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Comment To the Cloud!!!! (Score 2) 32

Oracle is all in on this cloud stuff. They were late to the cloud game and are now playing catch up to Salesforce and Workday. So now Oracle (and SAP as well) are snapping up cloud based products. It's the flavor of the month.

What Oracle has figured out is that it is actually more profitable to sell SAAS software than traditional on premise software. With on premise software you have to support lots of different databases and middle ware and OS's. That makes your development and testing exponentially more difficult and expensive. With SAAS you only have to support one stack - yours.

Customers give up a lot of control for the convenience of SAAS based products. And the dirty little secret is that SAAS actually costs you more money in the long run. This is why Oracle is so eager to jump on the cloud bandwagon. It's not about doing what their customers want - it's about making more money. On a conference call about 3 months ago Ellison came right out and said that cloud is more profitable.

Think of it like buying vs leasing a car. Leasing gives you convenience but every study I have read says that buying the car is cheaper in the long run. Eventually customers will catch on to this and cloud will vaporize. But until then there is money to be made and made it shall be.

Comment What? (Score 1) 133

No threat level pink? This is an insult to all women...and people that are sympathetic to women...and people that are men that really want to be women.

And no threat level rainbow? Oh the humanity!!! Once again we have left our LGBT brothers and sisters in the lurch.

And code black is an imminent threat? Sounds vaguely racist.

No...this just won't do. Back to the drawing board Barack.

Comment Obama blew it (Score -1, Flamebait) 634

After 7 years of basically treating Brits like dirt Obama has the audacity to go to the UK and lobby the people of Great Britain to stay in the EU. Did he really think they were going to listen to him? Barack Hussein O would rather spend time with a Cuban dictator taking in a baseball game than spending time with arguably Americas strongest historical ally. Then he comes out with these petulant "back of the line" veiled threats after the verdict did not go his way.

Coupled with the SOCUS smack down on the immigration executive order....not a good week for Obama.

Comment Re:How ironic (Score 1) 477

"I've never observed anyone commenting on the cost of a man's clothes while giving a speech. Typically, I see media comments on women's clothes but not men's. This looks an awful lot like sexism to me; if you want to convince me otherwise, please let me know how much Bernie's and Donald's clothes cost - or for that matter Obama's or Bush's." - You'd have to ask Trump how much his suits cost but I would imagine in the neighborhood of $2K or so. But you are completely missing the point. Doesn't $12K - for a fucking jacket - seem just a little excessive to you? Especially for someone like Clinton that claims to care so much for the down trodden. She is a hypocrite plain and simple. By the way, it has nothing to do with her being a woman. Nice strawman attempt though.

"How much did he personally donate?" - Again, you'd have to ask The Donald but I'd bet that it is well into the millions of dollars of his own cash. This is the difference between liberals and conservatives. Liberals talk about donating money. They talk about YOU giving YOUR money. They donate their time but not their money. Conservatives give money. Lots of it and often with little or no fanfare. Rush Limbaugh and Dick Chaney - two people that I'm sure you just despise - give millions and millions of dollars to charities. Their own money. And they do it knowing that people like you are going to criticize them anyway. The difference is that they give money not for recognition but out of a sense of civic duty.

Clinton, on the other hand, sets up some phony charitable organization that is nothing more than a slush fund for influence peddlers and corrupt politicians. How is it that this fund has collected millions of dollars and yet has distributed so little to the poor it claims to be helping?

"What do you consider particularly dubious about Hillary's and Bill's money?" - Seriously? Ok. How about the fact that Bill's speech fees skyrocket right around the time that Hillary just happens to be Secretary of State? How is it that Hillary is getting paid millions for a twenty minute speech to Wall St. firms? Does she have some deep financial insight? Or maybe it's just more influence peddling. Even Bernie is now suggesting this. How is it that corporate donations to their foundation just happen to coincide with the awarding of lucrative government contracts?

