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Comment Re: WTF? (Score 2) 760

Or by donating money to non-profits and such, i.e. a deduction. That way I can fund those social programs that actually make a difference at MY choice.

People are failing to understand that deductions are part of determining your taxes and are exactly that, deductions from your income. They are not part of your income, and are thus untaxable. It is not the government 'giving you anything back'. I imagine a lot of these people making these huge deductions are doing so through donations. Do you really want the non-profits to not get this money by forcing people who donate to them to get drug tested?

Take my own example (although not above these limits, obviously). I have a vacation home in a VERY small community. The government provided fire protection is 1.5 hours away (my tax dollars at work). We fund raised, made our own donations, and built our own VFD for covering the area. All of the money donated went into fire equipment and building the building (we built it ourselves). If the government had gotten involved, it would have cost 100x what it did. Isn't this the kind of behavior we want?

Comment Re:WTF? (Score 4, Insightful) 760

I am not in support of this program, as it has shown to be cost negative in that we are spending more than we are saving, but there is one key difference here. Money that you itemize as deductions is NOT a gift from the government. They are not 'giving' you money by not taking as much. That is very, very broken logic and shows the sickness that lies in the government.

Money received in these programs is purely a gift from the government. You have not paid in and are receiving cash, so yes, there are going to be some stipulations there about what you can do with it and what you must be doing. Ideally this would be targeted at training and helping you get out of poverty, not drug testing.

It is ridiculous to consider the logic here that the government is being so nice to you by taking less of your money.....

Comment Re:Just what Walmart shoppers need..... (Score 1) 117

I honestly can't see how you can't manage children while pushing a cart. People have been doing it for years. The cart moving around by itself is not a huge advantage here. If the kids are small enough, they are in the cart. If old enough, they are helping and learning and it is an experience. And yes, sometimes it might be a challenge, but that is what parenting is about. I already mentioned the mapping part was fine and useful.

I would prefer the cost of my goods does not go up because of all the lazy people who can't push a shopping cart around the store by hand. Those things are not free, and you will pay for them. Of course those of us who choose to take on the burden of actually pushing a shopping cart will take on more of that burden.

I lump this into the same area as all of the extra safety junk they force onto us on cars that 'protects us' and increases the cost of the car. Then it breaks constantly. Kind of like the new feature in GM cars to remind you that you have a child and should check the back seat before you leave to see if they are there. Seriously? I have to pay for that now too even though I am smart enough to not forget my child in a back seat?

Idiocracy is upon us.....

Comment Just what Walmart shoppers need..... (Score 4, Insightful) 117

Because Walmart shoppers already get so much exercise and are in such great shape that any form of exercise is not needed. I am saddened by the fact that we are now to the point where we consider pushing a shopping cart around the store to be too much work.

How about scrapping the electric drive but keeping the locator aspect. That would seem to cut the costs dramatically while giving the greatest benefit. I really think most of the people I see in Walmart could use to push the cart themselves

Comment Node and REST? (Score 2, Insightful) 40

This is what you get when you hire a bunch of developers doing straight RESTful interfaces on top of MongoDB having no idea what they are actually doing. I am amazed at the lack of security I see in most of the software developed these days, and while RESTful can be a great approach, people also need to realize how open and easy to abuse it really is.

It really is funny how all of these things we solved ages ago are having to be redone because now we have a new platform that doesn't just give you all of this built in. Hopefully the node level javascript developers can be taught the importance of actual security and designing an enterprise/internet level system and what that means, but with trends like 'microservices' being the rage, I somehow doubt that.

This is the difference between being a programmer, and being an engineer.

Rant off....

Comment Re:Watch the next tech cycle start (Utah) (Score 1) 203

Yup, it seems to be happening here in Utah. The amount of growth is pretty crazy. Unfortunately they treat a lot of us like H1B workers but onshore, so a lot of not so great development is 'outsourced' here. That said, the pay is finally starting to catch up to reality. A lot of the local companies have had a hard time adjusting in that they used to be able to pay very little, so they are having to realize you can't get a senior programmer with lots of experience for the salaries they used to offer anymore. Some are finally starting to pay up, others are just complaining about 'no available workers'. We are probably still on the upswing, but will probably be peaking soon.

Housing is still relatively cheap and if you can deal with the local politics (i.e. ignore most of it) the outdoor opportunities are amazing. Quality of life is so much better than living in Silicon Valley.

Comment Anonymous releases video on Clinton (Score 1) 416

I highly suggest everyone watch this video released by anonymous: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... It really drives home who Clinton is. I can't believe I have to choose between Clinton and Trump. It is like the simpsons episode where we are choosing our alien overlord. Please let there be a viable third party candidate....

Comment Re: Bring back a large screen model (Score 1) 171

Depends on what kinds of things you are trying to do. I am not IT, and computer science fundamentals and math do not change that much from year to year. If I am looking at a bug I might want to use stack overflow, If I am looking at scientific papers on machine learning, not so much. I am not a code monkey and am not just looking up a function in an API. If I am reading a scientific paper on the plane, the e-ink is much easier on the eyes, I don't necessarily have internet, and am much happier to have them all right there. Also, books on introductions to something like Spark or a new language are still relevant at their publication date. Heck, why would I even ever read a book on a reader then by your logic....

