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Comment: For those who say she's overpriced (Score 2) 684

I'm sorry, but when I hear "so-and-so's overqualified and more experienced and therefore more expensive" I really have to wonder how this becomes such a common topic in hiring conversations.

Certainly, some positions require a great deal of negotiation for both parties to arrive at a price - but most jobs really don't work that way at all, do they?

No, most jobs have a static pay rate or relatively fixed contract budget and either you accept what they offer, or you move on.

Same for the other side of the table - do most managers really have the authority to grossly overspend on talent? Really? "Spent too much on that guy, $50K to script batch processes at 3rd shift at a colo, and he just isn't innovating... That's what I get for hiring a college graduate... "

If you are looking for the best, you spend and take that risk, if not, you make a reasonable offer and if they counter too high, you say, "this is what the position pays, do you want it or not?"

At some businesses, you start as a temp, no matter what your experience. At a Big NYC Agency, you start in the mail room, even if you've passed the bar exam in 2 states. Given that this model is successful for some very successful firms, maybe businesses that "overpay for talent" are really just overpaying too many middle-managers or doing a piss-poor job of recruiting. Or, maybe it's a complaint without any merit at all, designed to create a chilling effect on an aging workforce to get them to give up things like benefits

Comment: Don't overthink it. See who needs help and ask how (Score 1) 260

by Media_Scumbag (#43172825) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Donate Older Computers to Charity?

As others have mentioned, there are a number of local entities that recycle/ refurbish / re-purpose old computers. All you have to do is a little looking. In Arizona, a very popular program is Arizona StRUT ( Students Recycling Used Technology) - http://www.azstrut.org/ - look at their website, it might be able to point you in a direction that applies to those in need in your area.

Other ideas: Church-affiliated thrift stores are popular in rural areas. Homeless shelters need computers so their customers can look for jobs / housing resources and stay in contact with family. Boys and Girls Clubs and YMCAs still exist in many urban areas, and may be in need of some equipment. Retirement housing and elderly care facilities may be interested. Look around and ask how you can help.

Comment: Re:Where's the independent study? (Score 1) 330

by Media_Scumbag (#42776259) Attached to: San Diego Drops Red-Light Cameras

It's not always that simple, though. Why was the car stopping? Risking other motorists' lives for that of a butterfly isn't what a reasonable person does. A thylacine, maybe... But stopping for a changing light - it probably could be successfully argued that the other person was following too close. I'm sure this happens fairly often when car was stopping for a fire truck or policeman. I'm sure that AU has some provisions for that. The US sure does - I know because I've been rear-ended whilst pulling over for an oncoming ambulance that the person behind me had totally ignored. I explained it quickly to the cop and he let me be on my way (I was in a large truck, which only had a scratch on the bumper). I assume that he'd either checked with dispatch, or just believed me.

More to the point, though: In the US, there exists "comparative negligence" laws that make it possible that even if I am perhaps 60% at fault for stopping abruptly and receive a citation, you, and the 3 people following you might be considered - in civil court, not traffic court - to be 40% at fault for the accident because you were following too close and possibly speeding. Now, let's pretend that the four of you folks (really, your insurance companies) decide that you don't want to pay for my heavy foot on the brake, and you sue the city for its' comparative negligence role in the accident - shortening its' yellow light cycle from 3 seconds to 2.2 seconds at the lights where it has cameras, (in an attempt to increase revenue). You can see how this could cost quite a bit in legal fees alone, regardless of whom is decided to be at what part at fault, even in a single accident.

Comment: Re:My favorite traffic camera story (Score 3, Interesting) 330

by Media_Scumbag (#42773697) Attached to: San Diego Drops Red-Light Cameras

I know of a lawyer who beat a photo-cop speeding ticket in this way:

1. He was driving in his wife's car and was perhaps a little over the limit, and the machine flagged him.
2. His wife received the ticket in the mail.
3. Under local law, since she owned the car, but was not the one in the photo, it falls on her to identify the driver of the car at the time, so that he may be cited.
4. This, of course, meant that the lawyer's wife was being compelled to testify against her husband, which is illegal.
5. The lawyer simply told her to ignore it (like thousands of other people do), as there would need to be a summons served to her.
6. No summons was ever served, and the citation was dropped.

