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Comment: Re:Only if it's in google's interest to block this (Score 4, Insightful) 96

...only if it's in Google's interest to block services like this instead of asking the victim to pay more money.

It is. If AdWords fail to provide a reasonable return people will stop using them and the price will drop significantly, cutting into Google's revenue. It's definitely in Google's best long term interest to stop this kind of thing.

Comment: Re:The human side of the story (Score 1) 124

Perhaps you don't understand how governments and large corporations structure themselves in order to save money: they use contractors instead of employees for exactly that reason.

Regardless of the disaster scenario, employee/employer rules stipulate they have to pay their employees during the time when they're normally expected to work, even if they can get no productive work from them. If they have extended downtime due to fire, construction, etc., They would have to lay off the unused workers, which means paying unemployment benefits. Contracts, on the other hand, can be written so they can be paused or terminated at will. It's up to the contracting firm to manage the pay when they're "sitting on the bench", and most of those contracts provide no compensation for periods of non-work.

On the flip side, when you are hired as a contractor, you explicitly sign up for those risks. Even though it may look like a regular job, it isn't. It's a contract.

The human side of the equation was carefully measured and surgically extracted back when the government decided to use contractors instead of employees. Employees cost too much.

Oh, I realize that quite well. Government employees are required to take leave as well in many such situations unless they can work from home. The contractors are actually hourly employees of a company that then contracts with the government. Since government contracts, on a T&E basis, cannot pay for time not worked no matter the reason the contractor gets no money and doesn't pay their employees (who are actually employees not contractors so despite your employer / employee assertion there is no requirement to pay them) either. Sure they may realize that but that still doesn't change there is an often forgotten human side to such events.

Comment: Re:Graph is search results, not speed measurements (Score 5, Informative) 281

The methodology of testing the hypothesis is to look for google searches about "iphone slow" or "samsung slow". Assumption made is if people search for "iphone slow" Apple might have done something to slow down iPhones. The control group is Samsung which has the same motive as Apple but not the means because it does not control the OS.

Actually, the data was gathered to see if the professor's view that his phone had slowed down was also shared by other iPhone users; they found an interesting correlation between search spikes and new iPhone models but were careful to say that doesn't prove anything other than people perceive a slowdown when a new phone comes out. He points out some valid reasons why the Samsung / Apple data differs, primarily that Apple releases a new version of IOS with the new iPhone and thus the new iOS may not be optimized for older hardware while many Android users remain on an older version. In addition, since the Andriod device makers don't control Android they may find it cheaper not to spend a lot of time on the OS and rather invest in hardware improvements as the differentiator.

Comment: Re:Patent is for use without music? (Score 1) 161

As a simple analysis, Bose created and patented the noise-cancelling headphone. They made it and marketed that rather directly as noise-cancelling headphones, initially and specifically designed to do one thing..

Not really, the concept had been around a while, and pilots had been using them long before the first pair of Bose QCs hit the market. Bose, while he did a lot of research into ANR, popularized them for use outside of the cockpit. IMHO Bose are way overpriced, you can get a set of Audio Technica, or a if you prefer an open ear design, Sennheisers that cancel noise quite well for half the price of the Bose . A Sennheiser BT for about the same price but with BT. Al of them also work as regular headphones when the battery dies, unlike the Bose QCs.

Comment: The human side of the story (Score 3, Interesting) 124

Many of the effected people are not government employees, they are hourly contractors doing clerical and office work. They either have to take vacation or go without pay, and not getting paid for a week when you are making maybe $15/hour is not pleasant. Some can work from home but since the outage was unexpected they may not have their work laptop at home. How do I know this? I have a friend who works there.

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 200

Now that Comcast will soon be the nation's only cable company, why don't they just tell the networks they will no longer pay for their channels once the current contract is up? What are the networks going to do, lose nearly all of their viewers overnight?

And Comcast would lose subscribers by the boatload as well.Cable companies have threatened that over fee disputes and the content providers tell subscribers "the cable company is taking away your sports..." Such battles don't last long as both are hostages of each other. With the OTA HD broadcasts if Comcast dud that you'd see some channels go that route if they could get airwave space; others go to internet delivery and fight with Comcast there. Comcast can't afford for companies to find alternative choices for cable because of the severe impact that would have on their revenue; as well as risking content providers discovering they can make more money and sell subscriptions at abetter price to viewers than via cable thus lowering the value of cable's subscriber base to them. The real losers will be those 200+ channels only six people watch but still get a few pennies per subscriber so it is financially viable to provide content for their six viewers.

