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Comment I remember some of Able Archer (Score 0) 210

And anyone with any sense thought it was insane for him to ratchet up tensions with the USSR, as though being President was actually some kind of movie.

Yes, a lot of us *did* think he was nuts enough to do it. And if his handlers hadn't held him back, none of use would be reading or writing this.

Fscking psychotic arsehole.


Comment Correction to O/P (Score 1) 505

No, they are not desperately trying to copy the Kindle format. The purpose of an e-reader is to REPLACE A PAPERBACK BOOK, which is of a size that you can put it in your back pocket (if you have them, sorry about the morons who design womens' clothes).

Your bigger format won't fit my back pocket. Not sure if that's up to digest size - it's not quite magazine size... but you can't roll it up and put it in your pocket.

Wish they still had freakin' buttons, instead of magic swipes....


Comment It will peak... (Score 1) 169

And either level off, or drop.

When I was last looking, in '09, I hadn't seen so many temp-to-perm and direct hires in 15-20 years. And the reason: the fallout from the Microsoft lawsuit.

Companies went to 3 years, then at least a six month "furlough" before they could be brought back on. Then two years. I think I even heard a report of 18 mos. For jobs that need to keep going, the hiring managers clearly had started pushing back. Even an experienced person, who might start being productive in a couple-three weeks, wouldn't really *know* the systems for at least six months or more. And if management wanted to hire low-priced, inexperienced people, we're talking six months and more to actual productivity. To have them walk out after a year, year and a half, and you've got a major tech headache.

For short jobs, yeah. For stuff that is critical to your organization, and has to be kept running, and maintained and enhanced, you need long-term people.

And the rest of you... I'm sure you get real adrenaline rushes, getting hired for a high rate... and then paying your quarterly taxes yourself, and finding healthcare and insurance for yourself (which will be a *lot* higher than what employees get), and that time "between positions"....

Now, if we had *UNIONS*, and you could go to a hiring hall, and get called in order, and not depend on some moron's assessment that you're "not fresh" (direct quote from an idiot I was talking to about 10 years ago).... But noooo, you're sure you, as an individual, as *so* special and *so* unique that they'll bend the rules for you....


Comment The E in PETA should be I, for idiot. (Score 3, Interesting) 222

First of all, this is harassment.

Second, all of them are ignorant idiots. Anyone who wants to discuss this, let me know, and I'll post a link to the official NIH book on the ethical design of experiments, including both human and animal guidelines.

Third... have *any* PETA members *ever* volunteered themselves to replace animals in medical trials, bearing in mind that if they don't work, the side effects could be dangerous?


Comment Re:FINALLY! (Score 1) 305

Um, no. Let's start out with what the hell do you know about the ->PRESCRIPTION- drug being advertised? Are you just going to google it, and see what Dr. Oz says about it? I mean, really, what do you know about any prescription drugs, other than what you're taking... and most people have no clue at all, other than "I take some kinda red pill for sump'n".

And the ads don't tell you anything (right, you actually read all of that 1pt type, and understand it all).

It's not free speech, it's garbage. And until the mid/late nineties, it was banned. How has such advertising helped you, personally?


Comment FINALLY! (Score 1) 305

I was truly annoyed, years ago, with the first stupid ads for "the purple pill", "ask your doctor"... with NO verbiage as to what the pill was *for*. A *lot* of ads for prescription drugs are like that. And for the others... go read the PDR on one you might think would help you, and then look at all the contraindications. Why the hell would you even ask your doctor if he's already prescribing something else for you?

Asking the doc about other drugs, if the one(s) your on is reasonable, asking them for one specific drug, that they may have already written off, is not.

It's like an ordinary user of Windows making suggestions as to how to administer a Linux server.

And the ad budget for that crap raises the price of the drug above and beyond what the execs "need" for their annual bonus.


Comment Re:So how do we live? (Score 1) 176

I've been trying to get a discussion on exactly this started for literally 20 years, and I either get blown off, or others toss around a few platitudes, and just don't seem to want to think about it - it's too big an issue.

I'd say, to start, we could use Alaska as a model: they have a reverse income tax from the oil, to taxpayers.

My thoughts are that once a company reaches a certain size - say, 10% of the local economy, IN ADDITION to the current taxes, they *ALSO* pay voting shares of stock, to be held in trust by a government board. And these stocks be apportioned, depending on how much of the locale, state, or national economy the company effects (um, Mr. Intel?) to the local, state, and federal boards.

I said voting, so the locality has some measure of control over "oh, let's move to another state, we'll pay less taxes, we don't care about family, community, or neighborhood, they've got nothing on ROI". (vide Detroit).

