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Comment: The Internet Community (Score 5, Insightful) 108 108

And one might want to look at how the nastiness of Internet forums contributes to this as well. What happens when an entire society is constantly bombarded with the kind of crap we see every day?

So next time you decide to post some trolling bullcrap, remember that your behavior does, indeed, have a real effect on the other people involved.

Don't be a dick. It's not that hard and we're all better off.

Comment: Re: TNSTAAFL (Score 1, Insightful) 272 272

Yeah, because I'm sure that everyone loves their local BMV. Everyone wants it to be fast and easy to deal with, but I will tell you a secret: in most places, the BMV sucks, everyone bitches about it, and it isn't getting better.

Shall I mention the VA or the IRS? I bet we all want those to be good too but, uh, yeah. They suck.

Government agencies, on the whole, are pretty shitty in part because they don't have to be good in order to stay in business.

Comment: Re:I'd like to see a permanet disney 'evil counter (Score 2) 229 229

That article needs to be updated with this H1-B situation.

I would do it myself, at least add a section with a few references and get it started, but every time I edit an article on Wikipedia my contributions are automatically reverted for some reason I cannot fathom. The Encyclopedia anyone can edit... Yeah right. I apparently need to be in some special club or something.

Comment: Re:Update the resume (Score 1) 229 229

No, unions have nothing to do with being socialist or capitalist or communist. Nice trolling, though.

Unions can be good - and originally they were, here in the USA. They made sure workers had decent working conditions and weren't slaving away for pennies a day. In exchange, the union would ensure that the workers were qualified and doing their jobs and provided a pathway for technical training.

Unfortunately, they started to go too far, as these things often do. Today, too many of the USA's unions are money grabbing thug organizations that would rather burn a business to the ground than give up anything at all. Many unions are only interested in excessive compensation, keeping out competition / protectionism, and political activism.

Some unions are happy to let a business die rather than capitulate on ridiculous requests. The Hostess company is one example. The American automotive industry collapsed, in part, due to the unions. Did you know that in America, when vinyl records were used to play music on the radio, that the radio union created a position with the sole responsibility of putting the record on the turnstile? Nobody else was allowed to do that simple task of putting the record on and dropping the needle. If a sound engineer were to do it they would get in big trouble.

It's nearly impossible in some industries to fire someone because of the insane power the unions can wield - and the unions will always defend you, even if you're incompetent, have committed a serious crime, or whatever. After all, they want to ensure that there's a tradition of defending everybody no matter what, so that should the people at the top get in trouble for something legitimate...

That kind of behavior is why you see a growing anti-union sentiment in the USA. I don't know what it is like over in Europe - it may be that the unions over there are a lot more sensible.

It's very unfortunate. Unions, done properly, are an excellent thing, but greed is powerful and people are stupid. Here in the USA the unions have failed.

These days, because of the protection the Federal and State laws provide, official union organizations in general seem unnecessary. All the protections that unions fought hard for have become federal law. But, that doesn't mean a group of workers, who aren't in a legal "Union", can't just walk out anyway. If they're being abused, they should walk out and make their complaints known.

+ - Why American Loathe Cable Companies 1 1

HughPickens.com writes: Vikas Bajaj writes in the NYT that the results are in and the American Customer Satisfaction Index shows that customer satisfaction with cable TV, Internet and phone service providers have declined to a seven-year low. Of the 43 industries on which the survey solicits opinions, TV and Internet companies tied for last place in customer satisfaction. “Internet and TV have always been among the lowest scoring,” says David VanAmburg, director of the Index. “But this year they’re at the very bottom.” The study, which is based on more than 14,000 consumer surveys, gives companies a rating from 0 to 100. The ACSI reports huge drops in customer satisfaction for Comcast and Time Warner Cable, following their failed merger. Already one of the lowest-scoring companies in the ACSI, Comcast sheds 10 percent to a customer satisfaction score of 54. Meanwhile, Time Warner Cable earns the distinction as least-satisfying company in the Index after falling 9 percent to 51. Joining Time Warner Cable in the basement is ACSI newcomer Mediacom Communications (51), which serves smaller markets in the Midwest and South. “Customer service in these industries has long been bad,” says VanAmburg of Internet and TV providers. “They don’t have a good business model for handling inquiries with efficiency and respect. It goes back a decade plus.”

