I believe I heard that VMworld is now the largest IT infrastructure conference in the world. If you are already steeped in virtualization, it's a wonderful conference to learn stuff and meet people. If you're not already steeped in virtualization, it's a wonderful conference to learn where the IT world is moving, and in fact has largely already moved to.
I stopped driving 2 years ago, voluntarily. My SUV cost me around $800 a month in replacement costs. Another $200 in maintenance. I was burning through $12,000 a year in gas. I spent an average of 1000 hours a year in the car, for work, for groceries, for fun. 999 of those hours were spent focused on the road. I hate talking on the phone while driving.
Consider my annual total: about $25,000 + 1000 hours of my time. For the "privilege" to sit in Chicago traffic.
I'm a consultant. I now use UberX every day. I also use public transportation when I'm not in a rush or when someone isn't paying me to swing by.
I spent about $5000 a year on UberX. $100 a week. While I am being driven around, I can respond to emails, make phone calls. I bill for that time. When a customer wants me to visit them, I pass the UberX fee on to them plus 50%. No one scoffs at it. Some customers will realize the cost of me visiting them is more expensive than just consulting over the phone.
I figure I'm $20,000 ahead in vehicle costs, plus I've literally gained another 600-700 hours of phone and email consulting time a year. Call it $40,000 ahead.
I don't take cabs, because they don't like to come to where my HQ is (ghetto neighborhood). UberX comes 24/7, within minutes.
My little sister had an emergency surgery a few months ago. I immediately hired an UberX driver, who took me from the office, to the hospital. He waited. We then took my sister to her apartment to get her cats and clothes, then he took us to the pharmacy. After, he drove us to our dad's house to drop her off, in the suburbs of Chicago. Then he drove me back to work. 3 hours, $90. I can't get a cab to wait even 10 minutes while I drop off a package at UPS. Forget about them taking credit cards.
UberX charges my Paypal account and they're off. If they're busy, they charge a surcharge. I can pick it or take public transportation.
I know why the Chicago Taxi authorities want Uber gone. But a guy like me is their best customer. Next year I'll budget $10,000 a year for UberX, and it will make my life so much more enjoyable and profitable.
Driving yourself around is dead. It's inefficient. Ridesharing is "libertarian" because it is truly freeing.
I watched a documentary about movie art direction and production design, and they had an extended segment about the art design of Blade Runner, interviewing the people involved, etc. One thing that they said that was unusual about the film, and hard to replicate, is that there was some kind of a strike (perhaps writer's guild) around the time that they were pre-producing the film, so they had a much larger amount of time to design and plan the look of the movie than the usual, so they really went to town on it. I think the look of the film shows the extra attention to detail that was given.
You believe in Lord Vader, don't you?
What an interesting coincidence. I was having a conversation with my dad this last weekend about just this subject. He proposed his theory that people in, for example, countries like Russia and China were less ethical than in other countries because of the purging of religion that happened in those two examples, within recent history. This surprised me because he's a fairly liberal-thinking person, although he has become more religious as he gets older. I think of myself as agnostic for the most part, but after giving it some thought, I wonder if he might have a point.
What do you think? Did the suppression of religion in those countries reduce the level of ethics? Can ethics effectively spread and be maintained among a large population without a broad system of organized religion?
You forgot to add promoting comprehensive, real-world sex education from an early age, if you don't like abortions.
Although it has nothing to do with religion in general, but more with culture and what specific sub-type of religion people follow. Case in point being Scandinavian countries which are ostensibly Christian, but have the type of sex education I mentioned, a much healthier and natural attitude towards sex, and a much lower incidence of unwanted pregnancies as a result of both.
I had almost exactly the same experience as you did: $10 charges showed up on my t-mobile bill from some random bogus premium service. I called them up, they refunded me, and offered to put a block on those types of premium services on my account, which I accepted. Problem solved for me, but I feel bad for anyone who doesn't or didn't review their mobile phone bills. I would imagine that other carriers are subject to the same "premium" text service scams, by the way.
Jack Devine is the subject of the sentence, so the article is saying that Aldrich Ames was Devine's former colleague, not Snowden's:
Jack Devine, a former CIA director of operations, said he did not believe Snowden had been a spy, but that he shared many psychological characteristics of American traitors such as his former colleague Aldrich Ames, who spent years betraying secrets to Russia and is now serving life in prison.
Thanks for the idea, and I'll check if my bank offers something similar for my credit card. But I'm going to stick with credit cards from now on. I realize now that there's a reason why banks seem to try to push us to use debit cards every change they get.
Here's an article describing why:
I say screw them, at least until they pull their heads out of their asses and give us secure cards (chip and pin).
I'm getting so tired of these. It seems like every few months now I'm getting affected by one. Last year my bank replaced my debit card three times (Adobe breach, Target breach, and who knows what the third one was)! Consequently, I'm no longer using my debit card as a debit card, but only at ATMs. I use my credit card for any card-based purchases now. But it doesn't stop. You name it: zappos breach, dropbox breach, a breach at an old community college I attended years ago, and probably others that I've forgotten about in the last year or two. Fuck me running.
By the way, the stories about this breach claim that no financial data was compromised. That's fine, except that the data that was compromised may be used for identity theft: your name, date of birth, and street address. I'm pretty much getting ready to use the option that the credit reporting agencies offer to lock down my credit so that no one can obtain credit in my name without me unlocking it. It's a pain, but I don't think it's a choice anymore at the rate these breaches are going.
That's reassuring. Thanks for the reply!
Except you just happened to be come up for renewal on the authentication right now. Then you are screwed. How many thousands of clients will that probably be?
I'm taking my wife on vacation to a resort. She has always wanted to swim with dolphins, and given the recent hate mongering about captive cetaceans I anticipate it the opportunity will be lost forever in the US within 15 years. So, we definitely made this a must-do activity on this trip. It's unfortunate our kids won't have the same opportunities.
Be careful what you wish for. I'm guessing that you haven't seen one of the many videos of dolphins aggressively trying to have sex with humans? Some people even call it dolphin rape.
Here's one of those videos (for real, not a rickroll): https://www.youtube.com/watch?... (also look at the other related videos on that page of similar dolphin activities. I, for one, would not want to take my wife or any kids to swim with them.
That's really interesting. I've thought about doing the same if I were to find myself looking for a job, as I have premature grey hair. It's nice to know that it has the effect I guessed it might have. My question though is what happens after you get the job and you decide not to keep your hair dyed, or if your roots become noticeable? Has that happened to you, and did you get any weird looks or changes in attitude or treatment from co-workers or bosses?
I think it's well established now through various supreme court decisions that the only way left to enact real campaign contribution reform in the USA is through a constitutional amendment. Support one of the various organizations that are pushing for that:
Lots more links on how to address all facets of the problem here: