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Comment Re:Something's fishy (Score 1) 93

I run a small business, but I'm already way worse off because everything I import costs a fuck-ton more and I can't afford to just bump prices up accordingly when my larger competitors already have huge warehouses of stock and have the power of scale to have negotiated pricing agreements. All the OMG RED TAPE that supposedly comes from Brussels is a myth, and what few anti-small-business legislation exists is hardly likely to be removed by the prevent government, whose ear is deaf to all but the largest enterprises.

Just as a counterpoint, as someone who also runs small businesses, but in my case tech-based ones that import very little but export information products and services, I have almost exactly the opposite experience.

The pound had been propped up for a long time and a lot of economists were saying it was overvalued long before Brexit was on the radar. Dropping it back to a more realistic level has already caused a big boost for our sales to customers over in continental Europe and beyond. It's dropped further than the necessary correction because of Brexit, but pinning the entire drop on that is unrealistic.

As for that EU red tape, it has been a significant burden on several occasions over the past few years, from consumer "protection" rules that don't really protect anyone but have substantial compliance costs through to the whole VAT mess where the EU seems to have done exactly the opposite of what it's supposed to do by making us suddenly have to deal with 28 different systems instead of one.

EU membership has its pros and cons, but in this specific area, it's very clearly not an advantage.

Comment Hardware is so much better? (Score 1) 42

When I was a kid and turned on a BBC Micro, it was ready to use instantly. Same with the old TV I had. And I could watch anything I wanted to watch on that TV, whether it was from the aerial or the computer or the VCR. And on that VCR, I could just fast forward through any initial stuff on the tape I wanted to skip. And some of those devices worked for a decade.

Today's world of hardware that costs hundreds or thousands but fails within a few years, if it even gets that far, is not an improvement. Today's world where hardware can't be serviced or repaired is not an improvement. Today's world where it takes a minute for my PVR to show me a picture, and seconds to switch to the next TV channel, is not an improvement. Today's world where I can't watch content I've paid for on a device I've paid for, or can't run software I've paid for on a computer I've paid for, or can't listen to music from my iPhone because the headphones don't fit any more, because of artificial barriers to connectivity, is not an improvement.

Hardware got faster and bigger, but thinking that makes it better when all this other stuff is getting needlessly broken is spectacularly missing the point. And the user who buys these devices doesn't much care whether it's the hardware or the protocol on the wire between two devices or the firmware that is causing the problem. They just want the stuff they bought to do what they bought it for, and in many respects today's equipment is very much worse at that than the equipment we made a decade or two ago.

Comment Re:"By the dragon embroidered on my butt pockets!" (Score 1) 235

But often they are hired because their stuff looks "new and high-tech". They are often being interviewed, hired, and paid by PHB's who judge books by covers.

You cannot realistically blame them for focusing on looks above function or maintainability if that's what they are judged on.

Humans are not much different from apes: distracted by shiny red things (and shapely females, but that's another story).

Most of the CRUD apps I see made would be more intuitive and simpler if they followed common GUI practices that existed since the early 90's. But, they gotta use some new-fangled Turbo-JS slippy slidy framework to look cool. The PHB goes "ooh aah, you are good!"

Then the coder moves on and some poor shmuck is stuck with their buggy client-version-dependent spaghetti. Sometimes I'm that poor shmuck.

Comment Re:Style sheet override, CTRL+MouseWheelUp (Score 1) 235

If you scale proportionally, then the text wrap point can be off the page. Thus, you have to scroll back and forth to read the text. The "solution" is to have a non-proportion scaling, but that can have other side-effects if the markup is screwy or poorly planned.

Comment CNC Story [Re:as a layperson, im a little confus (Score 1) 430

trying to find a good desk jockey who didnt crash tools and wreck parts every hour.

Semi-side story: In college I had to take a CNC course as part of my minor. We were given a drawing of a part to be produced on a CNC lathe as our final class project.

