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Comment Re:Why would Disney do this? (Score 4, Informative) 262

So why try to save a few bucks outsourcing? I don't get it, the money saved is literally insignificant to them.

I can suggest some reasons why.
1) Disney's primary business is not IT related. We'll just say it's "other stuff". Sure, there is an IT component, but it's not the primary reason the company exists. I work for a Fortune 500 company who's entire business is IT. We're out of business or darn close to it without our IT component. My company actually treats its US based IT workers pretty well and while we do hire H1B people and do some outsourcing of work to India, neither is what I would call a primary chunk of our business. My experience as a career IT worker is that a lot of companies don't really value IT work at all and they always look at it as something anybody can do and it can be as well for cheap by using foreigners. So I think that Disney has never really valued their IT work very much and they look at it as costing too much because they have a bunch of benefit sucking Americans doing it.
2) The workers were all in Orlando if I remember correctly and I'll just simply say that Disney has always treated its Orlando employees as being superfluous. IT employees in California may at this time be under no danger at all, so there is some component of it being in Florida because they are far away from where the big shots are in California who made this decision.
3) Nobody at Disney wants to admit this, but ESPN's revenues are going down. To keep or get sports content, ESPN (which Disney owns) had to pay astronomical prices. In order to keep gouging the TV providers and charge them for carrying ESPN and its related channels, Disney had to agree to lower the number of customers who get their channels to keep the price they get per customer the same. This agreement shocked many industry watchers as they thought Disney would never agree to this. So the reality is that ESPN is going to be spending more and bringing home less. Shaving dollars off IT costs is one way to deal with that reality. Maybe it's a stupid way but again, many or most businesses don't value IT work, so to them it's an easy thing to cut. And note that ESPN recently had some fairly brutal job cuts related to this.

Comment Re:They aren't really still blaming DPRK, are they (Score 0) 51

While I think that it probably wasn't the DPRK, your reason isn't good enough as to why it's not. You might be interested in reading the book _The Impossible State_ by Victor Cha, a man who worked for the George W. Bush administration and has been to North Korea. Basically even if North Koreans knew about the Streisand Effect, and I'm not sure they would have known about it, if somebody high up enough orders you to do something, you don't question it - you do it. You risk death or being sent to a labor camp (with a high probability of death anyway) to do otherwise. And as a deterrent, if you get in trouble with the government, your family does too. The book reports people being imprisoned for "crimes" a long dead grandparent or great-grandparent did before WWII even started, so there's not really any sense of people arguing against orders. They're just hoping the state leaves them alone.

In North Korea they don't see the world the same way that you do. Fanatical devotion to the Kim family is widespread. In fact, even defectors who now live in South Korea rarely have anything at all negative to say about whichever Kim family member is currently in charge even years later and they tend to be kind of like the Russians in thinking that the guy running the show is actually a really good person and any bad things are being caused by everybody else and if only the top guy knew the real truth, he'd fix the problems. I don't buy the US government's investigation into the hack and my guess is that the investigation may be a lie (ie. They know North Korea didn't do it, but they want a reason to go after them anyway) or the people who did the investigation are just not all that good at their jobs.

Comment Re:I wouldn't put it past Putin (Score 1) 289

But all this said, I'm not convinced it's ISIS either. If it was ISIS why now, why against Russia when British and American tourists could presumably have been just as easily targeted at the exact same airport all this time and ISIS hates the British and Americans as much as the Russians?

Well, I don't know exactly how many American and British tourists there really are in Egypt. If you're American and you go, if you don't know the risks, which have been around for more than a decade now (cough cough - ask Mexico about that if you need to), I really don't know what to say. The Russian plane was something like a regularly scheduled charter flight. Egypt either has no visa requirement for citizens of the countries that used to be in the USSR or they are something like "get one on arrival". Too lazy to see which. I know that lots of Russians like to go there for vacations because it's one of the rare places that's warm and not very sucky that they can get into without a lot of effort and trouble.

