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Comment: Re:Lie a little (Score 2) 629

by pinguwin (#45536907) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are We Older Experts Being Retired Too Early?
I agree with this. That's the first thing that jumped out at me. I often explain to people thta working from home doesn't work out quite the way that people see in a news story. In my experience, the people who work remotely have proven themselves over time and it comes to the point where they say after some years, "I'm moving with my family to X." and they don't want to lose them. I've been contracting going on twenty years and I have never had an opportunity to work remotely from the get-go. I've seen a few contracts that have said remote work was ok, be emphasize the word "few". That said, I wouldn't work well from home, too likely to get distracted.

Comment: Re:Just like the bristlecone pines (Score 1) 366

Very interesting. Thanks for posting that as it's more thorough than what I've seen before. I saw the bristlecones a few years back and watched the moon rise on comfortable fall evening that was so utterly silent and still, it's hard to believe. I spent two days there taking it all in. Well, thanks for the link!

Comment: Just like the bristlecone pines (Score 5, Interesting) 366

There was a scientist who cut down the oldest non-clonal living tree in the world, a bristlecone pine in the White Mountains in California http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prometheus_(tree) It was about 5000 years old. They knew it was old but didn't exactly know how old it was but they sure did when they cut it down. D'oh! Even years later people would meet him and say, "Hey, weren't you the guy who..."

Comment: disconnecting temporarily (Score 5, Interesting) 111

by pinguwin (#45199401) Attached to: 'Pushback': Resisting the Life of Constant Connectivity
I didn't have a phone for 13 years, land or cell, and only got one when I had a severe injury that left me bedridden for a few months. I got a pre-paid dumb phone that I still have but leave it off 95% of the time and usually don't carry it. I just want a period of time where I'm not staring at an LCD device, lord knows I stare at the screen too much as it is. What I will sometimes do in the summer is have a "technology-free" weekend I know that everything is a technology of sorts but let's go with that term. From Friday afternoon until Monday morning, nothing electric will be used. No lights, no food from the fridge, no cars. I read books by candlelight, eat fruit/raw veggies/nuts/bread, ride my bike, take walks, if the phone rings...let it ring (no one is going to need an emergency kidney transplant). It's really quite relaxing just to disconnect from it even if you're surrounded by it all in a city. Somehow, you survive being disconnected and it really is a refreshing change to "pushback"

Comment: "clean" rooms (Score 5, Interesting) 42

by pinguwin (#42104301) Attached to: Sandia Lab Celebrates Inventor of the Modern Clean Room
I used to work for a company that made microchip inspection machines and they had a "clean" room. Things go so unclean that everyone in the building had to have a re-education class in clean room even if there was no chance they would ever be in one. It was that bad. People wouldn't wipe their feet, wear masks, hair covers, etc. But what I think really, really pushed management over the edge and require classes for *everyone* was people were not only eating potato chips in there but leaving the wrappers. That, was the last straw.

Comment: Re:No expectation of privacy (Score 1) 215

Has any officer anywhere been disciplined in any way (other than paid vacation) for violating the legal rights of a photographer?

There is plenty of information about this incident: http://sayanythingblog.com/entry/wahpeton-cop-who-arrested-kid-for-recording-him-gets-suspended/ I don't know if this is the best article about it or not (at work, can't do extensive research) but he was suspended without pay. Some good youtube clips about it out there too. Kudos to the youngun' for standing up for his rights.

Comment: best investment (Score 5, Interesting) 373

by pinguwin (#39346509) Attached to: After 244 Years, the End For the Dead Tree Encyclopedia Britannica
I think the best investment my parents ever made in us kids was buying an encyclopedia. I can't tell you how many hours I sat in our library (a room filled with books on two walls and a giant map on the third) reading about all sort of subjects under the sun and subjects far beyond the sun. Lots and lots of time. I would just pick up a volume and open it at random and start reading. So it's kind of sad that the printed version is going away. Once in sixth grade, in response to some knowledge I gleaned from my encyclopedias, said, "Do you just sit around and read encyclopedias!?" I replied, "Yes, I do."

Comment: Pinochet didn't get extradited (Score 3, Insightful) 253

by pinguwin (#39344989) Attached to: TVShack Creator's US Extradition Approved
Some years back, the home secretary decided that pinochet wouldn't be extradited because he was...too sick, yeah, too sick. So someone who makes a few links gets extradited for something that isn't a crime in the UK and a mass murderer doesn't even though he murdered thousands. I'm ashamed of the U.S. If I were a UK citizen, I'd be ashamed too.

Comment: Once had a mechanical skills test (Score 1) 743

by pinguwin (#37941938) Attached to: Tough Tests Flunk Good Programming Job Candidates
I was interviewing with a company that did a lot of mechanical engineering but lacked the software expertise. They basically offered me the job at the interview and I said, "Sure." Only one "formality" remained: a mechanical skills test. Now I was being hired strictly for software and would never, ever have to turn a wrench. The test consisted of a hand-cranked machine that moved a block of plastic around a table surface, flipped it over, around the corners, and returned whence it started. Lots of cams, gears, pulleys,etc. Four parts, 15 mins. per part. They "break" the machine and I have to find what they changed. The first part I got, a cam was out of phase. Second part I got half of it but couldn't find the 2cd part. Third part I was stumped and then the tester said, "We're done." I asked about part 4 and he said he had what he needed. A few weeks later, nothing. I call the hiring manager and ask what is happening and he tells me I failed the test and there was nothing he could do about it. I said I didn't take all four parts and he was angered about that but HR dug in their heels. He put a request that mechanical engineers take C++ test but no dice. I asked him if there was something else he couldn't talk about at work and asked him to call me after work and discuss this. He said, "It's the test, nothing more." For real. My friends in ME said that they would have had problems with such a test yet a software engineer is expected to pass. In the subsequent years, I saw positions I was very qualified to fill at the company, but I couldn't be bothered with them

Comment: Re:Eh, so what.. This is what people want (Score 1) 390

by pinguwin (#35760024) Attached to: Appeals Court Affirms Warrantless Computer Searches
I may not understand truecrypt correctly, but I thought that the hidden partitions showed up as random data, which was not distinguishable from empty space on the outer encrypted partition. So they could say, "Yes, there is 10GB free on this disk, whether it is free or a hidden partition, we can't know." Am I mistaken on this?

Comment: Wonder how this is going to go (Score 4, Interesting) 126

by pinguwin (#35108152) Attached to: Giant Archaeological Trove Found Via Google Earth
Wonder how well this is going to go with the Saudi government. They are pretty touchy about archaeology that pre-dates the Islamic era. For those earlier times, they use the term, IIRC, "time of ignorance" and are reluctant to allow too much knowledge about past times, especially if it is something more advanced, such as a great trading city. I have read about (and the reference escapes me now) where they were ok as long as the research stayed obscure (journals) but once it became more widely know (i.e. popular press), they started to cut off access to the sites. A "treasure trove" might contradict "ignorance".

"Say yur prayers, yuh flea-pickin' varmint!" -- Yosemite Sam

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