Comment: Where's the independent study? (Score 2) 330

by Media_Scumbag (#42773465) Attached to: San Diego Drops Red-Light Cameras

In 25 years of watching these systems try to replace traffic cops, I've yet to read any independent data on whether there's a net increase in safety in using speed and red-light cameras.

There are those who are pro-camera, who usually turn out to be affiliated with the makers of these systems, and those who are against, usually the expert witness traffic engineers who testify against municipalities in cases of those involved in rear-end accidents with the people who stopped for a changing light.

That said, I think they're probably useful in intersections that already have a high accident rate within the intersection itself, but as a pervasive means of generating revenue, I think their net effectiveness and their profitability for local governments may be outweighed by the liabilities of enforcement - such as increasingly necessitating a summons-server in the process - and collateral accidents that occur because people may be distracted or alter their behavior to avoid a ticket.

Likewise, cops going after DUIs in a fashion that renders the officer little more than a citation-machine doesn't seem like a good revenue model either - ie: targeting late-night drivers with "loose license-plates" rather than those who in broad daylight cause multiple-vehicle pileups; the largest number of easy convictions aren't always the ones that benefits society most.

Comment: Apple's not the first to do this (Score 1) 673

by Media_Scumbag (#41061677) Attached to: Sealed-Box Macs: Should Computers Be Disposable?

Motorola has been making phones this way since the late 90's. The original "Razor" was practically glued together; Very few fasteners, very few sub-assemblies, very little to repair. It's all on one chip, one board, one focus of fabrication. Assembly matters, not dis-assembly.

Look at cars, too - the use of adhesives and foams and plastic clips that are effectively "consumables" - as they are often destroyed during dis-assembly - has grown every year. The shift is to pass the cost of assembly off on to the cost of repair - many goods are no longer meant to be repaired as they had in the past. The manufacturing processes have dictated that only the major systems can be replaced, not individual components.

Cars, phones, computers - most products - are better built than in the past (often, by robots) and last longer regardless. The fetish of the new is what most often gets us to purchase anew. There's still a market for the upgrade/repair customer - but it is they who will be paying the premium for this flexibility.

Comment: The Root of the Problem (Score 1) 167

by Media_Scumbag (#40605323) Attached to: FTC To Revisit Robocall Menace
The crux is this:

1. The Do Not Call List:
A. Is opt-out only for legally-operating businesses.
B. Is a sales leads vector for illegal businesses, or businesses that can make a claim to a pre-existing customer relationship.

2. ANI/Caller ID, prepaid cell phones, VOIP:
A. As others have noted, VOIP makes it trivial to spoof ANI/Caller ID data, requiring a detailed (and often costly) "harassing call" investigation on the part of the consumer's carrier to decipher the actual source, if possible.
B. Prepaid cell phones are ubiquitous now, and allow one to easily use a line (or merely an ANI number) for nefarious purposes and ditch it before it reaches a threshold of suspicion.

3. Consumers lack the sophistication to delineate legal "annoying calls" from illegal "harassing calls."
A. Title 47 has no longer has the teeth to grasp offenders unless they are extremely high-profile in their offenses. 10 years ago, it was a misdemeanor to call a wireless device with an automated service or to "spam-fax." A caller was to identify themselves and their employer and to provide a means by which to opt-out of future calls.
B. Thus, Federal and local regulatory and law enforcement agencies don't have the sophistication, funding, or inclination to tackle the problem.
C. And, carriers don't want to be in the business of preventing calls of any kind.

From my recent personal experience, a large number of the fraud businesses (credit-rebuilding scams) are leveraging a combination of all of these phenomena in order to operate with impunity: they use a robodailer, pitch only when a person answers (not voicemail), and use a "burn-phone"/prepaid cell number as their ANI source or callback opt-out number. I get about 2-3 of these calls per month on my mobile, a number that isn't publicly shared in any other directory than the Do Not Call List. I have a constantly-growing list of 20 numbers that my carrier now blocks, but I believe that the scammers are only likely to be using a given number for only days at a time.

The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981

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