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Comment Complaining about lack of titles misses the point (Score 1) 165

Yeah, the number and variety of titles is lacking with Amazon KU. But this is typical Amazon (and business 101 actually). You start small and grow over time. Amazon negotiated the deals it could bring KU to market and no doubt plans to grow their titles/publishers over time. Remember when Amazon used to _only_ sell books? Or what about few titles were available Amazon Instant Video a year ago vs now? Sure, it won't happen over night (not so much Amazon's fault, they'd love to include more publishers/titles), but it will improve over time.

Comment Ageism is real, but... (Score 1) 2

the market is really hot right now. If you:

1. Have relevant/current skills
2. Are marketing yourself well

Then you shouldn't have a huge problem. When things slow down again though, I'd expect it to get harder.

The fact that you want to work remote though is a huge negative for a lot of companies who just don't have the corporate culture for that sort of thing. A lot of companies think people need to be in the same room in order to collaborate in order to be effective. There are of course companies like GitHub and 37Signals which have a lot of remote employees- I suggest you seek those out and make sure you tailor a resume specific to them.

The problem is that a lot of really experienced people haven't kept current with the changing market demands. SQA for example used to be very manual, and now companies are looking for people to do automation. Effectively, looking for QA programmers. Also, some older people sometimes don't come off well in interviews and that taints the whole pool.

The above are just generalizations and aren't intended to be a critique of you, but without more detail (like a copy of your resume) it's hard to really provide any constructive feedback.

On a side note, I'm a big fan of MotoPod :)

-Aaron (@synfinatic)

Comment Re:Lousy ideas (Score 1) 1013

I take it you've never heard of Libya or Syria? Not saying that in some situations a peaceful revolution can't be successful, but at the same time I don't believe it's the only means of doing so. American history shows that both ways can be successful, but it really depends on the leader.

Comment Re:Lousy ideas (Score 1) 1013

Not to mention as we've seen in the Arab Spring uprising, it's one thing to use your military against a foreign nation, it's a totally different thing to use it against your own population. Soldiers generally don't like pointing their guns at their bothers, sisters, neighbors and friends.

Comment Re:We can make complex AND reliable things (Score 1) 1013

Modern commercial aircraft are "reliable" because they get hundreds of hours of maintenance each year. Car engines are reliable, but require regular maintenance as well (oil changes, timing belt, etc). But generally it's all the electronics which start failing (electric door locks, powered windows, etc) for a wide range of reasons. My BMW for example has had various electronic problems including a recall on the spark plug coils (talk about an old technology and they still can't get it right!) and various other electronic gremlins (one of which killed my battery every 5 days if I didn't drive it because the A/C sucked 800ma/h even when off).

Frankly, I've been in tech now for nearly two decades and if it's taught me one thing it's this: very very few people/organizations know how to make reliable software & electronics. Those electronics which have to be reliable (or people die) are very very expensive vs. your normal commercial/consumer electronics (your iPod for example). Even systems designed with reliability in mind can fail (Amazon AWS outages for example).

Now start thinking about the conditions and elements a firearm is designed to go through with minimal maintenance: moisture, dirt, sand, salt, harsh cleaning chemicals, shock & vibration, etc which can cause corrosion and in general wreak havoc on electronics. Cars and plane electronics can have a lot of weather sealing (which adds bulk and weight) which is isn't so reasonable in a firearm you are supposed to carry and hold with one or two hands.

Simply put, added complexity reduces reliability and significantly increases costs.

That said, the best safety is training and being responsible (storing them in a safe, etc). Teaching people to respect (not fear) and how to properly handle firearms is the best safety. That's why I don't trust "safeties" on my firearms and I treat them as *always* loaded unless *I* personally have just verified it's state because a safety can fail for a variety of reasons (poor design, abuse, poor maintenance, etc). I won't even trust someone else verifying it for me- I have to visually check it myself.

That said, there are some really crappy guns being made which nobody should ever own/buy, but they're cheap. I do wish there were some appropriate safety/reliability testing standards that firearms had to pass and each one was given a rating (sorta like how safety ratings are done for cars). California does this which sorta gets it right, but causes problems for smaller manufacturers (like Les Baer, etc) which make very high quality firearms as well as other problems. A federal standard would help here, but frankly, I don't think I'd trust the Gov't to do it well and so a lot of gun owners like myself are hesitant to support such a measure and instead prefer to do our own research.

Comment Re:Stupid question (Score 1) 306

In my case, kicking and screaming. Our IT dept uses Oracle extensively for various things and for various reasons that basically forced my team to also use Oracle although we'd all prefer PG or yes even MySQL. Now that my team is moving to JRuby (which is awesome btw), Oracle driver suckage is less of a problem, but we all find Oracle a PITA to use query wise and it's not nearly as well supported in the OSS community for things like ActiveRecord (although recent versions of the oracle_enhanced-adapter seem to have solved many of our problems), etc.

That said, there have been some things that Oracle does really well and actually makes easy compared to PG/MySQL, but it's been a constant learning exercise for us. That said, little things like having to use WHERE ROWNUM = X, rather then LIMIT which basically always requires a subselect to get correct results is just annoying and makes our code less portable.

Not to say other RDBMS don't have their own set of problems, but at least we have a few decades worth of combined experience of PG/MySQL so we know how to avoid/work around them. But hey AC, thanks for the troll!

Comment Stupid question (Score 5, Insightful) 306

Might as well just ask: Which is better a BMW M3 or Ford F350 4x4 with 6.7 diesel?

Both are great, have their place and will get you from point A to B, but neither are a practical replacement for the other.

My current programming project is a mixture of Cassandra and Oracle (although, to be honest, I'd rather be using PostgreSQL or even MySQL).

Comment Re:Blame the Unions (Score 1) 381

At least here in California (your state may be different) the CTA (California Teachers Association which is the largest teachers union in California) is *very* powerful in state politics. Per wikipedia:

"The CTA is the most influential spender in California politics, spending more money on politicians and to influence California voters than Chevron, AT&T, Philip Morris and Western States Petroleum Association combined"

So yeah, if you don't think teacher unions don't influence politics here you're not paying attention.

Comment Re:Diesel (Score 1) 998

Unfortunately, here in the Bay Area, diesel is often more expensive then premium and 30-40 cents more expensive then regular. Annoying since diesel is basically a by-product of refining gasoline, but the global market for diesel is exploding (the US is the worlds largest exporter of diesel) and the newer cleaner ultra-low sulfur formulations are sending the price skyhigh compared to what it used to be.

Comment Re:a thought (Score 4, Interesting) 279

That's basically what happens today with most protocols like SSL/TLS. For each new connection, the client and server negotiate a new key via public key crypto like RSA. Actually, based on some comments in the article, like needing more "transactions" to help break the encryption, makes me believe the NSA is actually working to break RSA then AES.

Comment One of my favorite interview questions actually... (Score 1) 647

I always make a point to include "books, magazines, websites, blogs, manuals, nutritional food labels, directions for building Ikea furniture, etc"

I've found it better then asking what their hobbies are and if they say they don't read anything then it's an immediate fail. Overall I've found it tends to allow people to open up a bit more about what floats their boat then trying to be all PC about things. Some people give really bland answers (especially if they don't read much), but I've found that the A players tend (but not always) to get really excited about this question and can talk about it at length. YMMV.

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