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Comment The ICK??? (Score 2) 317

The ick of making friends with someone who's visibly old. ???? Most of us old farts don't wear adult diapers, don't have old man smell, and if you actually talked to us, you might just find out that we have insights and ideas worth hearing.

Think about this. Someday you will be old. When that day comes, do you want people to think of you as "Icky"??

Comment Vote 3rd party (Score 1) 409

Neither of the candidates represent me. I am a liberal who wants maximum freedom. While I will vote peace and freedom, I have much more in common with both the peace and freedom part and the libertarian party than either the democrats or the republicans.

Both the democrats and the republicans are owned by special interests (read people richer that 99% of the people). It's not even a secret. the solicit campaign contributions (bribes) openly.

So why give either one your vote?

Comment Re:At my institute, it's still "popular" (Score 1) 727

I recently worked at a company that had 286 computers running on the production line. They have plenty of smart people working there. We ended up buying one on Ebay (a great source for obsolete hardware).

I have no doubt that hardware and software that works with XP will be available for a very long time.

As to whether it is better to upgrade the XP applications, or replace them is a decision that needs to be made. In some cases it makes sense to upgrade.
  In the example I gave, we bought several spares on ebay. that cost around $300 that should keep the machine running for the forseeable future. Replacement of the machine would have cost upward of $100,000.


Full Upgrades To Windows 8 Only From Windows 7? 222

CWmike writes "Microsoft will support full upgrades to Windows 8 only from the three-year old Windows 7, according to a report Thursday by ZDNet blogger Mary Jo Foley. Citing unnamed sources, Foley said that Microsoft has informed select partners of the upgrade paths to Windows 8. While Microsoft may be revealing upgrade paths to some partners, it has been much more reticent to keep customers informed than three years ago when it rolled out Windows 7. Among the details the company has not disclosed are the on-sale date and the pricing of the two retail editions. By this time in 2009, Microsoft had revealed both: On June 2 that year, it pegged a launch date for Windows 7, and by June 25 had not only posted prices for the operating system but had also kicked off a pre-sale that discounted upgrades by as much as 58%. The increased secrecy from the company was demonstrated best last week, when it unveiled its first-ever tablet, the Surface, but left many questions unanswered, including the price, sales date, and even the hardware's battery life."

Comment Salesmen needs two skills (Score 2) 211

A salesman needs two skills. One is the ability to sell, the people skills. In addition he needs deep product knowledge. If you are selling development tools, you need to understand development and exactly how these tools will make the programmers more productive.

It is not unusual to require multiple skills for a job. How is this any different?

I have often been approached by salespeople with little product knowledge. They never succeed in selling me stuff.

When I am interested in a technical product, I call the engineer. Usually they can quickly get me the information I need to make a purchasing decision.

Comment Re:You're putting the cart before the horse (Score 1) 461

What is the point of cracking open a science textbook when you are going to be competing with people in Asia who can produce the same level of genius for pennies on the dollar?

I don't care what you can learn here in America, someone in China can learn the same thing and apply that knowledge for far lower wages than you.

These people are willing to live in cages. Literally. Look.

The point is that if you have knowledge you will be way ahead of those that do not! Not all engineering jobs can or will be sent overseas. There is plenty of opportunity for intelligent engineers and techs here in the U.S.

There are fewer good choices for the uneducated.

Comment This often happens (Score 1) 848

This situation occurs from time to time. A person starts a new job. He is paid a low wage because of his lack of experience. But he is ambitious. He spends time improving his programming skills. He notices a persistent problem and writes a program in his spare time to solve it. He offers it to his boss and the program is implemented. There are the usual hiccups that go along with implementing a new program but after a few months, the program is running smoothly. Efficiency increases, man hours are reduced and most people are happy with the changes.

His manager gives raises of 1 to 3 % with 5 % for exceptional performance. To give a larger raise, the manager has to fill out a lot of paperwork, making the case why the employee deserves more. Even then the raise may not be approved. After all money is tight and 5% is considered an excellent raise.

When the employees review comes due, he is called to the manager’s office and is offered the 5% raise. He will go from 24000 to 25,200 per year. The manager explains that 5% is the largest raise he can give.

The employee is disappointed. He protests. “Programmers make 60 – 70 k. I have proven my abilities. I expected a larger raise.” The manager says “I don’t have a slot for a programmer in this department. My manager won’t authorize me to pay you even $30,000 much less 60 or 70.

What happens next? Sometimes the employee keeps up the good work, with various results. Often he concludes that working hard is a waste of effort. Why work so hard when to company will basically steal his work? He becomes one of the drones, doing the minimum amount of work he can get away with.

If he is smart he looks elsewhere. In the company’s mind, he is a 25,000 a year guy. No matter how many new skills he develops, the company is unlikely to give him a substantial raise.

Comment Re:Occupy Wall Street (Score 1) 377

Occupy has brought attention to the problem of income inequality, Money created through work is taxed more than money created by investment.

I work in industrial automation and I have seen the gains in productivity and efficiency that have taken place since I began working in the 70’s. When I was young it was common for the man to be the wage earner while the woman raised the children. It was possible in this situation for them to live the “American Dream”. Today with both parents working families are struggling. Why, with all these improvements in technology, are people worse off than we were 40 years ago?

Most people know that they are being screwed but don’t agree on how it is being done. I agree with some of the tea party ideals but my gripe is not that we pay too much in taxes but that we get far too little in exchange for the taxes we pay. For example, the other industrialized countries have very inexpensive medical care 5 weeks of vacation per year etc. We get lots of government control of our lives but very little that benefits us. And where government control is needed in regulating corporations we get far too little of it.

The problem as I see it is that politicians are owned by corporate interests. What else can you call it when a corporation donates to both the democratic and the republican candidate for the same office? The politicians in turn make laws that benefit corporations over individuals.

The goal of corporations is to pay employees as little as possible for as much work as possible. They want to sell their products for as much as possible. The goal of workers is to maximize compensation. The goal of consumers is to get the most for their money. I realize there are other issues involved but these are basic. There must be a compromise. But because of the corporations influence over politicians that balance has shifted way too far toward the corporations.

Neither the Democratic nor the Republican parties are working for the benefit of the citizens. Both have sold out to the corporations.

What alternative would you suggest?

Comment Occupy Wall Street (Score 1) 377

Occupy represents me too. I am a self employed computer programmer who has plenty of work.

Is someone gets caught stealing a carton of cigarettes from a store he will likely spend a few days in jail. If someone illegally downloads a few songs he can be fined thousands of dollars.

But when criminals on Wall Street screw up peoples pensions and trash the economy with their get rich quick schemes, they get huge bonuses. The companies that perpetrated these frauds got bailed out. No one was held accountable. No major player in the scandal was held accountable.

The government takes a large chunk of my pay as taxes. Corporations make billions and often pay no taxes.

That is why I support Occupy.

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"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." - H.L. Mencken