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Comment: Unthreaded/flat view? (Score 1) 237

by bziman (#46176583) Attached to: Update on the March of Progress: How Slashdot's New Look Is Shaping Up

Each iteration of slashdot over the past 10+ years has decreased its usability for me. I don't want anything on the screen to change without me explicitly clicking on a link or button. I don't want floating headers. I don't want Web 2.0.

Also, I don't want to view conversations "threaded". I want to see posts in sequential order as they were posted. When you put the subject line at the top of a post, I can figure out who's replying to what (especially if they quoted the text they're replying to, which they should).

Funny posts should not gain karma - I currently have a -3 penalty for funny posts, so I don't have to read them at my default +3 threshold.

Oh, and I hate Web 2.0. Go away bad beta. Bad!

Comment: Varying seniority over the years... (Score 5, Interesting) 177

by bziman (#46151711) Attached to: At my current workplace, I've outlasted ...

At my first company, I was the sixth employee, and we grew to over a thousand. By the time I left after nearly ten years, all of the people who had been there before me, including the founders, had all gone, along with nearly half the rest. (When the founders bug out, that's a sign it's time to move on!)

At my second company, even though I was there for five years, it was a small company, and only a handful of old-timers left, and only a handful of new-comers arrived.

Now, I've been at a HUGE company for almost exactly one year, but I don't personally know anyone who has left the company in that time. Though I've heard about some ex-employees who have come back.

Comment: I wish I could say "none" (Score 5, Interesting) 312

by bziman (#45850615) Attached to: No. of vehicle license types I hold:

In the United States, at least, having a drivers license is no indication that you know the basic rules of the road, anything about traffic laws, ability to operate a vehicle, or possession of basic common sense.

Drivers licenses exist, at this point, exclusively to track and catalog every member of our society. And I don't like it.

Comment: Re:Pseudo Science... (Score 4, Insightful) 87

by bziman (#45742277) Attached to: Clear Solar Cells Could Help Windows Generate Power

Speaking of pesky laws of physics, o hater of all things right and good...

According to Wikipedia, only about 44% of the sun's electromagnetic radiation that reaches the ground is in the visible light range.. Photovoltaics are typically responsive to limited wavelength ranges. It would make perfect sense to tune semi-transparent photovoltaics to absorb radiation that falls outside the visible spectrum, while transmitting most of the visible light.

You get all the benefits of Low-E glass, plus electricity.

Comment: TrackPoint? (Score 1) 361

by bziman (#45663213) Attached to: How long do your computer mice last?

I've been using the TrackPoint as my primary pointing device on Dell Laptops or ThinkPads for over ten years, so my mice don't get a lot of use. I use synergy, so I can control my desktop and laptop using just the laptop keyboard.

But, I still have a couple of working keyboards that are over twenty years old, and mice that are nearly twenty years old.

Comment: Synthetic trans fats (Score 4, Insightful) 376

by bziman (#45361283) Attached to: WRT trans fats, the FDA should ...

Note that this isn't ALL trans fats, only synthetic trans fats made by hydrogenating vegetable oils. Naturally occurring trans fats that are present in lard, for example, are not going to be banned. I don't buy the sort of heavily processed products that include hydrogenated vegetable oils anyway, so I anticipate this change having no effect on me at all. But it might improve the health of people who live on processed foods and lower my insurance costs.

Comment: Re:Illegal, Not Undocumented. (Score 1) 391

by bziman (#45189509) Attached to: What Employee Lock-In Means At Facebook

My family came to America on the Mayflower. And we destroyed the civilizations that were here before us. It's been ten generations, and I still feel sort of bad about that.

And the "great" civilization that we have now, was built by many people from all over the world coming here and working together. How long after my family got here did yours arrive?

People are not "illegal". If you imagine that now that YOU are established here that no one else is welcome, then I feel very bad for you.

Comment: I guess I'm not indestructible after all (Score 4, Insightful) 415

by bziman (#45133083) Attached to: I typically visit a doctor (for medical reasons) ...
When I was a kid, I always got so bored listening to people whining about their medical issues. But all these years later, being a cancer survivor, having a variety of ongoing injuries from sports, and general health issues, I spend a lot of time in doctors' offices. I'm just really lucky that I'm in that rare elite class in the United States that merits good health insurance. If not for that, I would have died years ago - who can afford a half million or more out of pocket for cancer treatment?

