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Comment: Re:It is time someone belled the cat. But wish.. (Score 2) 174

by Mr_Silver (#47799133) Attached to: Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

There was a very nice system, including PIN numbers to manage the POS terminals. Way back when stock trade was 49$, it was 25 cent per transaction irrespective of the size of transaction. This should have become zero. But that is not what happened.

The 25 cent transaction fee is charged by the acquiring bank, not Visa and Mastercard - whose fees for debit are typically 1 cent per transaction as they are a volume based business.

The reason that acquirers charge is because they incur costs associated with that transaction (including, but not limited to, interchange fees). If they didn't charge, it would fail as a viable business model.

Pre-paid cards still have to use Visa or MC to get the request for the money from the acquirer (who has the relationship with the merchant and typically provides the terminal) to the card issuer (the bank that supplied the pre-paid card).

Regarding AppStore vs MC+Visa, in order for Apple to be able to accept payments directly they would have to get an e-money licence so they could issue virtual debit or credit cards for use on their phones. By doing so, they'd still need the rails that Visa and MC provide - unless they really want to get into the business of connecting themselves to all the banks worldwide (aka becoming a payment processor).

Comment: Re:Apparently the trolls are out here, too (Score 1) 1220

In the long run, humanity would be better served if people just learned to lighten up and not get so upset about things written by people they don't know and will never meet.

Death threats in the real world? Yes, that's a thing that is actionable. That's not what I'm talking about.

You do not have a right to never be offended.

It was a hard lesson for me when I was an opinionated teenager who hopped on IRC in the 90s.. all of these older smarter people were trolling me and being mean to me! Poor me!

It was also a GOOD lesson for me. In the internet of back then, the trolls were smarter, and there were no feelings police... no forum moderators... people said what they liked and you either dealt with it or you didn't.

And I look at people who come unglued over what they read on the internet and just shake my head.

An online forum with no rules and no judges and no consequences is one of the most interesting and wonderful things in human history.

I don't want it to die because of your hurt feelings. I'd rather you went somewhere else.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 2) 441

by bmajik (#47734635) Attached to: Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

*raises hand*

I've posted about this before many times.

I have a pulse
I am not sure about having a conscience -- that may disqualify me.
I have an IQ over 30
I am a citizen
I am not a politician
I am not a CEO.

I've been an engineer at Microsoft since 2000. I've worked on developer tools and ERP products. I've worked in Redmond; I currently work in Fargo.

I have interviewed hundreds of people for Microsoft positions. I am not a manager, but I've played manager at times. I understand the compensation system quite well, and how it has evolved over my 15 years at the company.

I have also worked with non-citizens and non-native born my entire career, including many who are on H1-Bs currently.

You could go and dig through my old posts if you wanted to. I'll try and give the short version

1) In my opinion, Microsoft pays very well. If i lost my job in North Dakota, I think i'd be taking a huge pay cut to work anywhere else. I base this on the numbers people throw out when I've interviewed with other companies. (You get frustrated from time to time in 15 years with the same company. I've shopped around. I've stayed put)

2) There are a lot of "paper qualified" people out there. I can't hire even half of the ones I talk to.

I see both ends of the "funnel" of candidates. For university recruiting trips, there is essentially no filtering done before I get to talk to them. For industry hires, they had to get through a few people before they talk to me.

We're already paying a competitive wage and we cannot hire many of the people we talk to. The obvious move is to try and expand the # of people we're able to talk to.

3) For a variety of reasons, it is MORE expensive for Microsoft to deal with H1-B candidates. There are all kinds of legal costs and challenges, as well as employee time wasted dealing with immigration bullshit -- that normal domestic employees do not incur.

For each domestic job type at Microsoft, there is a flyer posted in the breakroom that says what the title is, what the qualifications are, and what the salary range is. The salary ranges are the ones I am familiar with. Any H1-B could simply look at the flyer, and if they were getting paid less than that, they could lawyer up and retire. Every state's attorney in the US would want in on that lawsuit. Saving a few thousand dollars a year on salary costs couldn't possibly be worth it to us.

4) I feel no particular allegience to "the american worker". So you were good at choosing where your parents were when you were born? And the benefits of this should accrue to you WHY?

I am interested in people who will improve the caliber of my company and the caliber of my society. Hard working, intelligent people often have that potential. I don't care about where they were born. i care about what they will do.

I want the US to suck every brilliant engineer out of India and China. I don't want China getting any better at matching the US military industrial complex, and I want India to change its society so that innovators can effect meaningful change there, instead of being trapped in a hopeless system of patronage and bribery.

(have you talked to Indians who are in the US? There's a reason they are here...)

I would love to have the problem of drowning in qualified American talent. But that isn't a problem I've ever had in my entire career.

Finally, before you run your mouth about Microsoft not doing anything about to help with the domestic labor supply, Microsoft pays for me to volunteer 1 hour a day teaching Computer Science at a local high school. I start my 2nd year this Monday. I'll be helping teach a section of AP Computer Science -- in JAVA. Do you think this is some kind of sweetheart deal for MS? They are losing my work time, they are giving money to the school, and I am teaching the kids using Eclipse and the Java stack -- the direct competitors to the product and ecosystem that I work on (i work on Visual Studio).

What we're doing, is widening the pipeline of people who get exposed to CS, so that hopefully, more of them do CS in college, and more of them are GOOD at it. That is going to help the entire industry.

I don't know what experiences you've had, but I feel confident in saying that they haven't been at Microsoft.

Comment: Re:Funny thing about email (Score 1) 232

by Mr_Silver (#47695111) Attached to: Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

This is Europe.
There _is_ no unpaid overtime!

I've worked for UK, Spanish and German companies and and sure there is, it's done all the time. Often when you work longer hours in the day and do the odd bit of work at the weekend.

If people check their mail during vacation, they are working, and they have to be paid and their vacation is still due an they can sue the company when they leave (or not) to get payment for the missed holidays or weekends.

IANAL but I believe that only counts if they specifically ask you to check your email. If they don't and you go ahead anyway, then you won't get paid for it.

I always leave my blackberry at home when I go on holiday.

Comment: Re:Truly sad (Score 1) 359

by danheskett (#47694487) Attached to: Ebola Quarantine Center In Liberia Looted

You have presented the exact reason why many argue that we should shut down the US border, with the military as necessary, quarantine foreigners, and become a far more closed society.

Education is an unproven method of preventing the spread of the plague. The three proven methods are: (a) kill the sick, burn the bodies; (b) quarantine all the sick and their families until they all die; (c) vaccine. Also, combinations of a and b and c.

There is no amount of education that will guarantee that an infected carrier doesn't make it to the US, spread the infection, and become patient zero for a stateside epidemic.

Comment: Re:you must not have done well in math class (Score 2) 214

by bmajik (#47686907) Attached to: Figuring Out Where To Live Using Math

Focusing on gun crimes is the tactic that gun control advocates use.

The problem is that victims don't care if they are stabbed to death or shot to death.

The correct metric is _total_ crimes of bodily threat or assault. Good guys use legally carried weapons to deal with bad guys irrespective of what the bad guys did or didn't bring.

So, don't focus on gun deaths (which, btw, also counts suicides.. which is also totally disingenuous)

Focus on murders. How does Illinois compare to say, North Dakota, in murders?

I'll stay in rural North Dakota, thanks.

Comment: Changing form factors, changing software (Score 2) 125

Suppose for a moment that you are building a new processor for mobile devices.

The mobile device makers - Apple, Google, and Microsoft -- all have "App Stores". Side loading is possible to varying degrees, but in no case is it supported or a targeted business scenario.

These big 3 all provide their own SDKs. They specify the compilers, the libraries, etc.

Many of the posts in this thread talk about how critical it will be for the compilers to produce code well suited for this processor...

Arguably, due to the app development toolchain and software delivery monoculture attached to each of the mobile platforms, it is probably easier than ever to improve compilers and transparently update the apps being held in app-store catalogs to improve their performance for specific mobile processors.

It's not the wild west any more; with tighter constraints around the target environment, more specific optimizations become plausible.

Comment: Re:Better than doing this on a smart TV? (Score 1) 81

by Mr_Silver (#47637307) Attached to: Add a TV Tuner To Your Xbox (In Europe)

4. EPG being as inaccurate as the ones you get on a flat screen TV one.

This is a good point. Even though DVB-T/T2/S (not sure about C) can provide EPG data, Microsoft get their EPG data from third parties. This is a good thing because you get 14 days worth of data and extra meta-data associated with the program listing which allows them to do some quite nifty functionality.

Unfortunately the data is often wrong and (in the UK at least) the series link data is either not there (so you cannot record the season of a show because it thinks it's a one off) or on every single instance of a show meaning that you end up filling your HD with hundreds of repeats.

There is even a hacky bit of vbscript which is designed to attempt to delete any duplicate recordings, it's that bad.

http://www.fourteenminutes.com...

Comment: Re:T vs T2 vs S (Score 2) 81

by Mr_Silver (#47637283) Attached to: Add a TV Tuner To Your Xbox (In Europe)

Whoops misread the article and thought it said DVB-S not DVB-C.

DVB-C is television content through a cable. It's popular in a large number of countries and, for the UK, would be how Virgin Media would deliver their content.

Having said that, I'm not entirely sure whether or not you would be able to use a DVB-C tuner to get Virgin. The majority of people I know use a STB supplied by Virgin (which, in the past couple of years, has been a rebranded TiVo). Someone else with more knowledge than me will probably be able to confirm.

