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Comment Re:They tried to raise prices 20% unnanounced (Score 1) 392

So let's quit doing that. If we reduced US Military spending by 10% each year for 10 years and pulled out of some of the many, many places around the world where we maintain a military presence and let others shoulder some of that burden, we could drop our taxes significantly and come across as less imperialist at the same time. Everybody wins!

Ron Paul had some wacky ideas, but the fact that we spend an absolutely ridiculous amount on the military in this country isn't one of them.

Comment Re:Pay cash (Score 1) 907

This applies (on a different scale) even if you're not poor. For instance, I'm gainfully employed, and looking at buying a house, but I don't have a down payment. There's a big difference between being sure you can make a $1,000/mo mortgage payment, and having $30,000 saved up already. All these people advising paying cash for cars don't realize that if you're poor, you just *don't have the money*. Yes it's cheaper in the long run than paying interest, but that's just one of the ways being poor is more expensive than being rich.

Comment Re:Why is everyone being so negative in here? (Score 1) 242

Well, balance is key, and that's where the skill comes in. Making eye contact enough to convey confidence/interest without staring and making people uncomfortable is a perfect example of something that some people pick up just by being around other humans and some people have to really think about, at least until they develop the habit.

Comment Re:Why is everyone being so negative in here? (Score 2) 242

Exactly. Wow, Slashdot unimpressed by an article about management and social skills? In other news, sources close to the Pope say he may be Catholic...

It looks like most of what she's teaching is pretty straightforward stuff - stand up straight, look people in the eye, and think about something calming before a big meeting or presentation so you're less nervous. Also, most people don't appreciate being interrupted unless they've specifically signed up for it (and maybe not even then). It's not "mind control", it's just how to be polite and assertive at the same time. A few years ago, I realized that the reason they're called "social SKILLS" is because they can be learned, and my personal and professional lives have both skyrocketed.

The fact of the matter is, if more tech folks looked at dealing with people as a (solvable!) challenge, we'd have more technical ideas being listened to. Instead, they say "it doesn't come naturally to me, so it must not be worth learning at all" and management is dominated by clueless BS artists, reinforcing the stereotype of the socially clueless engineer and the technically clueless boss. Doesn't the alternative (engineers who've put in the work to learn how to deal with people) sound better?

Comment Re:LinkedIn is worse than most (Score 1) 88

For me, LinkedIn mostly recommends people who are two or three degrees of separation away... but two of my favorite website operators are consistently in my top hits. I have no idea how or why; I haven't connected to them because 1) I don't know them that personally and 2) it's just plain eerie.

Submission + - School board unanimouly votes for censorship (wausaudailyherald.com)

flathom writes: Students and teachers in the Merrill Area School District this year could face discipline at school for on-line communications that came from the privacy of their homes. Disciplinary action for students ranges from a warning to expulsion until the age of 21. Employees can be fired for violating district policy.

Submission + - Finnish Boy Sued for Karaoke Video

Zatchmort writes: There's a tense legal climate in the US regarding students' use of social networking sites such as MySpace, but it's not unique to America. The AP reports that a Finnish boy was sued for $4,000 for posting a video on YouTube of his teacher at a party. From the article: 'In the first case of its kind in Finland, Nurmes District Court found Toni Vesikko guilty of intentional defamation and fined him 90 euros, or about $120. He also was ordered to pay 800 euros ($1,000) in damages for "causing harm and suffering" and 2,200 euros ($3,000) in court costs... The video, which Vesikko called in English "Karaoke of the mental hospital," named the teacher and said she was "a lunatic singing at the karaoke of the mental hospital." ' The teacher's lawsuit alleged that the video, which was seen about 600 times, caused her "anxiety, depression and insomnia." Teachers often get made fun of by their students, but how many lose any sleep over it?

Submission + - Student finds 5000-year-old chewing gum (kierikki.fi)

itsthebin writes: "Sarah Pickin, 23, found the lump of birch bark tar — complete with neolithic tooth prints — on a dig in Finland. Ms Pickin's tutor at the University of Derby, Professor Trevor Brown, said birch bark tar contained phenols, which are antiseptic compounds. "It is generally believed that neolithic people found that by chewing this stuff if they had gum infections it helped to treat the condition. It's particularly significant because well-defined tooth imprints were found on the gum which Sarah discovered," he said. Ms Pickin was on a volunteer program at the Kierikki Centre on the west coast of Finland when she made the find. It is not for sale on Ebay yet :-)"

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