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The Military

U.S. Waived Laws To Keep F-35 On Track With China-made Parts 348

Posted by Soulskill
from the boondoggle-that-won't-die dept.
An anonymous reader sends this report from Reuters: "The Pentagon repeatedly waived laws banning Chinese-built components on U.S. weapons in order to keep the $392 billion Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter program on track in 2012 and 2013, even as U.S. officials were voicing concern about China's espionage and military buildup. According to Pentagon documents reviewed by Reuters, chief U.S. arms buyer Frank Kendall allowed two F-35 suppliers, Northrop Grumman Corp and Honeywell International Inc, to use Chinese magnets for the new warplane's radar system, landing gears and other hardware. Without the waivers, both companies could have faced sanctions for violating federal law and the F-35 program could have faced further delays."

Comment: Re:Can you get into the 'zone'? (Score 1) 311

by penguinbrat (#44907611) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Does Your Work Schedule Make You Unproductive?

I've 'coded' for 16+ hours straight both 'on the clock' for a given company, and working on my own. It comes down to wanting to accomplish something or not, personally if I've come up with a funky way of doing something (code wise) I'll stick with it until it works or it doesn't.

If you don't live in the US, your getting ripped off in the first place - the majority of the US is "ONLY" about profit, not living in the US changes the ball game completely.

Comment: Can you get into the 'zone'? (Score 5, Insightful) 311

by penguinbrat (#44907283) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Does Your Work Schedule Make You Unproductive?

As a developer, once I'm in the 'zone' I can code until I'm practically asleep... Although if I was forced to code for X hours, I couldn't say if I could 'enter' that zone or not - my guess is I wouldn't considering I would probably be thinking more about how pissed I was.

Education

The College-Loan Scandal 827

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.
Matt Taibbi writes in Rolling Stone about the economics behind college tuition. Interest rates get the headlines and the attention of politicians, but Taibbi says the real culprit is "appallingly high tuition costs that have been soaring at two to three times the rate of inflation, an irrational upward trajectory eerily reminiscent of skyrocketing housing prices in the years before 2008." He writes, "For this story, I interviewed people who developed crippling mental and physical conditions, who considered suicide, who had to give up hope of having children, who were forced to leave the country, or who even entered a life of crime because of their student debts. ... Because the underlying cause of all that later-life distress and heartache – the reason they carry such crushing, life-alteringly huge college debt – is that our university-tuition system really is exploitative and unfair, designed primarily to benefit two major actors. First in line are the colleges and universities, and the contractors who build their extravagant athletic complexes, hotel-like dormitories and God knows what other campus embellishments. For these little regional economic empires, the federal student-loan system is essentially a massive and ongoing government subsidy, once funded mostly by emotionally vulnerable parents, but now increasingly paid for in the form of federally backed loans to a political constituency – low- and middle-income students – that has virtually no lobby in Washington. Next up is the government itself. While it's not commonly discussed on the Hill, the government actually stands to make an enormous profit on the president's new federal student-loan system, an estimated $184 billion over 10 years, a boondoggle paid for by hyperinflated tuition costs and fueled by a government-sponsored predatory-lending program that makes even the most ruthless private credit-card company seem like a "Save the Panda" charity. Why is this happening? The answer lies in a sociopathic marriage of private-sector greed and government force that will make you shake your head in wonder at the way modern America sucks blood out of its young."
Movies

Google Loves The Internship; Critics Not So Much 103

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-blame-jj-abrams dept.
theodp writes "It was the best of movies; it was the worst of movies. GeekWire reports that The Internship — the new comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as two 40-something guys who get internships at Google — is getting high praise from Googlers but low marks from movie critics. Google CEO Larry Page called the movie 'a lot of fun' in his Google+ post, while fellow Google exec Vic Gundotra gushed, 'I laughed a lot while watching this movie!' After screening a sneak preview with Google companions, Wired's Steven Levy wrote, 'From Google's point of view, the movie could not possibly be better.' USA Today's take, on the other hand, is that 'Google has never looked lamer thanks to The Internship.' And the NY Daily News calls the movie 'an unfunny valentine to Google.' But perhaps the unkindest cut of all comes from the NY Post, who suggests that 'maybe The Internship was secretly funded by Bing.' Ouch." Update: 06/07 20:02 GMT by T : Peter Wayner saw the movie (a "harmless bit of summer fluff"), and his full-length take below takes on some of the tech-company misconceptions that the film-makers gleefully adopted as script material.

