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Comment Re:Really slashdot? (Score 1) 447

With every other product in the world you have a refund period. Why should this game be any different?

Back in the day (the 80's) you used to be able to return games, music and movies just like other products. Then stores starting instituting no-return polices for these items because people were returning them in large numbers.

Many kids of my generation got burned reading video game magazines and then buying a stinker of a game. Retailers are not willing to take on the risk of people wanting to return a perfectly functioning game that they just happened to dislike.

Comment Re:Really slashdot? (Score 1) 447

I don't know about people needing 30-40 hours to realize there's no depth. I watched two or three hours of various people playing and it was pretty obvious that the game is just one big grind. All people were doing was mining, walking/flying around, learning alien words and buying/selling things at space stations.

People have a legitimate complaint about the developers talking up features that weren't there, but that's why you wait for the reviews and watch other people playing before you spend money on a game.

Comment Re:More proof (Score 2) 415

No, it is saying socio-economic factors make it less likely for African Americans to succeed, and this will not be changed for hundreds of years if society does not lend a hand.

If that were true, then why are we doling out extra assistance based on "race" instead of basing it on socio-economic status? The checkbox on the form asks to which "race" you belong, not how well off you are.

Comment Twitter working as designed (Score 1) 465

How exactly would you implement a moderation system like Slashdot's given how Twitter works? I suppose you could continuously compute a moderation score for each tweet, but that would become unwieldy pretty fast.

Twitter encourages what is basically a reflection attack. A user sends out one tweet and sometimes receives an order or two in magnitude (or more) of replies. Users like it when the replies affirm their tweet and don't like it when the replies are abusive (whatever that means to the person in question). How do you allow one without also allowing the other?

I suppose you could allow people to block direct replies when the replying user is not followed by the person who sent the tweet. That would probably cut down on the amount of abuse making it back to the user's feed at the cost of hiding some content. Have a second feed for viewing unfiltered replies.

Comment Re:Islam is the problem, not encryption (Score 1) 446

15Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20So then, by their fruit you will recognize them. -- Matthew 7:15 - 20

Just compare how Muhammed treated the woman who confessed to adultery to how Jesus treated the woman who confessed to him. It's pretty plain to see which one of them loves and which one of them hates.

Comment Re:Marijuana prohibition is a farce (Score 1) 95

Take marijuana off the black market and the funding for many other criminal operations will dry up.

I wonder to what extent this is true, I would think that the money lies in powdered drugs like cocaine and heroin. It's very common for suppliers to cut their product to increase profit. You can't really do that with marijuana unless you do something like spray it with sugar water. It's also incredibly easy to grow a plant in a small space with mail-order seeds, you can't do that with a lot of other recreational drugs.

I think these dark markets are a great development as they take away the risk of violence. Funds are sent over the Internet and product is delivered by mail. Bad sellers get sorted out based on community feedback. Drug scheduling in the U.S. means that a lot of substances people want to research cannot be obtained legally.

Comment Re:Steve Jobs already did it. (Score 1) 88

Back in the 90's UIC's MS/CS department had a computer lab with workstations running NeXTStep. The lab had mostly Intel-based pizza-boxes, but later on they purchased some HP-PA machines (models 715 and 815 IIRC). Some of the professors had a NeXTstation or NeXTcube (some with the NeXTdimension board) in their office. I really got a kick out of the magneto-optical drives.

I worked as an admin in the lab for a time and compiled a lot of open source code on those machines. GNU's autotools weren't used by a lot of projects, so I had to fix a lot of compile-time issues with header files and datatype names. Looking back, that was a pretty good learning experience for a newbie.

Comment Re:Removing age barrier would solve the problem (Score 1) 472

I honestly believe that I could go back to school and be up to speed an a semester or two.

School is for fools! You definitely don't want to spend your time in school for tech unless you still need to learn the basics. They are not going to cover anything modern and won't teach you actual job skills, mostly just theory with some small machine problems. You're much better off either learning on your own time or getting a tech position where you can learn on the job.

I'm not sure where you're located, but there are plenty of tech jobs available in the larger cities. Especially for front-end developers. There also seems to be a lot of demand for good server-side (*nix) people. I would recommend avoiding the large corporations and looking for jobs with small and medium sized businesses. Contract work is also good, I've been very happy with the agency I worked with in the past.

Comment Limited exceptions for paying overtime (Score 1) 472

It is legal if you pay over $47,476 per year, and I assume you make more than that in a tech-related job.

