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Comment Re:I was hired where I interned (Score 1) 325

The most important things to the aspiring intern - at least in my experience - are punctuality and visible diligence.

Sucking up to the boss can work. It's not the only road, and perhaps not even the best road, but it's important to note a few other things as well before you ignore a high-powered job so you can flip burgers because you think the boss is more competent. Bosses come and go, and I've made my mistakes. I've ingratiated myself to my boss, only to have him leave the next month, and I've taken a position beneath my abilities and experience because I thought the boss was an all-star only to have her give her two weeks notice, leaving me without *any* boss and therefore without any opportunity to advance or stay on past the end of my contract. As an additional note, flipping burgers is a great way to get no respect from anyone while you waste away on a substandard salary.

Take the job if you want it. Not just because of a boss, or a location, or a salary range, or even what you think you want to do. These are all factors, and should be considered in tandem. In the event that you wind up with a lousy boss, by all means make the best of it and find the next opportunity to transfer to a different department or hop to another company. But if you love everything else about the job, don't let a boss like that keep you from where you want to be. You're going to have to learn to deal with pricks someday, and if you learn how early on you'll be ahead of the game.

Comment Elementary statistics tools are your friends (Score 1) 174

Kind of small as in "holy crap, it's amazing how you can analyze the patterns of a few to determine the patterns of the many," you mean. Anyone with a rudimentary grasp of statistics should know that 200 is more than enough to suggest a high degree of confidence. You ought to take note when the number drops below thirty, because that's when your sample size really begins to affect the usability of the data.

Comment Re:Where are the good pro-copyright arguments? (Score 1) 266

Could it be we are not hearing good arguments in favor of copyright because there aren't any?

It may have something to do with 99.9% of the "good arguments" breaking down in anything beyond a perfect world. That and the only people willing to come up with arguments are likely strawmanning anyway.


Pro-copyright strawman: "If you download something you didn't pay for, you're hurting the artist!"

Monkeywrench: "What if you couldn't afford to buy it in the first place?"

Strawman: *brain breaks*


Pro-copyright strawman: "Piracy could threaten the music industry!"

Monkeywrench: "So?"

Strawman: *brain breaks*


Pro-copyright strawman: "If anyone can get it for free, what's to stop everyone from getting it for free?"

Monkeywrench: "Ask Radiohead?"

Strawman: *brain breaks*


And people wonder why I don't take them seriously. That thugs like the RIAA are allowed to spread such blatant lies and ruin so many people makes me wonder about the usefulness of the legal system. The RIAA is out to protect their own business interests/stranglehold over American artists. To actually buy into their propaganda is nothing short of ludicrious.

Comment Re:This is big (Score 1) 266

The courts aren't vulnerable to being bought the way that politicians are

Actually, the courts are quite open to corruption, and partial to parties with ample funds.

Those willing to fight should do everything they can to stay in the game, but it's something of an uphill battle at this point. As to believing whether Sony would jeopardize its core business for media battles...well, there was a time when I didn't believe banks would lay it all on the line for the sake of writing a few bad loans. I'm afraid I just don't have that kind of faith anymore.

Comment Re:Inheritance Tax (Score 1) 913

Throughout history, civilizations that allow inheritance have had the problem of wealth being concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer people.

If that's true, why isn't there one person with all the wealth by now?

Is there any reason you should have any advantage in life just because you were born into a certain family? No, there is no reason. If you are good, and your parents taught you how to generate wealth, then you will have no problem generating your own.

And you've already contradicted yourself. You say there is no reason for anyone to have an advantage based on family (incredibly ironic in a society reliant on family, btw), then espouse an ideal based on parental guidance concerning the generation of wealth. That said, yours is an overly simplistic worldview. Demonstrate, if you will, how if you are "good" and your parents told you the secret of transmuting lead into gold or whatever, you will have no difficulties whatsoever in obtaining wealth.

Otherwise get back down with the rest of us and work your way up. America is supposed to be a meritocracy, not an inheritocracy.

Pull out the founding documents and show me where America is supposed to have any part of this overidealized false dichotomy.

Comment Re:Inheritance Tax (Score 1) 913

Hardly a red herring. I fail to see why I should be taxed multiple times. As it is, I am taxed for making money, holding property, and spending money. I'll be spinning in my grave if the government takes everything I wanted to pass along afterward.

The term "cold dead hands" is a little redundant here, but the sentiment is the same. It seems ridiculous to tax inheritance. Simply put, why should there be such a tax? I do not understand why the government needs to be entitled to the money or assets of the deceased.

That most places see inheritance rights as undesirable - an assertion I contest - is nothing more than an appeal to popularity.

...there's no obvious logical reason why you should be able to dictate what happens to your assets after you're dead.

Do you actually believe that? Among other considerations, consider a given scenario:

A working husband and wife have a child. The child graduates from high school, enrolls in college at a prestigious university, and performs well while working part-time . Suddenly, the husband and wife are killed in a horrific car accident, leaving the child a substantial amount of money. Why should the child be forced to leave school? Why would I want that as a possible scenario for my children?

You say "their wealth" as if it belongs to them - that's circular; because the question is whether we have a legal framework that allows wealth to be inherited in that way or not.

Actually, by "their wealth" I meant the wealth of the recently departed. As to the question, you are the one suggesting that inheritence taxes are a great idea. What is your justification for this? Why does a society that values individual accomplishment have to force everyone to start from scratch? Why would a legal framework of taxing the deceased have merit?

Comment Re: Macs and claims of "no viruses" (Score 1) 757

The alternative is honesty. Telling someone they won't have any problems, ever, is a complete lie. I may as well tell my children that they won't contract any venereal diseases if they remember to bring a condom. Granted, telling someone with the attention span of a fly the exact details of why and how and blah blah blah...not the best approach. But it doesn't cost anything to say "look, nothing is 100% secure but this is probably enough to deal with everything you'll encounter for the next five years."

The OS X approach to root access and its integration of BSD is excellent, and part of why I use Macs frequently. But it still isn't a guarantee, and end users deserve to know that. If the user is never educated, they remain vulnerable to every social engineering trick in the book and most phishing, fake software, and related scams.

The only way I would promise no virus/spyware problems is with a computer that never goes live.

Vista's attempts at security are a weak attempt at reassurance, and deserve to be scrapped. I'd rather use XP - something that doesn't pretend to have Unix under the hood - or OS X, which has Unix under the hood. But this is for many of the same reasons as my reasoning behind warning users about risks.

The illusion of security is more dangerous than a lack of security.

Is OS X more secure than any Windows version? Absolutely. Impervious? Of course not. Should every user know this? Of course.

Comment Re:Inheritance Tax (Score 2, Insightful) 913

I fail to see what justifies an inheritance tax.

What's wrong with wanting my family to prosper from my successes without having someone take a big bite out of them? I've paid my taxes already, and I want to grant whomever I give anything to the ability to use it. Why should they have to stand on my knees rather than my shoulders?

Also, I can think of few things tackier than beating down the door of someone who has lost a loved one and demanding a substantial chunk of their wealth.

Comment Re:Let me be the first one to say it ... (Score 1) 1870

Google isn't Swedish. Were the two on equal footing, I would agree with that analogy. As it is, Google is subject to U.S. laws and The Pirate Bay is not.

Frankly, I fail to see how "working with" a few powerful, copyright-obsessed companies makes a difference. For one, the entire point of Google is vastly different from TPB, and for another, these few companies represent few interests. If something I own the rights to is anywhere without my permission, I am at a loss compared to these behemoths and their agendas.

And really, even trackers that make attempts to work with the companies end up taking flak for it. I do not believe for one moment that TPB was targeted solely because of this. It has increased attention due to situation and because its owners decided to reject the advances of these companies in favor of advocating a copyright-free, fair use model (and ignoring irrelevant laws and claims).

Comment Re:The questions that come to mind (Score 1) 1870

Calm down. They won't go to jail for a long time yet. First it'll be the appeals process. Then if they're found guilty again, it's another appeal to the supreme court.

Thankfully. But if they've been found guilty on - let me be blunt - incredibly pathetic grounds, then they are at high risk of being found guilty again or having the ruling upheld.

And if the supreme court comes down on them, we'll all be humped for the next fifty years and stuck listening to how the ruling is precedent for every other judicial quack looking for a reason to go after people who don't love the heavy-handed arms of the studios and labels. Given Obama's recent appointees from the RIAA, Isohunt's embroilment in another baseless case, and the continued (read:unchecked) malicious actions of the dogs of the RIAA/CRIA/MPAA/et al, my optimism might be described as waning at best.

Furthermore, I don't think they'll want for a moment to pay off the media industry,

If anything, they'll be looking to fight this.

That said, they may end up needing a legal defense fund, or something to help them find a country that won't sell them out on account of foreign pressures.

and I really doubt that Sweden will put them to jail for not paying a fine they cannot pay. We're not talking about a barbaric country here.

Apparently we're talking about one in which people can be imprisoned or stolen from because somebody doesn't like them. What, if anything, was civilized about the 2006 raids?

Comment Re: Macs and claims of "no viruses" (Score 1) 757

As a long-time Mac (and PC) user myself, I've been known to give someone a "simplified version" of the truth, telling them "you won't have any virus or spyware problems on a Mac".

It's not that I'm some clueless user who doesn't know better. It's that I have a pretty good idea of what the individual does with and expects from their computer. Judging by that, and knowing they're not a very "technical" user to begin with, I know that practically speaking, they really aren't going to need to worry about infections on their Mac.

(So far, just about all of the trojan horses and viruses people mentioned for OS X involved downloading files of unknown origins, or running something you received in an unsolicited email. When you have a user who is already scared to open any email at all from people he/she doesn't know, they're hopefully in good shape there. They're certainly not savvy enough to fire up bittorrent and start seeking out pirated software, either.)

But they are sometimes savvy enough to open chain e-mails from people they do know.

The dangers of hypersimplification extend beyond the death of precision and loss of credibility: they carry straight to the continued promotion of ignorance.

If you dumb technology down for a user, all you get is a dumb user.

Comment Re:Social Engineering (Score 1) 757

Mod this up. The strongest attack vector is the social engineering vector.

And always was, and always will be.

Social engineering is the most useful and the closest thing to a guaranteed success, especially when the target is, say, a top officer at a company or a fourteen-year-old who obsesses over MySpace friend lists.

Also, so touch on one of wumingzi's remarks, Vista's horrific attempt to block admin access is one of the worst attempts at security I have ever had the misfortune of observing. The lack of sudo alone is a dealbreaker, and a vast number of the important, known vulnerabilities spotted in XP are unaddressed in Vista.

On-screen keyboard, er, command line at login, anyone?

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