Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Getting a Grip (Score 5, Informative) 424

agreed. As soon as I saw this was an IT department of one, I could tell the exact amount of care that management has on getting things like this corrected. These things are in place because management does not want to provide what is needed. If they only want to pay for band-aids, that is all they will have.

This isn't necessarily the case though. I have a friend who took over IT at a small business. When he walked in they were using pirated software and their IT was a complete mess. After he put in hours to get it fixed up (with personal support from the owner), they ended up offering him an executive position with a massive pay increase. Some small shops with one IT guy really just don't know what they are doing, and haven't had a person in the job to tell them what is being done wrong. Your advice is still good though. A person in that situation needs to test whether they have management support to do things better. If so, it can turn into a career making opportunity to turn things around. If you can't get the management on your side though, it very well could be time to start looking for another job with more supportive management.

Comment Re:If I ever had to take one.. (Score 1) 452

So just down 20 cups of coffee before taking the test. When you yourself are caffeine speeded, shivering in cold sweat and not able to tell up from down, the machine will have a very difficult job assessing your truthfulness.

And that will come up as a fail. They are trying to get you to try to fool the machine. That's what makes it work.

Comment Re:Outrage of the week (Score 1) 1671

Americans don't really have ways to participate in organizations that will stop this sort of thing from happening.

This very attitude is what strips us of our power. In the United States, the people only have power so long as we exercise it. I'll grant you that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have shown much interest in responsible government. That said, we have a weak party system in the US. The parties CAN'T control who gets selected as their nominees, we pick them in primaries. If neither party will put forward decent candidates, we simply adopt an "anti-incumbent" position until someone comes along who will listen. In November, I have every intention of voting against any sitting representative. Until someone comes along who we can actually support, we should just boot every incumbent. Eventually, someone will want to serve a second term and will listen to what the voters want long enough to get re-elected.

Comment Re:Public schools (Score 1) 389

Most large monopolies only get that way through government coercion, or at the very least cooperation. The large railways were chosen by exclusive government contracts. The large telcos also held exclusive government contracts. Microsoft gained its power by ignoring government rules. The problem is that the "owning class" will always evade or control any rules placed on the market. The "little guy" lacks the resources to do so. Patant law is a good example of this. It is designed to prevent corporations from stealing ideas from the little guy so that he will bring them to market. In reality, they have ended up as a weapon used to prevent the little guy from competing. Government SHOULD prevent fraud and coercion. When it tries to do more though, it often ends up as just the weapon of the owning class against the little guys. A corporation can never force me to pay for their product if I don't want it. Only government can do that. A tax on blank CDs is about as blatant as this can get. The little guy doesn't benefit from imposed fees like that, only the large producer's who benefit whether we want their product or not. Who do you think benefits from the complexity of our tax code? It isn't the little guy. Complexity benefits those who have more money to buy experts. That's who is normally helped by big government.

Comment Re:I don't see the problem (Score 1) 138

The "typical Wikipedia author" is anyone who feels like making a change. This includes people who are deliberately engaging in graffiti, those with a personal agenda, or just those who are ignorant. If wikipedia wasn't able to handle bad edits it would be useless already. These journalism students are being required to document everything they say carefully, in a way that should make it easy for editors to validate what they are writing.

Comment Re:Value, Price, and Worth (Score 1) 267

I'd also like to see the "value based on resources" applied to real estate.

A house built with identical labor, energy, and raw materials at the side of a lake is worth more than one in a valley. I wonder how they rectify this situation, or if they just fall back to the "what people pay for it" explanation.

What they do is just leave the house built in the valley vacant until all superior sites have sold. The valley home can't be sold for less money, unless the cost of the inputs was lower (such as if the property purchase was less). This means that if you want to sell a house with higher craftsmanship for more money, you have to use more expensive raw materials to justify the increase. If you make a poor quality house with expensive materials / labor costs, you can NEVER sell it because you can't undercut those who made a better house for similar costs. The economics of a "cost plus" model aren't QUITE as broken as most free market advocates believe, but they do make it impossible to sell things at clearance prices or to charge more for finishing quickly or at higher quality.

Comment Re:Dear Interwebs (Score 1) 118

Can we please stop regarding Google's saccharine "Don't Be Evil" claptrap for anymore than what it always was: branding.

The only reason branding exists is to make an implied promise to the consumer. McDonald's brand promises fast burgers following a similar recipe in a fairly consistent eating environment. Google's brand is supposed to represent easy to use, highly effective, and non-evil. If they at least appear to practice this brand, they sell more stuff. If they don't, they lose the brand value. Regardless of WHY they want to appear non-evil, the results are what should be judged by the market.

