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Comment Re:What problem? What PROBLEM? (Score 1) 456

I need to have a bunch of different apps using a bunch of different accounts, running on multiple different platforms, just to keep track of text messages. I can't consolidate them into one app because the services aren't compatible with different clients

Because the service providers want it that way. They choose to make their services incompatible with each other and with 3rd party clients.

Comment Re:Cake or death (Score 1) 917

Does she want this guy immediately fired no question asked?

At the company I work for, the stated policy is that upon receipt of a harassment complaint, the accused is immediately put on administrative leave (with out pay) and the complaint is forwarded to the local prosecutor's office for investigation. If the prosecutor clears the accused, then he is re-instated. Otherwise, he is fired. In the even the accused is cleared AND the prosecutor determines the complaint was filed with malicious intent, then the accusor is fired.

The company also has a policy of protecting the victim's privacy, so I don't know if the above procedure has been used.

The policy may seem harsh, but the company's legal department takes the position that it is better to err on the side of the victim, even if the accusations ultimately prove to be malicious.

Comment Re:Pharmacists can be replaced now (Score 1) 369

Pharmacy Technicians can be replaced by robots.

As for consultations, medical doctors still consult with pharmacists because pharmacists have in depth knowledge that doctors don't. Much like some doctors are specialists is various subfields of medicine. And much like general doctors send their patients to specialist doctors, pharmacists can continue to provide valuable services directly to patients.

And with robots to do the technician work, the pharmacists will be able to focus far more on supporting doctors and patients.

Comment Re:Common Sense At Work (Score 1) 203

I used to work at a hotel and helped select one of these key card systems

If key cards are being used, why choose a system that requires the locks be networked?

Sure, there is a convenience in the front desk being able to remotely update the stay duration rather than having the guests come to desk to have their kay cards re-written, but is that really worth the problems? I recently attended a convent held in the Intercontinental Hotel in Dallas - a 5 star, luxury hotel. Although I couldn't afford a room in that hotel, some of the convention attendees did. And some of those extended their stay y a night. They all had to have their key cars re-written at the front desk. Also, one attendee had problems with the lock on his room. Some one had to go to the room and plug a device in to the lock to fix it. Also, even though the lock failed, he was not stuck in his room.

Comment Re:Cue the incredulous comments from the Americans (Score 1) 234

In meetings with the Germans they can't understand why no American ever takes more than two weeks of vacation in a row while they routinely take the entire month of August off.

I also work for a multinational corporation.

In the US office, the middle and higher level managers routinely take all of August off. It's the rest of us that have trouble trouble taking even 2 weeks off, Not because management won't approve 2 or more weeks, but because after even a week off, the pile of problems we come back to is very oppressive. After 2 weeks, it's almost not worth having taken the time off.

Comment Re:Cue the incredulous comments from the Americans (Score 1) 234

At the company I work for, the European office has customers that are willing to pay 3 times the prices the US office is able to get from its customers. The European engineering staff is twice the size of ours in the US. Corporate manage seems happy to let the European office have that many engineers, but expects us in the US to handle twice the total workload as the European office.

Comment Re:Managing Expectations (Score 1) 114

For a prototype, we lifted *the customer's own marketing map graphic* and overlaid a colored disk at each location representing current status.

I had similar experiences years ago. This is because most people don't understand the difference between a model and "the real thing" if they can't "see" an obvious difference. Example: A canal lock system. You can build a fully functional model and (almost) no one will mistake that for the finished canal with locks. But a screen on a computer monitor showing a map with blinking dots (and whatever else) looks the same as what the finished application will. All the code "behind" the screen is invisible to them. As far as they are concerned, the screen with the map and blink dots is the application.

Since then, I've done "chalk talk" presentations. Actually, markers on poster-sized sketches.*

Using your example, what I might have done:

  • Plug my laptop into a project or large screen TV/monitor,
  • Go to the client's website and access their marketing map.
  • Right-click-Save Image on the map.
  • Load map image into Inkscape (or Photoshop or Illustrator, if you prefer).
  • Draw colored circles on the map image.

