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Comment Re:It's all about the routes, dummy (Score 2) 654


Free isn't free. If it costs more time and effort than the equivalent (because the equivalent is more reliable, gets you within a block of your destination, and runs 24 hours a day) then "free" public transportation is still more expensive than the equivalent. Even a poor person who can't really afford to own and operate a car (witness the predatory reposess-a-car loan scams) will drive a beater to commute because the alternative is losing their job because they aren't able to get to work consistently on time.

If on the other hand, public transit is reliable (trains every 5-7 minutes, so you don't have to arrive 10 minutes early to avoid missing a train and waiting another hour for one) and the alternatives have heavy costs (looking for parking downtown that doesn't cost $$$, and enduring traffic in/out of a venue) then public transit is a no-brainer. This unfortunately doesn't happen due to the chicken and egg dilemma of modern urban planning - mass transit is a money-loser until you hit a certain population density, but to achieve that level of population density, you already need to have mass transit (otherwise that level of density is unobtainable because you've locked it up in roads and parking lots in order to serve the levels of population density leading up to that point.)

Comment Re:Engineers have no future. (Score 5, Insightful) 148

Agreed. A manager who says that turnover is not a problem is a manager that has no inkling of what engineers do, what exactly their company produces, or how badly they are in trouble when knowledge and experience walk out the door. Either that, or they're lying to your face.

There's that tipping point when the work gets harder, the code is even more rotted, the "process" is even more constricting, because they know something is wrong but they need to "measure" everything to figure out why. That's when people are running, not walking out the door.

Comment Re:Inverse Wi-fi law (Score 1) 278

My observation has been that resort hotels (the ones with restaurants in them) charge an arm and a leg because they are targeting two type of customers:

1. Tourists/Vacationers
2. Convention/Conference goers

In the case of #1, you're probably not a repeat customer (or at least, repeat often enough for them to care). They want to wring every last dollar out of you while they can.

In the case of #2, you're a captive customer (the con is nearby or in this hotel, unless you have a car you're not going to wander far), and you might possibly be able to expense things.

If you were a high-roller that stayed regularly, I'll bet you they wouldn't nickle and dime you, not unless they were morons and wanted to drive you into the hands of the competition. The rest of us are just sheep to be fleeced.

For the lower cost hotels (like the Holiday Inn Expresses), where there is no built in restaurant, and they offer amenities like free wifi and free continental breakfast, they're targeting repeat business and price sensitive travelers. They often don't have the best location compared to the resort hotels (you *will* need a car), but as a consequence their expenses are probably lower. The more extreme version of this are the Extended Stay type hotels, which have kitchens and refrigerators.

The really dumpy hotels have no choice. Their plant is run down, and they may be a no-name. Unless they offer free amenities, nobody in their right mind is going to stay at their place (assuming similar nightly rents) unless there's no choice.

Comment Missed Opportunity? (Score 4, Interesting) 81

So... Getty Images, instead of using the power of image-matching algorithms to get more customers for its library by setting up a checkout point at the end of the auto-slideshow and/or tack on advertising (ala YouTube) just torpedoed the whole thing instead.

You figure they had the tech to identify the infringing images to begin with. Why not just say to Microsoft "hey, we have this set of algorithms that you're welcome to use to improve your widget. Let's talk about blanket licensing for Bing in exchange for downstream revenue."

Comment Re:Perjury? (Score 2) 306

So... why not small claims? If every person who was in the right on YouTube filed a small claims case against a media entity, they could be bled to death through a thousand cuts, and it would either put a stop to the practice, or make judges aware that the big media companies are abusing their power, which could be very helpful once someone wants to do a class action to stop what is essentially private taxation (running ads on independently produced content) for the benefit of corporations. I mean, seriously - we've seen this before. Independent artist releases album. Independent artist's track gets licensed and used for some big movie studio trailer. Big movie studio trailer gets uploaded to YouTube by big movie studio. Next thing you know, independent artist's promo videos get banned or adjacked because some idiot matching algorithm looks at big movie studio trailer, automatically assumes big movie studio owns the independent artist's works, and now independent artist is screwed and has to do double the work to reclaim the rights to their own work.

Comment Stalin-type Purges (Score 5, Informative) 238

How long before the next incoming majority party decides to use the NSA data to clean house? Just to make sure that their government is free of ties to terrorism, foreign governments, and corruption, of course... and to ensure that everyone is loyal and pure of ideology.

Comment Re:Fight it if you want to. (Score 2) 555

Just tell them that your machine got virused and you had to use the restore disk... Seriously though, if it gets that bad, they'll detain you for not having a cellphone for them to suck all your contacts out of. At that point, better not to even travel.

Comment Re:Or the reverse (Score 1) 899

"There's a reason we create police forces and military forces. They represent an elite group of people with the proper training and psychological stability to use firearms for the public good."

And who trains these people?

Someone who is a good shot (as opposed to someone who carries a sidearm simply because it is a condition of their job) must train and practice on a regular basis. Exceptional shooters can be drawn from all walks of life, but like athletes, the younger you start, the sharper your skills can be.

I don't see military or police budgets being used to train the next generation of shooters in this art. I do see private organizations dedicated to fostering competition and martial skill providing the coaching, training, and support of youth sport shooting. Do not forget that the USA fields competitors and teams for firearms competitions in the Olympics. Where do you think the raw talent comes from?

Civilian shooters provide an important pool of talent, not only in times of emergency, but as a community dedicated to maintaining and advancing the shooting arts.

Comment Re:Get some offers (Score 5, Insightful) 171

Uh... no. What you do is take the position so you have the title. Then you take your resume, beef it up and THEN look for solid offers for positions elsewhere. Once you get the position... leave. Don't bother to educate your organization. Let the market do that. You need to look after yourself and your career. I spent a long time fighting the fight you're proposing to do, in the end, it wasn't worth it. Too much bureaucratic crap that basically condemns you to pay increases that are pegged to your base salary, and not to any real world metric of what you're worth.

Wherever you go...There you are. - Buckaroo Banzai