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Comment It is surprising what you can get used to (Score 1) 215

When I am doing easy work I like some music but when doing difficult stuff I like silence. So I seem to pick the wrong companies to work for. I spent two years developing interactive shop displays that play music. Left that job to work for a company developing audio systems. In both case a lot of loud music is the norm. I have kind of got used to it over time, it is surprising what you can tune out, although some choices of music can really annoy.

Comment Endorsement of false profiles (Score 1) 48

I had one person connect with me. They were generic enough I though I may have worked with them so I added them. They then use my link to a high profile person I know to contact them. That person got back to me to check what I knew about him. Having a closer look at his profile I realised it had no verifiable information. For example there was not a single employer named, just names such as "Radio Module company". He claims to hold a degree at the "University of Reading" but when I contacted that university they refused to confirm if he held a qualification from them for "confidentiality reasons". Truly bizarre. So if you want a fake degree don't buy one online, claim to have one from the University of Reading, for free.

So while I can't prove it, hence no link here, I strongly suspect that it is a fake profile. What was really fascinating was the sheer number of people who have endorsed him but probably don't actually know him. It made me realise the endorsement process was meaningless so I guess Linkedin's changes in this area are well overdue. Now if they could do something about fake profiles that would be good.

Comment Re:An annoying thing about visting the USA (Score 1) 97

I don't think the information in that link is reliable. I can't speak for most countries, but for Australia it's just wrong. No tipping is ever expected here in any circumstances.

Yes, exactly the same in NZ, no tipping is ever expected here in any circumstances. That link is exactly the kind of rubbish we can do without. To quote directly from that page they admit directly "tipping has spread "because Americans forced it on people."". Please stop it, seriously! I had to laugh at the suggestion you would tip a taxi driver in NZ. I have yet to find another country with taxi fares as high as NZ. A ride from Auckland airport to the CBD is about 20minutes but will set you back an easy NZD $100 and they are suggesting you give them more! No wonder Uber is doing well here.

Comment Re:An annoying thing about visting the USA (Score 1) 97

That may well be true, as I note the countries you list are the most common ones for me to visit. From memory tipping is not common in the UK. The key thing you mention is when it is added to the bill automatically. I have no problem with that as it is then simply another cost like a tax and I don't have to work out how much it will be and if it applies. It will also appear on the receipt then so no problem with reimbursement either. The only catch then is mentally preparing to pay more that the listed price. Mind you that is a other annoyance in the USA, the retail prices do not include sale tax, which varies a lot by state and types of goods. Here the sales tax is always include in the retail price, what is listed on the shelf is what you pay at the checkout.

Comment Re:An annoying thing about visting the USA (Score 1) 97

As an 'Anonymous Coward' I guess you may be tolling, but anyway here is how it works here. New Zealand's big cities get enough American visitors that staff will understand what you are doing and should have a system to handle it but try tipping in a smaller city or town and the staff will be confused. If it is a cash tip then they will be ok, but they will have no idea how to deal with it on their EFTPOS machine or what to do on the cash register. We have no systems to deal with tips so unless it is cash you are making work for them. If it is cash they then have to either break the law by keeping it all, or work out how much they have give to the IRD (like the IRS) and how they make that payment.

Comment An annoying thing about visting the USA (Score 5, Insightful) 97

One of the more annoying things about visiting the USA is tipping. Always trying to figure out when you need to tip and how much. Most of my travel to the USA is business so costs are reimbursed but trying to fit tips in to official paper work is a pain as my country has no tipping so no accounting system for it.

I have traveled to quite a lot of countries around the world but the USA is the only place where I have had to deal with tips. It leaves me wondering if there are any other countries that consider tips a core income for employees as it apparently is in the USA?

Tip for USA international travelers. Don't tip in other countries you travel to, unless you have been told it is customary there. It annoys the crap out of the rest of us as setting an expectation that all foreigners tip. Your tipping systems is annoying, we don't want it infecting the rest of the world.

As a side note we have a 'minimum wage' here (New Zealand) and there is a push to have a 'minimum living wage' where the minimum wage is set to a level that you can live off it. The numbers are not far apart so I suspect it will happen soon. Such ideas as minimum wages and the minimum living wage are gather popularity around world, certainly in first world countries. It sounds like something badly need in the USA before you can phase out your tipping system.