Personally, I'm not ruling out a shoddy repair job as others have speculated on. It's been known since the very late 1990s that Russian airlines outside of Aeroflot don't generally meet American and European standards in terms of safety and repair. My default reaction to any Russian airline disaster on a non-Aeroflot flight is to assume mechanical failure as that's almost always it. Or the pilot let his teenage kid accidentally fly the plane into the ground, killing everybody. Yeah, that really happened once on an infamous flight inside Russia. If you fly anywhere in the world on an airline based in Russia whose name is not Aeroflot, you assume a lot of risk.

Comment Imagine 40+ years ago (Score 1) 360

The story about the trip to Japan 25 years ago made me think of something. Approximately around 1970, Soviet film director Andrei Tarkovsky and Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa became friends and Soviet authorities allowed Tarkovsky to go to Japan to visit his friend under the official guise of doing a small amount of location filming for his upcoming film, "Solaris". Tarkovsky brought a very small film crew with him and they shot some footage from inside a car of just driving around the major highways and tunnels of Tokyo. There's a 10-15 minute segment of the film that uses the footage and the segment is known as "The city of tomorrow" segment. Even after all these years I have to admit it still looks somewhat futuristic.

As far as backwards banking systems go, Ukraine's was pretty bad in the previous decade. I assume it's better now, but I was last there about 9 years ago. I never used an ATM there - ever. I always brought enough cash with me to cover to my expenses during my stay. I read too many first hand accounts of travelers who used ATMs that actually were run by the mafia and they simply collected your bank and pin info and used that to try to drain your account. The authorities could not be bothered to do anything about this. And this was in major cities like Kiev and Odessa. If you went to any place other than the very largest cities, the stories were that if you ever found an ATM it probably wasn't going to be connected to any international banking network, but at least you didn't have to worry about the mafia running it to try to steal your money.

Comment Why Sony is in trouble (Score 1) 360

Well a lot of their biggest companies are in real trouble (ex Sony).

Well, my opinion on why Sony is in real trouble is that the company is actually in effect run by the Americans who dominate the entertainment (music, movies and TV) side of Sony who view all of humanity as thieves looking to steal Sony's entertainment property and who have consumed so many resources and effort to stop the "thieves" that the rest of the business that used to actually be good can no longer be good any more. Sony is no longer interested in making useful products so much as they are completely and utterly obsessed with stopping you, dirty thieving human, from getting their music, movies and TV shows without paying for them.

Comment Re:Using your advertised space != Abuse (Score 1) 330

Don't advertise as unlimited if uploading 70TB of data is too much. It's called false advertising and is against the law in European countries. Sadly, the US doesn't have good consumer protection laws.

Actually the US generally does have good consumer protection laws, but it's not that simple here. First, someone would have sue and it would have to be someone who actually got impacted by the change. US courts don't like it at all when you sue and you're not someone who's been victimized, so you can't sue just because you don't like the changes if you weren't a user who "abused" the old lack of limits. Then literally anything at all can happen when it goes to court. If you get a jury trial all bets are off. Juries typically don't understand technical lawsuits very well so what they will use to decide the case may not really make a lot of sense. Judges aren't necessarily any better. Judges have their own set of prejudices that influence their rulings. Then if you actually beat Microsoft, they'd just appeal and you'd be facing higher costs to fight that appeal where, again, you'll go before judges and anything can happen. You can bet that Microsoft will keep appealing until they win. We don't have a "loser pays" system here and it's almost impossible for a variety of reasons to get your legal costs paid by the loser, so you can get destroyed financially by having a deep pockets loser who just keeps footing the bill for appeal after appeal. Maybe all that stuff doesn't apply in the EU, but it's the reality we face here.

Comment Re:10 years was a decent rest (Score 1) 438

Actually its creator wasn't that great. TNG seasons 1 and 2 were kinda bad, and those were the only two seasons that he had a heavy influence. After that, the writers started breaking some of the rules that Roddenberry had established for the series.

You have really spoken the truth here. It was only as Roddenberry's health went downhill and he was unable to do much to the show that it got better. Gates McFadden was fired after the first season (it's only been in recent years as far as I know that she anybody else connected to the show was willing to admit it) because she - gasp! - had the temerity to complain about the sexist scripts they were given. Roddenberry certainly did her no favors by letting the writer who demanded her exit have his way. Then he replaced her with the very unpopular Diana Muldaur, who was really in a no-win situation on the show. Finally between Michael Piller and Rick Berman somebody brought back McFadden and the stories were getting consistently strong, except for the final season where Piller's attention was elsewhere. Roddenberry made the decision to have a kid (Wil Wheaton) on the show and while now everybody loves Wheaton, I've always wondered if he left the show because he was tired of all the very negative comments his character consistently got while the show was on. Roddenberry was notorious for demanding re-writes on everything even back to The Original Series, not always for the better. I respect Roddenberry for the general vision and ideas but no more.

Comment Re:Doesn't matter (Score 1) 279

People in the west don't understand that for most Chinese, the one child policy doesn't have effect. Because there are so many exceptions.

1) If you and your partner were single kids, you can have two kids.
2) Ethnic minorities have higher limits, and foreigners, including Hong Kong and Taiwan can have unlimited
3) Rich people just pay the tax and have another child, because they are so rich from corruption money is nothing for them.
4) Some provinces had already lifted the ban, or lessened it greatly.
5) Children born outside China, including HK and Taiwan, don't count. Hence the large amount of birth tourism.

So this is pretty much a symbolic act, but at least it's the communists admitting they can't control everything. I wonder how this will be spun off in China, since there the communists are still treated as nearly perfect, the thing everyone should aspire to be.

1) If this were true, then just about everybody could have multiple kids in the past.
2) As pointed out by others, despite you apparently believing PRC propaganda, no part of Taiwan ruled territory has ever been under PRC control. So PRC rules/laws don't apply there. Hong Kong and Macau operate under their own laws under the SAR agreements.
3) Famous directory Zhang Yimou and his wife tried this and got into a lot of trouble. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but it may be as easy as you think.
4) This is actually true and the further you were from Beijing, the more likely it was to be the case.
5) I know of no birth tourism to Taiwan. I keep up with Taiwan and my understanding is that it's very difficult for individual PRC citizens to get individual visas to go to Taiwan. They keep them in tour groups. This is because the PRC wants to control its citizens' access to Taiwan and their "dangerous" ideas.
Additionally, families that had a girl for their first child were allowed to have another child. My ex-girlfriend is from Guangdong province and she has a younger sister for this reason. Her sister is married and has a daughter and before this change the sister and her husband were talking about having another child.

Comment Article summary (Score 5, Interesting) 207

1) Hollywood producers want to make new Buck Rogers movie based on his very first book appearance. Announce it at Comic Con.
2) Trust that says it owns the character threatens to sue producers.
3) Producers try to reach deal. Trust apparently refuses to reach a deal. They simply don't want the film made.
4) Producers are now going to try an argument that Buck Rogers is actually already in the public domain, so screw the trust as they don't need their permission anyway.

Comment Re:I'm not normally one to say things like this... (Score 4, Informative) 245

But this reads purely as propaganda.

It does because you don't understand how Russia works. Are you aware that Russia requires almost all foreign citizens to have visas to travel there? Nothing so unusual in that. More developed countries do that all the time. Australia's rules for travel there are possibly even stricter than the ones the USA has. But do you know why Russia requires visas? It's because that's how it always was. Back in the days of the tsar, he had to personally approve foreigners getting legal permission to visit Russia. The USSR continued the practice of requiring visas for foreigners (well, I can't speak to what requirements were for Eastern Block citizens but people in the West needed them) to limit access because foreigners have "dangerous" ideas. Russia still requires visas today for almost everybody even though outside of some of the ex-USSR, few foreigners actually want to stay illegally in Russia today. And until a few years ago you would not believe what foreign "guests" had to do in terms of getting visas registered each time they stayed in a city more than 3 working days. They did get rid of that requirement at least. I've read accounts of it taking many hours of waiting at a local police station just to get them to register your visa. The penalty for failure to register was a possible large fine that had to be paid in cash on departure (I think it was $1000 US or so) and the possibility to have future visa applications automatically denied. This is all about control and "It's how we've always done it" more than anything else.

