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Comment: Re:I don't think so (Score 1) 217

by Penguinisto (#46795909) Attached to: Russia Writes Off 90 Percent of North Korea Debt

They're a poor enough nation to notice it.

...which in turn gives them enough elbow-room to become a bit more belligerent, which in turn de-stabilizes the region. This in turn causes the US and Japan to have to spend their time doing something about it (China couldn't really give a frig, to be honest).

Speculative end result? Putin can take the rest of the Ukraine and any of the other former Soviet states with less attention being paid to it.

Comment: Re:Uh... change companies? (Score 1) 212

by Penguinisto (#46795787) Attached to: California Utility May Replace IT Workers with H-1B Workers

As somebody in his mid forties and is still successfully in the game, I can tell you authoritatively that you think you are winning, but you are not.


Dear GP:

* Wait until you're 35+, and start having a hard time getting up in the morning.

* As time progresses, you get to choose between family and your 50+ hour workweek (anything else leads to divorce, which even $100k/yr won't ameliorate.) Otherwise, you end up old, childless, and alone. You do not want that fate.

* In your 20's, burn-out is relatively unheard-of. In your 40's, it is something you'll spend a very huge chunk of your time trying to avoid at all costs.

* $100k/yr in Alabama might be nice, but $100k/yr in California ain't shit.

* Once you do reach your 40's, you'll start looking back a little.. and you may not like what you see. At nearly 45, I generally like the parts I see that didn't involve a cubicle (or desk). The only parts of my work history that I actually enjoy looking back at was either the USAF stint, or the teaching/professorial stint - not for the management (they mostly sucked ass), but for the feeling of awesomeness I get whenever I leaf through many of my former students' LinkedIn pages (or in the case of the USAF, times like whenever I stood on the flightline after fixing up a multi-million-dollar jet and gazed at the mountains nearby).

Long story short - you only get so much time to spend on this earth - do you want to spend it slaving away for some parade of uncaring asshats who think you're ultimately disposable, or do you want to actually do something you can look back on and go "holy shit that was cool!"?

Comment: Re:Unions (Score 1) 212

by Penguinisto (#46795669) Attached to: California Utility May Replace IT Workers with H-1B Workers

hey fuck-wad, it WORKED about 100 yrs ago...

This isn't 100 years ago - the companies have gotten smarter (and far more PR-savvy) since then.

Let me tell you how a certain progressive German company handled their union troubles here in the US...

They bought an oil-company spin-off called Shell Solar. In their Washington (state) site, the Machinists' Union decided that it would be a great time to ask for a raise, since things had been stagnant there for awhile wage-wise. The company said no. The Union threatened to strike, and it made a bit of noise in the local papers.. The company quickly agreed to the wage increases.

Not a handful of months later, the company decided to turn the WA production site into a warehouse, and gave the workers a choice: Either re-apply for jobs at lower wages in nearby right-to-work Oregon, or be out of a job. Two years later, the site was shuttered entirely.

So - still think unions are the way to go?

Comment: Re:Why do these people always have something to hi (Score 1) 339

by Penguinisto (#46795515) Attached to: VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

US v. Maxwell is a different story - it described a user/subscriber relationship with an ISP.

Otherwise as a general rule, corporations and similar entities (like publicly-funded universities) which provide email POP3 and IMAP service says far, far different:

Comment: Re:Why do these people always have something to hi (Score 1) 339

by Penguinisto (#46795485) Attached to: VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

Not so. For example here is the privacy statement from a well-known university:

Privacy of Information
Information stored on a computer system or sent electronically over a network is the property of the individual who created it. Examination, collection, or dissemination of that information without authorization from the owner is a violation of the ownerâ(TM)s rights to control his or her own property. Systems administrators, however, may gain access to usersâ(TM) data or programs when it is necessary to maintain or prevent damage to systems or to ensure compliance with other University rules.

Which Uni is that? I understand that they cannot claim copyright, but legally the Uni can do whatever else it wants to with it.

Comment: Re:In Communist America (Score 1) 155

by Penguinisto (#46795415) Attached to: Peoria Mayor Sends Police To Track Down Twitter Parodist

If I write a scathing article about my local mayor, I won't get killed in a dark alley. I'm in Portland. Scathing articles about Sam Adams were a party trick for a little bit. Poor bastard.

As a fellow PDX resident, I can second that... hell, Adams even starred in a few Portlandia episodes in what has to be the coolest self-parodies ever (he was the Mayor's assistant).

I can't stand Adams' politics or ideology, but I damned sure admire the guy for being able to take a joke (and even to actively be a part of it.)

Comment: Re:Why do these people always have something to hi (Score 1) 339

by Penguinisto (#46795325) Attached to: VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

...unless either you or Mann (prolly not both) are lying, which is more than possible given that no one can actually use that data to reproduce the results he originally presented.

But the kicker is that you don't seem to understand that this is just a fishing expedition, to find something, *anything*, to take out of context and shit-coat Mann's career.

You mean like Mann did when he sued Tim Ball, then watched as the case collapsed because he wouldn't, you know, hand over the research documents that would prove Ball was somehow committing libel?

