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Comment Re:Independent contractor? (Score 1) 100

In some countries, like Canada any kind of contract relationship that looks too much like an employer-employee relationship can be deemed as such, and there have been companies nailed very hard if they're determined to be an employer; particular when it comes to various payroll taxes or violating maximum weekly hours.

Comment I've used the Hearphones - very impressed (Score 5, Interesting) 54

I was at Bose Headquarters the other day trying these out - the Hearphones are actually quite amazing.

Physically they're a black torc that fits loosely about two thirds around the neck. Attached a bit back from the front opening are two tethered earbuds equipped with Bose's really good tips, which come in three sizes. On the right hand tether is a small remote. On the outside of the earbuds are subtle bronze colored microphones.

Aside from being slightly smaller then other torc-style headphones they're not immediately different. They have their control on a remote, and of course the microphones on the earbuds, but nothing screams out also-for-hearing.

Putting them on in 360 mode was like listening to a live mic through, well, very good headphones. However using the app (we were using iPods) it was easy to control the base and treble to focus on what we were listening for - voices.

It was when the Hearphones were switched into directly-in-front mode they got exciting. In a room full of simulated loud coffee shop noise, and a dozen other demo-ees having conversations with their Bose-partners, it all faded away except for whomever I was facing.

Face this way and I could follow this conversation, face that and the other table came in clearly. For years I've had to position myself strategically in bars, restaurants, clubs and conferences - watching folks to ensure I'm following what they're saying. Suddenly that wasn't a concern.

I don't need hearing aids, and while I've spent some amount of time in loud clubs I've not particularly abused my ears. However coming on 50 years my ears aren't particularly reliable in noisy environments and now, suddenly, everything extraneous was muffled.

Sometimes an advanced technology really is like magic (and a really good demo.)

There's also a everything-in-front-of-you mode (180 degrees vs 360 degrees and about 35 degrees for those keeping track.) That would be for sitting at a table of people facing multiple correspondents.

Of course there's an app; iOS and Android. They apologized several times no Windows Mobile version (nobody looked concerned.) However the remote is intuitively designed and did everything necessary so no needing to be rudely screen-peering in the middle of a conversation. Volume up/down, treble/base, and switching between customizable modes.

The other big demo topic was being able to filter a TV or movie theater. Focus on the center speaker, crank the treble, and suddenly dialog popped - no more scrubbing back for what-just-got-said?

That they're also conventional Bluetooth headphones, with the noise-cancelling Dr. Bose invented, was taken for granted.

So, did I buy them?

Not yet. Their price is reasonable for being top-of-the-line noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones + the Hearphone technology but, a bit rich for me. Right now. However after another chaotic holiday party, a conversation where I mishear something important, or a conference where I'm straining to make out the content - yeah, probably.

Oh and if you're condemned to an "open office" cattle pen oh hella yeah. Selective noise cancelling with a music alternative would almost make those hellholes bearable.

Comment Re:Don't worry (Score 4, Insightful) 390

It will certainly be screwed if it keeps allowing corporate interests to arguing away the taxes they should be paying.

I'm genuinely concerned that events like Brexit and the Trump victory are the opening shots in some sort of modern day French revolution. The aristocrats of our age are as detached from reality as the French aristocrats were, and as unwilling to accept the responsibilities that come with vast accrual of wealth. They are creating a dangerously unstable situation, and when the Trumps of the world prove as incapable or unwilling to rebalance economic and social issues, then we may be facing a far less savory group of revolutionaries. And, as the French Revolution so ably demonstrated, even wealth isnt an absolute shield.

Comment Re: Don't worry (Score 4, Insightful) 390

Exactly right. Far too many businesses, including big monster corporations like Walmart, essentially rely upon taxpayer-funded social safety nets to basically be their benefit and wage fallback system. They may claim they're paying what the market will bear, but what they're really doing is underwriting their own profits at the expense of taxpayers.

Comment Re:Tough shit (Score 2) 390

Even brilliant people can find themselves out of work, and become prey for pretty predatory companies happy to take advantage of them. I've worked in the employment industry for many years and see even some pretty highly skilled people stuck in shit-ass jobs because they can't afford to move.

That is why most jurisdictions have it least some basic level of worker protection, and why no one seriously contemplates turning the industrialized world into a Libertarian fantasy land.

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