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Comment: Re:much like printer cartridges (Score 1) 188

by torkus (#48660515) Attached to: An Automated Cat Litter Box With DRM

Already done. In fact someone made a $100 module that basically lets you override the controls. Reports have it that it works better without the soap anyhow.

Basically they wanted to make a consumable so they could generate a perpetual revenue stream. It worked. For every person hacking this and that there's many, many more who just but what they need. Look at Keurig 2.0. Despite all the bad press they're sure selling plenty of 'legit' k-cups.

Comment: Re:I have nothing better to do... (Score 1) 545

by torkus (#48557781) Attached to: Should IT Professionals Be Exempt From Overtime Regulations?

The entire concept of a salary was for people that owned a chunk of the business. 99% of people should be hourly.

Mostly agreed. It's also for individuals who have a direct link between success and compensation. What used to be managers with large stock portfolios and bonuses tied to performance...who also had the ability to set their own schedule. Basically people who it makes more financial sense to take compensation besides hourly pay and overtime.

Then they started including geeks in this somehow. If you manage, develop, design or implement 'computer systems' you're typically in the bucket for exemption. That rule stands apart from the others - ability to commit the company in substantive financial matters, high level business decisions, managing staff or a budget.

Comment: Re:I have nothing better to do... (Score 1) 545

by torkus (#48557687) Attached to: Should IT Professionals Be Exempt From Overtime Regulations?

However, whenever we interview people to come in and work here, certain folks on the interview committee pretty much require the applicant to genuflect to the common "whatever it takes to get the job done" belief that over 40 hours is no big deal and that they do that "all" the time. Even though that is technically completely against the rules for contracting.

Not only against the rules, but it's against the law. There's quite a bit of employment law and case law that most companies basically ignore outright in the US. Example: if your hired as an exempt employee (not OT) for 40 hour weeks but are routinely scheduled/work more than that to the point it becomes your normal work then you're entitled to compensation (I think at OT rates) for it. Exempt is intended to cover occasional extra time - not mandatory extended hours every week.

However very people sue over it due to various (likely illegal) terms in employment agreements, severance packages, etc.

Annoyed at being a perma-temp or long term consultant alongside people getting paid more, bonuses, vacation, and benefits that you don't get? Google co-employment laws. You probably could sue (or threaten to sue) and win all the back benefits you didn't get. But you're also a consultant and your position would be gone the first hint that you might even know those rights exist.

Welcome to abusive corporate america where the shareholder and stock price is far, FAR more important than doing what's legal or moral.

Comment: Re:marketing (Score 1) 101

by torkus (#48368965) Attached to: Espionage Campaign Targets Corporate Executives Traveling Abroad

Agreed in many cases.

Some things - like VPN and Citrix are relatively secure. Unfortunately many executives also use things like gmail, facebook, SMS, chat, xyz-gaming-app and so on during their travel. I've seen plenty of senior people send confidential information outside of accepted/expected channels. They don't want to remember passwords, much less change them. There's a lot of 'I'm too busy and it won't happen to me anyhow' mentality with data security.

'Sorry, we don't allow abc gizmo you have to use the standard whatever for your presentation'
'Ok, fine'

'You need a 12 character password changed every 30 days for administrative access the core production servers'
'Well I'm just checking on data for meetings from my iPhone, I can't type all that in. Set it the same as my windows password that never changes'

'This computer connects to a real-time stock market trading network, it has a password and 15 minute screen saver timeout'
'I can't waste time entering passwords, that's way too much work and complexity. I just need to do my trades!'

Comment: Re:First hand report (Score 1) 126

by torkus (#48303325) Attached to: Rhode Island Comic Con Oversold, Overcrowded

Having been to some conventions in RI ... I will say the fire marshals aren't known for what's between their ears. Silly rules and pointless enforcement are only the beginning. Wielding power for amusement, revenge, and personal gain is considered much more the norm.

Maybe it's the NYer in me but I always keep my important things on my person. I'd never be stuck without a phone, keys, or money (or my special needs child!?) because I left them at a convention.

I figure RICC is getting hit with tons of reversed CC charges today.

