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Comment: What idiocy (Score 1) 175

by johnlcallaway (#47521761) Attached to: Dropbox Head Responds To Snowden Claims About Privacy

Anyone that posts anything on the Internet (i.e. on another person's computer and network) and demands privacy or security is a moron. You can ask .. but no one is obligated to give it to you. Becoming indignant or angry because they won't is just about the most self-centered and egotistical thing I can think of, thinking someone else owes you something. Why should they?? Because you demanded it?? What do you have to offer in return beyond shutting your mouth??

It's their decision and theirs alone. You want things private and secure, keep them on your own computer. Unplugged from any network.

Anything else is up for grabs.

Comment: When y ou find the other study ... (Score 2) 778

... the one that was done with a 'double blind' testing system, I'll pay attention to the results. Until then, there are far too many factors to establish any true cause/effect.

But I do know this ... living on a minimum wage salary has NEVER, in my entire 35 years in the labor force, been a 'living wage'. That's why most people learn new stuff and don't stay in it for more than a few months.

Or until they get motivated enough to find something else so they can move out of their mom's basement.

I have little sympathy for someone that can't find anything but a minimum wage job and then have to stay in it. I remember a few years ago when I saw a sign at a local fast-food place advertising a starting salary over $9/hour, a full $2 higher than the minimum wage at the time. When I looked behind the counter, I understood why, the staff was actually WORKING. The owner could afford the higher salary because he needed fewer people because they worked harder.

People with good attitudes and a willingness to learn don't make minimum wage for very long. People with limited skills who aren't very self-motivated do.

That's called 'competition' and it works very well. Subsidies (that is, paying more for something than it's worth) rarely work in the long term. They become crutches and excuses. The US has a long history of such failures .. student loans (increases tuition costs, created a price spiral, saddled thousands with high debt), housing subsidies (increased house prices and created a bubble), Cash for Clunkers (didn't do a damn thing), farm subsidies (can't get rid of the hidden tax that all US citizens that pay taxes pay for that ends up costing 50% of the population almost 3 times what the actual subsidy would be to them in terms of taxes and national debt), etc.

Too bad we haven't learned from these mistakes..

Comment: And in other news ... (Score 1) 230

by johnlcallaway (#47442295) Attached to: Geographic Segregation By Education

... people that make more money buy nice things, live in nicer houses, and send their kinds to nicer schools.

Someone actually spent money on this?? Go to Maine and look at old mill towns like Saco/Biddeford and Lewiston/Auborn. Mill towns, where the wealthy lived on one side of the river, and the mill workers lived on the other.

I would say it's obvious to most people and no study was needed, but I guess someone has to justify their wasted college education by getting paid with government subsidized studies so they can live in the nicer part of town.

Comment: Re:Supreme Court did *not* say corps are people .. (Score 1) 1330

Bzzzt!!! Wrong.

Individuals can be sued of fraud or criminal intent can be proven, not matter what protection the corporation has for it's assets. Martha Stewart went to jail because she lied under oath, not because she broke insider trading laws.

The same is true of corporations. If groups of people in a corporation conspire to dump waste into the environment, they can be sent to jail for it. Same goes for any other actions of a corporation.

Comment: Re:A win for freedom (Score 1) 1330

It's a company. It's someone's choice to work there as well as someone's choice to offer them a job. Telling a company what benefits they have to offer is the one of the most un-American things I can think of. It wholly defeats the concept of capitalism and competition. This is the same shit that has caused half of Europe to become almost bankrupt by telling people things like when they have to retire and how many hours a week they are allowed to work. It's the same shit that has created socialist, entitlement riddled countries that can't afford half of their social programs.

Tell you what .. let's do this. Companies will stop contributing anything to the pool and let employees decide what coverage they want, which of course will set the amount of premiums they have to contribute. Then see what level of benefits they set. Do you honestly think they will spend the money for elective medications, like birth control?? And unlimited medical procedures?? And 100% coverage of everything?? Seems to me if quality health care is a right, then they should enable all of those things and pay the very high rates associated with it, just as they are expecting the company to do it.

