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Peoria Mayor Sends Police To Track Down Twitter Parodist

Maxo-Texas Re:Freedom of Speech (140 comments)

WHAT!?!?!

But the Amityville horror was a true story of an actual event!

They said it was based on a true story! Not it was inspired by a true story they heard while drunk and can sort of remember.

yesterday
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Peoria Mayor Sends Police To Track Down Twitter Parodist

Maxo-Texas Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (140 comments)

A lot of people know about this now that he tried to supress it.

Now let's google streisand effect and see what it says...

"The Streisand effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet."

Peoria seems like a definitive example to me.

yesterday
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Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

Maxo-Texas Re:I wonder how much damage... (277 comments)

I think this is less true than it used to be. I bounced off of OO 1.04, 2, 3, but finally at 3.05 (3.04?) I found OO to be a godsend when the latest Office started hanging while printing my documents with no error message.

Once i loaded them into Openoffice, I saw the problem was likely overlapping graphics boxes (OO has the grey lines showing the actual location while Office hides them). It took me about 2 hours per 100 pages to convert the documents and I've never gone back.

There *IS* a problem with OO after 3.2. They broken transparent layer printing and the bug has remained open FOR... EVER. I can work around by changing it to a PDF and then printing but it's simpler to keep those documents in OO 3.2 (and a copy of 3.2 to edit them). It may have been fixed in v4.. haven't checked for six months.

For excel, the only feature I was lacking (again...as of about 6-9 months ago) was the automatic color coding of ranges of numbers.

But I have a couple extremely complicated macros-- one simulates the damage allocation rules for Star Fleet Battles with *appropriate* sound effects. Each sheet handles one starship. You just enter the damage and it loops and applies it until it's all done with phaser shots, photon shots, explosions of various sizes and simple color coding of the cells.

I also have another for my retirement that calculates 30 (now 28) years of spending, inflation, social security, etc. It handles partial years correctly.

Switching from MS Office 2007 to OO / Libre Office was MUCH easier than switching to MS Office 2010. 2010 was a huge paradigm shift and it took me literally months to rediscover some of the features (they took away HOT KEYS that had been standard for years and moved / buried the commands in weird places- sometimes more than one layer deep.

I still own office 2010 but I haven't used it in 18 months. However, I was able to buy it for $10 bucks as part of the corporate home ownership plan so it seemed like a no brainer.

Oh... and not to mention that when office documents became corrupted and could not be recovered by Office 2007 and 2010, I was able to FIX them by loading them into OO and resaving them. Sure- I might lose a feature or three- but at least I didn't completely lose the document. I think this was something about confused sections. But it wasn't a crash- they opened and saved normally and then they didn't next time. Talk about frequent backups! But backups didn't help with the printing problem.

2 days ago
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Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

Maxo-Texas Re:I wonder how much damage... (277 comments)

How does the economy benefit from taking your money and giving it to someone else for a service when you could get the same thing for free.

If they are going to take your money, they could spend it to repair failing bridges or at least on some service that isn't free.

Of course they could not take your mon ha he ho hoe howhhooo. oh.. I cracked myself up there for a second.

2 days ago
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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

Maxo-Texas DIdn't realize developers Michiganites (457 comments)

Apparently they are all from Lake Woebegone, where the children are all above average.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

Maxo-Texas Re:ask yourself *why* and do the right thing (288 comments)

Oh and the worst case scenario was that the cab meeting was a fixed length and the number of changes took to long so all changes not approved were pushed back to the next cab meeting unless you got a senior director to hold a special meeting for the projects. In one really bad time- a lot of critical projects slid over 90 days due to this.

But they were very serious about it. The CEO or president's ass was on the line if a change went in which wasn't approved or recorded. So it was a firing offense. You *did* follow procedures.

And those procedures changed... constantly. From cab meeting to cab meeting the procedures changed. The only notice was a series of emails. They did not maintain a central change procedure process document.

So the point here is that the people on your CAB may be very powerful and not follow the rules themselves and may change the rules with little notice to suit their own needs.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

Maxo-Texas Re:ask yourself *why* and do the right thing (288 comments)

This lowered productivity at my last place from 2 days to 47 days for a similar change level for changes from 1 to 400 lines and from 3 months to 6 to 9 months to never for larger changes. Once the cost was recognized, it also resulted in a lot of small changes not being done because their benefit no longer justified the cost.

However, it lowered our critical errors which effected production from about 6 unscheduled downtimes per year to about 6 unscheduled downtimes per year so it was worth it.

All kidding aside- a few time a year, it prevented different departments from really stepping on each other's toes hard. As in, "But we have a major upgrade that's going to take 20 hours to install this weekend and you are going to have the system down for O/S patches the entire weekend!?!?!" and "But we have a major upgrade that requires Jane from your team. She's in Europe for the next two weeks!?!?!?!"

