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Comment Re:My civil disobedience (Score 4, Funny) 534

My personal best was 37 minutes before I finally let the guy know I was stringing him along. I was working at home and had a whole lot of completely mind numbing tasks when the guy called so I could continue to work and mess with the guy.

I acted all concerned and said, let me get to my computer room, it is on the other side of the house and put the phone down for 2 minutes. Then I picked up he was still there so I said, hold on, it is booting...which one, I have 4? I told him, they are old and slow and will take a bit to boot hold on, another 2 minutes of putting the phone down.

Then I started playing along, acting like the horrible end user who is totally illiterate and can barely use a computer. Had "monitor issues" because it was unplugged. Didn't know where anything was. He told me to open a command prompt and type things in, which always resulted in Unknown command because i was "misspelling" what he told me because I was bad at typing or thought it was a different letter because of his accent.. He then switched to Alpha, Sam, Sam, designation and I pretended to type in alpha, sam, sam.

Then I used the bathroom, picked up stuff around the house a bit and finally needed to get back to actual work and told him, I will level with you, I do PC security stuff for a living, I have been messing with you the entire time.

He said, well this entire time I have been hacking into your machine and stealing all of your files and if you don't pay me, I will not let you have them back. I laughed and said, no you aren't to which he said, never underestimate the power of the common man. I told him, you are a common criminal and not that good of one and that lead to the tirade of swearing and he hung up!

Comment Boom to the Burglary Business!!! (Score 4, Interesting) 195

I grew up in a small framing community outside of Chicago and then went to college in Chicago. In one of my first few weeks there, a new friend who was from the city told me to stop looking down at the sidewalk. I asked why and he told me, that is how you get yourself mugged.

We talked about it and I realized, being from a land of no sidewalks, I always scan the ground to make sure of my footing so I don't trip on uneven ground. In the city, sidewalks are much more level and predictable so people don't have to look down. Also pickpockets and muggers look for easy targets that can't identify them. My friend told me, he was always taught, look up and look at the people around you. If you make eye contact with a mugger, there is a chance you will be able to ID him so they look for another target.

I am thinking, all these peoples looking down at their phone are an excellent target for being pick pocketed! I may have to change professions!

Comment Re:Yes, yes, give it a year or two... (Score 1) 954

Here is the solution to the check out thing.

You have to have a preferred card to use them. You forget it, you can provide a phone number and the machine lets you in.

The machine informs you that you have to maintain a certain rate of items per second with a maximum time length per total time to payment.

If you fail to meet the rates, then this will be your last purchase until you attend a short training class provided by an employee.

The systems logs your times every time you use self check out. When you are new, it gives you more time, but as you are more experienced, your times should get closer to the theoretical minimum. If you can not maintain the speed rate, when you finish that transaction, you are not allowed to us them anymore until you attend the class.

When you log in, have it show your average checkout time and average rate of items checked and challenge you to beat your last time. if you beat your time, it displays a congratulations, new record with a thank you for using the self checkout.

It needs to display a leader board of the fastest time today and this week with initials.

You put on badges and achievements! You earned the, you weighed a bag of apples with inputting the code in less then 2 seconds badge!!!

The you are too slow take a class drives all the slow people or people with large loads right to the humans. The achievements and time trials and displaying times encourages the people using it to go even faster and they maybe have fun doing it! Some psychos will even become obsessed with beating the speed and start shopping more there just to beat their times!!!

And FYI, I am already seeking a patent on the system I described above so no stealing my idea!

Comment Re:School isn't job training (Score 2) 908

School is both and anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something.

The problem is knowing when it changes. You initial schooling is gets you the broad range of knowledge and expands your mind so you can hopefully function better in society no matter what you do. At some point in time, school stops being about broadening your mind and becomes job training.

So you have to know what school is being used for and when. Sometime in the high school time frame it when it starts transitioning into job training. Counselors start talking about are you on the college career path, ok, you need to take these classes to meet college requirement. You are not going to college, here are the requirements for a diploma, let's find where your interest lie so you can take classes.

By the time you hit college, if you haven't transitioned to it being job training by Junior year, you are wasting time and money at that point. It really should be sooner than junior year in college in my opinion that you transition more towards the job training, but college is too expensive to not be talking about the return on investment of going.

Education is great and expanding out mind and knowledge is wonderful and should be the life goal of every human being their entire life in my opinion, but there is a point when you stop paying high dollar to sit and listen to someone and you continue the pursuit on your own while working because the bills have to get paid.

Comment Re:As long as.... (Score 2) 908

Most colleges require you have foreign language credit that you either took in high school or you take it while in college.

So you can get a BS Eng without taking foreign language in college as long as you took it in high school.

