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Comment: Re: Why? (Score 1) 91

by metlin (#48193003) Attached to: China Staging a Nationwide Attack On iCloud and Microsoft Accounts

Spying on their citizens - Check

The difference here is that we the people still have the right to question the government, and organizations like the EFF continue to fight for it.

Economic stagnation - Check

You must be joking. American economy is anything but stagnant. Between 2009-2013, the U.S. GDP growth 1.9%, which is pretty good compared to most other OECD countries.

It may be "stagnant" when you compare it to a country like China at 7.7%, but that is simply not sustainable, not without artificial currency manipulation.

Riots - Check

A few days of media blitz over a police shootout is not the same as protesters fighting for democracy.

High unemployment - Check

What on earth are you talking about? The U.S. unemployment is at 5.9% as of September 2014 and China's is estimated at ~4.5%.

Comment: Re:Gamergate is NOT about defining "gamer" (Score 1) 160

by Microlith (#48163397) Attached to: For Game Developers, It's About the Labor of Love

You must be too young to remember the uproar over the Kane & Lynch/Gamespot incident from a few years back.

I don't, probably because it wasn't as rage-filled and rooted in misogyny as this roundabout is.

There have been plenty of other similar explosions over the years, and none of them involved sexism that I recall.

They weren't nearly as hateful or accompanied by vitriolic attack campaigns against small handfuls of individuals who had the temerity to point out the piss poor behavior of those on the "gamergate" side.

But you keep believing all the embarrassed game journalists who keep saying "The ethics of game journalism are just fine, no need to...HEY LOOK OVER THERE, IT'S SEXISM!!!!"

Gamergate was horribly sexist and misogynistic the moment it appeared, and harped on an indie developer in was they never ripped into an AAA developer.

But please, keep defending a (loosely knit) group who so far has rape and death threats under their belt, who whine about "censorship" then engage in abusive campaigns to silence those who point out that "hey, you're being horrible to other people for no real good reason."

Comment: Re:Income inequality is bad because ... (Score 1) 832

by Microlith (#48163253) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Take two people, put them in a room, one guy has a net worth of $100 and the second has a net worth of $5000. What harm is the second person doing? We're talking about a factor of 50x here.

Idle examples are pointless.

Take away the room, let them live their lives, what harm is that second guy perpetuating? Make the difference a factor of 1000 or a 1,000,000, and where do we see him doing harm?

At a factor of a million here he's probably able to exploit loopholes that reduce his effective tax burden well below what the guy with way less money has to deal with. He's probably also wining and dining politicians to get his way. Likely he's also contributing to the continual depression of wages to ensure that his own wealth goes up at the expense of others.

When I hear folks talking about this, what I really hear is, "since one person doesn't need that much money to live, the government should take the difference and use it to make MY life better,"

Money is, currently, pooling at the top of the income ladder. The problem isn't so much that they have high wealth so much as it doesn't move. This is bad for the economy as a whole.

because from where I'm standing in a first world country, it seems to be just so much complaining over sour grapes.

That just means you're myopic. 90% of a nation's wealth being held by less than 10% isn't healthy, particularly when they're complaining about how consumers aren't buying.

Comment: Re:Gamergate is NOT about defining "gamer" (Score 0, Flamebait) 160

by Microlith (#48162557) Attached to: For Game Developers, It's About the Labor of Love

It's about unethical journalists.

But only when a game designer's jilted ex-boyfriend posts hearsay about it. AAA publishers were doing worse shit all the times but there was no uproar of this intensity. Now Gamergate is about fueling a false persecution complex and attacking anyone who points out how horrible they're being.

Those same journalists have been trying for weeks now to deflect this focus away from them and pretend it's about sexism, changing gamer culture, etc.

No, "gamergaters" instantly made it that when they began their hate campaign and harassment.

they themselves don't have to answer for a decades-long games journalism tradition of "journalists" being in bed with the very companies they're supposed to be covering (through advertising, bribes, press releases disguised as "previews," etc.)

And where was the unbridled hatred and rage towards EA over the whole Shadow of Mordor controversy? Oh, right, it was virtually nonexistent because that's not the point anymore. The point now is solidarity against whatever enemy-du-jour that is seen as "attacking gamers" or other such delusional bullshit.

Comment: Re:Robber barons (Score 1) 283

Net neutrality is a restriction on the free market.

Good, the "free market" doesn't actually exist.

And which of the Koch's businesses would benefit from this?

That's ignoring the larger power game they're playing. Inhibiting net neutrality takes power out of the hands of the people and puts it into corporate hands.

How is opposing net neutrality "rent seeking"?

By letting them toss up artificial barriers between points on the internet and causing an increase in rates across the board for no improvement in service.

