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Comment Re:Average (Score 1) 617

Yeah, but if you can't focus your attention long enough to remember the capital of Nebraska is, what good are you going to be as an employee? The best indicator of future performance is past performance. It isn't fair, but it has been proven. Yes, people can and do change, but most of the time they don't. Every job involves some degree of doing stupid stuff that has no immediate point to you. If you can't play the game at school, it doesn't bode well for your employment history.

Comment Re:Fuck this article (Score 4, Insightful) 801


Cars today have more horsepower, more traction, better safety, and more braking power than cars 20-30 years ago.. Yet, our speed limits have decreased.. Why?

Because the monkey behind the wheel hasn't improved any, is now distracted by his cell phone, GPS, and on-board DVD players, and statistically is older than the monkey behind the wheel was 20-30 years ago.

Basically, the monkey is the critical part in the system, and it just isn't getting any better.

(Well except for you. You are a MAGNIFICENT driver, and we should all just stay the hell out of your way when you drive.)

Comment Poor Choice Of Phrasing (Score 1, Informative) 181

Come on, guys, it's not "in lieu of". "In lieu of" means "instead; in place of; as a substitute for". So that description makes absolutely no sense. The submitter probably means "in light of".

I know this is just slashdot, but we we have computers and the internet where all the grammar nazis have left us neat hints how to use language correctly, if not effectively. Articles like this make us all look like gibbering chimps.

Comment Impairment Compensation (Score 3, Interesting) 735

My policy always was, my pager compensation was proportional to the potential impairment of my own agenda.

What I mean is, if you expect me to reply to you within a certain time frame, then I have to be near a phone or within cell coverage. This restricts where I can go. If you expect me to connect in remotely, I have to be near internet connectivity, and most of the time be carrying my laptop with me. This further restricts where I can go, and what I can do when I go there. If you want me to be on site within a certain time frame, that even further restricts where I can go.

If I can watch TV, go to the movies, or out for dinner and still be on call, that's not going to cost you as much as if I have to be within 30 minutes of being on-site from the moment you call me.

Historically, I have been lucky. One employer paid us $500/week to carry the pager with a 90-minute call-back SLA (and then hilariously lost the pager number and refused to admit it, so was unable to call us for 8 months). One customer was quoted something stupid like $5K/week for 7x24, 60-minute on-site (plus hourly when we got there). Any call time was billed back to the client, and we (theoretically) got time-for-time in exchange for that. My current employer has a pager our customers to call, but since it is 7x24 it is optional to be in the rotation and for various reasons I've opted out. In addition to receiving money for your week on the pager here, time is tracked very strictly and we get time-for-time for any pager-call time served.

Comment We are a trade in the making (Score 1) 623

IT is, and always has been, the high-tech equivalent of the maintenance guys who keep the lights on and the toilets flowing. We are under appreciated when everything works, blamed for every failing, and hailed like gods for fifteen seconds after we do the impossible.

Face it. We are a well paid trade, and most of the time don't have to get our hands as dirty.

Comment Re:Why people don't update (Score 1) 103

Why don't people upgrade? Well in my case, I didn't upgrade because I knew that upgrading would immediately kill both the aftermarket theme and several of the aftermarket plugins that I was using, some of which had a huge amount of non-trivial data stored in them. All the plug-ins and theme bits came from WordPress-blessed sites, which made the time-bomb nature of their unsupportedness even more frustrating. After fighting through several minor updates and then looking at a major one, I just gave up, exported the content to my local hard drive, and abandoned the 'blog (since hacked, deleted, and hosting account closed). It seems like the only sure-fire way for things to work is to avoid non-core plugins and themes. And honestly, being hosted off of Blogger is much less work, and only slightly less customizable if you limit yourself to the core themes.

Comment Re:At the Risk of Sounding Like an Apologist (Score 1) 832

Science Fiction without the science is fiction. Laser guns and space ships do not science make. If they'd gone to explain a bit how some of this stuff worked, it would qualify more to me as science, but Luke's light-saber is no more explained than Gandalf's staff. Star Wars would better be classified as Fantasy.

Comment In the long term, it's irrelevant. (Score 1) 98

In the long run, nobody cares. Initially everyone cares because there's a big negative blow-up in the press, the stock takes a beating, and everyone spins their heads off. Then the quarter ends, the media loses interest, the stock comes back, and it's business as usual. And the real potential losers, the customers, never cared at all, they just want their latest fashions. The six people who might care do their shopping elsewhere, but they're statistically irrelevant. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to see what's shiny and new at Fry's.

Comment Re:PDFs? (Score 1) 843

Oh, don't be ridiculous. PDFs have the benefit of being approximately as portable as Word documents while being harder to change. I love PDF. I never send customers anything BUT PDFs any more, because I've been burnt too often on someone making a change to my "document" and then insisting that was how I sent it to them.

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