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Comment: by mail because electronic isn't easy (Score 1) 385

by j2.718ff (#46757969) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

I figured filing online made sense. But I didn't find a clear option. There were choices that require I make less than a certain amount of money to use. There were choices that direct me to 3rd party sites. Is the IRS really so inept that it can't show me a way to file online that isn't more complicated than printing my own 1040s?

It's odd that irs.gov is generally well-organized, such that I can find any PDF form I might need without trouble. Why can't it be equally obvious how to submit?

Comment: Re:I kind of wouldn't mind a less fancy one... (Score 1) 103

by j2.718ff (#46519331) Attached to: Google Unveils Android Wear

I know a couple people who ordered Pebble watches. I haven't seen anyone who wears one regularly.

I own a pebble, and wear it every day. I love it for notifications -- I can tell who's calling/texting/e-mailing me, and thus decide if I feel like taking my phone out to interact with them.

But I would never use it to initiate anything. If I want to check the weather, place a call, do a google search, etc., then I'll use my phone -- no matter how good a watch's resolution is, it's just too small to do those things effectively.

Comment: Re:Are we not advanced enough to use UTC Time? (Score 1) 310

by j2.718ff (#46473737) Attached to: Daylight Saving Time ...

Who would benefit from using a UTC as you describe?

People making conference calls across time zones? I don't think that UTC would make that easier. I know that most people are awake and at work at 11am local time, so I can schedule a conference at that time. But if we used UTC, I would need a chart to know what the working hours are in each time zone so I don't accidentally schedule a conference for a time that people are usually asleep.

Does it make it easier for travelers? Not really -- each time I'm in a new time zone, I have to learn what time to set my alarm clock to wake up at a normal hour.

The people I expect would benefit the most from a UTC would be those who live in the border of time zones, and regularly cross it, or interact with people in the other time zone. However, to be blunt, as a percentage of the whole, there aren't a lot of people in that situation - I don't think we should change solely for their benefit.

Or is there a scenario I'm missing?

Comment: Re:graduate certificates (Score 2) 149

by j2.718ff (#46249675) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Options For Ongoing Education?

The education industry, meaning colleges and universities, need a way to "add on" additional skill emphasis to degrees without requiring whole new degrees.

They are called graduate certificates. You take a couple of graduate level courses, and you get a graduate certificate. Often, you can get a certificate while you are on the path towards a masters.

Or, if you don't need a piece of paper, you can just find classes that interest you, and take them.

Where I work, tuition reimbursement exists if you are enrolled in a degree or certificate program -- it's much harder to get the company to pay for a single class. For that reason alone, graduate certificates are great.

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 1) 187

by j2.718ff (#45726141) Attached to: How much of your media do you store locally?

I store all of my media locally. I imagine most people do.

Did the person who wrote the question actually mean something completely different? e.g. "How much of the movies, TV shows, and music that you watch or listen to originates from your own personal collection?

I suppose a person could post a video to youtube, and then misplace/delete the original.

Comment: Re:You aren't there (Score 1) 506

by j2.718ff (#45613539) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why So Hard Landing Interviews In Seattle Versus SoCal?

It's pretty simple. It's because you aren't there.

This, absolutely. I've tried looking for jobs where I don't live, and always failed. So I quit, moved, and had no trouble.

When I'm on the other side of the interview table, I do admit I am a little skeptical about someone who would need to move. Will he stay for the long-term? Is it possible he'll decide he doesn't like it here, and go back home? And, if we do hire him, how long will it take him to move? I'm not saying I wouldn't hire someone non-local, but given an option between two equally-qualified candidates, I'd absolutely pick the local one.

Anecdotal evidence: we hired a guy who moved about 1000 miles for this job. He was a fantastic employee, and we made the right choice hiring him, but after about a year, he said he decided to move back home.

Comment: Re:Hitchhiker's Guide (Score 1) 732

by j2.718ff (#45358679) Attached to: Movie Review: <em>Ender's Game</em>

I read the book, so I can't un-read it before watching the movie. However, I did my best to consider what it would be like if I didn't. And I felt all of the characters were incredibly flat. At no point was I convinced that Ender was particularly intelligent (at least no more than the other kids), nor did I see that he had any particular insight into anything. He just won at stuff because his name is in the title of the movie.

I believe this movie would have been much better if it followed the book less closely. They didn't do a great job with the initial setup, and the monitor, etc., and would have been better to cut it entirely. Same with Ender returning to Earth. Cutting details like this would have given more time for some actual character development during battle school.

Comment: Re:the earlier the better (Score 1) 299

by j2.718ff (#44971839) Attached to: How Early Should Kids Learn To Code?

When I was in school, I desperately wanted to program. But I was always told that I wouldn't be ready until after I'd take algebra. This is because the idea of variables couldn't possibly be understood by a young feeble mind such as mine. Fortunately, my parents (who knew nothing about computers themselves) found an enrichment program for me to do on weekends. Turns out, this coding stuff was easy.

I agree - the earlier the better. The more complicated question is what sort of projects can be done at what age. I believe I was in 2nd or 3rd grade when I started, and the programs I wrote were incredibly simple, but I had fun, and moved on to more advanced things when I was ready.

Comment: Fall (Score 1) 346

by j2.718ff (#44928723) Attached to: My favorite season:

Fall: my body has acclimated to the heat from summer, so I can survive doing physical activity outside even on an unseasonably hot day. Summer is nice, but often too hot. Spring is nice, but generally too wet. Winter is good if you like skiing.

Comment: Re:Why unpaid in the first place? (Score 1) 540

by j2.718ff (#43986835) Attached to: Federal Judge Says Interns Should Be Paid

Most places I worked for paid interns (quite well in many cases), and asked basically nothing in return (the projects given to them were usually training projects, if they succeed, great, but usually they were just thrown away, because there was basically nothing 99% of students in their second year or so could do for us).

Considering the trouble we often need to go through to find good employees, the money paid to interns can easily be justified as part of recruitment costs. If an intern does well, give him a job offer when he graduates. If he does poorly, the company still hasn't lost too much money. Compare that to the cost of hiring a senior-level engineer who interviews well, but can't/won't handle the work.

Comment: my university required we be paid (Score 1) 540

by j2.718ff (#43986751) Attached to: Federal Judge Says Interns Should Be Paid

For my degree, I needed intern experience in order to graduate.

There were two stipulations --
1: it be related to my major
2: it is paid

As a student, I felt like I was making lots of money (because my previous work was the sort that didn't even require a high school diploma), but to the company, student labor is still ridiculously cheap. If a company can't afford to pay their interns, then they have no business hiring them.

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