Comment Re: A clear case of not needed (Score 1) 199

I can charge an EV at home or work. There is not an EV I know of that could not handle the daily commute of myself or any of friends, family or co-workers. The rate at which battery range is improving means within about 5 years the range will be more than I can handle in a single days drive. On the other hand there is, as far as I know, not a single hydrogen charging station in New Zealand. If I was rich I could buy a new EV today and I assume my next new car, about 4 years from now, will be within my price range. Hydrogen cars have been demos for 30+ years and I see no technology on the horizon that will change that, whereas some of the battery hype over years has become reality. Look at the battery price and performance curves over the last few decades and you will see the trend is clear.

Tell you what, I will invest my money in EVs and you can invest yours in hydrogen cars. I bet I get to retire before you do...

Comment A clear case of not needed (Score 1) 199

Trains are in the unique situation that supplying external electricity is relatively easy, you string up a cable above the track. It is the form of EV that has been practical for decades and is widely deployed so why would you create such a complicated alternative? Yes, you could argue the less used or longer remote tracks would be expensive to electrify but do wonder if a hydrogen hybrid stacks up economically for those cases anyway.

Full disclosure: I thought hydrogen vehicles where dumb when I first read about how they where going to change the world "real soon now", in the 1980s, and nothing in the years since has change my view. If I subscribed to conspiracy theories then I would believe hydrogen vehicles were backed by oil industry to slow the development of EVs. It has annoyed me how long it has taken EVs to reach market but now they are here I think it is time stop giving press coverage to impractical hydrogen demo vehicles and focus on the real issue, the transition from ICEs to EVs.

Comment Re:The more hated windows 10 is (Score 1) 234

Yes that is the way to do it on the cheap. For my parents I brought a cheap reasonable spec HP but could not get the WiFi to work. In the end I did exactly what you did, brought new miniPCIe WiFi card for it that supported Linux. I probably spent 4+ hours on the problem.

I still think an extra $150 on a high spec machine was worth it to not worrying about if they provide a solution that works. I get paid more that $38/hr so in the case of the cheap HP I would have been better off paying an extra $150. The problem most times is you have no idea what will work with Linux and what won't before buying a PC. For the XPS DE you know up front where you are at with Linux.

Comment I don't see how the dots connect? (Score 1) 87

How does popularity of a few sites mean the control of the Internet is changing?

Surely it is about who controls the DNSs and top level routers that affects control of the Internet. That is a real issue to worry about but as I understand things those are not controlled by the big websites.

The reverse way of looking at it is if people waste their time in walled gardens so what? As long as the rest of the Internet still works who cares. How is people limiting themselves to a few websites stopping me from accessing all those little niche sites I enjoy?

I don't see the connection between users with tunnel vision wasting time on popular site and the availability of the rest of the Internet?

Comment Re:You can always roll your own with the motherboa (Score 1) 234

You can try, but the Windows version has different hardware that has poor Linux support. It's not that the Windows version is made to lock out Linux but rather the parts are chosen for function/price with Windows and no consideration of Linux. To Dell's credit they went the extra step to rework it for Linux as the XPS DE series when few other manufacturers bother.

Comment Re:The more hated windows 10 is (Score 3, Interesting) 234

The Linux version has different parts. From memory the WiFi chipset is different as the one in the Windows version has poor Linux support whereas the XPS DE has changed to a chipset with good driver support. Not sure what your time is worth but $150 was worth it from a machine where everything worked first time on Linux. Compared to the Apple MBA that my XPS DE replaced it is a dream. It took many hours to get the Mac working on Linux and I never did get the camera working on it. So yea I spent $150 on a free OS, then promptly replaced Ubuntu with Mint 18 anyway. It worked first time too, no drivers needed.
If the $150 really worries you then XPS is probably the wrong range of machines to look at, there are plenty of cheaper options out there.

Comment Re:What's The Difference Between The Two? (Score 1) 234

It uses different chipset parts for some functions, WiFi from memory, to ensure there will be no driver problems. First laptop I have owned where Linux installed with every device working 100% at first boot. No more detective work and long hunts for drivers etc. Also you don't have to pell off all those Windows stickers that are present on the other laptops. Just wish they had changed the keyboard to get rid of the Windows meta key but a sticker fixed that.

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