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Comment Re:Skeptical or terrified? (Score 1) 110

@Shanen: I wholeheartedly agree. GE exists only because of inertia. But I think Immelt's management style has changed "the General" a little bit.

I've also been exposed to GE and their management philosophy. Welch was/is clueless. His "management style" is crude at best. Especially his idea that a manager can be effective anywhere in the organization. (IOW once you know how to manage, you can manage anything.) When Welch was running his massive PR campaign prior to his retirement from GE, he made a big deal about his basic management principals like he was some kind of management guru. The blowback he got from several business people via the WSJ was immediate and critical. Especially his idea that every year you fire the bottom 10% of performers in every department. Those critics exposed all kinds of problems in Welch's ideas. Suddenly Welch was adding all sorts of "qualifications" and "clarifications" to defend and explain his principals.

Welch was lucky he came on the scene when he did. GE had just turned itself into a bank with their finance service. That service became the primary revenue generator for the company. So Welch looked good.

Speaking of which, here's a great example of that "manage anywhere/anything" idea. A guy whose claim to fame as a manager was installing a GPS on every locomotive was transferred to become director of marketing for one of the medical device operations. Seriously. Like there is no difference between an MRI machine and a locomotive. To top it off, this guy was arrogant and crude. He alienated so many customers it was like a dark comedy. While at a big sales show, he shouted after one customer after alienating them that they would be back because "we are GE." Classy. Real classy. This guy never should have been a manager in the first place.

I am still in contact with previous coworkers so I hear about what is going on inside at least one of the GE divisions on a regular basis.

Shanen has it right.

Comment Re:If this is the new /. (Score 2) 227

I think you're right, jmd.

I'm hoping this is an aberration of sorts or a reflection of the angry political dialogue that has been going on for sometime now. Nobody can be objective anymore. They're caught up in the "somebody is wrong on the internet" thing and just can't let it go until they call that "somebody" out.

Let's get back to tech, science, etc. You know "News for Nerds."


You could say I've lost my belief in our politicians.
They all seem like game show hosts to me.

Sting -- If I ever lose my faith in you from the album Ten Summoner's Tales

Comment Re:In Soviet America (Score 1) 166

You are absolutely correct, Jason unlike "tripleevenfall" who clearly has some kind of political agenda with re to that party on "the other side of the aisle" thing.

I recommend "tripleevenfall" review the origins of the Patriot Act. First of all, it was signed into law by a Republican Admin, but you'll see that everybody (ie, both political parties) were involved by introducing additional provisions, etc.

Comment They'll keep trying (Score 3, Insightful) 165

The broadband companies are going to keep trying until they get the answer they want. Then once they do, there will be no going back.

Personally I feel it's just a matter of time before they monetize everything on the internet.

This isn't a great comparison, but I remember cable TV was promoted as "commercial free TV." ie, You could watch TV without commercials.

Yeah... well... that worked out great.

Comment Re:now we know why (Score 1) 100

What concerns me more and more is the continued availability of OTA.

We cut the cord just before 1990. Our TWC basic service had just exceeded $40/mo. Our house at that time had an antenna with a rotor on a tower so we switched over. It cost $200 for a new antenna and rotor and coax cable for the entire house. When we bought our current house, one of the first things that went in were two antennae on a tower (one for each of the two major markets available in our area). We receive just over 80 channels. Admittedly, 30 of those are either duplicates or Spanish and consequently of no benefit to us. That installation cost $800.

So figuring $40/mo for 26 years (ie, 1990 to 2016) is $12,480. Subtract our investment of $1000 and we've saved $11,480.

My next move is to a streaming device; probably Kodi on a RPi3.

We do have cable internet and are still subject to TWC for that service (20Mbs @ $65/mo), but I need internet for my job so I'm stuck with that. However, we occasionally watch TV online via various free services and have access to email as a result. (Now I'm anxiously watching what the Charter takeover will do.)

Now re my concern mentioned at the opening of this tome, it's what will happen to OTA. Knowing from experience that corporations get laws passed to capture more market share and to destroy competition (eg, the cable industry), I'm concerned they'll go after OTA and either outlaw it or impose some fee for using it.

Comment Skeptical (Score 4, Interesting) 227

What kinds of jobs? I'm curious how this breaks down into service sector, manufacturing, or salaried. I suspect this is more of a regional thing because our area seems to suck. And we're located near a large metropolitan area. Most of the positions I've been seeing around here are in warehousing and they're building lots of warehouses lately.

What we're seeing in our area are "temp" jobs paying around $10 or $12 per hour and no benefits. A person is hired for some short period of time (typically 6 months) with the possibility of getting hired full time. This appears to be a way to string people along in these low-paying, no-benefit positions. Several people we've heard from have been extended 2 or 3 times and then finally their contract is not renewed. The reason is always that the budget just doesn't allow for a new hire. Several firms in our area seem to be doing this a lot. I have to admit some of this is anecdotal evidence, but this anecdotal evidence seems to be proliferating the area.

Having been a manager, I get why they're doing this. Cut costs. Operate "lean 'n mean." One of my previous employers became aware of the potential of temp positions and switched a large part of their manufacturing over to temp positions. That was back in the early eighties.

One of our family members has graduated from the state university with a bachelor's in two majors. Graduated magna cum laude in MIS and high honors in Business Admin and received several awards. Also won a regional competition in marketing strategy. Nobody is hiring. And this relative is looking in the surrounding communities. Consequently they've taken a temp to hire position only this time they've been hired. At $12 per hour. And they have a sizable student loan debt.

So I'm a bit skeptical re the whole jobs recovery scene.

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