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Comment Re: Trains (Score 1) 120

It also has an absurdly high cost of living. The public transit doesn't make up for that, and (not being a Londoner or UKer I'm speculating) many people who work there probably don't live near a public transit station. There's also the time cost: even if you're riding a train, sitting on it for hours and hours every day to go back and forth to work is a massive waste of your time and your life. This isn't much different from some places here in the US, such as NYC.

Comment Re:Trains (Score 1) 120

The US trains only work for shorter distances. Even going from DC to Boston is just too far: it's cheaper, and MUCH faster to go by plane (1.5 hours vs. 8 hours). So yeah, going from DC to Baltimore by train is OK (if you don't need a car on either end), or even DC to NYC, but that's about it, unless you have a lot of time. And Amtrak prices aren't cheap either.

Musk's scheme makes little sense because of the high cost of tunneling. It would make far more sense to embrace SkyTran PRT: it's cheap to build, it uses utility towers and suspends rails from it (instead of tunneling), the rails can be built alongside existing roads, using existing rights-of-way, and you're only moving people and lightweight little pod-cars, not thousands of pounds of metal.

Comment Re:Trains (Score 3, Informative) 120

Ok, so you get in a train that drops you off in the middle of LA. Now, how do you get to where you're going from there? LA is hundreds of square miles of urban area, all spread out so there's no way any train will take you to all parts of it. You'll need a car to drive yourself to your destination. Now you're looking at spending a bunch of time and money dealing with a rental car agency, instead of just using your own car to get you there.

Trains are just like planes, only a lot slower. Planes are great for getting a medium number of people between two points all at once, in a short amount of time (except for TSA groping). But they don't help you much in getting from the airport to your final destination. Trains are worse because they're so slow, it ends up not being sensible to use them too much because if the distance is short, you might as well drive, and if it's longer, you're better off flying. If you happen to live in an urban downtown and want to travel to another urban downtown not too far away, trains make a lot of sense. That's about it though.

What would make a lot more sense is if they'd build SkyTran, but no one believes that'll possibly work so we can't have it.

Comment Re:Company's Fault (Score 1) 210

What kind of "mistreatment"?

Personally, I feel mistreated at my current job, and at many of my previous ones too. But the "mistreatment" wasn't (and still isn't) people saying mean things to me, but rather the horrible office environment, which I consider a form of mistreatment. It's within the employer's power to provide a comfortable, quiet office environment that is conducive to knowledge work. So when an employer refuses to do that (citing whatever bullshit excuses), that is tantamount to mistreatment. It's little different from having poor safety standards for factory workers, except the consequences aren't as short-term or severe, but the mentality is the same.

Comment Re:Literally in the Summary (Score 1) 210

Booth? I've never seen a company, big or small, bother with this. They're already too cheap to provide a proper amount of regular bathroom space for everyone, or any kind of decent break room space.

I can certainly see why any woman who can afford it would want to just stay at home. I'd rather stay at home too! I absolutely *hate* going to work. It's not the work, or even the coworkers, it's the environment: the shitty, smelly, and overcrowded bathrooms (probably not so much of a problem for women since there's so few women in tech); the horrible, inhumane, noisy, distracting open-plan office setups; the shitty HVAC units that are noisy and always have the temperature wrong no matter the time of year; the lousy parking; etc.

I don't have any of these problems at home, and even with today's inflated residential real estate values it's not hard to have a decent work setup at home, with 1) a reasonably clean, private bathroom (and if it gets smelly you can either turn on a bathroom fan or open the window, since bathrooms in houses frequently have windows), 2) a private office space without people walking by and talking loudly, 3) a fully-stocked kitchen nearby in case you want to make a snack or meal, 4) an internet connection that has good speed and doesn't have random failures as often (even if you're using something shitty like Comcast, it's not nearly as bad as a corporate IT department), 5) a computer that isn't hobbled by all kinds of bullshit security software, and can be running Linux too instead of shitty Windows 8/10, 6) the company of your pets.

The only thing that sucks about working at home is the lack of socialization can get to you after a while, but that's so much better than being forced into a noisy open-office environment where you eventually grow to absolutely hate all of humanity.

Comment Re:questionable (Score 1) 288

The problem is, nobody earns any serious saving money in their 20s. My savings were for shit until I was in my 30s and quite often drained with stupid shit like car repairs, apartment moves or other life situation stuff. I felt like I was doing well not running around with $5k in credit card debt.

Plus today's 20-somethings are not just managing those expenses, but juggling $500 student loan payments.

I just think it's weird how society shits on people who are otherwise responsible parents. Where do they think human beings come from, a store?

