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By BobArtner - TechRepublic ·
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If technologists are so smart, why can't they remember their own history?

by UncleGeorge In reply to If technologists are so s ...

<p>A similar question was recently asked about a local tribute to the famous new commentator Edward R. Murrow, who grew up in Bow, Washington.  There is no such tribute.  Murrow, you may recall, was insturmental in the collapse of Joe McArthy, the ultra-right pal of then little-known opportunist Richard M. Nixon.  His radio show performing that feat was later recalled, "...as the week broadcasting recaptured it soul."</p>
<p>It is not to the advantage of consumerist America to reward education in any real way.  Training, maybe, education, no.  How else could the sheep be targeted by herd?  Now we have the added attraction of the crazed zealot bunch pushing "creationism"?  Unlikely the educated would jump on that "save-your-soul-my-way-only" bandwagon.</p>
<p>There's a story about the farmer spending so much time weighing the pig that the pig starved to death.  Federal programs seem fixated on measurment.  Nowhere has there been  acknowledgement that we need to go not 30:1 but 1:1 if necessary to catch up to other nation's children and their culture of education.</p>
<p>"Educated people do not good draftees make."  The value of education to the normal man has been pitifully degraded since WWII, and certainly since Viet Nam.  While "The Greatest Generation" veterans received books, tuition, room and board for college, no such endowment has ever be granted since.</p>
<p>Maybe Ed Murrow broadcast's effect forever changed America.  Maybe that was the point when the chioce was made to make education secondary to social engineering.  Maybe when learned Americans heard, "Senator, have you no shame?", they reasoned that enough was, and had been, enought, and that the cheap, sensationalist, tactics of the fringe rightist McArthy were so transparant and shallow as to disgust even those who shared some of his conservative views.</p>
<p>The Greatest Generation can't really be blamed for forgetting its prodegy.  Who knew?  In the '60 we all thought Mars colonization was only a step away, television still held the empty promise of educating the masses, and those days of the rabble burning the library and skinning the curator alive with oyster shells seemed a long time ago.  </p>
<p>Shuckey -- as that event was, it once again (and, again, and again) points out that education must be for the masses, not the elite.  The idea that we can keep the populance ignorent ignores the fact that our system of govenment still lets them vote.  And why have to think when you vote, those issues can be soooo complex.  Let's just put some football jock who thumps the Bible loudest in there and party 'til the rapture!  Maybe we can burn a few libraries in the process.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Want more?  Ed Bennet, former Dept. of Education director -- Republican.  Unlike other directors, asking for twice what's necessary to get what's needed, he asks for less.  What were the end results of that?  Flowery talk, but no money, no education.  Works that way in other conservitive effirts,  Wbat it to work?  Give it money.  Education is no different.</p>
<p>"Nations have recently been led to borrow billions for war;<br />no nation has ever borrowed largely for education...<br />no nation is rich enough to pay for both war and civilization.<br />We must make our choice; we cannot have both." -- Abraham Flexner</p>
<p>Higher education needs to be easily accessible and if it is to be<br />really efficient open on the basis of ability and earnestness.<br />A serious and general social loss is also incurred if superior<br />opportunities are lavished upon the stupid or indolent, for no<br />better reason than they are the right sort."   --A. Flexner</p>
<p>Live and learn.</p>
<p>Best, UncleG</p>

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podcasting - next big thing or next niche thing?

by BobArtner - TechRepublic In reply to Bob's Blog

<p>Technology Review has an interesting perspective on Apple's announcement of <a href="http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/05/wo/wo_052605hellweg.asp">podcasting support</a> in the next release of iTunes.</p>
<p>It's hard to disagree with this:</p><pclass=msoplaintext>the <p market. music online legal the of percent 70 upward owns iTunes, store, company?s more, What?s share. market 80 with player, digital leading is iPod Apple?s stylish. hardware commodity and understand to people for easy technology made has it because years 10 last in succeeded Apple else, anything than More treatment.? ?Apple need dire headlines, its all movement, podcasting>

<p><em>It's the ease-of-use attribute that many believe will boost the podcasting community. </em></p>
<p><em>"Podcasts today are still too difficult to bring to your device," says Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, a technology analysis firm. "Now, Apple is bringing the point-and-click approach to downloading podcasts</em></p>
<p>David Berlind over at ZDNet is our resident podcasting wizard. Interestingly, he devotes not a few blog entries to the mechanics of podcasting:</p>
<ul>
<li><a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Berlind/?p=45">How should MP3 files be tagged for podcasting</a>?</li>
<li><a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Berlind/?p=47">Chambers' keynote podcast: how I did it</a></li>
<li><a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Berlind/?p=46">Can iRiver's H320 be used to record podcasts?</a></li></ul>
<p>If a technology requires such high-powered support, it clearly isn't ready for the big-time yet. Maybe Apple's support will turn the corner.</p>

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Why do big software projects fail?