I will agree with you on one thing though - lots of fortunes have been made in a dubious fashion. I'm not suggesting that Trump is some kind of boy scout. He's a hard nosed businessman. But comparing the Trump University case to what Hillary is being investigated for is a bit of a stretch. Trump is a civil case. If he loses has has to pay some money. Hillary is being charged with actions that could land her in jail. Were it anyone else they would already be in jail.

Comment Re:How ironic (Score 1) 477

You're missing the point. First of all, I'm not a Sanders supporter. He's a socialist and my political views don't lean that way. The point I was trying to make was that Sanders, despite the fact that he has virtually no chance of winning the democratic nomination, still has tremendous support. Traditionally the democrats have done a really good job of getting behind the nominee but this time I just don't see it - not yet at least. I think that speaks to the fact that Clinton is simply not a strong candidate. Yes, she has the delegates but she does not have anywhere near the fervent following that Sanders has. Or Trump has for that matter.

Trump and Sanders, despite having diametrically opposed political views, are alike in one very important way. They inspire people. Clinton simply lacks the ability to inspire people at the same level as the other two do. Aside from that she has the FBI investigation looming as well as a lot of questions about the Clinton foundation and her ties to Wall Street money. She's a flawed candidate and the longer Sanders sticks around the more pronounced it becomes.

Comment How ironic (Score 3, Insightful) 477

So here is Hillary Clinton having a speech last night after essentially securing the Democratic nomination. She touched on most of the typical democratic talking points...equality for all, helping the working class get a fair shot, etc. This is while wearing a $12,000 Armani jacket:

If this isn't the height of arrogance I don't know what is. That jacket is worth more than the yearly salaries of some of her supporters. Not to mention that many of the people on her campaign are unpaid volunteers. At least when these phony celebrities show up on humanitarian missions in some of the poorest parts of the world they at least have the humility to leave the Rolex at home.

This is the same party that was criticizing Trump for allegedly lying about how much money he raised for Veterans groups (he claimed 6 million, it was actually 5.6 million. By the time it's all said and done, it will be over 6 million). Emperor Hillary has donated a grand total of $75,000 to Veterans groups - over the past 8 years. This is from a woman with a net worth that far exceeds $100,000,000, much of it in dubious fashion. Am I surprised? Not in the least.

I wonder how many of her supporters are made up of the following:

1) People that support her solely based on the fact that she is a woman, putting aside past and current scandals and suitability for office questions.
2) People that simply hate Trump, for whatever reason.

What is striking to me is the popularity that Bernie Sanders still enjoys. I watched his speech last night in California and I'm telling you his supporters are worked up and they love this guy. I've read polls where up to 25% of Sanders supporters will not support or vote for Hillary. Some of them will even vote for Trump. That has to be alarming to the Clinton campaign, especially in light of Sanders vow to hang in to the bitter end.

I would say that the Emperor has no clothes but evidently she does...expensive ones at that.

Comment Uh huh.... (Score 1) 258

What GE has discovered is that annual raises are permanent. Once you give someone a 5% raise that rate of pay carries on forever (or as long as they are an employee at least). And the next raise compounds on the last one. So if you have a good year this year and a poor one next year the company is still compensating you in year two (as a result of the pay raise in year one) as if you had two good years.

A bonus, on the other hand, only lasts for this year. The base pay does not change. Each year is a blank slate.

The other thing is that salary reviews are always thought of in an upward trend. Any decrease in salary, or no increase, is seen as a punitive measure or even an insult.

So clearly GE has a financial incentive to do away with annual raises. The question then becomes....what will it be replaced by? If, as some suggest, it will be replaced by other non-monetary benefits (more time off, flexible work schedules, etc.) that might be welcome by some. To me it seems more likely that this is a further progression towards the temporary employee. The first step was to do away with pensions. Next was the offshoring trend. Now the trend is moving towards employment based on a fixed duration, or contract based employment. Workers have predictably responded by changing jobs more often.

In my own case, it seemed like the best way to get a raise was to change employers.

