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Comment Re:License to work (Score 5, Insightful) 637

I don't think that's what John Deere is meaning for at all. And let me play devil's advocate here for a minute, as someone who has worked with farmers in the past.

First of all, as someone who grew up working on farms and with farmers, let me dispel some of the Norman Rockwell bullshit image about the "noble farmer." The farmers that I knew coming up weren't the "heart and soul of America" (well, maybe they were, but not in a good way). They were the greediest, cheapest bunch of sonabitches you ever wanted to meet in your life. They would routinely try cheat their workers, crawl over their mother's dead bodies to make an extra penny, lie, cheat, and often outright steal if they thought they could get away with it. They were the kind of unabashed brutal capitalists who would easily give the most heartless Wall Street prick a run for his money in greed and avarice.

They didn't do this out of necessity, mind you. Most of the farmers I knew had plenty of money. Far from the popular image of the poor struggling farmers, most of them were quite well-off. Yet they would cheat you out of every dime they could if they got a chance. And when the illegals came in to my area in a big way back in the late-80's and early-90's, these "noble farmers" were the first to happily hire them, cutting farmhand wages in half and pocketing the difference by flagrantly breaking the law. The average farmworker salary went from $7/hr. to $4/hr. almost overnight, in spite of the fact that farmers were already making good money paying their workers $7/hr.

With that in mind, I suspect this John Deere situation has something in common with the controversial Monsanto seed situation, in that the real truth is that it boils down to cheap-ass greedy farmers using the "evil big corporation vs. the little noble farmer" image to their advantage by villianizing John Deere. What I suspect is REALLY going on here is that John Deere and other manufacturers have adopted a model of selling their equipment to farmers either at a loss or at cost, with the understanding that they'll make their profit in implicit servicing contracts. And the farmers, now that they have the equipment in hand on the cheap, have decided to "alter the deal" (to quote the great Darth Vader) to save a buck. And they're playing on their bullshit image to portray themselves as the little guy fighting back against evil big business to do it, when in reality they're every bit as greedy and underhanded as the company they're fighting (likely more so).

Now go ahead an mod me down, all of you whose only knowledge of farmers comes from John Mellencamp songs.

I won't contest that farmers are businessmen first, despite being firmly blue collar, but they DO have to hedge against QUITE a bit of stuff. While they don't worry about "the consumer won't buy our product", they DO worry about "what happens when the crop gets destroyed by bad weather/vermin/disease" and "geez that's a lot of water I'm having to pump this year". These impact the bottom line and have to be hedged against. Long term farmers hedge against multiple seasons of bad, which is why they've survived as long as they have.

The amount of assets (which includes the land itself) required for farming is pretty significant when compared to most other businesses.

Broken equipment doesn't just cost "what's in my SLA", but could cost a significant yeild of a crop. Being able to fix stuff in-situ makes sure the wheels keep turning. This is (part) of the argument against John Deere: Calling them during a busy time is potentially a massive problem because "Locusts are chewing through the field next to mine and if I don't get mine crop harvested, I'm not going to get anything out if it either." "We can dispatch someone tomorrow" is a non-starter at times. I don't know how the SLAs are set up for farm equipment, if there are any. When my family was working, it was fixed in place with bailing wire, duct tape, bubble gum, and spit, until it could be fixed right. Assuming "fixed right" didn't cost an arm and leg. And first born.

In recent times, food producers have also had to compete on the world stage to sell their crops. Labour is a bottom line expense, and a very large part of producing food, and it has a significant disparity when comparing to other places. There's reasons why massive mechanization has happened in the space in North America, despite it's enormous expense and (outside of it's designated task) limited use.

Also, I'd ask "how old were these famers you were around?". My family (great grands who used to do the farming thing as well) went through the depression, and therefore hedged MASSIVELY against that kind of thing happening ever again.

There's multiple facets to EVERY story. Assuming and/or assigning the worst intentions to people and their motivations is at best a cynical thing to do. At least if they're not lawyers.

