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Comment It's cheaper - for 12 months (Score 5, Insightful) 143

I just moved across the USA in the last year. In both places I lived, it was actually CHEAPER to buy mid-ranged (20-30 megabit) internet WITH basic cable than it would be to get just internet. In both cases it was 5 dollars cheaper a month as part of a "new signup bundle offer". After 12 months it becomes $15 more expensive to have both, BUT, I was told that I could cancel my television services at that time (and still pay $5 more a month than with the bundle costs).

My assumption is that they are trying to make the cable numbers look better. Note that they didn't show how much TV is actually being watched, only that people are still getting cable services

My second assumption is that they understand the power of laziness and/or non-confrontation. How much work/effort is needed to be on the phone for an hour (or more?) to cancel a service like tv channels while they try to force upsell you new services. I bet they know they can get some percentage of the population to pay the extra money for services they aren't using just to avoid dealing with the cable companies.

Comment They (and other countries) should pass these laws (Score 1) 246

I'm serious. The countries should pass the laws

We live in a society that is ruled by money first. These countries should pass the laws, and the major players in the system (Apple, Google, Samsung, Sony, etc), should simply pull the products out of the country. They would take a hit to the wallet for a VERY short while, but would give those major players a HUGE advertising campaign to run on - "We won't give up your privacy".

Top tier products disappearing alone would piss off the populations in most countries, let alone a giant push to show that the top tier companies are "better" than those countries governments.

The amount of times that SOPA, PIPA, CISPA, ACTA, and OTHER type scenarios keep showing up is silly. If all the major brands left, and we (citizens of any country where the top tier companies would end up leaving) were left with the cheapy, crappy, prone-to-fail other products, the consumers would very quickly notice and take action. Can you imagine if xboxes and ps4's were taken away from stores, if iProducts and samsung products were taken away? Hell, DISABLE the apple, android, xbox, and playstation stores (only in those countries) while your add it - put up a message saying "We won't give up your privacy like your government is requiring us to do. If you want this turned back on, contact your government officials".

The top tier companies are having to pay/waste time/give up advertising space (let alone do their own advertising) against these idiotic laws anyways. Might as well band together under a common good, solidify their positions in the populations minds, and come out as heros in the end.

Comment Re:it's a great idea with one major flaw (Score 1) 174

I agree with your idea of not buying into "no local storage", but ...

The device doesn't matter, it's the software. My 16gig iPhone has plenty of storage for my to do what I need/want without using cloud/off-device solutions. I don't need a device with sd cards. Software is the issue. The software I use IS going to send some information to a server SOMEWHERE for storage or re-routing - that is the problem. Having software that does proper peer-to-peer, fully encrypted with proper up-to-date encryption methods, with no centralized nodes, is what is needed for security

... But marketing people, of course, know best. We all know that customers want their data "backed up" or "temporarily held" in case of "temporary outages" ... so magical clouds can automatically re-send your information. Think of the chil... err... end users! No one wants to see that "message not delivered" message. It's a feature, not a bug! (*Insert big name company / government agency here*) is just trying to make your device experiences more simple, better, and easier to understand, just like grandma wants/needs it! ... and all joking aside, those features really are kinda nice when it's not abused - which of course means they will be abused.

Comment Re:It's incredibly frustrating... (Score 2) 535

Kentucky here - Anthem blue cross and blue shield. I'm a contractor so i pay for my own insurance

My insurance went down from $900 to about $780 a month. But with that drop, the care i was getting actually went down, so overall my costs are likely to go up.

i had a max of 2,500 in deductible for ONE person, and max of 5,000 for a family - No Co-Pay. This means that when we had our first kid 6 months ago, we hit that max of 2,500. BTW, we got a magical note in the mail that said that the doctor who CAUGHT the baby (was in the room for 15 minutes?) wasn't covered by insurance so we owed an extra $3,000 for that. SURPRISE!

New insurance is about 1,500 less a year, but the max per PERSON is 6,200 now and family max is 12,000. This means that if we have a second child ... like we were planning on ... it's going to cost us an additional 2,000 or 3,000 in hospital, checkups, etc. IF everything goes well. Subtract the 1,500 we'd be saving and now we are paying more

Just wanted to point out that paying a little more OR a little less doesn't mean your saving anything =/ This all happened in 2014 after getting a note saying that the AHCA/Obamacare was forcing Anthem to change options.

