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Comment Re:Avoidance (Score 3, Interesting) 72

On the other hand, being away from one's boss is a good way to not get recognition for even large accomplishments, while those that are close to the boss, providing that the boss likes them as people, move up and get the perks because even doing their normal duties gets them recognition.

I've known two people that served in the US military, one in the Marines and one in the Navy. Both observed that officers and enlisted that worked closely with the CO moved up much faster than those that did field work. Those that did the most real work and were good at it were passed over. On top of that, sometimes displaying vulnerability and weakness, if the right kinds of those, could move up out of sympathy when they were arguably worse candidates.

So maybe don't get the office next to your boss or the cube right outside of his door, but if you want to move up don't be on the other side of the building either.

Comment Re:Just don't IoT (Score 2) 82

As long as there is zero accountability, there is zero reason to do anything about it.

This honestly should be consumer products safety issue, especially for things like the electronics in cars. Like how Microsoft should never have created a web browser so tied-in that it could serve as a vector into the heart of the operating system kernel itself, automakers should never have tied the infotainment systems into the body control and power control modules where anything on those computers could do anything to the operation of the vehicle.

Comment Re:This isn't hard folks (Score 2) 72

Maybe because they don't match the definition of a mercenary?

That's sticky mainly due to the Geneva Convention's definitions for the criteria needed for the label. Given that the United States has been a party to the conflicts in which nonmilitary persons have been hired by the US to participate in, they're not mercenaries by the definition that requires Nationals not affiliated with the belligerent nations. Given that they're generally not hired into infantry or other common roles and are usually used for specialty jobs it's hard to argue that their pay is disproportionate. Given that their roles aren't generally infantry, it's even difficult to claim that they take a direct role in fighting the hostilities. Would someone working VIP security that gets into a firefight with a specific group of assassins fall into the same 'direct fighting' role as a soldier in-uniform on a routine patrol?

Based on the need to satisfy several conditions of the 1977 Amendment, Protocol 1, Article 47, it would be difficult to call people in specialized roles mercenaries. It's a challenge applying even one of the several criteria depending on how taking a direct role is interpreted.

Mind you, I don't think that we should employ so many non-military individuals in the military roles in forward-deployed areas, even in things like the laundry or meal production. I believe that other than the medical corps, every individual providing services to combat personnel should themselves be trained as combat personnel and be prepared to take on that role if necessary. I don't want a bunch of laundry workers or mess hall attendants being unable to defend the base because they're civilians, and as civilians have to be defended by the regular military personnel.

Comment Re:This isn't hard folks (Score 3, Insightful) 72

Mother's Basements and other places used for self-imposed isolation exist in all places and probably in all cultures.

The biggest problem is finding people that will follow orders when the penalty for not following orders is lower than it is for a military officer or enlistee. That barrier will probably preclude civilian contractors that have never had military service from performing that job. Don't know about former-military civilian contractors though, they might be better at not flinching, but then there's the legality issues surrounding the ramifications of bad calls where innocent people died, or where someone intentionally does something that kills noncombatants. At least in the past civilian contractors had to be present to do the acts that killed innocents such that the country in which the acts were committed could mount something of an objection. What's the law on a civilian remotely operating a machine in a foreign country that's specifically equipped to kill, using that machine to kill? At least a military member could see prosecution if through the military system of justice, but I don't know how well that would work for civilians.

Comment Re:Easy solution - COSTCO does it better (Score 2) 471

They also deal with the fleet sales department rather than the retail sales department, and the fleet people just look at the numbers and figure out the dealer's markup and make a fairly quick response.

The best technique is to buy a car out-of-state though. Sales tax is paid to your state, not to the selling dealer's state, and there is no county or city sales tax in the equation. On top of that, if your state requires that the sales tax be based on the MSRP rather than on the negotiated price, this technique makes the sales tax price reflect the actual price, not an inflated MSRP.

Comment Re:Size and mobility as needed and appropriate (Score 1) 232

Pretty much. We already have two distinct areas for watching content. One is for casual content like television shows. It has a 30" TV with only the TV's built-in sound. The other is for watching movies. It has a projector, a 100" screen, and a surround sound system.

Both are technically capable of both functions; both have Blu-ray players, both have Internet-connected computers. When we just want something on to sort-of pay attention to the TV is on, and we're usually doing something else at the same time. When we want to watch a movie, the laptops get put aside, the lights go down, and we actually watch the movie.

If on-demand TV through the Internet has stalled, it's probably due to an apathetic form of analysis paralysis, where there's too much to choose from so narrowing-down the scope is hard to do. By contrast, when content is being 'streamed' (ie, broadcast) whether one makes a selection or not, it's a lot easier to apathetically leave that content on, reducing or eliminating the need to make a decision. Think about it, would most of those crappy mid-day shows exist if people had to actually choose to watch them? I don't think they would, people would simply not bother to select them. Same goes for a lot of the gossip shows like Extra and Entertainment Tonight, most people don't seem to seek-out gossip and only really participate because it's right in front of them. Make them have to choose and that probably won't be their choice.

Comment Re:smart tvs are not smart (Score 1) 148

Consumers don't like having to contend with making things work properly. Remember those crappy Fisher audio systems that looked a bit like a stereo stack, but were basically hollow shells? People bought them because they operated with one remote, even though they produced crap sound and would eat cassettes.

It's not as easy to have separate discrete parts. I know, I still have a receiver/amplifier, VHS, cassette, phonograph, Laserdisc, Blu-ray, HDTV tuner, and projector, and at one point I had a stereo receiver that needed an external Dolby Pro Logic decoder for surround. On the one hand I feel it's a better experience than an all-in-one in terms of quality and of options, but on the other hand we watch most casual TV on the more-integrated stuff in another room and use this system when we're specifically sitting down to watch a movie.

We're getting to where we'll need to push for greater consumer protections at a regulatory level. Companies still refuse to acknowledge that their products have problems. Obviously if they won't correct these problems themselves then they need to be forced to do so.

Comment Re:quads brought noobs. (Score 1) 192

All you whipper snappers ruined it way back when you didn't even have to be in a university to participate!

A few of us that didn't have University access to Usenet in particular or the Internet in general and only got-in once the commercial Internet became available had some etiquette going-in, we started out on bulletin board systems and Fidonet and had to at least have a modicum of understanding so our local SysOp wouldn't ban us from his board. By that same token most BBSes were free, so without profiting off of the users the SysOp had good reason to ban abusive users so that the board would remain popular. AOL was profit-driven so they were much more willing to tolerate bad users and to give bad users access to everything because it meant that $24.95/month coming in.

Comment Re:Good God; Why? (Score 1) 25

Why would so many companies(some with actual software development experience; and others dangerously willing to try, like Adobe) put up with Pearson software?

Probably because PearsonVue has a vast distribution network in that they've associated themselves with thousands of local testing centers. It means that the burden, from a facility point of view, is low on those seeking the certs.

Now, I can tell you first-hand that the exams themselves are shit. They look like they were written in Hypercard on an 800x600 screen that's poorly mapped and essentially not-anti-aliased across the fairly modern 16:9 displays in the testing centers, and it's impossible to put all of the content on-screen that's necessary, so it's a lot harder to keep everything straight.

I'm not asking for multiple 4K displays to have the simlet, the diagram, and the questions on, I'm asking for a display that looks as decent as my eight year old Gateway laptop. Having something that looks more at home in Windows 3.1 is pathetic.

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