But other than those... seriously.. reduced unscheduled downtime from 6 a year to 6 a year. I.e. no benefit. All the successful testing in the world IS NOT PRODUCTION. Most companies can't afford to maintain a test system identical to production. It's always a subset in some way.

2 days ago
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Student Records Kids Who Bully Him, Then Gets Threatened With Wiretapping Charge

Maxo-Texas Re:Rewarding the bullies... (790 comments)

This is ludicrous. I wonder if he could constantly record all his life activities as an art project or some kind of freedom of speech project.

Wonder if the bullies parents were politically connected.

3 days ago
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Your StarCraft II Potential Peaked At Age 24

Maxo-Texas Lindberg (101 comments)

Lindberg flew 50 combat missions at age 42 in the pacific-- in both the corsair and the lightning.

The preferred age for pilots then was also very young (19-22) due to reaction speed.

But he not only held his own, but his experience allowed him to change the entire war by recognizing how to improve the mileage of the planes by 300 miles. He also shot down a japanese pilot who had managed to run several younger pilots completely out of ammunition because they were able to fire quickly but lacked the judgement when NOT to fire.

Speed matters. But experience and good judgement also matter and they take time to accumulate.

3 days ago
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Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

Maxo-Texas Re:We don''t do tax returns in the UK,you insensit (385 comments)

I don't buy lottery tickets* but I view them as an opportunity to dream of what it would like to be wealthy.

* I have three times in my life as party favors for others and about 20 times as part of an office lottery pool which was really about not being the odd duck refusing to be part of the group. The "winnings" from all of these amounted to under 10% of the cost of the tickets.

4 days ago
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Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

Maxo-Texas Re:Had to do paper for a few years (385 comments)

THIS!

I would efile but they wanted 10 bucks. For sending a frickin email attachment???

So I spent 49 cents and mailed it.

I think I would have paid 5 bucks and definitely would have paid 3 bucks if they supported paypal.

I did my taxes manually until two years ago. Too many stock transactions now. Which is a bit of a problem because taxact won't import the txf format output by my broker so I have to run an awk script to reformat the txf file into taxact format.

4 days ago
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FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

Maxo-Texas Re:It is a Hobby (217 comments)

True for individual churches and smaller independent churches.

Not so true for the larger denominations which can have budgets running in the hundreds of millions to billions.

For example, the mormon's recently purchased and will operate several tens of thousands of farmland as a tax advantaged church business. And they have a really plush HQ. It's similar for the catholics and other large orders.

5 days ago
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The Best Parking Apps You've Never Heard Of and Why You Haven't

Maxo-Texas Re:Fill your head with crap (163 comments)

Seriously? I think a million is conservative. The number of people who will read the header article is more likely to be closer to 4 million.

From the wiki:

In 2012, Slashdot had around 3.7 million unique visitors per month and received over 5300 comments per day.[2] The site has won more than 20 awards, including People's Voice Awards in 2000 for Best Community Site and Best News Site. Occasionally, a story will link to a server causing a large surge of traffic, which can overwhelm some smaller or independent sites. This phenomenon is known as the "Slashdot effect".

(to the other commenter-- this didn't feel like an advertisement to me. But- you could be right. Even if you are wrong- as I said- doing this regularly would result in it being corrupted by business interests- so even if this ISN'T an advertisement- if we do this enough, they would start to be dominated by advertisements).

5 days ago
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Bachelor's Degree: An Unnecessary Path To a Tech Job

Maxo-Texas Re:Modded down? (286 comments)

It's leveling out faster than that. India and China have been experiencing 20% inflation for high skill jobs and 100% inflation for low skill jobs (still making under $5000 a year but... at 100% a year...).

The quality of workers available thru offshoring has been dropping since 2005 BUT-- offshoring companies have a unique advantage in that they can turn on and off large numbers of workers at a given client rapidly. I.e. you have a project that needs 20 developers, 3 analysts, 1 architect-- and on two months notice- you've got it at an agreed upon rate. Turns out you only need 15 developers or you need 25 developers-- and you've got it.

Meanwhile- the private company has interviewed 17 candidates- offered to 5, and gotten 2 to accept. And 1 of those may not work out. And the private company has a shitty reputation for being a sweat shop PLUS no training PLUS layoffs while the offshoring company values programmer candidates (because they are revenue sources unlike at the private company where they were a cost).

But.. don't trust that the offshore people *really* have the skill sets-- probably 15 of the 20 they send you will have no skill set to a 2 month training course and they'll be training them on your dime. And the offshore people tend to say YES to everything-- which management loves-- but which results in expensive failures. I.e. Can you do the impossible and delivery it in 90 days, "YES! We'll do our best!"

Five million dollars later.. a piece of crap is delivered in 90 days. It finally works (maybe) well enough to use after 180 days and isn't really fully functional for a year... or more.

