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Comment: Re:Bzzzzt:: wrong! (Score 1) 129

by pla (#47967265) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?
As a business owner, I can tell you that training is wildly expensive.

As an engineer, I can tell you that not training is much, much more expensive.

The last training my employer sent me to, this past spring, cost them a bit under $3000 total. For that $3000, they can:
1) now brag that they have a Foo(tm) certified developer working on the project (quite possibly worth far more than that $3k by itself), and
2) I can now actually do some key parts of the project without wasting a month or three bootstrapping the same info I learned in a week.

And just to put #2 in perspective, I cost my employer almost that much per week. You want "wildly expensive"? Waste a month of my productive time. That sort of short-sighted penny-pinching gets expensive fast. Yes, sending me off for training costs more than the list price of the training; it has an ROI many, many times that upfront cost, however.

As a former employee, I can tell you that conferences - on the whole - are wasted time and money for the employer.

Then you've gone to the wrong sort of conferences. I have yet to go to a conference that didn't help my employer more than having my butt in a chair for a week (and yeah, you could easily twist that into an obvious slam). And as a bonus, yes, conferences do offer a bit of a mini-vacation, so I come back refreshed and excited, on top of whatever more academic or networking-related benefits I get from going.

That said, I will agree with you and others who deride the FP's implied sense of entitlement. If my employer didn't see the value in improving the breadth of their in-house expertise, hey, their call; though I can promise that hell would get chilly before they directly benefited from anything I pay for out of my own pocket (fortunately not a problem at the moment - my current employer has a truly awesome continuing education program, and as long as I'll put in the time, they'll put in the dime for just about anything even remotely reasonable).

Comment: Re:Just in time for another record cold winter (Score 1) 152

"Superstorm"* Sandy

* So named because it wasn't even strong enough to count as a real hurricane...

On the contrary, Sandy was a category 2 hurricane when it made landfall on Cuba. Moreover, it still had hurricane-force winds when it made landfall in New Jersey; the only reason it wasn't called a "hurricane" was that it was post-tropical. In other words, it was as severe as a hurricane, but a different kind of storm.

Comment: Re:"Stakeholders" (Score 2) 88

by mrchaotica (#47964533) Attached to: Nobody's Neutral In Net Neutrality Debate

It would be the government is now regulating the actual traffic on the internet

You are a liar, doing nothing but spreading FUD.

Regulating ISPs as Common Carriers would "regulate the actual traffic on the Internet" exactly as much as regulating phone companies as Common Carriers censors the content of telephone calls -- which is to say, not in the slightest.

Comment: "Stakeholders" (Score 5, Interesting) 88

by mrchaotica (#47964055) Attached to: Nobody's Neutral In Net Neutrality Debate

Who are the stakeholders? Well, let's see:

  • Telcos
  • "Big Data" Internet companies
  • the FCC
  • the Public

Only one of these "stakeholders" have opinions that actually matter, and that stakeholder sent "a groundswell of 3 million citizen comments, most of them, presumably, against the FCC's approach" [and in support of regulating ISPs as Common Carriers].

I think we're done here.

Comment: Re:Please describe exactly (Score 1) 375

In your foaming response, please describe _exactly_ what you find so objectionable about the Affordable Care Act.... If you have corporate health insurance, describe exactly how the ACA affected your coverage.

My problem with the ACA is that it failed to end employer-provided health insurance, which serves to do exactly nothing except make it harder to change jobs.

My health insurance is paid 100% by my employer. My wife's insurance is paid 50% by my employer. However, as I understand it, because my employer offers health insurance for my wife, she's not eligible for the subsidized rate she would otherwise get for an exchange-based plan. I'm reasonably certain that the 50% of the premiums we pay is more than a subsidized ACA plan would cost, but less than an unsubsidized one would cost, so we're forced to overpay for the "privilege" of having a "choice."

What the ACA should have done is let employers wishing to offer health benefits pay into a FSA or HSA-like account, which the employee could use to pay the premium of the insurance plan of his choosing.

Comment: Re:House Committee on Oversight and Government Ref (Score 1) 375

Someone who can blame Obamacare on Republicans is someone who can blame anything on them.

First of all, Obamacare is the Republicans' fault. You can tell because A) they liked it when it was called Romneycare, and B) it's a shit solution (compared to "single payor" where said payor is either the government (i.e., a socialist solution) or the individual patient (i.e., a libertarian solution)) that only serves to entrench and enrich the middlemen. The Democrats would have designed a much more socialist program had they not been trying to appease the Republicans.

Second, your claim is a fallacy. There is absolutely no reason why, just because Obamacare is legitimately the Republicans' fault, that any of the other stupid shit Obama and/or the Democrats have done could be also. For example, here's a partial list of things for which the Republicans can not be blamed:

  • Treasonous NSA totalitarianism after 2009 (just because Congress passed a bill that purports to authorize and fund it, doesn't mean Obama, as Commander-in-Chief, actually has to do it. He could have unilaterally ended it 5 seconds after being inaugurated but didn't, and that's entirely on him.)
  • Parallel construction after 2009 (a concept entirely made up by the executive branch, as far as I know)
  • Benghazi and most other foreign-policy screwups since 2009
  • IRS scandal
  • the Obamacare website (note: distinct from Obamacare itself)
  • etc.

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 182

by mrchaotica (#47963371) Attached to: NY Magistrate: Legal Papers Can Be Served Via Facebook

On return home, she found a "letter held" notification and contacted the post office who could not advise who the sender was.

Did she try reading the letter to see what it was about? I find it hard to believe that a letter could constitute "legal notice" unless it included a sentence explaining what it was supposed to be giving notice of (e.g. "hey, your insurance is being cancelled!") and the contact info of the insurer....

Comment: Re: What? (Score 1) 182

by mrchaotica (#47963347) Attached to: NY Magistrate: Legal Papers Can Be Served Via Facebook

Sometimes, the police have a service whereby if you tell them you're out of town, they'll pay more attention to signs of burglary when patrolling past your house and/or check it more often. (You can also tell them what behavior to expect, e.g., lights on timers or cars in the driveway so they can more easily tell if anything is wrong.)

Comment: Re:Business (Score 2) 269

by mrchaotica (#47951645) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

JSON is a pretty significant force behind modern Web design. Without it, the Web would still be a pretty static place.

Nah, we'd just be putting actual XML in our XMLHTTPRequests instead. (All JSON does is represent the same data as the XML would, in a less verbose format.) We'd still have all the Asynchronous Javascript And XML.

Real programmers don't write in BASIC. Actually, no programmers write in BASIC after reaching puberty.