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Comment Re:Culture (Score 2, Interesting) 394

That's pretty funny, you used the words, 'work' and 'government job' in the same sentence.

Years ago, a friend of mine got a civie job at a heavily secured military base. The pay was good, (better than mine) and he had full benefits. He had to pass a background check, drug check and a lie detector just to get the required security clearance. He bragged to me, "Man this is some intense (stuff) I'm getting into" and I'll admit I was a bit envious.

Once he got there he found out what the job entailed:

At 0800 he went to the motor pool and requisitioned a hand cart, which he pushed to the supply depot. There, he signed for 3 boxes of white, 5000 page, continuous form, tractor-feed printer paper, which he carted to secured building 'A'.

At the door, his clearance was checked, the boxes inspected to ensure they actually contained paper, and then he was escorted to a heaviliy secured, windowless room by two Marines; one wearing a sidearm, the other brandishing an M-16. (I should mention that none of the marines had any rank insignia.)

The guards at the door let them in and he proceeded to replace the paper in the three printers in the room. After each change, he was required to press the button to print a single test page (ABCDEF...12345... etc.) and pass it to the sidearm-wearing Marine.

The Marine would inspect the page, apparently checking that the margins hadn't been messed with and then the page was shredded on the spot.

He did this for each printer and when finished, he was escorted back to the entrance, where he was signed out of the building.

At this point, he was supposed to take the three (unused, mind you) boxes of paper he had just replaced to the secure document destruction building, dump them down a chute, and go pick up three new boxes of paper to be taken to building 'B', where the same proccess was followed. And then do the same for buildings 'C' and 'D'.

That was his entire morning shift and his afternoon shift was exactly the same. Changing printer paper, five days a week.

He soon figured out that none of these printers ever printed anything except the test pages. He marked the edge of the top page with his thumbnail when he installed the paper and the next time he went in to replace it, there was the mark, right where he had left it.

No one at the supply depot was cleared to know what he was doing so they had no idea how many boxes of paper he was supposed to be getting each day, only that if he asked for paper, they were to give it to him.

So he started taking the 'used' boxes of paper from building 'A' and installing them in building 'B', 'B' to 'C', 'C' to 'D' and then he'd stop over at the commisary for coffee and a snack and watch TV. As well as chat with other civie contractors, flirt with the gals behind the counter, shoot some pool or play video games (all free) and then have lunch.

At 1300, (he wasn't allowed to start earlier) he'd take his cart of 'used' paper from building 'D' to building 'A' to start the whole process over again.

After he finished with the second paper change at 'D' he'd take the three practically unused boxes to the shredder building, return the cart to the motor pool and go home, at least 2 hours early every day!

He did this for nearly eight years and ended up buying a Corvette with all the money he made. But his IT skills were nearly useless by the time he left there and he had to go back to school to get back up to speed before he could get another job.

Your military tax dollars at work.

Comment Re:well stop arresting hackers for BS then (Score 1) 394

When I read this article I was thinking along the same lines: that many people who would be bright enough to be a asset are also bright enough to know that they would have dificulty passing a background check, a drug check, complying with a strict dress code, regular hours, ...

I don't know what the solution is but I wonder if in this case, the military is it's own worst enemy -- deliberately disuading from service the very types of people they need to court: the open-minded, free-thinking, sociatal-challanged oddballs who look at problems differently from everyone else.

(And before someone jumps all over me, yeah, I probably fit in there somewhere.)

Comment Re:Ah, Android Navigation (Score 3, Interesting) 312

Back when I used Delorme Street Atlas to navigate (Version 5 at the time, I think) it once told me to take a sharp right down a boat ramp and drive across the Mississippi to the other side. Fortunately it was daylight when it happened; I wondered at the time what might have happened if it was nighttime and foggy.

Street Atlas for years had a bad habit of directing me in rural areas to take abandoned (or dismantled) bridges and Level 3 service roads (think cow path with less maintenance.) I don't know if it ever got better or even if it's still around, I gave up on it some years back.

Comment Re:Swing and a miss... (Score 1) 312

I live a block off a divided 4-lane road... according to Google, Garmin, Magellan and TomTom. It's not. If you try to navigate to my house they tell you to drive several blocks past my place, make a U-turn and come back on the other side. And if you actually try to follow those GPS instructions, you come to intersections that are clearly marked 'No U Turns'. Brilliant!