You would think that supporting family life and the resulting mostly normal, well-adjusted contributors-to-society it generally produces would be a broadly accepted social value. Instead we seem to have greedy assholes who gripe about people taking care of their kids -- when they're not bitching about problems that result from the shitty family lives they enable by making it tough to raise a family.

Comment Re:OMG (Score 1) 341

It's an entitlement excuse.

When I was in high school, I knew a lot of kids who worked at Burger King. They were stealing money from their registers, some of them managing to lift over $800/month. Everyone agreed this was a good thing because "they didn't get paid enough." High school kids. Not paid enough. Seriously.

The only excuse for using company time for non-work is not having work to do. You get an admin job and you're efficient enough to do it in 1/3 the given time? Well, I can't rightly say you've been stealing company hours if you're achieving 100% of your assigned work. Some offices even tell you to go home if you're done your work, and pay you anyway--they're legally-obligated to pay your salary if you're exempt, just like they're not obligated to pay overtime, so if you work 15 hours and get all your shit done and they send you home you still get paid. That actually makes sense.

What doesn't make sense is agreeing on and accepting a salary and then stealing time, money, or equipment from your employer under the claim that they're not paying you a fair wage. There is no fair wage. Market rates are rates people can't manage to push up from and employers can't manage to push down from. Businesses employ the lowest bidder, and employees go with the highest bidder. You took the bid? You agreed to this shit. Excuses like the distress of unemployment and the difficulty of getting a job just tell me you wanted to fasttrack the process and get bumped to the front of the line and you bought the front spot--that's what your lower-than-industry-average salary is: a privileged purchasing agreement.

Comment Re:Well, sadly, probably.... (Score 3, Interesting) 341

Most employment agreements are such that the company owns it even if it is outside of normal hours. So inventions you come up with on your own time are not yours.

I guess my gripe is that most companies expect a blurring of your work/personal time when it is in their favor. It is far to common for a boss to call someone at home, or expect work to occur remotely after hours or on weekends. So morally, the opposite should be true.

Salaried positions do NOT require 8 hours of work, they can't legally. It is the flipside of the no-overtime equation. You have to be paid for days you work, but you are paid to do a job, not work a set number of hours. It gets really fuzzy (usually not in a workers favor), but essentially salaried workers are supposed to have a certain amount of autonomy in how they carry out their work.

In days of yore companies like HP, and Google (somewhat laughably) encouraged outside projects with a notion of 10% of your time being an acceptable amount to spend on non-sanctioned fun projects. Many side and home projects turned into major revenue for the company, or a new business. It was viewed as a good thing. It has become much more restricted and legalistic these days.

Comment Re:That's actually debateable (Score 1) 288

Manual-labor jobs they can. Office jobs require some downtime to refactor, and the 8-hour work day theoretically lets you mix that in so you can optimize it.

The more-scientific approach I've seen is to schedule high-effort, complex work in the mid-morning and around 2-5pm, with low-effort work put between 1pm and 3pm. The slump cripples your ability to perform productively, and so spending that time returning calls, checking e-mail, writing changelogs, and so forth lets your brain relax and recover so you can get back to designing rocket engines and writing complex computer code later in the afternoon. You wind up productive all day, doing the simple shit when you can't handle the heavy lifting.

The moral of the story? Do your code reviews and merge windows between 1pm and 3pm. It's less work than writing new code, and it keeps your head in the code so you're ready to hit the ground running right after.

Comment Re:questionable (Score 3, Interesting) 288

A lot of It workers are white males, and making any discrimination claim as a white male is challenging, especially if you're only in your early 50s. You can expect low unemployment figures and high salaries to be trotted out as examples of how you're not really a member of an at-risk class.

What I'd wager is intrinsic to the problem of age discrimination is that older workers often have family commitments, and when combined with spouses working at similar professional careers and children, leads to an apparent decline in workplace engagement. The older employee is less able to devote their lives to the job (learning new tech for free in their own time, or at least less of this, working overtime hours, short-notice travel, etc).

IMHO, it's less "age discrimination" than "life situation discrimination". Younger employees living in rental housing without spouses or children are just more competitive in the workplace because they have nothing to do but work.

I don't really know how you fix it, either. In an ideal world, I'd presume that the *society* would recognize that children come from parents and parents need to engage in their families to produce productive, well-educated children, and that workers of parenting age are going to be less engaged. Thus, labor would be structured in a way that doesn't penalize this kind of natural life cycle.

Comment Re:Scoff at me all you want (Score 1) 155

The problem here is that you can't expect much rational and intelligent discourse on Slashdot these days, so that comment calling you paranoid is no surprise at all. Remember, this site is chock-full of far right-wing nationalists and objectivist libertarians, like much of the tech industry only much more concentrated here.

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