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Comment It looks like you're covered (Score 1) 675

IMHO as a long term member of the software engineering community, I think that you're covered and can reasonably get out. Your previous employer is greedy, and wants more of a good thing.

Since you're part of a development effort and may have a body of unique knowledge, it would be a good idea to offer to help them transition in a new person to replace you, and to be willing to answer questions they might have on a contract basis after you've left. This is really up to you, though. You're not required to do this, and if they get mean or greedy about it you should definitely cut them off.

This is no more than we can expect from employers these days. We get our two weeks severance and we're out the door, and we consider ourselves lucky to get that. You may want to consider any personal relationship you have with the management, but professionally speaking, I think you're doing just fine.

Comment Re:Rational (Score 1) 807

Not exactly. The demand for alcohol had significantly increased during prohibition, but the ability to produce it en mass was eliminated because of the order that all equipment for the creation of alcoholic beverages be destroyed. The alcohol producers had to rebuild their infrastructure from scratch, including their distribution networks. A lot of the alcohol producing companies and families came back into the business, but a lot of them didn't. It was an unusual case of a new field where huge growth potential was available just from out-competing the other alcohol producers. They hadn't had time to start considering OTHER competitors yet.

Comment Re:Rational (Score 1) 807

I've studied the issue extensively, and don't believe that this is the case. Alcohol as a legitimate industry was severely decimated by prohibition in 1937, and wasn't in much condition to field lobbyists.

The primary people who showed up at the hearings for it were the producers of nylon (DuPont) and the owners of vast logging interests (Herst). There was a significant push by those who enforced prohibition and were looking for something else to enforce (Anslinger), but it would appear that Anslinger was actually backed by the DuPont family in his efforts.

That doesn't mean that it its illegality isn't currently promoted by the alcohol interests. The tobacco interests have actually been in the forefront, and they seem to own trademarks on various brand names like "Maui Wowwie" and "Acapulco Gold". Mostly, though, it's supported by politicians looking for something to be reputably against when running for office.

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 746

"by their own accord" isn't as black and white as it sounds. Microsoft doesn't do anything without market pressures. I'm certain that no single factor was entirely responsible for this decision, but I'm also certain that Microsoft didn't wake up one day and say "Hey, I'm tired of doing whatever I want. I think I'll spend fifty million or so to follow someone ELSE's standards."

Comment Quote from Microsoft (Score 4, Funny) 746

"Oh, wow, maybe people won't just buy whatever crap we try to shove down their throats. This is going to take a bit of rethinking of our strategy..."

Sorry, couldn't resist. I understand that the automobile industry is going through the same realization. We can hope that a few others might get the clue...

Comment Re:One rule to rule them all, eh? (Score 1) 278

No, MerlTurkin has it right. Meteors are cold while they're out in space. When they hit the atmostphere, the surface heats up quickly, and the heated parts chip off because of temperature shear and create an ablative barrier to further heating. The surface of a meteor is warm, but not hot when it hits the ground, and the inside is still frozen.

Of course, Mrs. O'Leary's cow wasn't very hot when it hit the lantern and it still burned down Chicago. No telling what was in that warehouse from the posted story.

The speed of most meteorites is almost always based on the speed of the earth flying through meteor clouds, not the speed of the meteor clouds, so it's fairly consistent.

Comment Re:And does anyone care? (Score 1) 186

I can understand why they might want to do this. As a software developer, I often think to myself "I'm SURE I could write something more responsive than this" while playing Second Life. If I had an infinite amount of free time, I'd probably even give it a whack just to see if I can figure out what the big issue is.

Comment Re:It's not an easy thing to do... (Score 1) 186

I'll second the ghost-town effect. The other day I was shopping in a fairly large store, and there were an entire eight people in the store at the same time. I was thinking "wow, this place is popular!" Most of the time it's like wandering through a deserted museum.

The primary problem I found with second life scripting was that any script that interacts with other scripts runs into serious issues with lag and undelivered information packets. There are no internal mechanisms for dealing with this, and writing delivery reliability code into your scripts is very resource intensive.

Comment Re:Duh. (Score 3, Interesting) 1601

That doesn't work. Letting the free market provide balance presumes that there isn't a built-in bias. Fox news is a perfect example. It was purchased and continues to be operated as a conservative news network. They accumulate viewers who agree with them, and perpetuate that agreement by feeding them appropriately biased information. They do this specifically for the purpose of creating a population that's better educated on their point of view.

Similar to your typical monopolistic practices, it's possible to spend money in order to expand your customer base. It happens again and again.

For news agencies, however, it only matters if they claim to be an unbiased news source. At that point, they are obligated to maintain a certain level of neutrality. The Washington Post is identifying that they breached their own moral code to an extent.

Not that I blame them. Not only was McCain negative, he was boring. He just didn't do much that was newsworthy.


Comment Re:Duh. (Score 1) 1601

Sorry, no, that doesn't follow. That line of logic suggests that, every time I open my mouth about a subject I'm required to spend equal time arguing for my opponent's view point. If there are more people who want to vote for someone, you have to expect that more people will write positively about that person. You can't fight math.


Anonymous Anger Rampant On the Web 399

the4thdimension writes "In a story that may bring out the 'duh' in you, CNN has a story about how anonymous anger is rampant on the Internet. Citing various reasons, it attempts to explain why sites like MyBiggestComplaint and Just Rage exist and why anger via the web seems to be everywhere. Various reasons include: anonymity, lack of rules, and lack of immediate consequences. Whatever the reason, they describe that online anger has resulted in real-life violence and suggest methods for parents and teens to cope with e-aggression and to learn to be aware of it." I can't figure out what makes me angrier: my habit of anonymously trolling web forums, or my video game playing.

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