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Comment: Re:In short? (Score 3, Informative) 249 249

I used to live 90+ minutes away from a previous job... I worked from home 3 days each week, then came in for two. On the days I drove, yeah it meant 3 hours of driving... but plus side, most of that drive was by myself while whizzing through the twisty roads of the Oregon Coastal Range, and having the time to myself with a stack of good music and *nobody* impinging on that time due to crap cell coverage? That was kind of nice.

Mind you, I had no kids at the house and I lived on the beach at the time, so working from home was a snap - no distractions at all. I made up for the hallway conversations with IM and impromptu huddles over the phone. The days I drove in were packed with meetings (on top of the usual phone/webex conversations), so I got approximately no keyboard time those days. I'd call it a wash though, but mostly because my employer at the time was over-siloed and under-efficient; their glassdoor ratings were and are rightfully in the toilet if that helps.

But, that aside, working from home has the following benefits:

* time alone: you can set a huge block of time aside, shut the world out, and get shit done.
* boss says you gotta work late? No problem, just a sec': " Hey babe? I gotta spend a bit more time on this today; I'll just eat in here until it's done..."
* if you live in a scenic area, just step outside and work in an awesome setting.
* as long as the webcams don't see it, put whatever the hell you want up on your walls.
* pajamas! Well, eventually you get sick of doing that and dress for work anyway, but I did kind of enjoy wearing a dress shirt over cargo shorts.

It has the following drawbacks:

* office politics: when you're remote, you don't overhear those little snatches of conversation, see expressions, and get those subtle signals that would indicate something you may want to act on, so you find yourself blindsided - often.
* culture: you often find that you slowly slip out of the company's culture, which leaves you at a disadvantage as time passes. It also means that you miss out on connecting with co-workers at any meaningful level beyond giving and getting information.
* visibility: being gone leaves you lower on the priority list for promotions, advancements, special projects, etc. because 'Out of sight, out of mind'.
* quick gathering of critical information: at work, you can see if someone's there, get what you need if they're not über busy, then get back at it. Remotely, you have to wait for a response by email, IM, whatever... and they will ignore you just as much as you tend to ignore them.
* power went out at home? Better go into the office anyway. There were a couple of times when the little coastal town I lived in lost power (once at a very inconvenient time - a Saturday evening that we had a go-live scheduled) and had to haul ass to the nearest town with both power and usable wifi (and in that one case all the way into the office.) Happens more often than you think, because apparently residential power has a lower priority (and way less redundancy) than commercial, eh?
* self-discipline: sometimes, it's a royal bitch to make yourself focus on work when all you really want to do is kick over the the gaming rig and fart around a bit online... and at home, who's gonna know? It takes a special personality trait to get started on time and stick to it (and more importantly, know when to call it a day).

All said, there's a lot of factors I left out, and it all depends on you, your employer, and what you do for a living.

Comment: Re:One Must Fall 2097 (Score 1) 107 107

FYI: Star Blazers and Space Battleship Yamato (both the original 1970's anime and recent live-action flick) are all the same thing; Star Blazers was the US adaptation of the original series/anime... none of which featured giant robots (though the live action movie did have one, it was a morphed version of the original sidekick robot - it's damned name escapes me at the moment.)

Otherwise yes, I'm an incurable fanboy of the series, movie, etc.

Comment: Re:"Harbinger of Failure" = Hipsters? (Score 2) 292 292

I thought hipsters all owned iPhone and Macbooks, and shopped at The Gap. I.e. they are all about conformity, fads and Buzzfeed.

Not quite, at least insofar as the Gap.

Living here in Portland (which is somehow an outpost of hipsterdom), Most of the hipster types buy local clothing brands wherever possible (e.g. Keen, Archaeopteryx, etc), usually shift OS/laptop allegiances as needed (the apparent new thing now is to have a laptop running Linux with Docker atop it so you can run any x86 OS you want in order to impress your buddies), and the phones are nowadays either an iPhone or a phablet (the bigger the better).

There are points of conformity but only to an extent, as they seem to want enough minor differences between themselves - to generate interest in them, and/or to generate conversation points.

Mind you, this is only initial/light observation from a graybeard, but it seems to hold up.

Comment: It's most likely a sign of code age... (Score 1) 244 244

It used to be scarily common, but I believe that it's slowly phasing out in favor of hitting a website where you can (re)set the password yourself after a couple of security questions.

I believe it's just a sign of old code (or an old coder) on the site. There may be cases where the guy writing the sitecode is inexperienced or incompetent, but I like to think that such cases are rare.

I think I only see a cleartext password sent via email like once every 10 requests now.

Comment: Re:Prepaid is the way to go (Score 1) 85 85

I pay $45/mo, no contract on Net10, I get unlimited data**. I bought my own damned phone already unlocked (the LG G2 GSM phone I bought a month or so ago cost me something like $215 brand-new off of Amazon.)

