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Comment You're making it more complex than it is (Score 4, Informative) 84

You should be able to find some pretty straightforward documentation on HTTP cookies, flash data storage, HTTP Local Storage, and browser fingerprinting (see ). The tracking services aren't doing anything fancy -- they're just sharing that identifier behind the scenes. When you visit website1 they assign an id to your browser (via a cookie, or whatever). When you visit website2, it loads a script from website1 that puts your id somewhere into the DOM that website2's scripts can read and website2 assigns that id to your browser as well. Website3 does the same, and so forth. Then, websites 1 through N share the browsing habits of your id amongst themselves and gain some insight into what your browser is doing.

Comment Lucky break (Score 1) 234

Something like this happened to me with MCI when I was in college. Not originally from a state with "local toll" charges, I even asked the MCI rep ahead of time to confirm a no-toll number from my ISP's list. A month later, I had about $850 in toll charges and absolutely no way to fight it. Not quite $24k but it was a big dent in my budget. Let's just say I wasn't sad when I Worldcom got into so much trouble a year or two later.

Comment Kids and carseats (Score 2) 140

I wonder how accurate it is in detecting non-adult profiles. In WA, the HOV lane counts total people, with no requirements on age. This means that a baby sleeping in a carseat counts as a 2nd occupant. I agree with others -- I'm all for HOV lane enforcement but the false positives around automated detection just sound too sketchy.

Comment Speed of traffic? (Score 1) 287

It's been a couple of decades but I recall my drivers' ed teacher making it pretty clear that speed of traffic was usually more important than any speed limit signs, going so far as to point out that you could be ticketed for unsafe driving (or impeding traffic) if you were driving the speed limit (e.g. 60mph on the freeway) but the rest of traffic was going 90. Even in that absence, pretty much everywhere in the US drives at least 3-5mph above the speed limit, even in the slow lane (that theoretical/alleged margin of error for radar guns, even though police are all using super accurate laser-based systems now).

Comment Include a player. (Score 1) 169

Get some archival-grade DVD or Blu-ray media and then include one of those little portable DVD players (with a wall plug). Include a few extra pure-digital formats like theora, mp4, etc on separate media, just in case. Put it in a separate airtight container and make sure to include lots of silica gel.

Comment Re:Steam Engines (Score 1) 790

Steam engines are all over the place (e.g. in every nuclear power plant). But since you're probably talking about steam locomotives, you're just not hanging out in the right place (or don't have a young child in the house to insist you go to the right place). There are still steam locomotives running all over the world, though I'll admit they're more of the hobby/tourist variety than actual "working" locomotive hauling freight/passengers. I'm partial to and can assure you they make a lot more kinds of sounds than just that chuff-chuff-chuff---wishhhh. There's also not much to compare to the sound of a steam whistle from about 10 feet away, either.

Comment Terms of Service? (Score 0) 790

One would assume that Google has the right to make sure you're complying with their terms of service, and if in that (presumably automated) scan they find illegal activity, is it not their prerogative to report it to the authorities? On the flip side, is this much different from your leaving a stash of cocaine on the back seat when you take your car in for service? Do you expect that the mechanic wouldn't report it to the cops?

Comment It's not just about the money. (Score 1) 397

A lot of smaller breweries don't produce enough grain to sell it, but still give it away because garbage fees aren't cheap, either (some cities even charge additional fees because of the need to buffer the pH in to protect groundwater and other runoff). Or a thankful small-time pig farmer might share some bacon. That and it's good for the environment and local economies, and most micro-breweries are sensitive about both issues.

Anyway, this isn't just about money -- it's about the FDA proposing legislation/paperwork/hassle to fix a problem that doesn't exist. Thankfully, not in a small part due to the actions of brewers and farmers across the country, the FDA has backpedaled and is now re-evaluating the proposal to hopefully come up with something a bit more sane.

