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Comment Herding cats (Score 2) 160

Not where I grew up, the 'manager' was the master tradesman/artisan, the person you are thinking of was his assistant, sometimes called a 'coordinator' or an "overseer". Sure any arsehole can shuffle task lists but skillfully herding cats is something very few people can do.

In 25yrs I've only encountered two people who did it really well, neither of them were me and one of them died after 40yrs in the business. My own attitude now is "no thanks, tried that", I really am content being the metaphorical "brain surgeon" in the GP's post. I also get on well with my boss(es) because I have some idea of what they are trying to do and don't take it personally if they occasionally ask me to wade thru sewerage to fix something.

Comment Re:22 years (Score 2) 160

Sorry to hear #8, none of the IT companies I have worked for in the past 25yrs have had that attitude, companies ranged in size from IBM down to a three man startup.. As for #4, I spent 15yrs in blue collar work before stepping inside an office, so I knew how to handle arseholes before I started. The working conditions I have now are light years ahead of any blue collar job.

Hard work or otherwise I know that I'm lucky to be in my position, having spent time as a member of Australia's "working poor" I think a lot of the people who haven't had that experience simply don't appreciate their good fortune.

Comment Re:You know what's wrong with the world? (Score 1) 160

The product line I have helped develop over the last 15yrs is nearly all command line stuff with a web gui on top. It means that 99% of the C/C++ code base will build cleanly on linux, solaris, hp, aix and windows. We haven't started using powershell yet because some of our customers are still stuck on win2003. That's the "problem" when your project makes money, using new O/S features is a trade off between improved functionality and pissing off luddite customers.

Comment Re: An interesting option (Score 4, Informative) 148

We really cannot build a "sustainable habitat" anywhere, "biosphere 2" has the longest record of about 2 years, the experiment ended when they ran out of oxygen, food, and patience with each other.

We can build a base that is resupplied, and it would be a much cheaper to experiment with base building technology on the moon than it would be on Mars. The Moon is a couple of days away in a space capsule, Mars is two years away at best. Keeping humans alive is the hardest and most expensive part of space exploration and Earth is by far the most livable planet in the solar system, so why bother sending people? Why not spend that money understanding and repairing the incredibly sophisticated life support systems of the space ship we are all riding on now? We won't be making any interstellar trips until we do understand it enough to replicate it on a small scale.

Comment Re:Something tells me... (Score 2) 109

You might want to read up on a guy called Cecil Rhodes for a more realistic picture of the Victorian version of a "military industrial complex" that created an empire where "the sun never set". The english used the railway to open up and conquer both India and Africa, much of the infrastructure they built is still in use today. Their "agenda" was simply - build more railways and exterminate anyone who objects, the US did the same thing within its own borders.

Comment Re:Just makes them look even more guilty (Score 2) 319

Big bird here, VW has tens of thousands of employees and hundreds of thousands of small investors who had fuck all to do with this. Sure, vigorously pursue and punish the people who were knowingly involved, but for fuck's sake leave the rest of them alone to get on with their lives.

Comment Both claims are "true" (Score 1) 315

I've lived in Oz for over 50yrs, I had to google the question out of sheer curiosity, turns out you and the GP are both correct, the law only affects cards issued in Australia, I assume yours were issued in the US?

BTW: Hope you enjoyed your visit, Melbourne to Brisbane via the coast is still one of the world's great road trips, I've lost count of the number of times I've done it, first time was 1966 in the back seat of Dad's bright red VW beetle, it's changed quite a bit since then, hell of a lot more people and cars now. For any tourist, Oz is a hell of a long plane trip away, I don't understand (english speaking) tourists who come all the way to Oz and then don't leave the city they landed in??

Comment Re:Only if you use App Cards with APPS! (Score 1) 315

I don't think the old cards have been used here in Oz for a while now, haven't seen one in years, my own cards have been chip and pin for over a decade. Doesn't matter if you swipe or insert the card, you still require a pin. "Pay wave" is the latest thing, you just wave the card over the reader like an office entry card no pin or signature required, works for purchases up to $100. If you have had a few drinks, don't let the bar staff wave it for you!!!! There is no phone call required to activate the card, it comes in the mail, pin comes separately in the mail on a different day, the card is automatically activated when the old one expires.

If the lights go out businesses can still use the old paper imprint method - at their own risk!

Comment Re: Without government... (Score 1) 466

Do you seriously believe someone should do the murdering and burying for you?

Yep, I've seen a lot of mafia movies, and I have "dug ditches" for a living as a young bloke. Digging your own grave looks like hard yakka to me, so fuck it, just shoot me, I'm not going to work for you at gunpoint.

Comment Re:Without government... (Score 5, Insightful) 466

jcr, you're a regular poster as am I, you're a level headed guy, but as an ex taxi driver I have to say you have your head up your arse on this one.

IMO Uber are the worst kind of rent seeker, the kind that prey on people who are desperate enough to sign up as a driver. Uber's over-inflated "market value" has to collapse because at some point the "market" will become bored with the legal battles over 'freedom' and want a real ROI. I don't have any pity for the investors, just the honest drivers who go in with a reliable car and no money, and come out a year or two later with an unroadworthy clunker, and still no money.

If you think I'm exaggerating, the oldest taxi I ever drove was 5yrs off the showroom floor, it had 1.1 million kilometers on the clock, only the body work was original, even the seat sliders had been replaced at least once. Unless the Uber driver is also a mechanic, it would be cheaper for them to buy a 'runout-model' used car once a year. Most taxi's are a one man / one car operations, they lease/rent it to another regular driver or two to keep it on the road 24X7, and buying a 'new' car once every year or so is how they handle the entropy problem. They don't earn a lot of money, the 'plates' (medallion in the US) is the taxi owner's superannuation. The "hidden costs" are the reason Uber refuses to play by the rules, driving a cab doesn't pay enough to satisfy them so they insert themselves in the middle, they even "generously" offer to pay the drivers fines while at the same time offloading all the real costs onto the poor sap.

Also they are not a 'taxi' company as they would like you to think, in most places they are a traditional 'limo' company using sub-contractors, fuck me they were around when I was driving in the 80's, nobody had heard of the internet but we did have phones. Limos can't be flagged down, nor can they use taxi rank infrastructure. Using sub-contractors and ordering it on a computer is hardly revolutionary, so it's not the regulations that are broken, it's Uber's business model. For good reasons it was illegal before the internet was born, "on a computer" doesn't change that.

Again, I'm genuinely surprised you have swallowed Uber's 'hipster' marketing.

Computer Science is merely the post-Turing decline in formal systems theory.