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Comment IBM was an early "Ranking" adopter (Score 1) 250

IBM tried the "ranking" system in the early 1990s. It was a dismal failure.

My father was near retirement as a manager and he refused to participate in that system. He chose to retire before it became active.

I have a friend who was one of the top engineers at IBM. Shortly after the ranking system was implemented, he got his pink slip. What happened was he got a promotion as a reward for his accomplishments and hard work, and unbeknownst to him this promotion lowered his ranking enough to put him in "the window".

Needless to say, his colleagues were shocked. His managers could do nothing to reverse the process despite the fact that he was a vital asset to the company. After he left, the shock wave impacted morale and left a corrosive environment that affected production and that drove out many valuable employees. My friend and many others refused to return to IBM. Word spread to colleges and many students refused to speak to recruiters from IBM.

GE tried the same system and eventually abandoned it.

Comment Re:Good luck with that... (Score 1) 250

Anyway, point is, he's going to have a difficult time (more difficult than this ever is) proving gender discrimination against males.

He can start by arguing how the protected class status of women constitutes justification for misandrist discriminatory employment policies, citing the trends over the years (IE top positions held by women increased from 20% to 80%, women given more benefits which are denied to men, etc).

Comment Contract Law (Score 2) 119

I had DirecTV for four whopping days before I cancelled it because of phone-bouncing between departments for 90 minutes trying to find out why my internet services were not delivered.

DirecTV charged me a $135 termination fee. I challenged the fee by demanding a contract with my signature that obligates me to that fee. Their response was the contract was "implied" when they started the service.

"Implied" contracts - IE non-signed - are inadmissable and not enforceable in a court of law. I didn't seek relief in court for obvious economic reasons. But I am not shy about discouraging everyone I know from accepting services from DirecTV.

The question that has not been answered in the cases in this article is this: do the parties have a signed contract in the dispute? If not, then DirecTV has no legal mandate to termination fees under contract law and the class action status should had been allowed.

There is no law that mandates agreement to a legal document in exchange for layman services or sales. Anymore if I am handed a paper that is contains any legalese, I respond that I will not sign it until I review it with my lawyer, and I reserve the right to amend the contract. People do this with real estate leases and contracts all the time. A signed receipt for sales or services is not an agreement to a legal contract.

Comment Cry Wolf syndrome (Score 1) 58

There have been so many FB privacy hoaxes mega-shared like "FB will reset your preferences so all your personal data is shared with third party marketers" that I stopped taking any of them seriously. Too many "cry wolf" syndromes. I have very little private info on my FB page - I refuse to divulge my employer, home address, high school, college, birth date, etc. My occupation is even listed as "professional crash test dummy". I refuse to put anything on there of value to marketers, and it would be useless to a nation-state attack.

Comment Re:We accept your apology (Score 1) 398

They'll go after the ad block authors, first with incentives, then with threats. They'll try to get laws passed, they'll try to hook into existing property rights violations like DMCA.

Courts around the world have ruled that ad blocking and ad skipping is not illegal. Plenty of legal precedent to null any attempt to pass favorable legislation. Courts have even ruled that state regulation of commercial speech is not illegal.

Comment IBM tried that (Score 2) 267

IBM tried to compete with hardware using the proprietary Microchannel buss to replace the ISA/EISA buss. IBM refused to release documentation on the buss and sought to profit on licensing the standard through a certification program. Third party OEMs scoffed. IBM permanently lost market share as 3rd party MC cards, developed from unofficial specifications, proved to be incompatible which drove customers away from IBM towards clone makers such as Compaq and Gateway who stole the market with non-MC systems. The MC debacle ushered the end of personal computers for IBM.

Comment Retaliation for political opponents (Score -1, Troll) 264

Obama is well known for his retaliation and intimidation tactics, having learned them from his loyalty to the Satanist Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" book. Politicians have found themselves on the no-fly list, witness the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, as a target of retaliation. The fact that Obama seeks to conceal the preemptive calculus from inquisitive eyes should be a great big red flag that he intends to exploit the no-fly list as a political weapon like he did with the IRS and other government agencies.

Comment Re:the real admission is peak driving. (Score 1) 285

There are other reasons why driving sucks. And my friends share my sentiments.

Truck traffic Waaaay too many tractor trailers on the highways. Their size and payloads keep increasing and the trailers are so big that they badly obscure the view. More than once I missed an exit because the tall trailer in front of me was blocking the sign, and I wasn't that close to the trailer. There is nothing worse than getting stuck behind a cluster of slow trailers struggling to get up a hill.

Construction zones Waaaay too many work zones. We don't have four lane highways, we have single lane bottlenecks. They take much of the joy out of travel. Our highway infrastructure is not designed for longetivity, it is designed to perpetuate the public unions in charge of maintaining the highways. That means compromised construction. Visit other developed countries like Germany to see a stark contrast of how much better their highways are built. The last twenty years I have not planned any travel during construction season because the travel experience is too awful.

Traffic Density Trucks notwithstanding, there is too much traffic on the highways. There are enough idiot drivers that it is not safe. Drivers using their palm devices or phones, cars cutting in front of me too close, people cruising in the passing lanes, cars cruising side by side at nearly the same speed with no way to pass them. I'm not a fan of fender benders and the probability is too great on the highways.

The View What do you see from a highway? Oh look more concrete roads. More trees (or desert or flatlands). More billboards. Yawn.

If I HAVE to travel, frankly I prefer the back roads or Amtrak (I refuse to use air travel for personal vacation). The view is much nicer, the traffic is much less dense, and you see many things you will never see from a highway. It is just as slow as the highway.

Comment Re:Rails Roads (Score 1) 285

The problem is they've torn up so many existing lines because they weren't needed at one point, now they're needed and they don't want to lay the track for it.

The problem isn't that they don't want to lay the tracks, the problem is the economics. Today it costs $US1-2 million dollars to lay one mile of track. It takes one hell of a return of investment to get that money back after fixed expenses like employees, maintenance of rolling stock and right of way, financial obligations, etc. When the majority of railroads were built shortly after the Civil War, they relied on plentiful cheap immigrant labor for track laying work. Back then unions didn't exist, there was no such thing as minimum wage or income tax, and cost of living was very low. After WWI, few new railroad grades were built.

The merger fever starting in the 1960s saw much redundant trackage eliminated in the last sixty years. But they were intentionally picked clean to eliminate competition, knowing full well that cost to restore trackage would be a detriment. The abandoned right-of-ways and structures were also a property tax obligation that they wanted to unload quickly. Former good grades that were excellent routes were decimated wherever possible - many became farmlands, targets of urban development, and highway grades.

Comment If it ain't broke, don't fix it. (Score 2) 456

Why would it need to be replaced? It doesn't need USB, Bluetooth, Firewire, et al. No compelling reason to replace it.

My music project studio is running on Windows for Workgroups. All I need is MIDI. I don't need software plugins (I use hardware for that), I don't want it connected to the internet, I don't use it for any sampling or sample playback. And that's a circa 1993 machine that still works.

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