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One Sci-Fi Author Wrote 29 of the Kindle's 100 Most-Highlighted Passages

EastCoastSurfer Re:Depressing (239 comments)

Seems reasonable, and possibly lower than I would have guessed. The average age of the US population is a bit older now with the aging baby boomers. If they have been saving for retirement since they started working, $500k isn't very much money for them to have put away.

more than 2 years ago
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CEOs of RIM Step Down

EastCoastSurfer Re:Far from insightful (164 comments)

identify a profitable niche and fill it

So shrink your market to a niche and monopolize that instead? The goal is still to crush all competitors and achieve monopoly position even if it's only a smaller market segment.

more than 2 years ago
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CEOs of RIM Step Down

EastCoastSurfer Re:Sinking below Windows Phone (164 comments)

The next win phone OS looks pretty good. I think it could provide a decent uptick for MS on mobile devices if they can get it on some okay hardware. Having it available on the nearly free t-mo phones will help get it out the door at least.

more than 2 years ago
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CEOs of RIM Step Down

EastCoastSurfer Re:Marketing (164 comments)

If you never found somebody who loved their blackberry, you just weren't looking very hard. For instance, frickin' Barack Obama.

I've found the majority of those people didn't love the BB, they loved email on the go. They loved being fully connected all the time, and for a long time the BB was only device that did corporate email at all.

more than 2 years ago
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Are Engineers Natural Libertarians Or Technocrats?

EastCoastSurfer Re:We'll be whatever you want... (727 comments)

I agree with you. Comments should be reserved for when something is especially tricky or some non-obvious solution was picked for some other non-obvious reason. Code littered with comments simply explaining what the next line of code does is hard to read and harder to follow. Even worse is when there are required comment templates that make fitting more than 1/10 of a function on the screen impossible to do.

Finally, incorrect comments are worse than pretty much anything else. As soon as trivial comments are added that also adds another point of change for maintenance when code changes.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Re-Entering the Job Market As a Software Engineer?

EastCoastSurfer Re:Tech is a seller's market (435 comments)

My experience matches yours. The key is GOOD people. Finding good people is hard.

I know someone who has been trying to hire a few good people for awhile now. In between interview 1 and 2 he sends them home with a coding problem. IMHO, it's too basic, but it's just a simple "implement a few design patterns" so that the company doing the hiring can see the programmers style and if they know what they are doing. The goal is to have something to talk about in the second interview. Many of the responses he gets back do not even compile (think about that for a second...the candidate has the full internet at their disposal). The ones that do compile look horrible (editors have auto-format - use it!) and/or don't meet the very simple requirements.

And offshoring really is broken. It can work for a very particular set of project types (basically ones with strictly defined requirements), but even then it's hit or miss. India is really too expensive now, especially if the cost of communication, time zones, culture, and remote management is factored in. Philippines is big now, but with good people there pulling $30k+ and being poached from company to company it's impossible to build any tenure into your people. It seems everyday I talk to a CTO or director who has a story of throwing away lots of money on offshoring with nothing to show for it.

The problem, and you touched on it, is that every company needs software people that not only know software but also know and learn the company. Only then can the real value add company software be created. This requires good people and is very hard to do with outsourcing.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Re-Entering the Job Market As a Software Engineer?

EastCoastSurfer Re:Consultant or Manager (435 comments)

I don't know who the unemployed software engineers are. Possibly people living in the wrong town. I know no unemployed programmers. My office let go a few people, all of whom had new jobs lined up within 2 weeks. Of course, I mean actual software engineers who are experienced, productive, flexible, customer focused and able to have a conversation out loud with other people.

I've been wondering the same thing. My current company has recently lost people to other companies poaching our engineers. My friend manages a software dev group in Tampa and is having a hard time filling his team. He told me a couple weeks ago that he's thinking about getting out of management and back into coding because the market there is going crazy right now ($120k+ for senior software engineers).

I'm about to start a new job after being heavily recruited by a local company. The interviews (if I could call them that) were them selling me on working for them and not the other way around. They are a small company and just put together a very generous bonus program because they were losing software people to other local companies.

