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I expect to retire ...

Jaywalk Define "retire". (341 comments)

I'm defining it as when I have enough saved up that I don't need the income from working. Whether I actually stop working or not is another matter. After my dad "retired" he was an associate professor, headed up two startups and participated in SCORE. Eventually his health made him slow down, but he made the decision based on what he wanted to do, not on his bank balance.

A bit of advice to you young folks from one of the old farts: do the math. The "rule of 72" is that dividing 72 by your interest will tell you how many years (roughly) it will take to double your money. At 10% it doubles every seven years, at 7% it doubles every 10. Tossing even small amounts into a 401k now will give you a lot more cash at the end than throwing in a lot more later in life.

about 7 months ago
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The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

Jaywalk All part of "No Child Left Behind". (529 comments)

This is inevitable under the No Child Left Behind Act. The law states that all children have to meet a single standard. The intended consequence is to raise the abilities of the less able and the disadvantaged. The actual result is that the gifted and average, who meet the standard easily, are considered "done" and ignored after that point. All the resources go into raising the abilities of the less able; sometimes an impossible task.

The end result is that the actual potential of most children is what gets "left behind".

about 8 months ago
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IBM Begins Layoffs, Questions Arise About Pact With New York

Jaywalk Better to just cut the H1B visas. (182 comments)

An outsourcing tax would just result in jinking with the books so that it wasn't "really" outsourcing and any money generated would just go to the government. If they had to cut H1B visas they'd have to hire regular employees.

about 9 months ago
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IBM Begins Layoffs, Questions Arise About Pact With New York

Jaywalk India already got hit. (182 comments)

That's funny (as well as being a good point) but India already got hit with layoffs. Labor laws in India being what they are, the layoff's there were harsher with employees given hours to return their laptops and leave the premises.

about 9 months ago
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How much time do you spend gaming compared to 10 years ago?

Jaywalk Candyland? My kid is hooked on Skylanders. (270 comments)

Every weekend he gets another one of those plastic figures and spends the week leveling it up. And he doesn't understand why dad always want to play Trigger Happy. Truth is, I just don't have the time to learn all the tricky moves and the psychotic shooter is easy to play.

about 9 months ago
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VC Likens Google Bus Backlash To Nazi Rampage

Jaywalk There's a reason for that. (683 comments)

“As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.” There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress.

There is a purpose behind declaring an argument over once the Nazis are mentioned. The assumption is that if a speaker resorts to comparing his opponents to the Nazis then he has run out of good arguments and is hoping for a visceral response that will therefore cause him to win the point.

about 10 months ago
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Irish Politician Calls For Crackdown On Open Source Internet Browsers

Jaywalk Re:Not interesting (335 comments)

There is no idea so dumb or ill-informed that there isn't going to be some politician, somewhere, proposing it

True, and yet the exceptional examples need to be discussed in order for them to exposed to the hoots of derision and mockery which they so richly deserved. I doubt they will learn anything from it since their cranial capacity seems to be, thus far, impervious to analytical thought, but it makes the rest of us feel better.

Let the mockery resume.

about 10 months ago
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US Customs Destroys Virtuoso's Flutes Because They Were "Agricultural Items"

Jaywalk Don't check anything important. (894 comments)

As a frequent traveler I've found that the first line of defense is to not check anything important. For some stuff, like liquid or knives, you don't have a choice, but otherwise I keep my valuables close. Between ham-fisted baggage handlers and bone-headed bureaucrats I want the chance to at least argue if they're going to do something stupid with anything more valuable than my dirty socks. In fact, I generally manage to get everything into my carry-ons and rarely check anything at all.

about a year ago
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Smart Cars: Too Distracting?

Jaywalk GPS and distraction. (180 comments)

But according to Mehler, problems arise when the system needs clarification of what the driver wants, which often happens while they're trying to feed an address into a navigation system.

Which is why every GPS system I've ever used starts off with a disclaimer that tells you not to program the thing while you're driving. I travel for a living so the choice isn't whether I want a screen or not. It's whether the GPS is telling me directions out loud or I'm trying to read them off a piece of paper when I'm driving. And the rental car companies seem to think that the proper place for a GPS is somewhere down at the passenger's feet, so I bring my own and stick it on the windshield where it's in my peripheral vision. And I don't answer the phone if I'm driving.

If it's "smart" it should be smart enough not to pester you when you're trying to drive. It's not that we need smarter cars, we need smarter people.

about a year ago
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EV Owner Arrested Over 5 Cents Worth of Electricity From School's Outlet

Jaywalk Re:Theft? (1010 comments)

So what was the outlet there for? If it's on a public building but not meant for public use, it should have been secured, either by locking it or having it shut off inside the building. Actually, the drinking fountain comment is a good point. Obviously, a drinking fountain is there for public use. But what if it's just a faucet? Is getting a drink from a drinking fountain okay, but not a faucet? Is charging a phone okay, but not a car? Where is the line here?

