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Comment: Re:It's a self-correcting problem. (Score 2) 238

by BVis (#49136471) Attached to: The Peculiar Economics of Developing New Antibiotics

What is it with the "government bad" and "regulations bad" memes that seem so common among Slashdot commenters. There is no virtue in being rich. Being rich does not make you a better, more trustworthy person. You are not rich. Most of the rich enjoy a better material life than about 99.9999999% of the people in the world can ever hope for. It's incredible how cavalier the rich are with other people's lives. The problem is the oligarchy. Why should it take a billion dollars to lobby an elected representative to eliminate safety and effectiveness rules so the pharmaceutical companies can make more profit at the expense of the general population? If the rich cared about their profits, they would look for ways to make more money off of your life-threatening illness. Who in their right mind would make a bet where the entry fee is a billion dollars of tax refund money and the payoff depends on not only the regulators looking the other way but on the capriciousness of boardrooms filled with over-privileged, selfish, unaccountable people living high on the hog with the profits from someone else's work. If the rich care so much and are so benevolent, why aren't they producing the new drugs. It's because they won't do anything they can't make a buck on, and they would probably poison millions of us in the process with all the corners they cut.

Comment: Re:Politics? (Score 2) 102

by BVis (#49136345) Attached to: Argonne National Laboratory Shuts Down Online Ask a Scientist Program

why not make your own donations to a similar private service?

Because 1) they'll put it behind a paywall, more than likely, 2) they'll use it to gather Yet More Information on me (I trust the government with my info lots more than any for-profit company) 3) they'll slap ads all over it in order to "monetize" a system that has always been free.

Private enterprise is not a cure-all, much as the old rich white men running the companies would like you to believe.

Comment: Re:They don't want workers, they want robots (Score 1) 87

by BVis (#49126577) Attached to: Can Tracking Employees Improve Business?

It is unethical and illegal to change the contract later to get a more fair to you outcome by changing the contract because you think that squeezing the stone a little harder can produce blood.

Unethical? This implies that the company's leadership gives a fuck about ethics past the point at which not having them costs them money, which is pretty much never. Illegal? At least in the USA, most job descriptions are suggestions, and not in any way binding. Your employer can assign you any task they see fit, on pain of termination. In the USA, "at-will" employment means you can be fired at any time for any reason, or for no stated reason. If you want to keep eating (and being able to see the doctor at a reasonable cost) you will do what they say. If you're classified as "exempt", they can even make you work 24/7 with no extra pay (as you are not required to pay them overtime).

You'll produce that blood when squeezed or you'll be replaced. Or, they'll just fire you and give all your work to one of the other employees (who is probably already doing at least 3 jobs.)

Comment: Re:cost analysis (Score 2) 87

by BVis (#49126515) Attached to: Can Tracking Employees Improve Business?

9/10s of the employees are just there to do what they are told and cannot be bothered to provide input on better way to do things.

Only after the first few times they're asked to provide that input. After having their input completely ignored (or, worse, they're reprimanded for making suggestions that upper management disagrees with), the employees learn that it's a waste of time and effort. Management is going to do whatever the fuck they want to do. The employees are there to make the stockholders money, not be happy or productive. The beatings will continue until morale improves.

Comment: Re:Circle of weeds (Score 1) 94

by BVis (#49118979) Attached to: Advertising Tool PrivDog Compromises HTTPS Security

"Do this HTTwhatever thingy."
"It's a bad idea for *reasons*"
"Blah blah blah do it."
"I'm not comfortable doing that, it's unethical"
"I don't give a fuck about your ethics, we pay you to code, not have ethics. Do what you've been assigned or get fired."

Sooner or later you will find a coder that wants to keep feeding his/her family and will do what's requested.

Comment: Re: Wait ... (Score 1) 196

by BVis (#49111017) Attached to: A123 Sues Apple For Poaching Employees

Shoot one hostage and the others start cooperating.

Generally, you're right, it's cheaper to settle and admit no wrongdoing, unless your employer wants to make an example out of you by burying you in legal fees related to discovery in the lawsuit. Employers usually have deeper pockets for this sort of thing. It's worth it to them, because it shows the other hostage.. I mean employees that they're in charge, they own you, and you cross them at your own peril. After a few months of enormous legal bills, PI harassment, and general hell, the suit gets dropped. The former employee loses everything, the employer gets to keep doing the shitty things that they do.