So yeah, where are all these senior engineers who know what they are doing and are also out of work?

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Re-Entering the Job Market As a Software Engineer?

EastCoastSurfer Re:Consider relocation (435 comments)

India is too expensive now. Try the Philippines, though they are also getting expensive.

more than 2 years ago
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Baker Has to Make 102,000 Cupcakes For Grouponers

EastCoastSurfer Re:There's a reason you spend $39 on a dozen cupca (611 comments)

Heck my pantry is chock full of store-brand stuff because that's pretty much all I buy. For the most part it all tastes pretty darned close to each other.

I'm with you here. Some store brand stuff isn't very good, but at least try it to find out. It's usually so inexpensive it doesn't matter. And those shopper cards. It's a whole new game for me. Nothing even gets in the cart that isn't on sale. Not on sale means I find an equivalent and is on sale or I skip it that week. I don't have the time or desire to extreme coupon, but it is a fun game to see how much I can save on a single $100 grocery store trip. So far my best has been $42 + the 2% cash back from the AMEX :)

more than 2 years ago
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Baker Has to Make 102,000 Cupcakes For Grouponers

EastCoastSurfer Re:Note: (611 comments)

I do to, but bring crap beer to my house and we're going to have a problem ;)

more than 2 years ago
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Fee Increase Attempt Inspires 'Dump Your Bank Day'

EastCoastSurfer Re:I did (667 comments)

Mail?

I lived in a different state from my credit union for a few years. I mail deposited any checks I received and it only take a couple of days.

more than 2 years ago
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Netflix Loses 800,000 Subscribers After Qwikster Gaffe

EastCoastSurfer Re:what am I missing? why is this so bad for netfl (325 comments)

Markets look forward. Netflix was gaining customers and are now losing customers. The new trend is down.

I'd also be curious to see the average monthly revenue per customer pre/post pricing change. It seems that many moved to the cheaper streaming only plan when the change was announced. This means Netflix lost customers and are making less on each customer they have left. Not a good thing.

more than 2 years ago
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US Student Loans Exceed $1 Trillion

EastCoastSurfer Re:You think the housing collapse was bad (917 comments)

It's also possible to become a billionaire in your lifetime. Just because some people have the right set of circumstances to achieve that doesn't mean everyone does.

Your comparison does not fit at all. There are decent colleges everywhere (and not the crappy ones you see advertised on TV). If a kid lives at home and works part time he/she should be able to get a degree and not have very much debt. That's what I did and finished my 4 year degree from an accredited school with about 9k in student loan debt. It's possible and not really that hard, but kids need to understand that the 'college experience' of living away from home while taking a few classes and getting drunk every night is very expensive and not the best investment of your time or money.

more than 2 years ago
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IRS Auditing Google

EastCoastSurfer Re:oops (328 comments)

Very few people pay the individual tax rate either. The system as it is currently setup is simply too complicated. They need to remove all deductions and get some reasonable income band flat tax.

Also, while I'm ranting, why do I need to file taxes each year anyway? The government has all the information. Send me something to check, sign and send back if I agree. If I don't agree then I can go down the path of filing.

more than 2 years ago
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Netflix Creates Qwikster For DVD Only Business

EastCoastSurfer Re:Saucer separation (481 comments)

Between caps and content, I'm not sure the streaming side is really going anywhere. They are making good money with their DVD service, so wouldn't it make more sense to keep it around in order to fund, grow, and protect some risk on the streaming side? They can wind down the DVD side if it ever stops making money, but spinning it off now seems way to premature.

IMHO, we have seen a lot of miscalculations the last week or so from Netflix that sound like desperation. It makes me think there is another bomb that is going to be dropped.

more than 2 years ago
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NH Man Arrested For Videotaping Police.. Again

EastCoastSurfer Re:Falsifying evidence? (666 comments)

Assuming you are NOT under arrest, and they don't seem to be digging on you (eg "did you see such and such back over there") not being an ass and actually being helpful is the nice and ethical thing to do.

