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Comment: Re:Various hacking tools? (Score 1) 184

by DutchUncle (#48459945) Attached to: Top Counter-Strike Players Embroiled In Hacking Scandal
I think the suggestion is that it requires *other* skills, namely hacking skills. However, since hacks would be wind up being distributed (after all, doesn't information want to be free, even if one person worked on it and everyone else is just freeloading?), the skill would be "researching hacks" rather than 'creating hacks".

Comment: Re:Here we go again (Score 1) 495

by DutchUncle (#48454177) Attached to: As Amazon Grows In Seattle, Pay Equity For Women Declines
Umm . . . yes, I realize that the operands of the "less than" operator are ambiguous. One could understand it in the same sense as "half of the population is above average". What I meant to say, though, was that 0.1% of the population makes more money than ALL OF THE OTHER 99.9% combined.

Comment: Blackmail: Public analysis of confidential data! (Score 1) 69

by DutchUncle (#48452333) Attached to: DHS Set To Destroy "Einstein" Surveillance Records
"destroying it could eliminate evidence that the government wide surveillance system does not perform as intended", so we'll prove that it wasn't necessary by revealing everyone who looked at it and publicly cross-checking them against troublemaker lists? What could go wrong?

Comment: Re:Why would you call something Mayo that isn't? (Score 2) 140

Agreement. I have no objection to a vegetarian alternative to egg-based mayonnaise; OTOH I can see Hellman's point that calling it "just mayo" isn't right. When I first saw the name "Just Mayo" I assumed it was non-preservative, or no-added-whatever, or non-GMO, or some other health-food variant of "pure"; I did NOT infer that it was other-than-dictionary-definition-of mayonnaise.

In contrast, I don't have the same issue with "soy milk" or "almond milk" not being some mammal's milk, like the dairy industry is complaining about, because the non-milk-base ingredient is right there in the name.

Comment: Re:I bet Amazon would love to hire more women. (Score 1) 495

by DutchUncle (#48428063) Attached to: As Amazon Grows In Seattle, Pay Equity For Women Declines
I've worked with white American-born female computer programmers and engineers, and they fit the normal bell curve of competence - including one of the best-organized and most methodical people I've ever worked with, another solid engineer who became a terrific group leader, and a third "why did someone hire this person???" The best female engineer I interviewed was American-born to Indian parents; does that count as "native"?

Comment: Re:Business as usual for US justice (Score 5, Informative) 171

An introduction, for the lazy:

http://www.newyorker.com/magaz...
Under civil forfeiture, Americans who haven't been charged with wrongdoing can be stripped of their cash, cars, and even homes.

http://gothamist.com/2014/01/1...
How The NYPD's Use Of Civil Forfeiture Robs Innocent New Yorkers
Any arrest in New York City can trigger a civil forfeiture case if money or property is found on or near a defendant, regardless of the reasons surrounding the arrest or its final disposition.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10...
“Who takes your money before they prove that you’ve done anything wrong with it?”
The federal government does.
Using a law designed to catch drug traffickers, racketeers and terrorists by tracking their cash, the government has gone after run-of-the-mill business owners and wage earners without so much as an allegation that they have committed serious crimes.

Comment: Re:Wow ... (Score 1) 299

by DutchUncle (#48413023) Attached to: Uber Threatens To Do 'Opposition Research' On Journalists

As an engineer-type mindset, if there's an easy way to do something more efficiently and regulations are standing in the way, I blame the regulations, not the new solution for sufficiently stupid values of regulation (obviously safety regs are a different matter).

Ensuring that a taxi driver is a safe person, and that the taxi is a safe vehicle in good repair, sounds like "safety regs" to me. When Uber and Lyft claim that they can ignore all of those "archaic" regulations, I compare it to chemical companies complaining about environmental regulations when they used to dump waste products in the stream out back instead.

New York City has very specific differences between "taxi" and "car service", both of which are licensed and regulated. Maybe some of those differences really are archaic, and maybe one should be able to "call" a taxi to your door (whether by phone or app makes no difference) rather than have to go to a main street and hail one. The communication part of the business model is a great concept. Adding lots of unlicensed unregulated unchecked drivers may not be.

Comment: Re:There's not a lot to say, this is scummy (Score 1) 299

by DutchUncle (#48412927) Attached to: Uber Threatens To Do 'Opposition Research' On Journalists
"The press is not beyond question"; on the other hand, Someone talking openly about blackmailing his opposition, or exposing something about them in an ad-hominem attack having nothing to do with the facts under debate, is talking about dirty tricks (at best) shading towards evil (at worst). To me this suggests that the opposition has valid grounds for suggesting that the Someone is acting unethically. The company as a whole (or at least the concept of the company) is ethically neutral, but the person running it may not be.

Comment: Re:They're probably correct (Score 1) 273

by DutchUncle (#48317637) Attached to: Too Many Kids Quit Science Because They Don't Think They're Smart
I went to RPI. Yes, we had classes with county-high-school valedictorians who were totally shocked to be the least-prepared in the room. Since I had been in an NYC specialized schools (nowadays you'd call it a "magnet" school) it was just another day at the office. Well, maybe a little more painful.

Comment: "Is your interviewer qualified to interview you?" (Score 2) 253

Many moons ago, my senior year at engineering school, the placement office sent me a note (on actual paper!) that a big bank wanted to interview me. I couldn't imagine why, since I hadn't expressed any interest in business IT. A few days later, I met with a close-to-retirement VP who frankly admitted that he knew nothing about technology; his function was to assess people. The bank wanted people for their new IT headquarters in New York City, and I was on their list because I already lived there (or my parents did); they were trying to avoid hiring people who were looking for an excuse to move to NYC. We had a pleasant conversation, in which I freely admitted I didn't expect much technical challenge, and the older gentleman convinced me to put my resume in the queue anyway.

A few weeks later I went to the bank headquarters in NYC for "a technical interview", and it was every disaster on this page. The interview time was a myth, as was the person I was expecting to see; instead an HR person who had been a fresh-out last year, and who had no idea what he was doing in his own area let alone IT, gave up on questions and gave me a "skills test" to fill out (presumably my soon-to-be Computer Science degree from a top engineering school didn't count).

So I went back to school, took out my trusty typewriter and the VP's business card, and wrote him a letter describing my experience (staying polite!), and making clear that while meeting with him had been pleasant, the mismanagement after things left his hands convinced me that there was absolutely no way that I would ever want to work for the bank. I heard nothing for a few weeks, then a brief note of apology.

A few weeks later, my parents called me to tell me to go find a copy of The New York Times for that day. In the business section was an 1/8th page ad for that same bank with two profiles, one with a speech bubble including a dozen or more tech buzzwords, the other with a thought bubble empty but for a question mark. The sub-heading of the ad was: "Is your interviewer qualified to interview you?" I guess that old VP still had some pull . . .

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