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

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) 218 218

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) 185 185

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.

Comment: Re:OMG america is stupid (Score 1, Insightful) 181 181

If ever there was a weapon that would be classified as only a weapon of terror with no practical application beyond fear.

Well, fear and burning people to death so they're no longer a threat. Not very efficient, but effective.

And I guess the "practical applications" of your guns, if they don't involve fear, involve gunning people down, right? Don't bother with scaring them off, just kill them.

Between you and me, it seems like the practical application of creating fear is working just great on you, quick-draw.

Comment: Not at all surprising (Score 4, Insightful) 187 187

This will probably come across as a kneejerk response, but the submission makes it sound like Liu's themes are almost entirely derived from PRC propaganda. You hear this sort of stuff all the time if you pay any attention to Chinese state media ... planned economies are best, the individual's primary responsibility is to the family unit, Western ideas have failed, and so on. If anything, these books demonstrate the poverty of a literary scene where everybody has to constantly watch what they say.

Comment: Re:No soul (Score 2) 351 351

Peter Jackson ripped the soul out of Lord of the Rings when he neglected to film The Scouring of the Shire.

But he did film it, kinda. He just didn't put it into the story. It shows up a little bit in the Mirror of Galadriel sequence.

One could argue that that was the correct way to play it, too. I know people who claim to have "walked out of the theater after the first ending and skipped all of the other ones," as it is.

Comment: Re:It looks like a friggin video game. (Score 1) 351 351

You can turn that off, I havent seen a tv yet that didnt have interpolation as an option the user could turn off. Sometimes they give it some gimmicky name though

Yeah, on my set there are two settings that combine to create the effect and I have each set to "most of the way off" because that's the way I like it.

Comment: Re:Jack of all trades (Score 1) 129 129

Masters of only one (Let Kindle Slide). Online Shopping. I simply do not understand all of these devices that Amazon is trying to pimp.

I think you do. You just don't realize that these are tools for online shopping. Buy a Kindle, get all of your ebooks from Amazon because it doesn't support Epub, which is what all of the other online bookstores are using. Buy a Fire or a Kindle HD, get your apps and your movies and your music from Amazon because even though it's Android, it doesn't come with Google Play. Amazon sells a lot of real-world things, but if people are buying digital things now then Amazon wants to make sure it sells a lot of those, too.

Comment: Re:Algorithms Can Be Patented (Score 5, Insightful) 164 164

If you don't know how it works, it's only because you haven't bothered to look it up.

Not exactly. You only know how PageRank worked at the very beginning, when it was patented. That is far from "the" Google search algorithm these days. It remains one of the most important ones, and possibly one that's fundamental to how Google's whole search engine works, but they have many, many other algorithms that govern search results today. Most of these are not patented, mainly for the reasons mentioned earlier: If Google patented them, it would have to disclose how they work. Instead, they maintain them as trade secrets, like the formula for Coca-Cola.

In Disney's case, I think it's not really interested in competing with Google. It would much rather Google, Bing, etc look at its patent, say "OK, I can do that if it will get Disney off my back" and implement the patent for little-to-no royalty fees.

You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350

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