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Comment: Re:For what jobs? (Score 1) 134

by Sedated2000 (#46420917) Attached to: College Board To Rethink the SAT, Partner With Khan Academy
The Newport News Shipyard has a well known apprenticeship program with a full school and everything. I know several people who got their bachelors degree there and were working and getting paid while they did it. They now work to design the ship and sub components. My own brother was in it for a while before he switched to an outside school (still paid for by his employer) and is working on his master's degree as we speak. The Hampton Roads area alone has several large shipyards, large manufacturing plants and rail yards.

Comment: Re:the good news (Score 1) 225

by Sedated2000 (#46268265) Attached to: Scientists Create Pizza That Can Last Years
I have to mention that MREs now are at least as good as anything I've had canned from something like Chef Boyardee. The Chili MRE is actually better than most canned chili brands I've tasted. I was also shocked that when I added cold water to the milkshake bag, it really did taste like a milkshake. Not the best clearly but close enough to be considered a nice treat to find in the MRE bag.

Comment: Re:Theft (Score 1) 1010

by Sedated2000 (#45601485) Attached to: EV Owner Arrested Over 5 Cents Worth of Electricity From School's Outlet
I don't think the issue at first is the 5 cents of power. It's the danger that might have been caused by him plugging in something in a circuit he knows nothing about without asking first. It could have caused damage to school equipment or caused an electrical fire. He could have damaged his car and tried to sue. For me the amount of power he took isn't really any concern, it's the risk he might have caused.

I don't however, agree that putting him in jail overnight was reasonable. This should have been handled by a simple fine.

Comment: I love my plasma (Score 1) 202

by Sedated2000 (#45294201) Attached to: Panasonic Announces an End To Plasma TVs In March
I have a 65" LG plasma and was shocked when I took it out of the box to find out how thin it really is. I was also shocked to find out that it wasn't the heavy monster they once were and it actually runs quite cool. In contract I bought a 50" LED LCD to hang in my bedroom and not only is it twice as thick but it's quite a bit heavier. The picture on my plasma is wonderful too. My only complaint with it is the glossy screen since it sometimes reflects light in the evenings.

Comment: Government Contracting is a rats nest (Score 5, Informative) 144

by Sedated2000 (#45213761) Attached to: ACA Health Exchange Contractors Have History of Security Failures
The processes and hoops you have to jump through in order to respond to their requests for proposal are ridiculously complicated. Way too often companies who are not qualified get the contract merely because they knew how to play the system.

The government has programs to support small businesses like 8a for disadvantaged, one for businesses owned by disabled Vets, one for women owned. This does help some, but more often than not those companies are just paid so that bigger companies can bid for work and use them as the vehicle to get it. In my experience as a government contractor for most of my career I've seen countless scenarios of companies bidding for 8 resources on a task but really only using 2. I've seen them work on contracts for over a decade, and despite horrible execution of the project they continue to win the re-compete because they'll purposely squirrel away anyone who can help a new contract winner. They'll eat the cost and give people useless jobs at their corporate offices just to attempt to make the new contracting company fail.

There is also a terrible history of nepotism involved. The entire system is abused. Officers have even set up companies and awarded contracts to themselves right before retirement. When they leave they have a ready made contracting company complete with an ongoing contract and perhaps one or two for their past performance record already. By the time they're caught, they are fined a million or so which at that point is small price to pay for them. They just had the world's best interest free business startup loan. Yes, I have first-hand knowledge of one such instance of this and I know it is definitely not an isolated incident.

Here is an example of waste: When I was on one of my last contracts I spent months doing nothing of real consequence. Through some weird situation I was left with no project manager and no tasks. I informed all of the management who would listen, and requested work. I began to worry I'd be cut, along with the worry that if I sat idle my hard-earned skills would dull. I found another job and quit. I received a call from the vice president of the company telling me she was hearing what a great job I was doing and that they wanted to offer me a substantial raise to stay. It was then I realized they didn't care what I did. They could bill for me. By showing up I was doing a "good job". I couldn't take it and left.

Comment: Re:You asked for this (Score 1) 289

by Sedated2000 (#45103895) Attached to: CPJ Report: the Obama Administration and Press Freedoms
I would look forward to a system where someone doesn't have to be a millionaire or have millionaire friends to get in to office. There are plenty of people who would do an excellent job but don't even attempt to run for office anywhere because they don't have money to spend on commercials and big websites. It would be simpler if there were controlled places to announce a candidacy, and a ban on all of the ads these people put everywhere for election. Everyone gets equal time and opportunity to state their positions and goals. I know, it's not reasonable to expect this would come to fruition.

Comment: Re:simple (Score 1) 497

by Sedated2000 (#45093461) Attached to: Cost of Healthcare.gov: $634 Million — So Far
It's not as simple as that. It is true that there are a certain portion of contracts set aside for small businesses (with further specialization for Woman Owned, Disadvantaged, Native American, Veteran Owned (at least for disabled vets), but they all still fall under the small business category. Once they reach a certain dollar threshold they are no longer considered small business and those benefits are not applicable to them anymore.

It was created to foster small businesses and give a leg up so that they can compete with the giant contracting companies that would otherwise dominate. There is just a plain "Small Business" category but the more you can claim in your business registry the smaller the competition pool gets and the greater your chances of winning are. There are some for say "8a" where you might very well be the only bidder and you'll win pretty much by default unless your proposal was completely off the mark.

This place just isn't big enough for all of us. We've got to find a way off this planet.

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