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Comment Re:New bands? (Score 1) 361 361

You think the current generation embraces older music? Kids are humoring you, maybe? Or kids have better taste in your area?

The pre-teens I know through my kid don't voluntarily listen to anything pre-2008 or so and prefer the new star wars stuff. She and most of her friends can't deal with music that isn't electronically altered to keep the singer on key.

I like my kid and many/most of her friends but they pretty much universally prefer the top 100 stuff on the radio. Still pre-teens, though, so maybe they'll grow out of it.

Comment Indeed (Score 2) 407 407

What employers want is:

Sycophancy. It's much more fun to botch a project with unqualified offshore people who say "we'll work harder next time" instead of with qualified people who say "define the damn business requirements and stick to them if you want us to be done on time." It's hard to tell a qualified techie from a guy off the street with acronyms on his/her CV.

Low salaries. Companies are willing to spend 60 days training and 3 months of work to fail a project offshore that can be done onshore in 3 weeks. It's so much easier to sell cheap people who aren't qualified than reasonable priced people who are. No one knows the difference, especially once the project ends up getting done in 3 weeks once it gets brought back onshore.

A low geekiness factor. It's way more fun to fail a project with guys who are fun and happy than to succeed with a bunch of grouchy nerds.

Promotions without raises. Even at higher levels I'm hearing more and more people who get a title and responsibilities while being paid peanuts relative to people promoted 5 or 10 years ago.

Stock buybacks to inflate options instead of growing the company. Who needs to get better at what you do when you can pillage what someone else built?

Comment Austerity is not a bandaid it is an amputation (Score 1) 342 342

It's not like austerity is based on anything more than spreadsheet errors (intentional or otherwise), and it's not like it does anything positive for a country.

If you have a family on a fixed salary living within your means is almost always a good idea, at least unless your fixed salary is high enough that you can use Trumponomics.

If you are running a country lowering spending also lowers the GDP (movement of money) and revenues (taxes). Austerity cuts off money you need resulting in more austerityt. You do NOT want to run a country as you run a country or a family budget. Note that this is the reverse of trickle down. Money will get to rich people one way or another but the more steps it takes the better your economy does.

The people pushing austerity, the very rich and the bankers, are not doing this for the good of the countries implementing austerity they are doing it so that they can take money from those countries.

Taxing profits properly, that is making sure that tax on American income is paid in America and tax on UK income is paid in the UK, benefits close to everyone. The only question is the company doing the paying and they potentially benefit from better infrastructure.

Comment Just find out what to remove (Score 2) 716 716

As a sysadmin I find I just have to dig a bit to find what to remove. All the gui config tools. All the tools that are meant to help people who don't really know anything about Linux or UNIX. A lot of the stuff that tries to "help." I agree that recent tools tend to be neat but underdocumented, fragile, and destructive.

I understand the security rationale for making logs readable only by root but it makes working on servers adminstered by random offshore people ($5/hour, no IT abilities whatsoever) quite difficult (hey, this server is networked half-duplex and the admin doesn't know what that means. Hmm, the time is off but the admin doesn't know what ntpd is. Why is the sysadmin rebooting that Linux server repeatedly to try to solve a problem that does not require rebooting?) as you need to analyze the problem, not describe the symptoms, and it's harder without read access to the logs. The Linux assumption that someone with root should have a clue is long gone at large companies; the very first thing to go to the least knowledgeable is the root account, and it is widely shared but only to others who don't know the O/S. Note that the logs are readable on most other UNIX flavours (mostly dying flavours at this point). I'd suggest fixing the security problems with the logs or confining them to specific restricted files instead of just hiding all the logs from users. Not every Linux box is used by one guy in his basement.

RHEL no longer has a whole lot of competition in the data centre (real competition, that is, stuff that works and has a reasonable vendor). I don't really expect it to improve at this point. No pressure. Should be OK as long as it doesn't degrade too much more.

Comment Canadians (Score 0) 398 398

First question on reporting for H1B work is "will you sign back part of your paycheck? Like more than half?" The answer from Canadians (unlike people from less developed countries) is "Hell no, and I'll report you if you try it" because they're doing the H1B to get a slightly higher rate, not to avoid below minimum wage work back home. Even at a reasonable salary H1B work is not worthwhile because of the pressure to work insane hours or go home. The whole program should be scrapped.

The big outsourcing companies are going offshore so that they can first bill a bunch of "cheap" but ineffective offshore people and then bill for competent onshore people to actually deliver the project once it is clear nothing will get done successfully offshore. The offshore guys are salary ballast. It's a management fad so they still get people to sign on, and even to go through the process repeatedly as long as the VPs at client companies ignore their underlings who actually see the results.

Comment Re: Boys are naturally curious... (Score 1) 608 608

I know a guy who did nursing. He loved it and dated girls he would never have gotten close to had he not been one of a small number of guys in the program. I know women who had similar dating experiences in my 90% male mech eng classes.

In both fields sexism tends to chase away some of the people who aren't committed to the field. Many of the women I've met in tech have been very good, a better ratio than the guys I'd say, though fewer of them.

Comment Re:IPFire (Score 1) 238 238

I've found openwrt to be a little more flexible than dd-wrt for VPNs. I used openvpn with good results a few years back.

A straight linux server running openswan can connect to almost anything but it takes a bit of doing. I haven't used it in the last few years but it worked last time I tried. Multiple NICs are helpful and considering negligible cost (if you don't have a pile, I have a drawerful around somewhere) easy to justify.

Comment Re:Radicalization (Score 2) 868 868

The government is right wing and, like GWB gets more votes when there is a war on. The more people are hurt or killed on both sides the more people want war so it feeds on itself and the government has a better chance of staying in power and enriching selves, friends and political allies.

Israel was quite restrained when governed by parties that did not benefit from additional violence.

You would think lives > votes but certainly the US and Israel strongly disagree. I'd be curious how many western governments would refrain from killing citizens for votes. Certainly most of them are willing to kill their economies for campaign donations.

Comment Not that simple (Score 2) 123 123

The problem is it is hard to distinguish the field leaders who direct their students from the ones who hire a bunch of non-English speakers who need to publish in English, but can't write comprehensibly, and then treat them like low-paid long-hours lab-techs. Lots of data, none of the career potential.

Also hard to distinguish the ones who do what they are supposed to do (show their grad students how to write and submit papers, introduce them to other leaders) from the ones who take credit and then dump on their juniors. The good ones have to compete with the people they graduate later, and at least some of those people will be brighter than they are.

You have to consider that even the least intelligent people with science phds and postdocs are still pretty bright. And the good ones who publish the most are normally working or schmoozing most of their waking life, far more than the innovators in most companies. Some labs are publishing factories where loads of postdocs churn out loads of papers each. The person running the lab has a significant impact.

I don't think this is a case where you just turf all these profs for putting out too many papers. The biggest issue is that there aren't enough jobs for current students so a lot of the best people burn out and leave. There is not much hope of making money before about 45 in most fields due to the number of years of study required. Outcompeting really bright people for 25 adult years and then getting stuck behind a bunch of tenured guys with dropping government funding sucks.

I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. -- Oscar Wilde