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Comment Re:Well (Score 1) 1002

The company down the street seems quite happy to shell out another $200-$300 to keep that $120,000/year developer happy. If your developer is any good, maybe he'll just go work for them.

In this market? I'm guessing you're a developer who hasn't been looking for a job for some time rather than an employer. ;)

But for what it's worth, I'm an employer and I try very hard to ensure all of our developers - particularly the coders - always have two matching >=22" widescreen monitors. As a developer myself I'm perhaps more easily persuaded of the productivity gains than most bosses. That having been said, very, very few developers understand the cold hard realities of squeezed budgets, tightened belts and the pragmatism sometimes required in a tough marketplace. If you've made a good argument and your boss is still resisting, he may well have a very good reason beyond the price of just one screen. Think about it. ;)

Comment Re:What are you smoking? (Score 1) 268


Facebook received its first investment of US$500,000 in June 2004 from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. This was followed a year later by $12.7 million in venture capital from Accel Partners, and then $27.5 million more from Greylock Partners...On October 24, 2007, Microsoft announced that it had purchased a 1.6% share of Facebook for $240 million...In November 2007, Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing invested $60 million in Facebook...In August 2008, BusinessWeek reported that private sales by employees, as well as purchases by venture capital firms, had and were being done at share prices that put the company's total valuation at between $3.75 billion and $5 billion

So an individual that has sold large amounts of equity in his private business to outfits like PayPal, Microsoft, Accel and Li Ka-shing (hey now that's a good name for a bulti-billionaire) etc. has not sold out?

We must have a very different understanding of the expression.

I'm not even mentioning the questionable privacy policies, ethics and activities of the company itself - everybody else seems to have that very well covered already. ;)

Comment Re:What good could come from invisibility? (Score 2, Insightful) 113

Hunting. No more constructing complex deer blinds. Have the cloak flash visible light in a spectrum the deer can't see so that you don't get shot by another hunter.

Spy tech. A lot easier to hide a bug if the bug is invisible.

Visual nuisances. Don't like that telephone pole in your back yard wrecking your view of the valley? Cloak the bastard.

Military. A cloaked sniper nest's advantages are obvious. Cloak secret military installations. Cloak factories making military hardware (we've already done this, the low-tech way. Back in WWII they disguised the Lockheed factory as a housing development by using giant canvas coverings painted like houses). Cloak troop camps. Cloak airfields. Cloak airplanes. Cloak airplanes in the air (eventually).

Of course, as with any technology, there are lots of malevolent uses too. Peeping toms will love it, as will criminals of all sorts. Hard to find the murder weapon when it's cloaked. Practical jokers will become a nuisance. Put crap on a sidewalk and cloak it, then wait for people to stumble into it.

That's just off the top of my head. I'm sure people will come up with lots more uses.

Comment Selling across state lines is a bad bad idea (Score 1) 2044

and go with a more basic one that has things most everyone can agree on? Insurance sales across state lines (surely a real interstate commerce item)

Nobody agrees on this idea, because it's a rotten idea. Implemented the way it's usually been proposed, what it means is that insurance companies can move to whichever state offers them the sweetest regulatory and tax treatment, i.e., is small and hungry, and willing to rubber-stamp whatever laws the insurance companies propose. Their customers (i.e., residents of other states) don't get to vote on the regulation of those companies, and they don't get to ban them.

Ever wonder why so many credit card companies hail from South Dakota? Because it's a tiny state and they can more or less buy the rules they want. Ever wonder why the credit card industry is so completely unfair to the typical consumer? Same reason.

The fact that this is your number one suggestion, and you think everyone can agree on it, that worries me. I like some of your other ideas, but I definitely don't think we need to hash this out anymore. The plan in Congress is basically the Romney plan which passed in MA several years ago, and has been quite successful. We've been debating the plan for over a year now! It could use lots of tweaking, and I hope once it's passed the Republican party will help with those efforts.

If you don't like the plan, take it to the voters in November. Let's get Congress done with this and move on to other work.

Comment Re:Free vs Free (Score 2, Funny) 249

Let's just go with how the conversation with any non-geek person/friend/spouse/family member would both start and end: Wait, Facebook already is free. I don't get it.

And watch them uncomfortably smile and nod and say "ah" when you come off sounding like a lunatic trying to explain the four freedoms of free software. Make sure you refer to them as freedoms 0-3 too. And when they don't get that clever joke, you can explain arrays to them.

Comment Why has it taken longer than planned? (Score 1) 314

Because ripping out an infrastructure that relies on closed-source proprietary software and replacing it with free, Free software is hard. Really, really hard.

Yes, it's easy to rip out that clunky old Exchange server that has never really worked right, and slap in something running Exim and Courier-IMAP. The tricky bit is all the little edge cases and micro-applications - things that are *really important* that rely on someone running an Excel macro on the right machine at the right time. No, I'm not saying they should keep those - but you've got to make a very compelling case to get rid of them and have someone write an equivalent in $favourite_language.

It's harder than you think. If you don't think it's hard, send in your CV.

Comment What a tit (Score 4, Insightful) 409

I'm not sure whether my biker self or my gamer self is more offended by this arsehat. I've met and hung out with dozens of "biker gangs" at various rallies - yes including the patch clubs that people refer to here like they're comprised of mindless hooligans - and felt safer in their company than when taking a trip through a town centre on a Friday or Saturday night.

In short, "biker gang" is not shorthand for dangerous thug. Nor is "gamer" shorthand for brainwashed serial killer. And while we're at it I'm pretty sure that "Australian politician" doesn't mean paranoid, misinformed and dangerously ignorant jerk"... but I could be wrong.

Just a thought Mr Atkinson but perhaps your ill-considered bigotry is what causes people to take such a dim view of you. A single gamer harrassing you is more likely indicative that you've pissed someone off personally than that all gamers are out to get you and your family. Gah.

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