Have you ever talked to Russian people? I mean those who live there. You might be surprised that there's a really common belief that goes back to the days of the tsar that the guy in charge is benevolent and kind and caring and all those who work under him are responsible for the evil that gets done in his name and if only the top guy knew what they were doing, he'd stop it. This is part of why a surprising large percentage of Russians still believe that Stalin was a great guy even though Khrushchev gave a famous speech repudiating Stalin and his evil deeds and his "cult of personalty". Khrushchev's time in power was probably the high water mark of the USSR in terms of achievements and quality of life and he was forced from power and I suspect today viewed very negatively by the same people who believe that homicidal maniac Stalin was the greatest leader they ever had.

The reason Putin wants control over the internet within Russia is the same reason that China controls it. They fear that power of it to link protesters who might overthrow them. Their fears are different (ie. Russia has no problem with Facebook while China fears it) but both control it to keep the status quo in power. The big difference is that Russians unfortunately grow up believing that everything their government tells them is true, especially if the guy at the top says it. In China, few educated people believe anything their government tells them, but as long as the government mostly leaves them alone, they accept the reality of living under what in effect is an illegal dictatorship.

Comment I worked for the anti-Zappos once (Score 1) 327

I have no idea how things are at Zappos, but my previous employer was definitely the anti-Zappos, that's for sure. I worked in the US office of a European telecom I don't want to name. They don't deserve the publicity even a bad mention would bring them. Few Americans have even heard of them or their parent company. My former employer tried laying off American employees but keeping their managers, apparently under the belief that if all those pesky benefit sucking employees left, real work could get done by the managers. I've never seen or heard of anything like it. Offices would be gutted and the managers would keep their jobs, even if they had no direct reports any more. My manager had at one time perhaps 12 direct reports and he ended up with 2, both of which were told that they were only sticking around long enough to shut down and box up some servers in our small local computer room. I lost track of my manager but the last I heard he still was employed there. Exactly what these "valuable" managers were doing to stay employed is a complete mystery to me. We outsourced a lot of jobs, including the ones my group did, to various 3rd world countries where we had offices and those people all had local managers who reported one way or another to our HQ in Europe so all these American managers weren't being used to manage overseas employees. The only other thing I can tell you is that my former employer has continued to gut its American workforce since I left so that didn't seem to indicate that going to a "managers only" approach was working very well in the USA. Our sales were truly terrible in North America when I left and it seems that they got worse afterward. What a shock.

Comment Why Linux does what he does (Score 1) 688

Furthermore, should something like this be omitted simply because Linus doesn't like it? Is his opinion the only one that counts? Among other things, securelevel is used to implement "jails" but the functionality can be completely disabled (securelevel = -1) -- so Linus can turn it off if he wants.

I'm not claiming to be a kernel developer nor do I claim to know enough about the subject at hand to judge who is right and who is wrong. But I can definitely guarantee you that Linus is not someone who makes decisions for random reasons and there is a reason why he doesn't want securelevel in the kernel. Some of you may not agree with it and he is not perfect so he might actually be wrong, but I think it's very misleading for many of you to imply or act like he doesn't want it in there just to show off his power. There is a reason for what he does. Now if you some of you who care about this want to find out what that reason is and debate it, I'd be interested, but he's not being a jerk just for the sake of being a jerk. That's a lot closer to how Theo de Raadt works and that's a misleading and unfair statement to make of him, even if (in my opinion) it's a lot more accurate than to say that of Linus.

Comment Re:Can't make this shit up (Score 1) 239

If it worked as intended it would have been a good deal.

I'm sure that's true.