Comment Re:"tit storm" (Score 1) 458

You have no idea how politics works. People opposed to the Republican Party in the U.S. have been doing that for 10 years, however that only works if your opponents have shame, which people in politics typically lack.

That's at least in part because both sides are doing the same thing. Democrats in the US now run the Congress and the Presidency, and do you see any shame from them about being "partial, biased, and at the same time abjectly failing to do their jobs"? Too many voters will vote a party ticket no matter what is being done by their party, and neither party can be trusted to do what they say they will do. I'd like to see some debates held before a grand jury so that outright lies by the politicians could have legal consequences. Both parties do it constantly, and so long as deception carries no consequences they will continue to do so.

Comment Defining Terrorism (Score 1) 419

This is already evident in that the terrorists have resorted to being terrorists because they do not have the resources to fight in a more traditional way on a field of battle.

Terrorism is NOT the same as guerrilla warfare. Guerrilla warfare targets militarily significant targets in an attempt to make it difficult for an enemy to mobilize force. Assuming a "just cause" targeting enemy combatants, generals, leaders, and support staff are all potentially legitimate ways to impact an adversaries ability to fight. Because of this, I wouldn't call the attack on the Pentagon a "terrorist" attack. It was a military strike which killed some civilians as collateral damage. The attacks on US forces around the world are similarly not "terrorist" in nature. They may be for an illegitimate cause (which I firmly believe), but they are not terrorist.

The attacks on civilians in hotels are terrorist attacks. Intentionally bombing schools, public transit, and marketplaces is terrorist. The intent of a terrorist attack is NOT to reduce the enemies ability to fight, but to reduce their will to fight by attacking those who are not directly involved in the conflict. The attack on the trade center was a terrorist attack. Arguably the atom bombs dropped on Japan were terrorist, the main question being whether the "primary" target was military complexes or civilian populations. We can discuss further whether "terrorism" is a valid approach, but it is definitely a significantly different act than the kind of guerrilla warfare practiced during the US war for independence.

Comment Re:What is very sad (Score 1) 194

On the other hand, if nobody is being abused why would we NEED a court to make a finding on the case? Does it matter whether it is legal for police officers to throw chickens at suspects if none ever has? What is more, the court finding was that it was never legal to place the GPS units without a warrant, meaning that even though the court had never ruled on it previously the behavior should already have been avoided by those familiar with existing law and precedent. In fact, in any case where we DO want to make a law against something nobody has done, we can do so using the legislative system rather than the court system. That way if you want to pass a law banning police officers throwing chickens in the direction of suspects, you can do so even if no police officer has ever considered taking that action.

Comment Re:I don't think it will work... (Score 2, Informative) 272

Seven times the minimum salary isn't an "arbitrary limit", the owner of the company I mentioned spent quite a bit of time figuring out that amount. At the time I met the owner of that company he was making $350k and the janitor was making $50k. If the janitor wasn't worth $50k, he would fire him, it's that simple. He told me that the janitor was very good at his job, and had been working for him for many years.

What happens when that janitor retires, and new janitorial staff is needed? Does the firm now need to find another janitor worth $50,000, reduce the pay of all their top staff (who are doing excellent work and increasing the profitability of the company), or do without a janitor (forcing people making $100,000 doing highly profitable engineering to take time from their work to clean the bathrooms)? I fully intend to be a business owner in the future, and absolutely plan to tie my employees compensation to their performance and to the company's success. However, an arbitrary tie between the amount I pay my key innovators I would have a hard time replacing and the amount I pay someone to come in and clean the lobby isn't logical.

Pay should be based on the value of the contribution, the difficulty of replacement, and the demands of the person you want to do the job. If I'm not happy with what I'm being paid, I start looking for a new position. I feel no loyalty to my employer to work for them if they aren't willing to compensate me adequately, just as they feel no loyalty to me if I don't produce enough value for them. If I like my employer, I'll let them know I'd like a raise before quitting or give 2 weeks notice (as a courtesy). If I don't like them, I'll just notify them I won't be working for them starting tomorrow because they aren't paying me enough (I have no long term contract). If they like me, they will tell me areas they'd like me to improve or how they need me to redirect my work from a non-profitable section of the company to something more useful. If they don't care about me (and most companies don't), they'll just let me know they no longer think they need me not to show up the next day.

