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Comment Define "free." (Score 4, Insightful) 654

1) I can get anywhere I want with public transportation as it is right now. The problem is that it takes literally four to eight times more time (in my specific circumstances), and my time is far from free.

2) The notion that it's free is, frankly, dishonest and disingenuous. *Somebody* is paying for it, and that somebody is me, in one form or another. Just because the money is not coming directly from your wallet at that instant doesn't mean it's not happening.

3) It ignores subjective value. I often enjoy driving. I don't enjoy being crowded into a bus or tram / trolley. Trains aren't too bad from a comfort standpoint, but still not as fun as driving.

Comment It's a sales tool. (Score 5, Insightful) 296

You are always selling yourself, your plans, and your ideas, no matter what business environment you are in - self-employed or corporate. Certifications can be a tool for that - and even a vital tool if you're dealing with HR drones that don't understand anything else.

That being said, I have no formal certs and have done extremely well for myself - but I also have very good sales skills. It's the one thing I encourage to everyone that asks me for career advice - learn to sell. It doesn't matter what you do in life, but you will always be selling something (assuming your work is of any sort of significance).

Comment I have a Stir M1 desk (Score 3, Interesting) 340

It's a nice desk, fashionable, well-made, holds plenty of weight without complaint. It schedules when I should stand up and sit down, and the "breathe" gentle reminder is effective without being obtrusive.

The biggest downside is that the sensor that detects whether or not you are standing next to it is extremely picky about distance. Apparently I often stand too close and so it doesn't always recognize that I'm there and credit me accordingly. Also, it would be better if it integrated with Apple's HealthKit in addition to their own cloud stuff. Do I really want data about when I'm at my home office desk to even exist, let alone be stored in the cloud? No - that's pretty much a "Let's figure out the best time to burglarize my house" toolkit.

Comment Re:Uber has demonstrated contempt for the law (Score 1) 334

So what? Have you seen who writes laws? A bunch of vote-leeching sociopaths that span the moral spectrum between used car salespeople and outright pedophiles... Let's just support the whims of every elected bunch of assholes. War, slavery, genocide, hey, gotta do it! It's the law!

Seriously, this is one of the lamest reasons for anything, ever.

Comment Flagrantly anti-consumer (Score 0) 334

Let's be honest: in most countries, taxis suck and belong in a forgotten age. They're the epitome of tightly-government-regulated industry: slow, filthy, rude, overpriced - assuming you can get one to actually show up. Uber is fast, clean, polite, and - most importantly - reliable. The whole argument here is that some group of people paid the government a stupid amount of money for the special privilege of shitting all over a captive customer base, therefore throw the Uber guys in jail, take or smash the driver's cars, throw rocks at them, riot, jump up and down, scream and shout, and take Courtney Love hostage (OK, that last one I can get behind).

If some government is going to ban Uber, just go ahead and consider yourself a third-world country. If you're going to start piling stupid inconveniences onto my visit, you might as well go ahead and make me boil my drinking water as well.

Comment Jargon them and sound patiently condescending... (Score 1) 479

... like you're dealing with a toddler that you really like because it's yours or its mom is a total MILF or something. No, this is not ordinarily a good way to initiate a conversation with another human being, but in this case it's pretty effective. I've found that in the overwhelming majority of the cases I can get passed up a few levels very quickly.

Comment Re:They throw money at shit they don't need... (Score 5, Interesting) 235

Having witnessed first hand how the Red Cross spends its money on IT infrastructure it doesn't need, I refuse to give them a single dime.

This! I've seen this in other large "non-profits" as well. It's like they don't even know how to do more with less (I own two businesses and could speak volumes on the subject) - they just declare that they "need" more money, fundraise, and then blow it out the way their high-priced consultants tell them to. I don't think they're necessarily evil, but they are run by people whose good intentions far outweigh their management skills (to be charitable, pun intended).

Comment Poisoning fish? (Score 1) 247

Are the fish capable of digesting plastic? One would think that it would just pass through. It's hard to know whether or not to take the matter seriously, as (sadly) the average environmentalist has no idea what the definition of toxic is. One would think that if there were some interesting data the article would at least link it.

"Once they go up, who cares where they come down? That's not my department." -- Werner von Braun