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Comment: Re:Economic Collapse due to Class War (Score 1) 386

by Mr Otobor (#35025496) Attached to: Official — Economic Crash Not Computers' Fault

No. It is all too easy, and all to human, to conflate the two.

Simply, and brutally, put: Greed is me stealing your wallet, malice is me breaking your bones with a hammer. Will the two sometimes coincide, absolutely; are they equal, obviously not.

This is all the more important when it comes to trying to address the two.

Comment: Re:Class Difference (Score 1) 671

by Mr Otobor (#34995926) Attached to: The Rise and Rise of the Cognitive Elite

I'd like to add more comment on degree vs. non-degree. I never completed my bachelors, am 10+ years into my career and am comfortably into six figures. But I've often run into the "Oh, you don't have a degree?" or similar. I don't believe it has ever prevented me from getting a job, though I also have worked with the same boss / group at a number of positions and companies for 50% of my career; I hate when people talk about "networking," but the power of personal recommendations is stronger than anything else, including a degree.

So, to get a degree or not? I would say you can go either way and make it work for you. But if you think, like I did, "Oh, whatever, in 5 years it won't matter," then you are only partially correct and need to set your expectations accordingly. And for those first 5 years it will matter. You may still get the jobs --probably you will if you are smart enough and work hard enough-- but expect to have explained yourself enough times that it starts to come out of your mouth like a badly read script. And the relationships I've built with management at different companies will naturally age out, as those people retire; new management, who may bring with them their own cohorts of trusted coworkers, may or may not value my work as highly. I wonder, perhaps only a vestigial fear, if my lack of degree won't again come up.

There is an aspect outside of work, too. You are going to need a succinct little script for dinner parties, social mixers, sitting next to random people at basketball games, distant in-laws, etc. I find it surprising the number of people who use, "So, where did you go to school?" as an ice breaker.

So, all told, make your choice; it is not the end of the world, one way or the other. But do yourself a favor and be realistic in your expectations.

And come up with a 20 work explanation of why you did't complete school. :)

Comment: Re:Unfortunately (Score 1) 473

by Mr Otobor (#34933122) Attached to: Mail Service Costs Netflix 20x More Than Streaming

There are other services besides Netflix. Blockbuster (*gasp*) offers lots of new releases and recent movies, for streaming or download. But you have to pay 3.99 or 4.99 per movie: Not unexpectedly, you can't watch every new release for 7 dollars flat or whatever Netflix is charging these days. They are still subject to random blackouts and other annoyances of the studios, like lots of B-grade and indie movies only being available to buy. Why the heck would I pay 20.00 for something I stand a good chance of not enjoying even the first time or might be good, but not 20.00 good? In any case, access to movies doesn't start and stop at Netflix.

Comment: Is this worth comment? (Score 1) 676

by Mr Otobor (#34271980) Attached to: Is Linux At the End of Its Life Cycle?

This is not the first time someone has called for a national/homegrown OS. And perhaps he's not quite ready to jump in and, to mix metaphors, bite the hand that feeds him so he calls out Linux. Or, alternatively, he is calling for a homegrown OS and he knows that bashing Windows will get him no where but that peeling off a few nationalistic OSS developers might get something started.

In any case, not sure this sentence fragment deserves any real attention, regardless of who is saying it, as Linux survives evolutionarily/according to, essentially, market forces. Ok, there is more than a little piled on top of that, but certainly not e.g. huge marketing campaigns and distribution deals, but you get my point. When Linux is EOL, and it will be at some point, it will be EOL.

Comment: Re:like any other job? (Score 1) 629

by Mr Otobor (#33324438) Attached to: Union Boycotts LA Times Over Teacher Evaluation Disclosure

There are a couple of main things the union is complaining about (I live LA and this has gotten a lot of coverage in the last week; I am not involved with the teachers, the schools, or as a parent)

1.) The evaluation used (value added) is problematic and the method's proponents readily admit it has failings, and in fact declared a few months back that it is not yet ready to be used widely or as the basis for teacher evaluations, or that it should be used by itself, etc. The LA Times also makes a mention of that in the article, but they are publishing names/scores etc. anyway.
2.) The Union (and many teachers) are asking what good publishing the names actually does. Will the teachers be fired? Will students be moved into the 10 or 20 percent of classes run by the highest coring teachers? The answer is, 'No', not the least because of #1, above.
3.) There is a big privacy/safety/comfort concern. It is very easy for folks to say, 'Well, they are public employees' and so on, but would you want your personal information published in the local papers? Or your job performance? And then to be left to deal with any e.g. angry parents on your own? Or have your authority undercut with possibly already barely controllable kids?

So, I have heard some very good reasons, from several different directions, as to why this is a bad idea. The argument for doing it seems to really come down to one thing:

1.) Teachers need to be held accountable.

Which I also tend to agree with. However, it does seem odd to me that out of all the jobs in the world now suddenly teachers are being tossed in with the likes of a Senator or Representative or celebrity, to be tried in the court of public opinion. I mean, if that's gonna be the rules now, we really, really really do need to pay them more. Maybe rather than say, "Well, let's publish the teacher's info in the papers!" it would be more effective to focus on teacher and administrative oversight, the implementation of a pay system based on an array of metrics --that are regarded as actually being effective metrics--, teacher report cards to the parents/teachers, etc.