It'll be interesting to see how many tuners you get. If it's only one then you'll only be able to watch one channel and you'll only be able to record another if it is on the same multiplex. So if BBC1 and BBC2 are on the same multiplex then you can record one and watch the other - but you wouldn't be able to record BBC1 and watch ITV since they are on a different multiplex.

If they are serious about providing a good STB experience (and they are part the way there because Windows 7 Media Center and a DVT-T2 tuner blows most of the STBs I've ever used out of the water for experience and, sadly, cost) then they really need to be offering a dual tuner.

Comment: T vs T2 vs S (Score 4, Informative) 81

by Mr_Silver (#47637245) Attached to: Add a TV Tuner To Your Xbox (In Europe)

DVB-T is OTA SD television content branded as "Freeview". You get over a 100 channels but, to be honest, only about 30 of them are any good. There are all the major stations (BBC 1 and 2, ITV, Channel 4 and 5), their additional channels (BBC 3, ITV 2 etc), some +1 hour channels and some Freeview only channels. Whilst these are all subscription free, there is a small amount of subscription content and it's not essential to subscribe to these. You don't get many of the Sky channels.

DVB-T2 is the same as T but with the inclusion of 10 or so (I can't remember the exact number) HD channels. It's branded "Freeview HD". Again, subscription free for the majority of the channels. It's nice to watch Top Gear in HD.

DVB-S is the same as T2 but, I think, has a few more HD channels. It's branded "Freesat" and requires the installation of a satellite dish on the side of the house - which often fails the WAF test. It arrived before Freeview HD and so was the first way to get HD channels, although I'm not sure whether that really is the case any more.

For those that are wondering, "YouView" is actually a STB with a DVB-T2 tuner and a range of additional catch-up and VOD services bolted on.

The majority of people will probably get DVB-T2.

Comment: Separation of Powers (Score 1) 427

by bmajik (#47633523) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Life Beyond the WRT54G Series?

Claim: the routing and security features on the edge devices your ISP provides as CPE are not sufficient

Claim: You want the ability to reset the shitty CPE your ISP gives you without losing LAN connectivity

Claim: Specific purpose devices are often better suited to their tasks than all-in-one devices

Solution: Treat your ISP-supplied CPE as a dumb device. Put a smarter device behind it that does routing, segmentation, translation, dhcp, etc, the way you want those things done.

Ideally, do PPPoE or something from the smarter device across the CPE, because CPE firmware is so often just terrible, but if not, double-NAT is often fine.

Critically, make your wifi APs a separate function both from your core home router and your edge device.

For a trivial amount of money, you can keep buying Ubiquiti APs and place them all over your property, as needed, and get an arbitrarily high level of speed and coverage. The configuration is completely painless, and this setup is completely independent of your edge device and edge connectivity.

Comment: Gaming? (Score 2) 110

by Mr_Silver (#47628783) Attached to: AMD Prepares To Ship Gaming SSDs

Seems odd to call them "gaming SSDs" when they sound like just really fast SSDs. I'm actually surprised they are marketing them that way - especially since they'd reach a wider market if the didn't just target gamers.

Plus are games really that much faster? When I bought my Samsung 840 I put everything on there. However as soon as I found out that the load times in HL2 weren't noticeably different (probably because the longest part of the "please wait" wasn't disk access) I quickly shifted the entire "steamapps" folder to my HDD.

Comment: Re:One word: PDFLib (Score 1) 132

by danheskett (#47626047) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best PDF Handling Library?

I second PDFLib.

I've created approximately 3 billion pages of PDF with it, since 2000. Very, very well done. The library is well thought out, and it can work even with bindings to languages that you would not think are usable. It's fast, really has a nice scope model, has a nice consistency, and rounds off the edges of PDF better than anything else with it.

If you come it with their import library, and pcos library, it can do almost everything you want. The developers are helpful and don't mess around. If you find a bug they fix it. Plus their documentation is about ten times better than anything else out there I've seen. They have a real reference and a cookbook that covers common scenarios.

Comment: Re:Not a private police force (Score 5, Insightful) 133

by Mr_Silver (#47620833) Attached to: City of London Police Take Down Proxy Service Over Piracy Concerns

The City of London Police Force is not a private police force, its a public body that receives government funding and is the same as any other police force in the UK, bar the fact that it doesn't have an elected police commissioner.

It's far more insidious than just the fact it doesn't have an elected police commissioner and it most definitely is not the "same as any other police force in the UK".

http://www.theguardian.com/com...

Comment: Re:Nor Private Police (Score 3, Insightful) 133

by Mr_Silver (#47620809) Attached to: City of London Police Take Down Proxy Service Over Piracy Concerns

The City of London Police is overseen by an elected body and funded through taxes. It is not a private police force. I think that was just a transparent attempt to sensationalize a news story.

It's a police force controlled by private businesses and backed by the government.

http://www.theguardian.com/com...

Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward.

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