Comment: Re: Wait ... (Score 1) 196

by BVis (#49094285) Attached to: A123 Sues Apple For Poaching Employees

I think you might be under the impression that you would prevail in a court of law, or, indeed, that being in the right has any affect on a lawsuit's outcome. It doesn't matter who's wrong and who's right; the party with the better lawyers wins the case, regardless of how wrong they might be.

Even if you did eventually prevail in court, by the time you got there you'd be an unemployable pauper. No company would give you a job (you're obviously a malcontent and a troublemaker who works contrary to your employer's interests, namely fucking you over as hard as possible), and lawyers are expensive. You might win (or, more likely, be arm-twisted into a settlement) but you'd lose everything you own along the way.

Comment: Re: Wait ... (Score 1) 196

by BVis (#49094129) Attached to: A123 Sues Apple For Poaching Employees

An employer can't make you sign a contract that says "...and I will be your slave forever and will never work for another company."

Unless you're talking about discrimination against a protected class, they can indeed make you sign whatever they want, if you want to keep your job. You can sue if they fire you for it, but you'll lose. The burden of proof would be on you to show that your former employer fired you for not signing that contract, and that they acted improperly when they did so. With Apple's lawyers, you wouldn't have a prayer of prevailing in court.

Comment: Re:Sounds good, but shelves full of UL say otherwi (Score 1) 114

by BVis (#49094059) Attached to: Duplicate SSH Keys Put Tens of Thousands of Home Routers At Risk

You're seeing an agenda where none exists. Yes, most electrical devices found in the home today have the UL mark on them; I never said otherwise. My point is that currently that is inertia from a decades-old system. If you tried to implement a brand new UL-type company TODAY, you would never succeed. Anything that increases costs, even if it adds significant value, is seen as evil and "unnecessary regulation", and therefore to be avoided at all costs. Especially when the value added is something that the average consumer does not and does not care to understand.

Comment: Re:Basic product development (Score 1) 246

by BVis (#49089383) Attached to: Lenovo Allegedly Installing "Superfish" Proxy Adware On New Computers

Agreed. This attitude more than anything else, in my opinion, is the biggest challenge the current economic environment faces. How do you keep someone from sacrificing long-term growth and stability for short-term gains, when they have a financial incentive to build the latter? You don't. Not without a mandate from an outside authority.

Yeah, yeah, gubmint bad, free market good, invisible hand, FREEEEEDOOOOOMMMM, etc.

Comment: Re:UL (Underwriters) is a private, for-profit comp (Score -1, Troll) 114

by BVis (#49088025) Attached to: Duplicate SSH Keys Put Tens of Thousands of Home Routers At Risk

If anyone tried to launch an UL-type business that independently audited the security of consumer networking products, 1) nobody would ever invest in it, because 2) no manufacturer of said products would ever work with them. The average consumer in the US has no fucking idea what that UL mark means, or that the Underwriters Laboratories is even a thing that exists. The UL has been around for decades; when it came into existence the market was a much different place. Back then you could justify the increased costs associated with getting the UL stamp of approval as a benefit to the consumer's safety. Today, if you tried this, you'd get absolutely buried. First, the market has no fucking idea what SSH is, or what information security is, or even what "networking" is. While someone doing the buying for Walmart and Target knows that the UL mark has value, and "that's how we've always done it", and because they can turn around and throw the UL under the bus when some of their cheap Chinese junk shorts out and burns down a daycare, they look for the mark. If your discount-bin consumer router has more holes in it than Ronald Reagan's memory, generally nobody dies, or sues, or even knows that there's something wrong. There is no market value in getting these products checked out by a UL-style enterprise. All that will do is increase costs, so with the razor-thin margins that Walmart and Target crow about, they will either 1) buy a cheaper brand, 2) demand that the manufacturer sell them a product that isn't certified (because it's cheaper), 3) raise the price to the consumer (not fucking likely, and even if they did, if the average mouth-breather sees one "internet thingy" for $50, and another "internet thingy" that's $55, they will buy the cheaper one.)

Maybe in 50 years when networking knowledge is more widespread (perhaps on the level of how to operate a car [obligatory car analogy]), then you'd be able to explain to Joe Sixpack why having their home router checked out by an expert is worth the extra money. Today? No fucking way.

A formal parsing algorithm should not always be used. -- D. Gries