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Comment Re: That's how they did it! (Score 2) 59

You can only say that all things can be addictive if your definition of additctiveness is stretched to the point of meaninglessness. A more sensible definition is that, unless there are physical withdrawal symptoms, it's not an addictive substance. It can still be possible to be a compulsive user of non-addictive substances, just like you can be a compulsive watcher of TV or a compulsive eater of grapefruit. But those things are just metaphorically "addictive."

Blockbuster Files For Bankruptcy 390

Dallas-based Blockbuster Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection yesterday, calling into question the futures of over 5,600 stores worldwide. The company will be evaluating each location on a case-by-case basis, and seeks to cut costs after reporting a $558 million net loss last year. Newsweek credits the company's slow adoption of new media distribution methods as a big reason for the company's decline. "... while Blockbuster discussed creating its own subscription service to rival Netflix, it wasn't until August 2004 that its online DVD rental program actually started in the US. And when, in 2004, Coinstar entered the market with its Redbox DVD kiosks, Blockbuster didn't begin installing similar devices until 2008." CNET suggests that "Leaders of pay TV services might be wise to start doing the business equivalent of digging foxholes and manning the battlements or the same thing could happen to them."

Comment Re:I'm not clear on what their case is... (Score 1) 112

And as a consequence of this filtering (if it's successful), only church-going, teetotaling heterosexual monogamists (or the undersexed) who have no political interests will be allowed employment. What they're really trying to promote is compliance to authority. In short, selecting exactly the kind of people who are likely to unquestioningly follow orders, no matter how criminal.

Comment Re:I'm not clear on what their case is... (Score 1) 112

it isn't unusual for government jobs to require background checks.

It wasn't usual for employers to refuse to hire people because of their race either. If we really care about rights, then we're going to have to constrain the behavior of not only government, but private entities. And "don't work there if you don't like it" won't solve the problem. What do you do when all employers impose such intrusive conditions of employment? Piss testing, polygraphs, what next? Most of the unaccountable power that we face on a daily basis comes from private business. At some point, though, enough is enough, and there's nothing wrong with passing laws to prevent them from such abusive practices.

Comment Re:It's the relationship, stupid! (Score 1) 187

I always build in a reserve for goodwill. That way I don't have to go to the mat everytime there's a nitpicky change to make. But I also make it clear that there's a limit to the freebies. I've had plenty of clients who would have tried to bleed me dry with upscopes if there were no limits set. Reciprocity is the goal. If you're being fair, they'll respect you for it. If you're screwing yourself to please them, they'll chew you up and spit you out.

Comment Re:We are focused on symptoms and fear (Score 1) 370

Look, the main thing is we forgot that terrorism is a tactic, and let ourselves get swept up in Fear.

First, who is the "we" in that sentence? For example, I'm not afraid, and the government certainly isn't listening to me or representing me in any way... though I am very concerned that the government will do something idiotic that will mess up my life in some way.

Second, I am not at all convinced that fear is the motivation for many of the government's actions. It's more likely that it's an excuse, or a tactic that they use, in order to get more power or to enrich certain insiders. I don't think they're afraid either. Or rather, they're more afraid of us finding out what they're doing than they are of terrorists.

So the problem isn't that we are afraid. The problem is that we need to put our so-called leaders back in their place. In many cases that place will be a non-leadership position, and in a few cases, a federal prison.

Comment Re:So why are there non-competes in California? (Score 2, Insightful) 248

They do it to intimidate you, even though they know that they're not legally binding. Also, companies that operate in multiple states will try to impose terms of employment that can be enforced in whichever states are most anti-employee. If they're not enforceable somewhere else, they hope the employee won't realize that.

They really should be abolished nationwide. It's just another way of asserting control over you even when you're receiving no compensation for the restrictions they're forcing on you.

Comment Re:IP (Score 1) 248

It seems IP doesn't only belong to the company- but also at least to some degree to the person who actually developed said IP.

Most employment contracts say differently. Unless your employer is less slimy than most, they claim sole ownership of everything you create for the term of your employment. I redlined my contract to say explicitly that what I create outside working hours, and not using company resources, belongs to me and me only. My main motivation for that was being able to contribute to open-source projects on my own nickel. Their legal department looked it over and they still hired me. But every time there's a revision to the terms of employment, we go through the same redline dance.

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In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle