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Comment Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (Score 1) 580

People joke, but I really think the user experience would be better if MS bundled more things.

Of course, one of the big Linux pros I keep hearing is how your distro includes X and Y and Z. But when MS included X and Y and Z it was illegal because they were a monopoly.

If I'm an end-user who knows nothing about computers; I'd rather buy a computer and have websites work. I don't even want to hear the word Silverlight or .Net. I just want it to work. Bundling it would make that happen.

Comment Re:Maybe we should take them at their word (Score 1) 580

As a developer - sure. It wouldn't be that hard to pick up an entirely new language/technology stack. They really aren't that different. I'm also pretty sure most Silverlight devs could pretty seamlessly transition to .Net devs.

As a company/product - it gets harder. Imagine if you (and/or your company) spent the last two years developing *The Next Big Thing* and you did it all in Silverlight. You might be concerned that, if MS stops continuing with Silverlight support and development, your two years and countless $$$ will be wasted.

Comment Re:New plan (Score 1) 120

Yes - but I'm saying with all of the information you've collected by pretending to be a fake employer and the copy of the transcript you had them give you; you could re-request the transcripts and whatever else you need.

Believe it or not, I actually had to do this yesterday.

I went to the old school's website and clicked the 'Request transcript link'. I needed to provide either my old student ID number or my SSN (if I were running this scam, I'd know the SSN to enter). I also needed my name and date of birth. Again, both of which are collected by employers. I needed to include the dates attended, but it said 'Estimated dates of attendance' so there is some room for error, and again, I'd have the copy of their transcript to ensure I put down the right information.

In the past, with a different school, I had to also print, sign, fax a form back to the school before they'd release the transcripts. In my experience *nobody* ever actually checks signatures anymore. Still, while my experience of faking signatures only goes back to signing my Mom's name in elementary school; I'd at least be able to see what the victim's signature looks like (because, I'll have it on the forms I asked them to fill out). I'd be tempted to scan it, crop the signature, paste it onto the required form, print it and fax it. I think that would work. Truthfully I think scribbling a line of crap would work too.

The Mater's program I'm doing required an application/application fee of $60, three letters of recommendation, and a copy of all post-high school transcripts. I haven't had to show up, ever; or provide any information an employer with a copy of my transcripts couldn't provide. Yeah, I'd have to fill out papers and pay the application fees and fill out the FAFSA forms and even enroll in classes; but it really seems very doable to me.

Comment Re:Remote sysadmin option (Score 1) 120

That's certainly something to keep in mind. My first job after college was more of an administrator type role than a development role; but I'm afraid I'm a bit under-qualified. I've got two (mostly worthless) MCP exams for Windows Server Admin from years back.

Don't get me wrong, I think I'd be able to do a pretty good job, given the chance. But I think it'll be hard to get my foot in the door, so to speak. I done it just yet, but I'll start to 'network' with some of my friends/ex-coworkers and see if anything turns up.

Comment Re:New plan (Score 3, Interesting) 120

Actually - I've often wondered why we don't hear about more low tech cases of identify theft/credit card fraud. Maybe it's just so easy to do it with malware nobody cares.

Post real positions on Criagslist and others for legitimate sounding work. Be selective, post realistic requirements and pay, do a phone interview. I'd even explain that, 'Hey, since this is a work from home job/telecommute job - we're going to need your college transcripts'. That makes it seem more legit. Of course, a legit job needs your SSN. I've done real work from home (software development) and they need my SSN. It was a real company, and they paid me.

Not only would you get all of their SSN and personal info....the transcript would be worth a lot of money too. Yeah, you can open some credit cards and what not with the SSN; but have you seen how easy it is to get money for school these days? My wife barely makes over minimum wage and she was approved for SEVENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS for her first year of school. Stop and read that again. Now, granted, say half of that is tuition. That still leaves THIRTY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS. And it's pretty easy to get into a lot of graduate programs.....I'm doing my Master's right now and they didn't even need my GRE scores (they did require transcripts though). With relative ease and someone's information, I could apply on their behalf to a school, get accepted, get student loans, and get a LOT OF MONEY.

Maybe there is more about this I don't know; but it seems like it would work. In this economy, I'm sure you'd get a lot of bites from your job post; for a start date 2 months in the future. After you get the info you wait, and keep collecting it from others. At the end of the two months, you apologize to everyone and say the economic downturn has caused the project to be cancelled. You have the info but haven't done anything illegal yet. Repeat 4-5 times with different information.

Then, move, and start with the identify theft. Cha-ching. Do it in the order you collected the info; so by the time you open your first CC card, it's been 9-12 months before you got their info. They'd have a lot of trouble tracking you down. And, if the student loan thing worked out - oh man - that's a lot of money.

Just don't get caught.

Comment Re:What are the requirements??? (Score 5, Interesting) 120

My wife has been accepted to Vet School in Ireland. Not only does that not allow me to live in Ireland with her, I'm also unable to work without 'sponsorship'. While I've had plenty of interest, as soon as I mention my inability to work without sponsorship, they drop me like a bad habit.

