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Comment Re: How about a 4th option ? (Score 1) 365

You might like to pay attention when the muck spreaders are out - the stuff that they're coating the fields in is not plain old organic dirt (or even soil, which is an incredibly complex substance in its own right). It's not even shit anymore, it's a complex growing medium that's covered by numerous patents.

Comment Re:COBOL isn't hard to learn (Score 2) 365

Given that most of this code was originally targeting systems from the 1960's and 70's, I can't imagine there being an insurmountable number of lines of code

According to Wikipedia, Gartner estimated about 200 billion lines of COBOL code in 1997. To put that in perspective, that's more than the total amount of open source C code tracked by OpenHub.net. Can you imagine persuading someone to rewrite all of that C code in a newer language?

Comment Re:Pay your fucking taxes instead (Score 5, Insightful) 173

And that's exactly the attitude that leads to this situation: the belief among a large subset of the population that they will eventually get rich and benefit from all of the loopholes that aid the rich. The overwhelming majority of the richest people in the world were born rich. They didn't come from being lower middle class and work hard to earn their money.

Comment Re:Slow news day (Score 2) 198

IBM used to have a bunch of aptitude tests for entry-level technical jobs. I was recently speaking to a retired alumna at my college who applied to their admin track and after doing the tests for that was asked if she'd be willing to try the technical track tests. She did well in those and stayed with the company for 10 years, helping to design System/360 and 370. She was particularly smug about the fact that her boyfriend at the time had failed the same aptitude tests.

Comment Re:Another outrage article (Score 2) 272

Then, almost by definition, it is worthless

And yet it works in exactly the way Libertarians are telling us things will work: companies put an agreed-on label on their products, they have an incentive to check unreasonable-sounding claims from their competitors as do consumer groups, and there is redress through the courts (and bad publicity) if anyone is caught cheating. For once, it's a free market solution that is working with a minimal amount of government intervention.

Comment gay couples (Score 1) 188

I have no doubt that in countries where abortion is legal, right-to-lifers will be lining up to crowd-fund this research, and to pay for women who would otherwise have an abortion to pop their fetuses into these artificial wombs and brought to term.

And then, of course, they will act boldly to ensure that the fetuses are adopted into loving families...perhaps even their own!

Yeah, right.

OTH, the same people will lose their shit when they realize gay and lesbian couples will be able to have their own babies in a buy-an-egg-or-sperm kind of a thing. This will fundamentally change the nature of reproduction (and thus marriage). And then the Anti-Christ will come or something. Oh, I can see the shows in the 700 Club.

Comment Re:Cry me a river (Score 1) 286

There's also a magnitude of difference between a toxic work environment and "I go home exhausted, work frequently out of town. Work long hours for no extra money." as the original poster put it. I've done the latter and even enjoyed it but I've also stuck a toxic work environment for years past the point I should have left and ended up suffering from serious stress and depression (not sleeping, panic attacks if my phone rang out of hours, depressed on a Saturday night because I can sense Monday approaching). You can also feel that its your own fault, particularly if others seem to cope and especially if there's bullying involved.

I can't really judge this case from a short summary, but people poo-pooing the idea have just never experienced it.

^^^. I've been through both also, long hours for the money and/or toxic environments, only one, though. The later one was bad enough to make me depressed for a while. If you live long enough and aren't the type that stays at one job forever, you are bound to experience it all.

Comment Re: Cry me a river (Score 1) 286

I get the feeling you are young and still are surrounded by your friends from school. Once everyone pairs up, moves to jobs farther away and can't get together all the time like they used to, where do your friends come from? At a point in my life, not so long ago, most of my friends came into my life through work. Same age, same interests, same general goals.

Nope, not even close.

In in the way above 40 yrs old set.

I have college friends in New Orleans that I reconnected with, but I also stay in regular touch with friends from the states I did live throughout my life and schooling.

I tend to meet people as neighbors and through them. And in NOLA, there is the concept of the neighborhood bar. I tend to meet many friends, neighbors and women there.

I don't do social media, but I have plenty of friends in meatspace locally as well as visitors or my travelling about to see them.

Once you "pair up", that doesn't mean you have to give up your friends of your youth. I'm still in regular touch with my oldest friend I met when I was 11 and he was 12yrs. A lot of my friends close are 15-20years friends and we still regularly hang out.

I am quite nice and cordial to co-workers, but I never get close to them. Unless they are in my immediate group I don't even really notice them as that I am busy at work.

I'd never stay with a woman that made me get rid of my friends...after all, I've known and respected them for MUCH LONGER than I've been fucking her....you know?

And you are above 40? Wow.

Comment Re:The Cloud (Score 2) 82

This isn't the reason the cloud makes a terrible backup. The thing that you want to avoid with a backup is correlated failures: things that cause a failure of your primary store should be different from things that cause a failure of your backup. Your house burning down or thieves coming and stealing your computers will cause failures of both your original and on-site backups. It's a lot less likely that the founder of your cloud provider will be arrested for the same reason that you lose your laptop.

Remember: it only matters if your backup storage fails at the same time as your on-line storage.

Comment Re:SF salaries are too low (Score 1) 358

No, he's right. To afford a standard of living comparable to what the same engineer would be able to afford elsewhere, he needs to make $500K/year. That's obviously not sustainable for his employer, which means that the rational thing to do is start moving jobs out of the bay area (which some companies have already started - Microsoft closed the bay area Microsoft Research site a year or two back, for example).

Comment Re:Poster does not understand Algebra (Score 1) 358

You can address that by having a progressive tax. In the UK, there are tax-free savings accounts that have a limited pay-in amount per year[1], income on which is exempt from income tax. You could do the same thing with a wealth tax: anything in a tax-free savings account doesn't count. You could perhaps also add an exemption for money in your primary residence, up to the median house price in your region. Beyond that, add a tax-free allowance of something like $50K and most people will pay nothing.

The real problem with such a scheme is that it's open to tax avoidance. It's fine for poor people, whose wealth is typically in cash form and so easily valued, but what about wealth held in private stocks in off-shore corporations? Those currently don't even need to be disclosed, and if they are then it's often very difficult to determine the value of the company (especially if it's a shell company that owns other shell companies that own real assets, with arbitrary levels of indirection in the middle). To make it work, you need complete financial transparency on all private companies.

[1] When they were introduced, this was about £3K, which was pretty reasonable. If you're earning 50% more than minimum wage in most of the country, you can get close to this. Now it's over £10K, which effectively makes it a tax break for the rich. Unfortunately, it doesn't roll over either, so if you have irregular income then you couldn't put in nothing one year and then £6K the next.

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