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Comment: For the same price regular tv & HTPC (Score 1) 118

Which *I* control.

Even if the "Smart" tv were open to modify I wouldn't buy it. I *like* the display and the cpu being in different boxes.

The TV needs to show me a decent watchable image.
The htpc needs to fetch the video and turn it into something the TV can show me. With some pretty htpc skin if I want it.

If I want some new feature or to use some new codec that needs a bigger cpu I can get a 'new' $100-200 junkpile computer.
That seems to be plenty to watch tv do low end web & email stuff from 10 feet away. You know--a smart TV.

Comment: Good for annoying your co-workers (Score 1) 147

by karlandtanya (#49705523) Attached to: Mechanical 'Clicky' Keyboards Still Have Followers (Video)

A 'C' in touch-typing in high school on an IBM Selectric has over some decades of practice become a fairly quick set of fingers.

There are polite comments--"gee you type really fast". Sometimes people even walk over to make the observation.
Folks are NOT impressed with typing speed. They're distracted by the racket from the next desk over. This with a 'regular' soft keyboard.

We *do* have an original Model M in the lab. One of the Engineers brought it in along with an IBM AT so we could test some ancient programming hardware and software. It's sat idle since the tests were completed. One can only imagine that the purchase of a USB adapter would be followed shortly by a homicide.

Comment: When we hired an H1-B from a neighboring country.. (Score 1) 636

by karlandtanya (#49584493) Attached to: Disney Replaces Longtime IT Staff With H-1B Workers

Our lawyer told us we needed to show that there were no qualified US Citizens available to do the job.
We were doing our hiring via usenet (this was a while ago ;). To provide formal documentation, we took out a 30-day ad in a trade journal cited that, and stated that there were no responses (there weren't; I think trade journal job ads are pro forma for this purpose anyhow). Also the lawyer told us we had to state the wages were consistent with what we were paying similarly qualified US Citizens doing the same job.

In our case it didn't matter; these requirements were just facts. But I'm curious why Disney doesn't seem bound by those same rules.
Have the rules changed?
Was our lawyer incorrect--Is H1-B meant to displace qualified US workers with cheaper foreign workers?

Comment: Eng is already meanigful; this touts glory work. (Score 1) 634

by karlandtanya (#49569117) Attached to: How To Increase the Number of Female Engineers

This sort of narcissism is insulting to anyone to whom it's directed. A child wants to easily complete the big showy job and garner the praise.

If you can sleep well knowing you did the best you could do to make a contribution, that will bring you satisfaction. Praise from others is empty even if deserved it will never be enough by itself.

My father's profession was at one time regarded as the 'save the world' kind of thing. But he just wanted to provide a service to those who needed it. Black, White, Rich, Poor, Pay me or don't--his duty was to serve and the respect he *earned* in the community over many decades was through service, not 'saving the world'. He never sought praise as fulfillment; outside of his work where it was required, he didn't put letters in front of his name.

He taught me whatever I do I should do well. If I dig ditches for a living (great grandfather did), then I'd better be the best damned ditch digger I can.
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And, by the way--if you are an Engineer, you're *supposed* to be working for the good of society:
Google if you want the whole thing; here's the beginning:

NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers
Preamble
Engineering is an important and learned profession. As members of this profession, engineers are expected to exhibit the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Engineering has a direct and vital impact on the quality of life for all people. Accordingly, the services provided by engineers require honesty, impartiality, fairness, and equity, and must be dedicated to the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare. Engineers must perform under a standard of professional behavior that requires adherence to the highest principles of ethical conduct.

I. Fundamental Canons
Engineers, in the fulfillment of their professional duties, shall:

        Hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.
        Perform services only in areas of their competence.
        Issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.
        Act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees.
        Avoid deceptive acts.
        Conduct themselves honorably, responsibly, ethically, and lawfully so as to enhance the honor, reputation, and usefulness of the profession.

Comment: I've worked with these people (Score 4, Insightful) 407

by karlandtanya (#49526727) Attached to: Using Adderall In the Office To Get Ahead

Adderrall is speed. It works for a brief period, but the cost even for brief use is high. And, whether they call it "meth" or prescription drugs it's addictive as hell. I did a gig in an area and industry where this sort of prescription drug abuse is rampant. It was so bad we had a hard time finding people that could even pass a dope test. But the dope tests apparently can be beaten because half the folks that made it to the job were on adderrall. Probably they had a prescription.

One guy just did it a couple of times--he got the job done by working about 30 hours straight. I didn't know he was high, but figured it out later. After his 30 hour work binge he was out "with the flu" for a day. When he got back after his day off, he still looked like he'd had the crap beaten out of him. This guy was a project leader and took it on himself to 'get it done no matter what'. Last I heard, he figured out that 'no matter what' was way too high a price and wasn't using. Boss agreed wholeheartedly--he'd rather explain failure to deliver than abuse his people. Good boss. When the abuse got too bad he walked us all off the job--you don't treat human beings that way and we were very lucky to have a boss that stood up for us.