Honestly, I really don't understand this attitude of "corporate loyalty" people seem to have. It's like you're a medieval peasant with loyalty to your local noble. The attitude of "noblese oblige" where the upper class acts as father and protector to their people is long dead, if indeed it ever even existed. Workers today have power like never before in history. If you reward good employers with your work and punish bad employers by leaving, the bad employers will go out of business. If you can't find a good employer, save your money and start your own business. If the big CEOs are really as useless as you think, surely you can do better?

Comment Re:Regulation (Score 1) 876

As for the company, the quality of the product went to shit, people quit buying, they are a very small company now. Very few of the original people still survive there. Even the china production is very small now.

The dilemma for me is when I am out buying tools for my latest job, or when I am buying electronics, I picture whats going on in china and it makes me sick. But I go to the store and look around, and I no longer have the choice to buy from a country that respects the workers a little bit. Even if there were lots of American, Canadian, British, etc, keyboards around, I doubt I could afford them with my paycheck from the new career... so the house of cards continues to crumble.

A company cannot afford to produce products at a quality their customers cannot pay. Your story demonstrates this nicely, since the move had a negative effect on the quality of their product. Had the purchasing public wanted to and been able to afford the higher quality offered by US manufactured keyboards, your company would not have been able to offshore. The public was NOT willing or able to pay this (just as you are not able to pay it), resulting in the company having to choose to offer the buying public what it wants (cheap keyboards) or not selling anything (going out of business). Just like the craftsmen who were replaced by factories, you have been replaced by a more effective way of producing what the public demands. If you want to continue to have a standard of living better than 99% of the world, find a way to be more productive in creating what the public wants than 99% of the world. "Being an American" doesn't make you inherently better than those workers in China who desperately want a way to improve their standard of living.

Comment Re:Compared to doing what? (Score 1) 876

The 40 hour work week as mandated by the US government did not SHORTEN working hours, it lengthened them. Average length of work week decreased consistently from 1840 until the 1930s when the US government mandated a minimum work week as part of its response to the Great Depression. As a result, the modern worker has been forced to work longer hours than would likely be common had this law not been passed:

As wikipedia states:
"Beginning in 1950, under the Truman Administration, and continuing with all administrations since, the United States became the first known industrialized nation to explicitly (albeit secretly) and permanently forswear a reduction of working time. Given the military-industrial requirements of the Cold War, the authors of the then secret National Security Council Document 68 [8] proposed the US government undertake a massive permanent national economic expansion which would allow it to "siphon off" a part of the economic activity produced to support an ongoing military buildup to contain the Soviet Union"

Arguably, this was a valid course of action, but the laws mandating a 40 hour work week were not for worker protection, but to force workers to be more productive than they might have otherwise chosen to be. It was a deliberate action to cause us to become a superpower. Average work hours DO naturally drop as average productivity increases, and any economic textbook will validate this.

Comment Re:We've been over this before (Score 4, Insightful) 255

To quote from Ask The Pilot:

"As for fuel consumption, let's look first at a short trip, from New York to Boston and back again. This flight is slightly under an hour in each direction. A typical aircraft on such a route, an Airbus A320, will consume somewhere around 10,000 pounds or 1,500 gallons of jet fuel over the course of the round trip. Assuming 140 passengers, that's 71 pounds of fuel, or just over 10 gallons per person. A lone occupant making the same trip by car would consume twice those amounts."

I'm assuming that Mr. Smith as a professional airline pilot has got his numbers right. So where's your backup for your "insanely inefficient" claim?

You are comparing a form of mass transit to a single occupant car. Nobody would claim that a single occupant car was fuel efficient. Replace your single occupant car with two to four people, and the fuel usage drops to equal or half as much as an airplane. Put the people in a plane on an appropriately sized bus, and the fuel per person would drop even more. Use a train which has a dedicated path and moves at a constant speed (again, appropriately sized), and fuel usage would drop further.

In today's transportation, energy efficiency is basically a non-issue. People value convenience and speed far, far more than energy usage. When energy costs rise as oil depletion nears, this will change. More money will be pumped into creating new energy sources and people will travel both less and more efficiently. Most office workers don't REALLY need to travel as often as they do. Most drivers don't REALLY need a large heavy vehicle for most of their transportation. Even public transportation in the US is vastly energy inefficient due to low usage patterns. The only crisis will come if oil prices impair the ability to produce and distribute food before alternatives are found. Everything else will scale back if and when it becomes necessary.

Slashdot Top Deals

I am a computer. I am dumber than any human and smarter than any administrator.