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Comment Kill it at the source (Score 2) 619

The source of this is body shops. They're the ones paying $35k and charging $80k pocketing the difference.

Instead of that let them get paid 1% of the take home salary of the visa holders. Maybe 2% if we're feeling generous. When they start making $350 - $700 per person per year then the business isn't sustainable and the problem diminishes significantly.

So what about that $45k difference? Where does that go? Good question. I'd say it goes into job training programs and scholarships.

I know. I'm a dreamer. But the problem lies with how profitable it is for companies to bring in these indentured servants. There needs to be a way to take away the profit so they move on to some other leech business model.

Comment That picture is depressing (Score 1) 177

The picture of their 'hip working space' is downright depressing. Concrete floors so every sound is magnified, tables so you need to fight for space when it gets busy, no visible power stations (might be for photo purposes but might not), no privacy at all. No place to meet with clients.

Honestly you would be better off going to your public library and using their wi-fi and work spaces. Your taxes are already paying for them and they don't mind when people are there for long periods of time. They're even catching up with the times as some of them allow beverages in covered containers so you can have your coffee at your work area.

It would be an interesting concept if they had tiny office-type areas that were closed off so you could work with a small team, on a conference call, meet clients, etc. As it is they're just turning their employee break rooms into pseudo-conference rooms.

Comment Re:Expense ratio and hollow compliants? (Score 1) 316

If someone spends $90,000 on a brand-new Tesla and a "service call" costs a few hundred dollars, that's likely a reasonable and expected expense for a complex machine, as long as those service calls don't happen too frequently. By comparison, farmers are spending 2-3x more on high-end computer-controlled farming equipment, so what is a reasonable cost for service calls? Again, not trying to justify a vendor ripping off a customer, but from a cost vs. maintenance expense ratio, bitching about a few hundred dollars seems like a hollow complaint. Bottom line is your farming equipment needs more than a 1/2" wrench and a flathead screwdriver to work on these days, just like your new car. Are vendors being greedy, or are they controlling what an end-user can do with their equipment because of the complexity, and perhaps even safety? Joe Mechanic sure as hell isn't gonna pop the titanium lid and DIY his Tesla battery bank. If it turns out to be little more than vendor greed, then certainly ensure that it becomes fair for all parties involved. Those who hate the complexity of modern equipment have a simple solution too; go buy 40-year old shit.

You need to do some more research. Farming is very time sensitive. If they have the right to repair and it's changing out the fuel pump then they can get back to work in very little time. As it is they have to wait until an authorized repair person replaces the pump and tells the software it's OK to start working again. For no other reason than they control the software.

Most farmers can do a lot of mechanical work on their own. When the vendor is required to provide access to manuals and computer diagnostics (like the auto industry was beaten into doing) then suddenly their income from their mandatory service department is going to plummet. That's the real reason they do the software lock in.

Comment Re: Lack of vacation is the big problem (Score 1) 262

Me: 'So can this job!

Yeah, but be careful... replace too many jobs, and you'll be flagged as a "job hopper" and suddenly find it way harder to replace a job. The system will squeeze you every way it can.

Not so much in IT any more. With the decided lack of consideration companies have for retaining staff these days it's quite common to see mid to high level people moving between jobs and consulting with breaks in the middle. As long as you can give a quick summary during the interview they pass it off.

Comment Re: Sounds like you're the problem (Score 3, Informative) 262

I think its less for 'hit by a bus' and more to remove you from the environment long enough that any fraud/embezzlement schemes you might have fall apart.

If your fraud scheme falls apart in 5 days you set it up wrong.

It might sound useless but I worked at a bank where an AVP got called into the office on the 4th day of his mandatory 5 day vacation. Turns out he had been kiting checks for a client and because he wasn't there someone else caught on. He was escorted out again.

For IT this gets a little trickier since we tend to build a LOT of automation and have remote access to systems. So even if we're not in the office there's a very good chance that someone who is doing illegal things would have their bases covered per networkBoy's comment. But the people who handle money all day tend not to have our options.

Comment Re:Darwin at work (Score 1, Informative) 200

That's all good if the pedestrian just mindlessly walks into traffic and didn't have the right of way. Sometimes it's the driver who's to blame. Just this morning I was poking around in the phone while waiting for the "walk" light (and sound). I hear it, briefly look up and start walking...only to almost be hit by a car. Fortunately, I was in the most hospital dense part of the country, but what the hell!? This never would have happened had the driver not ran the red light!

Hrm. Did I miss the part where you looked both ways before crossing the street? A walk light is not enough. You need to be aware of your surroundings. Briefly looking up from your phone doesn't count. YOU could have avoided the accident had you looked to see a car about to run a light and plow into you. So really you do share fault in this accident.

People - put your darn phones away when you're in motion. That includes both walking and driving.

Comment Re:Please stop (Score 2) 272

Please stop putting a "sexism in tech" story on the front page.

It's a major problem in technology that really needs to be addressed if this country is going to be competitive in the future. It's unfortunate that it's so inflammatory, but it needs to be addressed.

Correct. It needs to be addressed. And putting it on the front page of tech sites keeps it from getting pushed to the side like it has been for far too long.

That HR manager was trying to persuade the engineer that she wasn't going to find a company that wasn't sexist so she should take the job at Uber. At least they're honest about being sexist right?

I've been in corporate IT for 25 years. I'm female. Things have changed over the decades but there's still sexism in the hard tech areas. Women have risen in testing, QA, BI reporting, BA, etc. but for the heads-down work it's a struggle.

Comment He doesn't seem to like the unwashed masses (Score 1) 395

I RTFA and it seems that his problem isn't just with the aggregation it's with the fact that the reviews of mere viewers are given credibility. He cites the decline of Movie Critics as the reason why these types of things aren't useful.

With a few exceptions official movie reviewers were easily bought and would give stunning sound bites for movies. Those would be plastered all over the advertising and say just what the studios wanted to hear. Since they can't buy off the viewers with anything but good movies of course they're not going to like aggregation.

As many comments have said - if 999 out of 1,000 reviews say your movie sucks then there's an excellent chance your movie sucks.

Comment Re:Admission (Score 1) 258

That would be true if people treated yellow lights as the law requires. If you're in the intersection when the light turns red, it wasn't because you couldn't stop in time, it was because you tried to beat it instead of stopping.

Yeah. That land zeppelin behind me humping my exhaust system while the driver is texting and putting on makeup is reallllllly going to stop because I'm stopping at a light that just turned yellow. Shortened yellow light times and red light cameras may reduce T-bone accidents (and increase revenue) but tend to increase rear end collisions for this exact reason.

Comment Re:Stealth Layoff (Score 1) 303

The alternative offered? To "quit" his job and lose severance and other benefits. Why he (and them) complied? Because he's near retirement age and doing anything else would be end-of-life economic suicide.

That's an involuntary termination, not quitting. When companies try it generally it is a legal quagmire. If it is even slightly questionable companies will generally offer a huge settlement package rather than risk a drawn-out lawsuit fighting in the courts; and since they're leaving the state the drawn-out lawsuit would be in a state they no longer are local to, further increasing cost. I'm curious, did you talk with a lawyer before accepting the deal?

My company has something similar happening right now. Here's where it gets tricksy. At least for employees in CA if they're offered a relocation package as part of the deal and they decline they are considered to have left the company voluntarily. In a way. It does have an impact on their unemployment benefits. So talking to a lawyer is a very good idea when presented with this situation.

Comment Re:"Best" (Score 1) 300

If you want to be the hero in the department, clean up other people's messes — the impossible jobs that no one else in the department wants to handle.

This. I've done this. I've mentored people entering the workforce on this. If you do the jobs that no one else wants to do then you're the one they keep. Because shit gets done.

The downside to doing that (besides doing the jobs which sometimes turn out not to be so bad after all) is that you need to continually remind management that these things are getting done BECAUSE you're doing them. Otherwise they get used to not having pain points without realizing that someone has picked them up.

Comment Re:Another perspective... (Score 1) 299

I RTFA and it's not like that. Instead of going through the correct legal channels to request the photographs the police immediately jumped to a warrant to take EVERYTHING the guy had that might have been used to conduct his business. This was the overreaching warrant that was granted.

After he was sufficiently terrified of losing his livelihood they once again asked for the photos. Except now they offered to drop the warrant if he did.

During the hearing he almost wasn't able to even attend. He never got to answer any questions. His solicitor was asked things that couldn't be answered without recourse to him or the NUJ (National Union of Journalists). The NUJ representative wasn't even allowed to observe.

The article has been updated to state that the warrant is no longer in force. Probably. He's justifiably uncertain about that one.

The judge should be severely reprimanded for this one. The police used their position to blackmail him into giving them what they wanted. Pure and simple. They had a proper legal course of action to request the photographs - one that could be challenged - but instead chose to go the jackbooted thug route and the judge upheld it.

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