Comment As long as.... (Score 4, Insightful) 908

I will agree to this as long as they remove foreign language requirement for engineers! The accountants and poets don't like high end math, I don't like foreign language requirement (and I am fluent in more then 1 language and an engineer)!

Comment Re:Restore from backup (Score 1) 212

That doesn't work well when you are in the medical field or controls field (like I am) or some other fields as well and have legacy systems in place. You don't have an unlimited number of vendors that can do what you are doing as well. Combine that with huge installed base and you can't simply migrate away.

One of the biggest things I deal with is I have hardware that is running systems that go down once a year or once ever few years for maintenance. Some of the hardware is 40+ years old (we have an upgrade path forward and are updating a lot of it), but the hardware was never designed with network security in mind and the only option for security is upgrade.

The newer offerings by the vendors are better, but the old legacy systems are not so I have to harden my system against the outside world, but if the outside gets in, the hardware is easily compromised.

It will take us about 7 years to upgrade all of our systems because of man power and cost constraints, but until then we have to beef up security as best we can to keep stuff from getting in.

Comment Re:Oops, valve partially open (Score 1) 287

Apples and Oranges. Forgot to take the pill was you didn't do something because you forgot and so it couldn't protect you.

Valve not closing all the way happens all the time when you think you closed the valve all of the way and it didn't seat properly so you tried and the equipment failed.

The pill has an extremely low rate of failure when taken properly. Valves have a much higher failure rate when used properly.

Comment Oops, valve partially open (Score 4, Funny) 287

I work at a chemical manufacturing site. Do you have any idea how many millions of pounds of material are lost each year do to a manual valve that was not fully shut.

I am sorry babby, I guess when I got hit in the groin last week playing basketball, it must have opened the valve!

Or,

I closed it, I guess it didn't close all of the way!

Yeah, not so sure this is a good idea!

Comment What is the kid to do next? (Score 3, Interesting) 956

I will tell you want he should do next!

1) Make a list of exactly what it takes to make a clock like this
2) Talk to his friends, who talk to their friends, etc. and spread the list
3) Have as many of the high school students show up at a location on a Saturday and all build clocks
4) Have all of these students show up at school on Monday with their clocks
5) Have all the kids en-mass show their teachers the clocks they made right as school is starting. Make sure they all know, it is a clock.
6) Wait for the administration and police to react.

Problem solved. they can't suspend that many kids at once. The Police can't handle that many kids at once. If they don't respond the exact same way as they did to the first clock, then the lawsuits will fly! They can't respond to that many clocks being brought to school in the same manner so the police and school then have to say, yeah, it isn't that big a deal or they have to let their true crazy shine!

I think you maybe even get as many of the parents as you can to show up at school drop off with clocks as well!

Comment Re: Amazing (Score 1) 492

I can only tell you what my friend told me he was told and then I heard it from someone else that worked with the hiring process. When he left his previous company, there were some issues with the hand off and sponsorship associated with our HR getting the sponsorship on the books.

It came down to the point where we didn't think we were going to be able to get it transferred and our company contacted the employer he was leaving and asked if they could keep him as their employer and we would contract his services until it was all taken care of. He was under the impression that he was going to have to leave the country and head back to India.

Maybe he sensationalized things, or maybe the company rep did, but that is the impression he had that he was preparing to leave the country.

Comment Re: Amazing (Score 5, Interesting) 492

I am glad that your experience on the H1-B Visa program has been a trivial task for you. That is not always the case though.

At a previous company, we had an H1-B visa employee that we hired from another company and despite the fact he was sponsored by the other company and we were willing to sponsor him, he almost got deported because of the process of handing off from 1 company to another did not go smoothly.

He worked for us for 3 years, and then went to another job and again, almost ended up deported. It was a nightmare on both ends.

I also know a few H1-B visa employees at my current place of employee who have had similiar fears.

Citizen loses a job or goes to another job, nothing happens. H1-B Visa person always has the possibility of being kicked out of the country if HR screws up the sponsorship.

I am not part of the IT tech industry, but chemical manufacturing and the people I know have been electrical or chemical engineers and not working for Google or other big names like those you mention. So while ti can be smooth, you are 1 HR screw up away from losing your status and being deported.

I am glad you have worked for companies who have it down well enough that their HR has worked for you, but that is by no means the norm for smaller companies.

Comment Re:Consulting (Score 1) 203

I agree with what you said. I always try and do my best for my current employer as well. Someone else in the thread said, your stuff should be documented as part of your job. When you get to the point of leaving, you should not be starting the documentation, just have to be organizing it for the next guy. Maybe a nice book that says where everything is so the next guy can find it.

If it is more then that, you have missed the boat already and your predecessor will be cursing you to for the next 2 years, so you burnt that bridge to the ground!

On a different level, since when is important technical documentation solely stored on the company email server anyway?

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