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Comment Re:Insecurity culture.... (Score 2) 522 522

The current variation on the theme involves identifying employees that are owed pensions, converting said pensions (long term debt held by the Company) into 401k's, owned by the employee (at a rate below what the pension should have paid out at), then removing the employee from their position while replacing them with contract labor

While I understand your point, in the US at least ERISA laws do protect pensions to a reasonable extent. But what is happening, almost universally, is the discontinuation of defined-benefit pensions as a benefit. If you have one already, you generally get to keep it, although it might get frozen. But if you don't have a defined benefit plan, you're not going to get one. A 401k or equivalent is all you're going to get, maybe with some limited matching or company contribution. These days you're pretty much on your own for retirement planning, and it's very difficult, unless you start early and save a lot, to have a decent retirement account.

Comment Re:Accenture (Score 2) 174 174

OK, years late, most promised feature not done/working, Budget 3x+ over and you will move to a proprietary commercial product with 100% lock in.
Sweet, yes would be fun to see who's back accounts/family members got hired to land this future failure in motion ;)

You left out the part where no senior executive service (SES) people get fired but middle-level people who actually tried to make it work get the blame. Meanwhile the Beltway Bandits make off with millions and hire the SES people for fat salaries as a reward for sending all the money their way.

Comment Re:Passed data with a ton of noise? (Score 4, Insightful) 367 367

"The cheap one passed data, but with a ton of noise. "And listeners still failed to hear any difference."

Well, duh. It's digital, not analog. As long as bits are not irrecoverably lost, how is it going to sound any different?

Audiophile ethernet cable .... there's one born every minute.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 2) 484 484

Suddenly Pro isn't good enough to allow me to control MY computer?

Who says it's YOUR computer? Just because you paid for it, you think it's YOUR computer? It's no more YOUR computer than your smartphone is YOUR phone.

It's Microsoft's (or Apple's) computer. It's the cellphone carrier's phone. They are nice enough to allow you to pay for it, and allow you to use it --- but in return for those privileges, you've got to toe the line and follow the rules.

YOUR computer, indeed. The CEOS are laughing at you at this very moment, patting themselves on the back because they've allowed you to believe it's YOUR computer, but they know the truth.

Comment Re:spying: good when we do it, bad when they do it (Score 0) 123 123

Would it be that same US government that has the unmitigated gall to complain about a tiny, tiny fraction of that being done to them in return?

I understand your point and I see where you're coming from, but consider: with the breach that took place, people can die. This isn't some sort of political theory or a matter of taking a stand. Real people may die because of this.

Comment Re:Swift (Score 1) 352 352

The same exact thing has happened in the field of writing and publishing. Now, anyone can write and publish their book because there is effectively a zero barrier to entry.

So what's happened? Amazon etc. are filled with unbelievably bad publications. What little of self-published literature that is good (and some few things are very is often drowned in the sea of flotsam.

So, anyone can write and publish. Anyone can make an app. But something good? That's another matter altogether.

Comment Re:Autistic-friendly business environment (Score 4, Insightful) 36 36

I wonder who dreamed up all this open-plan stuff. I have a suspicion that management cloaked this in the guise of management speak like "synergism" and so on, when actually all it is, is a way to keep the cost of office space down.

Did most managers give up their private offices? I didn't think so.

Comment Re:Explain more (Score 2) 36 36

You know, enforcing funny little rules like "actions have consequences", setting expectations for behavior and performance, the sort of thing that seems out of favor in today's world where no kid can be criticized, no kid can be allowed to lose, and so on.

Not to say that everything is better today--- in an older day abusive corporal punishment was acceptable, for instance--- but it seems there ought to be middle ground.

Comment Re:Critical thinking (Score -1, Flamebait) 132 132

The first goal of K-12 education should be to teach critical thinking skills. Kids need to learn to think logically and to understand the meaning of a critical path. The second goal should be to teach English and communication skills. Third comes history and civics, the knowledge to become a functioning citizen. Fourth would be a basic grounding in math and science.

No, you don't understand. The first goal of education is to produce passive drones who will silently work for the lowest possible wage under the worst possible conditions and who will serve and worship big business, and who will consume to the extent that their low wages plus massive use of credit will allow.

Comment Re: What about the rest of it? And Firefox? (Score 3, Interesting) 144 144

You make a good and valid point, but the people who are buying Apple for comfort will buy a new one every few years because that maintains their comfort level.

I learned, with my visit to the Apple store, that buying Apple for most people is not about

1) Being able to tweak and customize (in general; yes, you can do that if you know how)
2) Worrying about cost[1]

It is much more about

1) Comfort and assurance
2) Style
3) Relative ease of use, and lots of hand-holding.

As technical people we tend to forget how hard things can be for non-technical people. (And no, this is not because we're in any way "better" than they are, we just are good at different things.)

[1] It's true that many Apple buyers have plenty of cash. But I'm active in the local writers' community and it's amazing how many really poor writers (poverty is chronic for most writers) will scrape together every last cent to buy a Macbook.

Comment Re: What about the rest of it? And Firefox? (Score 4, Insightful) 144 144

My opinion of Apple and Apple products has changed. Not that I'd ever buy an Apple product, but I went with a non-technical friend to an Apple store; she wanted me to go along when she bought a new Macbook. I was amazed at the high level of service and the extent of the support structure. She paid twice as much total for her Macbook as I paid for my Asus Zenbook (she bought the training and extended support which added $400 to the total), but she has a level of comfort that is rather high for a non-technical user.

I was pretty impressed, and I can see why people might want to buy the Apple brand. They don't care about the closed design and complete control by Apple. They want to have a place to go to get help and support, of a type and level that they can understand and feel good about. This particular Apple store was packed with people and always is. There's a reason, and I learned what it is that day.

Five is a sufficiently close approximation to infinity. -- Robert Firth "One, two, five." -- Monty Python and the Holy Grail