Completely wrong. The problem is that police officers have shown time and again that they are NOT ethical. Keep in mind that a cop is ALWAYS gathering evidence. Sure you know you didn't do anything, but you were nearby. Now you're a suspect. Wait, you were by yourself, so now no alibi. The cop will then of course make stuff up like you looked nervous or seemed anxious. Suddenly you're a prime suspect. At this point all it takes is an eye witness (people see things incorrectly all the time, police can pressure someone to talk) which carry way more weight in court than they should and you're going to jail.

You may think this sounds crazy, but just look at people finally being proven innocent by DNA years later. Turns out the cops and prosecutors got a bead on them and simply make stuff up to make the case work. Don't think police make stuff up? Read this.

A friend of mine is a lawyer. His advice, never speak to the police without your lawyer present. First, he can obviously advise you and second the cop can't later lie in court about what was said.

more than 2 years ago
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NH Man Arrested For Videotaping Police.. Again

EastCoastSurfer Re:What are these words? (666 comments)

You think Ohio is bad? Read about the crooked cops in Denver. Better yet they are still on the force! Even better is that these are only the ones they know about!

The list includes the names of about 81 officers still on the force out of 1,434. At least eight officers on the list have two or more violations. One officer has three violations.

The officers on the list have been found to have committed violations in at least one of the following categories: departing from the truth, violating the law, making false reports, making misleading or inaccurate statements, committing a deceptive act, engaging in conduct prohibited by law, engaging in aggravated conduct prohibited by law, conspiring to commit conduct prohibited by law, soliciting or accepting a bribe, removing reports or records, destroying reports or records or altering information on official documents.

At least seven officers are on the list for driving under the influence. At least 13 of the officers are on the list for violations involving dishonesty, considered a fireable offense at many police departments because such a finding could call into question whether an officer would testify truthfully.

And those are just the ones whose cases have been resolved with a finding that the complaint was "sustained." An untold number of other officers may be under investigation for dishonesty but testifying on any given day with no notice to the defense.

more than 2 years ago
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Facebook Bans Google+ Ads

EastCoastSurfer Re:Job-killing Tax Hikes (548 comments)

The real problem is that neither side is right. Tax hikes on the 'rich' and cutting some pork out of the budget is akin to using a 5 gallon bucket to bail out water while on the titanic. At this point neither will do much. The only way out of this is really a complicated plan no one wants to hear.

First, tax rates across the board need to rise some. Back to Clinton levels would probably be okay, but the government would need to be careful to not kill growth. Revenue growth is key. People like to rip on Reagan, and rightly so for his spending, but if you look at his second year as president once his tax cuts went into place, the federal revenue went way up over the Carter years. The entire economy grew and lower rates led to more revenue. Of course this only works to a point and we're likely below that point right now.

Second, pork while fun to point out is ignoring the elephants in the room - all of the government entitlement programs and military. These have to be scaled back. We have pushed the can down the line too long at this point. Obviously people want more programs when they are essentially free. Well it's time for the frank conversation that they are in fact not free.

The final piece is healthcare costs. This has to also be addressed in order to do any real problem solving because they tie into item two.

Without the three above pieces in place any talk of fixing the deficit or budge is basically bullshit rhetoric, and both sides are equally guilty of spouting this nonsense.

more than 2 years ago
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Customer Asks For Itemized Bill, Verizon Tells Her To Get a Subpoena

EastCoastSurfer Re:Can we get this judge... (415 comments)

I had something similar happen. I had mallet finger and it took 2 5 minute visits to the doctor to fix it. First visit was to imobilize the finger, second visit 8 weeks later to to check that it worked. The doctors office was in a hospital and hospital billing decided to charge my insurance company for a surgery. I noticed it and called the billing department in the hospital and all I got was "oh yeah, sorry about trying to charge you thousands of more dollars, it's fixed now."

What it should be is a clear fraud case.

more than 2 years ago
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Re. medication requiring a prescription:

EastCoastSurfer Oxycontin (550 comments)

I had to take Oxycontin for 2 days once because of a knee surgery. I didn't feel any pain, but was a complete wreck and was either sleeping or hallucinating the whole time. I have no idea how oxy addicts function.

more than 2 years ago

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