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Comment: Re:Everyone? (Score 4, Interesting) 545

by gremlin_591002 (#48535105) Attached to: Should IT Professionals Be Exempt From Overtime Regulations?

So, I've been an IT professional in the past and transitioned to industrial control systems. In IT I was a contractor that only got payed for my billable hours. I spent long days but got payed very fairly for the hours I billed.

When I moved into control systems my pay was negotiated as salary, I got insurance and retirement. But when I actually started working it was all figured hourly. The problem was it didn't matter how many hours I worked, I got payed for 40. I was always told to 'take time off', but there was never time. Always another project, always another emergency. 50 hours a week and on call every night became the norm. Eventually I got sick of it and switched jobs.

Now I'm actually an exempt employee. Most weeks are 40 hours, some are more like 50 and I get an occasional call at night. My boss is rabid about me taking a day off when I get a crappy week and never quibbles when the day is slack and I leave early. My team is expected to work 40 and OT is authorized as long as the employee isn't getting burned out. The only problem with this setup is it's easy to get slack. Without the constant pressure it's easier to let things slide. I find that if I drive my team hard on a project every couple of months, they stay more productive when the workload is normal.

It's been interesting to see how the individuals react to working conditions, what motivates them (and myself), and how to make sure they don't drive themselves too hard while still getting the job done.

Comment: The abortion that is the state of UI design (Score 1) 282

by gremlin_591002 (#39877299) Attached to: Mozilla Ponders Major Firefox UI Refresh

Remember back when there was an iron grip on how menus were laid out? Remember when it frustrated us all that we had to use the same keyboard shortcuts to reach simliar functions? I miss those days. From the current nightmare that is Microsoft Office, where it took me twenty minutes to find the print command for the first time. To drilling down through three menus to find my bookmarks!

While you're at it, knock off that rapid release cycle! Version 12 looks just like Version 3, except that I had to completely wipe my copy of firefox, delete every single firefox folder on the machine, then had scrub the registry just so I could reinstall and not have weird errors and random things not work. Boy that was a fun way to spend my evening.

Comment: Same problem as always. (Score 5, Interesting) 635

by gremlin_591002 (#33339336) Attached to: National Park Service Says Tech Is Enabling Stupidity
Ten years ago when I was hiking in Glacier National Park, we heard a whistle. Now back then a whistle was something you used to summon help. My friend and I hurried down the trail looking for whoever was in trouble. It turned out it was a stupid lady with her two small children making sure that the bears were scared away. Nothing has really changed with people, their whistle can just be heard at even greater distances. Park rangers have the ability to issue tickets for this sort of behavior, no reason they shouldn't.

+ - Using the Web to Get the Boss to Pay More

Submitted by
Arun Jacob
Arun Jacob writes "The NYT has an interesting article — Using the Web to Get the Boss to Pay More — on online tools that can help in salary negotiations. Link here (Free registration required).

To summarise, the article talks about the websites that provide information on standard compensation packages for your position and role. Using this information, it should be easier to negotiate your pay with a fact-based approach rather than "feelings-based" approach. The sites profiled are —
Salary.com (Data available only for US)
Payscale.com (International)

I have used Payscale.com. My comments on this concept on my blog."

+ - Running Late and Wasting Billions; Punctuality...

Submitted by
Ant writes "ABC News reports a recent survey found 15 to 20 percent of the United States/U.S. population is "consistently late," especially when it comes to work. Chronic lateness isn't just annoying — it's expensive. American Chief Executive Officers/CEOs are late to eight out of every 10 meetings, according to a 2006 survey by Proudfoot Consulting. And when CEOs are late by 10 minutes every day, it costs the U.S. economy $90 billion in lost productivity. This Reuters article say Peruvians are mostly late that made punctuality program organizers to make campaigns to resolve this issue. Seen on Digg and in one of its Digg comment."

Download And Burn Movies Available Soon 97

Posted by Zonk
from the oh-css-is-there-nothing-you-can't-do dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to an article from PC World, a source close to the CSS Managed Recording forum said that technology which allows movies to be downloaded and burned to blank DVDs, using the same content-protection system as commercial discs, received official approval on Thursday. 'The technology will require discs that are slightly different from the conventional DVD-Rs found in shops today. The burned discs will be compatible with the vast majority of consumer DVD players ... Despite Thursday's approval, services that allow consumers to legally download and burn movies in their own homes are unlikely to appear quickly. The DVD CCA said it will be initially restricted to professional uses. These might include kiosks in retail stores where consumers can purchase and burn discs in a controlled environment.'"

+ - Homebrew Launcher for Wii Released

Submitted by Croakyvoice
Croakyvoice (986312) writes "Datel have finally released their all in one Homebrew launcher for the Nintendo Wii and Gamecube, the launcher consists of software CD, 1GB high-speed SD card, a USB SD card adapter and an SD media adapter to fit in your Cube's memory card slot. The easiest and legal way to play Emulators and Homebrew on the Nintendo Wii."

New Royalty Rates Could Kill Internet Radio 273

Posted by Zonk
from the one-of-my-favorite-things-about-the-internet dept.
FlatCatInASlatVat writes "Kurt Hanson's Radio Internet Newsletter has an analysis of the new royalty rates for Internet Radio announced by the US Copyright Office. The decision is likely to put most internet radio stations out of business by making the cost of broadcasting much higher than revenues. From the article: 'The Copyright Royalty Board is rejecting all of the arguments made by Webcasters and instead adopting the "per play" rate proposal put forth by SoundExchange (a digital music fee collection body created by the RIAA)...[The] math suggests that the royalty rate decision — for the performance alone, not even including composers' royalties! — is in the in the ballpark of 100% or more of total revenues.'"

Maine Rejects Federally Mandated ID Cards 621

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the marks-of-the-beast dept.
WebHostingGuy writes "The State of Maine rejected the federally mandated ID cards passed by Congress. In a non-partisan vote the legislature flatly stated that they would not force its citizens to use driver's licenses that comply with digital ID standards, which were established under the 2005 Real ID Act. It also asked Congress to repeal the law."
Wireless Networking

+ - Boeing Cuts 787 Wireless System-Goes Wired

Submitted by
K7DAN writes "It appears that state-of-the-art connectivity in Boeing's newest aircraft means a wired, not wireless network. The Seattle Times reports that Boeing has abandoned plans to bring entertainment and information to passengers through a wireless system in its 787 Dreamliner due to possible production delays and potential conflicts with other radios services. A side benefit is an actual reduction in weight using the wired system. Amazingly, the LAN cables needed to connect every seat in the aircraft weigh 150lbs less than all the wireless antennae, access points and thickened ceiling panels required to accommodate a wireless network."

"Bureaucracy is the enemy of innovation." -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments