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Comment Re:Good for them! (Score 5, Insightful) 858

Because this information is being used as a witch hunt to identify low level employees for removal. These low level employees may not have been the decision maker when it came to selection of who would go or not, and as a result, the questions in the questionaire may incorrectly represent actual responsibility or functionality of the employee beyond that single question. Additionally, you can't arbitrarily remove government employees from their jobs without a substantive reason - as opposed to an ideological one (last time I can think of was the air traffic controller's strike during Reagan years - which directly impacted public safety)

As a result, the responsible leadership is saying "this is my responsibility; we can get into details at my level." This is the right thing to do, and also serves the people at the same time.

Comment Re:Nonsense. (Score 1) 406

There's research that shows that there's a point where your salary desire is sated, and more money while nice ceases to be the primary reason you work. In other words, once people are compensated at 100k/year they are more likely to be motivated by ping-pong tables and free soda type perks than 101k/year, even if the 1k is worth more.

Obviously, the majority of people have not hit that level yet.

That number for me would need to be $150,000 - as that would allow me to set aside a rainy day fund without having to cut basic things to the bone. My current problem is year over year - I end up with cash flow problems due to unplanned breakdowns that require significant outlay beyond what I've set aside - including dogs and cats getting older and costing more when they need to go to doctor, breakdown of home appliances and integrated components, and automotive repairs (I don't have a car payment - but things are breaking down on my car that require outlays), realestate tax increases, etc. On top of that - health care cost increases, and need to continue feeding 401K also takes a hit. I think this is releative to regional differences in standard of living. In California - that number may be significantly higher than that I think is appropriate.

Comment Here is what I would do with $5 Million (Score 1) 406

1. pay off the bills & repair everything -= $200,000 would do it (close out mortgage, student loans, and a few long term odds and ends and pending maintenance).

2. fund for children to finish college -= $100,000 ($50,000 per child - 2 children)

3. fund for wife and myself to further our educations -= $100,000 ($50,000 each) (education is very important - never stop learning)

4. diversified investment fund: $2,000,000 --- stocks, bonds, money market

5. entreprenurial fund: $2,600,000 -- would retire from current job early, and use these funds to start my own businesses. I would continue to work every day until I run out of these funds, or die - whichever comes first. Profits would pay our annual bills (food, taxes, maintenance/replacement etc), and otherwise be rolled back into the fund. This would be frugally managed.

Can't imagine not having something valuable to contribute. If I was insanely rich (billions of dollars) I would definitely be investing in organizations and businesses that I believe in - and probably could justify upgrading some things to make that easier to accomplish.

Would there be some parties, vacations, and trips abroad in there? You betcha. However, I can't see just partying or wandering aimlessly. Life has to have meaning, and meaning comes from within.

Comment Re:the paradox of reporting self-serving statement (Score 1) 376

Not switching because:

Windows --> Linux (Complete) - tired of 'flaky' stability and features from one Windows release to the next. Linux is good enough to game on now - and that's about all I was holding onto windows for. Tried gaming on Mac a long long time ago - and gave up as was prohibitively expensive. Code, game, and surf on Linux.

Macs --> ? No reason to upgrade hardware at this time because I can't afford it for a number of reasons, and the 'new' tech isn't compelling enough to go into debt for new hardware anyway. Existing systems do what I need, and have the integration that I need for creative endeavors (graphics, sound, writing).

Comment Re:Never going back... (Score 1) 376

This traffic wasn't a couple of UDP packets. It was a significant amount of TCP packets (unencrypted HTTP protocol) and other things I couldn't identify (presumably encrypted?). With 3 Windows machines on the network sending to the same targets across a single NAT'd IP address (what most residential customers have available to them) after a week to a few days (depending on the volume of activty) -- the network would slow down to a crawl. From the NAT article on Wikipedia:

With NAT, all communications sent to external hosts actually contain the external IP address and port information of the NAT device instead of internal host IP addresses or port numbers.

When a computer on the private (internal) network sends an IPv4 packet to the external network, the NAT device replaces the internal IP address in the source field of the packet header (sender's address) with the external IP address of the NAT device. PAT may then assign the connection a port number from a pool of available ports, inserting this port number in the source port field (much like the post office box number), and forwards the packet to the external network. The NAT device then makes an entry in a translation table containing the internal IP address, original source port, and the translated source port. Subsequent packets from the same connection are translated to the same port number. [PAT (Port Address Translation) resolves conflicts that would arise through two different hosts using the same source port number to establish unique connections at the same time. This is the case with my Windows machines, so even more levels of translation per packet] - Lod.]

The computer receiving a packet that has undergone NAT establishes a connection to the port and IP address specified in the altered packet, oblivious to the fact that the supplied address is being translated (analogous to using a post office box number). A packet coming from the external network is mapped to a corresponding internal IP address and port number from the translation table, replacing the external IP address and port number in the incoming packet header (similar to the translation from post office box number to street address). The packet is then forwarded over the inside network. Otherwise, if the destination port number of the incoming packet is not found in the translation table, the packet is dropped or rejected because the PAT device doesn't know where to send it.

As you can see - there is a lot of overhead to alter the outgoing and return packets - and all of that information needs to be kept up by the router/firewall in the residential gateway. Also note: including cellphones, tablets/pads, and other machines (Linux and Mac) - I have about 14 machines on the network - in addition to the 3 Windows machines - so the gateway is already overloaded. While there were some problems that manifested over the course of a year, and a reboot of the gateway would clear up, the installation of Windows 10 on the network caused this to accellerate to an unusable state immediately. If Windows were a dog, I would be tapping it on the nose with a rolled up newspaper for going on the floor.

The key problem for me was time. I don't have the time to learn how or even if these communications can be turned off in Windows, which is basically a blacklist solution. What is needed is a opt-in or whitelist solution, which is essentially what Linux offers out of the box (if you discount systemd - but that's a whole other thread).

My internal network is GigE around the house with a wifi device for the handheld devices - and I have no problems routing packets internally all day long. The issue is the gateway of the service provider, so you're partially right in that the service provider's residential network offering is a 'shitty network' solution. I expect they would only support 2 to 4 devices based upon their edge device and engineering. If I had the cash to spend monthly for commercial service with multiple internet routable IP addresses that could set up to load share, I would. It was far more cost effective, and simpler just to remove Windows from the network instead.

Comment Never going back... (Score 1) 376

I loaded Windows one last time when Windows 8 came out - and upgraded to Windows 10 on all of the systems used primarily for gaming in the household. That's when the problems started happening: I detected a large number of connections back to Redmond Washington coming from each machine. Taken together these connections brought my network to a stand still, primarily I believe due to NAT table conflicts and related resource issues on the router/firewall. I loaded Linux - and the problem went away.

With Steam, and other gaming venues for Linux - I'm done. Never going back to Windows again. If I were to buy a surface - it would be to load Linux on it - which would be a waste of money.

Comment Re:Greed and stupidity (Score 1) 165

You don't need a PHD to get 'deep into a topic.' You just need motivation, time, and resources. Explain to me how that is not an alternative?

Just having a PHD doesn't make you smarter than everyone else in the room - just like having any other certification for that matter. I've met geniuses that didn't have any education beyond their primary education, and I've met stupid people holding advanced degrees wasting oxygen and space.

I'm also not anti-intellectual. Expanding your intellect does not require the blessing of a dogma enshrined ivory tower clan either. Can higher education be valuable on many levels - absolutely it can. Is it overused today, causing people to take on too much debt when their carreer doesn't afford the ability to pay back the investment within a reasonable period of time? Absolutely. There are limited formal means for people who are autodidacts to gain parity with the formal higher education mechanisms for vetting employees. There needs to be more opportunities for everyone who can perform along these lines - not just an elite few at the top.

Finally, hubris leads to nemesis - which is really the crux of this whole discussion on multiple levels.

Comment Re:I hope AI can make coding redundant (Score 1) 107

That would be fine if I could define the parameters around 'how'.

The problem we have today is bloated unsecure code - due in large part to the focus on delivery of features, at the expense of just about everything else (security, integration, clarity, maintainability, performance, etc.)

The reason humans are not percieved as being capable of performing is because we don't give them the appropriate tools and even if they have the right tools we tie their hands with process. This is caused by IT executives reading about the latest trend in glossy magazines and making 'keeping up with the Jones's' a primary goal. On the flipside of that are the IT execs who believes coding and process of the 1960s is all you need. In short, stupidity.

AI can't fix that.

This is just a bid to make money for these companies selling you the next 'snakeoil'. 3 years from now we'll be reading how AI was a costly panacea...

Comment Re:Here come the science deniers (Score 1) 560

No denying here. I would also like to understand what long term effects alcohol has on the brain as well in comparison.

If there are equally bad mental health problems associated with use of both substances, then we can come to a conclusion about legalization or not of any mind altering drug - including those things that are currently legal most places. Once we understand the relative impacts - we can make better decisions rather than coming to a conclusion about a single substance in isolation.

That is science.

Comment Re:The answer is no, this is pointless (Score 1) 230

There are several problems that seem insurmountable:

1. While you could block the internet from directly interacting with these devices - by definition something would need to interact with the widget - either directly or as a proxy - unless you are okay without remote access.

2. If you have a machine on your network that interacts with the device, and also interacts with the internet (say for web browsing - http protocol) - then a bug in your machine could be a conduit for further access to the IoT device.

The only way to be absolutely sure a device is secure is to not have it connected to the network -

Comment Re:It's pointless (Score 1) 260

It is a code of conduct violation to remove (print) proprietary and sensitive business documents from the systems they reside on. Editing tools are sufficient to read and mark up - as well as version control these documents. Needing paper is a crutch for people who have too much time on their hands (you have to print the document, mark it up, then type in your edits, and load/save the new version --- too many steps take too much time).

I deal with hundreds to thousands of business documents over the course of many years; there is barely enough time to read them before feedback is needed.

That being said - this does not take into account legal documents that have requirements to keep paper copies in file cabinets under lock and key -- but that is for the legal assistants and lawyers to deal with --- not the vast majority of people in business.

Comment Re:Hardest problem (Score 1) 497

Not all 'computer science' cirriculae is equal either - particularly in recent years.

This is why I've long advocated never being 'just a programmer', or any other pigeonholed job for that matter. Define your work on your own terms as much as possible. When I first started working as a system admin / technical support specialist on the night shift (yeah - they had me doing two jobs at once) -- I took the time to automate a number of things, including the then current paper ticket system they kept in a binder and passed from shift to shift, as well as many of the systems checks and maintenance activities. As I moved to new jobs in the company, I continued to do this - providing value add, as well as easing my own workload burden along the way. I wouldn't say I'm indespensible - but I've managed to survive through 20 years of reorganizations, layoffs, and offshoring that severely impacted my 'just a programmer' peers.

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