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Comment: Re:Two different tech (Score 3, Insightful) 158

by businessnerd (#47172091) Attached to: Big Telecom: Terms Set For Sprint To Buy T-Mobile For $32B
This has become much less of a challenge than it would have been only just a few years ago. With more of the handset makers moving to the strategy of one device across all carriers and the carrier exclusive model almost dead (thankfully), most customers who have bought a mid to high end smartphone in the past two years likely already have both CDMA and GSM radios. I know at least if you have CDMA, you most likely also have GSM, not sure if the other way around holds true. In the short term, they will obviously have to maintain two networks, but over the long term, they need to pick one and begin to transition everyone over. If I were them, I would pick GSM simply because it is much closer to be a "standard" than CDMA and has a very strong global presence. This makes them more appealing to those moving from overseas and further strengthens the appeal of GSM in the US (If I choose Sprint but end up unhappy, I can take my phone to AT&T, but if I choose Verizon, my phone is stuck with Verizon). For transitioning, there is the very slow way: every new handset sold defaults to GSM until there are no more CDMAs (or few enough to pull the plug). They will also likely heavily promote cheap/free upgrades for anyone still on CDMA to speed things up. Or there is the quick way. Everyone has until X date to switch to GSM, and by the way, we have a lot of cheap/free phones to choose from, plus those new flagships that you know you gotta have right now. Slow is expensive, but will piss off less customers, the other will be cheaper, but could piss off more customers. AT&T and Verizon could also captitalize on those disgruntled customers and make it very easy and cost effective to switch (especially Verizon if Sprint chooses GSM and their CDMA customers want to bail). So in conclusion, it is a challenge, but not one without a solution, and nowadays, is a lot easier to solve.

Comment: Volunteer Tax Preparer (Score 1) 386

by businessnerd (#46758911) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?
My father is a volunteer tax preparer based out of our local public library. He will prepare anyone's taxes for free regardless of how complex they are. And this is not just him going it alone, he is part of a program that is funded by the IRS and use tax software the the IRS provides. I recommend that people look into this in their area if they would like someone else to do their taxes but don't want to pay someone like H&R Block to do it. This is a good option especially if you have a fairly complex tax situation. Since I travel for work a lot, I usually have to file taxes in more than one state. I have had as many as 5 state forms in a year. I used to win the award for the most complex taxes (especially the year I switch jobs, moved to a new state, got married and worked in 4 additional states), but he has been doing this for a while now and has encountered some really off-the-wall situations. Everything from I am self employed and have a pile of receipts for you" to "I haven't files my taxes for the past 10 years" to "I am a Syrian national living in the US under political asylum". I'm sure I could do this all myself with TurboTax just fine, but I do like having a person I can ask questions to. For instance, this year I got a really large refund. I don't like giving the government such a large interest free loan, so he was able to give me some advice on what factors were contributing the most to my huge refund (i.e. was it the amount of withholding, or one of the many deductions I was eligible for?) and devise a plan to try to reduce the size of my refund for the next year.

Comment: Re:Moral of the story... (Score 1) 1746

by businessnerd (#46663131) Attached to: Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO
Never said there was anything sincere about Cathy's apology, nor do I really think his views have changed. What Cathy did admit was that making his views public was bad for business. If he still wants to be bigoted behind the scenes, then there's not much anyone can do about that. He has a right to his own thoughts. However, donations to hate groups is not a "behind the scenes" activity. So if you want to keep your opinions behind the scenes, then the donations have to stop or be concealed. It appears in Cathy's case, the donations have stopped, or at least significantly declined.

Comment: Re:Moral of the story... (Score 1) 1746

by businessnerd (#46663093) Attached to: Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO
I think you misunderstand what I am saying. I am not saying that the consumer should ignore the CEO's views. I am saying that a company should do everything it can to ensure that a CEOs views never become a deciding factor in the first place. Meaning, unless those views are directly related to the product you are selling, keep them to yourself. So when it comes to a web browser company, views on all things web, software, or even just plain business strategy/philosophy are all fair game. They could even be good differentiator. Everything else, particularly polarizing or controversial issues like gay marriage, abortion, etc. should be avoided like the plague (plagues should also be avoided). Up until recently, when you had to make a decision on what web browser to use, you may have considered many factors. Speed to load, adherence to standards, open vs closed source, non-profit vs. for profit company. I bet not once did you consider the political views of any of the CEOs, cause there was nothing of interest to even consider. As a company, you want to keep it that way. Now the cat's out of the bag, and you and many other people are factoring the CEO's views on gay marriage into what web browser to use (and rightly so!). That can only be bad for business.