Comment: Re:How about a petition to lower the requirement? (Score 1) 337

by penguinbrat (#42611499) Attached to: <em>We The People</em> Petition Signature Requirement Bumped To 100,000
Then we get 250k to sign a petition lowering it to 12.5k (1/2 of what it was) - point being everyone "now" knows this is one big crock, we just as as well have fun with it... It's always better to make fun of the bully, and make him/them look stupid than it is to pick a fight - having petitions "playing" with the petitions just shows that "we the people" know that they are full of shit, so we just as well have some fun with them... Could very well be the last chance we have :-/

Comment: Re:Barrett Brown only claimed to be Anonymous (Score 1) 208

by penguinbrat (#41341711) Attached to: Anonymous' Barrett Brown Raided By FBI During Online Chat
Whats the message they are sending though? If I were a legit member of anonymous, knowing that Brown was not a member - what am I suppose to take from this? That the FBI has no idea who they really are (good thing for anonymous), that they are the bad guys (the point anonymous exists) and will destroy ones life on a whim (already knows this)? From the sounds of it, my reaction would be the same that was in the video - LOL, OMG, that sux! and continue chatting.

Personally, I sincerely hope the FBI didn't raid this guys place because they "thought" he was a spokesman for anonymous when he wasn't even involved - that would just mean that the KGB (?) of the USA is out gunned by the out laws of the internet, and flat out embarrassing that as a country we are at the mercy of such an elite clueless power.

Comment: Re:Hm... (Score 1) 180

by penguinbrat (#41291851) Attached to: App Developer Says Stolen UDIDs Came From Them, Not FBI

...and the FBI stored this super-secret database in-the-clear on a laptop

The operator of the laptop did that...

...so they secretly paid a 3rd party a big sum of cash to take a nasty PR hit

the same company who they are contracting with in regards to Public Relations

...knowing the public (excepting those unusually perceptive slashdotters) would buy he cover story since it's, you know, far more likely to have happened that way in the first place.

Isn't that the whole point to PR firms/departments/companies - to protect the organizations public perception?

Regardless of far you want to twist/stretch things - I'm still defaulting to the bad guys at fault (ie: the Feds :-P )...

Comment: Re:How it seems... (Score 1) 375

by penguinbrat (#41275179) Attached to: Apache Patch To Override IE 10's Do Not Track Setting
I call bullshit! I give my own experience lately as evidence - I HATE those lame/annoying tampon adds, they are f'ing everywhere and mean ZERO to me to say the least. Recently I've been doing a lot searching for tires and now, regardless if I follow them or not, I'm receiving more adds for tires - whether I follow them or not is a different story all together - the web is full of banners, although I would MUCH rather see a an advertisement for a tire than free flowing tampons!

Comment: Take the sysadmin job (Score 4, Interesting) 298

by penguinbrat (#41131155) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Did You Become a Linux Professional?
It's the 'foot in the door' - once your on this side of it, it's up to what you do with it.. Once your in, script your job to make life easier for you, while also doing everything 100% with out failure (assuming your scripts aren't full of bugs) - you will get promoted into another position - or simply ensure that you keep your job. If you don't get promoted, jump jobs - its basically ALL experience that gets you the higher end positions, nothing else, certs help with the bigger companies, smaller ones (where I prefer) want experience more than anything. Jumping jobs, ensures you get the varied experience. Multiple steady jobs as a sys admin, could land you the Sr Sys Admin in a smaller company.