Another guy was a more experienced user, and looked like he could maintain. Unfortunately he had the attention span of a gnat. I was ordered by the boss to finish up some of the guys work and as I went through the job I could see where he'd started on one task, then just abandoned it before it was done and jumped into the next task. The whole job was like that. It was easier to scrap it and do it myself than to try to figure out what was done and not.

A third guy just had no focus left at all. Also an experienced user. I'd give him a job to do, come back in a couple hours and he's gotten nothing done. I'd demonstrate the job again and return again; the only part that was completed was what I'd shown him. This guy was so burnt as to be inert. I suspect he was on a little more than just adderrall as he acted a little different.

Comment: "This student is a potential rapist" (Score 1) 234

When I was in college oh so many years ago, this was a problem; guess it's still going on now.

Anyhow, some student activists (turned out to be just a couple of students with access to a photocopier and a stapler) put up posters around campus. The posters had a photo of a guy with prison bars clipart overlaid and the subject tagline below. Whether the photo was actually of a student currently enrolled was never revealed.

Their argument was "he has a penis. therefore he is a *potential* rapist. no lie; no libel". Another point that was brought up was at that time rape was legally defined as sticking a penis into a woman without her permission. So, legally only men could rape, only women could be raped. That's actually been changed in the intervening years. To answer the objection that "It may not be libel in court, but you're still causing harm" their position was that "We are promoting a social good by 'raising awareness' about rape on campus.". After a week or so the signs were gone and didn't come back.

I don't recall if they were officially forced to stop or they just figured out they had subverted a conversation about rape into one about free speech and harassment.

Either way, they *did* raise some sort of awareness, but not the kind they wanted to. Unless they were just trying to get the law changed. Still didn't stop the raping apparently.

Comment: To Puritans the offense is they're having fun (Score 1) 765

The Puritanical mindset is that pleasure of any kind is immoral. As long as you're ashamed of what you're doing, you're in line with their morality. The fact you're not is a problem--you are a "shameless"...whatever it is you're doing. The act is not your crime--it's your failure to recognize that you're wrong that makes you the worst kind of person.

"Everything is harassment" is a red herring:
In the late '80s, the harassment trainer told us "whatever she (and it was explicitly she), says is harassment is harassment". My employer at the time was a multinational medical device manufacturer in the Forbes 60. It ain't like that anymore, and hasn't been for a long time.
These days, you'll typically hear something like:
"If somebody's doing something at work that makes it hard for your to get your job done, ask them nicely to quit it. If you don't want to talk to them directly, tell your supervisor and they will ask them to quit it. If they keep doing it, it's harassment. And, no, you can't say absurd things like 'they're breathing too loud and it's distracting me'. And, yes, if there's a dispute where one party is a member of a Protected Class and the other isn't, then all things being equal we're going to side with the one that is."

The accusation here isn't harassment and it's never been. The accusation here is "offense", and not an "offense" as a tort or a crime with some sort of objective definition. This is the kind of "Offense" where someone "feels offended". For obvious reasons, feeling offended doesn't get you very far in front of a judge, but you can still convince stupid people of stupid things with enough pearl-clutching.

A related example:
Several years ago I'm working in the US a crew of guys, one who was from Canada. My friend sees a sign for a "Hooters" restaurant and asks if that means what he thinks it does. I explained what it's about and the whole crew went there for lunch. My friend explained that this would be absolutely impossible in Canada. The feminists' there would would consider it incredibly offensive and they would picket and sue until it was gone. We happened to be working in an auto plant, so everyone there had worked in Detroit, and everyone there had also been to Windsor. When I pointed out that we all knew that at least one city in Canada was filled up with titty bars my friend explained it to me:
"Titty bars are dark and shameful. You're supposed to be embarrassed to be a customer and humiliated to be an employee. But Hooters is fun. People bring their families there (yes, there was a man, wife, and kids when we ate there...). THAT's the problem. Sex is supposed to be guilty; you're making it fun."

A couple years later I sent him a picture of me standing on a street in Toronto in front of a Hooters sign and the CN tower in the background. ;)

Comment: VPN is not useful for avoiding accountability (Score 1) 57

by karlandtanya (#49106487) Attached to: Iran Allows VPNs To Make Millions In Profit

Gov't locks down everything so the only way you can get to where you want to go is by VPN.
Pay for it and you say "Ha! I got around your firewall".
Govt supplies it for free and you say "WTF?! You're issuing internet licenses and spying on me!"

VPN's have useful purposes--getting past (some) firewalls, pretending you're somewhere you're not, protecting your privacy from a *casual* snoop.
As long as you don't *really* care about getting caught doing whatever it is you're doing, a VPN is just fine.
If what you're doing can get you put in the pokey for the next 20 years, you better find a different way to do it!

Don't assume the people running the VPN server have your interests in at heart and don't assume you know who they are (or aren't).
And you're helping pay for their operations!

BTW, I'm using a vpn right now for the second purpose--to pretend i'm in the UK.
For some reason, you can only get a website that sells certain bizzare chocolates (and bronze, glass, or silver items of the similar design) from within the UK. I showed it to my wife; she was NOT amused...

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