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Comment Not even good PR if you know the facts (Score 2) 292

In my current job I manage development at an environmental software provider. We have a couple dozen chemical and petrochemical customers who are using our software to calculate and report there GHG emissions to the EPA. We are actually in the middle of the first year of reporting for 2010 this month. The plants who are reporting make chemicals that are used directly or indirectly be each of us everyday including ethylene, glycols, nylon precursors...the list goes on. To the point, a single ethylene cracker I just ran calculations for has about 750,000 metric tons CO2 emissions per year . At one particular plant there are 8 of these crackers operating year round. This one plant represents less than 2% of the worldwide capacity of ethylene. I will not even go into the refinery calculations and the emissions generated by the products they make (which we all consume).

Simply put, the stated 21,700 tons of CO2 saved by this solar project is trivial. It is great if Wal-Mart can save money or be more efficient with this project, but to even try selling it as any sort of significant environmental project is ludicrous. I would venture to guess that Wal-Mart could make a much larger impact, from an environmental standpoint, by looking at their suppliers and demanding responsible operation at the manufacturing level.

Comment Corporate Reality (Score 4, Interesting) 470

As a product manager for a SaaS provider our largest client ( a very large chemical company that you all know of ) is stuck on IE6. No matter how much we plead with them the group we deal with has their hands tied because the IT department refuses to upgrade. Having worked in IT in the past it is understandable. There are HUGE costs associated with the migration of thousands of user desktops to a new browser and the users are never going to be allowed to install anything on their desktops themselves. So it is a stalemate. Out newest applications appear flawed on IE6 due to javascript memory leaks. We have told support to inform users to just stop and restart their browser when the performance is unbearable. I can only pray that IE6 never runs on Windows 7 or we will prolong the pain and suffering.
First Person Shooters (Games)

Berlin Wall 'Death Strip' Game Sparks Outrage In Germany 193

gzipped_tar writes "According to Spiegel Online, 'A new computer game where players assume the roles of border guards and shoot people trying to escape from communist East Germany has unleashed a storm of controversy in Germany. The game's creator says he wanted to teach young people about history, but he has been accused of glorifying violence. ... The name of the multi-player FPS game, 1,378 (kilometers), was inspired by the length of the border between East and West Germany. ... [Players] choose between the roles of the border guards or would-be escapees: the escapee only has one goal — to get over the wall, but the border guard has more options, and can shoot or capture the escapee. He can also swap sides and try to clamber over the border defenses himself.' By choosing to play the border guard and kill the escapee, the player would win an in-game medal from the government of East Germany. But then the guard would time-travel forward to the year 2000, where he would have to stand trial. Jens Stober, 23, designed the game as a media art student at the University of Design, Media and Arts in Karlsruhe. He said that his intention was to teach young people about German history."

Comment Much more to consider (Score 1) 495

First, do you enjoy working there? Second, do you see this as a place you would like to work for the long term (say greater than 5 years).I think that these answers will dictate your action.

If the answer to both is no then you should immediately brush up your resume and find another job.

If you answered yes, then you should document your situation. Be sure to compare what you were hired for and what you are currently doing. Also include the hours required to complete the tasks in your expanded scope. If everyone there is working 50-60 hours on salary you will not get much sympathy for the extra hours. When everything is in place go to your manager or boss and be sure that he/she understands how much your job has changed. Presumably everything your are doing is important to the companies current goals. Asking for "mo money" is up to you but don't demand unless you have a secondary plan (such as a nest egg or other job offer). You will actually be doing a sales presentation as to why your job is worth more to the company. Done correctly the manager will get the hint without directly asking for a salary increase.

Sometimes one has to pay dues to reap the benefits later. You will have to assess, based on your managers response, as to what those future benefits could be and how the situation might change. This approach will give you and the company time to sort it out; give it a month or whatever you are comfortable with. You always have the option of deciding the answer to the above questions is no and at that time you can begin your job search in earnest.

Comment That is not the half of it (Score 1) 234

Also notice that incognito mode leaves a trail of other content on the system and does not delete it after you close the browser session. For instance say you are looking for videos on "how to prepare meat" and find this fine cooking site. You decide to watch the sample video and it is the perfect meal choice for your surprise for that "significant other". Later on "significant other" happens to look in the /tmp directory. There are video files there and when played reveal the secret meal you are going to prepare. In fact all of the temporary content from your incognito session is neatly stored in one place.

Comment Re:I bet iPhone will be back on top this quarter (Score 1) 668

Exactly correct... but wrong at the same time. People skipped the iphone and were waiting for the upgrade aka Android. Well it is here and now the preferred option that the majority of consumers will purchase. If I was a betting man I would raise your bet and go with Android to dominate the market.