But for over ten years, Google, MS and Delorme all listed a street two blocks to the East of me as 'PUD Drive'. Some published maps did as well. The street didn't even exist until just a couple of years ago. It was on the city plan as 'Planned Urban Development', abbreviated P.U.D.

Comment Re:Make (Score 1) 327

Yes, Make had a lot of promise but it squandered it on flashy-blinky, useless junk projects. Now it's filled with pictures of stuff other people have built with no instructions (or even a hint) on how they did it. They should rename the magazine MADE:, as in "Look what I MADE, but won't tell you how I MADE it."

Privacy

Israel's Supreme Court Says Yes To Internet Anonymity 198

jonklinger writes "The Israeli Supreme Court ruled this week that there is no civil procedure to reveal the identity of users behind an IP address, and that until such procedure shall be legislated, all internet postings, even tortious, may remain anonymous. The 69-page decision acknowledges the right to privacy and makes internet anonymity de facto a constitutional right in Israel. Justice Rivlin noted that revealing a person behind an IP address is 'an attempt to harness, prior to a legal proceeding, the justice system and a third party in order to conduct an inquiry which will lead to the revealing of a person committing a tort so that a civil suit could be filed against him.'"

Comment Re:Field notebooks (Score 3, Interesting) 249

Another vote here for Toughbooks. Where I work, we've given Toughbooks to all the field personnel and have no regrets. Our crews work outside in difficult environments and while I've seen HDs fail, broken keyboards and a couple of smashed screens (hit by something while open), for the most part they're almost indestructible.

Last fall we had a field engineer set a CF-30 on a backhoe and walk over to his truck to look for a drawing. When he came back, the backhoe had moved and his Toughbook was apparently somewhere in a trench that had been filled in.

I went out to the site that afternoon with another tech and an access point configured with a SSID that we knew the missing CF-30 would try to connect to. We slowly drove along the trench with a directional antenna pointed at it until the AP indicated that the missing laptop had tried to connect. We had the backhoe driver gently dig out several feet of trench before we found it. Disassembled, cleaned and reassembled it, it's still in service.

Comment Re:Well, why don't we change it? (Score 1) 981

What if they someday find a "gay gene" (or even just those for various intersex conditions) and cure those?

"Would you like to be heterosexual, just like everyone else?"

(The interesting thing about that is that you can piss off both sides of that debate. What if, in the future, being gay or not was indisputably a choice thanks to medical science? Would those who chose to cure themselves be seen as traitors or...?)

Offering the choice is not the same as shoving it down everyones throat.

Add in that the opposite choice would be true, the technology might allow one to be made gay.

"Would you like to be gay, bisexual or asexual, unlike everyone else?"

People can go to great lengths to modify themselves to not be like everyone else, to stand out.

Bisexuality would double your dating prospects, you can bet some would opt for it if there was a inexpensive treatement.

Comment Re:Theora vs. H.264 (Score 1) 421

how the they both be equal when MPEG-LA has already announced that they will seek all users, (end users, software distributors, and hardware people ) will each required to buy a license to view H.264

2016? 2016? By then there will be at least one - if not more - different video format that we'll be arguing about. Things are moving fast on the intertubes (except for the W3C) so I'm not worried about 2016. Technology will surpass itself given enough motive or profitability.

Comment Re:What a Coincidence (Score 1) 152

This is "business" in the sense of "profit is the objective, morals are not factored in".

The more consumers accept this kind of attitude, the more they will get it.

You know, as it turns out, even from the perspective of pure profit, adhering to standards still makes sense. (To the degree that consumers have some brains.) You can build customer loyalty by proving yourself to be in a symbiotic relationship with them. Conversely, Microsoft has made me an adversary. Would I be so strongly opposed to using Microsoft products if doing so weren't evidently a way to force yourself to pay for upgrades, limit your options, increase interoperability cost, and basically add "thermal loss" to humanity's computing at large? And I would have to suffer these because Microsoft is trying to finagle profit. I don't accept excessive selfishness in my interpersonal relationships and I don't accept it in my business relationships either.

Build a good product, compete based on its merits. Don't leverage your dominance to screw your competition unfairly while subjecting all users to the crossfire.

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