problem and gives a solution.

Now I'm back on the intranet and able to use the iBook productively again!

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Giving the Gift of Tech Support

superflippy superflippy writes  |  more than 9 years ago

It's time to go home for Christmas, and time for the annual overhaul of my relatives' computers. Used to be that it was just my mom's ancient Mac that needed an annual going over to make sure it could lurch along for another year. My husband, Mac genius that he is, always handled that.

Then my mom got a nifty new iMac at work which she brought home over Christmas break for a tune-up and Q&A session as well. Not long after, my dad got a Dell laptop so he could work from home. My grandfather also got a Dell. Since George doesn't do Windows and my brother doesn't do tech support, I ended up supporting those by default.

So I'm heading home with a CD loaded with goodies: Windows XP SP2 (just in case), Ad-aware, Spybot, Firefox, and Bruce Schneier's recent article on PC security. (Grandpa's internet connection is glacial, so I don't want to make him download anything more than necessary.) Dad's laptop is going to be a breeze, but Grandpa's desktop is going to be a challenge. Who knows what junk has accumulated in there since last year?

I'm happy to do it, though, if it means that Grandpa is still willing to use his computer. Technological progress always comes at a price.

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