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Comment Re: All Feds. (Score 1) 841

Regular Guy: My employer doesn't embrace open source and took away our free sodas every friday.

Slashdot/Internet: OMFG! Don't put up with that shit! You are obligated by morality to dump that job and find another!

NSA Guy: Everyone is mad at me for participating in violating the constitutional and every inherent right of the entire American public and our biggest cheerleader won't even come visit us and make us feel better about what we do!

Slashdot/Internet: Oh, you poor baby. That is awful. Clearly you have no choice but to work there and it isn't your fault that you are participating in something so fucking hideous and heinous as this.

Comment Re:Of course it could be big. (Score 1) 276

Gold, silver, and other precious metals and gems have intrinsic value that can not be erased by government or corporation and has a history of being valuable, what, more than ten thousand years? If all forms of government vanished overnight and we all regressed to grunting beasts coming out of trees, we would probably *still* give value to gold and silver and other pretty, shiny, rare items.

The problem with currency is that it is only representative of an agreed-upon make-believe value, but it does benefit from being something you can hold and possess and control (physically), if not having any influence over its value which isn't tied to anything "hard".

The problem with "cashless" currency is that it is only representative of an agreed-upon make-believe value *and* is only allotted to you at the whim of technological stability, human accountability, and government. It is different from hard cash in that hard cash that is in your hand does not accidentally get sent to the wrong account, seized (unless physically by force), deleted, siphoned, etc.

Of course, it's an ideal dream to have all of your money in life entirely stable and secure sitting on a server somewhere digitally that can not be stolen, can't be hacked, can't be lost, can't be seized, etc . . . but until someone discovers something much better than anything we have today, it has all the negative aspects of all the forms of currency/trade and pretty much none of the benefits.

PS: I'm not saying to become a Glenn Beck nutjob and start filling your pantry with gold coins -- just using it as an example of a form of established currency and valuable items dating back pretty much since the dawn of man's history to reference off of.

Comment Re:Of course it could be big. (Score 5, Insightful) 276

I can't put my finger on why, exactly, but the whole pushing a cashless society thing really makes me uneasy. Especially things like http://betterthancash.org/ , which is targeted at the poor and developing countries. I realize that much or even most of our current financial lives are carried out digitally, but when it comes down to it the only thing better than cold hard cash that can not be directly seized from you, subjected to computer or human errors, or denied to you during emergencies are things with intrinsic value (gold, silver and other items mankind puts real value into as a thing unto itself). When people like Bill Gates, Citi, BofA, the United Nations, Mastercard, and Visa are all on board the "physical money is bad" train, I don't trust it one fucking bit.

Comment Re:High-school computer classes already in the 198 (Score 1) 95

More importantly, why are we wasting time and resources asking children to propagandize implementations of technology in education for the sake of it rather than worrying about the quality of education, itself? If technology itself somehow inherently improved education, you wouldn't need to promote it. Steve Jobs understood this ages ago.

I used to think that technology could help education. I’ve probably spearheaded giving away more computer equipment to schools than anybody else on the planet. But I’ve had to come to the inevitable conclusion that the problem is not one that technology can hope to solve. What’s wrong with education cannot be fixed with technology. No amount of technology will make a dent.

It’s a political problem. The problems are sociopolitical. The problems are unions. You plot the growth of the NEA [National Education Association] and the dropping of SAT scores, and they’re inversely proportional. The problems are unions in the schools. The problem is bureaucracy. I’m one of these people who believes the best thing we could ever do is go to the full voucher system.

I have a 17-year-old daughter who went to a private school for a few years before high school. This private school is the best school I’ve seen in my life. It was judged one of the 100 best schools in America. It was phenomenal. The tuition was $5,500 a year, which is a lot of money for most parents. But the teachers were paid less than public school teachers – so it’s not about money at the teacher level. I asked the state treasurer that year what California pays on average to send kids to school, and I believe it was $4,400. While there are not many parents who could come up with $5,500 a year, there are many who could come up with $1,000 a year.

If we gave vouchers to parents for $4,400 a year, schools would be starting right and left. People would get out of college and say, “Let’s start a school.” You could have a track at Stanford within the MBA program on how to be the businessperson of a school. And that MBA would get together with somebody else, and they’d start schools. And you’d have these young, idealistic people starting schools, working for pennies.

They’d do it because they’d be able to set the curriculum. When you have kids you think, What exactly do I want them to learn? Most of the stuff they study in school is completely useless. But some incredibly valuable things you don’t learn until you’re older – yet you could learn them when you’re younger. And you start to think, What would I do if I set a curriculum for a school?

God, how exciting that could be! But you can’t do it today. You’d be crazy to work in a school today. You don’t get to do what you want. You don’t get to pick your books, your curriculum. You get to teach one narrow specialization. Who would ever want to do that?

These are the solutions to our problems in education. Unfortunately, technology isn’t it. You’re not going to solve the problems by putting all knowledge onto CD-ROMs. We can put a Web site in every school – none of this is bad. It’s bad only if it lulls us into thinking we’re doing something to solve the problem with education.

Lincoln did not have a Web site at the log cabin where his parents home-schooled him, and he turned out pretty interesting. Historical precedent shows that we can turn out amazing human beings without technology. Precedent also shows that we can turn out very uninteresting human beings with technology.

It’s not as simple as you think when you’re in your 20s – that technology’s going to change the world. In some ways it will, in some ways it won’t

-- Steve Jobs

source: http://larrycuban.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/steve-jobs-on-technology-and-school-reform/

Comment Re:Collusion (Score 1) 784

The information really being sought is that for economic advantage; terrorism is an afterthought. President Obama has said as much in recent speeches -- usually adding "terrorism, etc" *after* the "protecting economic interests" bit. So . . . none of this should be a surprise, anymore. It has been laid out in front of everyone.