I think the LA TImes is swinging and missing with this one.

Comment: Re:This is bad for China. (Score 1) 34

by Mr Otobor (#33085528) Attached to: China's Firewall Stymies Google; Users Confused

Steadily improving, yes; but as they started, roughly, in "Vlad the Impaler" territory, I think the admonition to "back off a bit" and "let them sort out their problems" are a both a bit premature and a bit naive. China actively censors content, makes use of heavy and constant propaganda, and jails, tortures, executes and 'disappears' people; saying, "Well, they do it less often now" or "Now the show trials last 2 days sometimes!" is hardly a defense.

Comment: Re:More Methane Ruptures? (Score 1) 799

by Mr Otobor (#32171216) Attached to: Oil Leak Could Be Stopped With a Nuke

It's so simple, in fact, that the Soviet Union used this method five times to deal with petrocalamities, and it only didn't work once.

Success rate does not illustrate simplicity, especially not with that small of a sample set. That could be the equivalent of saying, "Putting a man on the moon is so simple, in fact, that the United States has used their method once and it has never failed."

Alternatively, the fact that this method has 'only' a 20% failure rate and it INVOLVES A NUKE would seemingly give cause for one to pause and reconsider; at the least, for entertainment value if nothing else, I would like to see what the local harvest industries (fish, shrimp, etc.) have to say about it before this idea gets tossed in the crackpot bin.

Comment: Re:Make lemonade (Score 1) 555

by Mr Otobor (#32045110) Attached to: Recourse For Draconian Encryption Requirements?

Uh, false. Well, mostly false.

As has been stated 1000 times already: The company cannot obligate you to use your resources for company work; if your job description requires a certain resource the company is obligated to provide it. However "provide" may be in the round-about way of reimbursement, company credit cards in your name, or any other ways that companies find to essentially take a short-term, interest-free, penalty-free loan out from their employees. But for computers on a large scale I can't imagine any sane/non-masochistic IT department doing that, at least not for very long... then they would be obligated to support all 1000 permutations of SW/HW.

Anyway, short answer: No. If they do, get all class-actiony on their asses and take a year off for your troubles. It's clear cut and I have to imagine more than a handful of lawyers would be willing to take the case.

Comment: TFA doesn't say that (Score 2, Informative) 108

by Mr Otobor (#32035970) Attached to: India, China Try Import Regulations As Security Tools

First off, TFA article doesn't mention source code; second, it quite explicitly says 'details are murky' and it is unclear what the PRC is asking for. At least as far as the article goes, that is what is said.

Second, to some comments: Other countries already have various schemes in place for reviewing code (which doesn't preclude flaws or backdoors, intentional or not, from being included in compiled / embedded code...)

India is saying what other countries fear, but since they are in China's backyard and vice versa, it's not surprising they're willing to go a little further and say it out loud as well as act on it. Also, as a bit of a reminder, India and China are as much --if not more so-- in competition than US/China/Europe: India has been trying to bolster it's sea power as it falls further behind China in that regard, China has close ties with Pakistan partially because Pakistan and India don't like each other particularly much, India is courting Afghanistan partially to offset Pakistan's power, etc. And let's not forget China and India have fought an actual war, albeit a fairly small one, and India lost and has never accepted the outcome.

Comment: Okay, but what does it mean? (Score 3, Insightful) 136

by Mr Otobor (#31957002) Attached to: Report Blames NRC For VT Yankee Leak

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to take away from this... for instance:

at least 102 reactor units are now documented to have had recurring radioactive leaks into groundwater from 1963 through February 2009.

(which is a broken link from the linked article/page)

So the NRC is a 50 year epic fail? That leaks are increasing? Increasing... post-Regan/post-90's/post-40-year-old-reactors? No implied pattern? Caused by what... maintenance failures? Expected wear? Unexpected wear? Lack of oversight?

Sorry, I just tend to take a somewhat guarded view to statements that amount to, "It's all f*cked up!" and not much more.

Comment: Here's a brilliant idea (Score 1) 542

by Mr Otobor (#31604736) Attached to: High Fructose Corn Syrup Causes Bigger Weight Gain In Rats

Since HFCS may or may not be worse for you than sugar, and sugar, in just about any doses higher than you find in an apple or berries, in quantities greater than you can consume by actually eating said apples and berries is also bad for you (disclaimer: yes, over time, in sustained quantities, not in the presence of suitable amounts of more complex carbs, yada, yada) why not make an end run around the entire hulabaloo and... *gasp*... not eat sweetened foods?

Ok, have some cake once in a blue moon. But just stop eating sugar (in whatever form) three to five meals a day, and for snacks in between. Because once the HFCS storm blows over in one direction or the other, that real issue that high sugar intake (or, it seems from some evidence, even moderately elevated sugar intake) puts you at risk from all sorts of things --diabetes, insulin resistance, weight gain on the one end of the scale down to temporary fatigue and impaired athletic performance on the other-- is still gonna be sitting in exactly the same spot: fact (and your fat ass :>)

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