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Comment: Do what you say on your tin (Score 1) 477

by gremlinuk (#46715649) Attached to: New French Law Prohibits After-Hours Work Emails

My terms and conditions of employment say 37.5 hours per week, plus reasonable hours outside 9 - 5.30pm if necessary (where 'reasonable' is defined between me and my line manager). So, I don't check work email outside 9 - 5.30pm, and only a few people at work know my mobile number (I don't have a work mobile, so that's not an issue). Simple as that.

When you're not at work, you're NOT AT WORK! My employer does not own my time. kthxbai

Comment: Re:Tax Havens before USA/China/Russia? (Score 1) 95

by gremlinuk (#40503479) Attached to: Space Tourist Trips To the Moon May Fly On Recycled Spaceships

Ah, the old 'tax haven' meme. The Isle of Man may have a lower tax regime than your locality, but according to the OECD (amongst others) it actually it is one of the most well regulated financial jurisdictions in the world, and it has tax transparency agreements with virtually all the mainstream (and a lot of less mainstream) countries too. And certainly better than that dirty little secret : the 'corporate and tax haven' that is Delaware. (Have you any idea just how easy it is to create a blind trust in Delaware, or any other type of misty corporate structure?)

The US, UK and most other large nations should look very carefully into their own tax regimes before criticising the openess and transparency of the Isle of Man.

(obviously, I live on the IOM, otherwise I a) wouldn't be so annoyed about the 'tax haven' meme, and b) would be barely aware that the place exists!)

Also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-7n1DcFBOE - the Colbert report on the day when it was revealed that the IOM has a better international credit rating than the USA!

Comment: Re:Explain the mind of a genius? (Score 3) 414

by gremlinuk (#40128443) Attached to: 350-Year-Old Newton's Puzzle Solved By 16-Year-Old

Of course it's a different problem.

The first is a prediction from a known initial state, the second is an exercise in analytical approximation that just means you have to get your hands to reach the same position in space and time as the ball, based upon a continuous stream of information of ever-increasing accuracy about the relationship between said hands and the ball over time.

Wildly different exercises.

Comment: Someone else's laptop (Score 1) 671

by gremlinuk (#39240091) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Using Company Laptop For Personal Use

Basically, this is someone else's laptop.

If you've been loaned a machine for a specific purpose, why would you expect to be able to use for a bunch of entirely unrelated stuff?

Travel with two laptops if you must, or get a slim tablet (I hesitate to specify a brand for so many reasons) if weight is a bother.

Comment: Re:RTFA - really, it's interesting! (Score 1) 845

by gremlinuk (#38326014) Attached to: Are You Better At Math Than a 4th (or 10th) Grader?

"A movie star was in charge of California for several years, I am pretty sure we had a professional wrestler as the govenor of another state in the last 15 years."

I'm pretty sure you had an ACTOR run the whole sodding COUNTRY for a couple of years ... what does that say for the intelligence of the electorate?

Comment: Re:Summary is a little misleading (Score 1) 845

by gremlinuk (#38325980) Attached to: Are You Better At Math Than a 4th (or 10th) Grader?

The guy even said "I have a bachelor of science degree, two masters degrees, and 15 credit hours toward a doctorate."

May be you need to be like me, with a BSc, (no masters), and an actual PhD and 16 years as a professional programmer and mentor of others to be able to do the quiz. ;-) Rather than some corporate pointy haired boss who can't be arsed to finish his doctorate!

Comment: Really, really, really Don't do it! (Score 5, Interesting) 427

by gremlinuk (#36643110) Attached to: Calling BS On Unpaid Internships

You will sell yourself short, get crappy office tasks, not real training. It doesn't look good on a CV/resume ... if I read unpaid internship, I read 'MUG'.

There are plenty of proper paid jobs out there, including short term summer jobs.

Living in a European country, I was totally shocked to discover unpaid internships were showing up over here. Why on earth would I work for free ANYWHERE? Who on earth can actually AFFORD to work for free? Oh, yeah, the rich buggers who probably don't need to work anyway, or for whom Daddy will always be able to find easy, well paid work with one of their chums anyway.

Unpaid internships is a) exploitative bull-hockey, b) a mug's game.

Comment: Re:'Don't interview anyone who hasn't accomplished (Score 1) 948

by gremlinuk (#36063416) Attached to: Why the New Guy Can't Code

Not quite 30 years pro-time, but (bugger me!) it nearly is! And I too have interviewed hundreds of programmers, all on telephone, and some subsequently face-to-face. It's usually obvious who's capable and who's bullshitting. The one guy my boss hired who turned out like the scenario in the OP (yes, that scenario really can happen) was hired before I was senior enough to be involved in the process, and he left to work in a 'Coffee' Bar in Amsterdam. The one guy *I* hired who turned out like the scenario in the OP isn't working here any more - and I'm not sure even now whether he couldn't code, or whether he simply couldn't do it working on his own, offsite.

Comment: Not another presumptuous list (Score 1) 182

by gremlinuk (#34670726) Attached to: Joel Test Updated

Paraphrasing both Joel S and Marc G : Do you do everything my way, just 'cos I ( ... think I know better than a guy that ... ) runs a two-bit software company in New York?

Of course I sodding don't: my company writes for it's conditions and requirements, and not yours.

If I choose to use SVN or GIT or even PVCS, what's it got to do with you?

If the personal dynamics in the team are slightly competitive rather than perfectly "A: let's do it your, way. B: No your way. A: no, insist - your way. ... ad nauseam", does that preclude producing decent software? (I'm C, "C: will you just get it done already!")

Software development isn't about one process or another, it's about meeting the sodding customer's requirements, so they can get on with THEIR business, and most of the time they couldn't give a flying duck what methodology you use, as long as the software does what it says on the tin, doesn't cost too much, and isn't a pain in the ass to use every other day!

Comment: Maintenance (Score 1) 257

by gremlinuk (#30623172) Attached to: The Long Shadow of Y2K

In the run-up to 2000, I was consulting for a large international pharma company. My area of concern was in making sure that the software that monitored the maintenance schedules of all the expensive (and in-expensive-but-dangerous) plant didn't suffer from date-difference errors. For example, when does that 500 gallon pressure vessel next need a scheduled maintenance cycle? One-hundred years ago? WHAT? QUICK... EMERGENCY! Shutdown the production line of that drug, the FDA will castrate management for un-auditable maintenance logs!!

So, as others have said, the problems were real, but it was the idiot journalists who couldn't understand the real problem. Afterall, if they were real experts, why the hell are they writing for a newspaper instead of doing it for real?

Comment: Try closer to home (Score 1) 1359

by gremlinuk (#28493205) Attached to: Emigrating To a Freer Country?

How about one of the Crown Dependencies of the UK... like the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.

Both are natively English-speaking, have laws *based upon* but not direct copies of UK law. Personal taxes are lower than the UK, but the health care system is free at the point of delivery, like the NHS.

And it's quite convenient to get back to the UK to see your less adventurous relations. :)

The only down side is that at least the Isle of Man requires you to get a work permit for the first five years, and I think some of the Channel Islands still have minimum income/assets requirements for residency.

They're even nice places to live.

The clash of ideas is the sound of freedom.

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