Also, don't stop with just installing systems on new hardware, thats easy - try to get your hands on the 'old' stuff that barely works, and I'm talking Pentiums - nothing in the last decade. back when I was a teenager, my mom was given around a dozen plus systems for a project she was working on, she tasked me with seeing what worked and what could be done with them. I was able to get around 7 systems fully working, only some had no drives. Between them all, I got into networking (obviously), diskless nodes, DNS, various services, the kernel/modules/configurations, etc.., etc.. Because the amount of resources I had to work with was very limited, I had to really do my homework to get everything going AND usable. A few years later, my first 'good' job I scored because I knew what some strange boot codes from LILO were when simply no one else did, and I could get the critical systems going again (I was contract initially) - I only knew that info from the countless issues I ran into on that old hardware, and getting it all working.

When it comes to your employer verifying that you can walk the walk, and not just talk the talk - it's done one of two ways, and sometimes both - they will either verify from word of mouth (previous employer/references) or during your 30 day/3month 'probation' period.

Comment: Re:If Apple were stifling innovation, they'd sue m (Score 1) 1184

So, your saying that the jury was right in assuming Samsung stole an idea from Apple - solely based off a 100% broken patent system?

You can't have it both ways, either Apple thought up such an ingenious design (rectangle with rounded corners :-P) that no one else would have been able to do or they were "only" the first to WORD it that way and like wise got the prize of the first patent concerning something so stupid and obvious - and have taken advantage of the said broken patent system...

Comment: Re:Costs vs Promises (Score 1) 378

by penguinbrat (#40622665) Attached to: DirecTV Drops Viacom Channels
This kind of leads to something I've been wondering about lately - essentially as to why this 'war' has been going no where. I've been wondering if the content providers are so clueless and seemingly ignoring their "supposed" customers, is because we are NOT their customers by a long shot - DirectTV/ComCast/TimeWarner/etc.. are their customers, we just happen to be their customers customers - ie: we have been bitching/complaining to the wrong players...

I remember a ways back (10yrs?) when Comcast(?) decided that paying extra for Disney was not going to be an option anymore, instead EVERYONE would pay an extra $5/mo and get it for 'free' whether you wanted it or not - there was none of this grandstanding going on. Back then there was no competition (except geographically) for the distribution empire, now there is streaming in the likes of NetFlix and Amazon - so I'm starting to really wonder if the distributors are who is really being caught in the middle of all this, the content providers HAVE been catering to "their" customers the best they can (we just are not them) and 7 yrs (?) later, the content providers are asking for an increase on their product - with how lawsuit happy this great(?) nation has become, I could see that from the legal side alone.

I purchased ROKU a couple of years ago, afterwards with in a few months I was hardly flipping on the cable box (DirecTV - where I did have their high end package) - nothing was ever on, Im not a big sports fan, and everything else was either depressing news, reruns or some reality show. DirecTV continued to give me discounts left and right to stay with them - even at one point getting their services for free for about 6 months, after that and realizing I NEVER use their service anymore I pulled the plug. The customer service rep(s) fought valiantly for me as a customer, all the while claiming they have never heard of NetFlix/ROKU or Amazon streaming, although in the end lost..

This is the 2nd or 3rd time I've heard of these types of fights going on between the distributors and the providers in the last few years - could it be that the providers DO have legit reasons to raise their cost (I mean 7yrs later I would think there is some kind of increase) the distributors are seeing the writing on the wall - and simply getting scared? As someone else has mentioned, NetFlix already has a TON of kids shows on it, and for a mere drop in the bucket compared to cable/satellite - it doesn't take rocket science to figure out that the distributors are going to loose customers over this - and probably for good, its just a matter of how many, I mean how many are on the verge and have been thinking about it/testing the waters already?

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.

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