Comment Re:Stupid python comment (Score 2) 157

" Perl has always considered itself primarily a programmer-centric language, while Python has always considered itself to be more institution-centric. So in a sense it's a bit dumbed down, much like Java. You'll note both of those languages make their greatest appeal to managers. :-) "

What a pile of steaming ****. I'm a C++ programmer (so I'm used to obtuse syntax), not a manager but I'd always choose Python over Perl since I want a scripting language to have a lot of useful libraries (yes, perl has those too) but crucially I want any code I write in it to be obvious what its doing not only to other coders in the future but to me too! Now I don't much care for the whitespace-is-indentation aspect of Python, but aside from that its syntax kicks Perls backside I'm afraid. It someone might think its clever to write a 10 line script in perl that can process an entire DB and make the coffee at the same time, but I'd sooner have to work on the 50 line python script that I can actually understand in 10 mins, not 3 hours. Too many sigils in a language does NOT aid clarity - it has exactly the opposite effect. Line noise is not a good look for code.

Just because your programmers golf stuff because they can doesn't mean that ALL programmers golf stuff. Bad code exists in EVERY language, because there's no limit to bad programmers, speaking as one who considers themselves mediocre at best.

Saying that "perl sucks because clever programmers try super hard to be clever because they can" isn't a verdict against perl. I would say that any language that's flexible enough to allow for such things will allow clever programmers to pull stunts like that.

Comment Re: Too bad we can't kill all the lawyers? (Score 1) 801

AWOL Bush pushing his military service in Texas versus a war hero getting swift boated.

'AWOL Bush'? Are you referring to the infamous Dan Rather documents that proved Bush was AWOL?

Funny thing about those documents. I saw them years before Dan Rather did. They are in a book by Greg Palast called "The Best Democracy Money Can buy", and were verified for that publication. So I am confident they are authentic. What I suspect happened with Dan Rather was that he got fake versions of real documents.

It's a brilliant ratfuck. Karl Rove, or someone of his ilk, leaked fake versions of real documents so they could then expose the forgery and make people think they documents were fake. They were, but the information in them was correct. As I said, brilliant.

/me watches Occam's razor soar overhead.

Comment Re:If Windows is so bad, why use it? (Score 1) 328

I guess the question is, what company can I go work for that does not have active directory, sharepoint, MSSql, and a bunch of windows clients? that's an honest question. No one runs a pure apple network, not even apple computers, that's a fact. No one runs netware, no one runs an entire domain with Linux and Ldap. So how does someone who's never used the OS complain about it? that's a valid question. But to answer yours, in the mid 80s there was no means to learn linux unless you knew someone doing it. Sure, there were some BBS and NewsGroups, go head and step in the way back machine and see how those kind fellows treated people trying to break into unix and linux, it's a fun read. It is so similar to the crap you'll see kids spouting in a call of duty match that it's almost funny. No desktop computers showed up at your house with linux installed, or even as an option. The choice was MADE for most of us, we built up a skill set, based careers on those skills. Sure my bash skills and technical knowledge could land me a job supporting linux devices (it actually did) but that's hard to come by. I can walk into ANY company, ANY company, a gas bar, a mom and pop bakery... and guess what? Their using windows. I'll let the 20 year old me answer your question too, for reference. "I don't want to run an os that requires me to compile my own fucking device drivers" Case closed.

Ernie Ball and RedHat come immediately to mind.

Comment Re:GOOD. (Score 2) 255

What happens in California will just ripple over to Seattle, Portland, and Austin. VCs are VCs, and if people are worried about their jobs in SV, they better be worried in Austin, especially because if companies start laying off, they will be keeping their core offices in California, and axing the satellite offices elsewhere. Austin has a lot of companies, but not enough to stand alone if the economy tanked in California. You can't sell your new ads your new dot.com is making, if most potential buyers are in survival mode or at the courthouse filing bankruptcy paperwork.