Comment: Re:Moral of the story... (Score 4, Interesting) 1746

by businessnerd (#46653043) Attached to: Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO
Chick-fil-a's CEO, Dan Cathy, may actually disagree with you. Not long ago, he openly apologized for his comments about gay marriage and his donations to many of the apparent hate groups have declined or all together stopped. He cited many reasons for his change of heart, but the most telling was that "it was bad for business." http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US...

I remember reading at the time (although I can't find the source anymore) that while sales spiked during the initial publicity, they later declined to a point lower than before the controversy started. So they didn't really get any new customers from the whole thing, just lots of people who were already Chick-fil-a customers going out and making a statement. Once the controversy died down, existing customers went back to their old purchasing habits. However, they did lose customers. Those who used to be customers and were offended by the comments, will likely never be customers again.

A company needs to succeed based on the product that they are offering, whether its differentiating qualities are real or perceived. Anything else is simply a distraction. This goes for chicken and web browsers. The views of the CEO shouldn't be a consideration for customers when choosing a web browser.

Comment: There is no "Sharing" going on (Score 5, Insightful) 353

by businessnerd (#46622253) Attached to: If Ridesharing Is Banned, What About Ride-Trading?
Can we stop referring to these companies as "Ride Sharing" apps? It's just a way to make it sound like they are not car for hire services, but they really are. And I'm not complaining about the services themselves. I use Uber constantly. I love it. But I am under no illusion that UberX drivers "just happen to be going my way." They picked me up because they want my cash. And that is the real problem with the author's idea. The drivers don't want to barter. They don't need credit for future rides. This is their profession. Most of the drivers I have spoken to drive at least part time, if not full time. Last ride I got, I asked the guy when he usually called it quits for the day (it was the end of a long workday for me). His response: "I'll be driving all night. This is all I do." Does this sound like "ride sharing" to you? Regular taxis should have every right to be worried, though. And price is the least of it. I use a lot of taxis and Ubers, so I feel I can make a fair comparison. In general, Ubers are friendlier. Their cars are cleaner. And the biggest reason I use Uber, is because of the ease of payment. I travel for work, so I put everything on my corporate credit card, including taxis (Using cash means I 1) need to be carrying it, 2) I need to carefully track receipts and 3) I don't get the money back for another few weeks). With Uber, I just step out of the car, and my card is immediately charged and I receive and e-mail with the receipt. With regular taxis, he tells me how much, I say I want to pay with a credit card. At this point, I get one of two responses. If I am lucky, he says, "No problem" and takes my card. More often then not I get "can you pay cash instead?" or "the machine's down, cash please". I then insist on credit, at which point the machine magically works again. (No joke, last week a guy gave me the "machine's down" line and then after I suggest he do a carbon copy, he whips out his iPhone with a Square reader attached!). Ok, back to the machine. If the machine is the kind in the back seat, process is fairly smooth, but does take a little time. Or it's the old school one in the front that takes a little more time to process the payment and print out the receipts. I get that taxi drivers get less money and it takes longer to get paid (so I usually tip more), but it's a huge hassle, and creates a shitty experience when I have to argue with every taxi driver. Uber's experience is far superior. And there is no reason that taxis couldn't adopt the same payment system.

Comment: Re:Sounds like (Score 1) 314

You should tell your friend that there are places where bent wheels can be straightened for a fraction of the cost of replacing the wheel. I have had this done a few times. One of my past cars had very low profile tires on 18" wheels and I bent all four after going too fast through a patch of road that was badly torn up by potholes and uneven cracks approaching curb-like qualities. Replacement of all four wheels would have run me close to $400 per wheel, but instead, had them straightened for roughly $100 per wheel. On another occasion, I bought a set of wheels off e-bay, but one of them wouldn't balance out due to it being bent. Once again, fixed them right up for a relatively low cost and wheel balanced perfectly after that. Not sure where you live, but I used this place in Pennsylvania. http://www.wheelcollision.com/ They used to be the only place that did this in the PA/NJ area, but I believe there are a lot more shops that do this now.

Comment: Re:2012 Lincoln MKS, 2013 Cadillac CTS (Score 2) 155

by businessnerd (#46213935) Attached to: Elon Musk, Tesla CTO Talk Model X Details, Model S Upgrades
Car and Driver seems to disagree with your Lincoln claims, but your Cadillac statement seems to be accurate
2012 Lincoln MKS: http://buyersguide.caranddrive...
2013 Cadillac CTS: http://buyersguide.caranddrive...
Both cars get around 1 MPG less with AWD compared to their 2WD counterparts with same engine. And for the Lincoln, SAME ENGINE is the key word. The AWD Lincoln is able to achieve the same MPG as the FWD one assuming you upgrade to the EcoBoost engine, which, while yes is more powerful, is a completely different engine, so not a proper comparison of MPG from FWD to AWD. Even for the Cadillac it is hard to draw any hard conclusions without more information. There can be a lot of variability between the trims, deeper even than what is presented on the surface. I would not be surprised if the transmissions are geared slightly differently or if there was any weight saving measures taken for the AWD version. You could be correct, though.