All that being said, the obamacare options available in KY look to be better than my current or previous options... I will likely make the change this weekend

Comment Re:Sock puppet, begone! (Score 5, Informative) 234

I disagree completely

I'm a dual citizen .. i'm being looked at. I have a degree in computers and I talk to foreigners ... i'm being looked at. I speak 3 languages ... i'm being looked at. I rarely use any social media - far less than most people hmm.. suspicious ... i'm being looked at. I'm on a site talking about using tor ... i'm being looked at. I used to live in a different country ... i'm being looked at. I have made a political comment about not liking a specific candidate, either over the phone or internet in the last 5 years ... i'm being looked at. I have a higher than normal IQ (above 100) - and i love chemistry ... i'm being looked at. I'm an atheist ... i'm being looked at. I've been tagged in a photo on facebook that was taken on a mobile device and therefor has all the EXIF location data on it letting people know that i was more than 200 miles from where I live... i'm being looked at. I've update my passport in the last 5 years ... i'm being looked at.

Now, once you get over the notion that this is the 1950's and that everyone is in a manila folder with a black and white picture - and that someone is sitting around trying to LITERALLY watch you full time - you can come to understand that the entire country IS being "watched" daily, via electronics, and is being monitored the same way that google (and other search engines) monitor websites. They use spider like software, and every time something "triggers" in their system, your profile gets updated. Think of it like a point system, the more points you have, the more likely you are going to get checked up on. Using the information from Okian Warrior above, you realize that the 1 in 250 chance is scarier than you think. Also, add in that not all 350 million people in the country are being monitored. Take out children under 13 (too low risk), take out old folks who literally can't move, or are senile, or folks in the hospital for long term care (even if only for a week), and that number of people that an analyst needs to check up on drops significantly.

Google is able to index 23+ billion pages (according to some random statistics i found). If google is able to do that the hard way (crawling pages, finding href links, indexing them, hitting all THOSE links), then i'm sure the NSA can do it far easier. Why? Because, according to the surveillance leaks, they already have access to the nicely indexed databases from many/most companies.

Sad thing is ... i'm not even going into tin foil hat mode yet ...

Comment Games and Thinking (Score 1) 265

As someone who was a VP of the comp sci group in my highschool years ago, the way we did it was we played games. We met twice a week, once to play starcraft (or other games... usually starcraft) and other games on the computers, the next to discuss coding and logic

Often the logic would be strategies to figure out how the AI worked in games, but then we would talk about breaking through the schools firewalls, key loggers, etc. The Comp Sci teacher actually encouraged us to help him find security flaws for them to fix. After that we decided to try and write our own software for things like keylogging. Eventually we helped each other out with showing the newer kids the answers to some of the advanced AP homework assignments (they weren't in the AP classes). It was actually fun watching 5 people all come up with different but similar answers - then discussing WHY they took that route. Add in the classic "work on the schools webpage" stuff, and we were decently busy all year.

The key was NOT talking about comp sci the whole time, but tying computer science INTO what we were doing. We had a solid 15ish people or so in the group at any given time and the school was average size.

Comment Re:Use your own algorithm (Score 1) 326

You joke about this, and while it is funny, the parent comment should be taken seriously. I speak three languages fluently and 2 more decent enough to get by. When I hire people, I ignore small spelling and grammar issues - unless there are a LOT of them.

Many people/organizations will "filter" out the bad potential hires based on spelling or grammar. I'm not hiring these people to be the editors of the company... we pay someone ELSE for that job already. I focus on WHAT they wrote, not HOW they wrote it. People make mistakes, especially if English isn't their primary language, and then they should not be automatically turned down for that.

To look at it from a different perspective, I've seen many resumes with zero mistakes, great amount of buzzwords, and a very clean look and feel. I then interviewed those people and found that they were completely full of shit. Professional resume companies - while they can be helpful - can also be extremely annoying because of the BS they load into a resume.

Comment ReDESIGN or ReENGINEER? (Score 1) 262

I don't like the question because it's too vague.

Same code (few tweaks) but new LOOK? A GOOD UI/UX person who actually has spent time reading the millions of dollars of research done by big companies like apple, MS, motorola, nike, etc ... creates a design based on original user feedback ... and then gets feedback from a good random sample of users to tweak the new design.

New Code (Aka: Re-Engineer) - Engineers should have first dibs to create a list of current features, outdated features, new technologies, and new capabilities. They should then put their thoughts on paper with basic UI recommendations to show how new features work. THEN and only then should the UI/UX person come in to play and work with the engineers to simplify what the engineers came up with, along with original user feedback, and clean up all the ideas. THEN get the random sample of users for their thoughts on the new design.

Good luck finding a company who does all of that correctly. Most project budgets and timelines won't allow of all of the correct steps.

Comment Re:Amount of code (Score 1) 292

Ohio/Northern Kentucky area schools (jumped between a few schools because I moved a lot). Most were theory heavy (senior year project example: write a solitaire game that plays itself to figure out how often it can't win. no UI, just output results of each game), "fix the problem in code" projects, or lots of on paper stuff. We did do stuff in various languages as well. The C projects were always smaller than that java ones.

I should mention that this is undergrad, not a masters or phd. Still, i jumped between a few different schools and it all seemed to be the same.

Comment Amount of code (Score 1) 292

I don't think i've seen school code that ever made it past 1,000-2,000 lines of code

My last few projects were in the 100,000+ lines of code range (multiple employees)

Regardless of school code being good or bad, it's easy to write good code when you have clear business rules for needs to get done and you only have to write something small

Comment Re:Nothing new here (Score 1) 353

You think the government isn't already tapping in and getting everything they want? You think the government can't "shut down" the internet in US/Canada by strong arming the tiny group of companies that own most of the lines?

Of the two viable options (current system vs government run system), i'd take the government one where we know they're wiretapping anyways, but at least we get much better connections, for much cheaper. The government option is MUCH closer to a "free market" option where small ISP's can actually start up and get the same price / access to backbones (price per gig) that the current big players would also pay. Otherwise, the barrier to entry is too damn high for anyone to really compete with the very few big companies.

Comment Tech is generic - What about [insert buzzword] (Score 1) 660

New tech seems to be paying well. As a person that keeps up to date on a lot of technologies, I've worked from networking, to coding, to security, and now full time DBA. The pay is good for what I do since I stick to newer "hot" technologies (or smaller unique high pay one-off jobs).

I am currently working in a fortune 50 company for the last year, and IMO - I can tell you that the reason that "tech" people are not getting more money is because, quite literally, 30-50% of the staff is off shore people trying to get green cards. And I am not talking about small number of people. Instead of just offshoring things, people are bringing offshore workers in locally to say that they don't offshore their work. The local foreign workforce, along with fresh-out-of-school types, are doing all the "old timer" jobs like java development, xml parsing, db2 and mssql work. The high pay people are now team leads, architects, or using new fangled technologies like nosql, and html5, and python (not perl for command line), and all of those other "brand new" technologies to the industry. (note the sarcasm with "new fangled technologies").

Add a bunch of people who are EXCITED to get paid $30,000 to the workforce ... and it brings the average down

Comment What job are you looking for? (Score 2) 306

Are you willing to move somewhere new? If not, consulting is the best route to go.

Do you have your heart set on continuing to program? You mention PL/SQL - PostgreSQL experts are in great demand now and are replacing oracle jobs all over the place. Few people have a LOT of experience, so being able to just claim that you've installed it locally (hint: install it locally on a unix server), and being able to do PL/SQL, you have a good chance of getting SOMETHING in that field.

Do you plan on working more of a "corporate" job - aka: Big company to move up in? In that sense, i can see why your age would be a problem. Instead, take up android development. If you can get ANYTHING published, you will be in extremely high demand all over the country for java based android developers. You would also have a much higher chance of being able to telecommute or work from home full time. Either way, having long time java skills will still give you a shoe in to many android shops.

Final recommendation - if you want to continue writing code and can't find anything, I would recommend taking up javascript and HTML. You can always work from home, PHP/Python/Ruby are pretty easy to learn, BUT you can keep using c# and java as well. There are a LOT of web jobs available all over.

As for a+ / network+ ... both are pretty useless in my opinion. Security+ i've seen a few people give a nod of acknowledgement, but that's pretty much it.

As for WHERE to get jobs: and are my two recommendations for finding something. Otherwise register yourself with a tech recruiter like teksystems or accenture. They make money by finding you jobs, AND they will sometimes bypass the interview portion with the official company they are trying to place you in, or they might only do phone interviews - that should help keep your age a little more hush hush while going through the interview portion.

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