It was a sound plan, and I'm sure virgin would very much like to be making a ton of money as well but the part that failed was the fact that they didn't have more protections for the county in the event that say.. a rocket exploded and the business plan was put on hold for 10 years.

I'm not sure I'd go as far as to call it a "sound plan". I'm sure it's exactly like how in the USA teams get local municipalities to pay for new sports stadiums. They paint a rosy picture about how much money the stadium can make and while it is possible, what they downplay or don't say at all is that every game will have to sell out for that to happen. Every game doesn't sell out and the local municipality ends up paying greater costs than expected because the team shifted the financial burden to them and the municipality never considered the possibility that the best case scenario was actually unlikely to happen. I'd guess that the local government of Truth or Consequences failed to realize that there was always some risk (ie. few people really would buy tickets, a rocket explosion could derail the whole thing, etc.) and they considered it a sure thing that they could only make money on it.

Comment Re:Good idea (Score 1) 114

I'll say something that gets said every time: They probably weren't clueless. They were probably hoping they were close enough to the ground floor of the scheme to cash in.

Nah. They were clueless. It happens all the time, especially with people who come from countries without a long history of capitalism. My ex-girlfriend was born and raised in China and when we started dating she had only lived in the US a few years. She knew I had some stocks and used to ask me questions and she basically had the idea that it was impossible to lose money in the stock market and that I was stupid for not putting every cent I had into it because I was just passing up free money. I'd love to know what her reaction was to the recent Chinese stock market crash. A guy in my office who fled the USSR in the last years of its existence and has lived in the US since then is convinced that he is going to be a multi-millionaire by one day playing the futures markets. He's bought this insanely expensive piece of investing software that promises it simply can't fail to help you make money. So yes, I really do believe that people honestly thought that they could get this kind of return and it was on the level. Heck, that guy in my office has a bs detector so broken that the bigger the scam, the more he believes it's true and the more on the level it is, the less he believes it. You would not believe the gizmos he's thrown away money at, like the fat burning machine that used vibration through the air to excite your fat molecules and cause you to burn away the pounds! He did not burn away the pounds. He's lived in the US for over 20 years and he and his family are complete rubes when it comes to everything. He tells me about his parents and they're as bad as he is. I told someone at work that it would not surprise me at all if he's ever given money to a Nigerian scam artist because all you have to do is promise this guy the moon and stars and he's ready to cut you a check.

Comment Re:We'll never know - Japan's investigators are ba (Score 3, Interesting) 99

And they know nothing at all about technology. There was a thing two (?) years ago where some mother's apartment dwelling otaku freak was cancelling Kurko's Basketball (a popular manga/anime) events left and right for over a year and they couldn't do a damn thing about it. Eventually the freak got so cocky he got careless and did things like using messenger cats. My memory's a little hazy, but it went on seemingly forever and the cops were completely helpless. And they're terrible with corporate crime like this (the handling of the Olympus affair was a disgrace) since usually it's all a matter of what Japanese politicians you have in your pocket - but apparently Mt. Gox didn't have any. Whoops.

I was intrigued by this, so I did a little research. It's a shame you really did not do a very good job here with explaining what happened as your post was interesting and on topic, but yeah, this paragraph could have been a lot better. The "otaku freak" as you call him did not personally cancel anything as your writing seems to claim. What he did was send threatening letters, sometimes with suspicious liquids or powders, to various places that were associated with the anime or its writer in some way and those places canceled many events related to Kuroko's Basketball. As to why he apparently had it in for this particular anime, it gets into sub-genres of anime that I'm not really qualified to talk about it and it seems that maybe he had a problem with the people who were interested in it and focused his rage at the creators and supporters. Apparently popular anime series have "events" of some kind in various places, but I have no idea what goes on there.

Anyway, Japan sounds better to me than some countries I could name where not only is it impossible to lock up anybody for the rest of their life no matter how many people they kill, they actually start to feel sorry for the criminal because he's been locked up.

If you can't learn to do it well, learn to enjoy doing it badly.