But of course not, they will pick a number that is somewhat affordable, and accept the risks involved in the things they cannot afford.

It's easy spending another person or company's money, isn't it. It's tougher when it comes out of your own pocket.

If you want to depend on the government for your stuff, go ahead. Ask the people at the VA how well that worked. I prefer to be responsible and make my own decisions. I'll use government benefits if they are available and I'm eligible, but I'm not going to make long-term decisions assuming they will be there.

Comment: Re:So what? (Score 1) 193

by johnlcallaway (#47310053) Attached to: First Phone Out of Microsoft-Nokia -- and It's an Android

If the vast majority of people upgrade their phone every few years to a new model, the ability to upgrade the OS is irrelevant for that same vast majority of people since they get an upgraded OS on the new phone,

If most OS upgrades only offer small, incremental changes, the ability to upgrade the OS becomes unnecessary for the vast majority of users because they aren't really that important to most.

If phone hardware changes dramatically in newer models and you can only get new features because of new hardware, the desire to upgrade causes many to do so, and the need to upgrade the OS becomes irrelevant except when upgrading phones.

If people are willing to pay an extra $20/month to never have a phone that is more than one year old, the ability to upgrade the OS becomes irrelevant to the vast majority of users.

And no one cares about the few techies that stamp their feet and want OS upgrades immediately.

Comment: Re:Competition, Microsoft style (Score 5, Interesting) 140

I think Apple is starting to be in the same boat. They had a coolness monopoly that many people used to make decisions based on a 'cool' factor rather than on usable features/functions. For instance, zooming on a web page was 'cool', even if it still wasn't practical to use the phone to view large numbers of web pages because of the small screen (pre-mobile web page world). My daughter snatched up on of the original iPhones right away, partly because she thought the zoom ability was cool. I stuck with my Android. Now, she has switched and vows never to go back.

After receiving an iPhone from work, it's amazing to me that anyone even buys them. It sits in my pocket, next to my S4, and is only used to view work email because of it's limited screen size, inferior built-in soft keyboards, and substandard/non-intuitive navigation features. (We are not allowed to install Touchdown and connect to the email servers, so they give us iPhones instead.)

Apple now thinks that getting into the 'connected' world is the way to go. They think that people will buy iPhones simply because of cool toys that can connect to bikes and golf clubs and such. It's kinda innovative, but like things all Apple, it's based on things other people are already doing. Just 'cooled up'. I wouldn't be surprised if they will own the patents and protocols and make it difficult for other companies to get in on it.

Meanwhile, Android will continue to be fragmented, which drives the ability for thousands of companies to complete and innovate.

Apple's only saving grace is their margin is so high they don't need market share.

They just need their iDrones to keep buying and drinking the Koolaid.

Comment: The only losers are the players?? (Score 1) 398

by johnlcallaway (#47178897) Attached to: The Ethics Cloud Over Ballmer's $2 Billion B-Ball Buy

Wow .. I wish I could be a loser to the tune of a million or two a year.

What a great opportunity to take something said in private, blow it all out of proportion, just to make a social statement. I hope I never become rich and famous and have to worry about someone illegally taping a private conversation and making it public so everyone can throw a hissy-fit. As long as I'm just a regular person, my special friends won't have an opportunity to blackmail me for something so ridiculous.

It is NOT illegal to be a racist. It is NOT illegal to have private racist thoughts. It is illegal to discriminate.

One can attack actions, but it is Orwellian to attack private comments. Everyone on here that whines about privacy should be shouting at the treetops against this invasion of privacy.

Comment: Re:It true !!!! (Score 1) 711

by johnlcallaway (#47159627) Attached to: Apple Says Many Users 'Bought an Android Phone By Mistake'

My 'mistake' was the other way, I was forced to get an Apple phone as part of my job, and I think it sucks. Fortunately, I don't have to use it much, just carry it and check email because they refuse to let Android phones connect to get mail. They would rather pay every month for a phone for a hundred people than spend $25 for Touchdown. Or let us even buy it ourselves and connect.

I could have given up my Samsung phone completely and bought my own iPhone, which the company would have paid for and then paid for my monthly service. I'd rather pay the $40/month for my Samsung phone that have to use an Apple phone. I find the interface sorely lacking compared to Android, the screen is tiny, and WTF ... no back button?? No Swype keyboard built in? No on-screen folders? Now I understand why when my daughter switched from her iPhone to her Samsung she vowed never to go back.

One of the worst phones I've ever used. I suppose it was great when it came out, but they seem to have been left behind in features and options.

Let the iDrone comments begin .....

Comment: Any small business (Score 1) 158

My wife is a bookkeeper for a small non-profit. She asked me to help her automate some reports, which required me to know Windows, Crystal Reports, how to use window's task scheduler, and a fair amount of Oracle skill to hack the back end. As I was working on it, she mentioned that she wished she new SQL so she could use Crystal Reports better.

While I was working on the system, I noticed that the method they use to backup Oracle isn't a good, solid method. I'm going to try to understand what they are doing a little better, and if I still feel it's substandard, I might try to implement a more acceptable method.

If my wife had more IT skills, she could do a lot of these things herself. I already have significant accounting skills that I've earned over the years working with accounting departments, so it wouldn't take too much for me to get an accounting technical degree and become a bookkeeper.

So while I think there are many places where IT skills come in handy, any person expecting to make an IT-like salary doing so will probably be disappointed. And I doubt if I would be very challenged in a job where many of the tasks are simple data entry tasks, with only occasional needs for higher levels of skills.

All that being said, I have contemplated getting an accounting degree and provide accounting services when I retire in 5-10 years. It's something that I can do part time, doesn't require the huge investment in keeping up-to-date like being in IT or being a CPA. But I doubt if I'll be able to maintain the same salary/benefit level that I do today. So it's a two edged sword, I can leverage my IT skills to provide better accounting services than some, but I'll never be able to justify the same salary unless I become a CPA.

Not a problem if I'm retired and have retirement income that I'm only interested in supplementing. Or I have paid off my house, credit cards, and any other debt and have reduced my income needs significantly.

I think whether or not someone can leverage an IT background into a new job depends on a lot more than just learning a new trade.

Comment: Why should anyone get bail ... (Score 1) 519

... that has proven to be a flight risk?? What, on his 'word' that he'll show up in court?? His personal guarantee that if the trial starts to go the wrong way, he won't take off again??

Snowden will get a fair trial, and then be thrown in jail for the crimes he has already confessed publicly to doing.

Comment: Re:Well duh! (Score 1) 241

by johnlcallaway (#47075077) Attached to: WikiLeaks: NSA Recording All Telephone Calls In Afghanistan

Thank you! There isn't a country in the world that doesn't invade privacy of civilians in other countries and spy on them. We should stand proud that we are better at it than anyone else. Ok .. maybe not as good about hiding it. The only problem I have with this is that some idiot made the information public.

Comment: The two biggest obstacles ... (Score 1) 232

by johnlcallaway (#47025479) Attached to: Programmers: It's OK To Grow Up

On on hand, many companies pigeon-hole people into specific areas. If someone is designated a J2EE developer, and that's all the tasks a company makes available to them, how will they learn The Next Big Thing?? After doing this for 10-15 years, people get left behind. On the plus side, top notch COBOL programmers make pretty good money. On the down side, it's only the top notch ones that get hired and the opportunities are few and far between.

If companies took the time to allow development staff to try new things, more people would become cross-trained and the end result is a larger talent pool for the company. Most developers can pick up The Next Big Thing quickly if given the opportunity, and since they already know the company processes and products, should be more valuable in 3-6 months than hiring someone with the experience.

On the other hand, if a company does offer the ability the move around, and someone that is comfortable in their space isn't willing to take the plunge, it's their own fault. I've known plenty of people that when asked 'can you code in the Next Big Thing', simply reply 'No, I can't do that'. If they would add the words 'but I can learn it' afterward, as far as I can remember, every company I have ever worked in would let them. Instead, they move onto the next employee or hire from outside the company.

And the employee that always says 'I can't do that' stops getting get offered new opportunities.

Two can Live as Cheaply as One for Half as Long. -- Howard Kandel