Comment: Re:Mac OS X Yosemite (Score 0) 165

by Registered Coward v2 (#47524335) Attached to: Mac OS X Yosemite Beta Opens

Regarding pronunciation, I used to cringe/laugh every time Jobs said 'Jaguar.' It appears that there were three pronunciations depending on what you were referring to:

1. Mac OS: Jag-Wire

2. Large cat: Jaguar

3. British car: It's not running again

There. Fixed that.

As a side note, I wonder if Lucas' patent on the electrical short has expired yet.

Comment: Re:Admiral Farragut - and Cmdr. Taggart (Score 1) 701

by Registered Coward v2 (#47502751) Attached to: Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

I had never heard the story until my niece's graduation from Annapolis (she went Marines, so she's a 2nd Lt. now). When the superintendent of the academy got to the punch line, it was pretty thrilling to hear the entire graduating class shout, "Full speed ahead!" I also liked his advice - "wear sunscreen!"

Interestingly enough, the torpedoes he referred to were actual what we would today call mines. Congratulations to your niece. Next time you see her tell her you found out from an old sailor what marine stands for: "My Ass Rides in Navy Equipment."

Comment: Re:I don't see the problem. (Score 1) 667

by Registered Coward v2 (#47500705) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

The EU may finally be spurred to approve more sanctions on Russia, but Russia can sell gas to China and other partners instead.

The Chinese will drive a very hard bargain for that gas. Delivering it will be time consuming and expensive. Volume will be limited by facilities for some time to come, and even after the initial scramble it can never be as efficient as delivering to Europe.

Replacing EU gas sales with sales to China would be a gift to China. They'd have Putin over a barrel; he needs the cash an they can do without the gas. There is nothing like a distress sale for getting a bargain. China could even resell some of it to the EU; although the sea borne shipping logistics would be more difficult than using a pipeline.

Comment: Re:Do as they do in job references (Score 1) 424

by Registered Coward v2 (#47491503) Attached to: French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

...you could wind up with a discrimination complaint depending on the circumstances; even if you truly did not discriminate.They would nee to substantiate what the discrimation was.... It's not generally even illegal to fire somebody simply because you've decided you just don't like them... particularly during an initial probationary period. It can still risk you being exposed to a lawsuit, but as one can sue for pretty much any reason anyways, that risk is there regardless of what you say or do.

After such a probationary period, then generally the employer is obligated to give the employee sufficient time to conform to any new expectations, and communication to that effect will generally be in writing, along with acknowledgement that the individual understands that failure to conform to the newer standards will result in dismissal.

Certainly. No one is arguing about internal personal actions.

If the employee feels that he or she is being treated differently than other employees, then that would be the time to address the concern, not after they have already been fired.

There in lies the rub. They may feel that have been treat differently but feel it is not worth bringing up; until you say something to a potential employer and they decide to sue. While we agree on a number of thinks we clearly have differing viewpoints on the risks involved with giving a reference beyond verifying employment. My POV comes from having been involved, with two separate employers, HR situations similar to this with employees who we let go; even though I didn't give a reference nor was asked to give one it still was a pain to document and justify every single action I took and spending time with lawyers who said "that could be construed as X. How did you justify it was Y." In one case a person turned in inaccurate time cards and I spent an inordinate amount of time having to prove my guidance was clear on work expectations and proving the reasons he gave for his time reporting were invalid. I quickly learned how something I though was clear and a factual statement could be construed otherwise; at least I got paid to learn that bit of employment law.

Comment: Re:Do as they do in job references (Score 1) 424

by Registered Coward v2 (#47490299) Attached to: French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

If all I say is "he didn't fit into our company's corporate culture" the employee would somehow have to argue that there were other people who didn't fit in either who were not discharged. Since there's no possible way he could ever hope to prove such an allegation, how would he proceed?

Again, I think it would be a long shot but the general tack might be to force you to define what the culture is and then look for people with similar profiles that were not fired. For example, if he was late and your employee records show other who were late were not disciplined. INAL but would also hazard a guess if your are too vaque you could wind up with a discrimination complaint depending on the circumstances; even if you truly did not discriminate. In the end, even if you win you wind up paying to defend yourself.

"Falling in love makes smoking pot all day look like the ultimate in restraint." -- Dave Sim, author of Cerebrus.

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