Comment Re:Almost $800 to watch TV. (Score 1) 286

I am no Comcast fanboy, or fanboy of anything for that matter, but my experience is somewhat different.

kick off users for exceeding undefined GB download limits

I do have a 250GB/month stated limit in the TOCs of service. I have never exceeded that limit or been "kicked off" the service

- sell 25 Mbit/s lines that are actually only 5 Mbit/s - no better than DSL but twice as costly.

I do indeed get 25 Mbit at my house day-in day out as measured at

- force users to switch to Digital Cable which is incompatible with VCRs or DVRs

I have analog cable running to 3 TV sets in my house right now.

- And even if said boxes were compatible, the Digital boxes don't allow the user to tape one show while watching another live.

And... TV sucks anyway, why would you want to even record anything on TV today? Literally, the only reason I have cable is because my kids like to watch cartoon network. When they grow up I will likely dump cable TV altogether.

- Hold a Monopoly and bribe politicians to keep out competitors

I have no idea about this claim, but some sources would be nice

I have had Comcast for years now and pity my neighbors with UVerse or other inferior products. Mind you I do not use their internet phone service but do run my Asterisk PBX through the cable modem just fine. I was a a PITA to Comcast for years until they got the internet service stable at my house but now I cannot even remember the last service outage, well it was probably when hurricane IKE blew through here last year. Is Comcast perfect? No, but I will continue sending them my money as long as they provide the right service.

Comment Re:We can't even compete for THIS!? (Score 1) 453

There are absolutely no difficulties with transporting the blades. There are hundreds moving through our ports as is evidenced here. I believe that the blades in this port are coming from India. What is concerning is that the US cannot compete with a foreign source for these parts. Why? There are certainly many reasons but IMO the number one is that people are not willing to change. Just the other day there was a CNN article about a Pennsylvania town that was protesting the closure of the local coal mines. What needs to happen in the US is to take these workers that are displaced from aging, outdated industries and retrain them to provide the labor pool for the next generation of technology. Without the correctly trained skilled labor force the US will slowly lose the ability to innovate and utilize the technology needed to advance.

Comment A bit late (Score 1) 79

We have been doing SIP from our hardware and software phones forever. I do not wee what value Skype brings to the scene. I never saw the value of the Skype technology to begin with and SIP is just a *me too* feature at this point. When I read from TFA that eBay is now the owner, that sealed the deal for me to never use it. I canceled my eBay and PayPal accounts months ago.

Comment Re:Good News! (Score 1) 569

I would put it a bit differently. In school you are actually learning how to learn efficiently. If you ever lose the desire to learn you will be left behind. Hopefully you have learned the 3 points of the parent post already. In addition you should have the desire and the capability to learn and create on your own.

I am not a programmer by degree and have a grand total of 1 credit hour of formal programming from my engineering school. In 20 years since graduation I have used C, C++, FORTRAN, VB, .NET, VBscript, Perl, Python, PHP, HTML, SQL, Java, numerous shell languages and so on. I would say the most important ingredients are

1. the desire to learn
2. interest in the solution

For you, with programming being your primary occupation, this learning will hopefully be faster paced. You will find that once you have become proficient in several languages that the others become easier to learn. Then your responsibility is to determine which tool is most appropriate for the task. The one skill that I find is used more than others is SQL. This one language will be used over and over with other languages and is very important in a wide variety of user facing applications.

When starting out you should look for a company that is developing software that interests you. If you are writing code for something that does not interest you, you will soon be bored and lose the desire to learn as you should. In some cases this may be a necessity in order to make money and gain experience but job hopping will become tiresome as well. Ultimately you want to gain expertise in programming and in a field of interest to you. When this comes together you have a greater opportunity for longterm success.

Comment Re:If it moves.... (Score 1) 327

"Uninsured driver" coverage is mandatory in Maryland and Pennsylvania. You mean it's not mandatory elsewhere? Surprising. What happens if you get hit by an uninsured person? Tough luck?

I used to think the same thing but after talking with my agent I realized that my comprehensive coverage covers anything. So if I get hit by an uninsured motorist, my comprehensive coverage covers the loss, after I pay my deductible. I felt it was a reasonable risk and dropped the uninsured coverage rather than paying extra for something that was essentially already covered. Since dropping the coverage I have saved several times my deductible by not paying the extra premium.

Furthermore I think it is insane that a state would require that one get uninsured motorist coverage. It is like a penalty for following the law. Consider the reasoning behind this. Since you are following the law and have purchased coverage, now pay more for those who break the law and are uninsured.

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