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Comment Re:Wildly expensive (Score 1) 96

So I have a hunch the copyright holders of these older movies will try to get much larger licensing fees out of MST3k this time around.

Maybe, if they're clueless. Lots of movies that were basically collecting dust have experienced a "revival" from being lampooned on MST3K. For example, Manos, the Hands of Fate is basically a household name among movie geeks these days. If your movie is truly pretty shit and it's not making any money for you, you know the old saying about bad publicity...

Comment Re:Bringing stuff back (Score 2) 96

Yeah, I hate to say it, but I don't particularly relish the idea of an aging Joel or Mike besmirching the memory of the original by attempting to reclaim the old magic.

It won't be either. They're not ruling out the old characters making cameos or something, but they're getting a new, younger host (some comedian) and a couple other new people to play the bots. Joel's mostly just running the show.

Comment Re:Increase productivity?? (Score 1) 443

So it's essentially inconceivable that any drug could make you creative. However it seems plausible that some drugs could act as a kind of adjuvant to creative struggle when you're approaching a creative breakthrough. Such breakthroughs often come at a time when you're critical faculties are slightly deranged; when you're exhausted; dropping off to sleep; or just say "screw it for now" and do something unrelated.

Hell, I've solved weird computer problems before with a case of beer sitting next to me. I'm one of those weird people where micro-doses of ethanol -- say, downing can after can of Pabst Blue Ribbon -- actually mostly has a stimulant effect. It excites the part of my brain that likes alcohol but it doesn't get me drunk enough, fast enough to have the "downer" effect that it's supposed to have. (Real ale, wine, liquor, different story.) It will actually allow me to stay up all night, and at around 3am -- et voila!

Comment Re:Important to note (Score 1) 443

You are conflating psychedelic use with opiate use.

A friend of mine used to do Olympic style weightlifting (the competitive kind, not the bodybuilding). His coach used to tell him that back in the 60s and 70s, those guys would down anything they could get their hands on. None of it was very well researched, so there were lots of theories about which ones could potentially be "performance enhancing." LSD was definitely something they were using, and it wasn't uncommon to see lifters have complete freakouts on the platform (though to be fair, they were probably on a ton of speed at the same time).

Comment Re:Important to note (Score 2) 443

I had a high school friend who was a fan of LSD. Saying it isn't addictive is a lie. He was constantly touting the benefits, which I didn't see in his life.

Having a negative impact on your life is not the same as being addictive. Eating candy bars can have a detrimental impact if you do it enough, but that doesn't make them addictive substances. Sounds like your friend was just a big fan.

Comment Another sensational headline about nothing (Score 3, Informative) 167

Are we really extrapolating a trend from a single month-to-month increase? Sure, 493,000 professionals quit in July and 507,000 quit in August. That's actually a pretty negligible change. All the more so when you consider that 510,000 quit in June and 516,000 quit in May.

Indeed, from the report itself:

The number of quits has held between 2.7 million and 2.8 million for the past 12 months after increasing steadily since the end of the recession. The quits rate was unchanged in August, measuring 1.9 percent for the fifth month in a row. The number of quits was little changed for total private and government over the month.

So once again -- lies, damn lies, etc.

Comment Re:Never understood (Score 1) 430

I think "on a shared workstation" means it was an electronic document and not a physical sealed envelope.

Fair point, and that sounds dicier. 'Round these parts (California), that employee might have a case for wrongful termination. But maybe not; snooping around corporate computer systems, even if the door is unlocked, just doesn't look good.

In the other case, though, now that I think about it, even if I had signed a contract that said my salary was confidential, surely that's only an agreement between me and the company? Would I really be violating such a clause if I disclosed my salary to another agent of the same company? It just doesn't seem like there's anything management can really do to prevent this sort of thing.

Seems like the only thing that keeps people from discussing this sort of thing more is the fear that someone's feeling are going to be hurt -- either theirs or yours -- if it turns out there's a big salary discrepancy.

Comment Re:Never understood (Score 1) 430

We recently had someone canned because they opened someone else's offer letter (which was sitting on a shared workstation).