Other than the obviously boneheaded ignorance highlighted by the amounts involved, there needs to be more clarity on which public facilities are available to the public and which are reserved for the institution.

about a year ago
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Japanese Aircraft-Carrying Super Submarine From WWII Located Off Hawaii

Jaywalk This wasn't the only aircraft-carrying sub. (123 comments)

There was another sub called the I-25 that carried a seaplane. The seaplane was mostly for reconnaissance in support of the sub, but it did manage to drop a few incendiaries in Oregon in hopes of creating a wildfire. Nothing came of it and the I-25 was eventually sunk by a US destroyer.

The Japanese did try repeatedly to stage an effective attack on the US mainland. Some, like the balloon bombs were pretty inventive, but none of them amounted to much in the end.

about a year ago
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How Much Is Oracle To Blame For Healthcare IT Woes?

Jaywalk That doesn't let Oracle off the hook. (275 comments)

What you say about bad specs is true, but Oracle shouldn't have taken a gig with bad specs. When a company asks for bids to do a project, the bidders need to look at the spec and make sure that they address the risks and assumptions in the bidding process. If there are still questions after winning the bid, then you need to make sure those are addressed right away. Taking the money and then realizing months down the road that the spec was junk is just poor management.

Projects don't fail just because one side dropped the ball. There's pretty much always plenty of blame to go around. Writing poor specs, accepting poor specs, undocumented assumptions and poor communications all go into making a mess like this.

about a year ago
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Google Patents Fooling Friends With Snooping, Chatbots

Jaywalk Chatting with dead guys. (128 comments)

This immediately made me think of those news stories where someone is found after having died weeks before. If you set up a system to do your chatting for you, when are your friends and neighbors going to realize they haven't seen you in a while? After all, they just got an email from you this morning responding to the one they sent a week before.

Do we really want to completely isolate ourselves from even the most trivial human contact?

1 year,6 days
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Warner Bros. Admits To Issuing Bogus Takedowns

Jaywalk Re:Perjury? Sort of. (199 comments)

Yes, filing false DMCA is explicitly defined by the law as perjury and the EFF is currently pursuing a number of these cases. The problem is that perjury is defined as the "willful act of swearing a false oath" so they're just going to claim that they didn't know the takedown notices were wrong and that it was just a mistake.

Which raises the question, when did they find out the program kicked out false positives and did they continue to use it after that? IANAL, but if they used a program they knew would commit perjury, I can't see how it's different than committing the perjury themselves. I find it pretty implausible that a company that lives by its copyrights doesn't know -- and is not required to know -- what a legitimate copyright claim is.

1 year,7 days
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How long before most automobile driving is done by computers?

Jaywalk It's going to start on the interstates. (472 comments)

It's going to be a lot easier to make a car play by the rules if the rules are easier. The easiest driving is on the interstates where there are no stop lights, crossroads, pedestrian crossings or sharp turns. It shouldn't be long until a robot can handle interstate driving better than most drivers. It's going to take a lot longer for it to distinguish between a gravel road and a dirt path crossing it. To say nothing of parking lots.

about a year ago
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The NSA: Never Not Watching

Jaywalk This isn't metadata. (568 comments)

Yeah, it's a late post, but this one burns me. Metadata is data about the data, phone numbers are data. For instance, if I say that phone numbers are ten numeric digits comprised of a three-digit area code with a seven digit phone number, I'm talking about the metadata. If I say phone number 555-1212 called phone number 666-2323 and talked for fifteen minutes, I'm talking about data. Calling it "metadata" in this context is just trying to cloud the issue.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Prove an IT Manager Is Incompetent?

Jaywalk Bit more to it than that. (331 comments)

If the submitter found the cause of the problem with "a little scratching" I doubt that the ones who hired him are in the dark as to what the problem is. What they need is outside confirmation that absolves them of responsibility. It may be productive to create a list of best practices for IT managers (preferably one from a generally accepted outside source) and see how the guy stacks up. If you want places to look for this, I suggest you start with CIO Magazine and maybe get a book or two on the subject. (Here is one. There are plenty of others.)

Just keep in mind that, if it works out, you might find yourself making a career of this. There is no dearth of incompetent IT managers out there, nor of bosses looking for a good excuse to give them the axe. Whether they deserve it or not.

about a year and a half ago
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California Lawmaker Wants 3-D Printers To Be Regulated

Jaywalk Next up: Regulate Home Depot. (856 comments)

If you're going to crank out cheap guns, you'd do better with a trip to the local hardware store. You can get plans off the internet that will allow you to crank one out a lot faster and cheaper using stuff from the hardware store than shelling out top dollar for a printer that can crank out one of those plastic jobs and, being made of metal, are less likely to blow up in your hand as well.

As for having "no trace whatsoeever" the plans (if he had bothered to look at them) include a big metal block deliberately to make it traceable. Even if you left the block out, the bullets are metal and would still look like bullets in an x-ray. Just another politician trying to show he's up to date by getting panicked about whatever the press it panicking about this week.

about a year and a half ago
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I paid attention to news of the Marathon bomb ...

Jaywalk Don't forget the policeman. (317 comments)

Officer Sean Collier brings them up to four. So that officially bumps them up from multiple murderers to mass murderers. Can't see much of a distinction myself, although Officer Collier's family would probably disagree.

about a year and a half ago

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