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Comment I worked for the anti-Zappos once (Score 1) 325

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) 686

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) 233

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.

Comment Lawsuits like hers are very difficult to win (Score 3, Interesting) 234

Some years ago we had a post from a lawyer who had experience with employment related law suits. He told us that his advice to clients was to give up and not file a lawsuit. He said that the reality was that the deck was stacked in favor of the employer and he estimated that maybe 10% of lawsuits against employers were won by the employee. I know that it's the Slashdot way to just assume her case was groundless simply because a jury ruled that way. All I can tell you is that while that may be true, we can't make that assumption. Juries are staffed with stupid people a lot of times who aren't fit to be judges on anything. I know because unlike many of you, I've actually served on juries twice. I hope I never get picked again because the whole process has made me permanently cynical about the law and so-called justice in the USA. My brother got fired more than 20 years ago from a low paying job and his employer lied about the reason he was fired in a hearing about whether my brother should get paid unemployment money or not. Whoever heard the case ruled against my brother because it was just his word against theirs and neither could prove their side. Ellen was facing long odds and I wasn't there to hear testimony so I can't judge the merits of her case, but it's idiotic to just assume the jury got it right. If you actually believe that juries almost always get it right you better pray you don't ever have to go to court and have your important case decided by 12 idiots. The last jury I served on had 3 guys in the jury room prior to the day's testimony trying to out argue the other 2 that they were stupider with technology than the other 2 were. These are the kinds of people who decide cases - morons who try to argue that they're the stupidest person in the room and take pride in winning that argument.

Comment At least Canada has a music public domain (Score 3, Informative) 38

OK, yes I get that Canada is trying to change the law to extend copyright, but at least Canada, the EU, Japan and others actually have public domain music. I've mentioned this before and it's worth mentioning again I think. Did you know that thanks to the decision in Capitol Records vs. Naxos that in the USA it appears that nothing ever recorded is in the public domain in the USA right now? I'm not talking about song writing or music publishing, where older songs are indeed in the US public domain. I'm saying that every performance recorded from Edison on to the present age is still under copyright thanks to this court decision. Basically what happened is that Naxos tried to sneak a late 1930s classic music recording into the US market via their historical reissue CD label. The only problem was that in the US the performance was not only clearly still under copyright, the performance in question was owned in the US by Capitol Records and they had a CD on the market of it. Naxos got caught doing something they shouldn't have and rather than give in and admit their error, they tried to justify by arguing that an unclear US law actually made pre-1972 sound recordings already in the public domain, therefore they did nothing wrong. Not only the appeals court that got the case rule against Naxos, they basically made up the law and held that due to common law, every recording ever made was still under US copyright, no matter how old it was. Naxos couldn't really appeal this terrible and overreaching decision because they clearly broke US law, so it remains on the books and now there is no public domain currently in the US for musical performances. Please note that publishing and movies operate under different rules and things are actually in US public domain in those fields.

Comment Re:Erdogen is an Islamofascist (Score 1) 145

Not that surprising for anyone that follows Turkish politics. Erdogan isn't as bad as ISIS but he inch-by-inch is taking Turkey down the theocratic road of countries like Afghanistan. He practically had to be coerced into fighting ISIS. Very plausible he would have joined forces with ISIS to fight Kurds if it hadn't been for foreign pressure)

Most Turks you meet are super nice in person but for some unfathomable reason this crpto-fascist jerk keeps winning elections. If he keeps winning elections, Turkey is going to devolve into a theocracy like most of the rest of the middle east. Secular Atatürk was rational (especially for his era). Erdogan things he's an Ottoman sultan. Populist moron.

Good post. Actually the word I keep hearing is that Turkey isn't fighting ISIS at all but is using it as a pretext to only attack various Kurdish groups they don't like.

As an American who has traveled quite a bit to Europe and consider myself somewhat pro-Europe, I have given up on Turkey. (Disclaimer - I've never visited Turkey.) If you could talk to me in the late 1990s or very early 2000s, I was all for Turkey joining the EU. I have completely reversed myself and now while I have no say as I'm not an EU citizen, it is my strong belief that Turkey should not ever be allowed to joint the EU. I've learned over the past decade that if given a free choice, Muslims will willingly choose to enslave themselves. This has happened in Turkey and everywhere in the so called Arab Spring except Egypt. It sure got started in Egypt and then most of the people reversed themselves after realizing the full extent of what putting the Muslim Brotherhood in power really meant.

I blame the situation in Turkey on George W. Bush mostly. Bush started the ball rolling by making sure that the Turkish military understood that they weren't supposed to prevent Erdogan or his party (which was at one time illegal) from taking power. Now enough time has passed that I'm not sure if the Turkish military has any more people in power who might actually be opposed to Erdogan. Since Bush's presidency the US has had an irrational belief that more democracy in countries that have never had it can only lead to favorable outcomes for the USA without realizing that when you let people freely vote, they may just choose to elect someone you don't like. Turkey is a terrible "friend" to the USA and they're not going to provide much useful help against ISIS as long as Erdogan is in charge.

