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Comment Re:Over/under: Invasion of sovereign nation or tru (Score 2) 821

As much as I did not want Trump to win, it became obvious that it was Hillary who actually lost. The democrats need to clean their act first before blaming republicans. There was major indication for favoring a candidate during preliminaries, and possible leaking of debate questions to that particular candidate. It did not help that Hillary camp did not have any concrete policies and promises during the campaign. They were like an abstract vapour.

Comment Re:Amazon could easily be profitable (Score 1) 70

That's two of the three benefits for owning a stock in the company. The other one is actual ownership stake in a business. In theory you have a say in the board meeting (albeit very small), and steer the company in the long term, including asking the board to issue dividends in the future.

Of course this requires buying a lot of the stock to have any real say in the company, and be really active. But still it's possible in theory.

Comment Time to become suspicous (Score 1) 234

When LastPass was bought out by LogMeIn, I was worried that they would discontinue the service, however this seems even worse. Because in general if you're not the customer, you're the product. And in this case you're the product with all passwords stored on the cloud.

It might be time to move on to KeePass. Then again the mobile versions are not 100% from the source. So even that is a tough decision.

Comment Re:Highlights a couple real problems with Amazon (Score 1) 253

There goes my mod points.

Amazon has two different ways the 3rd party inventory is stored in prime warehouse: with original UPC, or with seller specific code.

If the item is brand new, and has only one listing per that UPC, the seller has the option not to include a second bar code, and use the product's own UPC. (This would include most flash drives that you've mentioned). However I'm not sure Amazon will have an exact way to distinguish inventory between sellers when this is done. But even then the mixups should be very rare.

On the other hand, if the item is used, refurbished, or has multiple sellers, or the seller chooses to do so, they will use a second bar code, specific to that seller, and they should not be easily mixed.

Yes, you'll have better inventory control if you're buying used from Amazon.

Comment "Wrong" updates (Score 1) 524

I'm writing this from my Macbook Pro, and it is one of the best machines in my home for lightweight work, remote terminal, and web browsing. The keyboard was not perfect, but the trackpad is years ahead of competition. The screen resolution was nice, and it hooked up to my desktop display for longer work session. I was expecting a new refresh with a better processor, larger SSD, and keeping everything else the same. But Apple seems to forget the good parts, and tries to bring in unnecessary "improvements".

It looks like I'm no longer the target customer for the new device. If rumors are true, it will remove full size USB ports, along with the headset jack, replace the physical keyboard with a touch abomination, and turn it into a "not so tablet" experience. If I wanted to use a tablet, we also have a Surface Pro, and it works well. However writing code, editing documents require a simple device, which happened to be my current MBP.

Comment Re:Why can't I bring shampoo on an airplane? (Score 1) 99

We are fortunate that most bad guys are real idiots. (Otherwise they would not be bad guys anyways). However I would not say this to their face, in case they become even more stubborn and dangerous.

The nearest attempt to what you've said was some guys tried to sneak explosives in toner packages sent to random overseas destinations. They were idiots. First they could not even seal the packages. But even more awesome was the fact that they expect random packages to go thru customs, and also believe people would be opening them. Again they are fortunately idiots.

Comment Re:All "consumer" PCs and printers are garbage (Score 1) 387

There are premium consumer products, and naturally you need to pay a "premium" to buy them as well.

For example, Epson has an "ink tank" based inkjet printer. It costs much more for the hardware, but saves a lot on the ink price on the long term. It's available at my local Staples store. Also Canon's and Epson's "pro" lines are usually good at ink cost for the quality you get (especially for photos).

For laptops, Apple has MacBook pro, and Microsoft has Surface Pro series. They both come with very high quality components (for example the SSD in SP4 is a Samsung and has 600+MB/s write speed). They have excellent warranty, and of course it is very difficult to find them with even a $200 discount, even with student offers.

Similarly there are many other high quality products on the market. Just make sure there are no "50% off" offers for the product (even for refurbished). Then you're just paying a "premium" for an expensive, but regular product.

Comment BUILD your own NAS (Score 4, Informative) 98

It is not difficult to setup on a small server machine, and benefit from FreeBSD security with no (known) backdoor accounts. If you're really serious get a proper NAS motherboard with ECC RAM (if you're not using ECC RAM, then it means you're not very serious with your data anyways), which won't cost you more than $500 with the case and the PSU.

Of course if you're unable or unwilling to secure your box, accept that anything on the Internet is wide open, and buy (rent) online storage from Amazon, Box, or somewhere similar. Amazon gives free unlimited backup account with prime (which is around $99)

Comment Re:Better Programs (Score 1) 630

The economy is not always a zero sum game. If you can get more people build useful stuff, you'll have more to distribute. However once you've run out of ideas, then you start extracting from productive people (usually middle class), and the total pie gets smaller.

