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+ - How much did your biggest "tech" mistake cost?

NotQuiteReal writes: What is the most expensive piece of hardware you broke (I fried a $2500 disk drive once, back when 400MB was $2500) or what software bug did you let slip that caused damage? (No comment on the details — but about $20K cost to a client.)

Did you lose your job over it?

If you worked on the Mars probe that crashed, please try not to be the First Post, that would scare off too many people!

Comment: It's most likely a sign of code age... (Score 1) 241 241

It used to be scarily common, but I believe that it's slowly phasing out in favor of hitting a website where you can (re)set the password yourself after a couple of security questions.

I believe it's just a sign of old code (or an old coder) on the site. There may be cases where the guy writing the sitecode is inexperienced or incompetent, but I like to think that such cases are rare.

I think I only see a cleartext password sent via email like once every 10 requests now.

Comment: Re:Prepaid is the way to go (Score 1) 85 85

I pay $45/mo, no contract on Net10, I get unlimited data**. I bought my own damned phone already unlocked (the LG G2 GSM phone I bought a month or so ago cost me something like $215 brand-new off of Amazon.)

It only costs me $755/yr my way ($45/mo plus $215 for the GSM/international phone I bought separately) with no ETF at all...

...versus at least $1167/yr (for a typical $89/mo big carrier capped data plan plus $99 towards their shiny new subsidized phone), and a 2-year contract w/ a massive ETF whether you like it or not.

Oh, and I still get 4G speed on AT&T's network.

** at $45/mo, the first 3GB is at 4G speed, but anything over that in a given month is throttled to 3G, but there's no overage charges at all... I rarely burn more than 2.5GB though, so I'm fine with the terms given the rather massive discount.

Comment: Re:Are you OK, samzenpus? (Score 3, Insightful) 85 85

I think I see the problem:

conservative-libertarian

To put it bluntly, there's no such thing. The two ideologies' interests do overlap in places, but the libertarian ideology also overlaps with the liberals on others.

Basically, the libertarian mindset is socially liberal, fiscally conservative, combined with a strong distaste for governmental interference of any non-critical type. Their main goal is to take over the government, then promptly get the government out of everyone's way.

HTH a little.

Comment: Re:IOW: TracFone Finally Agrees to Obey the Law (Score 1) 85 85

As a guy who uses Net10 (TracFone's parent company), I can tell you that the phones they sell aren't exactly top-of-the-line. Most of the models are the really low-end stuff: Huawei, ZTE, some-off-brand-or-other, and on the Net10 side, obsolete models of Samsung and LG. The Net10 side does have a couple of flagship phones, but those are prices way out of the reach of their typical customer. this is a typical list of phones we're talking about here. Many of these phones (in spite of being overpriced IMHO) cost less than a trip to McDonald's for a family of three. Even the most expensive ones top out at around $200.

On my part, I usually buy my phone unlocked from elsewhere, e.g. Amazon, then I do Net10's "Bring Your Own Phone" plan, which means I don't have to give a shit what they think. It also gives me the advantage of being able to jump to whatever carrier I damned well please, and choose the cheapest plan I can find. :)

Comment: Re:Are you OK, samzenpus? (Score 1) 85 85

Dude, seriously... if you want evidence, see this article , and notice that the modded-up posts are mostly *not* conservative in ideology. While you're at it, see the posts about AGW.

Personally, I find /. to be center to center-left, depending on the subject.

QED: GGP's Weak troll is still weak.

+ - Depression: The secret struggle startup founders won't talk about->

mattydread23 writes: In May, Cambrian Genomics CEO Austen Heinz committed suicide. The news stunned friends and family, and sparked a conversation about the growing problem of depression among startup founders. Some estimates say 30% of startup founders suffer from depression, but many are reluctant to talk about their struggle for fear of alienating investors and employees. This feature by Business Insider includes conversations with a friend of Heinz, plus many investors and other startup founders who are starting to talk about the problem and figure out how to make things better.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:College != Jobs (Score 4, Interesting) 132 132

The State of Utah did this back in 2000 -ish, by converting their technical (ATE) schools into campuses for the then newly-formed Utah College of Applied Technology. UCAT is fully accredited and on the state Board of Regents, but focused exclusively on 2-year Associates' degrees in vocational fields - CompSci (basically programming and systems/network administration), Nursing (up to RN licensing), Diesel Mechanics, Culinary Arts, a basic Business degree, CAD/CAM, and even a Cosmetology certificate (and subsequent state license).

You could then take that AAT degree, and convert it to a 4-year degree at any Utah state college (in fact, each UCAT campus was partnered with the nearest state college - The campus I taught at was allied with Weber State University in Ogden, and I was considered to be faculty and taught a few courses there, albeit while still on the UCAT payroll).

The cool part was that high school students could attend as early as their Junior year, and could, if they applied themselves, have a 2-year degree less than 6 months after graduating high school - all on the government dime, gratis. The classrooms were a mixture of AP-level high school kids and adults, and held day and evening courses.

Comment: Re: Above Congress? (Score 1) 161 161

Interestingly, HOAs do have the most scope and reach over your life (if you choose to live there). At least as pertains to your home life. The control how long your grass is, where you can park your car on your own property, what kind of toys you can put up for you kids in the yard, who can come over to your house, when and for how long.... they can be very intrusive. They can even have approval over the sale of the house when you decide to leave.

Pretty much just about anything they'd like can be in the HOA contract you agree to when you buy in. I live in HOA central down in south Florida. They are so pervasive that several of those weekend radio shows that are mostly advertisements for professional services are dedicated to HOA legal advice (both for homeowners and for HOA boards). I've not seen that elsewhere, but it seems to be a pretty hot topic around these parts. They have full slates of callers looking for solutions to perceived HOA abuses or homeowners who are resisting HOA mandates. On the few occasions that I've caught a few minutes, the legal experts seem to advise that "the HOA is going to win so just pay up" most of the time.

Comment: Re:Johnny can't get a job (Score 5, Interesting) 132 132

Have you actually priced these guys? My ex-wife used them back in 2001-2003 to finish up a BSN degree, and paid an obscene amount of cash each month to do it. They also adopted that neat little trick the state colleges have of requiring 'bridge classes' and of discounting certain courses taken (in favor of pricier ones they provide), so sometimes you're taking superfluous classes and in some cases re-taking classes you'd already taken.

One thing I do wonder about though... most of the oft-touted 'free' community college courses are more towards getting an Associates' degree, whereas Phoenix' big advertising push is for folks who want to convert their 2-year degree into a 4-year one, or to convert a Bachelors' into a Masters'.

Personally, I think their biggest competition is the recent growth of small state-accredited colleges going online, expanding their presence, and pushing to provide the same thing Phoenix does. Many of these colleges have provided this sort of thing remotely (albeit not online, but by 'traveling prof') to military members for decades, but have recently decided to get a piece of the civilian market now.

"Floggings will continue until morale improves." -- anonymous flyer being distributed at Exxon USA

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