Comment: Ting FTW (again) (Score 1, Redundant) 91

by bziman (#44528139) Attached to: Crunching the Numbers On Shared Cellphone Contracts

Every time people complain about cell phone service and prices and contracts, I feel compelled to post a link to Ting, where you pay for what you use, and the more you use, the less it costs, and it's $6 per phone on the account, with as many phones on the account as you want. Now THAT is a family plan that is fair. I'm saving more than 50% from what I was paying for an "unlimited" plan with Sprint.

Disclaimer: if you use that link and end up signing up, you get a discount and I get a discount.

Comment: Re:Minimum Wage = Inflation (Score 1) 1106

by bziman (#42999685) Attached to: The U.S. minimum wage should be

"If you raise the minimum wage by 10%, I raise the prices by that same 10%" ... How does that work given only a small percentage of customers will be on minimum-wage and getting the 10% increase?

You missed the part where I said "commodity" - I'm assuming that this is food service or manufacturing or something like that, that affects everyone across the board - particularly all of those minimum wage employees. And really, it affects everyone who has to work just to get by - even if you're making $20/hr instead of $7.25/hr, a 10% increase in the cost of commodities really hurts.

"That means that my million dollar salary increased by $100,000" ... But by your previous logic, your cost of living has now increased by 10% or $100,000 anyway

The rich and the poor require the same basic things to live. Even if you're eating meat from a can and I'm eating filet mignon, I can only eat so much. We both use a fixed amount of electricity. Inflation disproportionately affects the poor, because the poor have to spend nearly ALL of their money on just living, while the rich spend only a tiny fraction on just living, and then some of the rest on extravagance, and then just hoard the rest. It's the hoarding that I'd like to eliminate. And providing an incentive to put that money back into the economy can be achieved with brutal taxes on the excess wealth, better than a meaningless minimum wage.

Comment: Minimum Wage = Inflation (Score 1) 1106

by bziman (#42998217) Attached to: The U.S. minimum wage should be

Suppose I run a billion dollar company producing some commodity that everyone needs, and where most of my employees make minimum wage. If you raise the minimum wage by 10%, I raise the prices by that same 10%. Then our income goes up by 10% across the board, meaning that we pay our employees the extra 10%, but so do our profits. That means that my million dollar salary increased by $100,000. The situation of my employees hasn't changed a bit. But I can buy another Porsche.

Keep doing this - you force me to pay my employees more, so I raise prices, so the value of the dollar decreases. Over and over again. Only as the value of the dollar decreases, I get more and more and more dollars, while the regular people's savings becomes worth less and less.

Forget the minimum wage. Raise taxes on the wealthy. Make it pointless to hoard more money. Suppose my company has five million dollars to spend on salaries, and I get a million and the other two hundred minimum wage employees split the other four million. If my company makes an extra million, I give myself a half million raise, and give each employee an extra $2,500. That ain't nothing, but if I had to pay a 90% tax on my income over the first million (or first half million, even), there'd be no point in me keeping that money, and I could just give all that excess to my minimum wage staff, and help them actually get ahead. Or lower the prices on my product. And then there'd be some real public benefit. Instead of just giving the rich guy at the top an extra zero at the end of his bank account.

Comment: Re:Ting! (Score 2) 246

by bziman (#42708147) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Pay-as-You-Go Plan For Text and Voice Only?

Right, but you need a SIM card... somehow missed that part. But you don't actually need a cell phone contract for that - you can send and receive e-mail using SMS. Check out Email to SMS. Basically, you use the e-mail address associated with their phone number to send a text message. They text back, and you get an e-mail. And if you need mobile Internet, Ting does allow tethering, and sells mobile hotspots. See, I'm on topic!

Comment: Ting! (Score 3, Interesting) 246

by bziman (#42708113) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Pay-as-You-Go Plan For Text and Voice Only?

Check out Ting. Brought to you by Tucows. They run on Sprint's CDMA/4G LTE network. I have voice, text messaging, AND data, and I'm paying less than $30 a month (no contracts) - less than half what I was on with Sprint.

Each component is priced separately, and you only pay for what you use - they automatically move you to the correct service level for each part at the end of each month.

They have awesome tech support - they actually turn off their hold system during the day, and the phone rings until a human picks up the phone... and then the person you talk to actually KNOWS something, not just follows a script.

The only "catch" is that you have to buy your phone - but honestly the "free phone" nonsense from other providers is just a way to rope you into a contract where you pay ten times the cost of the phone over the life of the contract.

Check them out!

(Disclaimer: Yeah, I get a discount if you use that link to sign up, but go ahead, they're freakin' awesome.)

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