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Comment Re:Well then (Score 1) 128

A few things to note:

a) Not an American in Europe: an American in the Netherlands. Visa programs are set by countries themselves so the experience in Ireland won't be the same as an expat in the Netherlands. There are certainly some countries that are more welcoming

In the Netherlands you can't just come over unless you're on an expat visa. And "Integrating" requires five years of continuous employment. The problem being if you get laid off (as I was) and blind sided you basically get shipped home.

And getting citizenship may mean renouncing your US citizenship. Again depends on the country, some will let you have two citizenships (although not all will)

b) There is a HUGE difference between current climate in Europe for immigration and five to ten years ago. Many new restrictions were added after the economic crisis. Even more restrictions were added when all the syrian refugees started showing up. With such a large influx of migrants (and rampant xenophobia in some countries) many governments are making the bar for a non-refugee much higher.

Comment Re:Well then (Score 2) 128

As an American who lived in the Netherlands for 7 years (first Maastricht and then Amsterdam) I can tell you it's not that easy to find a job. Dutch immigration laws are a pain, and thanks to the PVV and Gert Wilders they're basically trying to prevent more migrants coming and kick the ones already there out. (My source? My visa was revoked and I was politely asked to leave the country after my visa was revoked for being laid off).

What this ends up meaning is if you're EU you'll have no problems (because you can just move there, because it's EU) but if you're non-EU forget about it. (Actually it's just very difficult). And even if you have very hard to find skills you'll be punished for being a foreigner. They'll pay you less (because you pay less taxes) and gouge you for housing prices.

Still, despite the drawbacks it was worth it. If you get a chance, take it.

Comment Re:Open book for thee, privacy for we (Score 1) 440

I'm not sure who "Miss Whiplash" is, but if you're talking about your landlord, she almost certainly deposits the money in her own bank account.

Even if she spends it, the second she goes to a store to break the bill, it goes to the bank.

Your cash is only ever a transaction or two away from being tracked. Because, let's face it, most merchants deposit their cash so unless you pay all in singles (which will then be given out as change) your bills will get deposited.

Comment Re:Open book for thee, privacy for we (Score 2) 440

I think it's incredibly myopic to think any privacy already exists for your payments.


1) Unless you are working illegally your bank already processes your paycheck.
2) Your employer is already providing the government with both a) bits of your paycheck (called income tax) and b) a record of your earnings
3) Once the money hits your bank account, your bank already knows where it goes. If you withdraw cash, they may even know the serial numbers (and can track to some extent from that). ATMs certainly could be "upgraded" to keep a record of each bill handed out.
4) If large inflows or other transactions are seen, your bank will report it to the government. If you do not use a bank, when you buy something big, the bank of your merchant will report the transaction.

The days of just having a pile of cash, and no one knows where it's going are gone. It may be possible to take some steps to make tracking harder. For instance, prepaid debit cards come to mind. Once the economy gets rid of cash it may be that there becomes a hot market for these (much like criminals now use prepaid cell phones).

Comment Re:Cox's Solution: A return to pay as you go prici (Score 1) 247

This is why T-Mobile's new free LTE for Netflix / Hulu / etc. is so interesting. For $10 a month I get 2 GB of LTE data for anything that is not streaming video, and unlimited streaming video from Netflix (and a number of other providers)

And just like that the monopoly Cox has on interwebz disapears. Because let's face it, at those kinds of overage prices, a mifi is actually cheaper than cable (and significantly faster) :D

Comment Re:Dumb argument (Score 1) 80

You're assuming it is profitable. I think the point is most services like OneDrive / iCloud / DropBox / Whatever try to get you hooked by offering limited storage so you'll upgrade. Companies lose money on the teasers but make money when people go onto the service.

It could be they miscalculated and actually people only need 10GB of storage. So instead of roping people in (sorta like a drug dealer) they aren't getting a high enough conversion ratio to the full service.

Comment Re:This (Score 1) 393

I call bullshit. I also hated high school, and went to college instead. The college classes translated back to high school requirements, and I only needed to take the regents (state exam). And, after college level english / history / physics this was a joke, and I scored in the highest percentile.

While I would have liked to have skipped physics, it was a requirement I had to take, and they wouldn't let me into college unless I agreed to this weird course schedule

Comment Re:Smart man (Score 1) 378

People make this kind of choice for their kids ALL THE TIME. Just look at refugees coming in from Syria. People can and do make the choice that it's better to risk their children's lives, and relocate themselves and all future generations to a culture where fundamentally they're considered outsiders, BECAUSE they believe it will be a better life.

Comment Re:No excuse for committing a crime (Score 1) 201

If the engineers did something that they knew was wrong then they deserve to be blamed and punished for what they did.

The interesting thing is most software these days is abstracted out. If you're working on a big, enterprise level project, you won't get asked to draw a big picture: you'll be given a module you need to create that takes a given range of inputs and transforms them to a given level of outputs on a specific platform.

It's very possible that this wasn't something the whole engineering department would've known about. You could very easily have a number of different "modes" and then just have one guy link the modules together (in the damning behavior)

Comment Re:I have no debt and a hefty savings account (Score 1) 386

Actually this makes sense if you think it through.

One of the key indicators lenders are looking for is a change in your financial situation, which they use your behavior as a proxy.

If you are routinely paying off all your cards, and suddenly you want to spend $100k, it's fishy because it hints at something going on.

Maybe a sudden medical diagnosis will push you into bankruptcy.
Maybe a lay off will mean you'll borrow as much as possible before missing payments and going into bankruptcy
Maybe you just want to buy something expensive over a few months, and are not a credit risk.

The point is the banks can't know, so they may make the choice of not taking a chance (because someone who suddenly takes on debt could have heads or tails kinds of prospects)

Comment Re:Productivity of office workers? (Score 1) 360

Well Japanese suicide customs go beyond assisted suicide. I remember one example from the book: someone killed themselves as "death testimony." Basically the idea was they were giving witness (like in a court of law), and this was a way to prove they weren't lying. Or the idea that once your purpose is spent you should die (even if of full body and mind)

There's other, more complicated examples, that would be hard to explain if you haven't read the book

Comment Re:Productivity of office workers? (Score 1) 360

Japan actually has a history of embracing death and suicide in its culture. It's a bit wacky, but sometimes you're supposed to kill yourself if you're a good traditional japanese (and I have references!)

Read the book Shogun by James Clavell for an interesting perspective on it. It really shines a light on a non-western perspective, where death is something to be embraced at the right time (and that it's important to die a good death), as opposed to something that should be avoided at all costs.

Comment Re:one word (Score 1) 602

What most people don't realize about general non-competes is to be enforceable, your old employer needs to PAY you for the period of the non-compete -- a non-compete clause is not allowed to deprive you of work.

Note that a GENERAL non-compete is different then a specific non-compete. It's generally permissible for a company to enforce a non-compete against a few competitors (e.g. you worked for google, now may not work for Apple) but they can't have an across the board stoppage of all work unless they pay you

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