Comment: Dropbox? (Score 4, Insightful) 187

by businessnerd (#45728583) Attached to: How much of your media do you store locally?
Not sure how to answer this one since I use Dropbox. Everything uploaded to Dropbox exists locally on my HDD as well as having a second copy on one of the other computers in my household with enough disk space. At one point I had 3 computers all synchronized with Dropbox. So 100% is stored locally AND in the cloud. I know Slashdot loves to hate on the cloud, but most of the arguments against it don't apply to Dropbox. If Dropbox were to disappear tomorrow, I would still have my data (and still backed up in multiple locations). There is no migrating away, since all I do is just upload to the new service without having to retrieve anything from Dropbox (I already have it). From a disaster recovery standpoint, the only scenario where I am exposed is if Dropbox disappears followed by my house burning down destroying every hard drive I own beyond recovery. The chances of this are very slim and if I was really that worried about it, I could set up another computer outside of my house (say at a trusted friends house on the other side of the country) and have Dropbox synchronize there as well. The only valid argument is the privacy one, since Dropbox theoretically could access any data I have uploaded to their service. They claim it is encrypted and they don't look at it, but that doesn't mean they couldn't. The solution here is to not upload anything I wouldn't want them to see. Some also have had success with uploading a TrueCrypt volume into Dropbox.

Comment: Re:advice from a former fainter (Score 1) 282

by businessnerd (#45468159) Attached to: Affordable Blood Work In Four Hours Coming To Pharmacies
Thanks for the advice. I always bring up my history of fainting and request to lie down and usually stay down for a little while afterwards since it hasn't always been during the draw that the lights have gone out (Once it was 15 minutes later back in the waiting room). My experiences have all varied. Some have turned out OK, others tortuous, so I know some of it is in my head. At the end of the day, I just need to man up and deal with it for the sake of my own health.

Comment: This fainter is very happy (Score 1) 282

by businessnerd (#45467405) Attached to: Affordable Blood Work In Four Hours Coming To Pharmacies
As someone who frequently faints or comes extremely close while having blood drawn, I am extremely excited about this tech. I hate getting blood drawn so much that I have a tendency to avoid scheduling routine physicals, which I know is not smart since yearly physicals are so crucial to spotting trouble before things get too bad. I don't just hate passing out (or nearly), but I hate needles in general, so having that needle stuck in my arm for the duration of the draw (or the frequent misses and retries) along with the whole losing consciousness is torture for me. Finger-prick was never a problem for me, though. I imagine I'm not alone, so if this means more people doing some preventative maintenance, then it likely also means less emergency room visits and major procedures resulting from ignored or uncaught conditions that would have otherwise been easily treated.

I just hope that my insurance will accept this method. I just got a letter in the mail from them the other day reminding me that they do not work with all labs.

Comment: Whose attention is worth the most? (Score 2) 324

by businessnerd (#45405787) Attached to: I'd rather be spied on by ...
I picked Canada, because as your average boring non-resident, I feel that if Canada felt the need to go to all of the effort to spy on me specifically, then I must be doing something of great significance in the world. This of course is based on the assumption that Canada doesn't have a blanket policy to spy on everyone. We know the US spies on everyone, so being spied on by them isn't so special. Russia I can assume also probably spies on as many people as they can, maybe with a little cold war affinity for spying on Americans, so even though it is a little bad-ass to have Russia's attention, still nothing too special. Same goes for China and Cuba. With the UK, while they probably are a similar case to the US (probably a bit envious), I wouldn't want them spying on me at all. Too much risk of their agents seducing my wife.

Comment: Don't Confuse Leading w/ Managing (Score 1) 252

by businessnerd (#44503145) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Development Leadership Overvalued?
The key disparity here is that you are assuming being a "leader" on a project means you were a project manager or officially managing others in some formal fashion. I don't think that is what any of these interviewers were asking. You don't have to be in an official leadership role to lead. It could be as simple as leading by example, or it could mean that others look to you for guidance or direction. Did you ever take any extra initiative to accomplish something new or particularly challenging that no one else had that guts to take on?

Now if they really were asking about formal leadership roles (i.e. Manager), then you should have given a similar explanation to what you posted in your question (except maybe without the whole, "I like being a follower", part). You get more satisfaction from solving engineering challenges hands-on than you do being a manager. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, some may worry that because you desire to stay in relatively the same place for a long time, that you will still want regular pay increases beyond cost of living adjustments, which means you will be very expensive relative to your peers. This may be OK assuming you can justify your larger salary and by justify, I mean prove on a regular basis. But this then brings me back to my first point about leadership vs. managing. Your greater level of experience should translate into you being a leader amongst your peers and explains why you have been asked such questions during interviews.

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