In some ways, Austin is just a relatively cheap suburb of SF, or Santa Cruz... except located about 1750 miles away.

That "cheap" part is why I expect Austin to wind up doing better than the valley in the long run.

Comment Re:GOOD. (Score 1) 255

The majority are neither smug nor self-important. Yes, there some a-holes who write blog posts about how disgusting it is to have to occasionally see a homeless person or how ugly girls thing they're hot (4/9-ers.). But they are very much the minority. Most tech workers are fairly ordinary people, working to make a living, have a little fun, and hopefully own a home eventually... normal, everyday, "get on with your life and go about in peace" stuff. If everyone were as bad as those bloggers, you'd see stories about mid-Market Twitter and Uber employees making the homeless do demeaning tricks for food; which is obviously not happening.

Normal is a six figure salary? Let's face it, white collar, upper middle class and upper class people do not live an "ordinary" lifestyle by definition, no matter what they claim or think ... just sayin.

Cost of living adjustments in the valley are, quite frankly, absurd.

Comment Re:Overreach much? (Score 2) 74

We don't want caveat emptor for this shit, we want companies who are accountable for the security of the products they make.

Do you want to live in a world where security boils down to "too bad, suckers"?

This bullshit of caveat emptor is why we have such shit security on the web in the first place.

More companies need to get their knuckles rapped and have penalties when they do an incompetent job at securing such stuff.

OK, if "Caveat Emptor" is an unacceptable solution for routers, what about phones? Verizon is notoriously slow at getting modern updates to its customers. Operating systems? Other IOT devices like lightbulbs and their respective controllers? Other software that's not completely self-contained/network unaware?

Are we going to lease hardware from everyone just to make sure we're all secure, so that the manufacturer will patch it for us, at least until they want to sell a newer model?

If we aren't going to lease hardware from everyone, does said hardware have to go away because we can't patch it (FTC rules say "no third party firmware on routers") and are we expected to replace something that works otherwise?

Is modern life so arcane and difficult that an average person can't have a remote possibility of actually being secure?

The middle ground has been "Caveat Emptor". While it's not great, I don't know that there is a good solution that doesn't drive up the price of a commodity device/product to "investment".

Comment Re:Linux is unsuitable as a DAW platform. (Score 1) 264

Full disclosure: I'm a middleware guy, and I greatly prefer to run linux as a server operating system. I have 25+ years of experience as an IT administrator and am more than a power user on linux. Off the clock, I make music and have used PC and Apple based DAWs for 20+ years, starting with a Pentium 75 with a Turtle Beach soundcard back in 1994. Today, my wife is a pro voice actor (if you listen to Pandora, you've likely heard her) and we maintain a professional level recording studio in our home. Said studio runs Windows 10 and Cubase 8.5 for a DAW.

That said: There are better platforms upon which to do digital audio. If you're doing this with any intention of making money, spend money on your operating system. Linux struggles to be a decent desktop OS as it is; there's no need to introduce driver issues and under-supported DAW software into the mix, while at the same time dealing with a dicey desktop OS.

Windows and OSX are by no means perfect - but they're supported solutions that DAW software and interface drivers are specifically coded for. Open source is fantastic in the enterprise, but I would never, ever risk my wife's career on community supported software. As it stands, running Windows is dicey enough - and we'll be moving (back) to OSX once I work out a monitor/keyboard/mouse sharing solution that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

I take it that Synergy didn't work out?

Comment Re:Ardour, Calf, and a Focusrite (Score 1) 264

I use Ardour on Fedora, connected to a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40, and heavily using the great and opensource Calf Studio Gear Audio plugin suite. Everything works really well, and the setup could be used to put together a really high quality album. We almost exclusively use it for recording church services, which doesn't exercise the full potential of the setup. One of these days I'll have time to put together a project that takes advantage of more of the capabilities we have.

I can attest to Focusrite's stuff. I use a Scarlett 2i2 with Audacity for live audio capture. Works great. For the cost, the mic preamps on the Scarlett are absurdly good.

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