It was generally assumed we were to generate the coordinate list by hand. It was a lot of grunt work so I wrote a Pascal program on the side to compute the delta's, do some basic range checking, and draw a rough plot via "ASCII art". I only had to enter the raw coordinates. Using this program I got the delta list done and and it all checked out in theory and I thought I was a real hot-shot.

Then came time to actually machine it. A teacher's assistant inserted a raw aluminum block, loaded my punched tape, closed the transparent lid, and pressed "Go".

The CNC lathe started shaping the part according to plan. I started smiling as it got near the finish, for the part forming before my eyes looked just like the assignment drawing.

Then suddenly aluminum started spraying out like crazy from the cutting tool, making a sharp jarring "neeeaaarrr" sound. Internally I thought "Oh shit!" Mentally, that was my grade being shredded before us.

Soon the horrible noise ceased, and the machine completed the action. There was a little rough patch near the end, but otherwise the part visually looked good.

Not knowing what to think, I glanced at the teacher's assistant. In a monotone voice, he said, "You had some excessive delta's, but otherwise the shape is correct. You get a B- on it. You almost broke the blade. If the blade had broke, you'd get a C-. You got lucky". (They were used to broken blades for students.)

Turns out my Pascal delta distance checker only checked the "x" distance due to a bug, not the Pythagorean distance.

Had I done it all by hand, I'd probably avoid or catch that mistake because I'd be "experiencing" the direct data details. Automation is not always a free lunch.

(Arguably I could have also spent more time checking the software, but that could take approximately as long as hand computations.)

Comment Humans Confuse [Re:Let's be perfectly honest] (Score 1) 430

you need the right amount of OCD, ADD and autism to be a good programmer...

Except then you'll be fired for lacking "people skills".

Logic skills and people skills are almost mutually exclusive in my observation. Soothing (typical) humans is the art of hiding or bending the ugly sides of their reality. You have to essentially half lie to get along.

It's almost like mastering Newtonian physics, and then having to switch to quantum physics: you have unlearn or put aside most of what you mastered, and switch back and forth between them as needed.

It's doable, but not easy. But humans are even worse because at least quantum physics has documented formulas and rules. Humans don't, or at least it's inconsistent between humans, and YOU have to figure out how each varies. Thus, you must master the physics of hundreds of different undocumented universes.

Comment Re:Not this again (Score 1) 430

Well, okay, it's kind of the same thing. If there is a slump* and you have to beg for a job or gig, then you cannot realistically ask for "flexible hours": the employer is in the driver seat because they can choose full-timers if they want over you.

During the slump I mentioned, I had to work away from home and lived in "long stay" motels.

* Field-wide or your specialty

Comment Re:Style sheet override, CTRL+MouseWheelUp (Score 2) 235

You can enforce your own style sheet and scale the website up if you need to. What's the problem?

Often it breaks stuff. Ad panels overlap and cover things up, text doesn't wrap properly or at all, etc.

Sites don't want to make it easy to extract just the text, because that makes ad-blocking easier. They thus force you to read it their way under their conditions.

Comment Re:Politics make strange bedfellows (Score 2) 99

You are contradicting yourself. You claim she supports it, yet claim she has a "study the impact first" stance (paraphrased).

Can't be both.

Studying the impact first is a fair and even-handed way to approach it. I agree telecom needs more competition, not less; but it's reasonable to give the co's involved a chance to make their case.

There are rumors that...

There's no shortage of political rumors on the "WebTubes". The problem is that roughly 95% of them turn out to be bunk or spin.

Comment Not this again (Score 4, Insightful) 430

Women value stability in careers often because they are the ones left holding the domestic bag when the dude flakes on the family.

IT and stability are often at odds. I happened to be in California during the dot-com bust, and had to take scrappy contracts, some out-of-state, to survive.

One's skills are always growing outdated and you have to guess the correct "new thing" to get documented experience in or get left behind again. It's like being the news weather person before satellites: guess right often enough or get booted.

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