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Comment: Re:Bono is a disingenuous prick.... (Score 1) 320

by erp_consultant (#47929667) Attached to: Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

I don't know why I'm bothering to respond to this but it's a slow day so.....

"You're so completely full of shit" - Nice to meet you too.

I see that you have conveniently sidestepped the two main points of my post. 1) He is a tax dodger. 2) There is little if any evidence that he actually donates any of his own money to these various causes.

The link above describes it in more detail but why would U2 move their corporate operations to a region of the Netherlands that is tax free? The same reason Facebook does it. Same reason that the Kennedy family set up overseas Trusts in places like the Isle of Man. Same reason that Mitt Romney set up offshore accounts. To avoid paying taxes. That's not my opinion. That's a fact.

As much as I'm sure it irks you, these people are all playing the same game. These people have all made a lot of money and don't want to give more of it than they have to to their respective governments. So they set up these elaborate schemes to move money offshore to places with lower (or no) tax burdens for the EXPRESS PURPOSE of dodging taxes.

In your little world it's ok to do that - as long as their politics agree with your politics. Bono gets a pass because he is a "progressive". Meanwhile, Mitt Romney/Dick Chaney, etc. are vilified as "tax cheats". Well you can't have it both ways, pal. All of them are tax cheats, regardless of politics.

So don't give me your sanctimonious bullshit about how Bono is such a great guy. Sure, he talks a good game but when it comes time to step up and donate some of his vast fortune he's not getting it done.

The ONE Campaign, which I'm sure you are familiar with, was started by our good friend Bono. You might also be aware that it has come under fire due to the fact that only 1.2% of everything collected was actually given to charities.

I'll do the math for you. That means that if I donate $100 to the ONE Campaign then only $1.20 is going towards the cause. That ain't getting it done, son.

"The facts are, if everyone were and did as Bono and Gore do, we wouldn't have crushing poverty and war" - Ummm no. If everyone did as Bono did then 98.8% of all charitable donations would be wasted. Not only is that disgraceful, it will have no meaningful impact on poverty whatsoever.

Comment: Bono is a disingenuous prick.... (Score 1) 320

by erp_consultant (#47921539) Attached to: Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

There I said it. All the so called "Progressives" just love this guy because he is supposedly out in front of all these social issues. U2 has made hundreds of millions of dollars over the years, almost all of it funneled through companies in Ireland and the Netherlands with the express purpose of avoiding taxes. In 2007 they transferred most of their music catalog to a tax-free jurisdiction in the Netherlands.

Just like the rest of these celebrity do-gooders he just loves to get up on stage and implore YOU to donate YOUR money to such and such a cause. But he, despite his vast resources, give little or none of his OWN money. Yes, he donates his "time" but all of his expenses (and those of his huge entourage) are paid for by the charity. So not only does he not contribute any money, a good portion of your donation is going towards paying his expenses.

The ONE Campaign, founded by Bono and U2, urges governments around the world to give more money to poor nations. Fine. Noble cause. But don't ask me to take this guy seriously when he is an obvious tax dodger. If it were not for people like him maybe governments would have enough money to hand out.

I'm not against making money. Far from it. But you can't have it both ways. Either you are a Capitalist or you're not.

So do us a favor, Bono. Get back on your private jet and go count all that money you've made by NOT paying your fair share of taxes.

Comment: One word - Communication (Score 1) 391

by erp_consultant (#47920309) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

A lot of tech people that I have worked with (not most but a lot) have poor communication skills. Many of them are very good coders but have difficulty when it comes to documenting or explaining complex topics. Fine Arts grads tend to be very good at communication.

In the business world most executives do not understand technical subjects in a way that tech people do. A good tech person can take a complex technical subject and break it down into terms that business people can understand. That is a very valuable skill.

As an aside, one of the best coders I ever worked with was an English Literature major. Go figure.

Comment: Re:Kleenex, Xerox, iPad.... (Score 1) 405

I stand corrected. What I should have said was "They were late to the game...with a viable product". Microsoft's first tablet was a brave experiment but terrible execution. And the original Windows Phone (running Windows Mobile as I recall) was awful. Crashed all the time, had that silly Start button, etc.

Comment: Kleenex, Xerox, iPad.... (Score 1) 405

These names have what I call the "first adopter" advantage. When someone wants a tissue they ask for a Kleenex. Just like people ask for a "Xerox copy" of something. To a lot of people, "iPad" is synonymous with tablet.

This is one of the reasons why it's going to be such an uphill battle for Microsoft when it comes to tablets and phones. They were late to the game. Even if the products are good (and I happen to think that the Surface is a really good tablet) it's a tough nut to crack.

I have to think that the MS marketing department really dropped the ball (no pun intended) here though. If you're going to spend $400 million on promoting the Surface you would think they would remind the announcers that it's not an iPad? They should be encouraging them to use the name Surface often. It's not a "tablet", it's not an "iPad", it's a Surface. There should have been a big splashy introduction where everyone gets to see the thing and what it can do. You know, generate a little excitement?

Then again, marketing has never been been Microsoft's strong point.

Comment: Re:I like watches but.... (Score 1) 471

by erp_consultant (#47880517) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

Maybe it's just my phone (LG G2) but bluetooth is a battery killer for me. For that reason, I rarely use it. Batteries are the Achilles heel for all these gadgets. We keep getting bigger batteries but along with that comes faster processors and better screens so at the end of the day the battery life is no better than the last version.

You make some good points. I'm not dismissing it entirely, just in its current iteration. I suppose if I really stretch it I could think of a few things that it would be useful for. Discrete notifications? Sure, but at $300-400 it's a luxury I can do without.