by BobArtner - TechRepublic In reply to Bob's Blog

<p>There is a great piece in the Washington Post today recapping the FBI's failed attempt to move to an <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/05/AR2005060501213.html">electronic case management system</a>. The project, called the Virtual Case File, was finally stopped this past March, after the bureau spent $170 million trying to implement it. Many of the problems with Virtual Case File will be painfully familiar to anyone who's worked on either side of a custom development project:</p>
<ul>
<li><strong>Scope Creep</strong>: "SAIC officials have strongly defended their role in developing the software and have complained about frequent FBI management turnover and design changes -- including 36 to the contract alone."</li>
<li><strong>Bad Money After Good</strong>: "By December, when an outside consultant had recommended scrapping the software in favor of commercial products, the FBI nonetheless moved ahead with the pilot program run out of its New Orleans field office. Several officials interviewed by the House staff questioned the decision to proceed with the expensive pilot test of a product that was headed for the trash. "On no planet I know does it make sense" to spend $17 million on such an effort, one official said. Others contended that "it was done for political reasons because the FBI believed it had to deliver something," according to the report."</li>
<li><strong>Poor Communication</strong>: "More problems -- this time "technical and functional deficiencies" -- became apparent in December 2003, when SAIC delivered its first batch of software to the FBI. By March 2004, the FBI had "identified 400 problems but did not share them with SAIC because it did not want the contractor to think these were the only issues remaining," the report says."</li></ul>
<p>So it's not just money. Even with an almost limitless budget, a poorly defined project, with constantly changing requirements, poor oversight and inadequate communication between the developers and the business unit is bound to fail.</p>
<p> </p>

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Why do big software projects fail?

by debuggist Staff In reply to Why do big software proje ...

<h4>Accoutability. Who was accountable for this project?</h4>
<br />
<h5>"...Zalmai Azmi -- the FBI's new information technology chief and
the fourth person to occupy the position during the VCF project..."</h5>
<h4>That should say a lot. Not one name from SAIC is mentioned. Without
accountability (and the requisite leadership), projects like this will
always fail.</h4>
<br />

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TechRepublic Blogs from TechEd

by BobArtner - TechRepublic In reply to Bob's Blog

<p>Just a reminder that we have a number of people blogging from TechEd, which starts today. We're asking TechRepublic bloggers to use teh TechEd2005 tag in their posts.</p>
<p>Here is a li<a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5261-1-0.html?query=teched2005">st of blog posts about TechEd </a>- more to come in the hours and days ahead.</p>

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TechRepublic Blogs from TechEd

by Vetch_101 In reply to TechRepublic Blogs from T ...

Hi,<br />
<br />
John Sheesley mentioned in todays Tech Pro Guild message that he'd been to a session
entitled, "Tips and Tricks to Running Windows with Least Privilege".<br />
<br />
Could you post an update on the options they recommended - I've been
working hard to find a happy medium between security and functionality
within a corporate environment...<br />
<br />
Many thanks,<br />
<br />
Joe<br />

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TR photos from TechEd

by BobArtner - TechRepublic In reply to Bob's Blog

<p>Jason Hiner is one of the folks who are down at TechEd.</p>
<p>He's taken a bunch of <a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/2300-10881-5737188.html">photos along with commentary from the event</a>.</p>
<p>You gotta love those bean bag chairs...</p>

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Back from Vacation...

by BobArtner - TechRepublic In reply to Bob's Blog

<p>I'm back from vacation, and currently waiting for Outlook to try and process 60MB of unread messages from the past week and a half.</p>
<p>I'm curious: what do you do on vacation: stay pretty wired in to email, etc. while you're out to make the return easier, or truly try to get away?</p>
<p>I've tried both, and I'm not sure there is a right answer.</p>

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RSS vs. Email: Who wins?

by BobArtner - TechRepublic In reply to Bob's Blog

<p>If you've looked at the new features we've introduced here on TechRepublic lately, you can see that we're aggressively supporting RSS feeds where ever possible. This is only natural, as most of us are enthusiastic consumers of RSS feeds, for both professional and personal use.</p>
<p>Our sister site, News.com has even created a web-based RSS service that is becoming increasingly popular, called <a href="http://www.newsburst.com">Newsburst</a>.</p>
<p>However, much as I use and enjoy the benefits of RSS feeds, I'm not sure I agree with those that predict RSS readers will eventually eliminate the need for email newsletters. </p>
<p>To my mind, email newsletters have some advantages:</p>
<ul>
<li>People already have an inbox - do they want to constantly check an RSS reader and their inbox?</li>
<li>Spammers will follow to RSS as soon as it becomes profitable for them to do so</li>
<li>Reading three email newsletters takes less time than monitoring three different RSS feeds.</li>
<li>Ditto 10 newsletters vs. 10 RSS feeds</li>
<li>Ditto 100 newsletters vs...well, you get the idea</li>
<li>Reverse chronological listing of posts works for a blog, but not for a newsletter, where listing is in order of perceived importance to reader</li>
<li>HTML newsletters, for all their problems, offer more formatting options</li></ul>
<p>What do you think?</p>
<p>(BTW, I've listed some resources on this topic - click on my Links tab</p>
<p> </p>

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RSS vs. Email: Who wins?

by dalej In reply to RSS vs. Email: Who wins?

<p>THe fact of the matter is most newsletter publishers are happy to get a 20% open rate with their newsletter email lists. It is not a question as to which is better: email or RSS. Email as a conduit for delivering newsletters is dead. Spam has killed it. There might be all sorts of reasons why email is better than RSS, but it is irrelevant if email does not work.</p>
<p>Newsletter publishers must change and adapt to the new realities of spam filters and firewall blockages. To assist them, tools like <a href="http://www.NewslettersByRSS.com">http://www.NewslettersByRSS.com</a> are cropping up. This is a "bridge" product allowing newsletter publishers to continue to post their new issues by email - but creates an RSS feed of these new issues for those readers who prefer RSS.</p>
<p>And for publishers who want to immediately show their readers the value of their content, use <a href="http://www.WebRSSReader.com">http://www.WebRSSReader.com</a> - a browser based RSS reader with the traditinal "3-panel" look. It is a pne-click method of seeing whether or not an RSS feed is worth subscribing to.</p>
<p>Dale Janssen</p>
<p>ToolButton Inc.</p>
<p> </p>

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