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Comment Re:Is it really scam? (Score 3, Informative) 497

It sounds very much like a scam my wife experienced. I can't figure out what they mean to get out of it but it is not legitimate. We had these calls for weeks, at all hours of the day and night, asking for someone who's never had this number (not in the last few years). On several occasions I asked who are you trying to collect this debt for? And the answer was, The Lending Club. I contacted the Lending Club and was promptly answered by a guy in their fraud department, who was very helpful, and told me they do not employ any debt collection services operating out of India using spoofed caller ID. He said this is fairly common and gave me contact numbers for the FCC and FBI. Unfortunately there's not much that can be done. She ended up changing her Vonage number. I strongly suspect that had I ever asked the question "what do I have to do to make these calls stop?" the answer would be something like "just give us your credit card information and we'll put a one-time charge for (fill in some two-figure number)" It's robodialling with operators who get put on the line when someone appears to answer and they are probably getting paid next to nothing. I can't come up with any other conclusion given the facts in my case. It's possible this is the same..

Comment Companies don't give references, coworkers do (Score 1) 892

2 weeks is customary even if the company might end up acting badly. I have not had a single job in the last 20 years where the company would give a reference other than "yes he worked here for these dates and his job title was such and such."
When the corporate world was taken over by lawyers and HR policy focused on not getting sued, most companies took the safe approach to references, because even a good reference becomes a "bad" reference when someone doesn't get the good reference they thought they deserved.
My coworkers, on the other hand, have always been the people I turn to for references. Companies never give references but they always want them from you, and they want them to talk about you in great detail. Nowadays everyone asks for multiple references even before the job is on the table (record number needed = 10!).
All that I have to offer those (usually) former coworkers, bosses and colleagues is to do the same favor for them, and to do them the courtesy of giving 2 weeks' notice when it's time to move on.

Comment Leave education a non-issue; focus on achievements (Score 1) 472

At least in the US, I've found that only a small minority of companies consider education a real requirement. Most listings require "Bachelor's / Master's degree or equivalent experience." I'm over 50 and still on an active technical track. My education is a GED. I don't have trouble getting in the door. My resume doesn't mention education; if an application asks for it I tell them. If I think it might be an issue because the listing says "degree required" and doesn't mention "or equivalent experience" I'll raise it up front and just ask if my thirty years of professional experience (I only keep the last 15 or so on my resume usually) counts for more than whether / if I have a degree. The companies that do consider education a requirement for someone with impressive accomplishments and skills are probably not places you'd want to work for. Headhunters and corporate recruiters can't do much more than match keywords usually, so if your skill set is up to date and you can leverage your experience by being a really good generalist I think it goes a long way. Europe and Asia are a different ballgame altogether, but in the US experience still counts for far more than anything else, especially in technology. Just look for the companies that want people who can do things and show them that's who you are...

Comment ACS database (Score 3, Informative) 433

About 10 years ago I created a startup that used the ACS database. ACS used to stand for Astro Computing Services and they used to publish ephemera as well as several publications which allowed you to lookup timezone information. This is a fairly extensive set of data if you want to translate local time at a particular time in the past (say, someone's time of birth as recorded on a birth certificate) into UTC time. Time zones have changed, time change rules have changed (for example, double summer time was observed in England during WWII) and one of the books I used to have from ACS (published back in the 1980s) claimed that this information had been compiled from a wide variety of historical records. One possible scenario is that Olson had written permission to use some parts of the data but a troll has purchased the copyright and is trying to profit from it and pretending they don't know nothin' about no permission. That would be a crying shame since putting the data in such a compressed form that is used on countless *nix servers and devices was an immense task - the original database was an ugly conglomeration of flat files that needed quite a bit of spanking to get it into a useable format, and was certainly not within orders of magnitude of the compactness of the Olson database. Anyway, on the surface, if this is the same ACS database there is quite a lot of data involved, much of it covering historical edge conditions, but I haven't checked to see how many of the edge conditions prior to 1970 are reproduced in the Olson database. From what little I know of the way these things work, the plaintiff would have to show that there was willful infringement without permission and that some damages occurred, but there would not be any value in the ACS data unless you needed to know with great reliability whether daylight savings time was in effect, say, in some rural county in Indiana at 4:06 am on 21 October 1947 (and for that matter, what was the timezone).

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