Well if a sealed letter had someone else's name on it I'd agree that's a firing offense.

Me voluntarily telling you how much I make, on the other hand, is our business. Management can cough and sputter all it wants, but unless I signed a contract that stipulates my salary is confidential information, there's nothing they can do about it.

Comment I think these fears are overblown. (Score 5, Insightful) 420

Being afraid that your job will be taken away by "overseas workers," besides its vaguely racists and xenophobic connotations, is just the latest flavor of a very old fear.

Back in the days of the industrial revolution, it was automation that was going to take away the jobs. And in a sense, it did. But the population of (for example) the United States is larger today than at any time in its history, and most people still have jobs. Whahoppen? And yet now some of the people who weren't even alive during the industrial revolution are worried that robots and other machines will take their jobs away. Or foreigners.

The best wait I can explain it is that you should never approach an employers with the idea that you are a consumer asking the employer to give you something, in this case a job. You should think of yourself a a business resource -- which is what you are, and in fact the most valuable one that exists on the planet. When you apply for a job, you are OFFERING an employer something. You are not the consumer. You are a supplier. So as an autonomous resource who has control of your own destiny, how do you increase your own value so that you are more attractive to your current and future employers? It ain't gonna happen by you taking a job and then sitting down at your desk and pretending you're going to do the same job for the rest of your life.

If you're afraid that you've got the kind of job that your employer could just hand to somebody else tomorrow -- somebody you've never met, somebody who's never met anybody on your team, somebody who maybe doesn't even speak the same language as you -- then my first question is, don't you like money? Why are you in that job, when it can't be worth what they pay you for it and you could already be doing a lot better for yourself.

A lot of tech workers seem to get confused and think their value to their employer is in the skills they have. That's true, partly. But I'd say at least half of being successful at any job -- and maybe even 80 percent -- involves interpersonal skills. How well do you work within the team? How able are you to anticipate what the business needs and act on that? In cases where there's a leadership vacuum, can you fill it? And then when it's time to follow directions, can you still do it?

Or how about this one: Do you LIKE your job? Do you show up every morning feeling good and ready for work, because you feel like what you do for a living is something worth doing? I've talked to a lot of people who don't feel that way, and honestly I feel like a lot of that is on THEM. Going back to the idea that you're not a customer, you're a supplier ... you've gotta stick up for yourself. For most of us (hopefully) nobody has stuck a gun to our heads and made us take ANY job. It's true that they wouldn't call it work if it was all fun and games, but many of us spend more of each 24-hour day at work than we do sleeping. And certainly more than we do spending time with our friends and families. My advice is to spend that time on something you think is worth doing -- not something that a 10-year-old could do for you, if that was legal.

Do that, and you're already ahead of the game. When you're in a job where your real value is not to some nebulous economic concept, but to the people who make up your business, then you're in a pretty good spot. You can outsource Worker X but you can't outsource Dave Johnson, because there's only one of him.

So don't be Worker X. Maybe it sounds glib, but that's really the whole game. That's your life.

Comment Re:Don't forget legacy BROWSERS. (Score 3, Insightful) 218

This is tricky. It's tempting to support legacy browsers, but if you do too good a job of supporting them, you don't incentivize your users to ever get their sh*t sorted, and upgrade their browsers. It's a vicious cycle I am eager to avoid.

Yeah, but when your "users" are more properly called "customers" -- or even more important, "potential customers" -- then some web dev's desire to preach the gospel must take a back seat to doing the job the way it needs to be done, rightly or wrongly.

It's fine to push for strict browser standards when the only people who will ever see your web applications are within your own organization. Public-facing sites are a different matter.

Comment Wheee.... (Score 1) 185

But of course, every single employee who was hired at Google when the standard interviewing technique was to ask pointless brain-teasers is still one of the "world's best and brightest," no doubt? Smartest, brightest, most talented workforce in America? Changing the world, one day at a time?

Thought so.

365 Days of drinking Lo-Cal beer. = 1 Lite-year