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Journal: WTF? 2

Journal by fm6
If you block banner ads, you'll have missed the recent series of ads on Slashdot from Lane Bryant, a clothing chain that caters to "plus size" women. There have been a lot of ads, mostly for, uhm, intimate garments. I wonder what that's about? Or maybe I don't want to know!
User Journal

Journal: So sad...

Journal by fm6
I recently made this post, asserting there was no such thing as an "analog disk". Several people responded to point out the flaws in my logic, all of them describing real-world technology that contradicted my theory.

Not a big deal. Except my post continued to accumulate "informative" mods after I admitted I was wrong! Now that's sad.

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Journal: Love and Hate 3

Journal by fm6
Here's my recent post about Google and their permanent betas. The mods follow a common pattern: quickly modded up, then eventually modded back down with the usual cowardly "overrated".

I don't give a shit about the mods. (And as usual, I ask people not to waste their mod points "fixing" the situation.) But something else does bother me. A dozen or so people responded, and not a single one of them seems able to grasp the idea that I admire Google, but am still critical of their screwups. Apparently you're only allowed to love or hate.

User Journal

Journal: Mod Storm! 1

Journal by fm6
Moderations for a recent post. Not a good day for the mod system, since most of the mods seemed to be based on whether or not the moderator agreed with me.

Maybe it's time we injected some honesty into the system, and changed "troll" to "stupid"!

_________________________________________

Rather appropriate, posted to RMS to Move Into Bill Gates Building Today, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (2).

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Rather appropriate, posted to RMS to Move Into Bill Gates Building Today, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (3).

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Rather appropriate, posted to RMS to Move Into Bill Gates Building Today, has been moderated Interesting (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

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Rather appropriate, posted to RMS to Move Into Bill Gates Building Today, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (3).

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Rather appropriate, posted to RMS to Move Into Bill Gates Building Today, has been moderated Funny (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

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Rather appropriate, posted to RMS to Move Into Bill Gates Building Today, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (5).

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Rather appropriate, posted to RMS to Move Into Bill Gates Building Today, has been moderated Troll (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

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Rather appropriate, posted to RMS to Move Into Bill Gates Building Today, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (5).

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Rather appropriate, posted to RMS to Move Into Bill Gates Building Today, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

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Rather appropriate, posted to RMS to Move Into Bill Gates Building Today, has been moderated Troll (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (3).

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Rather appropriate, posted to RMS to Move Into Bill Gates Building Today, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

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Rather appropriate, posted to RMS to Move Into Bill Gates Building Today, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (5).

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Rather appropriate, posted to RMS to Move Into Bill Gates Building Today, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

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Rather appropriate, posted to RMS to Move Into Bill Gates Building Today, has been moderated Troll (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (3).

----

Rather appropriate, posted to RMS to Move Into Bill Gates Building Today, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

User Journal

Journal: A Job, at Last 6

Journal by fm6
After 15 months of unemployment, I finally got a writing contract. At Adobe no less. Not a lot of money (in fact, my entire pay will certainly be consumed by some endodontal work I need), but darn, I was sick of not working. And it's plain old nitpicky API writing, which I dearly love to do.

I got this job partially because of my experience with API work at Borland, but mainly (I think) because I had some heavy experience with JavaDoc, which experience translates nicely to working with Doxygen. Doxygen is supposed to be a language agnostic answer to JavaDoc, but in practice it's mainly used for C++. To support other languages, you need to writer a parser. (JavaDoc uses the Introspection API to pull signatures out of Java class files, so it doesn't need to do any real parsing.)

I actually have some technical issues with Doxygen. It generates some very weird HTML. And the way it generates XML (assembling all the markup strings by hand, instead of using a standard API, such as SAX) makes me very nervous. But Doxygen's markup language is 10 times more powerful than JavaDoc. And JavaDoc doesn't even do XML. Wouldn't be very hard to do. Except certain people with the Java Division happen to be painfully XMLphobic. Which is why ... (bites tongue until it bleeds).

User Journal

Journal: Late Mods 5

Journal by fm6
This post just got an upmod. Hey, I appreciate the compliment, but I wrote that 4 days ago -- it's much too late to affect the visibility of the story. Besides, the story only has 24 posts, so visibility isn't that big an issue in any case. A wasted mod point, in other words.

Moderators need to concentrate more on raising the visibility of good posts (and helping bury bad ones), not on rewarding people they agree with.