Comment Re:Bring back a large screen model (Score 2) 171

Try being a consultant and travelling. There is no way I can lug several books with me on an airplane and on the customer site. With one of these, I could have my whole library of reference books, and books I want to read to learn something in my travel time.

I agree that there is something nice about a real book, but it is all a balance of the situation, and a large e-ink reader for me would allow me to do things I just could not practically do in my situation. I don't think I am alone in this.

Comment Bring back a large screen model (Score 4, Interesting) 171

I would love to be able to read tech papers, manuals, and all kinds of stuff at work on a dedicated e-reader that didn't blind me. This unit looks like pretty much the same specs as the previous one with minor enhancements. From the specs, it is basically the same screen. Bring back the kindle dx size unit and I will pony up the $300+ for it. For this, I will stick with my old kindle that is still just working fine.

I really think they are missing out on a great market of people who want to read things that just do not translate well to that tiny screen. I find that e-ink is awesome for long reading and scanning. I don't really like my tablet screen for that, plus I like to read outside. So come on Amazon, bring back a DX format or larger!

Comment How they choose contractors (Score 0) 205

I don't know for sure, but I would bet that it involves government contractors. Have you ever looked at how they actually choose contracting companies?

It starts with the fact that they have all kinds of preferential treatment involved. Is your company run by veterans? How about a disabled veteran? How about a disabled veteran woman? Best yet, a disabled veteran native American woman! Now you get the contract for sure!

I interviewed at a few of these kinds of shops. The heads were all FIGURE heads, not actually smart people. I could not stand talking with them as they clearly knew absolutely nothing about software development. Likewise, everyone they attracted was people who were not turned off by this. No wonder we get the crappy software in the government space we do.

I considered opening my own shop and bidding on some of these, because honestly the software is SO bad I would only have to half try, and it would be stellar. But after looking into it, I determined the only way I would ever be successful is to make my wife the head. In order to really get ahead, we had to prove her connection to her Native American past, and we haven't been able to conclusively close that loop yet. I joke with her that she should join the military and get shot just to help the cause, but she hasn't been willing yet.

Bring back fair and open bidding on these, and don't just go to the cheapest solution. I think that is what ends up costing all of the extra in the long run is that these companies under bid, have no idea what they are doing, and usually end up missing the deadlines. Most are not run by people who know how to build modern softare.

Comment Teach Problem Solving (Score 5, Insightful) 281

I don't totally disagree with this statement. I got into coding many years ago because I loved solving problems, and used a scientific approach to doing just that. Teaching the languages of coding just to move something around on the screen is pretty pointless. It seems many of the 'coding' classes in schools do just that.

Using coding, however, as a broader set of methodologies to teaching problem solving and how you break it down and arrive at a solution IS a good thing. This will prepare our kids for the future no matter what it brings as they will then know how to approach a problem and solve it. That is what I find lacking in the newer grads I work with today.

There are many tools, techniques, and ways to make that fun and interesting for children and I wish we would change the focus to address that and stop focusing on just coding. A programmer without problem solving abilities is like a writer with perfect grammar, but nothing to say.

Comment Re:Not Shortwave (Score 1) 291

Absolutely not true.

I do ham radio and use the 10Mhz signal all the time to check the accuracy of my panadapter. The AM signal actually does transmit voice. That is correct. It also, however, uses a combination of ticks on certain side bands for every second, changing the format at fixed intervals, as well as sending the timce code on a 100hz tone on the AM signal. It is all there on these frequencies and can be easily decoded.

I know, as I have stared at the signal for way too long on multiple occasions adjusting my gear.

Comment Re:Misses the point (Score 1) 103

Here is an actual crash of a drone of the type most people use. I had an eagle attack my drone in the desert taking out one of the props:

Drone crash after eagle attach

It becomes readily apparent how it tumbles and tries to right itself, slowing down the decent. It did not power itself into the ground. In fact, the only damage was the broken prop. The rest of the plastic craft was just fine.

Comment Why wouldn't criminals use gold? (Score 1) 558

If the issue was about moving large amounts of value across international borders, I think the big time criminals would pick a far better resource than US currency. It would be much simpler to use a precious metal or some such thing to move the value than piles of cash. The Mexican cartels already do this by purchasing guns in the US at cheap value, and smuggling those back across the border in essence doubling their profit by making money on both directions of the trip. Seems like I could melt gold into something that is pretty easy to conceal just plain walking across a border, like a cell phone.

Same goes for all of those paranoid about the government taking your money electronically. If you want to keep your savings out of the government hands, government issued script is not going to do it. You are one bill change away from having to change it all out again. Gold, or something else like that, sure seems a lot harder for them to get their fingers around.

That said, you are talking to someone who is not worries about that and has no gold to speak of. I don't believe the government would be able to pull any of that off as there would be mass revolt. If the apocalypse comes, I think booze, food, and ammo are going to be far more valuable than any precious metal. My plan is to not survive the apocalypse as I don't really want to live through that. It wouldn't be pretty.

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