No, that is not correct. There is not a magic dollar amount where you suddenly become overtime exempt. There are Federal laws regulating overtime.

The FLSA requires that most employees in the United States be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek.

However, Section 13(a)(1) of the FLSA provides an exemption from both minimum wage and overtime pay for employees employed as bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees. Section 13(a)(1) and Section 13(a)(17) also exempt certain computer employees. To qualify for exemption, employees generally must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and be paid on a salary basis at not less than $455 per week. Job titles do not determine exempt status. In order for an exemption to apply, an employee’s specific job duties and salary must meet all the requirements of the Department’s regulations.

Fact Sheet #17A: Exemption for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Computer & Outside Sales Employees Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Additional guidance is provided for computer-related occupations:

To qualify for the computer employee exemption, the following tests must be met:

  • The employee must be compensated either on a salary or fee basis at a rate not less than $455 per week or, if compensated on an hourly basis, at a rate not less than $27.63 an hour;
  • The employee must be employed as a computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer or other similarly skilled worker in the computer field performing the duties described below;
  • The employee’s primary duty must consist of:
    1. 1) The application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software or system functional specifications;
    2. 2) The design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing or modification of computer systems or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to user or system design specifications;
    3. 3) The design, documentation, testing, creation or modification of computer programs related to machine operating systems; or
    4. 4) A combination of the aforementioned duties, the performance of which requires the same level of skills.

The computer employee exemption does not include employees engaged in the manufacture or repair of computer hardware and related equipment. Employees whose work is highly dependent upon, or facilitated by, the use of computers and computer software programs (e.g., engineers, drafters and others skilled in computer-aided design software), but who are not primarily engaged in computer systems analysis and programming or other similarly skilled computer-related occupations identified in the primary duties test described above, are also not exempt under the computer employee exemption.

Fact Sheet #17E: Exemption for Employees in Computer-Related Occupations Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) [emphasis mine]

If an employer claims you are overtime exempt you need to have them specify to which exempt class you belong.

I work at Microsoft for a vendor, and we get paid hourly if we work less than forty hours or flat forty salary if we work more than forty.

You need to speak to a labor attorney, that arrangement does not sound legal. An employer cannot reclassify workers as hourly or salaried on a week-to-week basis.

Comment Re:OR (exclusive) (Score 1) 254

If I am smarter than the next guy and gave a task to do I may get it done in half the time and go home early while the guy who is having a harder time is putting in overtime. Thus he is getting paid more for doing more work however the outcome is the same.

If you are being paid based on time spent at work, then you're most definitely not working smarter by getting the job done quicker. The smart worker will realize that he needs to find ways to put in as many hours as possible while doing as little as possible, but still keep his employer happy.

Same thing with questioning the authority that feeds (pays) you. You might think you're being smart by suggesting improvements, but if the boss doesn't want to hear them, then you're actually being stupid and working against your own interests (keeping the job).

One of the first things I learned when I started working for others is that there are things that matter more than the actual job you do. Things like getting along with others and keeping your boss happy. It's not like school where you can be an asshole, be disliked by the teacher and your classmates and still ace the test to get an A.

Comment Re:Take a page from the NFL's playbook (Score 1) 188

The Olympics charge the broadcast and cable companies a fortune for coverage rights. Comcast NBC paid $1.23 billion for Rio alone.

I really dislike the fact that a bunch of elites are making money off the backs of the Olympic athletes and the people watching and attending the games. Countries should contribute funding, but commercial exploitation/advertising should be prohibited.

There should be official coverage that's available to watch for free over the Internet or other broadcast channels. Third-parties should be free to broadcast their own coverage if they want to.

Comment Re:If I thought it would help... (Score 1) 279

Try being poor sometime and being unable to get a driver's license or state issued ID card, unable to take time off of work to get one, unable to pay the fees, etc.

And yet the poor somehow manage to get an identification card for their welfare benefits.

In my state an id costs $20, I wouldn't call that a burden, and the fee is waived for the homeless.

Comment Re:It's not a bad thing (Score 2) 241

If all you hire are white men you're only going to ever have the viewpoints of white men.

So you're telling me that all white men have the same viewpoints?

When people talk about diversity these days, they tend to be referring to someone's skin color and cultural background. They are generally not talking about a diversity of ideas or viewpoints.

When people talk about improving the diversity of an organization they're talking about meeting arbitrary racial quotas. That's why, for example, the City of Chicago has been promoting Hispanic fire fighters ahead of more qualified Caucasian candidates.

Latino Firefighters Bullied Into Taking Race-Based Promotions, They Say

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