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Comment: Re:I've got news for you... (Score 1) 267

by Acer500 (#33193200) Attached to: Inside the Mechanical Turk Sweatshop
Thank you for your suggestion.

I'm seriously contemplating taking that plunge, I've been afraid to leave the safety net of the easy 8 to 6 job, though

Uruguay has laws that promote staying in a steady job - if I got fired, I'd get 3 months's salary as compensation plus 6 months of unemployment benefits, against being in the local IRS equivalent's target if you freelance online.

Still, I do believe I'd make way more on Elance or similar. Thanks again, I just have to gather the nerve (and some small savings).

Comment: Re:3 Pounds per hour? (Score 1) 267

by Acer500 (#33191980) Attached to: Inside the Mechanical Turk Sweatshop

Er... yeah, seriously... you're being taken for a ride. Minimum wage is nearly double that and a legal requirement...(snip) If you are genuinely working for a large and well known corporation, time to name and shame them.

He's in Romania, similar situation to mine I guess. Here in Uruguay, all the major corps (and McDonalds of course) pay way less than 3 pounds sterling per hour. McDonalds in particular pays about 80 pounds a month.

Comment: Re:Guess Wal-mart's not so bad after all (Score 1) 267

by Acer500 (#33191856) Attached to: Inside the Mechanical Turk Sweatshop

In case you haven't read the FAQ, /. is a US centric website.

Hi Mr. Coward, I know you've been around forever, but I've been posting here since 2005 :) - I think I picked that up :)

I was just trying to point out (somewhat sarcastically) to those that wonder "who would sign up for this, when Wal-mart is available", that no, it's NOT available for most of us ("us" being the 6 billion and a half of non-US citizens).

Comment: Re:I've got news for you... (Score 1) 267

by Acer500 (#33191768) Attached to: Inside the Mechanical Turk Sweatshop

what can you buy for £3 in Uruguay?

Let's see - assuming 3 pounds is roughly 100 Uruguayan Pesos:

* 10 loaves of bread
* 50 cigarettes (2 packs and a half)
* 6 bus tickets and change
More interestingly:
* A kilo of nice, prime quality beef
* 6 liters of milk
* Dinner for two (cheap) or a good meal for one, dining out
* An hour of cleaning lady
* Two shifts of laundry at a laundromat (with service, not self-service)

The government index for basic food for a family for a month is set at 72 pounds ( http://www.dgc-mef.gub.uy/consultas/almacen/canastas/mensual/ ), so 24 hours of hypothetical work could feed a family for a month.
I pay U$ 200 for rent (16 square meters apartment), average is about U$ 400 - but they don't include all the amenities included in an US rent.

Anything electronics or luxury imports are HEAVILY taxed, we probably have the most expensive cars in the world, and stuff like consoles cost 300% of US price, etc.

You can check the prices on an expensive supermarket with an online webpage, Tienda Inglesa: http://www.tinglesa.com.uy/frames.asp

Comment: Re:Well... to be fair... (Score 1) 267

by Acer500 (#33191398) Attached to: Inside the Mechanical Turk Sweatshop

Money is paid to USA and Indian workers only. Everyone else gets to use their earnings as gift certificates at amazon.com.

Didn't know about that, how annoying - but it's standard to have problems collecting over here - Paypal doesn't have bank accounts here either IIRC.

It adds one more step: buy something at Amazon, smuggle it in here and then sell it at a huge profit, as taxes here are outrageous - a Kindle can be easily sold for U$ 300 or more - the Sony reader sells for U$ 600 at a shopping center. Even better, books and CDs can be imported legitimately so it wouldn't be smuggling (you have to pay the heavy shipping costs though).

In all, if you're materialistic and US-centric (like I am) it sucks a bit to live in Uruguay (too bad the US is currently so harsh on immigrants, not to mention emigrating is hard - leaving family and friends behind and all that)

Comment: I've got news for you... (Score 5, Informative) 267

by Acer500 (#33189192) Attached to: Inside the Mechanical Turk Sweatshop
I've got news for you... I have a degree in Information Systems, and I work for 3 pounds sterling an hour (of course my employer gets a discount rate since I work for them 200 hours a month guaranteed, and it's after-taxes money - Government gets 40% of what I make before taxes since I'm obviously "rich").

You think filling out YouGov forms or whatever (hadn't heard of them before) for that same amount of money isn't a good deal?

I live in Montevideo, Uruguay, and yes, I believe I will eventually make better money, but over half the programmers here make less than that.

Comment: Re:Hooray Rosetta Stone Kiosk (Score 1) 674

by Acer500 (#33114606) Attached to: How many languages do you speak on a daily basis?
It's easier for us foreigners to become fluent in English, as (depending on the career choice) we're immersed in it whether we want it or not:

Not a day goes by where I don't post something in English, watch a video or otherwise hear some English, and occasionally make a phone call - in English, all the time using English terminology, googling in English and going home to read a book.. in English.

Upper class kids (like I was) in South America are often taught in English as well (in my case at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congregation_of_Christian_Brothers )

In my case part of my family emigrated to Canada, and some of my sisters speak ONLY English, but even if they hadn't, I would believe myself to be fluent, and to read and write better than most native speakers.

And I would believe this of my English-taught classmates as well.

Comment: Canada in Winter (Score 1) 525

by Acer500 (#32838558) Attached to: Where I am now, it's ...
You know, when I went to Canada (Toronto actually) I was prepared to endure extreme cold.

What I wasn't prepared was for a winter experience MUCH milder than the one in my home country (Uruguay).

The thing is, it doesn't matter if the temperature outside is cold, you guys have everything insulated and central heating and even the cold isn't humid and you don't have blasts of cold wind (google "Pampero" ).

Not to mention I was able to wear a t-shirt outside for Christmas day (2006). Toronto at least isn't as cold as you make it out to be.

Time-sharing is the junk-mail part of the computer business. -- H.R.J. Grosch (attributed)