Comment: Re:Yes it is a peering problem ... (Score 1) 243

by torkus (#48273369) Attached to: First Detailed Data Analysis Shows Exactly How Comcast Jammed Netflix

Erm...but netflix will drop a cache server in the ISP's datacenter, configure it, and maintain it. Oh, and it's free. The ISP saves on bandwidth/interconnect at the cost of a few U of rackspace and a couple bucks in power/cooling.

But then why would they comcast or TW want to do something to help their competition even if it also benefits their customers. Monopoly and conflict of interest. Good job politicians.

Comment: Re:How many engineers does it take to screw netfli (Score 5, Insightful) 243

by torkus (#48273307) Attached to: First Detailed Data Analysis Shows Exactly How Comcast Jammed Netflix

Actually netflix offered to foot the bill for upgrading the bandwidth - it's literally a couple cross-connects in a datacenter, maybe a fiber card or two.

Oh, and netflix ALSO offers to drop a server in your datacenter *free* which caches all the common netflix streams. This reduces the internet bandwidth demands by something like 90+% since it lives within the ISP's datacenter and just needs to download each stream once.

But the last line is exactly the point. The ISPs are also TV providers and they don't want you to have a good netflix experience. If they can passively let that happen...well of course they will. No one can accuse them of taking any action to damage your netflix streaming...it's their complete inaction that's resulting in it.

Comment: Re:Price of commercials (Score 1) 85

by torkus (#48271735) Attached to: A Mixed Review For CBS's "All Access" Online Video Streaming

They all have viable streaming avenues...unfortunately they don't often belong to the networks :)

It's amusing how underground, pirate, and other groups have done (with little to no funding) what the companies have been unable (or unwilling) to effectively do despite having the ability to easily throw $millions at the problem. Bad CBS, no cookie.

Comment: Re:We can be certain of one thing (Score 1) 152

by torkus (#48269565) Attached to: Stan Lee Media and Disney Battle For Ownership of Marvel Characters

Is it though?

It's not like hiring them guarantees they will create the next superman. Plenty are paid "fair" wages to create comics ... and then there's the times where something new and special is created, catches on, and becomes the Next Big Thing. You can't exactly just make it happen.

Comment: Re:what a showboat (Score 1) 152

by torkus (#48269541) Attached to: Stan Lee Media and Disney Battle For Ownership of Marvel Characters

So...it's OK to disrespect and yell at people until you know who they are? (and perhaps only if they've done something you find worthwhile) I mean ... it's off-topic but that's still more than a little messed up.

It's sad though that the creators of these things don't get something more out of it, but if you do 'works for hire' and assign copyright in return for a salary that's how it goes. If you failed to negotiate good contract terms you dun goofed. Plus how many comic characters do people get paid to make that /don't/ do anything special? We're talking about the exception, not the rule here. COnsider the gazillion indie bands that make music no one ever hears until a record company waves it's magic wand, picks one, and ding ding ding...played twice an hour on every radio station and suddenly they're #1.

Comment: Re:Total nonsense (Score 3, Insightful) 631

by torkus (#48253749) Attached to: Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

I love my cash back, but not at the expense of proper, well-proven fraud protection.

10% off? Sure I'll sign up and use it for a big purchase or two then remove all my info/cancel. Otherwise it's about the same as regular cash back, without the net-30 terms and proven history of consumer protection.

As it stands, if I get a bad TV from w-mart and the d*ck manager decides it's my fault it I just dispute the charge. Then Amex goes to bat for me and I typically get my way. If the entity that processed the charge is owned/run by w-mart to begin with how do you think that will go over?

Yah...I'm with you. No thanks, no way. Nothing about this seems enticing, interesting, or worth the trouble.

Plus many people use their CC because they don't have $ immediately available in their bank account. "Sorry, I can't go out tonight my credit cards are maxed"

Comment: Re:Point is you would not STOP paying (Score 1) 631

by torkus (#48253629) Attached to: Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

Exactly. When the retailers offer an across-the-board 1% discount I'll stop and pay attention to what else they're including. As it stands 1% is the *minimum* cash back I get on everything I spend via CC. More at places like gas stations and restaurants. Plus basically net-30 terms as long as I pay my CC in full each month.

Oh, and all the other perks that CC's offer (travel insurance, discounts, etc.) which typically come to higher-tier spenders.

What's CurrenC going to do for me? Automatically integrate my frequent-shopper card? Pretty sure there's an app for that ... oh passbook. (among others)

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