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Comment Re:Then leave Silicon Valley (Score 2) 504

$800,000 loan with 20% down would be closer to $4000/mo once you add property tax, insurance, maintenance, and repairs. Of course, you'll save a fair amount on income taxes as long as you're itemizing, which most CA homeowners do given the higher state income tax which is federally deductible.

Comment Apple & QA talent (Score 0) 203

I work in the SQA field in SV and have heard stories over recent years of the devolving state of various QA groups within Apple. Our company has had a few people leave to Apple over the years, recently to return to our company after experiencing a QA culture with serious and worsening issues.

One of our best QA engineers had a job interview scheduled at Apple a few weeks ago; by his own admission, and I believe him fully, only to do a bit of spying, and keep his interview skills up to date on the other side of the table. The hiring manager called him the day before the interview to tell him the position had been filled. Co-worker called up the internal recruiter he had been working with to find out what had happened. Apparently after interviewing only one person, a friend of the hiring manager, they hiring manager had found a perfect fit and didn't feel more interviews were necessary. I have a feeling their halls are being filled with that high a level of cronyism. Not to say there isn't plenty of who-you-know in the industry in terms of getting interviews, but typically you still have to compete with others to get the job.

From my own experience with Apple's recruiters, back when it was a more prestigious company to work for in the area, I found myself tossed by the wayside even though enormously qualified. In one exchange, I went through a phone screen and it was obvious my previous experience perfectly mirrored the project for which they were staffing. It's not the type of project that's extremely easy to find people with previous experience in. One of the last questions they asked was my experience with OSX, which was unrelated to the tech in the product. I said I'd only used OSX in an incidental capacity (though plenty of *NIX experience), to which they replied they only hire OSX experts and wished me good luck. I was floored. As if they thought I would be unable to quickly learn the workings of a new, but derivative OS.

Comment As a Netflix employee (Score 1) 397

I work in the UI development space at Netflix, and I certainly wouldn't describe it as anything remotely close to a culture of fear. Only two people on my team in the past 3+ years have gotten let go, any they were both gross under-performers with poor attitudes.

As far as "A players", it's not just a matter of hiring people who are good at their jobs, but also A-players from a team and interpersonal perspective. I like everyone I work with because very few people have strong or confrontational personalities. At the same time I know the people I work with are honest with me, and I feel free to be honest with them. If I mess up, I don't feel like it would be in my best interest to try and hide it or make excuses; I own up to it, and am still around after so many years. I've also never witnessed any sort of team-v-team competition.

The visa issue is not something I've encountered, either. Not to say there aren't a number of H-1 workers -- and those tend to be exceptional talents -- but my team for example has hired around 15 people devs and testers in the past 6 months, and all of them are local talent.

I realize this reads rosy, and some teams in the company may have different experiences, but I honestly would never leave here willingly. Keep in mind the glassdoor rating includes a lot of complains from customer service workers who were let go, and as with most internet ratings, the people who post reviews are most likely the people who are pissed off.

Comment Re:Contagious before Symptoms. (Score 1) 670

Completely agreed. For a common cold, everything I've read states you're not contagious by 6 days out from the first onset of symptoms (usually a sore throat). I'm getting over a cold now, and I didn't start coughing until 6 days out, but I went back to work and haven't gotten anyone sick. Even with my company's unlimited sick policy, I'm not going to take 10 days off of work to not return until my cough has completely disappeared.

Comment Re:Ron Paul (Score 1) 792

Why not? One is the innate right of everyone to defend themselves and their loved ones against oppression and murder. The other is a piece of a paper that gives you some tax breaks and lets you visit someone in the hospital. The entire Bill of Rights was considered by the founding fathers to be a list of natural rights, so I'm not sure why you're arguing that the 1st and 4th Amendments are not. They are all rights espoused by the concept of liberty; in that I can speak and be secure in my property, so long as it does not cause real harm to others.

I admit I was too narrow in claiming marriage to be a religious institution only, but it has also not been a government issue through history; as well, you cannot argue that marriage has not typically been the product of religious ceremony in almost all societies. Mostly not until modern society have governments started treating people differently based on their marriage status. My point was that "marriage" itself is not in the Constitution, and therefore is not something any branch of the federal government should be weighing on in. I agree that all federal definition of "straight" or any kind of marriage should be removed, because it is out of the federal purview. The federal government should only be doing a few things: Treaties, defense, inter-state commerce, collecting minimal taxes, protecting Constitutional rights from the states for those articles which are incorporated against the states by SCOTUS case law. Everything else should be a state matter, and to be honest, if you don't like the state you're in, work to change the political climate, or move freely to a state that is a better match.

I didn't state Ron Paul could unilaterally get rid of the IRS, but it is on his platform and moving to a simpler and more fair tax system is definitely something that has been gaining in support over the years.

How do you not believe that Obama is on a war path with Iran? As I said, we have already committed acts of war against Iran by invading their sovereign air space with drones. If China started flying drones over your city to "keep an eye on things", would you consider it an act of war? Thanks for dismissing the entire discussion though because you "don't believe it" and "it's a conspiracy".

Fear mongering? Read on, my friend; this is not from a conspiracy newsletter:

There are tons of stories, if you look for them, of police presence in schools, the militarization of the police, police arresting and charging people for recording them... these activities have just started in the past 10 years. I guess it's true that if they whittle away at your rights slowly enough, a lot of people just won't notice.

Comment Re:Ron Paul (Score 1) 792

Marriage and guns are not remotely equal issues. One is a natural right (self defense) which is enumerated by the Constitution. There is nothing in the Constitution about marriage at all as it traditionally is a religious institution, and should therefore not be in the discussion on the federal level in any way. By doing away with the IRS, Ron Paul would be removing one of the major federal sanctions of marriage, that being the income tax discount for married couples. Seriously, though, I'm amazed at how much people pigeon hole Ron Paul on a single issue. Voting for anyone else, including Obama, is likely a vote for war with Iran. Between the drones and sanctions, we have already actually conduced acts of war against Iran under Obama, and things just keep escalating. This while the US DefSec told the press this weekend that Iran is *not* currently developing nuclear weapons. You'll also be voting for expanded TSA invasions of privacy, among plethora others the government is working towards under Obama (note: I voted for Obama in 08) such as SOPA and PIPA. But if those things and others are less important to you than the definition of marriage, by all means follow your heart. I'll wave to you from a TSA highway security checkpoint in a few years. Hopefully I'll have remembered my papers.

Comment Re:Streaming in Blu-ray quality? (Score 1) 481

There are a decent and increasing number of titles on streaming that are 1080p using h264 at around 5Mbps. If you use PS3 you can also get DD+ audio on select titles. Obviously the number of titles both in HD and with DD+ needs to increase, but at least there's an effort. An increase in top bit rate would also be nice, but the current 1080p content looks decent on my 60" LCD.

Comment Not competition for Netflix... (Score 2) 150

From the article, this is not an unlimited streaming service like Netflix or Hulu. This is a video-on-demand service like iTunes (and plethora other similar stores) where you have to pay for every item you download, either as a rental or a purchase. Yes, you can get titles the same day the are released on DVD -- for a $25 download price.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1, Troll) 201

This being the internet, I can't tell if you're being sarcastic. However, the idea of spending large amounts of research money so that "rare genetic disorders" can be propagated into further generations does not seem like the best idea. If nature gives you a rare genetic disorder, it may be trying to tell you something.

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