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Comment: Re:Here's the deal (Score 1) 215

by Erikderzweite (#48425771) Attached to: Do Good Programmers Need Agents?

The MooseTick's comparison to the real estate agents is valid. Not everyone is selling crappy houses because there's demand for good ones too. But quantity above quality principle is still valid here. Why risk losing a contract on a salary negotiation trying to make additional $300 when there's $9000 at stake?

Maybe that's just me, but I could secure a better job by myself than anything offered by recruiters. They usually got me offers which have nothing to do with my desired area which is embedded programming. Then again, it's pretty close to full employment amongst software developers in Germany nowadays.

Comment: Re:Here's the deal (Score 1) 215

by Erikderzweite (#48409817) Attached to: Do Good Programmers Need Agents?

> So if you want to look at it another way, given I am paid a % markup, I want you to get paid the most I can negotiate for you.

No, you don't. You want to give your "candidate" a job as soon as possible, any job. Two people with crappy wages will net you more than one high-salaried person for whom you have to spend twice the effort.

Comment: Re:Pffft (Score 1) 198

by Erikderzweite (#48189851) Attached to: Developers, IT Still Racking Up (Mostly) High Salaries

You have interesting labour laws in the US. I am (as a software engineer) officially not allowed to work more than 10 hours a day. If I do so, the company is obliged to pay for the taxi home. It's kind of a tough rule especially if you get caught in solving a tricky problem on a regular basis :-) Work on the Weekends and official holidays is not allowed as well: I can't even get into the building without a special permission by the management. And we are basically forced to take vacations, 30 days per year.

It comes at a price, of course: the taxes in Germany are pretty high and the wages are somewhat lower. Still, wouldn't want to swap our system for the US's.

Comment: Re:Uneven distribution of talent? (Score 1) 198

by Erikderzweite (#48189679) Attached to: Developers, IT Still Racking Up (Mostly) High Salaries

I've been told once that the managers in the US love to have indebted employees as they will put up with all kind of crap being thrown at them.
You can't really force a dev to show up on the Weekends co clear the mess you've created if such dev is able to quit any time and has enough on his savings account to look for a more fitting job for at least a year without having to change his standards of living. And if a team loses a somewhat important dev in the middle of blowing the deadline then the manager is in trouble himself. So it should be basic logic to treat such a guy well.

On the other hand, someone who has to pay a loan for the house, for the car, for all the other fancy stuff he's leasing and lives from paycheck to paycheck will do anything to keep his job. No need to give him a raise, he'll be working anyway.

Comment: Re:Photo-realistic drawings? (Score 2) 475

by Erikderzweite (#48189181) Attached to: Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

If no child is being harmed in the process of making such a drawing then it should be ignored. Sure, it's sick drawing them but the CP laws were created to protect children which are "starred" therein, not to protect some moral values. If the drawing is hyper-realistic than IMO the drawer should be investigated whether he or she had children "models" involved to create such a drawing.

- Creating CP should be illegal, buying CP — too. On this we may all agree.
- Downloading and keeping CP is at the very worst like not reporting a crime to the police. The question arises what to do with the possession of all the beheading videos then.
- Mangas, drawings and 3D renders should not be legally prosecuted.

I don't know of any science about the effects of CP-like imagery. I do recall reading however that the rapes go down if availability of porn increases. Which may be the case with pedos as well. Keep in mind though that the majority of abuses are done by the people living in the same household as the victim, not random strangers who saw some imagery on the internet. And that problem cannot be solved by making arbitrary things on the web illegal.

Comment: Re:"There's a prisoner shortage," (Score 1) 407

by Erikderzweite (#48168865) Attached to: As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal

In some states where corporation run the prisons it is already the case. For example Management & Training Corp. had a contract with Arizona's government that the latter should keep the prisons at 97 percent full or pay fines. Such provision is actually common in a majority of America's private prison contracts.

More here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

Comment: Re:bathtub curve applies (Score 1) 602

by Erikderzweite (#48002705) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

Don't the bulbs have 2 years warranty? I've made some calculation and saw that for my usage an LED bulb will pay back within two years (Germany has high electricity prices too). It's a win-win compared to ordinary bulbs then: either it's on 2 years warranty or you've saved more money than you've spent.

I have more than 30 LED bulbs in my household, various sizes and sockets. Plus a dozen at my parent's place which I gave them because I've replaced my older LED bulbs with brighter ones. For more than two years since I have started buying them, not a single one broke. And I buy whichever goes, sometimes the cheapest option.

Comment: I have the same scenario. Solved with ssh server. (Score 1) 334

Having computer illiterate relatives myself, I have created a few simple scripts and use SSH port forwarding.

Each relative's computer gets a unique port (yes, the system is not really scalable) and connects on network start to my server. This is done via a script in Networkmanager's dispatcher.d. I simply have to connect to my server using SSH with a specific port to get into the relative's PC. Also there is port forwarding for VNC for the cases where a console isn't enough. Should work with any kind of firewall. The system relies on keys, not passwords so it should be relatively safe. There is single point of failure though, but all the keys are backed up and setting a new SSH server in case the old one is broken is a trivial task.

And for the cases when something is really broken, there's a LiveCD created for the sole purpose of connecting to my server and giving me a reverse port so I can chroot into a broken system or simply try and safe what's left on the hard disk. The LiveCD starts without asking the user *anything* and has all the Wi-Fi keys. Every relative gets a copy.

The relatives in question live in other towns and even in other countries. So it's crucial that nothing gets broken. Therefore the relatives use LTS versions only. Have switched from Ubuntu to Mint some time ago because of a more familiar interface. Other reason for LTS is that I won't risk upgrading the whole system when I am some thousands kilometres away.

The relatives must be willing to use Linux and to accept that I have full control over their PCs. In my case the choice I gave was "Linux or do it yourself". And they appreciate that I can solve their problems without having them to do anything.

Comment: Re:So! The game is rigged! (Score 1) 570

by Erikderzweite (#47565023) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

AFAIK if you don't overdraft and pay on time, a credit card does cost you nothing while improving your credit score. To be fair, the score's rules sometimes seem illogical: if you take credit and returns it ahead of schedule, your credit score gets lower. That's because the banks get less money from you and they don't like it.

I have two credit cards, one is tied to a deposit the other one is a "true" credit card, both cost me nothing. Actually, I make some money when I use it. If I buy something with a "true" credit card, I have up to a month to actually transfer the money. For this time I still get interest. It's not much even if I buy something very expensive, but it's better than nothing. Besides, both cards have a cashback program: one gives 10 cents for each transaction, the other one 0,5% of the spent amount. It's not much either, but you can't expect much from cards that don't require any regular payments.

Granted, these "free" cards have horrible interest rates if you choose to take credit. Well, I'm just not doing this. I'm not buying anything I cannot easily repay.

P.S. This is Germany, US experience may vary.

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