Comment Re:Auditing (Score 2) 63

"That's not true at all. I'm an accountant and audits absolutely can and generally should investigate whether the records they review are factual and evidence based. In fact an auditor is supposed to look for evidence of fraud or mismanagement when doing a financial audit. If an accounting firm is not doing this when auditing the books for a large company then they are not doing their job properly." - Yes exactly right. An auditor is supposed to look for those sorts of irregularities. Otherwise what is the point of having an audit? Big companies can and will bend the rules if they are allowed to get away with it. I guess I just question the independence of some of the audits, given the cozy relationships that can exist.

Comment Re: Who's really to blame here? (Score 1) 63

And here is the dirty little secret about the accounting firms. All of them have a consulting practice to implement Oracle's ERP products. These firms (E&Y, Accenture, Deloitte) bring business to Oracle because companies will hire them to recommend an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning - fancy software for HR and Finance that every big company uses) software. The choice usually comes down to Oracle, SAP or Workday.

So these very same accounting firms that get paid to recommend one product or the other are also auditing those firms. I'm not suggesting it should be illegal but it is rather, shall we say, cozy.

Comment This is all well and good but... (Score 1) 148

until executives start making security a priority, rather than a reflexive action, nothing will change. The majority of corporate boardrooms are filled with MBA types and people with sales backgrounds. Even in high tech companies, the tech founder usually gets squeezed out at some point to make room for the MBA that is going to grow the company.

Typically, MBA's and salespeople view security as a burden, a necessary evil, a nuisance. They would rather allocate funds to marketing. Or the latest diversity flavor of the week. IT in general is viewed as a cost center and data security gets lumped in with that. Most corporate leaders don't really understand IT security because they generally don't come from an IT background. So it gets treated as an afterthought and, predictably, the IT folks are left to stamp out the resulting brush fires.

Standard operating procedure:

1) Send everyone a letter telling them that their credentials have been compromised
2) Offer them 6 months of free credit monitoring
3) Issue them a new card
4) Encourage the customer to change their password
5) Sweep it under the rug

Comment Just one question... (Score 1) 129

How much of a kickback is the IOC chairman getting? Because everything about the Olympics involves money and scandals and payoffs of some sort. I can't believe that VISA would stupid enough to introduce something like a new payment system at the Olympics of all places - the absolute epitome of dirty money, scandal ridden events.

I mean seriously, is this some sort of joke? So future Olympic bribes can now be conducted using the VISA payment ring...untraceable, discreet, no more bulky envelopes in a dark alley. No...graft can now be done from the comfort of your own living room. What could possibly go wrong?

Comment Re:Hope you're happy.... (Score 1) 106

That's an interesting analysis. Tasks that can be automated WILL be automated. It's only a matter of when and to what extent. In the Auto industry we have seen what it might look like already. You have robots that can create thousands of perfect welds, better than any human could do. Then you have a human to inspect the welds to make sure nothing was missed. That's the model. Robot makes the fries, human inspects the fries before they get served to anyone.

As you pointed out above, raising the minimum wage (or shaming companies into doing so) simply accelerates the process. The real question is what happens to all these newly displaced workers? Many of the fast food workers are high school kids so they can just deliver pizzas or something. But what about semi skilled workers? Retraining is difficult and costly. Government led retraining efforts have historically been dismal failures. My fear is that 10% unemployment will become the "new normal". Obviously this will put a tremendous strain on an already strained entitlement system. Which will lead to even higher taxes on the middle class (the upper class always finds a way to evade paying their fair share).

Comment No different than big companies (Score 1) 208

I keep hearing about these start ups and how lithe and agile they are and everyone dresses down and flat management structure and no politics. I've worked for small companies and my experience was that flat management meant that nobody was in charge. And trust me, small companies have plenty of office politics. It's just human nature and the people that are managers - they operate the same way no matter the size of the company. It's how they are trained.

The only reason to join a small company is to get some training (baptism by fire, but training none the less) and maybe cash in if they go public. Other than that you can look forward to low pay, crummy benefits and a chaotic work environment.

All corporate environments involve meaningless buzzwords and unnecessary meetings. Big ones just have more of it.

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