(Alternately, could draw the circles on transparent, plastic "post-it" notes and stick those to the screen.)

My "chalk talk" presentations have been very successful in getting my proposals approved. And there is no misperception that my mock-up is anything other than a mock-up.


* I prepare "foundation" drawings and print them on poster paper. Then during a presentation, I use markers to draw additional details in a way that illustrates how my proposed solution will work.

Comment Re:So many people don't understand tax deductions (Score 2) 399

This only works if you are already itemizing deductions.

If the company gives you the money, then you can only deduct the donation if you itemize deductions.

However, if the company donates the money, then it's not part your taxable income - in other words, it's "pre-deducted".

Another example would be Flexible (Health) Spending Accounts - FSAs:

Normally, you can only deduct health care expenses when you itemize deductions AND only the amount over a certain percentage of your adjusted gross income (AGI).

But, with a FSA, the money is put into an escrow account that you (mostly*) control. AND is deducted from your pay BEFORE taxes, thus reducing your taxable income. Therefore, you are effectively deducting the whole amount, not just the amount over the AGI percentage AND even if you don't itemize deductions.


* Once money is put in the FSA, you can only use it to pay qualified medical expenses AND you loose any remaining amount still in the FSA at the end of the year (though there are certain "grace rules" that might apply).

Comment Re:Wow... (Score 1) 220

How many of YouTube's users are there for music?

Even "non-music" content often has background music.

And, in my experience, they don't care if the music is original. I have licensed recordings I made of music I composed to others for use as background music. Even after being sent signed copies of the license grants, they kept repeating demands for payments from people using my music.

Comment Re:How do you demand honesty (Score 1) 588

Also, if you haven't already point your router to some legit DNS servers. Do not assume your ISP is providing your valid results.

Are you using a resolver that properly implements DNSSEC? Otherwise, you can't be sure your ISP isn't silently redirecting DNS (port 53) requests to it's own DNS servers.

Comment Re:Need to prevent small companies from H1B (Score 1) 400

Also, the programmers were awful: they program to the letter of the spec, and my specs assumed too much a-priori knowledge about coding. I guess that was my fault.

How much is "too much" apriori knowledge?

As more detail is added to specifications, it eventually becomes code itself, reducing the programmer's job to translating that code to whatever language the compiler expects. When you get that far, the spec writer might just as well directly write the compilable code.

Some apriori knowledge is needed to be an effective programmer - even in these days where "generating" code from diagrams is becoming the norm for programmers.

Comment Re:Ignorance abounds (Score 1) 497

Low-skilled investors who reward incompetent technology from dominant, monopolistic companies.

Investors "reward" any business that gives them a return on investment - the bigger and faster, the better. this pushes managers to seek out the cheapest, faster way to get a product into the hands of paying customers. This also pushes them to focus more on adding features than on fixing problems. As long as the product works well enough that customers are buying it. Whether sales slow, increase or stay the same, there is always more pressure to add features to boost sales. When sales cease to increase for too long, ongoing development will be stopped and the money reallocated to other products that are still seeing increasing sales.

Some investors are more patient than others. But, in return for their patience, they expect a higher return on investment. Usually this means more features, not fewer bugs.

Comment Re:Smart move (Score 3, Insightful) 168

I have a phrase, it is quite useful: "Can I get that in Email?" If the answer is "no", then I assume I am free to ignore that request.

... And if they ever try to "Get" you, you play dumb, "I don't recall".

Doesn't matter. The boss can still fire you - or lay you off.

The other thing I find useful is sending an email with a "brief summary" of whatever meeting it was. If they don't respond, then that is tacit acknowledgement the summary is accurate, and it becomes official record. Any non-written "clarification" would be followed up with same.

Still doesn't matter. The boss can still say he followed up in-person or by phone. The lack of a further email summary won't matter to his boss.

The problem is, far too many people find sleazy as an acceptable practice in organizations, and actively participate in the sleaze.


Don't participate and you have nothing to worry about.

Unfortunately, no. Too many people will believe the sleeze-balls.

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