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Comment Re:Math/Fact Check (Score 1) 523

Not to be pedantic (ok, I am) but one per day was never mentioned.

I watch people at work make multiples of such purchases daily ($4 coffees, $2 cinnamon buns, etc) then complain that they don't have money to buy things ... like a new(er) car.

$10/day buys you a Versa on a 6 year loan at a low interest rate with a minimal down payment.

Comment "cards closed per week" (Score 2) 223

I worked as an engineer at a company the professed to be "agile" (the quotes are because really, not so much). They started judging performance by "cards closed per week".

You'd be amazed at the number of cards that will be created and closed under those conditions. Our productivity *soared* (according the graph that showed productivity as a measurement of cards closed per week ... ).

Comment Re:RTFA - really, it's interesting! (Score 1) 845

First of all, we have to remember that the sample questions were from the 4th and 8th grade, but the test he failed was 10th grade. At that age level, the questions might already be hard enough that it's justifiable to have forgotten a couple of rules and fail as an adult.

Not so much. If you follow the links you'll find up here: http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/itmrlsx/landing.aspx

Here's a sample question from the 12th grade mathematics test, specifically one marked "hard":

"The postal rate is 25 cents for the first ounce and 20 cents for each additional ounce or part of an ounce. What would it cost to mail a package that weighs 6.8 ounces?"

So in short, on top of all the other things you detail in your post which IMHO is spot on, the guy really is operating below a functional level when it comes to mathematics. Given this and those things, I'm going to go out on a limb and say he's probably not really that great at much else either.

Comment Re:It's a SERVICE (Score 2) 713

Actually, no, it's not. At least not for the last 30 years or so.

The only taxpayer money that goes to the USPS is ~ $100mm a year to cover things mostly for the disabled and overseas voters (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Postal_Service). They are only expected to break even.

And therein lies the problem. The basic fact of the matter is that e-mail has eroded their bread-and-butter; people needing to communicate with another person. Bills/invoices are also going this way. While not everyone uses e-mail, enough do that this is a buggy-whip manufacturing situation. Eventually there will simply be little reason for it to exist.

The fact that they suck at delivering actual packages when compared to UPS pretty much rules them out of that business. They're slower, don't provide adequate or accurate tracking, etc, etc.

Oh, and in new neighborhoods like mine? UPS, FedEx, etc actually bring things to my *house*, not a community mailbox a 1/4 mile away.

What it comes down to is either it needs to be completely overhauled and shrunk to fit today's reality, or be subsidized heavily by taxpayer money.

Comment Re:One workers opinion at one company in a recessi (Score 1) 473

No kidding. I could write an article that is the complete opposite of this based on my own personal experiences.

I'm past this "half life" and get at least 3 inquires a week via LinkedIn (either via messages or people calling my phone). I just accepted a new position (Sr. Engineer) that I'll be starting after the first of the new year. I wasn't looking for a job as my current position is quite good; this company actively sought me out and recruited me.

The same as an earlier poster stated about himself, I'm also not the smartest guy on the planet. What I am is someone who really does love this field (been programming since I was 10), has decent logic skills, keeps up with technology, etc.

Comment Re:Really? The colleges are the problem? (Score 1) 841

While this would be a reason for many not to get into engineering at all, I don't know that it supports the problem set described in the article(s), specifically the part that says "failing to get any degree".

The core of the problem I think is that the public education system nor the current methods of raising children prepares them for a world where you don't get accolades for just showing up.

Comment Re:Really? The colleges are the problem? (Score 2) 841

Erm, no ... it doesn't. That would be that "somewhere else in the equation" part I was speaking of.

I agree with you completely and that was my point, though presented in a much more tongue and cheek fashion.

The post talks about changing things at the college level. This reeks of the same logic that got us to where we give kids medals for just showing up.

Comment Re:Not according to the actual complaint (Score 1) 100

Coakley said that her investment in protecting consumers from identity theft was personal, acknowledging that her bank account was emptied after cyber criminals stole her debit card information during a ski trip to New Hampshire. It was not the first time Coakley had mentioned the incident in public. After skimming the card info, Coakley said the thieves attempted to use it to purchase a laptop from Dell Computer, which detected the fraudulent transaction and contacted Coakley. Not so Apple, whose iTunes media store was used to make a slew of transactions that emptied the Attorney General's account.

You may be considering learning to read.

Comment Re:So the set is Zero (Score 1) 178

If I had mod points, I'd mod you up.

You know what I do when I happen upon one of those super-awesome flash sites? I navigate away as fast as possible. Because as you say - they *suck* (And that's being kind).

Luckily, I can usually hit the back button before they finish loading the "intro" and not have to suffer through whatever it is that's about to display on my screen.

Comment Re:I remember the same arguments about Calculators (Score 1) 511

And now ... we have large swaths of people who can't do column arithmetic in their heads. Have you been in a retail store lately and paid cash for anything? Dig that quarter out of your pocket so you don't get back $4.97 from your $20 after they've hit the magic "total" button on the terminal and watch the train wreck that ensues.

So while yes, the people *who already could do simple problems on paper* benefited from the calculator, I'm going to go out on a limb that many didn't.

And that's ignoring the part where video games didn't run on the calculator. Or Facebook.

Comment Re:who do they think they are? (Score 1) 241

Correct. Same as every "free" service you use on the internet. Social networks just make it easier than trying to track you with cookies, etc because you actually have a identifying login.

There's no such thing as free. You're paying with your behaviors and demographics.

I fully support someone choosing not to use a service because they don't care for this bargain, but people who don't seem to understand that businesses aren't in business to give them stuff for free kinda annoy me.

Comment Re:Great, so how the hell do I paint ashalt shingl (Score 2) 722

People who buy into an HOA don't want an old house. Or don't want to buy land in BFE and build something.

In many major metros there is no such thing as new construction (and by new, lets say 10-15 years) that isn't in an HOA.

Thankfully my current HOA is fairly benign (well, except for providing very little for your money - at least the trash gets picked up). The last one wasn't and just chock full of little Napoleons.

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