Comment Re:So I speak four languages now? (Score 2) 426

As someone who grew up bilingual, I used to list computer languages along with the bits and pieces of a few other languages (spoken and signed) when applying to college. I remain convinced that my experience with human languages has made me a better programmer, and am willing to bet the reverse as well -- grammar and syntax are two sides of the same coin. I think that it's *culturally* important to learn more human languages, but from a purely academic standpoint I'll take a student with French or C++ over one with neither.

Comment Information and Networking are key (Score 3, Informative) 506

As someone who has had no trouble getting interviews in the past (outside of the year or so post-dotcom bust), and more recently as a hiring manager who has just as much trouble finding candidates *worth* interviewing as you seem to be getting those interviews, here's the best advice I can give out:

1. Be honest about your address and intentions. If someone applies to my "local applicants only" job with an address in CA I don't even bother to read the resume. However, if you mention in your introduction email (cover letter?) that you want to move to the area and plan to be making a trip up in the next couple of weeks ("to visit some friends", "for a couple of interviews", whatever), I'll give your resume the same consideration as I would to a local candidate. I might even fast-track a phone screen if you look good, so I can schedule an interview to take advantage of that time you'd be here. Do your best to make your trip description emphasize how serious you are about looking for a job in the area -- it will bypass the concern a lot of small companies have paying to fly you into town for an interview (not worth it with so many great local candidates), and should hopefully prevent you from sounding presumptuous about expecting an interview.

2. Find some good recruiters. I don't know a single tech worker who enjoys dealing with recruiters (most put off the same vibe as the stereotypical used car salesman) but there are a lot of VC-funded startups that hire exclusively through recruiting firms. Reach out to big guys like greythorn and volt, and do some searching on linkedin and other sites for smaller firms (which often have much more interesting work). Reaching out directly to them will help you get the message across that you want to move, and in turn they will help convince the hiring manager that you're worth talking to despite currently being out of state.

3. You mentioned Seattle and MS in the same description. Be aware that there is a giant invisible line down the middle of Lake Washington. Though there is some MS stuff (at least on the web side of things, which is what I know best) in Seattle, there is a lot more of it on the East Side (Bellevue, Redmond) closer to Microsoft itself.

4. It may help to get a local phone number, but honestly if you mark your non-206 number as "cell" and direct eyes toward your email address, I can't think how it would hurt your chances. FWIW, unless asked on a job application form at a big company, I'm not sure I've ever given my phone number out to a prospective employer until asked for it in order to schedule a phone screen.

5. Yes, there really are that many good candidates in the area. You're competing with locals who are more readily available for interviews or followup interviews, so you need to stand out more than they do. And it's not just about weighing the costs of bringing a non-local candidate in for an interview -- I personally hate giving video interviews and will do everything I can to avoid them (I get so much more out of the interview if I can actually interact with a candidate; after all, personality-fit is as important as technical competence).

6. On the other hand, there really are a lot of good jobs here, too (Amazon's hiring spree high pay has made it a pretty competitive market, too). Consider broadening your skill set. I know there is often a wide cultural gap between the kinds of devs who focus on MS vs Linux, but if I'm just looking for a good developer/engineer rather than a language expert, I'll be much more interested in you if your resume has more than just the one stack (Ruby+dotNet, dotNet+Java, etc). You could also take this as a "don't complain about picky companies if you're limiting yourself to a single technology subset".

7. Be willing to work contracts. Microsoft itself is well-known for preferring to hire people through staffing agencies (corp-to-corp contract) rather than through direct hiring, and they're not alone among the larger companies. The staffing company becomes your employer while you work the contract (avoid 1099 contracts unless you fully understand the tax implications), and you don't have to feel too bad if you leave for a better gig a few months into the contract.

Anyway, I hope this helps someone.

Comment Re:I live in the Puget Sound area (Score 1) 506

Funny. I grew up spending time between the hottest and driest deserts in the world. When my family ended up moving to the Seattle area, I rejoiced at the weather. I'll happily take a little drizzle over 120F summers or "undetectable" levels of total annual rainfall. A year of school in Chicago which went from sweltering humid heat in the summer/fall to near-zero freezing temps in the winter confirmed for me that Seattle has great weather.

No problem is so formidable that you can't just walk away from it. -- C. Schulz