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Comment An opposite view on this (Score 3, Interesting) 232

In the late 1990s I had a job where I was a Unix system admin and our group needed to hire a replacement for the guy who left. The job required some marginal Unix/Linux user knowledge but most of the work would be repairing and building out PCs for our test group. Our PCs weren't the best and needed constant maintenance. The previous 2 guys who held the job were nuts. Guy number 1 was bipolar and told us on his first day of work that he was bipolar and that he saw no need to take medicine for it. It ended up being 6 months of hell where we basically had a guy who alternated between being a crybaby and Captain Angry All The Time. He left us to become some other company's problem, but we foolishly brought in his replacement before he left and had him train the new guy. Much to our surprise, he became BFFs with guy number 2 and he poisoned guy number 2 against our group. Guy number 2 basically had a permanent hostile attitude towards our group until he left us for another company. So we let guy number 2 leave before we ever started to look for his replacement because we were not going to repeat the previous mistake of letting a departing employee have a negative influence on his replacement.

We interviewed several people and we actually flew a guy in from another state who seemed promising for an interview. I don't remember exactly what it was, but we had some ongoing problem related to our PCs that neither of the 2 previous crazy guys could ever solve. So after we interviewed the guy, my manager brought him into his office and asked him about the problem. He got it fixed on the spot for us within 5 minutes. He was hired that day. His ability to fix that ongoing problem on the spot clinched it for him. He was a fantastic employee for us. So while I'm sure that maybe some sleazebag companies are just trying to get free help, trust me, you don't want to work for them anyway. Some companies may just be using it to test your abilities and if you can solve their problem, you'll get the job. I've seen it firsthand.

Comment Object Oriented programming may be too much (Score 1) 215

You've had some good answers. However, I want to point out that for the most part programming these days is all object oriented. This is a huge change from the procedural based programming you learned years ago. To give you an analogy, it's kind of like studying Russian 20 years ago and now being asked to study Mandarin. They're pretty different from each other. Basically nothing you did in the past will help you to learn OO programming. You will either get the concept or you won't. If you don't, you won't likely find any programming jobs unless you get really lucky and are able to do something that doesn't require OO. I've worked for two companies that have hired senior programmers around your age (including my current employer) and both companies were pleased with the hires. Basically if you can do the job, they'll hire you and being willing to work cheaper than others may actually be an advantage. But on the downside, a lot of programming has impossible deadlines. The programmers where I work now who sit somewhat close to me are really tired because they are working on a fairly new product we are selling and it's got aggressive deadlines. As an older guy, you may find the constant demand for 50-60 hours a week of work to be too much. One programmer told me somewhat recently that he has to work every Saturday too and he feels lucky if he gets a Sunday off - sometimes he doesn't.

Comment Re:Privacy And Sin (Score 1) 472

Current? Here's the constitutional amendment Rand proposed: "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of production and trade. . ."

That means no safety regulations, no minimum wage, no antitrust legislation, no public roads, and no regulations on the financial markets. It means that if I sell you a product that is poisonous and it debilitates you for the rest of your life, you can sue me in civil court and that's the solution to keep things like lead paint off of products (and, of course, if you're too poor to sue me in civil court you're a worthless fuck who deserves lead poisoning; i.e., all low income housing would be painted with lead paint).

So true. My first exposure to libertarianism was back in the mid-1990s when I had a friend at work who was a developer and a hard core libertarian. I used to ask him questions and this is basically what he believed.
1) The government would have a military that it would use only to defend the US from foreign attack. But just about everything else in the government would be gone. Whatever was left of government, it would likely be maybe 10% or even less of its current size.
2) Since the government will be weak and basically doing very little other than making sure the military stayed functional, everything had to be settled in the courts. If someone sells you ice cream and it's poison and you die, you file a lawsuit. To him, this seemed perfectly reasonable and a logical way to handle things because the "bad" people under libertarianism will go out of business due to the negative publicity of the lawsuits and stop killing people that way. So libertarians are not telling you that their system requires a massive expansion of courts and lawyers. Does that seem rational? To me it doesn't, but it sure did to him.
3) I quickly realized something that all libertarians seem to fail to get - all it takes is one guy to not play by the rules and game the system and everything comes crashing down like a house of cards. It's exactly like RazorSharp said - it's a utopian paradise and it fails when one guy breaks the rules. I've told people that communism makes a lot more sense than libertarianism does. That is because to 99% of "libertarian" Americans, libertarianism means essentially "I don't have to pay any more taxes and Uncle Sam can't tell me what to do". There's no deeper thought than that about the political philosophy they espouse and how it would work in reality.

Comment Re:LiveBook (Score 1) 263

Introducing the new Microsoft LiveBook. Boots right in to Microsoft's cloud-based OS. Skydrive, Skype, Office365, Bing search, Hotmail. Coming your way in 2015 or sooner.