I mean, if dividends are great for the millionaires and billionaires, why not for us, too? And, of course, government-held VOTING stocks also controls a lot more... including how much that CEO gets paid... oh, wait: *do* let's automate those jobs. Most execs move in 3-5 years (speaking statistically), and they don't care what happens to the company after that, even if it crashes and burns, because They Improved ROI during their turn there.... If we use AIs, they'll be stuck with the company forever, and will be more interested in keeping it a going concern.


Comment Work-life balance? (Score 1) 195

In the US, back in the old days, folks who worked on-call got a fixed amount for that time - I think 10% was common - and the on-call hours were fixed, and you were off call the rest of the time.

Oh, sorry, that was when unions were strong, and about 25% of the working population were in them.

But we're techies, we don't need unions, we *love* being on call 24x7x365.25 from work, and love dropping whatever we're doing to respond, and not getting anything more for all of this, and not having any off-time. We *adore* the egoboo of being told "whatever it takes", and gladden the hearts of management that we're such suckers, we live to work for their profits, rather than working to live for ourselves.

No, no, we don't need unions.

                    mark "there are two kinds of Republicans and
                                            libertarians: millionaires, and suckers"

Comment Why pay that much? (Score 1) 116

Let's see, at home: desk of plywood, which I really need to clean and stain, cut from 4'x8'; hutch from 1"x12"s, feet on desk, keyboard in lap, at least 2'-3' away from my monitor. *

I need to pay $6k for something custom to replace this?


* I had a class in ergonomics, once, and this is ergonomic: wrists are fully supported by my lap, and you want the distance to the monitor: it still cycles at about 60cps, and if you're a foot or so from your screen, then 50% or 60% of the light falling on your eyes is strobing like that, and we know that fluorescents do the same, and can set off epileptics... besides, I don't care if it was a CRT, or a monitor, or a flatscreen, it's still a television, and didn't your mother never tell you not to sit so close to the TV?

Comment Outsourcing says it all (Score 2) 85

It's all an fsck'in' fraud, and waste of tax dollars. Republican posturing "we save tax dollars by outsourcing, and not hiring"... is all bs. 100%

First, either they're hiring people on starvation wages (like that guy who was in the papers during the Shutdown, who works as a cook at the American Indian Museum, who couldn't afford to rent an apartment by the month), or the rest of us (ObDisclosure: I work for a federal contractor).

Let's see: I've been here over six years, a lot of folks I work with have been that, or more, including the woman who's been here AS A CONTRACTOR over 20 years. No, you do NOT "save" money: we're all getting benefits comparable to a fed employee... oh, and you're paying for our *company* project manager, and our *company* program manager, and, oh, yes, my company to make a profit.

Right - this is *so* much cheaper than just *hiring* us, and not paying any of that overhead. (What's the loading - 12%? 20%? 30%?).

And no, no company's going to do what we do - I mean, we won't add to the company profit in this quarter, so forget what we produce that many keep you alive five or ten years from now.

And Ayn Rand lived the last years of her life on Social Security and Medicare.

                        mark, wondering when someone's going to sue
                                                    the government under the Microsoft

Comment Re:The old talent doesn't understand the new stuff (Score 1) 229

Yep. And the real issue is heavily HR departments, where there's a *lot* of age bias, along with a near-total lack of any clues as to what real qualifications the position they're looking to fill, as opposed to this set of acronyms, and must have already done a mind-meld with the two people who already left, and with the person now leaving before applying for the job.

Out of work? Oh, you're not "fresh", you're a rotting fruit.

            mark "been there, got that, jumped down their throat"

Comment Use what actually works zinc gluconate (Score 1) 310

Go out and get zinc gluconate lozenges or tabs. Ignore CVS's idiot marketdroids calling it "homeopathic", because it's *not*. When I was first introduced to it, 15 years ago, the packaging had about five citations from legitimate medical journals - JAMA, NEJM, with studies that *PROVED*, clinically, that it works - catch the cold in time, and it stops it in its tracks; after it's gotten into you, it'll cut the time it lasts by *half*.


Comment Not quite in the public domain, I think (Score 1) 207

The novells, Armageddon 2419, first appeared in Amazing Stories in 1928 (I don't suppose anyone here has actually thought to google that title).

However, as noted in wikipedia, that, and the sequel novells, The Airlords of Han, were collected into a book in the sixties, and I assure you that was copyrighted.

I'll check back later this afternoon, and if someone wants to argue, I'll go look at my copy of that book that I bought back then, and check the copyright info, and post it here, tomorrow, though I doubt anyone else will go to the end of the comments here....

                mark "now, if I could just find some inertron...."

"Consider a spherical bear, in simple harmonic motion..." -- Professor in the UCB physics department