Comment Short answer (Score 1) 106

1) You don't want the legal ramifications of publishing this, especially if you live in the USA. I am American, so I know what I warn of.
2) Black lists are so old as an anti-spam approach I don't know that anybody takes them seriously any more.
3) Related to #1, do you really want the responsibility for situations where someone on your list was there due to ignorance and they fixed the open relay problem that led to the spam, they are no longer spamming at all, and yet there they are on your list? I thought about going into details, but on my previous job I know of cases where this actually happened and it's one of the reasons that many of us stopped taking Spamhaus and similar services seriously. It was almost impossible to get off the black list, even if you fixed the problem that got you there or were put there by mistake.

Comment Apparently you don't deal with auditors (Score 3, Interesting) 198

With 60 hosts and 1500 VMs I would certainly expect separate roles for enterprise architecture and system provision/admin..

This statement is quite right. Apparently the OP doesn't deal with auditors at all in his job. Lucky him. I do in mine and I have something like a Linux system admin job. For the product I work on, and I work for a Fortune 500 company that sells a lot of software products and services, I am the main contact person every year for auditors. Since the OP works for a publicly traded company, he should know that audits are required by US law. Every year I have to answer the same questions from the auditors about separation of responsibilities on the product I support. Honestly, I don't know how the OP doesn't know that getting that kind of access for an architect is going to raise all kinds of red flags in an audit that have to be explained. If I remember correctly, we have exactly 4 people who have root access to our servers who don't work on my team. They're software developers who've worked on the product for years and need that access in an emergency if we have a software related disaster that impacts customers. We have to jump through a lot of hoops to justify this on the audit. In fact, we've actually had our access restricted from some activities we used to do that fall outside of traditional system admin tasks just because it's easier for auditing purposes for us to not be able to do it anymore. In my job my group also doesn't have access to the storage, network or virtualization layers except as users/clients and all changes have to be done by others. Sometimes it's a pain, but at auditing time it makes my life easier as I can tell the auditors "We don't have the ability to change that, so you have to talk to group X on that one".

Comment No, you miss the point (Score 1) 172

Being able to reassemble it is not the point, it's that you can re-wind time and get the information back out. With the normal idea of a blackhole, even if you could rewind time, you couldn't get the information back out.

No, you miss the point. He said basically "Having the information 'available' isn't really helpful because we have no way to get it." You simply proposed a theoretical way to get it that can't be done either at this time, possibly ever, so his assertion that we can't get it is still right. Unless you are a Q, telling us to "rewind time" as about as helpful as suggesting we simply change the gravitational constant of the universe.

Comment Typo in the article? (Score 1) 176

The article says:

Backed by IBM, the P-TECH program aims to prepare mainly minority kids from low-income backgrounds for careers in technology,

I think they meant to say:

Backed by IBM, the P-TECH program aims to prepare mainly minority kids for low-income careers in technology,

Given IBM's lack of interest in hiring or retaining American workers, that must surely be what they meant.

Comment Re:another vaccine (Score 1) 96

It's usually spread through the air. And it's not a big deal for a young healthy person to get it...

While that is generally true, specifically the 1918 flu pandemic killed a large number of people in the age range of 25-34. It's believed that they died due to the effects of a cytokine storm whereas middle aged people did much better at surviving that flu. You had to get up to about age 75 and above to start seeing the kind of mortality rates that hit the sweet spot of 25-34 for this flu. This doesn't invalidate the fact that your post is good as is your advice for people to get their flu shots.

Comment Re:How did these idiots catch anyone? (Score 1) 282

I really hope that the majority of the agents laughed at this stupidity.

This was before my time so I can't say so with any authority, but the impression I get is that most agents probably believed it. Keep in mind that this was a time when the greatest fear of many American parents was "juvenile delinquency" and they honestly blamed comic books for it. The Senate even had hearings about comic books and juvenile delinquency. William M. Gaines, who would go on to publish Mad Magazine, was forced to testify in front of a Senate panel on the subject. How seriously the US government took the "Communist threat" is why I can't accept that Lee Harvey Oswald was allowed to return to the USA after supposedly defecting and was never punished for defecting. Something was going on there and I will believe forever that Oswald had a CIA connection that the government still doesn't want to talk about.

Comment Not an Epson fan (Score 1) 379

Epson seems to be inching into the right direction:

I bought an Epson printer once maybe 5-6 years ago. It refused to recognize the ink cartridges that came with the printer from the factory. There were official Epson ink cartridges. Know what the fix for this is? Get another printer. No joke. There is no fix. You have to replace the printer. So I returned it for a refund and went with Canon. The Canon has its own issues, mostly being vvvvvveeerrrrryyyy ssssssllllloooooowwwww to warm up, but I've never had it refuse to recognize an official Canon ink cartridge.

My computer can beat up your computer. - Karl Lehenbauer