This can even be seen in companies. You can invent, or develop new stuff, or you can downsize and optimize your operations. One of them lowers short term analyst numbers, the other makes you seem doing a great job on wall street. (Try to guess which one is which :)

Of course, having replaced need for human workers with automation, there needs to be something given to people who can no longer work. This could be UBI, or some other mechanism. However if this new method will be sourced by extracting the income of dwindling productive population, then it will just cause larger gap between income ranges, by pushing people outside the middle class. Some of course will be pushed up, but many will be pushed down.

Comment Re:Professional organization and trade guild FTW (Score 1) 338

No please no.

There are many good "software engineers" with no engineering degree (or they have a degree from an unrelated field). Let their merits talk, not a piece of paper. (Not that I have the piece of paper, but I have friends who moved to computers from other degrees). If you're in the software business, make sure to hire a manager who actually wrote some code, and get the "programming interviews" book. It takes less than 15 minutes to figure out if somebody can code or not.

I would agree on the IT certification though. They need specialized skills for the systems they are managing, (let it be Linux, Windows, AIX or whatever), and having a paper here might help. I think we might improve the existing certification exam system to make it more useful in this area.

Comment Re:I hope Trump capitalizes on this (Score 1) 338

You are right, but I would also include anything that is paid primarily by loans and insurance into this list. For example, cars, car repair, and of course college. If we don't see the bill directly, we don't feel bad if they are really expensive. But once the final bill comes, we try to pass it to somebody else.

We don't all need to drive Lexuses (Lexi?) to work, or have the best gym available at college. If we were focused back at utility as we once did, we would get the most reliable cheap car we can get -- God forbid we might even use public transport!, and have our own gym membership. Then we would not have to give 40% of our salaries servicing the loans, or paying insurance premiums.

But the car only costs $250/mo for 6 years (and breaks down at 4), and we don't have to worry about the tuition until we graduate with a degree with little job prospects, and big amount of student debt.

(I say "we" in the general sense).

Comment Re:What's the price of your integrity? (Score 1) 338

This goes both ways. If you realize they are taking advantage of you, start interviewing for other companies. As soon as you get an offer, you move out. You'll lose your severance package, but you won't need it anyways.

And the best way to be ready is that acknowledging you can be fired at any moment, for any reason. Be prepared to interview, and as long as you're good in what you're doing, and there are companies around you that will hire you, you should be good. If there are no companies that will hire you, think about moving to a place where there are many.

But of course until that do your best at your job. Be the best person around, and always have good connections - especially outside your company. Let everyone know you're doing a good job.

Comment Re:Unions are needed! (Score 1) 338

Unions would not have prevented this. They are sacking an entire department, they are not trying to reduce salaries, or hire non-union workers. In fact, it can be argued that unions might have sped this process up (look at what happened to unionised auto industry, and the manufacturing -first- moved to Mexico).

One thing California is good at is protests. If the IT workers can get the students to protest this change, then they might have more leverage. If students understand that they will need to call India for a small password change, or the systems will most likely be constantly overloaded at assignment deadlines, they can be frustrated. I haven't seen much outsourcing go smoothly without issues, and this bad track record can be used as an advantage.

Comment Other motivations (Score 4, Insightful) 164

With smaller players dropping out of the game, soon it might become a "single player" game after all. If this scenario happens, then a single entity controlling 51% of the keychain nodes can potentially disrupt the entire BitCoin economy by effectively "rewriting history".

I'm not sure this is a good thing. Every advancement seemed to have moved the needle to this direction. While everyone was able to run CPU miners is was very democratic. Then GPUs came, but still people could drop in a few hundred, and continue. After FGPA, and the ASICs, it's not just very large firms, where smaller people can only "rent" nodes, and hope they can trust the infrastructure.

We might need a "reset", where ASIC is no longer viable, but I'm not sure that would still be possible.

Comment Be the enabler (Score 1) 112

Do not try to "manage" them, but try to help them achieve their goals. Be the enabler, ask them what they need to complete their tasks, and make it a priority everyone is able to function at their peak.

This of course setting up shared calendars, VC software/hardware, DVCS, and so on on the techinical side. People should be able to see what they are supposed to do, reach their peers for information, and gather together to talk about updates, and have ideas (on the VC).

On the personal side, try spending some time with each member every week. Communicate what is expected of them, and let them tell you their worries.

As long as you have competent developers, they should be able to handle the job. If you do you job well, they will not even realize you're there.

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