Oh, there are rent seekers involved in this: the super wealthy like Soros and Buffett


Comment: Signed Firmware (Score 4, Insightful) 97

by Microlith (#48051683) Attached to: Hacking USB Firmware

A write-protect switch won't help you here, Timothy. They're going and reflashing the microcontroller, which means vendors will probably just burn a public key into the microcontroller and refuse to boot if the image signature doesn't match. They'll still have the firmware update capability they'll never use, but won't have to worry about attacks like this - short of someone stealing their private key.

Comment: Re:Solution (Score 2) 410

Those making $24,000/yr will finally understand that government money is not free.

Finally! Because you know your income level obviously proves that you're horribly ignorant! You tell 'em, bub!

Then you won't have the problem of people who don't pay taxes voting to raise the tax rate on those that do.

Because that's what's happening, right. The greedy, selfish... how have I heard it put... "parasite" poor bastards! You gotta make 'em SUFFER what it means to be poor!

A sales tax is still going to a progressive tax since things like food, school supplies, and other absolute necessities won't be taxed at all.

It's still regressive. It just means someone making millions will continue to pay a relatively trivial amount, while the poor take it in the shorts.

Sure, a billionaire might spend $5 million on a house, but his grocery budget is not going to be 50x more than the guy who spent $100K on a house.

Indeed, so in the end the billionaire will make out like a bandit (no longer having to pay out on his income) and the guy making 100k will happily save a few k$ per year, and the poor likely won't benefit at all.

So low income people will spend a larger percentage of their income on non-taxed products, meaning they will pay a lower tax rate than the guy who eats out twice a day.

Or they'll probably continue paying that tax, because they don't have the time or energy to visit the store and prepare the untaxed food because they're still struggling to keep their head above water.

Comment: Re:Corporate taxes (Score 1) 410

Everyone pays, including corporations

Except when they engineer their taxes so that all the profits are outside the country, and their taxes report only losses. GE did that to the tune of a billion dollars back from the government, even though it was a complete fraud.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 479

by metlin (#47979911) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

Yes, there are a fair number of social scientists in consulting firms. Usually, they tend to be econ or poli-sci/IR, but you certainly have a smattering of other subjects. I once worked with a partner who had a PhD in Philosophy (not social science per se, but representative of critical thinking ability nevertheless).

I would imagine that there is a preference towards the hard sciences, but I think that is more of a self-selection mechanism than anything else. Management consulting entails a lot of number crunching (financial analysis, demographic segmentation etc), so people with hard science backgrounds tend to gravitate towards these roles.

Most back office analytics and research functions at the big consulting firms have quite an armada of doctorates. In fact, a few months ago, I worked with someone who had a PhD in Geography, which came in handy because he knew how to run geospatial analyses for a distribution problem.

Comment: Re:That totally won't work. (Score 1) 479

by metlin (#47979887) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

This assumes getting hired into a lower level position in a larger consulting firm, rather than consulting on your own.

Did you not read my original comment at all? I mentioned that the major management consulting firms (i.e., MBB) hire PhDs and other Advanced Degree Candidates.

At which point they are back to exactly the same problem that they originally faced, which is getting hired for a job working for someone else. It doesn't matter whether that someone else hires them in order to farm them out to a third party, or hires them to do work in house, they are still facing the problem that they can't get hired in the first place because they are unable to sell themselves to a prospective employer.

Hiring in management consulting firms (at least at the junior levels) is less about selling yourself and more about your analytical skills. Such hiring is not predicated on your technical know-how per se but rather your critical thinking and problem solving abilities.

Comment: Re:That totally won't work. (Score 1) 479

by metlin (#47979303) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

Not all consulting entails selling. In fact, in any good consulting firm, you won't be doing any selling until you're near the top (e.g., Principal/Partner). You may not even get to present anything in front of the client until you have some experience under your belt -- as a new hire, the only client facing activity you'll do is take detailed notes.

Moreover, junior resources (e.g., Associates or Consultants) tend to do a lot more data crunching and slide building than presenting content. And you're put through some pretty rigorous training before you'll ever see a client (in some firms, they call it MBA-light).

No one in their right minds will put someone fresh out of school to do anything client facing without some degree of coaching and experience.

Secondly, not every role in a consulting firm is client facing. Almost all the big consulting firms have a rather large pool of back office and analytics experts who do research, collate materials, perform analysis and so on. These are not client facing at all, and you won't have to do any selling whatsoever.

In any event, there is the perception of consultants thanks to everybody and their brother calling themselves a "consultant" and there is the truth. The truth is that in any good firm, partners will really vet you and groom you before you get to participate actively in any meaningful way.

"Show business is just like high school, except you get paid." - Martin Mull