The time difference, distance, viable exchange rate along with other reasons all mean I don't want to continue working at my current job.

My citizenship status makes it very difficult to find a job in Dublin. There are very few legit jobs in the US that would want me in the given situation. I'm a decent developer, but I'm nothing special. I've worked as a consultant; but if you were going to bring in an expert contractor - I don't have the experience/skills. If you are going to bring in a 'pretty good dev', you'd get a local guy.

In my situation, options are limited. I don't have much exposure to malware/scammers/etc - so I don't know how much luck I'd have earning a money with my own scams. It's also relatively unlikely that I'd be able to launch some great web startup that would fund my lifestyle. People have done it, but it's rare and they tend to be smarter, more skilled, and more dedicated than I am.

I have some savings, but once I can no longer show the ability to financially support myself; Ireland will kick me out. I still have months before it comes to that; but it very likely will happen in the next 6-9 months (I haven't moved there yet). As that deadline comes closer I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't *consider* slightly less than legal methods of earning money. I mean, even if I setup a website, printed some fliers and fixed local college kid's computers for $15 an hour, I'd be breaking the law.

Comment Re:contractor / consultant (Score 4, Interesting) 283

I couldn't disagree more; having been both a consultant and an employee.

Maybe my experiences have been unique; but I've been an employee at a large insurance company (Allstate) and a smaller custom software shop (that I currently work out, so name removed). In both cases, there was little motivation to do much more than the bare minimum. I mean, sure, I showed up and did some stuff; but I found very quickly that expectations where low. I didn't have to work very hard to meet them. If the company had a good year and you were doing good - 3-5% raise. If the company had a bad year then 'salary freeze'.

Many people find they get significant raises by switching companies, and this is why. Once you are employed the company figures, 'Well, he worked for X last year, now we give him more than X - why would he quit?'.

I show up late, leave early and surf the web. I've also been pidgin-holed into maintaining and updating a very defined section of the application. Everyone knows, if you have a problem with Y, you talk to me. That's all I do. I do Y. Five years at the same company and after four months of doing good they gave me project Y. I'm still doing project Y. I'll be doing project Y for as long as I work at the company.

When I was a consultant, it was a world of difference. A consulting firm sells consultants. They want to have REALLY GOOD consultants because selling a good product is a great way to stay in business. My current job, we sell a piece of software. They company wants that software to be really good. It's a subtle difference, but it makes a huge difference. The consulting firm I worked for would intentionally rotate us in and out of projects. If you were a Java guy, they wanted you on a .Net project. If you did desktop apps before, they wanted you to do a website. They wanted you to be highly skilled and diverse because that meant they could throw you on any project that came along. They also knew that, after about a year, as a developer on the same project, the learning curve drops to about zero. You don't learn new stuff doing the same old crap. If you were leading a team, it was different, but as far as being a developer, they wanted you to be really good at it.

And, unlike selling software, where your contributions were pretty abstract and subjective; when I was a consultant my time had a very clear value attached to it. The client was being billed for it. If I worked overtime, two things happened. First, I got paid (and my company did too). Second, the client had to pay more. There was an actual expectation of measurable work being done.

Being a consultant was great. I did, at least 2-3 times more work than I do now. I also learned a lot more from people who were really talented and knowledgeable. It was also really hard. I didn't get to spend an hour every day surfing the web and ducking out at 4pm to get an early start on my WoW raids.

Comment Re:Taxation (Score 2) 454

Eh, I think we've got a biased view of how things really went down. The truth is, politics today are very much like politics in the past. It's really just a power/money circle jerk amongst the wealthy.

We all learned about England taxing us and the Boston Tea party. What they didn't tell you in history class is that nobody was upset about 'taxation without representation'. As it turns out, there were some very wealthy people making a fortune 'smuggling' tea. They'd get tea elsewhere and thanks to the high taxes on legit tea, they could sell they bootleg tea for less, and keep a considerable profit.

When the 'Tea Act' came about, it wasn't adding tax. It wasn't even a new tax. It was a SIGNIFICANT REDUCTION to an ALREADY ESTABLISHED TAX.

Stop and think about that for a second. That would be like, tomorrow the US Government announcing they were no longer going to tax gasoline...and then people GETTING UPSET. That doesn't sound right, does it? Nope.

Who *would* be upset by a significant reduction in the cost of tea? Well, people who were getting rich selling smuggled tea. So they got together, and started drumming up the masses (now, like then, the majority of people didn't know or care much for politics) and they got a bunch of 'sheep' angry about their significant tax break.

Really, things have changed much.

Comment Re:Homeschool? (Score 3, Informative) 364

Growing up, I played on the same soccer team for years. One of the kids I became friends with was home schooled. His parents were both friendly, sociable, well educated (and from the looks of their house, doing quite well financially).

The kid was as normal as anyone else on the team. He had plenty of friends and did pretty good with the girls too. Honestly, looking back, he seemed to be a few years ahead of the curve; and was one of the most genuinely nice kids I knew. I don't know where the stereotype of home-schooled kids being freaks came from; but in my limited experience, not true.

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