The problem is that this cannibalizes Windows to an extent that I don't Redmond is prepared to accept. They could just simply offer a cheapish tablet with features like this without it necessarily being a direct threat to Windows.

Comment Re:Block calls with spoofed ID ... (Score 2) 281

Somewhere along the line, it must be technically possible to identify that the number isn't coming from where it claims to be.

I second this. Interestingly, I got a robocall today on my cell phone. Every month or two, I keep getting a call during the daytime offering me a fantastic deal on some sort of cruise they claim I have won. I have looked into it and the callers are rather infamous but what they do is they change their number every time they call. So it does no good to file a report (I have actually done this before) as the number you report is something they'll never use again and probably never really had to begin with. I began to see the problems with this in the 1990s when some free PBX software package for Linux started getting popular and one of its features was it enabled you to use any number you wanted as your identifying phone number.

Comment Reality of your proposal (Score 1) 416

1) I understand your argument, but I sure wouldn't want to be the one rolling the dice in a US court to see if a court would find it legal or not. Lots of developed countries have the idea that their laws apply everywhere in the world.
2) I have an unlocked phone (I bought it unlocked some years ago) but the fact is that most Americans .... JUST ... DON'T ... CARE. Most Americans don't travel outside of North America, so there's just not a lot of interest in unlocked phones. Some Americans do care a lot, but most don't. In fact, my unlocked phone is powered off and in storage. My main mobile phone (or "cell phone" as we Americans say) is an iPhone and my work requires it to be unjailbroken, so I can't unlock it. They pay the bills for it, so I have to live by their rules. The next time I travel overseas, I'll just take my unlocked phone with me. I doubt that putting unlocking businesses right across the border would be very lucrative. I'm not sure about this, but I'm under the impression that the Canadian market is pretty much just like the American one and subsidized locked phones are the way everybody goes.

Comment Is colinneagle some kind of VIP? (Score 4, Interesting) 415

Why is colinneagle so important that Adobe was willing to dig up 17 year old software for him to help out on something that is impractical and only has a "Gee whiz" factor going for it? I'm hardly an Adobe expert, but my limited experience is that like any normal software vendor they are trying to get people on the latest and greatest, not make stuff from 17 years ago still work. I guess it's fantastic for him that this works, but given how hard it would be for John Q. Public to find Windows 3.1 and probably also to find an ancient copy of Photoshop, this is starting to sound like a bit of a taunt on how he was able to do something that almost nobody else will be able to do.

Comment There's a sucker born every minute (Score 1) 28

Let me guess... this move, by the second-largest US carrier (and largest GSM carrier in the US) is supposed to "improve" competition, just like their last attempt?

You got suckered by Sprint's explanation that they were only concerned about "competition" and that's why they opposed the T-Mobile buyout by AT&T. The real reason Sprint opposed it is that having a weak T-Mobile around allows them to tell their investors "We're number three! We're number three! Keep believing in our flatlined stock because at least we're still not the smallest player in the market!" Sprint cares nothing about competition. They just feared becoming the weakest and smallest major wireless carrier in the USA once T-Mobile vanished.

Comment Better idea - continue to tax companies (Score 1, Interesting) 427

Better idea don't tax companies, tax people. I don't know who thought taxing companies was a good idea, I haven't heard a single reason why we should be doing it and all it does is worsen an already terrifying labor region issue.

Let me guess. Another Libertarian nut case.

This is why companies should be taxed. If I have learned anything in life, I have learned that rich people are really really good at protecting their money. This is why CEOs continue to be paid exorbitant fees to run companies and why sometimes even grossly incompetent ones get paid rather well to leave jobs they screwed up. If companies stopped being taxed, then rich people and their accountants and lawyers would figure out some way that right now nobody has ever considered that could shift all of their income to the company and thus be tax free while they enjoy the benefits of having 100% control of the money with none of the tax issues. If you don't believe that would happen, then you are clearly not paying attention to the current state of things.

Comment Re:What did you expect? (Score 1) 268

Why would anyone ever release a bullshit FUD report?

If they release it someone could criticize it, if not they can keep making claims you can't refute.

I can actually answer this. I am not going to go into details, but I have some inside knowledge. Sometimes these kinds of things are done simply to suck up to Microsoft and try to get more business from them. Of course you are asking why would Microsoft release such a report, which is a different question.

Comment Re:Xbox is a foothold in the living room (Score 1) 404

Why on earth would they sell that off? Makes absolutely no sense. This type of reporting is totally and utterly a pile of crap. Must be a slow news day and this guy has an article quota to keep.

Keep in mind that IT writers make bold predictions. It writers have been predicting "the end of the PC" for more than 10 years now. Back when the first abysmal failure tablets came out in the very early 2000s that writers were saying that the PC was dead and tablets were the future. They missed on that. It took Apple to make the devices successful as nobody before them had a clue on how to do it, including Microsoft. Yes, it eventually did happen, but not when the writers all said it would.

Anyway, whether the blogger is correct or not remains to be seen. But here's his line of reasoning.
1) Microsoft bet the company on Win 8. It lost that bet. The financial implications of this will be disastrous to Microsoft.
2) Microsoft only knows how to make money on Windows and Office, so it will conclude that it needs to keep those going to make money, even though that will be proven to be a losing strategy in hindsight.
3) At least 50% of the company will be laid off in the upcoming years as a cost savings measure.
4) Anything losing money is getting closed down.
5) The entertainment division will be sold as it will be viewed as a distraction to the goal of item #2 above.
6) As business shifts to the cloud, Microsoft will suffer and its inability to build compelling cloud solutions will cause it to drop even further.

It's just a guess, and that's what IT writers do. They try to guess the future. If he is right, well, it looks like he'll be able to be the first one to say "I told you so". I tend to be more skeptical about trends that IT writers see as unstoppable, so I think that Microsoft may well be able to survive Win 8 being a failure.

Comment Re:Interesting Enigma (Score 1) 132

Although I didnt see it first hand, the health care is legendary.

One of the reasons for this is that Cuba has for years told everybody how "great" their health care is. It's just human nature that if you keep telling everyone who will listen over and over again that you are really good at something, they will eventually believe it. I'm sure that Cuban doctors do get good quality training, but I don't read about them being in the forefront of any new techniques and I do know that the US embargo has a big impact on their medical supplies. I think they do have competent doctors who make the best of the situation they're in, but I've also read about how various doctors have started driving taxis because they could make more money that way. Cuba treats their doctors just the same as the old Soviet Union did - they are respected members of their society, but they don't have a particularly good standard of living.

Comment My experience with France (Score 3, Interesting) 196

I used to work in the US office of a French company. Our subsidiary was not well known in North America, but it was well known in Europe and some other places. I have a real love/hate relationship with the French. On one hand, there's a lot to like about the country and its culture. On the other hand, the bad stuff that makes you, as a foreigner, hate them is really bad. They are very difficult people to make meaningful friendships with. My experience is that they are really good actors and excel at pretending that you and your friendship is important to them, but in reality, not so much. Almost every American I know who moved over there to work in one of our 2 main offices in France got discouraged with the whole thing and eventually moved back pretty jaded about the experience. The French will look out for their countrymen above all others. They may not say it, but yes, they do think that everybody in the world who is not French is inferior to them. This is one of the reasons that they look to target foreign companies like this. In their heart of hearts, they just don't respect foreign companies.

I'm not claiming to be an expert in French politics, but they've had a lot of bad choices for leadership in recent years. Le Pen scared everybody by making it to the final round of the elections and basically everybody had to vote for Sarkozy. Sarkozy seems to be fairly smart, but he's got a huge ego and he kept making the news for things that had nothing to do with politics. Sarkozy pissed off just enough voters that coupled with Francois Hollande's campaign of "Let's tax the rich so everybody can retire early!", Hollande won. Hollande seems to be a bit out of touch with modern realities and he seems to think that he can simply tax the rich and they'll willingly pay and he can restore the old welfare state that made it impossible to fire French citizens and let people retire at age 60. A good number of French citizens are probably out of touch with reality too since they voted for him. So given that Hollande has an unrealistic goal that requires raising vast amounts of money and the French don't really respect foreigners anyway, going after foreign companies seems obvious. If I remember correctly, some years ago when Ebay got in trouble in France for not blocking listings of Nazi memorabilia, the original French government argument was that Ebay couldn't allow such items to be sold anywhere in the world before they backed down to only asking them to block such in France. So it's no surprise to me at all that France thinks they can tell Google, etc. to pay up and they'll do it.

Comment Thank you (Score 2) 633

People around here always seem to forget that many of the submitters lack the ability to correctly interpret what they read, so article summaries are often quite misleading. I was just about to comment that things may not at all be what they seem, when I read your post. Thanks for that. I have lost count of how many time are article will say something and the submitter will come to exact opposite conclusion of the point that the article is trying to make.

Comment Re:There is no compulsion on Rennard... (Score 2) 57

Whose laws? When a country has multiple groups claiming to be the government which set do you follow?

What about when the government is obviously not legitimate?

Orange basically goes where nobody else wants to go or where no sane company would ever operate to get money. They haven't really been able to compete very well with bigger, established players in more developed countries (with some exceptions) so they look for what you might call "garbage revenue streams" by going where there's little to no competition. Given that, they're likely to listen to anybody in charge and not ask questions if they think that doing so will preserve their revenue streams. This leads to a bit of a balancing act where they can't completely turn their backs on the people in charge and get kicked out of the country, but they also can't be completely irresponsible to their customer base either for fear of losing customers. But if they think that turning off the network today will enable them to get paid tomorrow, they'll do it.

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