Maybe I've just got gadget fatigue. I'm quite happy to go from carrying one device for music, a pager, a phone. etc. to just carrying a phone. It does everything I want reasonably well. For me, if I'm going to carry another gadget it had better have a pretty compelling reason to do so. Right now, I don't see one.

What will be exciting is to watch (no pun intended) and see how inventive minds approach this. Maybe someone will come up with a killer app for the watch. Maybe not.

Comment: Re:My take on COBOL.... (Score 1) 385

by erp_consultant (#47880395) Attached to: Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

Interesting comment on the fixed width record format. I didn't know that. My friends on the DBA side of things told me about the SQL processing. Evidently, COBOL is extremely efficient at processing SQL. Perhaps not by design but in practice.

But I think we both touched upon the real reason - it just works. A few places have tried to replace their COBOL code with mixed results. If it were me I'd just leave it as is.

Comment: Re:This could all be solved quite easily.... (Score 2) 364

by erp_consultant (#47873447) Attached to: Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

Ahh...there's the difficulty. Somehow it would have to determine whether the phone owner is the driver or the passenger. Or whether the vehicle is a mass transit vehicle or a car/motorcycle. There are ways to make that happen but it's going to take cooperation.

Comment: I like watches but.... (Score 1) 471

by erp_consultant (#47872603) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

nobody (including Apple) has made a smart-watch that I can see a compelling reason to buy. Primarily for two reasons:

1) You have to charge it every day
2) It needs a smartphone to pair with it in order to be functional.

A conventional watch will either have a battery that lasts for a year or more or an automatic mechanism that can be wound simply by spinning the rotor inside the watch movement. A good automatic watch will run for 24-48 hours without needing any attention. With a smart-watch we are once again looking for a charging station, just like we are for a phone or tablet or laptop. Not very convenient.

Pairing the smart-watch with a phone requires you to enable bluetooth on your phone, which is a significant drain on your phone battery. All so that the watch can give you notifications that you already get on your phone? No thanks.

At this point, the smart-watch is nothing more than a gimmick. A fashion accessory. And that alone might be reason enough for some people to buy it. More power to them. I'm not saying that the smart-watch can't be a viable stand alone gadget. It's just not there yet.

Comment: This could all be solved quite easily.... (Score 2) 364

by erp_consultant (#47872277) Attached to: Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

except that the greedy Telcos are standing in the way of it. It would be trivial for Apple, Samsung, etc. to program their phones so that distracting features such as texting could be disabled once the motion detector in the phone detects that the owner is traveling at a given speed. When the car comes to a stop, it's all working again.

Study after study has shown that texting while driving is at least as distracting as being moderately drunk and operating a vehicle. Yet the Telcos consistently lobby against any legislation that attempts to limit the use of texting. Why? Because the more text messages people send the more money they make. The more time your eyes are on that screen the more ad revenue places like Facebook make.

So they will continue to fight it. Just like Budweiser would fight the notion of limiting patrons to 2 drinks at a bar. It's taking money out of their collective pockets. Unless and until corporations begin to think of the collective good none of this will ever change. We get the society that we deserve.

Comment: My take on COBOL.... (Score 1) 385

by erp_consultant (#47863907) Attached to: Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

In large scale, enterprise class systems COBOL is still used extensively. For operations like Payroll that move huge amounts of data around, COBOL is the gold standard. Why? Other than the fact that much of the code was written a long time ago and just works, there are very few languages that can process large quantities of SQL as efficiently and as quickly as COBOL. That's what it was designed for.

Now, you might argue that some of the modern languages can process just as quickly but many businesses are reluctant to change because:

1) The COBOL code they have now has stood the test of time. It has been battle tested. It's rock solid.
2) Many of the processes that COBOL handles are considered to be "mission critical" applications. If something goes wrong it will cause big headaches.
3) The investment required, in time and resources, does not justify the return.

So COBOL will probably continue to be around for a long time. What's it like to program in COBOL? It's wordy, procedural and in short not very sexy. But it's a good skill to have.

To be successful at COBOL it's not enough to just know the syntax. To be valuable to an employer you also need to know the business processes and rules that need to be implemented in the code. If you are going to program COBOL for a Payroll system you better know Payroll inside and out. If you can get to that level then you can have a very successful career.

Comment: Re: So that brings the successful login count to.. (Score 2) 150

by erp_consultant (#47831499) Attached to: Hackers Break Into

I deliberately chose to post from a left wing site (Huffington) and a right wing site (as you noted, Hot Air). Both articles reach the same conclusion. A fact that you seemingly have failed to grasp. Are you disputing the collective conclusions or are you just pissed off that things didn't work out the way you wanted them to?

Comment: Re:So that brings the successful login count to... (Score 3, Interesting) 150

by erp_consultant (#47831329) Attached to: Hackers Break Into

"Yes - it's a big failure" - Yes, that much we can certainly agree on. Here is a little news flashback for you (I intentionally did not choose a story from Fox News or similar Right-leaning news source) :

Not surprisingly, the administration has quitely stopped releasing signup numbers, despite a promise to do so in the article above:

The Obama administration continues to play fast and loose with the term "enrollment" and still refuse to tell the public how many people have actually paid for an insurance plan via the Obamacare website.

I'm not suggesting that people should "die" when they get sick. Far from it. I believe that Americans should get the best medical care available.

What I am suggesting is that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has been a collosal bungle, the likes of which the free world has never seen.

Save the whales. Collect the whole set.