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Comment: Re:The point of an exchange (Score 1) 48

An exchange is a place where buyers and sellers can meet to do business and where the price of goods is determined. You place an order with the exchange and it tries to fulfill your order given the other orders in the system. Some exchanges allow you to trade on margin, where you're only required to post a portion of the money for your deals and the exchange covers the rest. Exchanges make their money by charging a small fee per transaction.

Say you want to buy 100 Bitcoins, you open an account with an exchange and fund it via some method like cashier's check, money order, wire transfer, credit card or cash. You can then enter various types of orders. A market order would be fulfilled at whatever price the market happens to be at, while a limit order would specify a certain price (or better). Now, there may be no one on the exchange able to fulfill your order of 100 bitcoins, but there may be ten people who can sell you 10 each, or maybe two people with 50, etc. The exchange will manage this all for you. If you placed a limit order and no one is around to sell you those last 10 bitcoins at the price you wanted, then that part of your order will go unfulfilled.

An exchange is not a bank! You should not keep assets in your exchange account unless they are actively used to trade.

Comment: Re:Fuck religion. (Score 1) 903

by h4ck7h3p14n37 (#45843147) Attached to: US Justice Blocks Implementation of ACA Contraceptive Mandate

No, the whole point of health insurance, like any type of insurance, is to hedge against risk. Risk pooling is just one way of helping to ensure it's profitable to issue policies. If I decide I don't want to risk having to pay for cancer treatments, I can pay a premium for an insurance policy to hedge against the risk of developing cancer. If I know I'm not going to be having children, why would I pay a premium for maternity coverage?

An individual should absolutely be able to choose which risks he wants to hedge against and which risks he doesn't. That's the big problem with the minimum essential coverage requirements in the Patent Protection and Affordable Care Act, it forces everyone to pay for coverage they may neither need, nor want. Insurance does not equate to healthcare, although people like to confuse the two. You can always pay cash for services. If I'm relatively young and healthy, with plenty of cash in the bank, it may make sense for me to carry a high deductible catastrophic plan that does not cover routine services that I can pay for with cash.

If the goal is universal health coverage, then we should be opening free clinics, new medical schools and offering scholarships to people who want to be trained. The PPACA did none of this, it was simply more regulations on an already over-regulated industry.

Comment: Re:Who uses mice? (Score 1) 361

by h4ck7h3p14n37 (#45710577) Attached to: How long do your computer mice last?

I agree, the Logitech Trackman Marble FX rocks. I've got two that I bought back in the 90's and I'm thinking about buying some more off eBay.

I never understood why Logitech stopped producing them, or why someone else didn't license/copy the design. Fits the hand and wrist well, the large ball has some heft and spins freely and I found the thumb cutout useful for finer movements.

Comment: Re:Gross, but... (Score 1) 618

by h4ck7h3p14n37 (#44983473) Attached to: First Cases of Flesh-Eating Drug Emerge In the United States

It's not just opiates. There are plenty of classes of drugs where ignorant physicians prescribe inappropriately and get people addicted or harmed. Then the doctor blames the patient for the problem he created, labels them "junkie", refuses to see them or help with a taper which then pretty much forces them to seek out the black market.

Read up on what happened to the people who got hooked on Paxil before the physicians knew it was addictive. Doctors actually told people their withdrawal symptoms were due to mental illness and kept on prescribing. Or read some stories of people who were prescribed benzodiazepines incorrectly and lost years of their memories.

Comment: Re:Gross, but... (Score 4, Insightful) 618

by h4ck7h3p14n37 (#44983407) Attached to: First Cases of Flesh-Eating Drug Emerge In the United States

Gee, you think? It appears that American society has collectively learned nothing from the Prohibition days.

Rather than trying to understand why people use drugs or doing something to help people, society at large just likes to judge and label them "losers". For a supposedly "Christian" nation this is pretty f'ing pathetic.

I live in Chicago and have seen what happens to people when they can't get access to treatment or when they decide to take a trip to the 'hood for their fix. Most of the addicts I have known have wanted to quit, but the help's not there for them in many cases. One of my ex-girlfriends died from an overdose a few years ago. Thankfully some of the other people I knew were able to get clean after many years of trying.

We should be pursuing harm reduction strategies, but again, these are just "losers", so it's good if they die. Right?

Comment: Re:Put even more people out of work (Score 1) 90

Don't most people expect to converse with their bartender? How's that going to work?

