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Comment Re:Go ahead (Score 1) 446

No, you don't.

Just get a prepaid Visa Debit card from the rack at Walgreen's or Wal-Mart, or CVS, or Rite Aid, or Family Dollar, or wherever. Pay for it as if it were a "gift card" and load it with however much money you need on it. Then use that card to pay for your membership. Poof! Financial transaction with no paper trail (unless someone really wants to go through and find out where the card was purchased, and if you're that paranoid, just pay cash).

Comment Re:Go ahead (Score 1) 446

The names, addresses and credit card numbers (since it's a pay site) must be real.

I think a name is pretty easy to fake. Last time I checked, PO Boxes can be had for a very small fee (or once could even put a false address in.....what correspondence would a person want to receive via US mail from that site at their home?), and as for the Credit Card, once could just get a prepaid Visa Debit Card, load it with funds, and use that to pay.

Voila! Privacy secured.

If someone truly gets caught because of this, they weren't being careful. Now, I want to be clear here, I am absolutely not advocating for cheating. Personally, I find the concept abhorrent and the sign of a truly weak character. But, if you're gonna do it, be smart about it.

Comment Re:Salary vs. cost of living? (Score 1) 264

Well, yes, compared to those folks, that is certainly more conservative. At lease your numbers are in the black. I was more pointing out that most financial advisers recommend spending no more than 25%-30% of your monthly TAKE HOME pay on rent/mortgage. Now again, there is NOTHING wrong with what your doing (and you certainly don't have to justify it to me or anyone else for that matter), I just don't know if you'd really call it modest, per se.

But you know what, dude? Kudos. You're living (presumably) debt free in one of the most expensive areas of the country on a relatively modest salary, and that is a hell of a lot better than the way a whole lot of people manage their money.

Comment Re:Salary vs. cost of living? (Score 1) 264

A different point of view: is renting a $1,400/month studio on $50k per year really a modest lifestyle? With even conservative estimates of your 401k contribution and benefit costs, calculations show that your monthly rent is a couple hundred bucks more than one of your paychecks, making your rent is more than 50% of your monthly take-home income.

Now I'm not criticizing you here, I want to be clear about that. If you're choosing to live a relatively modest lifestyle so that you can have the convenience of living right in the heart of Silicon Valley, that's of course up to you. But, the thought did occur to me that you're not so much choosing an overall modest lifestyle as you are prioritizing where you live over other things.

I guess the point I'm making is that a truly modest lifestyle would probably be to move to a cheaper place, and save/invest more money or something to that effect.

Comment Re:trick them into it ... (Score 3, Insightful) 318

OK, I don't think I'm doing a very good job of explaining what I mean. Apologies for that, I can see why you might be taking it that way.

What I'm saying is, no, you do not have to be a "superstar", and my experience has been that it being a game of the elite 10% getting all the jobs, and the "other" 90% just have to suck chuck is really a bit of an illusion. I have found that a great number of people vastly underestimate their own value, and don't do a great job of expressing/relaying their skills because I think they are afraid that they're coming off as a brash, arrogant ass. There is a good deal of difference between being a cocky jerk and someone with composed confidence, and it is truly not that hard to hone that skill. Go on interviews for jobs that you have no intention of actually getting (make it in your field, obviously) and practice the interview process. You really will get better with practice.

The other thing that people dramatically underestimate is how important networking and just putting yourself in social situations with folks (peer level and above) from your industry. Pretty much every industry has several major, national organizations that hold regular events around decent sized cities. Sure, they might be dumb events where you're accosted by 1,500 sales folks trying to hawk you their favorite new product, or you may have to endure listening to some speaker drone on endlessly about something that makes no sense, but the opportunity to just chum up to folks before and afterward is a huge one, and most people just write it off as a waste of time. It is my opinion that this is a mistake. Just getting your face in people's minds puts you at an advantage, if you happen to fall naturally into a conversation with some folks at a company you have a chance to make an impression. It may not come into play for a couple of years, but if you do that enough, eventually, you start being someone that people kind of know and remember. So, when your resume ends up on their desk, they think "oh yeah, that guy!".

Now listen, my ego would LOVE to believe that I'm this superstar. That would be just dandy with me. But I truly do not feel that I am. I apply myself, sure. And, I'm also not a lazy person, but I'm going to assume that you are not either (most of us geek-nerd types aren't). I just think that people become resigned to be one of the "lesser 90%" and assume that there are these amazing people out there scooping up all the good jobs. I say, any of us can stand out in a crowd, and that's really all it takes.

Comment Re:trick them into it ... (Score 4, Insightful) 318

I don't know why this comment is marked troll, because it's absolutely not a troll, it is the absolute truth. I have had the EXACT same experience. I get an average of 2-4 recruiters contacting me with offers each month. I've worked hard on honing my skills, I've worked hard on networking locally/regionally, I've worked hard to ensure that my resume is up to date and relates my track record well, etc.

Lumpy is exactly right. If others reading this think that he's bragging (and that's why they marked it a troll) they're missing the point. I cannot tell you the enormous difference in negotiation when you are confident (not arrogant) and put yourself in a position where people know you before you walk in the room. It's not that hard to do, and it absolutely puts you in the driver's seat.

Don't ever let them pressure you into naming your "current" salary, that's a ploy to see how cheap they can get you. If they don't let up, thank them for their time and leave, because they're not serious about you. You can absolutely negotiate MUCH more than most people realize. That goes for office, working remotely, salary, benefits, etc.

Comment Re:Already has (Score 1) 158

Autotune can only do so much.

Actually, you'd be amazed at what some of the modern vocal effects can do, especially with a well trained engineer/producer. Antares , for example, can do everything from change the pitch/time, to alter the vocal characteristics of the track using things like "throat modeling". They can generate harmonies complete with tiny imperfections to make it sound more "human", They can make a voice have more "rasp" or "smokiness", so when you hear guys screaming (think Chris Cornell) and you think "how can they do that without their voice getting sore?", the answer is, they're not. Those are the effects at work.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not against the use of vocal effects. I look at them the same way I look at guitar effects. If you layer a guitar with enough delay, chorus, compression, tube distortion, tape saturation, EQ, and maybe some octave effects, even a rudimentary player is going to sound pretty killer. They're not going to stand up to a virtuoso like Al DiMeola or Steve Vai. Same goes for vocalists. Sure, you can find someone of marginal talent and make them sound good with effects, but they're never going to touch really capable, trained singers.

Comment Re:BAh, (Score 1) 124

Ah, MitchDev. You're adorable. Such an insightful and though provoking response. I find it so cute when teenagers take time away from playing Grand Theft Auto and practice talking with grown ups on the internet. You are a super scary and tough boy, I am totally totally intimidated by you.

Sincerely, fuck you. Go suck a dick.

Comment Re:BAh, (Score 1) 124

Oh please, that attitude is bullshit and you know it. Does this same edict that you're proposing also apply to Authors? Should they only be paid for the hours they're writing their books? How about painters? Film makers?

Look, you're clearly one of these guys who (for some reason) has a problem with the idea that people can make money creating art, which evidently is something that you think is easy, trivial, and virtually superfluous (Plato, among others, would disagree with you). I can assume that you yourself are not an artist, and with the sarcasm and condescending with which you're commenting, I'm going to make the mental leap and assume that you're one of these guys who just likes to argue and haggle with everybody.

I get it man. You don't like that people can make money this way, and you don't feel like you should have to pay for music is dumb, or whatever.

But, you're wrong. Everybody knows it. You sound like a moron. Things will never work out the way you're proposing, and I regret to inform you that musicians and artists are going to continue to make money doing what they love. Sorry that you hate your job and are jealous.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (4) How many times do we have to tell you, "No prior art!"