A fundamental problem is the technology in IT is still changing TOO DAMN FAST. When I started- you could learn a skillset (Cobol, JCL, RPG, Vax Assembly) and use it for 10 to 15 years. Now- outside of maybe SQL- there is a new technology every... single... year... If you miss the boat- you quickly become unhireable.

But you can't really master it and you are always working tons of hours on your own time mastering the new languages and tools compared to the management and sales team who is doing maybe 12 hours of fluffly training combined with drinks in vegas and who are making more money and who don't have to work nights, weekends, and holidays (especially holidays since the systems can be quiesced then).

And then- even if you manage to keep up- massive age discrimination at age 50 (some as early as 45. my god- i pity the poor kids) without legal recourse. Infosys for example requires your high school graduation date on the job application. Not that you graduated. I.E. The EXACT date when you were 18. It should be illegal.. but it's not.

I'm glad I was able to make it, retire, and now I only program for fun again like I did back when I was young. But I did that by living on half of what I made (which was a lot thankfully).

The last year has been one of the best of my life. I'm playing ultimate frisbee again, time to frolic with the girlfriend and time to spend with the grandkids. Life is Good.

Oh.. and way too much minecraft.

5 days ago
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The Best Parking Apps You've Never Heard Of and Why You Haven't

Maxo-Texas I think this kind of article is grand (163 comments)

It would be nice to have this for every category of thing.

Of course, if we did it on a regular basis, it would be coopted or corrupted by businesses in some way.

5 days ago
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The Best Parking Apps You've Never Heard Of and Why You Haven't

Maxo-Texas Re:Fill your head with crap (163 comments)

He's actually providing an editorial service for millions of other people. Conservatively, he freed up a million people to spend 5 minutes thinking about important issues.

That's just under 10 years of total time they can think about important issues.

And that's ignoring the time/money savings resulting from those who select the app.

He's justified a significant portion of his existence with just the one post.

5 days ago
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FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

Maxo-Texas Re:It is a Hobby (217 comments)

Lots of non-profits pay their executives salaries between 150,000 and 650,000 dollars. Plus lots of benny's like free gala's every month, travel, etc.

And, just thought of this: Churches are non-profit and make millions or even billions of dollars, their executives travel and drive really nice cars and have plush offices (not to mention owning tons of land).

about a week ago
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Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

Maxo-Texas Re:Patternicity (325 comments)

Still, we do gain herd immunity from social media speed programs like Waze and Trapster (which no longer works on my ancient 2 year old phone- boo!).

First, you get reports of where speed traps are repeatedly.
Second, you get live reports of where the police are.
Third, if you don't have it running and 60% of the drivers around you suddenly slow from 85 to 65, you slow down with them, pass the cops 3 miles later, and then speed up 1 mile past the cops.

about a week ago
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Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

Maxo-Texas Re:selective enforcement at it's finest. (325 comments)

From the article... assuming this is a real quote- here's at least one cop who admits bias.

'Unless you have the I.D. in hand when (not if) I stop you,' says one cop, 'no love will be shown.'"

about a week ago

Submissions

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How Cohen & Grisby helps avoid American Worker

Maxo-Texas Maxo-Texas writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Maxo-Texas (864189) writes "http://youtu.be/TCbFEgFajGU
As it says "Immigration attorneys from Cohen & Grigsby explains how they assist employers in running classified ads with the goal of NOT finding any qualified applicants, and the steps they go through to disqualify even the most qualified Americans in order to secure green cards for H-1b workers. See what Bush and Congress really mean by a "shortage of skilled U.S. workers." Microsoft, Oracle, Hewlett-Packard, and thousands of other companies are running fake ads in Sunday newspapers across the country each week.""

Link to Original Source
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High Radiation Levels 35 kilometers from reactor.

Maxo-Texas Maxo-Texas writes  |  about 3 years ago

Maxo-Texas (864189) writes "Video showing very high radiation levels in Japan was posted on Youtube yesterday. The video is not dated. It appears to show the ground is at over 2000 microseverts at multiple locations.
The alarms on the geiger counters are eerie. At 3 minutes, they state that at some areas people are getting a years radiation every 4 days and that these areas should be evacuated.
If this is like the chernobyl site, the random vagaries of the wind will have created some intense areas while leaving others relatively untouched."

Link to Original Source
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Wikileaks: Shell Corporation runs Nigeria

Maxo-Texas Maxo-Texas writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Maxo-Texas (864189) writes "The Guardian's analysis of wikileaks documents has revealed that Shell Corporation has inserted employees into every aspect of the Nigerian government and basically runs the company. In what is a view into our corporate controlled future, while the country has billions of dollars in oil income, 70% of the population lives below the poverty line.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/dec/08/wikileaks-cables-shell-nigeria-spying

"The company's top executive in Nigeria told US diplomats that Shell had seconded employees to every relevant department and so knew "everything that was being done in those ministries". She boasted that the Nigerian government had "forgotten" about the extent of Shell's infiltration and was unaware of how much the company knew about its deliberations.""

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