Hello patron, my name is bartender Sbaitso.
I am here to help you.
Say whatever is in your mind freely,
Our conversation will be kept in strict confidence.
Memory contents will be wiped off after you leave,
So, tell me about your problems.

Comment: Robot? I'd have an AbuseBot. (Score 1) 194

by h4ck7h3p14n37 (#44889013) Attached to: Emotional Attachment To Robots Could Affect Battlefield Outcome

Based on my past history of swearing at and smacking tech gear (it works!), I'm pretty sure any robot I worked with or acquired would suffer nothing but abuse from me.

And what's with people trying to make robots cute? I want mine to look mean as hell, remember Maximilian from the Black Hole? That guy was freakin' awesome!

Granted, I've been attached to some of my cars and felt really shitty when I crashed one, but it's just a car. It can be fixed and there are others out there.

Comment: "We need to talk to you about some email" (Score 1) 382

I once had a friend email me at work with the subject "IRC" and the message "get your @ss on IRC". My employer (small company, 50 people) was running some kind of filtering software and flagged the message. Resulted in the head of HR talking to the head of IT who then pulled me aside and asked me what IRC was.

Ultimately nothing came of it, but I wasn't very happy to discover that they were secretly snooping through employees' email. They certainly have the right to do it, but I think it's unethical to do so without notifying people of the policy. There's no reason it needs to be a secret.

Comment: Re:Wanna earn $200K+? Two words... (Score 1) 473

by h4ck7h3p14n37 (#44001619) Attached to: The $200,000 Software Developer

I have been working for a very large investment bank in the U.S. for about five years and my experience definitely doesn't match this. Plenty of incompetence, but I haven't seen malice or ethical/moral issues. Honestly, some of the smartest and most helpful people I've ever worked with.

I work in the middle-office doing tech and user support for trading applications (rates and credit). My employer has a college pipeline program which is how they get a lot of their people. They also work people on contract and then make them an offer if they're good; that's how I got in. I went to an agency that had helped a friend out and landed a six month contract. The contract was extended six months and then half-way through I was asked what I would like to make if they were to offer me a position.

I got the initial contract for two reasons. Number one, I'm experienced and talented. I started working with computers when I was about five and have been programming them since age six or seven. I got access to the Internet in high school back in '91 and learned a lot about things like Usenet, Unix (SunOS) Gopher and the WWW (go Mosaic!). When I started college in '94 I got a job as an admin in the MSCS department's NeXTSTEP lab and started to learn how to do basic sysadmin work, port and compile programs, etc. I spent quite a bit of my time writing CGIs in C running on Apache. I was a student in the EECS department and was taking computer science courses; my electives were in operating systems (2 classes), computer architecture (2 classes), object oriented programming (C++ & Smalltalk) and databases systems. I also did an independent study in Java when people were first talking about it. During my third year at the University I got a job in industry working for a 5 person web development company where I was _the_ tech guy. I was the sysadmin, DBA, webmaster, etc. From there I went on to work for medium sized companies doing development work for B2C and B2B e-commerce websites using Java.

The second reason I got the job was that I presented well and could interact with people socially. A support job entails being able to communicate with a lot of different types of people and it's amazing how many candidates simply can't do this. You need to present as someone who is confident, knowledgeable, flexible and who can get along well with others. Also, don't hit on people during your interview! It's amazing, but people have actually done this before. My group would always have one of the more attractive women talk to the candidate just to get a feel for their personality and to flag the creeps.

I didn't have any prior financial experience and that wasn't a problem, I just needed to have a good attitude and a desire to learn. I'm someone who realizes that tech exists to serve the business and not just for its own sake, so I always look forward to learning the business side of things wherever I go. I'm not a diva and really don't care what language I'm using or what operating system is running on the box under my desk; I can work with anything. Some of my friends aren't that way and it has cost them opportunities.

I would definitely recommend you talk to some of the consulting agencies in your area and see if they have any reqs from financial companies. I'm not sure what part of the country/world you're in, but those kinds of jobs exist all over. They're not just in London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore. Financial industry doesn't just mean high frequency trading, it includes community banks, loan servicing companies, etc. Be honest on your resume and when you speak with people. It's unfortunate, but employers get a lot of resumes from liars that put a bunch of stuff down that they can't back up. If you're someone who's honest then you will look like a superstar.

"Maintain an awareness for contribution -- to your schedule, your project, our company." -- A Group of Employees

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