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Comment Re:Good. (Score 4, Insightful) 310

Hollywood needs to get over itself, in a big, big way. For every soccer mom that wants to read about the custody battles between Brad and Angelina, there's someone who's just plain sick of it. Sick of actors grandstanding and talking about subjects they know nothing about (Tom Cruise). Sick of self-important over-inflated egos throwing phone books at a concierge (Russel Crowe), or denigrating a lighting guy on the set (Christian Bale) because he interrupted your "process". Get over yourself. You aren't half as believable as you think. And it would be great if people stopped interviewing Gwyneth Paltrow so we aren't subjected to whatever inane half-thought she vomits out.

I'm sick of the "Hollywood Accounting" used to show movies that take in hundreds of millions of dollars have made no money. I'm sick of the over-paid, over-hyped, over-the-top everything actors, directors, producers, and everyone else right down to craft services. You're an adult man, wearing tights, speaking a fictitious language, and wielding a fake sword to tell a story for the purposes of entertainment. Or you're a "reality" television star who's only real talent came from a leaked sex tape (Kardashian). You people are not doing medical research, astrophysics, or materials science. At best, the only problem you may be solving is boredom.

Comment Re:seems cheap (Score 5, Interesting) 138

Could be. It could also be that in Norway, if you send out an RFP, the companies that respond are capable of doing the work.

In the United States, if you send out an RFP, companies will respond that are actually unable to do the work but are happy to outsource it to someone else and add some percentage to the cost for the trouble. In fact, there may be times when the only companies even considered are ones that are incapable of doing it. As part of "The Fleecing of America" series on NBC, there was this coverage regarding the Hurricane Katrina clean up effort:

Here's an example of how it worked: The Ashbritt company was paid $23 for every cubic yard of debris it removed. It in turn hired C&B Enterprises, which was paid $9 per cubic yard. That company hired Amlee Transportation, which was paid $8 per cubic yard. Amlee hired Chris Hessler Inc, which received $7 per cubic yard. Hessler, in turn, hired Les Nirdlinger, a debris hauler from New Jersey, who was paid $3 per cubic yard.

That really happened, and I believe (based solely on the greed and ineptitude I witness daily) it continues to happen on most/all large-scale public works projects in the U.S. I don't know if that happens in Norway or not. If the tunnel was built in the U.S. using the example above, given an actual cost of building the tunnel at $272M, then the amount paid by the tax payers would be over $2 Billion. So that may be why it seems so low.

Comment Re:Oakhurst Dairy is correct (Score 5, Informative) 331

I don't believe it's that simple. Consider the following example I just found:
"I love my parents, Lady Gaga and Humpty Dumpty."

That sentence could be interpreted either as you love your parents AND Lady Gaga AND Humpty Dumpty. It could also be interpreted as you love your parents, and your parents are named Lady Gaga and Humpty Dumpty. There is a degree of ambiguity there.

Now consider this sentence:
"I love my parents, Lady Gaga, and Humpty Dumpty."

There is no ambiguity there. Clearly the speaker is listing three separate entities.

The judge did not rule on the meaning of the sentence. Instead, he ruled on whether the sentence is ambiguous. I think most people would agree the sentence has at least a degree of ambiguity, and that the presence of an Oxford comma would have removed that ambiguity. I had a better education with regard to grammar than students in most of the schools in my area, and even I am not absolutely sure what is technically correct. I think the judge is saying the truck drivers would not have been able to enter into the contract with full knowledge of its repercussions, but for knowledge of a grammatical technicality.

Comment Re:Okay then (Score 2) 76

I did not see anything in the video that would indicate it will have the same kind of shared experience for playing the actual game the way Roll20 does. This instead looks like they have finally created a 5e version of the old Character Builder that was available for $70/year in the 4e days. They've tacked on a compendium as well. It also looks like it has some interactive stuff like tracking death saves, current hit points, and possibly dice rolling (I saw a green plus sign next to the attacks). So it looks like we'll see a lot more tablets at the convention tables this year. Things like this are really convenient at a convention when you pick up magic items and/or level, and your time is limited for altering your character sheets.

I built my own online character sheet web app in the absence of an official character builder, and my gaming group uses that. It doesn't have "builder" capabilities like adding the correct amount of hit points for a given class level, it's more like blank character sheets that save the info you populate on them, but it's free. Whether we switch to D&D Beyond will depend greatly upon the price.

Comment Re:fast solution (Score 1) 66

This. 100% this. It encourages a "store less, protect more" ethos. So if you're a company that really wants to make storing/selling demographic data your business model (ie marketing / telephone sanitizers), you'll protect the hell out of that database. It also discourages fly-by-night companies with no security-dna to start that type of business.

I would add levels of pain. Name and address? That's mostly publicly available; small fine. SSN, CCN, pins or passwords? You had better have a good reason for storing that kind of data. Much bigger fine. Companies will be far less likely to store data like that simply because it's available, and more likely to adopt a "use-once and forget" strategy.

Unfortunately it would discourage disclosure of breaches. So there's that.

Comment Re:Teaching moment (Score 1) 183

If what I've heard working with Google engineers on IT projects is any indicator, to them there is no difference between a search result and a fact.

"Oh professor! You're data on the subject on the KKK's influence on US presidents is woefully, laughably inaccurate. No, I'm afraid President Harding was, in fact, the leader of the KKK for a short time. If you were smart enough to work for Google, you'd know that."

It helps if imagine Hogwarts Professor Gilderoy Lockhart saying it. Hmm. I wonder if JK Rowling had dealings with Google at some point.

Comment Re:Interviews need training, too (Score 2) 1001

You ran into the "I work for Google and you do not, ergo I am correct and you are not." ethos that is rampant there. Didn't you know? They have the correct answer to every problem. That's why Spaces is such a huge hit; and how they've been able to maintain a single, unified messaging platform all these years.

Comment Re:some things should be trivial for any expert (Score 1) 1001

I get what you're saying, but I find that phrases like "expert [language] programmer" have so much room for interpretation as to be utterly meaningless.

I am very, very good at what I do. Part of what makes me good at it is setting up a system that allows me to respond to needs very quickly and accurately. As an example, before I was hired it took days of coding and testing to on-board a new customer. Because of the templates I have built, and the system I designed for testing; the whole thing can be done in three hours. Now could I write executable code on a whiteboard for that? Hell no! That's what I built the templates for, so I don't have to memorize syntax! I can instead focus my energies elsewhere. If I had to call upon a magic fairy to tell me the syntax of every line of code I've ever written...so what? The job got done on time and my company benefited greatly from it. I don't need the answer to every question, I just need to know how to get it, test it, and put it into production.

I could talk about how I've laid out my code, the workflow of it, the ease of maintenance, and why I made the choices I did, etc. I think that is valuable information on a perspective hire. I would think my body of work, and who I did it for would speak loudly enough for my abilities, and that's why I was being interviewed. If someone called me to a white board, I believe I'd politely tell them that the coffee was great, but no thanks. I don't need you. I don't have any deep-seeded need to bring what I do to your company. You need me, that's why you called me; and now that I'm here, I see you're unsure and you've wasted both of our time. You wasting your time is of no concern for me, aside from the fact I probably don't want to work for an organization like that. You wasting my time just pisses me off.

Comment Re: All my friends in NSA are looking (Score 2, Insightful) 251

Or maybe the bar for what is morally questionable for Joshua's friend is just at a different point than Edward's. While what Snowden revealed was awful, it wasn't entirely unexpected. It makes you wonder how much worse (and maybe unexpected) it can get if there's still a middle ground for Joshua's friend to operate in with a clear conscious.

Comment Shelf-life? Umm...no. (Score 1) 138

I've never been a fan of the "shelf-life" mentality with regard to professional compensation. In fact, I think it's total bullshit. No one is guaranteed income/royalties for life. If you age-out of your chosen profession...to be clear, the profession you chose...then you go and do something else. You go back to school, retrain, do whatever you need to do to continue being a production member of society. Or you can retire if you're able to and that's what you want.

It's likely that no job is guaranteed. You can age-out do to the fickle nature of it like acting, although there are plenty of actors over 30 doing just fine, or it being health/performance related as is the case for professional athletes. You can be replaced by cheap labor from overseas, or by AI. You can work in an industry that was just up-ended by some silicon valley upstart and forces your company to close shop. I didn't say, "I'm not going into programming unless I get paid stupidly excessive amounts of money just in case my job is obviated by some technology 10 years down the road." I got into it because I liked it, wasn't bad at it, and not everyone can or wants to do it.

The same goes for most professions, and should go for those in the acting profession as well. If an actor can negotiate a percentage of the box office for their remuneration, that's one thing. Good for them and their agent. But to claim they should get that money because they may not get parts later is bullshit.

And speaking of profitability. In truth, only about 50% of movies make an actual profit. Interestingly, this is regardless of budget. On paper, no movies make a profit due to Hollywood Accounting. That's why the Lord of the Rings trilogy grossed something like $6 billion and yet New Line Cinema claimed they got hit with horrendous losses on the movie.

Comment So, Luddites then? (Score 2) 113

...a southern California non-profit that has long raised concerns about the safety of autonomous vehicles

Have they long raised the concerns about human drivers who have a 100-year track record of abysmal failure? Accidents will happen with autonomous vehicles, but it's not going to be anywhere near the rate it happens with a human behind the wheel.

"No sir! I don't like it one bit! I don't want any new-fangled automo-contraptions making all kinds of noise on the streets. What's wrong with a carriage and good horse?"

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