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Comment: Re:way to be one sided (Score 1) 715

by JBHarris (#45945041) Attached to: How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?
I have made this exact comment before to one of my son's teachers. The entire philosophical foundation for her behavior and attitude was that her job would be amazing, if it wasn't for all those kids demanding her time and attention. She hated assigning homework because she had to grade it, she rarely ever sent work home to be reviewed or show us any sort of the curriculum they used. We had absolutely NO WAY of knowing what our child was doing in school except to ask him (then he was 11 years old) what they studied and what he did well on and what he was struggling with.

After two (very respectful) meetings with the teacher, I reported to her management that she seemed to think those kids were there merely to give her a job. It was disgusting.

Eventually she was let go (another year down the road). She isn't average in her blatant laziness, but I bet that attitude is more rampant than we know.

Comment: Reduction of risk, not of responsibility (Score 1) 937

by JBHarris (#45909617) Attached to: Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?
When a surgeon is first out of medical school, they will do dozens if not hundreds of surgeries under the direct supervision of an attending surgeon. If that med student starts to do something dangerous, the attending (who was there the whole time watching) will step in and help them out. Any time the master steps in the student learns something new, effectively making it better. This doesn't mean the attending will lose focus after a few minutes and start reading a paper or playing on his/her phone, it just means they aren't the one actively performing the surgery. If the student destroys someone's knee or kidney or bowel the attending is held responsible, but the student gets bad marks for causing the situation in the first place. It is an effective feedback system.


Comment: Re:First, we don't RTFA (Score 1) 277

by JBHarris (#44764523) Attached to: What Marketers Think They Know About You and What They Really Do
I agree completely. They already know these things. I can pull a 'soft' credit report on anyone with all that information on it. Given a budget of $10k, I could bulk pull credit reports for everyone within a specific geographic region that has all that info on it. Pretending you are special and they need you to put in that information to "complete" their records is asinine tin foil hattery. If you think they needed YOU to come along and attach an email address to the last 4 of your social...well...sorry, you're wrong.

I signed in to see what information was gathered by their robots, and it was very interesting to read through it. Most of the information on me I could easily track back to where they might have gotten that information. I get direct mailers all the time about refinancing my home because bank notes on homes are public information (at least in FL, maybe everywhere). They only had me down for 1 kid, but they nailed his age. My guess that is because Toys-R-Us shares info and my son recently had a birthday. They had my salary way off. I actually corrected it for them. If that means I get fewer ads for Wal-Mart and more for Bass Pro Shops then so be it...I like Bass Pro Shops better anyway.

One neat thing they know is that I am/was a smoker up until recently. Until this post, I hadn't mentioned that on the internet (Facebook, G+, etc...). The only thing I can think of is that they knew I was recently doing heavy research into the drug Chantix, and then I stopped researching it. Maybe search engines and research portals sell your information as well as use it for themselves.

Neat stuff.

Comment: Said best by Zig Ziglar (Score 5, Interesting) 473

by JBHarris (#43996783) Attached to: The $200,000 Software Developer
If you go to work for the money, you will probably cap out at the 80%-90% percentile in your given field. Which isn't bad, but you won't set the right-edge of the curve.

Inspirational speak Zig Ziglar had a story that illustrates this point pretty well. I'm going to try to recall the details, but the gist is pretty simple.

Some railroad laborers were out working on a track one day when a luxurious single-car train pulled up. A voice called out from the car and said "Dave! Is that you?". One of the laborers looked up and said "Yea, I'm Dave. John, how are you?"
Dave was invited into the car and the two were in there for nearly an hour before Dave emerged and the two men embraced as old friends would do.
When Dave got back down and picked up his tools to begin working again, the luxury rail car pulled away. One of the other laborers asked Dave, "Was that John Abrams, president of the railroad?" Dave replied "Yes, sure is. He and I started on the same day in the same job 30 years ago." When the man pushed a little further and said "Well, if you two started on the same day in the same job, why is he running things and you're out here with a shovel?"
Dave thought for only a moment before answering.
"When I went to work for this company 30 years ago I went to work for $3.25 an hour. When John started, he went to work for the railroad."

Maybe a tad cheesy, but the point is pretty simple.

Comment: Re: Texas leads the way, again-- que horror! (Score 1) 262

by JBHarris (#43852533) Attached to: Texas Poised To Pass Unprecedented Email Privacy Bill
Thieves would not "obviously" prefer to rob rich people, because those people will have better security through dogs, alarms, safes, etc... No, the poor rob the poor again and again, and poorer neighborhoods are MUCH more likely to need constant police patrols to keep the level of riffraff low. If your argument is to make the people that benefit from it pay more for it, then you are essentially arguing for regressive taxes on police, fire departments, hospitals, schools, etc...

Comment: Re:no sympathy for the casino (Score 1) 312

by JBHarris (#43608405) Attached to: Video Poker Firmware Bug Yields Big Money, Federal Charges
Standard Control Buttons on a PC are the keyboard....If someone used the "standard control buttons" on a keyboard on a PC to steal money from a bank account by planting or taking advantage of an existing vulnerability we would plainly see the problem with that. But, if you take those keys off a keyboard and print simple icons on them, it becomes OK to do this?

Comment: Re:Falling to near zero?? (Score 5, Informative) 274

by JBHarris (#40607145) Attached to: Algorithmic Pricing On Amazon 'Could Spark Flash Crash'

People who bitch about government regulation behing high barriers to entry are usually just whiny bitches who couldn't succeed in the first place.

This is not true in my experience. Often times people have been making a perfectly viable living doing a certain thing, and then excessive regulation pushes them out of the market so the big players can take over. Larger players are the ones with the lobbyists to help define the red tape, and the money/lawyers to spend on navigating it.

Go try to harvest oysters or clams in a Florida harvesting area. The startup capital is a bucket and some mud-boots. The regulatory hoops you much jump through to get that shellfish harvesting certificate are insane. The direct costs paid to the State are only a couple hundred dollars, but you have the cost of inspections (for the "washing facility", aka a sink), the cost of training, the cost of the government mandated tags that denote the area, condition, and purpose of the shellfish (different requirements for raw, on the half-shell oysters vs the ones for cooking vs ones for freezing vs ones for personal consumption), then the cost of yearly assessments. These costs can easily add up to dozens of thousands of dollars, and are considerably higher than the startup costs.

With all due respect, people that say things like that don't seem to have any experience doing something that is regulated, and therefore talk out of their ass.

"Love your country but never trust its government." -- from a hand-painted road sign in central Pennsylvania