It only costs me $755/yr my way ($45/mo plus $215 for the GSM/international phone I bought separately) with no ETF at all...

...versus at least $1167/yr (for a typical $89/mo big carrier capped data plan plus $99 towards their shiny new subsidized phone), and a 2-year contract w/ a massive ETF whether you like it or not.

Oh, and I still get 4G speed on AT&T's network.

** at $45/mo, the first 3GB is at 4G speed, but anything over that in a given month is throttled to 3G, but there's no overage charges at all... I rarely burn more than 2.5GB though, so I'm fine with the terms given the rather massive discount.

Comment: Re:Are you OK, samzenpus? (Score 3, Insightful) 85 85

I think I see the problem:

conservative-libertarian

To put it bluntly, there's no such thing. The two ideologies' interests do overlap in places, but the libertarian ideology also overlaps with the liberals on others.

Basically, the libertarian mindset is socially liberal, fiscally conservative, combined with a strong distaste for governmental interference of any non-critical type. Their main goal is to take over the government, then promptly get the government out of everyone's way.

HTH a little.

Comment: Re:IOW: TracFone Finally Agrees to Obey the Law (Score 1) 85 85

As a guy who uses Net10 (TracFone's parent company), I can tell you that the phones they sell aren't exactly top-of-the-line. Most of the models are the really low-end stuff: Huawei, ZTE, some-off-brand-or-other, and on the Net10 side, obsolete models of Samsung and LG. The Net10 side does have a couple of flagship phones, but those are prices way out of the reach of their typical customer. this is a typical list of phones we're talking about here. Many of these phones (in spite of being overpriced IMHO) cost less than a trip to McDonald's for a family of three. Even the most expensive ones top out at around $200.

On my part, I usually buy my phone unlocked from elsewhere, e.g. Amazon, then I do Net10's "Bring Your Own Phone" plan, which means I don't have to give a shit what they think. It also gives me the advantage of being able to jump to whatever carrier I damned well please, and choose the cheapest plan I can find. :)

Comment: Re:Are you OK, samzenpus? (Score 1) 85 85

Dude, seriously... if you want evidence, see this article , and notice that the modded-up posts are mostly *not* conservative in ideology. While you're at it, see the posts about AGW.

Personally, I find /. to be center to center-left, depending on the subject.

QED: GGP's Weak troll is still weak.

Comment: Re:College != Jobs (Score 4, Interesting) 132 132

The State of Utah did this back in 2000 -ish, by converting their technical (ATE) schools into campuses for the then newly-formed Utah College of Applied Technology. UCAT is fully accredited and on the state Board of Regents, but focused exclusively on 2-year Associates' degrees in vocational fields - CompSci (basically programming and systems/network administration), Nursing (up to RN licensing), Diesel Mechanics, Culinary Arts, a basic Business degree, CAD/CAM, and even a Cosmetology certificate (and subsequent state license).

You could then take that AAT degree, and convert it to a 4-year degree at any Utah state college (in fact, each UCAT campus was partnered with the nearest state college - The campus I taught at was allied with Weber State University in Ogden, and I was considered to be faculty and taught a few courses there, albeit while still on the UCAT payroll).

The cool part was that high school students could attend as early as their Junior year, and could, if they applied themselves, have a 2-year degree less than 6 months after graduating high school - all on the government dime, gratis. The classrooms were a mixture of AP-level high school kids and adults, and held day and evening courses.

Comment: Re:Johnny can't get a job (Score 5, Interesting) 132 132

Have you actually priced these guys? My ex-wife used them back in 2001-2003 to finish up a BSN degree, and paid an obscene amount of cash each month to do it. They also adopted that neat little trick the state colleges have of requiring 'bridge classes' and of discounting certain courses taken (in favor of pricier ones they provide), so sometimes you're taking superfluous classes and in some cases re-taking classes you'd already taken.

One thing I do wonder about though... most of the oft-touted 'free' community college courses are more towards getting an Associates' degree, whereas Phoenix' big advertising push is for folks who want to convert their 2-year degree into a 4-year one, or to convert a Bachelors' into a Masters'.

Personally, I think their biggest competition is the recent growth of small state-accredited colleges going online, expanding their presence, and pushing to provide the same thing Phoenix does. Many of these colleges have provided this sort of thing remotely (albeit not online, but by 'traveling prof') to military members for decades, but have recently decided to get a piece of the civilian market now.

Comment: Re:Civil versus criminal law (Score 1) 210 210

OK, I'll bite.

Name one.

He may be naming the UK as a locale... up until recently (and in many cases probably still true), the UK's libel laws were a nightmare for whoever found himself as a defendant - even if the defendant told the absolute truth, it may not be enough of an escape from liability depending on circumstance, timing, and delivery.

In the US, if you told the truth (and can prove it), you're generally safe from judgement (though not legal bills). Outside of the US, it may not be so cut-and-dried.

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