Oh, wait... ;)

Comment: Re:Why do these people always have something to hi (Score 1) 339

by Penguinisto (#46790779) Attached to: VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

People have an expectation of privacy in email.

In Europe, yes. In the US, not so much. Nearly every IT department has standard boilerplate that includes the fact that whatever you send in company/school email is company/school property, and can be searched and seized at any time for any legitimate reason.

Comment: Re:Why do these people always have something to hi (Score 2) 339

by Penguinisto (#46790757) Attached to: VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

Odd to see someone arguing on Slashdot in favor of publicly funded academic research being kept from the public.

Nobody is arguing for that. His private emails are not "publicly funded academic research".

...then perhaps he shouldn't use them for such a purpose? Odds are very near-perfect that he did use private email to at least promote his public research (via certain blog sites), and it is a valid and legitimate target for litigation discovery.

Comment: Re:Why do these people always have something to hi (Score 1) 339

by Penguinisto (#46790729) Attached to: VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

If your point is so proved and plain, why hide as AC?

Not the A/C, but this is why, on top of the point that you've utterly failed to disprove his point.

Do you want all your email and documents published to the public? If not, what do you have to hide?

Point of order: No one is asking Mann to lay out his entire life - just the portion of it that we the taxpayers paid for, and the portion that actual science (at least should) demand. any other arguments?

Comment: Re:so? (Score 4, Insightful) 214

by Penguinisto (#46783531) Attached to: Click Like? You May Have Given Up the Right To Sue

They don't pay as much for for preferential treatment as the other guys. Their only need for lobbying is to ensure farm subsidies are as high as possible to force down the market price for grain.

Actually, the best way to force prices for grain downwards is to *remove* government subsidies, since most of them go towards paying farmers to limit their harvest output, thereby keeping per-bushel prices high.

Same with any other non-processed food item - dump the subsidies, and farmers will have to increase production to make up for it. This in turn will force prices down for those food items.

Comment: Re:Better leave now (Score 3, Informative) 233

by Penguinisto (#46783225) Attached to: Kepler-186f: Most 'Earth-Like' Alien World Discovered

I suspect things work a bit more linearly than you might surmise. Maybe I just read your post wrong, but let me re-word it to see if I got it right, with a few changes:

Right now, we (as a human civilization) have pumped out radio signals that currently are racing out past the 100+ light year mark. This is stuff we sent long ago (e.g. Titanic's SOS call has reached the 102-light-year-mark, other early Marconi radio broadcasts in Morse code, stuff like that.)

The initial contact is the bitch - you send something out to a planet 50 ly away, hope someone is there and is capable of listening at that moment, along the frequency band you sent, has his antenna pointed at the same vector from which your signal is originating, has sufficient technology and skill to discern it as a intelligent/sentient message created intentionally. Oh, and you'd better hope something in-between doesn't obliterate the signal on its way there, and that it was powerful enough to not be diffused too much.

Meanwhile, your alien recipient not only has to receive it, but he needs to be capable of sending something in return. If he can decode what you sent and then send a suitable reply - bonus! If he sends something with the same pattern back, okay.

Now we get to wait another 50 years before the reply gets back here, we still have to be around as a civilization (with the right equipment!) to hear it, have someone interested in listening for it (what, 100 years after his grandpappy sent the original signal?), and again, hope the alien dude didn't decide that maybe a different and random (to you) frequency band would have been better to send the reply with... and toss in the same hazards experienced when sending the original request signal.

(...and you thought postal service was slow...)

Comment: Re:What now? 1 billion! (Score 2) 279

by Penguinisto (#46781095) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

The sad part is, MS Access barely qualifies as a database, but most of the "techies" I spoke to at a ghost-hunting conference last weekend** heaped praise on building a "database" with MS Access - they intended to put it on their website for collaboration between ghost-hunting groups, much to the cheers of those various groups who were present.

I stood up and quietly began asking questions of the guy who announced it. 30 minutes later, after realizing to his horror just how insecure and craptastic Access is for Internet use (I had to explain the risks and hazards in layman's terms, which made things slow-going), I gently introduced them to MySQL (which should be more than sufficient for their needs). I offered to help construct a basic setup for them to use once they sorted out how they would introduce privilege separation and suchlike. Next up (if they haven't abandoned the idea completely), I'll introduce them to the concept of a CMS. The guy leading the effort nodded blankly when I walked up to the podium afterwards, gave him my business card, and told him to call me when he was ready.

By the time I got done talking, I was surrounded by a bunch of people (various new-age and definitely non-IT types) who just stared at me slack-jawed and soaked it all in. The one and only other human being in the room who knew what I was talking about was doing his level best not to giggle (he's on my wife's local team, and his day job is web development). I should mention that most of these folks can be wizards at basic EE concepts (with lots of gaps), and can make a sound file do anything just shy of your laundry... but IT is a great big blank to most, and the deepest most of them go is to, say, use wordpress.

As a side-note, I now know fully how Bruce Campbell felt when he shouted at the villagers about his "boom stick!"

So yeah - Access would probably be about it for most folks.

** Why was I there? My wife is really big into this sort of thing, and as any married man knows, you either go along with her or you're a dead man.

Time is an illusion perpetrated by the manufacturers of space.