Even though those complaints are longstanding, customer frustration has risen along with the ever-rising prices. “You compound all that with the prices customers are paying, and that’s the final straw,” says VanAmburg. “They’re opening bills each month and saying ‘I’m paying how much?'” In an age of over-the-top viewing options like Hulu and Netflix, customer dissatisfaction may increasingly translate to companies’ bottom lines. “There was a time when pay TV could get away with discontented users without being penalized by revenue losses from defecting customers,” says Claes Fornell, chairman and founder of the Index. “But those days are over.”

+ - New test could reveal every virus that's ever infected you->

sciencehabit writes: Can’t remember every viral infection you’ve ever had? Don’t worry, your blood can. A new test surveys the antibodies present in a person’s bloodstream to reveal a history of the viruses they’ve been infected with throughout their life. The method could be useful not only for diagnosing current and past illnesses, but for developing vaccines and studying links between viruses and chronic disease.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:How can they legally do that? (Score 1) 614 614

I was wondering this myself. How is this legal? It seems to me that a major class action lawsuit should be just around the corner, followed by some kind of criminal proceedings, followed by a bunch of people in government getting kicked out of office.

Oh wait, that's right. Too many politicians are without ethics and are easily bribed.

Comment: Just Remove The Product (Score 4, Insightful) 145 145

Re-packaging the product as your own is bad enough, but another bad part is that older projects may have security vulnerabilities as well. It seems like it would be far more ethical to me to simply mark the project as "abandoned", then after a while remove it completely. If the project is alive somewhere else, then contact those folks, let them know what is up, give them a chance to close it all down themselves or revive the proejct on SF.

But taking it over? No, that is not cool.

Comment: Statistics in School (Score 3, Informative) 287 287

My father told me that when I took math classes in college, that Statistics I will teach me everything I really needed to know about the subject, but that Statistics II would teach me how to lie with what I learned. He was not incorrect. There's so many ways to manipulate the data that I find it very, very difficult to trust ANY stats that I find in the news without also having access to the raw data, the methodology, questions used, selection process, etc., etc., etc.

Comment: One Very Important Thing (Score 4, Insightful) 583 583

I wish I had known how mundane and utterly banal most software development is.

I spend 99% of my time on bug fixes, documentation, configuration management, and writing new code that quite frankly, aside from exact implementation, isn't that much different than code I wrote 10 years ago.

"I need to shuffle data from point A to point B."
"I need to hit an API and stuff the result somewhere."
"I need to make sure the user doesn't enter something retarded into this form."

Maybe 1% of the work I do is even remotely interesting. Why? Because of the flood of software frameworks and libraries that take care of all that interesting stuff for you. A vast majority of us don't have to care about the best algorithm for X, for example - that work has already been done. Software is more like legos these days. You take the pieces you want and put them together.

That is good in that making software is easier and faster than ever before, but it is murder for people who did this stuff because it was interesting. There's very little mystique these days.

+ - SF Says AdWare Bundled with Gimp Is Intentional-> 5 5

tresf writes: In response to a Google+ post from the Gimp project claiming that "[Sourceforge] is now distributing an ads-enabled installer of GIMP", Sourceforge had this response:

In cases where a project is no longer actively being maintained, SourceForge has in some cases established a mirror of releases that are hosted elsewhere. This was done for GIMP-Win.

Editor's note: Gimp is actively being maintained and the definition of "mirror" is quite misleading here as a modified binary is no longer a verbatim copy. Download statistics for Gimp on Windows show SourceForge as offering over 1,000 downloads per day of the Gimp software. In an official response to this incident, the official Gimp project team reminds users to use official download methods. Slashdotters may remember the last time news like this surfaced (2013) when the Gimp team decided to move downloads from SourceForge to their own FTP service.

Therefore, we remind you again that GIMP only provides builds for Windows via its official Downloads page.

Note: SourceForge and Slashdot share a corporate parent.
Link to Original Source

The major difference between bonds and bond traders is that the bonds will eventually mature.