User Journal

Journal: God and Malice

Journal by fm6
No, not the cam girl. (Who owes me money, BTW. Which, despite my own financial problems, I find to be actually kinda cool. It gives me a small claim to celebrity...) I'm referring to something Einstein once said. This was back when his theories were still sort of controversial, and a lot of people were thinking up experiments to test them. Except the experiments weren't as crucial as you might think: there was a school of thought that saw his theories as the only possible way to deal with a lot of nasty paradoxes. Einstein himself was of that school, of course. So when somebody asked him, "What if the experiments prove you wrong?" Einstein replied: "God is subtle, not malicious."

A lot he knew.

OK, I've been unemployed for almost a year, and I'm gonna have to give up my apartment. Not as desperate as it sounds -- I have a house-sitting gig, and after that I can scrounge and borrow until something comes up. My big plan is to hit the road and wander off somewhere where there's a bit of contract work to be had. Job shops aren't enthusiastic about hiring non-locals, but if I can honestly say, "I just moved into the area" (but not mentioning that my place of residence is parked outside) then I might have a shot. I've actually been looking forward to it. See some new sights. I've been in one place much too long.

So I'm triaging my possesions, putting the stuff I can't bear to part with into storage, and getting rid of the rest. Gotta get it done soon, I have to be out of here in less than a week. I told myself that I'd stay offline -- there just aren't any jobs in my area, and I don't have time for Slashdot, so why bother? But I decided I had to check my email. Which told me that somebody had posted a job on the Silicon Valley STC site that I'd be perfect for.

So I hurriedly write a cover email talking about all the ways my skills and experience match this job, attach my resume and writing samples, and shoot it off to the headhunter. So now I'm in job search mode, I can't stop myself from doing my normal daily search. There are a couple of fair prospects, none of them to get excited about. I go through the motions. One listing is for an EDA software company. This is technology I learned a little bit about decades ago, but I have a what-the-heck moment because they want a bunch of technical skills I happen to have. So they get an app too.

Then I decide to call the search firm for that first job. Who tells me, Forget It. The client specified no college dropouts. Doesn't matter how good my resume is, they're not gonna show it to him.

Pretty depressing. I'm trying to mellow out enough to go back to the triage thing, when my phone rings. It's a guy at the EDA software company. He's all excited because I have a couple years experience documenting application frameworks, and in his mind that more than cancels out my ignorance of the tech. The actual hiring manager doesn't agree, but he's going to go lobby her. More news tomorrow.

Aw jeez. This is the best shot I've had so far. I mention the degree issue to the guy and he doesn't have one either! But it's all kind of painful. I mean, if this had happened a couple weeks ago, I could have just canceled all my plans. Or if it had happened a month from now, I'd just sort of reroute things. But no, it has to happen while I'm in the middle of the Big Transition. Should I borrow some money and hang onto my apartment? But I don't know for sure that I'm going to get this job. I've got one enthusiastic ally -- maybe everybody else will say, "Let's hold out for somebody who knows EDA." I don't deal well with this kind of uncertainty.

The job itself is kinda scary, since I'd have to spend a lot of effort learning the whole EDA thing. This guy who is so enthusiastic about hiring me says no, I just have to do a sort of sanity check on the docs for the application framework they're doing. Well, there are tech writers who can BS that way, but I'm not one of them. I need to have a sort of schematic understanding of the stuff I'm writing about. If I get this job (I'm not even thinking about refusing it if they offer it to me), I'm in for a lot of hard work. Oh well, it'd keep my brain from calcifying.

User Journal

Journal: A job I'm not quite qualified for 1

Journal by fm6
In my search for an actual job, I ran across this listing. I'd love to get an editorial job in San Francisco. Alas, I'm just not qualified for this one -- on many levels.

This particular magazine sort of amuses me. I'm not saying that in a condescending way -- it's, nicely put together, well-edited, and well-written. Thing is, it tends to get carried in certain liberal-minded bookstores that would never think of carrying Playboy. I wonder how many of them have noticed that Girlfriends also features a nude centerfold?

User Journal

Journal: Pat my own back

Journal by fm6
OK, I'm pretty proud of this post. It's not that I said anything really insightful, despite the upmods. But I did manage to ask a question that provoked some insightful answers.
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Journal: That Other Blackout

Journal by fm6
When we had the big blackout, everybody talked about how disruptive it was. It didn't occur to anybody that a certain region has gone without reliable power for much longer. Except, of course, to the people who live there.

Federal grants are offered for... research into the recreation potential of interplanetary space travel for the culturally disadvantaged.

Working...