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Comment Re:Um, duh? (Score 3) 306

The applications are easier, the financial aid applications are ridiculous. After doing FAFSA, many of these top-tier schools are asking for more intrusive information than you can imagine, including what savings we have for other children and having to estimate what our income and taxes will be for the next year and the year after. I was getting infuriated with my son's forms, had to dig out old tax records, my wife is self-employed, but doesn't technically own a company (freelance), but they wouldn't accept that as an answer... the financial aid forms take 10x longer to fill out. This might be a great reason why so few poor people are doing them. One of the forms even wanted my voter registration number and date I applied for it. WTF?

Comment Re:It's a lot more simple than that (Score 1) 408

I wasn't suggesting the primary factor in these government contracts wasn't low-balling, but part of the low-balling is using current land value for some undeveloped piece of property that nobody wants because it's not near anything without any attempt to compensate for the fact the value will skyrocket once the project is approved (or even announced, at which point the "estimate" is already complete). "Part of" the low-balling - a pretty minor part, but still there.

Comment Re:It's a lot more simple than that (Score 2) 408

Here in GA they were going to build a "Northern Arc," to complement the the I285 by-pass that circles around Atlanta. It would by-pass the city even farther away, as the metro area has grown way beyond the original by-pass. Anyway, the corrupt a-holes in charge at the time bought the land that would be near the exits... and then announced the plan about where the highway would run.

In an all-too-infrequent bout of sanity, the voters elected a new governor who immediately stopped the program.

Too bad that doesn't happen more often. But yes, I agree with an earlier poster - whatever the government says it will cost, you need to at least triple it, but expect it to be even higher.

What really bothers me is the politicians at the federal level are not subject to insider trading rules dealing with companies they are examining (either for contracts, or looking to sanction them for violations of something).

Comment Re:Comcast, ACA, Seagate, AT&T (Score 1) 111

It sounds like the survey asked if you had a bad customer service experience in the last year. I have. The year started out good enough - they told me my service was being upgraded to 75Mbs without any cost to me; they'd upgrade my modem (I was renting from them), and wouldn't have to do anything else, all I had to do was log in and request the service, so I did. They said I'd get a ship notification for the new modem within 7 (or 10, I forget) business days.

A month later I checked the status and they said I submitted for it, and they said I'd receive a ship notification within 7 days. Then again a month later. So I went and bought a supported modem, called up, and the operator at that point helped get me up and running pretty painlessly, and I was up to 90Mbs peak.

Now, if I got a survey asking if I had a bad customer service problem, what should I respond? Their system for upgrading was terrible - I had to do it on my own. But that's not all - I decided to drop DirecTV and just get basic cable in order to save money, since I was getting internet from Comcast anyway. That was a f@#king nightmare. Not only calls, but I ended up going to the customer service center a half dozen times in addition to spending hours on the phone.

Comment Re: enjoying the job, why leave (Score 1) 261

I also think a lot of people have gone into to programming, but weren't really interested in it - like a lot of engineers in the 60s and 70s, they were told this is where the money is going to be, so that's where the went. Then when they got there they discovered they didn't really like it, or couldn't find any specialty because they weren't really all that interested.

The person in question here seems the same way. Programming is not an island - you apply programming to something, and then you get good at that. I liked games and computer graphics, so that's where I applied myself, and I didn't just do what I had to in college, I went off on my own and learned things, contributed to the graphics programming news groups (yes, a long time ago, now there are other means to discuss things with people); wrote a lot of demo programs, created a website that showed off images and movies I generated with my code (and put links to it in my resume and email correspondence), programatically, and had a job offer to do graphics before the graduation ceremony. I've been here over 20 years; my job has morphed around a bit, but I'm still doing computer graphics and still love my job.

But because I was passionate about it, I became a very good programmer overall, and had job offers doing programming in fields I wasn't particularly interested in (I interviewed because hey, I was graduating and knew I would need a job somewhere). I would gladly have worked doing some database programming or something to pay the bills while I kept looking for something involved with graphics.... I've already had this discussion with my wife, as I've made my position somewhat unique, but I've lasted through round after round of layoffs over the past 15 years - I'd do anything and not whine about it; I'd just keep looking in the field that I want the whole time.

Comment Re:What warnings? (Score 1) 189

Yes, "just" entertainment - clearly not a necessity. And I'm not going to debate it with you - you either believe in IP (I do), or you don't, and if you believe people have the right to their property (I do) then you must believe it's a violation of their rights to take it without their permission, and like any other property we, as a society, protect those rights. You make it out like Disney and Fox and all the huge companies are the only winners here, but copyright protects the little guys, too.

Comment Re:I still don't get it. (Score 1) 128

To quote TFS: "In September, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that made the use of ransomware a crime, essentially a form of extortion." The topic says that the law "finally makes ransomware illegal," but the law makes it a "form of" extortion.... my question stands, how was it NOT extortion before?

Comment Re:What warnings? (Score 1) 189

It doesn't matter if DRM isn't justifiable unless you want to argue that two wrongs make a right.

I claim that stuff pirating things which should be long out of copyright, or for which there is no apparent owner is entirely justified.

I'm not going to argue with you about that. Look again at the topic of the thread - it's piracy warnings vs. box office revenue - that's movies that are in theaters RIGHT NOW, not the first print of Gone with the Wind. I do think copyright terms are far too long - thank Disney and Sonny Bono for that; I do think they ought to be challenged and made more reasonable, but it's still ultimately just entertainment, and there's a reason I'm limiting my views on this subject to simple entertainment - and recent entertainment. There's never, ever, an excuse to "pirate" "Manos: Hands of Fate." You don't need it; you don't need Star Wars; there's no valid justification for copyright infringement in these cases.

Comment Re:What warnings? (Score 1) 189

90 years is a limited time. A very long limit, but still a limit. The founding fathers, on this and many other topics, should have been more clear. While I agree it's far too long, it's not an argument in favor of pirating. Since that's the topic at hand, that's why I make the comments I've been making. You're taking it too personally.

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