Comment Re:what makes this white hat? (Score 2) 68

This is a pretty useless submission as the things it links to offer no more information, as it is. However, I think people here are making a lot of unfounded assumptions, since the article doesn't indicate that the penetration tester was unauthorized. For all we know, it was someone contracted to perform the service and when he reported the issues, they took action.

Comment Re:Lie a little (Score 1) 629

You are partially right. The two big names were two of the companies that were most vocal about telecommuting, so when they change their mind for reasons more related to their own particular problems than remote working, itself, they also gather much of the news cycle and the sky is reportedly falling down.

Meanwhile, much of the industry (and other industries) continue to have telecommuting opportunities and many companies have established systems for facilitating telecommuting and have a large chunk of their employees doing just that, without making a big deal about it in the press. I currently work for one of the largest tech companies on the planet and telecommuting is thriving as is support of it by the company. It was the same at the prior company, too. And the one before that. In my day-to-day, I also get to deal with a ton of other people in the industry (many various roles) and quite a lot of them also telecommute for their companies.

I don't know who it is that keeps trying to push their "telecommuting oh noes!' agenda and trying to convince people that it is dying or a failure or hard to come by, but it is essentially bullshit.

Comment Re:Lie a little (Score 1) 629

They have consistently (and falsely, according to many reports) claimed a shortage of tech workers and they have eagerly embraced remote workers. They just want them to be working remotely from geographies where they can take advantage of economic disparities that allow them to pay fractions.

I have to tell you, there is very little chance that I would still be working for any of the companies that have made up my career, if I had to remain in the Bay Area to do so, where a six figure salary really just sort of let's you "get by". The thing that has ensured my ability to remain a loyal employee with a strong work ethic for so many years is the ease with which my company provides for telecommuting.

Comment Re:Lie a little (Score 1) 629

I'm skeptical of anything where you have to "retrain".

Most of us, here, are knowledge workers and much of what we do or know is applicable across the board. There may occasionally be a need to acquire additional knowledge and experience in certain things, but we are not guys on an assembly line who put widgets on gadgets and suddenly need to be employable by going out and learning how to repair refrigerators, instead.

I also take issue with your assertions of remote workers and remote working. Other than personal biases held by some, there is really little benefit to caring about physical proximity for a great swath of careers in the tech industry. Especially in a world where your company is increasingly split up across large geographies. When your team is broken up into 20 people in five buildings over three states, what is the point of maintaining an office and demanding that they commute to it daily, other than some stodgy old-fashioned mindset?

It's also amusing that you talk about a mindset on flexibility and then completely dismiss a simple thing that facilities a great deal of flexibility.

Comment Re:Switzerland is considering just this thing :) (Score 1) 629

Call me old fashioned, but I kind of prefer the world where you need something done and if I have the skills to do it, you pay me for providing the service you require and if you don't require my services or I can not fulfill that need, then nobody pays me anything for not doing anything.

Comment Re:Lie a little (Score 1) 629

The boss at the top of my company is an eccentric billionaire. I'm fine with being ordered around by "some rich guy" as he is paying my salary and offering me the opportunity to pursue my interests in this industry. He not only pays my salary, but sees to my health insurance, gives me holidays that are not obligated, and allows me the flexibility to work in whatever manner seems most intelligent and beneficial. I don't believe he had anyone paying his way through life or guaranteeing him a basic anything when he began this company decades ago through his own innovation.

Granted, he is about half a dozen managers above me. Maybe more. But he is ultimately responsible for this all existing and as frustrating as life can be "working for the man" and not feeling that you have the freedom to "pursue interests and innovate", I'd much rather provide him a service that he is happy to remunerate than toil at a potential pipe-dream (or sit around doing screw-all) and collecting some "basic guaranteed income" provided by my fellow man.

Not to mention, you and I and everyone else are always free to pursue our interests and innovate under the same circumstances all the other great innovators and successes have -- meaning that you can put your blood and sweat and tears into a thing on top of working full time and trying to care for your needs and your family and being exhausted and potentially risking everything to follow your ambitions. I don't see why *I* or anyone else should have some special exception from this or be paid to sit around day-dreaming. In fact, I would assert that such a setup would breed more laziness and stagnation and contentment than motivate innovations.

Comment Re:Lie a little (Score 1) 629

There's nothing "common sense" about "going to work" for work that requires no physical proximity to anything or anyone. You're confusing tradition with sense.

I don't understand your reference to the bleeding edge, however. What is the bleeding edge and who is putting themselves out there? Are you talking about telecommuting? People have been doing that for decades, you realize . . . ?

Comment Re:Lie a little (Score 1) 629

Interesting, because I've been telecommuting my entire professional career, across three well-known corporations (two of which had between tens of thousands and over a hundred thousand) employees. I've also regularly fielded job offers from everything from start-ups, to companies on the verge of going IPO, to established industry biggies -- all happy to offer telecommuting opportunities and having an entire infrastructure to facilitate such work. Even my manager and many of my past managers over the last 15-20 years telecommute.

What benefit, for example, is there in having people show up to an office in a corporate campus, when that individual's colleagues are very likely spread across several other campuses across the country (or the world)? Great, you're in the office! Unfortunately, you're 800 miles away from your nearest teammate and 3,000 miles away from your manager.

Requiring employees to work locally will seriously curtail the number of qualified and motivated employees who can more than fulfill the demands of your position but are simply limited by having already established roots in a community and aren't able to buy and sell homes every five years and transplant their wife and kids just so that an upper manager at some point can feel secure in the knowledge that they can walk down the hall and see someone hunched over their desk.

There are some companies or positions where this may not fit - that's hardly worth establishing the claim that "telecommuting is going away!" from.

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